Hari Raya Haji

Hari Raya Haji 

Hari Raya Haji (hajj celebration day) is an event observed by Muslims all over the world to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ishmael. As Ibrahim was about to strike his son, Allah stopped him and revealed that it was a test and a ram was to be sacrificed instead. Hari Raya Haji is also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice.

At Hari Raya Haji, the sacrifice of four-legged animals such as lambs, goats or cows, is performed to commemorate this event. The animals are killed according to the proper religious rites and meat is then distributed to the family, neighbours and to the less fortunate in the community. However, making the sacrifice (korban) is not a compulsory religious duty but an obligation for those who can afford it.

During the week of the hajj, pilgrims gather in Mecca to perform a series of rituals such as walking counter-clockwise seven times around the Ka’bah (cube-shaped structure covered in black cloth which serves as the Muslim prayer direction), kissing the Black Stone in the corner of the Ka’bah, drinking from the Zamzam well and throwing stones as a symbolic act of stoning the devil. Upon completion of the pilgrimage, the men will earn the title ‘haji’ and the women ‘hajjah’.

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