Qurban in Medan
Hari Raya Haji celebration delight
A group of friends, comprising 12 Singaporeans and one Indonesian working in Singapore, went to Medan for a 5-day trip from 8-12 August (2019), the objective being to celebrate Eid ul-Adha (or Hari Raya Haji in Malay), and to perform the qurban (slaughtering of sheep and cows) whose meat was distributed to the poor.
In the group of 13 friends, three are non-Muslims – Rachel, Thana and Suguna. We had an interesting time together.
Four people made some comments about our Medan trip.
“Our Medan trip was simply awesome. It’s not just because my best buddies were with me but because I had the privilege of getting to know some new people who made the trip a memorable one.
Be it during the breezy boat ride, or stopping on an impulse for durians, or visiting the Batak execution chamber or taking the crayfish lunch, we broke jokes, shared anecdotes and had so much laughter, fun and joy.
It was one of those trips where it matters not where you go but who you go with!” – Ms Suguna Ramasamy
We were lucky to have Ms Sri Zuraida Zainal Abidin in our group, whose father, (her mother has passed away) and siblings live in Medan. We visited their home early in the morning of Hari Raya Haji and together went for the Hari Raya prayer in a mosque near their home and later went for the qurban ceremony in a vacant area in a village.
“I feel very honored for the group to have visited Medan and met my family members.
I am thankful to the Muslims in the group to celebrate Aidil Adha and making the qurban in my family’s village.
Many poor people in the village got the opportunity to meet Singaporeans and they found them very friendly.
From the qurban of the Singaporean Muslims in the group and that from some people in the village, those kampung people who are poor had more qurban meat to eat, and the kampung people are very thankful for that. It is good charity.
Thank you.” – Ms Sri Zuraida Zainal Abidin
On Sunday, 11 August (2019), while the Muslims went to Sri’s sister’s home some distance away from the hotel to perform the qurban rites, Rachel, Thana and Suguna went shopping, accompanied by their Muslim friend, Juliana, from the group.
Shopping was a delightful activity. Members of the group bought things from batik and baggage to fruits and foodstuff to be taken home.
Some of the interesting places we visited included cruising in the huge and scenic Lake Toba, Samosir Island where we visited Batak houses at the Ambarita Village and learned of the history of the Batak people, Barastagi province where we visited its Grand Mosque, and in the Medan city, we visited the Maimoon Palace.
In the afternoon, after completing our qurban rites, we had an audience with the Sultan Langkat, Tuanku Yang Mulia Azwar Aziz Abdul Djalil Rahmadsyah Alhaj, during which I proposed that we could have a student-exchange programme for our students to visit them and experience village life and observe the mountains, fruit trees, plantations and farms and their students can come to Singapore to learn about our lifestyle, and enjoy our food and attractions.
“We were lucky to meet up with an important person for an audience. He was Tuanku Yang Mulia Azwar Aziz Abdul Djalil Rahmadsyah Alhajj.
A soft-spoken person, Tuanku told us his roots and his past extensively. He also told us how the people in the villages lived, and the challenge taken to make the Malay language recognised internationally.
He would like to see the young people of today with western influence coming back to their culture and be more open-minded.
We admire his vast knowledge of this region and of his people.” – Mr Imhar Said
Of course, Muslims crowded the many mosques in Medan to perform the Eid ul-Adha solat (prayer) at around 7:30 in the morning. Then, at about ten, the qurban activity began.
The slaughtering was done following Islamic rites and instructions to relax the animal and to be compassionate to them before and during the slaughtering them, and keeping some distance away from each other with the blood flowing into a pre-made hole in the ground.
The Muslims in the group are happy to have accomplished our main objective of going to Medan – to celebrate Hari Raya Haji and offering our qurban to benefit the poor.
Regarding the qurban (or spelt in Malay as korban), God says in the Islamic Holy Book, the Quran: “Celebrate the name of God through the days appointed over the herds for sacrifice. Then, eat and feed the unfortunate and the needy.” (22:28).
As for the qurban meat, God says: “It is not (the animal’s) flesh or blood that reaches Allah. It is your piety that reaches Him.” (22:37)
The qurban ceremony, held during the Haj in Mecca, is conducted at a location far away from the crowd, and the meat is deep-frozen and donated to the poor in countries around the world.
Sri’s siblings, Adhe Ahmadsyah Ramadhan Zainal Abidin, Nur Asmanissa Zainal Abidin, Sri Rahayu Zainal Abidin and her brother-in-law Agung Kurniawan (husband of Sri Rahayu), were also happy to take us shopping. We are very thankful to them for their hospitality and generosity.
“Salam to everybody in the Singapore group.
Alhamdulillah! I am pleased to welcome the delegation from Singapore and I wish everyone all the best.
I hope, all of you had a nice and enjoyable time in Medan and also during your cruise in Lake Toba and the tour to Samosir Island and Brastagi.
Thanks to those who visited my home and gave us the opportunity to do the Aidil Adha prayer together.
I hope, members of the Singapore group will stay healthy so that we can see each other again next time.
Ameen.” – Mr Agung Kurniawan (Sri’s brother-in-law)