Author: Maleiha Shahara Alim

Ramadhaan: The beneficial scorcher

Once more, the honorable guest, Holy Ramadhān is here.

The word “Ramadhān” comes from the Arabic root word denoting “scorching heat”, “parched thirst”, “intense dryness”, “sun-baked ground”, etc. Thus, Ramahān is so called to indicate the burning sensation in the stomach as a result of hunger and the dryness of the throat due to thirst. Ramadhān also “scorches out” the sins of the Muslim as if burning it to the ground.

In another sense, the hearts and souls soak up the spiritual warmth of Ramadhān, just as the sand and stones are receptive to the sun’s heat.

Heat is also used as a medical treatment to remove and drive out toxins, cold and other harmful substances from the body.

In a similar manner, the heat of Ramadhān will expunge and “dry out” greed, arrogance, indifference and other spiritual maladies from the soul of man.

Again, intense heat is vital to all manufacturing processes as metals, plastic, glass, wood, etc. are all moulded into various products under scorching temperatures.

Similarly, the heart of man is cast into a beautiful spiritual mould in the heat of the crucible of Ramadhān, thereby becoming a wonderful receptacle of piety and righteousness!

Tremendous benefits of fasting

Fasting is not a mindless exercise of torturing the body by remaining hungry and thirsty, but is extremely meaningful and produces tremendous benefits for the fasting person, some of which are summarized as follows:

• Increased devotions in Ramadhān make a Muslim feel closer to the Creator, and generate appreciation for all His provisions; food, water, etc. as a boon and blessing from the month. Feelings of generosity, soft heartedness and good-will towards others are developed. Rasūlullāh (ﷺ) was more generous than the fast blowing wind in this month.

• Through the self-control and discipline of fasting, a Muslim develops tolerance, patience, contentment, good manners, good speech and good habits.

• Ramadhān causes a change in life’s routine, which results in healthy lifestyle habits – particularly with regard to diet, eating habits and less smoking.

• Because fasting is a collective activity, it creates a sense of belonging to a huge global family of believers and strengthens the bonds of family ties and Islamic brotherhood on a local level as well.

First hand sympathy with the poor and hungry

One of the outstanding benefits of fasting is that a Muslim experiences hunger and thirst, and thus personally identifies with the plight of the hungry and poor, thereby generating a real and intense degree of sympathy and concern for the underprivileged who have so little to eat every day. This in turn makes Muslims reach out to the poor and render them all forms of assistance. One who does not, from time to time experience this hunger first hand, cannot truly empathize with the poor and hungry and this has a bearing on the effectiveness of any relief programs operated by such people. Ramadhān is a very special month, but it is important for the benefits of this month to remain throughout the year.

The spirit of piety and spiritual elevation experienced in Ramadhān should stay on during our “normal” lives in the eleven months -and when the spiritual batteries begin to weaken, again comes the next Ramadan to give a full charge!

BTA publishes code on civil service

Photo courtesy by: BTA Parliament

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority published the Bangsamoro Civil Service Code on March 30, 2021 following its approval earlier on February 24, 2021.

The code, published in Mindanao Expose’ (pp. 5-29), a local newspaper, seeks to “provide an effective instrument for good governance and responsive policies on human resource administration of BARMM while addressing the legitimate needs and peculiarities of our people.”

It is among the priority legislation the parliament needs to pass within the transition period mandated under the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

You may download the e-copy here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Usz3WMsKb_tJCiUDynInYy0L2tSqO80a/view?fbclid=IwAR0XjPXv6EqHV2eyHKKnWS4-PnpgFuX_Y_7n5lLwU3yH3eJM45EheLMQ6ok

Keeping our humanity intact: A message to the graduates of MSU Maguindanao

Full speech of MP Rasol Mitmug, Jr. as Guest of Honor during the 47th Commencement Exercises of Mindanao State Univeristy – Maguindanao on March 26, 2021

“Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu…A good and prosperous day to everyone!

I am honored and elated to be invited to deliver, what I hope to be a motivating and engaging message, to the promising young men and women in front of me.

