Malaysians enjoy Feast of the Sacrifice

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Haji Hassan Che Kob, 64, the chairman of the Jami’Ilhuda Kampung Melayu Ampang mosque. (AN photo by Fadza Ishak)
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Norchahaya Hashim, 60, a retired government servant. (AN photo by Fadza Ishak)
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Malaysian children look at cows due to be slaughtered during the Eid Al-Adha festival in Kuala Lumpur on August 11, 2019. (AFP)
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Updated 12 August 2019

Malaysians enjoy Feast of the Sacrifice

  • Animal sacrifice is an important activity for many local Muslim communities in Malaysia during the Hajj celebration

KUALA LUMPUR: In a country where about 60 percent of the population are Muslims, the Feast of the Sacrifice day holds a significant meaning for the community in Malaysia.

The mosque takes center stage as locals perform their ritual sacrifice and gather for special prayers.

One example is the Mosque of Jami’Ilhuda Kampung Melayu Ampang, situated in one of the few Malay enclaves in the capital city. At dawn on Sunday, hundreds of Muslims flock to the mosque for a special morning prayer.

The majority of the residents are Malay-Muslims, however there are pockets of Indian-Muslims community as well as refugee and migrant Muslims.

“We do the ritual sacrifice for the Hajj celebration every year,” said Hajji Hassan Che Kob, 64, the chairman of the mosque.

“This year we have 23 cows and one sheep to be slaughtered.”

He told Arab News that the cows are purchased by the local community for the Feast of Sacrifice. “We are selective about the vendors, we only choose the best-quality cows (that are) large-built and affordable.”

“The real meaning of sacrifice is a sacrifice of ourselves, our time and our material wealth for Allah,” Hajji Hassan said. Weeks before the Hajj celebration, the mosque announces the purchasing of cows to residents.

The cost of each cow is usually shared by a maximum of seven people, referred to as ‘the participants.”

“This is part of the Islamic virtue,” said Norchahaya Hashim, 60, a retired government servant. Every year she buys a cow and donates it to the mosque for sacrifice. This year was no different. “This is to emulate the virtual acts of Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Ismail,” Norchahaya said.

“I always encourage our friends and family to purchase a cow for sacrifice during the Hajj celebration. We would usually put aside some money every month to afford it,” she said.

Animal sacrifice is an important activity for many local Muslim communities in Malaysia during the Hajj celebration. It is also a spectacle; curious young children and local people watch the ritual sacrifice take place at the compound next to the mosque.

In less than half an hour, all 23 cows and one sheep were slaughtered, and the meat was divided into smaller chunks for the participants, the mosque staff, the poor and nearby residents.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the mosque, staff were busy cooking and chopping meat and vegetables at the makeshift kitchen. The food was served for the local community as part of the celebration for the feast.

“The sacrifice meat is fresh and tastier, the mosque staff would usually make soups and curries out of the meat chunks,” said Norchahaya, who, as one of the participants, was given 2 kg of meat. “Many residents will come here throughout the day and night for the Feast of Sacrifice because of the community atmosphere.”


Thai official dismisses Muslim insurgent demand on detainees

Updated 46 min 12 sec ago

Thai official dismisses Muslim insurgent demand on detainees

  • Officials of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional met a Thai delegation and demanded the release of detainees
  • The insurgency in the Malay-speaking region of the predominantly Buddhist country has killed some 7,000 people over the past 15 years

BANGKOK: A Thai deputy prime minister dismissed on Monday a demand made by a Malay Muslim group to free those detained over alleged links to the long-running insurgency in Thailand’s mainly Muslim south as a pre-condition for formal talks.
Officials of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) met a Thai delegation at an undisclosed location in Southeast Asia on Friday and demanded the release of detainees, a leader of the group told Reuters in a rare interview.
The insurgency in the Malay-speaking region of the predominantly Buddhist country has killed some 7,000 people over the past 15 years and has flared on and off for decades.
“How can you say that? Everything must follow the justice procedure,” Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters on Monday when he was asked about the BRN’s demand.
The BRN also demanded that the Thai government conduct a transparent investigation into alleged abuses by security forces after allegations that a man from the south, Abdullah Isamusa, 32, fell into a coma after being interrogated by the military.
The army said authorities were investigating and that there was no proof so far of torture.
The BRN, the most active insurgent group in the south, has opted to stay out of peace talks between the Thai government and other insurgent groups, although it said it held two previous meetings in recent years.
Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat provinces were part of an independent Malay Muslim sultanate before Thailand annexed them in 1909.