by ABARA SG on Jun 28, 2023


Dear Reader,

One of the most important of Muslim days will be celebrated tomorrow: Hari Raya Haji is a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s complete faith and trust in God.

This story is recounted in religious texts in which God commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail, a commandment that Ibrahim responded to with obedience. However, God stopped him, and provided him with a sheep to substitute as a sacrifice, instead of his son.

This is why the most important ritual observed on this occasion is that of “korban” (sacrifice). Worshippers contribute live sheep, lambs, goats and cows, which are slaughtered by a quick slit to the jugular as prayers are recited. This central act reminds worshippers of the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to offer up even his own flesh and blood to God. The animal is then cleaned and the meat carved up and distributed to worshippers and the needy.

It became the tradition 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 in the community.

Hari Raya Haji also marks the end of “hajj,” the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. This arduous journey retraces the steps of the Prophet Muhammad and concludes with a series of symbolic rituals once the faithful have reached the holy city. The “hajj” is considered the fifth pillar of Islam, and every able-bodied Muslim with financial means is expected to complete it at least once in his or her life.

During the period of Hari Raya Haji, the faithful dress in their finest clothes and congregate in mosques to listen to sermons and offer their prayers. After the prayers and sharing, Muslims pay social visits to parents, families and friends, and relax over a meal together. However, there is little overt feasting or merrymaking—this is one festival that is more about spiritual needs than physical ones.

On this occasion, ABARA wishes all our Muslim friends a tranquil and happy Hari Raya Haji!

XXX 💋 The ABARA Team