AS Muslims mark Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte called on Filipinos to support programs and projects for the common good and to respect authority.
In a statement, President Rodrigo Duterte said the religious festival calls on the people “to lend a piece of [themselves] to endeavors that redound to the common good and benefit the most number of people.”
Eid’l Adha marks the willingness of prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son to God as a sign of obedience, but God had provided him a sheep to sacrifice instead.
“Ibrahim’s complete willingness to offer the life of his beloved son, in obedience to Allah’s divine command, is one of the most remarkable demonstrations of faith of all time,” said the President in a statement.
“This account not only teaches us the importance of personal sacrifice, but also inculcates in us the value of submission to a higher authority, even though, at times, our feelings and emotions compel us otherwise,” he added.
Duterte called on the public to reflect on lessons that can be learned from the occasion to deepen their faith and strengthen their resolve “to bring about a society that is worthy of Allah’s continued blessings and protection.”
Meanwhile, Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo raised the need to reach out to those in need, particularly those in war-torn Marawi City and the refugees who were separated from their families.
“Let us hug them and pray as they continue to fight through life’s hurdles,” Robredo said in Filipino.
“May this occasion push us to live a life beyond ourselves, and welcome with our hands, heart and mind those who are truly in need. This is also an opportunity for us to strengthen our unity as one nation: as a country that does not leave others behind, no matter what religion, skin color or place they come from,” she added.
The President declared August 12 a regular holiday in observance of Eid’l Adha, which is marked by some 2 billion Muslims around the world.
Eid’l Adha is the second major festival of Islam after Eid’l Fitr.
Aleem Said Ahmad Basher, chairman of the Imam Council of the Philippines, said Eid’l Adha begins with a prayer of the two Raka’ah (units) followed by a khutbah (sermon).
Eid’l Adha celebrations start after the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Through the ages in Islamic history, Hajj had served as a major unifying influence in Islam.
To mark the occasion, Islamic Relief, a faith-inspired international development and humanitarian organization, provided Qurbani meat packs to over 1,300 vulnerable families in Marawi City and in the municipalities of Paglat and General Salipada K. Pendatun in Maguindanao.
“Food security is a serious concern in Marawi City and select communities in Maguindanao. Continued assistance to address the humanitarian needs for families particularly those who are in evacuation centers and home-based communities is crucial,” said Ateeq Rehman, head of Islamic Relief Philippines.
Since 2017, Islamic Relief Philippines had been supporting vulnerable families in Central Mindanao in close collaboration with the government.
The group had implemented various projects on sustainable livelihood, disaster risk reduction, health, education and peace-building.
GLEE JALEA AND JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL