Category: Feature

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!

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.”

Preparation for Ramadhaan

As the month of Ramadhān approaches, the ‘Ulamā encourage the masses to start preparation for the month of Ramadhān, as we are encouraged to by making Du’ā to Allāh Ta’ālā in the words:

“Allāhumma Bārik lanā fï Rajaba wa Sha’bāna wa Balighnā Ramadhān”

(O Allāh, grant us blessing in the months of Rajab and Sha’baan and let us. witness the month of Ramadhān).

How can we make these preparations:

1.Set aside time to make tilāwah of the Qur-ān.

This must be made daily, whether it is a few pages or a quarter, in anticipation of increasing many fold by the time Ramadhān comes.

2. If we are not making Du’ā, then we should start now.

Ramadhān is a time of making Du’ā and Allāh Ta’ālā readily accepts Du’ā.

If one is not in the habit of making Du’ā then start by making Du’ā for at least five minutes, and time oneself.

An easy way would be; at one minute intervals :

* Praise Allāh Ta’ālā

* Read Salāt ‘alan Nabi ﷺ

* Ask Allāh Ta’ālā for forgiveness

* Ask Allāh Ta’ālā for ones worldly needs

* Ask Allāh Ta’ālā for our needs of Ākhirah

* End by praising Allāh Ta’āla and reading Salāt ‘alan Nabi ﷺ.

3. Increase our salāh.

If one is reading five time salāhs, then he should now check if he is reading all the sunnat muakkadah, ghair muakkadah and nafl salāhs.

If he is reading salāh in a Musallah then he should make attempts to now start reading salāh in the Masjid.

(But, during the covid19, let us follow the guidance of our Respected Ūlāmā)

This is where our preparation should start.

In shā ALLĀH, this will become part of our lives and we will start reaping the benefits of this blessed and auspicious month from the first day.

And ALLAH S.W.T. knows best…

The Night Journey: The greatest miracle of the Prophet

Today, Muslims across the world are remembering the greatest miracle of the prophet, The Night Journey.

The event took place on the 27th night of the Islamic month of Rajab.

This miracle can be divided into two parts: Night Journey on the earth (Isra) and Ascension to the heavens (Miraj) – parts of this unique journey are mentioned and narrated by the Glorious Quran, authentic hadith resources and history resources.

In Sūrah Al-Isrā (Surah 17), it is mentioned:

“Glory be to Him Who made His servant (Prophet Muhammad ﷺ) to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) to the Farthest Mosque (Masjid al-Aqsa) of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing”.

[Qur’an, 17:1]

•Before the Journey

Before the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ took this journey, the ceiling of the house he was staying in (In Makkah) opened and Angel Jibra’il (Gabriel) came down. He cut open the Prophet’s chest and washed it with Zam Zam water as preparation for the miracle he was about to encounter.

After the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had performed the Isha prayer, Angel Jibra’il came to him with a white animal that was slightly larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule. The animal was called Burāq and was one of the animals of paradise.

Angel Jibra’il told the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to sit on Burāq, which he did.

Then, they set on their unique journey through the night.

Burāq was a very fast animal – the length of its stride was as far as the eye could see.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ arrived at a land with palm trees. Angel Jibra’il humbly asked him to pray 2 rakats, which he did. Afterwards Angel Jibra’il asked him if he knew where he had prayed. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ replied, “ALLĀH knows best.” Angel Jibra’il told him it was Yathrib, which is what Madinah was called before the Prophet (pbuh) moved there.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Angel Jibra’il continued on their journey with Burāq. They reached another place where Angel Jibra’il humbly asked the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to pray 2 rakats. Again Angel Jibra’il told him the name of the place – Tur Sinai – Mount Sinai where the ten commandments were given to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him).

The next stop they made was the city where Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was born.

They continued on their way until they reached Jerusalem and there they entered Masjid –al- Aqsa where ALLĀH had gathered all the prophets from Adam to Jesus. Then, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ led them all in prayer.

