Zamboanga City celebrates Eid al-Adha PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 00:00

Pep Talk commends Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco for making the celebration of the Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) as part of the 2014 Zamboanga Hermosa Festival. It is a meaningful event that shows the sincerity and respect of our local government to the different faiths in our city. Kudos also to Zamboanga City Tourism Officer Sarita Hernandez for coordinating all hermosa activities smoothly.

Though officially the event started last October 4 (Saturday) worldwide (lasting 3 days), the Philippine national government declared only yesterday, October 6, 2014 as the regular holiday throughout the country. According to Malacanang, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) recommended that the observance of Eidul Adha will be on this day.

I am grateful that I was invited by renowned international painter and artist Rameer Tawasil last Saturday at his new abode in Guiwan for their Eid al-Adha celebration. And I won’t miss it really because the authentic Muslim foods and delicacies that his family prepares are one of the best I have tasted. Delectable and delicious in every bite!

I also learned a lot about the reason for the celebration from Prof. Ali Yacub who was one of Rameer’s guests. He said this festival commemorates Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, to God. It also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

I did some research on my own in the internet about this celebration. It was explained that Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham on this day.

The Qur'an describes Abraham as follows:

"Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous." (Qur'an 16:120-121)

One of Abraham's main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others, that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.

Muslims commemorate and remember Abraham's trials by slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, cow, or goat. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, Muslims are reminded that life is sacred.

And the meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes their willingness to give up things that are of benefit to them or close to their hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands.

It also symbolizes of their willingness to give up some of their own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. They recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and that they should open their hearts and share with others. The symbolism of the celebration is in the attitude - a willingness to make sacrifices in their lives in order to stay on the Straight Path.

To which, Rameer Tawasil, Prof. Yacub and I agreed on this, we don’t sacrifice our lives to take the lives of others. We do sacrifice to give lives.Happy Eid al-Adha to all!

Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

By: Dante Corteza