By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Muslims across the globe celebrate today Eid’l Adha, one of two most important feasts in Islam, marking the end of the yearly performance of hajj (pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia) and the day Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) was tested of his loyalty to God.
For current pilgrims in Saudi Arabia estimated at no less than 3.5 million, with over 7,000 Filipino delegates, the act of slaughtering livestock (at least a sheep) will complete their hajj performance, which is one of five pillars of Islam.
Parts of the meat proceeds are cooked for consumption by pilgrims in the daylong feast often highlighted by eid or congregational prayers. Saudi authorities usually distribute the rest of the meat to poor communities within and outside the Muslim kingdom.
The rest of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims (based on the 2017 Wikipedia statistics) replicate similar festive rituals in their respective countries.
The Philippine government declared every 10th of Hijrah (lunar) calendar a national holiday pursuant to R.A. 9849. Since this year’s Eid’l Adha falls on a Sunday, the law deemed the succeeding workday or Monday a holiday. President Duterte has issued the corresponding declaration, according to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).
NCMF Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan, currently supervising over 7,000 Filipino hajj delegates in Saudi Arabia, urged on Saturday his fellow Muslim citizens to live by Islamic teachings on faithful obedience to God and the duly established authorities.
Eid’l Adha observance is a yearly reckoning of the 10th Day of Hijrah, during which Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) attempted to sacrifice his son, Ismael, in a divine test of his loyalty to God during the days he was mandated to build kaa’ba, the four-cornered edifice in Makkah (Mecca).