Last year, we had an unexpected turn of events due to the pandemic, and graduation rites were postponed. The myriad cancellation of ceremonial events for the students has been a source of distress, adding to an already depressing situation. In the midst of everything, there was one little post in our page that garnered a lot of engagement. Since we could not deliver graduation messages last year in person we decided to post something for our students in our facebook page. It was a simple message of “Kamusta po kayo? How are you holding up?” to our students and empathizing and understanding their confusion and disappointment of having a rushed goodbye with their institutions and schoolmates. Surprisingly, the post blew up with thousands of likes and shares. We felt that students in the Bangsamoro, even outside BARMM, have been comforted by the message that in the midst of pandemic their worries are validated, and that it is important to acknowledge their anxieties and fears, and reach a level of optimism as we all face a new reality. From this, we could learn how important compassion and mindfulness in those trying times. Now we have come to this. We are slowly getting back some semblance of normalcy, although in a form of new normal, and only hoping that we can adapt accordingly to our situation.

The Mindanao State University – Maguindanao is an institution for academic development and excellence. But it is more than that. From what I’ve seen and witnessed, it is committed in providing cross-cultural and inter-religious understanding across the campus colleges and communities, academic and social programs, all in achieving its goal for producing highly competent leaders and workers in various fields for the development of the Bangsamoro. It is an educational institution aiming and hoping to generate value-laden professionals who take their roles responsibly with integrity and honesty. In Shaa Allah.

One of the most powerful instruments in attaining transformational change is EDUCATION. It is a game-changer for the future, an arbiter for decision-making, and a tool for empowerment. Empowering the people is empowering the community where they belong. In the same vein, sustainable reform requires active regional citizenry.

When teachers or professors encourage the students to be more responsible in a general context of handling consequences of their actions, they are actually preparing you, their students, for the greater arena, outside of your training ground—which is ADULTHOOD. Keep in mind that there are certain things that are not explained by some proximate events. Along with the guidance and instructions of your professors, as well as the realization of your subject realities, you will be able to pursue and achieve their essence and value. Your potentials will be discovered and in turn, be your guide on what path to choose in your respective careers and direction in lives.

The challenge now lies within us, within the new graduates.

This graduation is not an ending but rather a beginning. That is why we call it “commencement.” Thus, education does not stop here. Life is a learning curve. Expect anything to be thrown at you. Learn to overcome them but while doing so, acknowledge your weaknesses. Fess up to your mistakes. We don’t have answers to everything but, believe, that as you journey on, you will get to your answers. And when you found your passion or calling, devote fully to it. You are now part of something special, cherish it, and defend it. Bear in mind that when priorities clash and greater opportunities come along, always remember your values and be guided by those, not your perceived necessities. As

Adam Braun said, “Necessities exist in a state of mind that will not last, whereas values are transcendent and enduring.”

As you traverse the professional arena, you will encounter adversities, as well as diversities. We learn that diversity is not only by religion, race or culture. Sometimes, diversity in perspectives is what troubles our society the most, but whatever side you belong to, there is always a room for a dialogue, a conversation, a way to manage disparities so that it would not define our relationships in the long-run.

Just a little glimpse of what we do in the BARMM — As someone who worked in the education sector, and now part of the committee on education in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, we are exerting efforts to establish a quality and accessible Bangsamoro educational system that is complete, relevant and responsive to the “educational” needs of the Bangsamoro people. The Bangsamoro government is mandated, like any other form of government, to put emphasis and prioritize the development and growth of educational institutions. The thirst of students for education should be satiated through efforts to improve the standard of education, and to enable students ample opportunities to pursue their education knowing that there are institutions accredited to provide quality education.

To this year’s graduating class, as you go through an important transition in your life, and I just want to reiterate this since this is where I’m coming from, I want to encourage you to place more importance to what our community needs. Because the quality of service we impart to the people is in itself an immeasurable achievement. It is through giving back to the community where we belong where we experience true satisfaction.

And with that, whatever you do in life, after this graduation, after achieving everything that you’ve envisioned, remember to blanket your journey with respect, integrity and humility. The world, with all of its complexities, will challenge your humanity. But the choice and responsibility is yours to make, whether you would compromise your values over circumstances beyond your control. At this moment, the most important thing is to keep your humanity intact.

Mabrouk to all the graduates. Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu.”

National Teachers’ Month 2020

Sabi nga nila, ‘Once a teacher, always a teacher.’ Ang pagiging guro dala dala mo yan kahit saan ka man magpunta o anuman ang pinagkakaabalahan mo sa ngayon. Higit sa propesyon hindi matatawaran ang naiwan na pamana ng isang guro sa kanyang mga estudyante. Kaya nga ‘pag may pagtitipon ang barkada o class reunion kadalasan ang napapag-usapan at napapagkwentuhan ay ang ating mga guro.

Sa hirap ng panahon ngayon mas nasusubok ang tibay at pagmamalasakit ng ating mga guro kaya’t sila’y mas atin pang bigyang pugay at pahalagahan.

Isang taon na din nang unang magbigay tayo ng mensahe para sa ating mga guro para sa selebrasyong ito at nataon din ito sa anibersaryo ng ating pagkatalaga bilang Member ng Parliament. Ako rin po ay nabigyan ng pagkakataon na makapagtrabaho at magsilbi sa sector ng edukasyon bilang Regional Secretary ng dating DEPED-ARMM at masasabi kong napaka-fulfilling po nito. Malaki ang respeto ko sa mga guro at alam kong higit pa sa propesyon ang pagtuturo dahil mas malasakit ang nangingibaw sa karamihan lalo na sa ngayon.

Muli bumabati kami ng isang maligayang National Teachers’ Month sa lahat ng guro sa PIlipinas at sa Bangsamoro.

#ThankYouTeacherPH #ThankYouTeacherBARMM

Statement on the Kabacan Massacre

We condemn as a nation the Kabacan shooting last Saturday, August 29, unequivocally. Violence is unacceptable and we should take a step towards seeking justice and giving assistance to the victims. Although outside the jurisdiction of the BARMM, the victims were identified to be Bangsamoro which prompted the Bangsamoro Government to coordinate with the authorities and concerned LGUs to help shed light on the mater.

The assistance of the national government is also sought on this matter as provided under Section 12, Article 6 (INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS) of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which states that “the National Government shall ensure the protection of the rights of the Bangsamoro people residing in communities outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and undertake programs for their rehabilitation and development. The Bangsamoro Government, in coordination with local government units where these communities are located and the appropriate national government agencies, shall provide assistance to enhance their economic, social and cultural development.”

Here are the statements and ongoing efforts by various stakeholders on the incident:

🔗 Bangsamoro Government
https://www.facebook.com/…/a.429384931223…/804243510404109/…

🔗 AMIN – Anak Mindanao Partylist
https://www.facebook.com/AMINpartylist/posts/10158388066977348?__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARCcrMGiUM8fXA6tUA-0yqnUhF0LqQEBVu4_AsFnBBJn4c7ESP1fDC4zv37vImvNBSM7anr3IUDjOUlALbeIGgheRT0IszpXvKO0f7xsEo5ohX9GrK8F_ATgDPrpJ3aVIx1f3E21N7D5UC50uxEV8rQhiX3TcchbCh_s0YcAOWS-uO4s3yQ0i-iWiDlUr8K9NknNi7OrDa4_IJlJZZK1Zmxs7crdPWD2nz079-CNc2uWIakBAMPEp67qGYXO7IwuLubyLr7sREi7uI9fXtl-rI_ruaOEtSEHOvVj5cx72slyJf6Ni-RnE7iow15ivjvEmwhpX64oRRGMdPfyiL4i&__tn__=-R

