Hari Raya Haji is more popularly known as Eid al-Adha or Hari Raya Qurban in Malaysia. Hari Raya Haji is celebrated when Muslims make pilgrimages to Mecca, visit the Kaaba and perform sacrifices. This festival is followed by sacrificial worship that can be performed on 10, 11, 12 or 12 Zulhijjah noon, which has been called Tasyrik Day. It falls on the 10th day of zulhijjah in the Islamic calendar and lasts for four days.
Hari Raya Haji is more popularly known as Eid al-Adha or Hari Raya Qurban in Malaysia. Some people even pronounce “Eid al Adha” as a single word Aidiladha.
Hari Raya Aidiladha is celebrated when Muslims make pilgrimages to Mecca, visit the Kaaba and perform sacrifices. This festival is followed by sacrificial worship that can be performed on 10, 11, 12 or 12 Zulhijjah noon, which has been called Tasyrik Day. It falls on the 10th day of zulhijjah in the Islamic calendar and lasts for four days. Hari Raya Haji is celebrated to mark the end of the haj, the holy pilgrimage to Mecca.
This Islamic festival is also to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Ismail to show submission to Allah. Eid al-Adha has the meaning of “the Feast of Sacrifice”. Hari Raya Haji is a day when Muslims recall the “almost sacrifice” talked about in Islamic Scriptures.
The “almost sacrifice” is when Ibrahim nearly sacrificed his son Ismaill on Mount Moriah near Mecca. It is believed that Ibrahim was obeying God’s command. When God called on Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as a test of his faith, Ibrahim passed the test by showing that he was willing to obey even the most extreme command asked of him. However, as Ibrahim was about to complete the sacrifice, God called out to him and commanded Ibrahim to stop. God then asked Ibrahim to replace Ismail with a sheep instead. In another version, it is said that God changed his mind at the last minute and asked Ibrahim to replace his son with a sheep.
Hence, the main ritual of this festival normally involve the sacrificial slaughtering of livestock (usually a cow or sheep).
The tradition is that the person who paid for the animal gets one-third of the meat and one-third goes to family and friends. As this festival is about compassion, sharing wealth and remembering blessings, the last third is usually distributed to the poor and the needy.
Muslims usually acquire new clothing and wear them on this day and congregate in mosque to listen to sermons and offer prayers. They will then visit family and friends. The common greeting wished to one another during Eid al-Adha is “Eid Mubarak” which means “have a blessed Eid”.
Some of the traditional main dish includes kebab, kurma and briyani rice. Eid al-Adha is also celebrated with sweet dishes and desserts. They can be made at home or conveniently bought from shops. Dates cooked in milk are one of the common sweets served in the morning before prayers. Others include baklava and gulab jamun.
The date of Hari Raya Haji is declared in Malaysia by the moon-sighting committee on the first day of Dhul-hijjah, the final month on the Islamic calendar. After that, the final date of the festival is determined and declared as a holiday. On this day, mosques are decorated with lights and firecrackers are lit in the night.
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