Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

From all of us at PR Communications, we like to take this opportunity to wish Muslims around the world ‘Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri’, particularly to our Malay friends, ‘Maaf Zahir Batin’. Enjoy the festival with happiness and joy with your family and loved ones!

This day also marks the end of the fasting month (Ramadhan), to all Muslims who are practicing it.

The Fasting month of Ramadan

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is the 4th Pillar of Islam. During Ramadan, Muslims are not allowed to eat from dawn to dusk and also observe the do’s and don’ts. A person should not lie or commit evil deeds, backbiting, lying, abusing and arguing among other things during this month. Eating out of forgetfulness does not break the fast and one should quickly spit the food out. Vomiting unintentionally does not break the fast however if it is done deliberately then this breaks the fast. All Muslims are required to fast with the exception of children who have not reached puberty, feeble elderly, the sick whose health is likely to be severely affected by fasting, expectant mothers and women nursing their children. However, they must make up for each day taken off at another time where possible. Travelers are also permitted to eat during the period of fasting provided they make up for the lost days later on.

Muslims often gather with family and friends to breakfast, known as Iftar.

During Ramadan, Muslims give out the obligatory ‘zakat fitrah’ (religious tithe), which is collected by mosques as well MUIS and distributed to the poor and needy. Giving charity generously is encouraged. Some prefer to invite children from the Children’s Orphanage home to break fast with. It is also during the nights of Ramadan, when Muslims perform terawih prayers. These prayers are only done during the Ramadan. Muslim are encouraged to join the congregation at the mosques or temporary prayer halls at the void decks of housing flats.

Hari Raya Puasa Aidilfitri

Hari Raya Aidilfitri falls on 1st of Syawal, the 10th month of the Muslim calendar.

The celebration begins with a trip to the Mosque with recitation of prayers that Muslims observe on the morning of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Visitations begin first with the parents’ home. It is customary for Muslims to ask for forgiveness from their elders for any wrong doings during the year. Although it is not required to for Muslims to visit the cemetery during Raya, many do so as a remembrance of those who have left them. It is a time of forgiveness in Muslim communities and a time for strengthening bonds amongst relatives and friends. On this day, Muslims all over the world would feast with a lavish spread of food.

During my early teenage days, I looked forward to Hari Raya as it was a day where I got to wear my new clothes (specially chosen by myself). My family and I would be shopping down on North Bridge Road. My father would also reward me if I completed my 30 days of fasting. It is also the time of the year when I get to see all of my cousins (we would have not seen each other for almost a whole year!). I would also wait around my elder relatives, so that I do not miss out on receiving the ‘duit raya’ a custom adopted from the Chinese of giving out Hong Bao. We also get to eat lots of ‘ketupat’, ‘rendang’, ‘kueh makmur’ and ‘kueh tarts’ and other Raya traditional favourites. During the Raya celebrations, we also take the time to remember our departed loved ones.

Raya to me, brings back nostalgic memories of my late father. I would do anything to relive those memories again.

By Halidah M Taufik