🔗 Message of Kabacan Mayor Guzman Jr.
https://www.facebook.com/unladkabacan/videos/344897529890396/?__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARBC15NfCEdfUyjpGk_wWJolfKgjPUEmPHLEMgWTJgw6eHz3y70HKrH5GMnULezPzoHz00LCxNhdzgXnUJCYy2KmdX8jYvH1b0T8-J9GyrmRlNHVUJm1cglUEY6vC3l7WIS6oJQdAkFXm8yy5vYmeINSSEwqeVKLn3ug9L09_SCPqD4hR1Ez2Yb55TtO0U3CrSBfZXbkl2TIH3Ba0LnaVjN0aUiYVUxdsqTIHINHVdv5TKDwCaQDHV9_5J6Iddw8CLLncBdBxIn0ku2xLAZZgd4R7WdzJ7zBSx2k8EAxce–b3jdED53tY82gTTHqzaXSYk4n8ZAgdKp0Zg5Ge3s_DrEN5eGsEp10OoYYQ&__tn__=-R

🔗 Kabacan Chief of Police PMaj. Peter L. Pinalgan, Jr.
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2636283386627036

🔗 602nd Brigade Commander Brig. General Roberto Capulong via Brigada News Fm Cotabato City
https://www.facebook.com/BNFMCotabato/videos/756510311857385/?v=756510311857385

🔗 Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces MP Abdulraof A. Macacua
https://www.facebook.com/samwel.hassan/posts/3205516286211572

🔗 University of Southern Mindanao
https://www.facebook.com/theUSMofficial/posts/1174869609535190?__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARCOr7BW46WlG_ZfvFTSHl-tntlh9g-s2LuwtRnlPFvwiBJDnZPHa8UScMEKHxzx9ab-c8IFiLpcQh7U0o5-YAdFJ5foQh2njC6_mkn6wTnR9KqMZLhEV4tANoy2RDwiuH-z_Lfs-Df1jd9z_32yTS2rzxkP8H2S8D71QZaFQJCIjxxwOGbjDkRu3v9XzNMnqklLa_NI9mtHXUA7M1GVa-KD6t0f5X2Nzy6LZ7YkGHOqxjY6g1JdPEhmohyQhJ-IrhHZRMWt1RpZ3-AY9qE6mtxhUCdXLJHo_1jUD-e1tqnJtO4gylQIq4SPi67ciyQpQFkXRg4dRdCrZHT1Yq70SvFH4BpV8-sbEKCcY_bXtQxNux7QlyCKQNdTFtlMI_GNKCtVGFT0ImHWD6yQsRytVU3qmUPIMnW4ETSuk3_3AukTJDW90p3wzPzhFLBOHCydtalGdRcBnwnIMzP3LCHjyGmsbMfGu8u5WIY9bm559NrDJhaWtsvIevz-_Ep-RNnJbQ&__tn__=-R

🔗 BTA Deputy Minority Floor leader MP Suharto Mastura Ambolodto
https://www.facebook.com/smambolodto/posts/10160301344199056

🔗 Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
https://www.facebook.com/…/a.73725996631…/3227610973942883/…

🔗 Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) Council of Leaders
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10220672718440907&set=a.10210162460051016&type=3&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARA20Mwl2i7oFpzyoCLLseqpH5yxzs1sSSVQXXW41epRUZCF8AX-HIoxtjlaabGnL6_X9TS2Vg22W3ZZD1X9s-TrYzWOug7y7z5YmA9xpA2YiaGTHhg55ZL10dm5Jtd1ZzLwuggXSZo7htwgzYD8yPWug8fCjCwChEwFYyqRcs376u4Tk-EbMYLI8NbMno0PIiKNli6jsVSqIgTxtPGySC5W16PzypKnERaKKF9k39E5wVWv1shVyXhHwNHdeMoU3qg6Aw0Z3v8j7cyvNgcBiXKmdl0KobCgy8aCCZxL20P6nIEY3mrO2E7kRdlwihCmbODycXY5KCbGeUMaR7jZqW4NPg&__tn__=H-R

🔗 Task Group formed to expedite the probe
https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1113847…

🔗 CHR Region 12 dockets Kabacan massacre as EJK case https://www.gmanetwork.com/…/region-12-dockets-kabac…/story/