MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/7 Nov) – Zubair Langilan left his home with his family as the call for the noon-time dhuhr, the second of the traditional daily prayers among devoted Muslims, is made in the public address system.
Muslims here flocked to the masjid in Brgy.9, the biggest of the four mosques in the city of more than a thousand Muslim residents for prayers and get-together Monday to celebrate Eid’l Adha, the Muslim feast of sacrifice.
Zubair, a senior ustadz, led local activities for the feast celebrated to remember prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael’s life to keep his promise to God.
The feast of sacrifice, as he described it, is celebrated approximately 70 days after the end of the holy month of Ramadhan.
He said the prayers and reminders have focused on the importance of sacrificing oneself for God and to remain true to Allah.
“The modern day Muslim must not forget that he should put God’s will above the rest first,” he added.
He said they also prayed for unity among leaders amid the tension in some parts of Mindanao.
“We have prayed for wisdom and goodwill from our leaders for them to protect our country. We prayed for conflict to end,” he added.
“We do pray for non-Muslims, too. We just belong to one God, although we have different religions,” he said in mixed Cebuano and Maranao.
But Zubair stressed that they are also praying for unity not only among members of the Muslim community in the city.
Outside after the prayers, cooks prepared spiced beef and goat meat viands in three big pans.
He cited the duty of every Muslim to offer Qurban, or sacrifice of an animal slaughtered for Allah.
They were able to prepare a cow and two goats for the celebration using money from local contributions and from a big donor.
Zubair said the feast is an opportunity to pray for and reach out to others so they will not forget about the teachings of God, especially on sacrifice.
“In this time of conflict and growing tension, we need to pray more,” he added.
After the lunch get-together, Zubair proceeded to a meeting with soldiers at the 403rd Infantry “Peacemaker” Brigade where he was asked to share his thoughts on peace. He was also scheduled to speak on DXBU, Bukidnon State University’s community radio, to explain the relevance of the feast and other updates from the city’s Muslim community.
Among those who attended the gathering was Abdul, a father of three. He said the feast is a chance to meet, pray with, and celebrate with other Muslims. He took a break from attending to his small store and brought his children to the masjid for the affair.
As the men and women prayed inside, children played in the masjid’s front yard. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)