Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hari Raya Haji

Hari Raya Haji literally means the ‘festival of pilgrimage’. It is the festival marking the day of pilgrimage to Mecca, the fifth tenet of Islam. Hari Raya Haji is known to many as Hari Raya Aidil Adha. This festival is celebrated by Muslims to honour pilgrims who have completed their Haj to Mecca.Hari Raya Haji falls on the 10th day of the month of Dzulhijjah.

The 10th of Dzulhijjah marks one of the most important events in Islamic history - an event which dates back to beginning of mankind, to the days of Adam and Eve. Just outside the holy city of Mecca at Arafah, Adam and Eve, the father and mother of mankind, were sent down to this world by Allah (God). After their expulsion from Heaven, Allah sent them to separate places. Adam was placed in India and Eve in Jeddah but eventually met on a wide open field and were reunited. Thus, the blissful reunion of the father and mother of mankind symbolises the reunion of the whole of mankind.

Hari Raya Haji is also known as Hari Raya Korban, the festival of sacrifice. As such, the sacrifice of a cow or goat as food offerings to the poor is done. This is not a compulsory religious duty for everyone, but considered an obligation for those who can afford it.

Celebrated by the Muslims on the tenth day of the last month of the Muslim calendar. This is an occasion celebrated marking the conclusion of the annual Haj - the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, when the pilgrims are given the title of Haji for men and Hajjah for women. Thanksgiving prayers are offered in the mosque.

source here

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