What is Eidul Adha in the Philippines All About?
Just like in many other Islamic States, local Muslims are also religiously observing an annual holy day. It is aptly referred to as Eidul Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice.
On this day, Filipino Muslims make a solemn re-enactment of a story. This is where Allah tested the obedience of Ibrahim by asking him to kill his one and only son as his sacrifice. The same Quran scripture showed the faith and loyalty of both Ibrahim and his only son Ishmael by virtue of unconditional obedience. To make the long story short, Allah didn’t allow it to happen. This is because it was just a test of faith, loyalty and obedience.
Moreover, Allah rewarded Ibrahim and his wife with a second son, Is-haaq.
Despite the fact that Muslims form a small fraction of its population, the Philippine government, through its National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) makes sure that the marginal Muslim population gets equal attention, treatment and prominence. This is also even in the observance of the Islamic holy days, which have been declared as national special public holidays.
As such, the entire Filipino nation takes part in the observance of Eidul Adha.
During this time of the year, Muslim Filipinos go to the mosque and offer special prayers. The day is deemed one of the most important holy days for the Filipino Muslims. They get to wear their finest dresses.
Things You Can Do During Eidul Adha in the Philippines
Non-Muslim Filipinos share solemn moments in observance of Eidul Adha in the Philippines.
Unlike Eidul Fitr, Eidul Adha is far more solemn as most Filipino Muslims exert extra effort to pray. They also listen to an Imam’s sermon at the mosque, and in some instances re-enact what has been foretold in their Holy Quran.
Interestingly, devout Muslims are expected to don new clothes, converge with family members and friends for the symbolic sacrifice. However, sacrifice won’t be another person. Symbolic as it is, animals [aptly referred to as qurbani] are made to be sacrificed.
The animal, which could be a goat, cow or sheep, represents Ibrahim’s son Ismael.
After the Eidul Adha re-enactment, slaughtered sacrificial animals are made to form part of the dining table. Then the sacrificial animals are going to be shared among others who can’t afford.
Solemn as it is, the re-enactment may not be open for public viewing the way popular Senakulos, which attracts pilgrims and tourists.
How Eidul Adha in the Philippines is Celebrated?
Observance may be the proper term whenever local Muslims celebrate Eidul Adha in the Philippines.
Eidul Adha in the Philippines is more of an intimate holiday among Muslims who start the day by cleansing themselves. They also groom well by wearing the best dress they have for the occasion. Afterwards, they go to the mosque to listen to an Imam and say a special prayer to Allah.
From there, devout Muslims, who can afford, host a re-enactment of Allah’s test on Ibrahim.
Sacrificial animals are shared in part or in full. They share it for those who were not able to partake in the solemn religious practice. It is only then that non-Muslims may join and exchange pleasantries and greetings by way of saying Eid Mubarak or Happy Festival.
Venues and Special Events for Celebrating Eidul Adha in the Philippines
Solemn as Eidul Adha is, the observance and re-enactment of Allah’s test on Ibrahim’s faith could not be done in public.
As such, solemn observance of the Islamic holy day is usually done in big mosques which include:
Al Dahab Golden Mosque in Quiapo, Manila
At the Islamic Center in downtown Manila lies the premiere worship centre of Filipino Muslims in Manila. This is where big Islamic gatherings were held even before other Muslim communities have congregated in other cities in the National Capital Region
Dimaukom Mosque in Maguindanao
Its vibrant colour stands out among the Philippine mosques. Its pinkish colour has attracted believers from the entire Maguindanao province in Mindanao to take part in each and every Islamic holiday.
Foreigners refer to Dimaukom Mosque as the Pink Mosque, which represents peace and love.
Twin Mosques in Maharlika Village, Taguig City
Inside the vast tract of lakeshore land in the City of Taguig in southern Metro Manila is Maharlika Village. It hosts thousands of Muslim families. With a big Muslim population in place, Islamic religious leaders agreed to establish not just one, but two Mosques inside the village if only to accommodate the growing number of Muslims in the locality.
Sheik Karim al Makdum Mosque in Tawi-Tawi
Being the oldest mosque in the Philippines, Sheik Karim Al Makdum Mosque has been declared as a National Historic Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines Built-in 1380, it is deemed older than any Catholic church. Interestingly, the Mosque is located in a place recognized as a National Cultural Treasure.
As it is, the most logical venue would be the mosque for the sermons and prayers and the home of the host who would be making a sacrifice of a symbolic animal for slaughter and sharing to the less privileged.
With a rapidly growing number of Islamic believers, over 1,700 cities and municipalities in the Philippines have established local mosques.
Eid Mubarak to the Filipino Muslim communities.