Religious Minister Puts Effort to Unify Start of Ramadan Month

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  • Minister of Religion Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, during attended meeting with Commission VII House of Representative in Jakarta (2/11). TEMPO/Dhemas Reviyanto

    Minister of Religion Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, during attended meeting with Commission VII House of Representative in Jakarta (2/11). TEMPO/Dhemas Reviyanto

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said that he is seeking the unification of some Islamic organizations' views to determine the starting of fasting month, although the Muhammadiyah oraganization has set the start of the fasting month first.

    "By God's willing, the first of Ramadan can be done (simultaneously). We are trying to make it happen," he said after the groundbreaking ceremony of Hajj Dormitory development projects in the district of Padang Pariaman, West Sumatra, Monday, May 11, 2015.

    According to Lukman, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has been discussing with the Muhammadiyah in order to decide the beginning of fasting month. The same discussion will be conducted by the Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama.

    "We're trying to do it with muzakarah. Hopefully there are similarities in our perspective," he said.

    In addition to discussions with Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama as social organizations with a large number of followers, Lukman called on other religious organizations, such as Syattariyah and Naqsyabandiyah, to unify their views in setting the first of Ramadan and the first of Shawwal.

    Lukman said it will continue to communicate with the religious organizations. "We will have better communication with them. There is a high awareness," he said.

    Previously, the Muhammadiyah set early days of fasting this year, or the first of Ramadan 1436 Hijriyah, to fall on Thursday, June 18, 2015. The decision was in accordance with the declaration of Muhammadiyah Central Board to its followers, which have been sent to the organization's board-committee in the regions.

    ANDRI EL FARUQI