PUBLIO BRIONES III:

Sun.Star Cebu - - TOP STORIES - PUBLIO J. BRIONES III pjbri­ones@sun­star.com.ph

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.

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