By Ali G. Macabalang
Muslims across the globe will celebrate tomorrow, July 20 in varying intensity the annual Feast of Sacrifice or Eid’l Adha, one of two most celebrated days in Islam.
In the Philippines, Asia’s lone Catholic nation, President Duterte has declared under Proclamation NO. 1189 the date a nation-wide regular holiday, according to National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Secretary Saidamen B. Pangarungan.
In Cotabato City, the seat of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government, the holiday declaration has been echoed by the office of Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim to his constituents as an opportunity for Islamic faithful to promote the sense of sacrifice, forgiving and understanding in submission to Allah (subhannahu wa taala).
Eid’l Adha is one of two major festive moments in Islam, the other being the Eid’l Fitr marking the end of the annual fasting in Ramadan. Both festivals are being revered annually by over two billion Muslims all over the world.
It falls on the 10th of Dhu’l Hijjah in the Hijrah Calendar and marks the culmination of Hajj or Pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Hajj, like Ramadan fasting, is one of the five pillars of Islam.
The advent of the COVID-19 has substantially reduced the intensity of observing both Ramadan fast and the annual hajj since last year. With the pandemic’s aggravation by the so-called Delta variant, Islamic convergences become doubly limited.
Last year, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia suspended the performance of hajj. For this year, the monarch government allowed all performances by Saudi nationals only, but limited the pilgrims to only 60, 000. Under normal circumstances, the kingdom used to host not less than 2.5 million pilgrims.
The Al Jazeera news network has described this year’s hajj as “restrictive” and expensive” because the host Saudi government would not want to make the kingdom a hotspot of the pandemic.
For every 20 pilgrims, the Saudi government assigned one health officer to monitor their health status 24/7, Al Jazeera said.
Eid’l Adha is in remembrance of Prophet Abraham’s (peace be on him) willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismael, just to please God in his bid to build kaaba, where pilgrims perform hajj nowadays in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Before Prophet Abrahim could slit the neck of his son, angels on order of Allah (s.w.t.) replaced Ismael with a sheep, according to Islamic narratives.
Muslims, especially those performing hajj, have since obliged themselves to offer sheep, goats, cows, camels and other halal animals for slaughter and sacrifice during Eid’l Adha.
In Metro Manila, popular action movie star-turned-Muslim revert Robin Padilla and his supporters have slaughtered cows, cooked the meats in varied menus, and distributed to dozens of Muslim households since July 18. Video footage showed Padilla personally delivering the cooked meat packages to an apartment on July 19.
Maguindanao Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, who is a namesake of the Prophet’s son and celebrates Eid’l Adha yearly with distribution of roasted cow meats, urged his constituents and supporters to promote utmost concern for humanity, understanding and forgiving in submission to the Almighty creator.
Calls for utmost patience applied most to Muslim in Palestine and Uighur in China where Israeli and Chinese police forces have been ostensibly repressive against them. (AGM)