Hari Raya Haji in Malaysia
Hari Raya Haji, also known as Eid al-Adha, is a significant Islamic festival celebrated in Malaysia. The event is locally referred to as Hari Raya Haji or Hari Raya Korban. This festival commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail as a sign of obedience to Allah, and it also marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Hari Raya Haji is observed on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah. Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the date of Hari Raya Haji changes every year. It moves about 11 days earlier in the Gregorian calendar each year.
The celebration of Hari Raya Haji in Malaysia can be traced back to the arrival of Islam in the country during the 12th century. With the spread of Islam, the local population began to observe Islamic festivals, including Hari Raya Haji. This festival has been celebrated in Malaysia ever since, and it has become an important part of the country's cultural and religious identity.
National customs for Hari Raya Haji in Malaysia
One of the most significant customs of Hari Raya Haji in Malaysia is the act of Qurban, which involves the sacrifice of livestock such as cows, goats, and sheep. The animals are slaughtered in a halal manner, and the meat is then distributed among family members, friends, and the less fortunate in the community. This act of giving symbolizes the importance of sharing and helping others, especially during festive occasions.
Another important custom is attending special prayers, known as Solat Sunat Hari Raya Haji, which are held at mosques across the country. These prayers are usually conducted in the morning, and they are followed by a sermon that focuses on the significance of the festival and the importance of maintaining strong faith.
Families also gather to spend time together during Hari Raya Haji, often preparing and enjoying special meals. Traditional Malay delicacies, such as ketupat, lemang, and rendang, are commonly served during this time.
Local customs for Hari Raya Haji in Malaysia
While the national customs of Hari Raya Haji are practiced throughout Malaysia, there are also local customs that vary between states and communities. Some regions may have additional prayers, feasts, or cultural events during this time. For instance, in the state of Kelantan, a traditional performance known as Mak Yong is sometimes held to entertain the local community during Hari Raya Haji.
Hari Raya Haji is an important festival in Malaysia that carries both religious and cultural significance. Through customs such as the Qurban, prayers, and family gatherings, Malaysians come together to observe this special occasion and to uphold the values of faith, sacrifice, and generosity.