(Read Part II HERE)
Note: There’s a big, big difference between the cultural and the religious Aqiqa. The purpose of this article is to document the traditional practices of the Maguindanaons. Do not follow this practices as these are against the teachings of Islam and this is not the practices of Prophet Muhammad (saw). Folk-Islamic elements were disapproved of by Islamic clerics and discounted by some Moro rebel leaders.
Another reminder from the Hadith: “If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected.” [Bukhari Book 49, Vol 3, No 861]
KABPAGUBAR/KABPAGUBAD and KAPENG-GUNTING (naming the child and shaving the head)
In Maguindanaon folk practice, kabpagubar is perfromed by the walian and while “kapenggunting” is performed by the pandita or imam. This ritual is done on the seventh day after the delivery of the baby. Read details here: PART II
A kanduli (thanksgiving banquet) is organized in celebration of the naming of the baby. In naming the baby, the following are prepared:
1. Four young coconut (green) also called tender coconuts
2. daliday a dapan embekad or un-opened coconut flowers/bud pods
3. Babas composed of salimbangon, kilala, kauyag-uyag and sapal (previously discussed).
4. young rooster and young hen-to be. A young rooster is called a cockerel, while a young hen is called a pullet.
The parents should also place a red flag outside their house (east side). The walian will then prepare a bedding same as the size of the malong. She will put the young or tender coconuts on the four corners of the malong. The tender coconuts should be de-husked and nicely shaped with opening as offering to the “unseen visitors.”
The walian will also prepare a tudtugan (incense, previously discussed). Carrying the tudtugan, she will walk around the malong and she will also go near the side where the red flag is waved. She’ll do it as if she’s calling the unseen, reciting chants.
Then, the walian will open the daliday carefully and gracefully. The walian and the old folks will also interpret the daliday when it is opened. If the coconut flower stalks will separate after opening it, the child will become a leader, a boss or head of an organization or a group.
If more stalks are broken, the child will squander his earnings or livelihood; he/she will spend extravagantly or foolishly until none will be left to him/her. Therefore, in getting a daliday from a coconut tree, it should be placed in a malong sling, should not have touched the soil, and carefully brought to the house and the one bringing the daliday should be wearing an umbrella.
Once inside the house, the daliday will be hung above the end part of the malong; the one that was prepared by the walian.
AQIQA or SLAUGHTERING A GOAT
The pandita will slaughter the goat. There should be someone wearing an umbrella that will shade the pandita while slaughtering the goat. There’s a belief that goat is one of the animals with the highest status among all domesticated animals, hence “should be given respect.”
After the goat, the cockerel and pullet are slaughtered. The blood of the two chickens is placed on a dry coconut shells. Blood of the pullet is to be placed on the upper shell (sprinkled with several feathers of that chicken), while the cockerel’s blood is placed on the bottom side of the shell, also sprinkled with several feathers of that chicken to identify which one is from the pullet or cockerel.
The two coconut shells with chicken blood will be placed on the two corners on the posterior/end part of the malong.
The kabpagubar ritual should not be done beyond noontime because it’s bad luck. After food for the kanduli is prepared, the walian is also prepare a food for the unseen, using black/violet rice shaped like an alligator.
Two cooked eggs (shells removed) is used as eyes of the alligator-shaped rice. One the two sides are 12 “kalintubo.” It is a pastil but it is shaped like a triangle.
Also on the sides near the kalintubo are the “babas” (discussed in previous blog). The walian will then prepare another tudtugan and will recite an incantation called “tidtu a telok.” This is done to give offering to the unseen spirits or to request from the spirits that they should not harm the child.
Before doing the incantation dance, the walian will put aromatic oils on her body (called “perfume of the unseen”). After that, the walian will begin to talk like being possessed by the unseen spirit.
She will start reciting the incantation in front of the two parents (the mother holding the child). Then, the walian will go near the malong, near the red flag, to the four corners of the house and then back to the parents of the child.
Then the possessed walian will dip her point finger to the chicken blood and rub it on the feet of the baby, hands, and tip of the nose. This is done so that the unseen spirit will not harm the baby.
If the chicken blood will become dry after the ritual, the child will not earn well in his lifetime or his/her parents will have financial difficulty raising him/her. If the blood is still wet, the child will have a prosperous life and his parents will have many blessings while raising him/her.
Then, the walian will cut or crush the daliday above the couple and the child (dangerous, don’t do this at home, hahaha). This is done so that blessings will pour down to the couple and the baby, just like the way the coconut flowers scatter all around them.
Then, a cooked whole chicken is prepared, sliced by parts. The father will choose three chicken body parts; the father will get a very small portion (pinch size) of the three chosen parts, three times each, and will eat it.
Body parts with good signs and meanings are: chicken head, breast part and the leg part. The head symbolizes leadership, the child will become a good leader. The breast part symbolizes blessings, and the leg part symbolizes strength.
The bony parts, wing part, internal parts like liver do not have a good meaning. For example, the wing part symbolizes lack of peace of mind. The internal parts symbolizes hardships the child will encounter in helping his relatives. The feet part also symbolizes hardships in life.
In other room, and simultaneous with the rituals of the walian, the pandita also have a kanduli, reciting verses from the Quran.
After all the rituals and after all the visitors have eaten during the kanduli, the pandita will now cut or shave the hair of the child. SEE NEXT ARTICLE.
NOTE: Almost all the rituals included herein are not anymore practiced. These practices, especially giving offerings to the unseen, are against the teachings of Islam. Further explanation will be given in the next article.