Muslim execs want Nov. 7 be declared non-working holiday for Sheikh Karim’ul Makhdum Day
MANILA, Philippines — Several Muslim government executives on Thursday urged the Senate to declare November 7 as a non-working holiday, in celebration of the creation of the first mosque, Sheikh Karim’ul Makhdum, in the Philippines.
During a hearing conducted by the Senate committee on cultural communities and muslim affairs on Senate Bill No. 1616 declaring November 7 as Sheikh Karim’ul Makhdum Day, Muslim government executives suggested converting it into a non-working holiday, instead of the bill’s prescribed working holiday.
Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage Salem Lingasa described Sheikh Karim’ul Makhdum Day as one of the most important days for Muslims in the Philippines as it also marks the arrival of Makhdum Karim, the sifu who introduced Islam to the Philippines in 1380, or 141 years before Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the country.
“Pinakaimporante ang Sheikh Karim’ul Makhdum Day [for Filipino Muslims], kung hindi siya dumating, walang islam [sa Pilipinas],” said Lingasa.
(Sheikh Karim’ul Makhdum Day is the most important for Filipino Muslims, if he did not come, there would be no Islam in the Philippines.)
“So talagang pinakaimportante ito sa mga Muslim (so it is really the most important for Muslims),” he added.
Tawi-Tawi Governor Governor Yshmael Sali and Simunul Mayor Wasilah Abdurahman also expressed similar sentiments, with Sali highlighting its possible contribution to Islam in the country.
“Malaking tulong ang magagawa [nito] para malaman ng Pilipino na may malaking kontribusyon sa ating bansa ang Islam, bago po dumating ang mga Kastila andiyan na ang Islam,” said Sali.
(This can provide a lot of help by informing Filipinos to know that Islam has a great contribution to our country, before the Spaniards came, Islam was there.)
Abdurahman, for her part, noted that the mosque has already been declared a national heritage and that November 7 is already a non-working holiday in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“Ang Pilpinas ay hindi magcecelebrate Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr kung hindi dumating sa Pilipinas si Sheikh Karim’ul Makhdum, particularly, in Simunul,” said Abdurahman.
(The Philippines would not have celebrated Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr if Sheikh Karim’ul Makhdum did not come to the Philippines, particularly, in Simunul.)
Meanwhile, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Deputy Executive Director for Programs and Projects Alvin Alcid said that there is “no question” that Sheikh Karim’ul Makhdum Day should be declared a holiday, but deferred to appropriate government agencies in deciding whether it should be a non-working or working holiday.