Nearly 5.7 million Muslims across this predominantly Christian country of 114 million will observe today Eid’l Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) following a presidential proclamation.
The Feast of Sacrifice, a regular holiday for Muslims, is the second and the largest of the two main holidays celebrated throughout the Muslim world which honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham among Christians) to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God’s command.
It marks the end of hajj, a key pillar of Islam that able-bodied Muslims must undertake at least once in their lives.
Eid’l Fitr, which commemorates the end of Ramadan, is the other important holiday of Islam.
During the feast of Eid’l Adha, Muslims re-enact Ibrahim’s obedience by sacrificing a cow or ram. The family will eat about a third of the meal, a third goes to friends and relatives, and the remaining third is donated to the poor and needy.
The giving of charity in the form of money, food or clothes to the homeless or poor is another key tradition of Eid’l Adha.
Employees who would report to work on regular holidays are to be paid 200 percent of their daily wage rate in the first eight hours.
Workers must receive an additional 30 percent of their hourly rate today for work rendered in excess of eight hours or overtime.
Those who will not show up at work on regular holidays will still receive 100 percent of their rate.
In the Philippines, Eid’l Adha has been a public holiday since 2002.
Enshrined in law, Republic Act 9849 states the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah or the 12th month of the Islamic Calendar, is declared as a national holiday for the observance of Eid’l Adha.
Known as Eid al-Adha, Eid’l Adha, Id-ul-Azha, Id-ul-Zuha, Hari Raya Haji or Bakr-id; the ‘Feast of Sacrifice is the most important feast of the Muslim calendar.
The festival may also be known as Al Eid Al Kabeer, which means the ‘Grand Eid’ and has this more important status as in religious terms as this Eid lasts for four days whereas Eid’l Fitr is one day, even though most countries observe about the same number of public holidays for both Eids.
As the exact day is based on lunar sightings, the date may vary among countries.
Filipino Muslim sources say the story of Eid’l Adha, which concludes the Pilgrimage to Mecca, appears in the Christian Bible and is familiar to Jews and Christians.
One key difference is that Muslims believe the son was Ishmael rather than Isaac as told in the Old Testament.
According to the Quran, Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son when a voice from heaven stopped him and allowed him to make something else as a “great sacrifice.”
In the Old Testament, it is a ram that is sacrificed instead of the son.
In Islam, Ishmael is regarded as a prophet and an ancestor of Muhammad.