Hari Raya Haji in Singapore
Hari Raya Haji is the festival of sacrifice.
When: Date varies
Hari Raya Haji is the festival of sacrifice. It is normally celebrated with prayers from male volunteers at mosques around Singapore, animal sacrifices and giving out the meat to friends and family or distributing it to the needy.
The sacrifice is said to symbolise Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice. If you recall, Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice his son, Ismael, to obey God’s command.
Narrative has it that Ibrahim kept dreaming that he was sacrificing his Son Ismael. Believing that this was a command from Allah, he told his son about it and his son apparently told Ibrahim to do as he was commanded.
Prepared to submit to the will of Allah, he was ready to slaughter his son. Shaytaan (leader of the devils)“tempted” Ibrahim to not go through with the act of slaughtering Ismael as it was Allah’s commandment. Ibrahim drove Satan away by throwing pebbles at him.
Allah saw that Ibrahim was ready to sacrifice Ismael. Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) then appeared and a lamb from heaven was given by Angel Jibreel to slaughter, instead of Ismael.
Eid al-Adha involves the slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat in three equal parts. These are then given to (1) family, (2) relatives and friends, and (3) poor people. This is to make sure everyone gets to eat meat.
Prayers are also offered at the mosque. Prayers are performed any time after sunrise up to the just before the Zuhr time. At the conclusion of the prayers, Muslims embrace and greet each other.
During the distribution of meat, people chant the takbir out loud before the prayers on the first day and after prayers through the days of Eid.