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.”


Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

Updated 10 July 2020

Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

  • Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018
  • Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s attorney general said Friday that two men had confessed to killing a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group as part of a plot to topple Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018.
His shooting death last week sparked days of protests and ethnic violence that killed 239 people, according to police figures.
“The assassination was intended to be a cover to take power from the incumbent by force,” attorney general Abebech Abbebe said in a statement Friday aired on state television, without providing details.
Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office, a complaint echoed by many protesters last week.
Abebech said that along with the two men who have allegedly confessed to the crime, the government has identified a third suspect who remains on the run.
One of the men in custody identified the masterminds of the alleged plot as members of a rebel group the government believes is affiliated with the opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) political party, Abebech said.
The OLF, a former rebel movement, returned to Ethiopia from exile after Abiy took office and has repeatedly disavowed any links to armed insurgents.
The Internet remained shut off Friday for an 11th consecutive day, though Addis Ababa remains calm and Abiy’s office issued a statement saying the surrounding Oromia region had “returned to calm and citizens have resumed normal activities.”
In her statement, however, Abebech said unnamed agitators were calling for additional protests and road blockages in the coming days.
“There are those that have hidden themselves in nice places but are calling on Ethiopian youth to fight each other, close roads and to cease working as part of a rebellion call,” Abebech said.
“Above all we call on our people to disobey this rebellion call and to thwart it.”