by Michelle Jeanne Caracut, OC/OPI

MUSLIM employees of the MSU-IIT gathered at the Institute Boardroom on August 13 to observe Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice, the second most important Muslim holiday after Ramadan.

The Association of MSU-IIT Muslim Employees (AMMEI), which organized the activity, celebrated the Eid al-Adha with prayers and a feast that featured MSU-IIT officials and non-Muslim employees as guests.

It is customary during Eid al-Adha to share the celebratory feast with others to highlight the value of charity, as well as the act of giving up something valuable for something more important and of a higher purpose. 

In his message given at the Institute Boardroom, Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol said that the implication of the sacrifice and the deeper message of God is that “we should all be willing to sacrifice ourselves, not only for Allah, but in our practical worldly affairs for the greater good.”

Tanggol also emphasized the values of self-sacrifice, obligation to Allah and to one’s fellow, obedience to good leaders, patience, and the attitude to listen are traits a good Muslim should have.

Eid al-Adha is recognized as a holiday under Philippine law, specifically Art.169 of Presidential Decree No. 1083 or the Code of Muslim Personal Laws.

Eid al-Adha is generally observed on the 10th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah (for this year it’s August 11). Its celebration usually lasts for three days. 

According to Atty. Yaslani B. Bantuas, member of the Board of Trustees of AMMEI and Administrative Officer at the Office of the Chancellor, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha in commemoration of the story in the Quran of Allah appearing to Ibrahim — also known as Abraham — in a dream and commanding him to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience.

Muslims believe that as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice Ismael, Allah stopped him and gave him an animal (a sheep or ram) in place of his son. A version of this story also appears in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament.

“Like Eid al-Fitr, Muslims begin the celebration by offering prayers, followed by a sermon. The prayers are followed by the act of sacrificing animals that can be carried out till the sunset of the third day of Eid, “ Bantuas said during the Institute flag-raising ceremony.

“The meat from the animals is divided into three portions, given to the family, relatives and neighbors, and to the poor and needy,” Bantuas continued.

Bantuas further explained that the sacrifice started a legacy among Muslims. 

“When Allah told Ibrahim that he was going to be made the leader over humanity, the latter asked that they be given a messenger that would fulfill the legacy of prophet-hood,” he said.

“And the fulfillment of that prayer is the coming of the prophet Mohammad who completes his mission, performs the Hajj, and sacrifices the animal,” Bantuas said.

According to Bantuas, what is celebrated during Eid al-Adha “is actually Allah answering the prayer of Ibrahim.”