MANILA, Philippines – It’s one of the greatest feasts of Islam, and 6,000 pilgrims from the Philippines joined the faithful in Mount Arafat, East Mecca, to celebrate Eid’l Adha on Friday, October 26
In Maguindanao, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) butchered 40 cows in the rebel group’s main camp and shared these with neighboring poor communities. The cows were donated by Muslims in the Middle East, Malaysia and Turkey.
“It is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to honor the willingness of Ibrahīm (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep to sacrifice instead,” the MILF said in celebrating the feast.
It should “remind us all Muslims of the need to promote unity, solidarity and humility among us and to banish all forms and manifestations of discord, conflict or division,” MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said. The MILF recently entered into a peace deal with the government that sets the stage for the creation of a Bangsamoro region in Mindanao.
The feast, which is celebrated for 4 days to mark the end of Hajj (the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabaia), has distinct spiritual, educational and social significance for Muslims around the world.
Also known as the “Feast of Sacrifice,” Eid’l Adha pays tribute to the willingness of Prophet Ibraham to sacrifice his son Ismail.
Spirit of sharing
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos explained: “It embeds in the heart of the Muslims the spirit of sharing and caring. It has special rituals, ethics and values that could change a Muslim’s affairs for the better.”
“Sharing and caring become more relevant and significant with the ritual sacrifices of livestock (sheep, goats, or cows) to be distributed by wealthy persons with priority on the poor, as they are the ones who need them most,” the NCMF added.
Recommended by the NCMF based on the announcement by Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body of the official date of the festival, President Benigno Aquino III declared October 26 as a regular holiday in the Philippines.
Aquino joined Muslims in observing the feast, as he expressed the hope that the celebration will inspire them as they pursue peace.
“Let this be an affirmation of our solidarity in pursuing the causes of peace and development for the greater good. May your reflections lead you to an even deeper engagement in our efforts toward creating a united and equitably progressive Philippines,” Aquino said. – with reports from Karlos Manlupig in Davao City and Voltaire Tupaz/Rappler.com
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