The Guide to Hari Raya Haji in Singapore
In contrast to Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which marks the end of Ramadan and a whole month of fasting, Hari Raya Haji marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage. Traditionally known as Eid al-Adha, this year's date will fall on the 10 of July 2022. It is a sacred day for Muslims who will commemorate it because it is one of five pillars of Islam they need to fulfill. Below, we take a closer look at the significance of this special day.
What is Hari Raya Haji about?
In the Islamic calendar, Hari Raya Haji (which means "great day of the haj'') occurs in the 12th month. Historically, Haj is also a Muslim celebration of the day the Prophet Ibrahim almost sacrificed his son, Ismail, as an offering to God. At the last minute, God intervened and told him to provide a sheep for sacrifice instead of the son. Following that, God asked the father and son to construct a praying monument in Mecca, which is called the “Kaaba” and Muslims with the capability to undertake it are encouraged to do so. On the eve of Hari Raya Haji, pilgrims can choose to fast for one day — but this is not mandatory. The festival is typically more solemn due to its more profound religious significance.
Photo by Zurijeta
What are the differences between Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji?
|Hari Raya Puasa||Hari Raya Haji|
|What does the occasion mean||Marks the end of the Ramadan fasting month. Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, every able-bodied Muslim must fast daily from dawn until dusk.||Marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Muslims who are able-bodied and financially capable are encouraged to make at least one pilgrimage in their lifetime.|
|When does it occur||The first day of the 10th month in the Islamic calendar (after the Ramadan fasting month)||The 10th day of the 12th month in the Islamic calendar (about 2 months after Hari Raya Puasa)|
|How it's celebrated||After marking the end of a month-long period of Fasting comes the first day of Syawal which is the day of Eid-Al-Fitr. The Muslims will celebrate with morning prayers, house visits to family and friends, wearing new clothes and feasting such as sambal goreng, rendang and lontong.||Up to 4 days for this more sombre occasion. With morning prayers, the ritual slaughter of livestock and smaller-scale social engagements with family and friends.|
|Also known as||Eid al-Fitr||Eid al-Adha|
|What to say||Selamat Hari Raya Puasa||Selamat Hari Raya Haji|
Photo by Chung Sin Lan from Getty Images and Zurijeta
How do Muslims commemorate Hari Raya Haji?
In the morning, the Muslims will head to the mosque for sermons and prayers. Then after, the korban or the sacrifice is carried out. The sacrifice takes place to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail. Afterward, the meat from these sacrificed animals will be shared with the less fortunate. Its purpose is to remind devotees that others may still need help, so they should lend a hand. And similar to Hari Raya Puasa, Muslims make house visits to their relatives on Hari Raya Haji, but only for the day.
Photo by Stephane_Jacquemet & ThilakPiyadugana from Getty Images
When compared to the vibrant celebration of Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Raya Haji is more contemplative. Nonetheless, there are many things to take away from this holiday. Sacrifice is a big theme in most Muslim celebrations and this one highlights the importance of faith in God. Moreover, this holiday also encourages generosity, sharing, and remembering blessings, thus serving as a reminder that sacrificed animals should be donated to the needy. We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of Hari Raya Haji, Happy Eid-al-Adha for all our Muslim readers!