MARAWI CITY — Around six thousand Maranaws flocked, Monday morning (May 2), to Jameo Mindanao Al-Islamie Islamic Center of Marawi, inside the most affected area (MAJ), to attend the Eid prayer to end the monthlong Ramadan.
Known as grand mosque, the Islamic Center was opened for the first time for prayer since the siege in 2017.
Hadji Ibrahim Pangarungan, secretary to the administrator of the Islamic Center, said the mosque has a floor area of 9,500 square meters with 9,000 persons when standing but in today’s Eid prayer, they only estimated 6,000 people flocked the mosque including those who preferred to perform their prayer outside.
Residents were previously allowed to perform Friday prayers at the grand mosque during the Ramadan but the administrators insisted to open it in time of Eid’l Fitr.
“After this, we are praying that we would continue performing our Friday prayers here even after the Ramadan,” Pangarungan said.
The Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) did not allow the regular visit of the grand mosque because of the ongoing construction works.
Health Protocol prayers
The congregation wore mask frm their house as they went to the mosque to follow the announcement released by the Grand Imam, days before the Eid’l Fitr.
But Pangarungan said, they removed it during the prayer so that they could recite the prayers well.
Aside from bringing their own prayer mat, the worshippers also brought with them plastic bag to keep their shoes and slippers with.
Resident Sobair Abantas said his family was so happy that after almost five years, they were able to perform their Eid prayer at the grand mosque. According to him, his prayer was about asking Allah that they will finally receive the compensation they deserve so that his family can reconstruct their house destroyed during the siege.
“Kahit ang aming pagbalik ngayon ay hindi para itayo ang bahay namin kundi para magsimba, malaking bagay pa rin ito sa amin. Sana, maipatupad na ang Marawi Compensation,” Abantas said.
For Pangarungan, he prayed for a peaceful elections and voters can vote freely. He said, they also prayed that the next president will genuinely love and help Muslims.
“Hindi yung the president will dance with the citizens and the citizen will also dance with the president. But what we are dancing is inline with our religion, Islam,” Pangarungan added.
Aside from the grand mosque, the white mosque in Barangay Lumbaca Madaya, also in the MAA, was also opened.
Around a thousand of residents also performed their prayers here.