AN estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, including those from war-torn Marawi City, united in the observance of Eid’l Adha or Feast of Sacrifice on Friday which most Imams consider to be a test of faith for both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Aleem Said Ahmad Basher, chairman of the Imam Council of the Philippines and a Marawi City native, said Eid’l Adha is the highlight of the performance of the fifth pillar of Islam, which is Hajj or pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Eid’l Adha is the second major festival of Islam aside from Eid’l Fitr that marks the end of Ramadan when Muslims are bound by their faith to observe fasting for 30 days.
Supt. Ebra Moxsir, newly installed Marawi City chief of police who belongs to a Maranao tribe and an Imam, explained to The Manila Times that Eid’l Adha is a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim or Abraham’s unwavering faith in God and Ishmael’s acceptance of his fate.
Hence, the feast of sacrifice or Festival of Sacrifice or Greater Eid is an important religious holiday observed by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isma’il) as an act of obedience to God.
Moxsir related what is happening now in Marawi City is a test from God on the faith of the people whether Muslim or non-Muslim.
“This is in the same situation when God tested the faith of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael,” Moxsir added.
He said that the people of Marawi, in spite of the devastation of properties and loss of lives, should still think positively since after the nightmare there is bright future ahead.
Moxsir urged the people of Marawi City to have “sabar” or patience in the face of what is happening now as the fighting between the military and the Maute terrorists have not completely stopped.
Meanwhile, Aleem Basher made further explanation on Eid’l Adha saying that it is one of two major Eid festivals observed by Muslims which basis come from Sura 2 (Al- Baqara) Ayah 196 in the Qur’an.
Like Eid’l-fitr, Eid’l Adha begins with a prayer of two Raka’ah (units) followed by a sermon (khutbah).
The word “Eid” appears in Sura al-Mai’da (The Table Spread, Chapter 5) of the Qur’an, meaning solemn festival, he added.
Eid’l Adha is observed annually on the 10th day of the 12th and the last Islamic month of Dhu al-hijjah of the lunar Islamic calendar.
Datu Yusoph Boyog Mama, current Masirikampo sa Marawi (Traditional Royal Ruler of Marawi) has this Eid’l Adha message: “I am certain that most Filipinos, who have kind hearts for their Muslim-Filipino brothers and sisters, are all one with us good people of Marawi who have been gravely affected and displaced by the months of long protracted war against the enemies of the State.”
The Traditional Royal Ruler of Marawi also asked his people to stand united and be in solidarity vis-a-vis the present situation.
“Let us not lose that faith, and let’s all strive to be better Muslims in the country who are partners for national peace and progress. May the Almighty ease our trials and make the future brighter for the sake of the children and our families,” he also said.
The Office of Bangsamoro Youth Affairs in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, through executive director Amir Mawallil, in a statement said “During Eid’l Adha, we celebrate Ibrahim and Ishmael’s shared act of willing sacrifice – a shared decision to do the seemingly impossible sacrifice that Allah demanded of them – because they knew regardless of whatever came next, Allah’s will would have been fulfilled.”
“In these difficult days, the feast of the sacrifice reminds us that our faith is one that requires us to think not only of ourselves but also of others, even in the early days of our youth,” he added.
Mawallil also said the celebration of the Eid finds meaning in recognizing the ordained responsibility towards one another and making decisions that speak faithfully of one’s duty to the people.