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A Reflection on the Hajj; Framework Agreement: Treaty of Hudeibiya, A Reminder; Peace At Hand Through Abraham (The Patriarch and Prophet) The Seed of Hope


The Hajj (The Muslim Pilgrimage): It is the langest annual convention of the Faith where Muslims meet to know one another, study their common affairs and promote their general welfare. It is also the greatest regular conference of peace known in the history of mankind. In the course of the Hajj peace is the dominant theme; peace with God and one’s soul, peace with one another and with animals, peace with birds and even insects. To disturb the peace of anyone or any creature, in any shape or form is strictly prohibited,
- Hammuda Abdati, Ph. D., Islam in Focus, Professor of Sociology, Utica College, Syracuse University

“My consolation is that Allah will not question us about whether, we succeed or not, but only as how hard we tried.”
- Farid Esack, On Being A Muslim:  Finding A Religious Path Today (1996)

October 17, this year is the first day of the Islamic Month of Dhul-Hijjah, the month of Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca by all capable Muslims around the world.

The small city of Mecca will accommodate about 3 million pilgrims without any violence or crime of every kind and yet just a small fiesta in any city in the Philippine, an inconceivable crimes occurs every minutes of the day. But none of these happen in Mecca, this is the miracle of the Hajj.

As to space limitation any defiency, according to the Ulama, the Angels are assigned by God to move the mountains surrounding Mecca to allow space for the throng of pilgrims in this holiest city in Islam.

From my recollection of my Hajj in 1974, I would like to share some insights while on the Hajj rituals as follows:

-Entering the “miquat”, the prescribed distance from Mecca. Here pilgrims don their pilgrim garbs of two unsown white sheets (for males) and females in full dress, except, the face and hands. Here the pilgrims are already in Holy Communion with the Creator. The believer is no longer in a time, material, geographic, racial, linguistic and human sphere, He crosses these threshold that holds him apart from other human beings. The pilgrim will recite the “Talbiya” in English, thus: we come to you (Allah). You (Allah) have no partner (Labbaika La Sharikakal Laka Labbaik)

In this state of total surrender donning only two pieces of white cloth, a reminder of the only worldly materials one will take on his final journey (death) to meet his Lord (Allah), one becomes a drop in a sea of humanity of thrusting with the sole objective of performing every single rite that would meet the approval of the Master, the Sustainer, the Cherisher (of the World). of the Miqat is the First Station of the Hajj Rites. 

Due to space limitation, we will continue the step-by-step rituals in our next issue of Bottomline.

Last Sunday (October 14) People’s Forum organized and convened by Prof. Alih Sakaluran-Aiyub, convener of the Forum was filled to capacity at Azutea Function Room of the Garden Orchid Hotel. All tables and chairs were filled up.

The People Forum was to discuss the salient point of the Framework Agreement between the GPH and the MILF (as we go to press, the signing of the Framework must taken place in Malacañang last Monday, Oct. 15)

How Prof. Aiyub magnificently steered the Forum because of his constant reminder that Islam and Muslims are not emotional, he also cited the “Treaty of Hudeibiya” which calm the war-freak mentality of some in the crowd was indeed commendable.

Atty. Nassir Inawat, was insightful and forthright in his explanation of the Framework Agreement, I also took note of his candid explanations.

My commendation, Atty. Inawat.

There were some portions of the Framework Agreement which must be clearly explained to the public. This is where Mayor Celso L. Lobregat took notice of. In fairness to the Mayor, he was not against the signing of the Framework, but thorough and dispassionate discussion of the Framework to the public. Although some may disagree with the Mayor but the Mayor’s apprehension must also be respected.

From a gathering of notes that I have, I will just mention some items which elicited reactions, thus:

I.  Establishment of the Bangsamoro
The status quo is unacceptable! What is unacceptable? What status quo?

#3. The Sultanate of Sulu is now hinted. What are you going to do with it? Ignore? Some said, this will be a thorn in the neck for GPH and the Bangsamoro Entity.

#4. What do you mean by asymmetric? How does it operate?

#5. What about the Christians in Mindanao and Sulu living within the Bangsamoro area of jurisdiction? What will be their status?

How do you call the adherent of the Sultanate of Sulu? Some would not like to be called Moro but Tausug?

What about those (Muslims) who opt not to be called Moro, how will you deal with them?

II. Basic Law

We will continue in our next column because of space limitations.

We have been hearing complaints a lot from even our senior Ulama in this city of a group of young Muslims who studied in some Middle East countries for a few months and came back denouncing so many traditions of Islam which do not conform to their whims and fancy, they call them as “Bida’a” which means “innovation” in Islam.

There is really an Intra-Faith problem in the Muslim communities in the City, using the airlane to denounce people. Is this Islamic?

Our friends among the professionals branded them as the “Muslim Pretenders” of “Latter-Day Saint” others call them “Spiritual Hoodlums” and one striking epithet, they are called the “Bida’a Gang” on the rampage.

If we listen to what Bruce Feiler, in his book Abraham (2002) said:

“The extremist talk about religion in public-and spew messages of hate. Those of us who believe in mutual respect and coexistence must join this conversation as well, in this day weapon of mass destruction and weapon of terror, silence, sadly, equals violence.”
Mr. Feiler continues in his exposition and said:

Abraham (The Patriarch and Prophet) may be flawed vessel for reconciliation of the three faith (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) but he is the best vessel we’ve got…in life blessed by God and hallowed by his descendants as numerous as the stars, this may be his greatest legacy of all.

Abraham is the Seed of Hope.

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