Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Thoughts on Eid al-Fitr and the Islamic Calendar

Today, July 06, 2016 is a holiday in Philippines. In the Islamic calendar, today is Eid al-Fitr, an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month of Ramadan and the first day of the month of Shawwal.

Although Muslims only make up apprx. 11% of the population, the Philippines adds many Muslim holidays to the country's list of days taken off in addition to the numerous Catholic holidays and secular, national holidays.

Most non-Muslims, like myself, know next to nothing about the Islamic calendar; if we know anything at all, it's the month of Ramadan that we're most familiar with, because of the usual increase in the number of terror attacks by radical Islamic jihadists during this "holy month". What about some of these lesser known (to non -Muslims) months.

The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar so it doesn't line up exactly with the West's Gregorian calendar. This year, Ramadan aligned, more or less, with June; Shawwal aligns, more or less, with July. The next month in the Islamic calendar is Dhu al-Qi'dah and lines up, this year, with August. According to more than one source, Dhu al-Qi'dah, also spelled Thul Qi’dah, is one of the four sacred months in Islam during which warfare is prohibited, hence the name "Master of Truce".

Let me say that again - Dhu al-Qi'dah is a holy month during which war is banned. People are allowed to defend themselves if attacked.

Let's remember this come this August. Islamic jihadists are all for increasing terror during Ramadan, because they believe Islam calls for that. Will there be a truce regarding terrorist attacks during Dhu al-Qi'dah by these same jihadists?

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