Hari Raya Haji

Hari Raya Haji is a festival that occurs over a period of four days in Malaysia, Singapore, and other parts of the world and commemorates Abraham’s trust and complete faith in God. In other parts of the world, this holiday is known as Eid al-Adha, and the act that it commemorates is Abraham being willing to sacrifice his son to Allah. This festival is celebrated with charity, faith, and other observations held on this day. It also marks the conclusion of Haj, which is the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

The History Of Hari Raya Haji

Hari Raya Haji is a festival and holiday that’s been observed for quite a long time now. This festival commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice everything for Allah, including his only son Ishmael. Just as Abraham was getting ready to sacrifice his son on God’s command, God ordered him to instead sacrifice a sheep instead of his son.

According to tradition, he was then told to distribute the meat from the slaughtered lamb to friends and family members as an act of charity. This holiday falls on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah-the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar one, it ends up on a different day every year.

Observing Hari Raya Haji

The Ritual Slaughter Of An Animal

According to tradition, the animal that’s slaughtered on this day is distributed to the person who paid for the animal, then to family and friends, and finally, the poor. The person paying for the animal gets 1/3rd of it, then they pass out 1/3rd to their friends and family, and the final 1/3rd is distributed to the poor and needy.

There are some rules as to what type of animal can be slaughtered and how it is to be slaughtered. For one, the animal has to be ruminant and it has to have cloven hooves and that’s why pigs aren’t considered Halal – meaning that they aren’t proper for Muslims. Although pigs do have cloven hooves, they aren’t ruminants so they are considered to be impure.

The animal also has to be alive before its slaughtered and it has to be slaughtered with a sharp knife. The butcher has to be an adult Muslim, and the animal must be slaughtered with a single stroke. During the ritual, the name Allah has to be said as the stroke is performed. It also should be noted that it’s forbidden for any Muslim to eat or drink the blood of any animal.

Other Observations On This Day

Although people on this day do have a meal with their loved ones, the tone of the meal is not like a traditional feast. That’s because this day is about fulfilling physical needs, but is instead concerned with a person fulfilling their spiritual needs. It’s also a day on which people will dress up in their finest new clothes, visit with friends and family, and give gifts to children.

Where is Hari Raya Haji celebrated?

This year (2023):
Malaysia - KDH, KTN, PLS, TRG (Jun 29, Jun 30) - Singapore (Jul 29) Show all 2 locations
Next year (2024):
Malaysia - KDH, KTN, PLS, TRG (Jun 17, Jun 18) Show all 1 locations
Last year (2022):
Malaysia - KDH, KTN, PLS, TRG (Jul 10, Jul 11) - Singapore (Jul 10, Jul 11) Show all 2 locations