I would like to take this moment to wish all my Muslim friends Selamat Hari Raya Korban or Aidil Adha. In trying times like these, we only have to look back to the sacrifices Nabi Ibrahim a.s. to know our place in the world. We put our faith in Allah s.w.t.
My cousins from my father's side from Singapore will be spending the Raya feast with us in Kampung Tunku (this is the first time in four years we celebrate Hari Raya Korban in Petaling Jaya instead of Janda Baik). It will be a hectic day for all but a pleasurable reunion.
For those who do not understand what the celebration is about, below is an excerpt I found and borrowed from the net. Once again, Selamat Hari Raya Korban.
THE STORY OF AIDIL ADHA (EID AL-ADHA)
During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham or as we know him Nabi Ibrahim a.s. The Qur'an describes Nabi Ibrahim a.s. as follows:
"Surely Ibrahim was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He (Ibrahim) was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous." (Qur'an 16:120-121)
One of Nabi Ibrahim's (a.s.) main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was all prepared to do it (even after much persuasion by Satan not to heed the order), Allah s.w.t revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for Allah s.w.t superceded all others, that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to Allah s.w.t. Instead, Allah s.w.t. told him to instead sacrifice a ram.
During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember the trials Nabi Ibrahim a.s., by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. This action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.
Allah s.w.t. has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah s.w.t. at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.
The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor.
The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah s.w.t., and we should open our hearts and share with others.
It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations: "It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)The symbolism is in the attitude - a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to Allah s.w.t., is willing to follow His commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that Allah s.w.t. desires from us.
Aidil Adha also falls on the second day of the Haj period.
On the second day of the pilgrimage, the pilgrims leave Mina just after dawn to travel to the Plain of Arafah for the culminating experience of the Hajj. On what is known as the "Day of Arafah,” the pilgrims spend the entire day standing (or sitting) near the Mount of Mercy, asking Allah s.w.t. for forgiveness and making supplications. Muslims around the world who are not at the pilgrimage join them in spirit by fasting for the day. After sunset on the Day of Arafah, the pilgrims leave and travel to a nearby open plain called Muzdalifah, roughly halfway between Arafah and Mina. There they spend the night praying, and collecting small stone pebbles to be used the following day.
On the third day, the pilgrims move before sunrise, this time back to Mina. Here they throw their stone pebbles at pillars that represent the temptations of Satan. When throwing the stones, the pilgrims recall the story of Satan’s attempt to dissuade Nabi Ibrahm a.s. from following God’s command to sacrifice his son. The stones represent Nabi Ibrahim’s rejection of Satan and the firmness of his faith.
After casting the pebbles, most pilgrims slaughter an animal (often a sheep or a goat) and give away the meat to the poor. This is a symbolic act that shows their willingness to part with something that is precious to them, just as the Nabi Ibrahim a.s. was prepared to sacrifice his son at Allah’s command.