Silsilah Ramadan Message 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 06 July 2014 13:59

The month of Ramadan this year, 2014, coincides with the year of the Hijrah Calendar 1435HB.

This message of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement is part of a long tradition to share solidarity with the Muslim Ummah during the month of Ramadan and with the Christians during the advent and Christmas time. Ramadan is a blessed time for humanity when the Muslim Ummah reminds the world the importance of fasting and praying to be closer to God and to serve those who are most in need.

We write this message from Zamboanga City after the siege of last September 9. The sufferings of the people are still visible here and there in the city. This reality also reminds us the pains of many in the world due to wars, injustices and natural calamities.

Meanwhile we encourage Muslim friends to observe, on the best way, their obligations during this special month, all are challenged together  to remember that the message of  Ramadan is a good occasion to internalize the importance of “fasting” in all aspects of life, to purify our intentions, hearts, minds and memories and to understand more the spiritual dimension of life that has to be nurtured by prayer and service.

We are called to open our hearts to those who are most in need, overcoming the temptation to think that to help and to serve is only the duty of specific agencies and institutions of government. With sadness we also observe that the suffering of the victims of the Zamboanga siege, the Yolanda calamity and other forms of suffering in the Philippines and in the world are often aggravated by those who take advantage of the sufferings of people.

This annual event of Ramadan is also a great opportunity to revisit our spiritual values in the midst of so many contradictions that have different names such as: secularism, materialism, radicalism, terrorism, etc. and see also the many positive signs which nurture the importance of our spiritual life as a foundation of a sincere and sustainable commitment and vocation in life.

Guided by the general principle, “to think/dream globally and act locally”, we encourage all to revisit the Ramadan message and be able to read the signs of the times in our own territories and answer the needs of the people. We are challenged to leave our “comfort zones” as a form of  “fasting” and identify the urgent needs of our society. Among the long list of needs in Zamboanga City there is the urgent need to rebuild trust, solidarity and harmony among Muslims and Christians. Today, after the siege, we need to overcome fear among different cultures and sectors of society. There are also many illegal activities in our area, especially related to illegal businesses that are destroying the watersheds of Zamboanga and aggravate the alarming effects of the climate changes. Thus, in a special way we:

1. Welcome the new effort of the government which formed the “Zamboanga City Interfaith Council” inviting religious groups, movements,  institutions and agencies, encouraging all of them to help “Build Back  Better Zamboanga” not only the building, but also the trust.

2. Welcome also the “Friends of the Zamboanga Watersheds Movement”  which has the mission to protect the watersheds of Zamboanga.

This message is not only for the people of Zamboanga, but for all. Each one, in solidarity with the month of Ramadan, is invited to identify what is the “fasting” that brings us out of our “narrow” understanding of life and to share more our time, our talents and what we have with others. This is possible if we give more attention to the spiritual foundation of life anchored in the Love of God, the love of neighbors and the love for the common good.