Troops celebrate Eid’l Adha with prayers

John Unson (Philstar.com) - September 24, 2015 - 12:10am

Maguindanao, Philippines - Scattered moderate rains forced thousands of Muslims in many parts of Central Mindanao to perform Thursday's supposedly open-field Eid’l Adha prayers inside mosques and covered courts.

Muslim soldiers from different units of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) had to pray at a mosque in the periphery of Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in the first district of Maguindanao due to rains.

Most clerics that led prayers in different worship sites focused their khutab (sermon) on the tenets of sacrifice to achieve spiritual perfection, based on the biblical and Qur’anic narratives on how Abraham (Ibrahim) had nearly killed his son, Ismail, as an offering to prove subservience to God.

Both the bible and the Qur’an narrated that the ritual was forestalled when a ram appeared from the wilderness, which Abraham slaughtered and burned instead of his son, after having pleased God with his exemplified loyalty and devotion.

Eid'l Adha, also known as "feast of sacrifice," is one of two most important events in Islam, next to Eid'l Fitr, which is the culmination of the Ramadhan fasting season, where Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for one lunar cycle, about 28 to 29 days, as a religious obligation.

In separate Eid'l Adha messages, local officials called on Muslim folks to continue supporting President Benigno Aquino III’s southern peace process.

Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) told The STAR via text message that only through religious solidarity among ARMM’s Muslim, Christian and indigenous Lumad folks and a deep understanding of the true political undercurrents in the country’s south can peace take off in the region.

“Let the essence of Eid’l Adha remind us of how important is sacrifice, in many forms, to achieve unity and lasting peace among all people in Southern Mindanao,” Hataman said.

The ARMM has more than five million Muslim residents scattered in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in Central Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and in the cities of Lamitan and Marawi.

The commander of 6th ID, Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, had told his Muslim subordinates, during a simple program after their Eid'l Adha worship rites, that religions should neither set Muslims, Christians and lumad people apart, nor put permanent barriers among them.

“All religions teach fear of God, respect for life and humanity. We can stand united in that aspect of our respective faiths,” Pangilinan said.

The 6th ID covers the ARMM provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur and parts of Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato provinces, which are both under Administrative Region 12.

A non-Muslim ethnic Teduray chieftain, Mayor Ramon Piang of North Upi town in Maguindanao, on Thursday also assured his Muslim constituents of his administration’s continuing support to local activities meant to propagate religious solidarity between them and their Christian neighbors.

North Upi is home to mix Muslim, Christian and ethnic Teduray communities co-existing since the municipality was created more than five decades ago. 

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