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Southern peace rings on Eid’l Adha

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UNDETERRED by intermittent rains, Filipino Muslims took part in prayers at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City on Sunday in celebration of Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

COTABATO CITY — The outdoor Eid’l Adha congregational worship rites in the Southern Philippines were peaceful on Sunday morning with clerics telling worshippers to keep adhering to teachings on respect for other religions and harmony with non-Muslims.

Captain Alinair C. Guro, the ustadz, or command Islamic theologian of the 6th Infantry Division, said in his khutbah, or sermon, during the outdoor rite on Sunday morning at Camp Siongco, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte that it is a duty of Muslims to be “instruments of peace” to achieve solidarity with people around them regardless of their races and religions.

“The essence of Eid’l Adha is something like absolute belief, or submission to Allah, whose commandments about respect for life, fraternalism and respect for others who have different religions and rejection of sinful doings are like catalysts for peace and co-existence among all in this world,” Mr. Guro said.

A known pro-Moro Christian political leader, Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño Mendoza, on Sunday extended her Eid’l Adha greeting to Muslims in her province, where there are enclaves of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front that are now recognized as “peace zones” by the national government.

“We in the provincial government of Cotabato shall continue to embark on programs that shall keep the religious unity among Muslims and Christians in the province. We are grateful to the Islamic religious community in different towns in our province for helping us achieve that goal,” Ms. Taliño Mendoza said.

Eid’l Adha, an important religious holiday in Islam, marks the culmination of the hajj season, or yearly pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia, of Muslims from around the world.

It is also centered on the biblical story on how Abraham, who is prophet Ibrahim in Arabic, almost slaughtered his son, Ismael, as a sacrifice, as commanded by God to test his faith.

Narrations in the Holy Bible and the Quran stated that God sent down from heaven Archangel Gabriel to tell Abraham he had proven his subservience to him and replaced Ismael with a ram, then offered as thanksgiving sacrifice.

Brig. Gen. Prexy D. Tanggawohn, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, told reporters that Sunday’s Eid’l Adha gatherings in open fields in Cotabato City and nearby Maguindanao del Sur and Maguindanao del Norte provinces were generally peaceful and orderly.

“We also had peaceful Eid’l Adha events in other provinces and cities that are under our watch,” Mr. Tanggawohn said.

Mr. Guro said he and other Muslim personnel of units under 6th ID who participated in the Eid’l Adha activity at Camp Siongco are thankful to their division commander, Major Gen. Alex S. Rillera, for continuously supporting their Islamic religious activities. — John Felix M. Unson

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