PUBLIO BRIONES III:
Tomorrow’s holiday is due to the observance of the Eid’l Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice. Briones suggests that the predominantly Catholic community must also know the story behind the Islam-inspired holiday. One might have chanced upon the story in which God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. That story, which is in Genesis 22 in the Old Testament is also in the Koran.
I’m sure students and workers nationwide rejoiced when Malacañang declared that there would be no work and classes tomorrow, Sept. 1. The question is, do they know why? Our Muslim brothers and sisters can tell them that it’s for the observance of Eid’l Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice. Doesn’t ring a bell? Well, that’s understandable, considering that the majority of the population is Roman Catholic with a sprinkling of local breakaway churches and Protestant denominations.
But if they bother to check, and they should, they’ll discover that the holiday’s origins are very familiar. Heck, they might have even chanced upon the story in Sunday school or catechism.
Remember when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac? Yeah, that one. And Abraham obeyed. After all, who was he to defy GOD, right? So, even though he loved Isaac very much, he was ready to do the unthinkable. As he was about to put the knife in the boy, an angel appeared and told Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead.
Anyway, that’s all in Genesis 22 in the Old Testament. But did you know that it’s also in the Koran? You see, Islam is one of the three major Abrahamic religions along with Judaism and Christianity.
In its version, God commanded Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his dearest possession, his son. The Koran does not name the latter, but Muslims believe him to be Ishmael.
While he was preparing for the sacrifice, Shaitan (the Devil) tried to dissuade him from carrying out God’s order. Ibrahim drove the latter away by throwing pebbles at him.
As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, God intervened by sending his angel Jibra’il (Gabriel), who put a sheep in the boy’s place.
The feast honors Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son.
I don’t how local Muslim celebrate the event, but Muslims abroad hold a feast. Those who can afford slaughter domestic animals, then share the meat with the poor and needy.
I have first-hand experience because our family spent many years in the Middle East.
It was there I learned to admire and respect Islam, the religion, and Muslims, as a people.
It’s unfortunate most Filipinos don’t hold Muslims with the same regard, relegating them to negative stereotypes instead.
Apparently, the Spaniards passed on their prejudice against the Muslims, whom, 30 years before Magellan arrived on our shores, they had successfully kicked out from the Iberian peninsula with the fall of the Emirate of Granada in 1492.