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Thursday December 28, 2006
Aidiladha is also commonly known as Hari Raya Korban or Hari Raya Haji in Malaysia.
Celebrated about two months after Hari Raya Aidilfitri, on the 10th day of Zulhijjah, the 12th (last) month of the Muslim calendar, it marks the end of the haj pilgrimage period (about two weeks).
Every year, millions of Muslims make the journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform the haj, one of the five basic tenets of Islam.
Aidiladha also commemorates the sacrifices made by the Prophet Ibrahim (hence the word 'korban,' which means sacrifice in Arabic), who demonstrated immense faith when he was put to the test by God.
Prophet Ibrahim was commanded to offer his son Ismail up for sacrifice, and though it grieved him greatly, he made ready to perform the task. However, as he was about to strike his son, God stopped him and revealed that it was a trial. Ismail's life was spared, and a ram was sacrificed in his place.
As such, during Aidiladha, the sacrifice of four-legged animals such as lambs, goats, cows, bulls and camels is performed.
The slaughter of the animal is done after the congregational prayer in the morning of Aidiladha.
The animals are killed in accordance with the proper religious rites and the meat is then distributed.
One third of the meat is given to the individual who made the sacrifice, while the rest is given to the poor and deserving people in the community.
Making the sacrifice (korban) is not a compulsory religious duty, but an obligations for those who are able to afford it.
The rest of the day is celebrated by visiting relatives and friends.
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