•Journey to the Heavens – Al-Miraj

After the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ took the night journey from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, he climbed to the upper heavens.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ went to the heavens on stairs called al-mirqat, where one step is made of gold and the next of silver and so on. These stairs are veiled from us.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ went up these stairs until he reached the first heaven. When the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Jibr’il arrived at the first heaven, Jibril requested the gate to be opened. The angel assigned to that gate asked Jibril, “Who is with you?” Jibril answered, “It is Muhammad.” The angel asked Jibril, “Was he dispatched? Is it time for him to ascend to the heaven?” Jibril said, “Yes.” So, the gate was opened for him, and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ entered the first heaven.

There, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saw Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). To Adam’s right, the Prophet ﷺ some bodies, and to Adam’s left, other bodies. If Adam (peace) would look to his right he would laugh and if he would look to his left he would cry. Adam (peace be upon him) was seeing the souls of his descendants. Those on his right were his descendants who would die as believers and those on his left were his descendants who would die as non-believers.

Then the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ went up to the second heaven. In this second heaven, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saw the Prophets Isa and Yahya (peace be upon them). Isa and Yahya are cousins; their mothers were sisters. They welcomed the Prophet ﷺ and made dua for him for good things.

The Prophet then went up to the third heaven where he found Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him). Prophet Yusuf  was extremely handsome. ALLĀH bestowed half the beauty on Yusuf. Yusuf (peace be upon him) received the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with a warm welcome and made dua for him for good things.

Then the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ went up to the fourth heaven, where he found Prophet Idris (peace be upon him). Idris welcomed the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and made dua for him for good things.

In the fifth heaven, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ met Harun (peace be upon him), the brother of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him).

In the sixth heaven, he encountered Prophet Musa (peace be upon him).

Each of these Prophets received Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with a warm welcome and made dua for him for good things.

Then the Prophet ascended to the seventh heaven and that is where our Messenger saw Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Prophet Ibrahim is the best of the prophets after our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saw Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) with his back against al-Bayt al-Ma’mur.

To the inhabitants of the heavens, al-Bayt al-Ma’mur is like the Ka’bah is to us. Every day 70,000 angels go there; then exit from it and never return. The next day another 70,000 angels go, come out and never return. This will continue until the Day of Judgment.

In this, there is an indication as to the greatness of the numbers of the angels there are. Their numbers are far more than the numbers of the humans and the jinns put together.

In the seventh heaven, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saw Sidrat al-Muntaha-a lote tree. Each of the fruits of this tree is as large as a big jar. The leaves of this tree are similar to the ears of the elephants. Sidrat al-Muntaha is an extremely beautiful tree. It is visited by butterflies made of gold. When these butterflies gather on this tree, its beauty is beyond description.

•Journey beyond the Heavens & Gifts for the Ummah

Then the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ went up and reached a place where he heard the creaking of the pens used by the angels who are copying from the Preserved Tablet. He then went beyond that place to a place which we can neither describe nor imagine.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was elevated and approached his Lord who is Aziz (Mighty and Strong) and Jabbar (Compelling).

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saw the light of ALLĀH, which we cannot describe and God revealed to him whatever he revealed.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was given, amongst other things, five Obligatory Prayers.

At first, Allah obligated fifty prayers. When Prophet Muhammad ﷺ encountered Prophet Musa (peace be upon him), Musa told him to make dua to his Lord to ease the obligation of fifty (50) prayers, because his nation could not handle that. Musa (peace be upon him) said, “I have experience with the people of Israel, and I know your nation cannot bear that.” So the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ asked his Lord to lessen these prayers for his people. Five prayers were eliminated. Once again, Musa told the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to ask Allah to lessen the number of prayers. ALLĀH did. Nine times the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made supplication to ALLĀH to lessen these prayers–until these prayers were lessened to Five (5) Obligatory Prayers.

So Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was a great benefit to us. Had we been obligated to pray fifty prayers a day, this would have been a difficult matter for us.

•The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ Returns to Makkah

After all these matters took place with the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, he returned to the city of Makkah.

The next day the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ told the people what happened to him the previous night. The people of Quraysh mocked the Prophet and said that it is not possible.

Believers believe in this unique journey because it displays the unique status of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the power of ALLĀH, the Exalted: ALLĀH says Glory be to Him Who made His servant (Prophet Muhammad) to undertake this night journey. Our Lord is able and capable of doing everything because He controls and manages everything.

May ALLĀH Almighty help us to learn lessons from this unique journey.


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