Underwater Ramadhan Celebrations

Posted: August 12, 2013 by kirisyko in Scuba diving, Water
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Location of Bone Bolango Regency in Gorontalo ...

Location of Bone Bolango Regency in Gorontalo Province, Indonesia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scuba divers in Gorontalo had their own way of celebrating the Idul Fitri holiday marking the end of the Ramadhan fasting month: underwater and in the dark.

A group of eight, comprising seven males and one female, dove to a depth of some 13 meters and held up a banner congratulating Muslims celebrating Idul Fitri on Tuesday at about 8 p.m. local time in Molotabu waters in Kabila Bone, Bone Bolango regency, one of Gorontalo’s most notable diving spots. They stayed at the depth for about an hour.

Noor of the TLG Eco Dive Center, which facilitated the event, said that the dive was also meant to promote diving in Gorontalo.

“Gorontalo has a lot of interesting diving spots are cheaper to access compared to those in other regions in Indonesia,” Noor said.

Separately, in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Ahmadiyah followers celebrated Idul Fitri on Thursday in their displaced persons camp at Wisma Transito. This was the eighth year that they had to celebrate the holiday from the camp, after being driven from their own village in Ketapang, West Lombok, in 2006. “Alhamdulillah [Thank God] that with all the limitations we can still celebrate the day of victory,” one of the community members, Suhaedi, 35, said.

Some 250 Ahmadiyah followers joined the Idul Fitri mass prayer held at Wisma Transito’s mushala (small mosque). Among them were also Ahmadis from outside the camp and local executives of the NTB branch of the Indonesian Ahmadi Congregation (JAI).

After the mass prayer, worshipers shook hands, forgiving each other. Unlike in previous years, this year’s Idul Fitri was celebrated with joy. No sad cries were heard among the Ahmadis.

“It’s been a long time and no change has occurred. We surrender. That is our best choice, surrendering everything to God’s will,” Suhaedi said.

Meanwhile, while the majority of Muslims in the country celebrated Idul Fitri on Thursday, followers of the An Nadzir sect in Gowa, South Sulawesi, did so on Wednesday.

Like in previous years, this year’s Idul Fitri mass prayer was led by An Nadzir leader Ustadz Luqman. Dozens of Gowa Police officers were deployed to safeguard the area, which sits near an oil palm plantation, where the followers performed the prayer.

Luqman said the start of Idul Fitri had been confirmed by nature. “After taking a look at the signs of nature, we concluded that Idul Fitri falls today,” Luqman said, as quoted by kompas.com. Luqman said the followers also received an invitation from the Religious Affairs Ministry’s provincial office to attend the itsbat (confirmation) meeting, but they refused to go as they had already celebrated Idul Fitri on Wednesday.

In West Sumatra, the Tarekat Naqsabandiyah congregation celebrated Idul Fitri even earlier, on Tuesday.

The group started to fast on July 7 and ended on Aug. 5.

Local Naqsabandiyah secretary Edizon said they decided the start date of Syawal, the month after Ramadhan, based on what they called the Hisab Mujid calendar, which calculated Idul Fitri to be 360 days after the last one.

“This has been going on for generations,” he said, adding there were currently some 6,000 Naqsabandiyah followers spread throughout every regency and city in West Sumatra.

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