ARMM officials thankful for declaration of Eid’l Adha as national holiday

John Unson (Philstar.com) - September 16, 2015 - 12:15am

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - Employees of various offices in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) now looks forward to a peaceful, solemn commemoration of the Islamic Eid’l Adha on September 25.

Clerics in the ARMM’s Madaris bureau, among them graduates of Islamic schools abroad, on Wednesday told The STAR they are thankful to President Benigno Aquino III for declaring September 25 a national holiday.

The bureau, which handles Islamic religious classes, operates under the ministerial control of the Department of Education (DepEd) in the autonomous region.

“We very are grateful to President Aquino for giving importance to Eid’l Adha, a very important religious event for us,” said John Magno, regional secretary of DepEd-ARMM.

Eid’l Adha, also known as “feast of sacrifice,” and the Eid’l Fit’r, which is the culmination of the 28-day Ramadhan fasting season, are two most important religious festivities in Islam.

“We will have ample, quality time to celebrate Eid’l Adha on a holiday,” said Magno, who has jurisdiction over thousands of Muslim public school teachers and Islamic missionaries in DepEd-ARMM.

The Eid’l Adha festivity follows the completion of the hajj season, after pilgrims had performed all rituals that cap off the pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia, seat of the Islamic faith.

Performing the hajj, which is mandatory for Muslims who can afford the cost of travel to Makkah, is one of the “five pillars” of the Islamic faith, which include absolute belief in Allah, praying five times a day facing west, giving of zakat (alms) to the poor, and fasting from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadhan in the lunar-based Hijrah calendar.

The spiritual tenets of Eid’l Adha is all about the biblical story of how Abraham (Ibrahim), also a prophet in Islam, nearly killed as a sacrifice his son to prove his total subservience to God, who had asked him to perform such rite via Archangel Gabriel (Jibrail).

There are verses in the bible and in the Qur’an which say the supposed ritual was prevented when God intervened and a ram appeared from the wilderness, which Abraham slaughtered and burned instead of his son.

Magno said they are now planning some Eid’l Adha activities at the model Yakan village inside the 32-hectare ARMM compound in Cotabato City.

The ARMM government has been featuring the customs and traditions of ethnic Muslim groups in the autonomous region through the mock Yakan, Tausog, Samah, Iranun, Maranaw and the joint Maguindanaon-Teduray villages that are operating for almost a year now.

Magno is the designated chieftain of the Yakan village, which highlights the ethnicity of the Yakans in Basilan, one of the five component provinces of ARMM.

Magno and the ARMM’s chief executive, Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, are from Basilan’s Maluso and Sumisip towns, respectively.

“We will announce our Eid’l Fitr activities in the Yakan village next week,” Magno said.

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