By ROCAYA SUMNDAD OTICAL YAHYA
August 11, 2019
MARAWI CITY: The president of the Mindanao State University System (MSUS) tendered a luncheon reception in honor of the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the Philippines who visited the state-run university on Saturday, August 10.
“In Islam, one of the most important obligations of a Mu’min
is to visit the sick, or any one in distress, a duty which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) beautifully exemplified in his life. I believe that to a certain extent, we, the people of Marawi and survivors of a five-month cruel war that left our City in ruins fit the category,” Dr. Habib Watamama Macaayong, MSU president said when he welcomed ambassador Hamad Saeed Al-Zaabi during the reception.
Ambassador Al-Zaabi was in Marawi to spend Eid Al Adha with the Muslim community in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur and will lead the distribution of beef to the Marawi displaced families now housed in temporary shelters.
Macaayong said, “For the truth is, our people — 375,000 or so — have the not fully recovered or healed from their losses. We, the more fortunate among them, could only empathize with them. Through the Mindanao State University, we hope to see our people and the city triumphantly rise and emerge from their present lamentable state to brighter future. Insha Allah.”
He said it is not every day that MSU is honored to host dignitary like the UAE ambassador and his family. “In the olden times, when our ancestors ruled the land and surrounding seas, whenever visitors from other kingdoms came, the first question posed to the latter with utmost respect and tact is:
“To what do we owe this visit? What is the intent or purpose of the coming of the guest? That was the way of our ancestors,” he said.
Macaayong said that they had remained faithful to the way of their ancestors. “However, for us the descendants of that noble race, whatever the reason of the ambassador and his party, for traversing such immense distance to reach our shores, specifically Marawi, is of secondary importance. You’re coming, Your Excellency, whatever your reason or purpose, is what matters most… cause enough for a celebration,” he added.
The MSU president said they are glad to welcome a friend, an ally, a sympathizer, a brother in Islam. “Indeed,” he said, “to borrow the words of a peace advocate, “In each one of us, there is a little in all of us.”
Macaayong said: “The message is distilled or captured in the African term UBUNTU. We can learn from African peace and human rights advocate, Desmond Tutu: ‘We believe that a person is a person through other persons, that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably by your humanity… The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms. Therefore we seek to work for the common good because our humanity comes into its own in community, in belonging.”
He explained, “Muslims have their own words for the same message — fraternal solidarity or brotherhood — which the Islamic Faith’s pre-eminent social mission.” (RSOY/RSP)