Haji Raya Haji (Eid-al-Adha ) as it is known in Malaysia, is known by many names worldwide among the Muslim community but one of the most common and internationally known name it is known as is Eid-al-Adha. It is celebrated on the tenth day of the last month of the Muslim Calender which in 2011 is expected to be on 6th November and in 2012 is expected to be on 26th October. Two important events that are held during Hari Raya Haji is the pilgrimage to Mecca and the offering of a sacrificial animal.
The Foundation Behind Hari Raya Haji (Eid-al-Adha)
Hari Raya Haji (Eid-al-Adha) commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his only son Ismail.
Ibrahim is known as Abraham to the Christians and the Jews. One day, according to Muslim literature, Allah spoke to Abraham and commanded him to sacrifice his son Ismail. Being true to Allah, he immediately took his son Ismail to Mount Moriah and began preparations for his sacrifice. But just as he was about to sacrifice Ismail, an angel stopped him and gave him a ram to sacrifice in Ismail’s place.
The Christian and Jewish version of Abraham’s sacrifice mentions that name of his son was Isaac instead.
Pilgrimage During Eid-al-Adha
The pilgrimage to Mecca which is also known as the Hajj is one of the Five Pillars Of Islam and is the most important pilgrimage which should be done by every able bodied Muslims. During this pilgrimage, pilgrims wear an ihram which is a white robe and is meant to show equality in the eyes of Allah where there is no physical difference between the rich and the poor. While in Mecca, pilgrims are forbidden from performing numerous acts such as swearing, quarreling wearing perfume and even killing an animal or plant. Pilgrims from all over the world would throng to the holy city in hundreds of thousands for a procession around the Kaaba, which is a cube shaped building. There also a number of other rituals performed during the Hajj.
Korban During Hari Raya Haji
The Korban or Qurbani is the symbolic sacrifice of an animal, usually a cow or a goat, to symbolize Ibrahim’s sacrifice of the ram in place of his son Ismail. Usually in smaller communities and villages, the meat would be purchased and divided among themselves as well as used in communal meals and donated to the poorer families.
Open House During Hari Raya
While there are open houses organized, Hari Raya Haji is celebrated in a more solemn mood and less celebratory than Hari Raya Aidilfitri. In many cases, it is more a family and community celebration than a big celebration.
The day starts with morning congregational prayers in order to observe the sacrificial slaughter. It is after this that people would go out to visit close friends and relatives.