Both Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Aidiladha are two great festivals celebrated by Muslims around the globe. In Malaysia, you would find Hari Raya Aidiladha is more commonly known as Hari Raya Korban or Hari Raya Haji. Hari Raya Aidiladha is celebrated about two months after Hari Raya Aidilfitri. It is celebrated on the 10th day of Zulhijjah, the 12th month of the Muslim calendar. Similar to the Gregorian calendar, you would find Zulhijjah and December marks the end of a calendar year. The celebration of Hari Raya Aidiladha also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage period. The Hajj pilgrimage normally spans over 2 weeks.
The Five Pillar of Islam
Islamic scholar, Imam Muhammad al-Bukhari explains that Islam is built upon five pillars, to worship Allah and to disbelieve in what is worshipped besides him (Declaration of Faith), to establish prayers, to give to charity (also known as Zakat), to fast in the month of Ramadan and, to perform Hajj pilgrimage. Upon completion of the Hajj pilgrimage, you will find that the celebration of Aidiladha marks the completion of all 5 pillars of Islam. If you are physically able and are financially able, completing the Hajj is obligatory for all Muslims once in a lifetime. During the pilgrimage, you would join Muslims around the world in performing pilgrimage in the Holy City of Makkah. You and your fellow Muslims would submit completely to Allah and express servitude to the Almighty.
Aidiladha commemorates the sacrifices made by Prophet Ibrahim. Commanded to offer his son, Ismail for sacrifice, (or “korban” which means sacrifice in Arabic) Prophet Ibrahim was put to the test by Allah. During the test, Prophet Ibrahim demonstrated immense faith in Allah despite the grieve of losing his beloved son. As he made ready to perform the task to strike his son, Allah stopped him and revealed to him it was a trial. At this very moment, Ismail’s life was spared. A ram took his place and was sacrificed instead.
Aidiladha in Malaysia
In celebration of Aidiladha and remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah, four-legged animals such as lambs, goats, cows, bulls, and camels are sacrificed. The sacrifice of an animal is carried out after the congregational prayer in the morning of Aidiladha. The animals are killed in accordance with Islamic religious rites. If you have made the sacrifice, one-third of the meat is given to you, while the rest is given to the poor and deserving people in your community. After the sacrifice ritual, the rest of Aidiladha is spent by visiting your family, relatives, and friends.
The Message and COVID-19
Prophet Ibrahim’s act of faith conveys a powerful message: making sacrifices should be a part of our everyday activities and not merely a once-a-year occurrence. In times of COVID-19 pandemic and the life of our society is alarmingly tense, Prophet Ibrahim’s message is more powerful than ever. Prepared to share a bit of your wealth to help those financially in need is a form of sacrifice. Your sacrifice contributes to both the monetary and mental support to those in need during the time of hardship. Should time be in excess, you can also undertake charity work. There are many local charity organisations actively supporting the local community and with your presence, they would be able to extend their assistance further into your local community. Regardless of your beliefs and cultural background, Aidiladha urges you to grasp the meaning of sacrifice and for the good of mankind. Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha.