Sat, 08 Aug 2020

Islam's holiest observances also affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Philippine Information Agency
31 Jul 2020, 20:38 GMT+10

CALOOCAN CITY, July 31 (PIA) -- A distinguished professor of Islamic studies on Friday bared that the coronavirus pandemic has also affected some of Islam's holiest observances.

Speaking during the Laging Handa public briefing, Professor Julkipli M. Wadi of the Institute of Islamic Studies, University of the Philippines-Diliman said the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their religion in various ways.

"Napakalaki ng epekto niyan dahil obligasyon sa Islam ang gagawin ang religious congregation nang sabay-sabay," he said.

"Medyo emosyonal ang mga kapatid natin pagdating diyan. Ang Islam naman ay medyo nag-a-adjust sa mga ganitong sitwasyon, he added.

Wadi explained that Muslims all over the world are observing today the Eid'l Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, and the Hajj, that started on July 28, also otherwise known as an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

"Ang Eid'l Adha ay ang pangalawang festival na mayroon sa Islam at ginugunita ito ng lahat ng Muslim sa mundo," he said.

"Ito rin ang panahon kung saan mayroong Hajj, pilgrimage na ginagawa ng ating mga kapatid na Muslim dahil ang Hajj ay isa sa pillars ng Islam," he added.

He said Filipino followers of Islam wanting to perform the Hajj were also saddened by the news that Saudi Arabia has barred all international travelers from entering the kingdom in order to prevent COVID-19 transmissions.

"Medyo malungkot kasi suspended ang Hajj ngayon," Wadi said.

During the pre-COVID times, however, he said an estimated 6,000 Filipinos and 3.6-million pilgrims across the world every year normally make the required once-in-a-lifetime journey to Islam's holiest site-Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

"Marami sa ating mga kapatid na Muslim ang gustong mag-Hajj. Katunayan umaabot ng mga 6,000 every year ang ating mga kapatid na nagpupunta ng Saudi Arabia. Kung tuluyan na magiging suspended ang Hajj, marami sa kanila ay hindi magagampanan ang fifth pillar of Islam," Wadi said.

"Ang taunang numero riyan ay umaabot ng 3.5 million pilgrims ang nagha-Hajj diyan sa Saudi Arabia," he added.

He said part of performing the Hajj and also observing the Eid'l Adha include the "Qurban" or the ritual animal sacrifice of a livestock animal. Qurban is to be offered by those who can afford it and meet other specific requirements.

"Ang pagtulong sa ating mga kapatid na medyo kapos ay tuluyan nating nagagawa dahil mayroong isang tradition kaakibat sa Hajj, ito ang Qurban. Ito ang pamamahagi ng mga kinatay na baka, manok, kambing sa ating mga kapatid para may pagsaluhan sa Eid'l Adha," he said. (PIA NCR)

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