Friday, November 19, 2010

Canopy Walk

Today, the canopy walk that links Sunway University College to Sunway Pyramid is open! I am told it is only a 9-minute scenic walk to more restaurants, bars and retail shops. Alternatively, one can also take a cab for just RM5 one-way.

Wednesday was Hari Raya Aidiladha (also known as Hari Raya Korban) – a Muslim observance and also a public holiday in Malaysia. Aidiladha commemorates the sacrifices made by the prophet Abraham (hence the word ‘korban’ which means sacrifice), who demonstrated immense faith when he was put to the test by God. The prophet was commanded to offer his only son Ishmael 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. Ishmael's life was spared, and a ram sacrificed in his place.

As such, during Aidiladha, the sacrifice of animals (e.g. lambs, goats, cows, bulls and camels) is performed. The animals are slain in accordance with the proper religious rites; the meat is then distributed. One third of the meat is given to the individual who willingly supplied the animal, while the rest is given to the poor and deserving friends and relatives. It is to be noted that this is not a compulsory religious duty, but an obligation for those who are able to afford it.

The observance of the korban is carried out after the congregational prayers, held early in the morning of Aidiladha. It is not unusual for the slaying to take place within the mosque compound. And so, it was at the USJ1 mosque that non-Muslim children presented a goat and 250 kg of rice to the community. According to The Malay Mail report yesterday, these donations were added to eleven heads of cattle to benefit 400 underprivileged families in the neighborhood. As Subang Jaya councilor, Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir said this was the first time they had a korban ceremony with contributions from the non-Muslim community (p 1).

Photo credit: The Malay Mail, Malaysia, November 18, 2010, p 1
Certainly, news of this nature creates a feel-good factor in a multicultural and multi-religious society like Malaysia. The mainstream media should play up more of these stories, rather than focusing on news that spread discord and ill-will.

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