Muslims in Visayas celebrate Eid Al-Adha in small gatherings

FOR the second straight time, the Covid-19 pandemic pushed the 60,000 Muslim Filipinos in the Visayas to celebrate Eid al-Adha on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, with small gatherings.

The Muslim Filipinos opted to hold the celebrations in small gatherings to maintain the social distancing, according to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).

NCMF Director Onasis Balt, in a phone interview, said Eid al-Adha, Festival of the Sacrifice is an annual feast in the Islam world honoring Ibrahim (Abraham in the Christian world) for his willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God’s command.

In the Philippines, Eid al-Adha started on Monday evening, July 19, and ended on Tuesday evening.

Balt said it has been a tradition during Eid al-Adha that every Muslim family offers an animal sacrifice, commonly a goat.

After sacrificing an animal, Balt said, the Muslim families in the community gather and share their food with one another.

In pre-pandemic times, Eid al-Adha was celebrated with mass gatherings; however, Balt said the pandemic gave them no choice but to celebrate it with small gatherings.

Even if they are gathering in small groups, Balt said they still abide by the minimum health protocols imposed by the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Balt said the NCMF visited the Muslim community in some areas in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island to celebrate Eid Al-Adha with them. There are more or less 15,000 Muslims on the entire island of Cebu. (KFD)