The story of sacrifice that is at the core of Eid'l Adha is one that is familiar known to Muslims around the world. In the Quran, we read of Ibrahim’s vision of sacrifice and his son Ishmael’s willingness to fulfill this vision according to Allah’s will.
Ishmael’s decision was quick and unflinching, so much so that his father’s revelation and his corresponding response are contained in just one Quranic verse [37:102].
It is this steadfast faith that many Muslims aspire to have.
The message of Ishmael’s faith not only resonates in me not only as a Muslim but also as someone who identifies as a Filipino Muslim – an identity that carries with it a rich history of sacrifices made for a collective struggle.
While we may have been born to different fathers, we are all undoubtedly children of one nation and it is a nation that continues to call upon us to sacrifice with a willing heart in the face of fear and terror.
These days have been difficult for so many of our brothers and sisters, as the cycle of conflict and displacement continue across the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
As the war against the Maute group in Marawi, Lanao del Sur rages on, military operations are being conducted against the Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu, while the joint forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the state continue its fight against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Maguindanao.
We are no longer strangers to conflict, but our recent shared experiences as Filipino Muslims continue to grow heavier on our backs and our hearts grow more weary for answers with each day that passes. New questions come with every new day, and our faith that has always withstood difficult questions continue to be tested with no less difficulty than the days before.
In this year’s Eid’l Adha, the importance of our shared commitment to words and actions that represent Ishmael’s willing sacrifice is all the more tested in the face of injustice brought about by terrorists who claim to share our faith.
But we must not, and we will not, falter in our faith. As we continue to struggle together as Filipino Muslims, we look upon a nation built by forebears whose faith have always guided them forward in our shared struggle. And, in the same way that those who came before us remained true to the faith and struggle we share, we will continue to speak and act as Muslims that find comfort and consolation in Allah’s promise of a better future.
As we celebrate the Eid today, may we remember that true faith always comes with ease even if life itself does not always come with ease. It is the seemingly difficult days that provide contrast to an unflinching faith and make our lives us Filipino Muslims all the more meaningful.
At the end of our days, the clarity of our faith in days of hardship and grief is what will remain to guide those who will follow our footsteps in the struggle as they follow the same faith and as they look to Allah whose promises to his people have never failed.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.