National holiday on Monday for Eid’l Adha celebration

Muslim residents coming from different parts of Davao City gather at a football field for a congregational prayer during the celebration of Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) on Friday morning (1 September 2017). Mindanews photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 08 August) — President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a proclamation that Monday, August 12 is a regular holiday nationwide in observance of Eid’l Adha (Islamic Feast of Sacrifice).

The proclamation, which Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said would be released by Thursday noon, is based on Republic Act No. 9849 which was signed into law on December 11, 2009 under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

RA 9849 declared Eid’l Adha as a national holiday but with a “movable date.”

The law provides that the implementation shall be supervised by the Office on Muslim Affairs (now National Commission on Muslim Filipinos or NCMF) and that if it falls on a Sunday “the holiday will be observed on the Monday that follows.”

Eid’l Adha is one of Islam’s two major festivals celebrated by 1.6 billion Muslims around the world. It is celebrated yearly to mark the end of Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca and to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham among Christians) act of sacrificing his eldest son, Ishmael. God spared the boy’s life and instead gave Abraham a lamb to sacrifice.

On August 2, the Office of the Mufti and Executive Director Abuhuraira Udasan wrote interim Chief Minister Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) that “Eidul Adha falls on Sunday, August 11” and the “Ayyamu Tashriq will follow on August 12 –14.”

Yaser Birjas, author of “The Days of Hajj Series”  notes that the Messenger of Allah states that Ayyam-ut-Tashreeq or the days of Tashrreeq “are days of eating and drinking” or feasting.

“The wisdom behind these days is to allow the hujjaj to celebrate the season and encourage them to eat from the meat they have offered for the sake of Allah,” he said.

Worldwide, Eid’l Adha is observed through a gathering of the Islamic community in prayer, and sacrificing a lamb or goat and distributing its meat to family, friends and relatives, particularly the poor. (MindaNews)