Hari Raya Haji marked with prayer, korban

Hari Raya Haji marked with prayer, korban

More than 200,000 Muslims spent the early hours of Oct 15 in prayer at 69 mosques across Singapore to commemorate Hari Raya Haji, the Festival of Sacrifice. At 21 mosques, Muslims also observed the Islamic ritual of korban - including 3,700 at the Darul Makmur Mosque in Yishun.

The event almost did not take place here last year after Australia introduced rules to ensure the welfare of sheep it exported to Singapore. Under Australian rules, mosques are required to pass an audit guaranteeing, among other things, that each animal's holding pen has enough ventilation and lighting.

To explore alternative sources, a korban review committee was formed last December with officials from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

Some 500 Canadian lambs, which arrived on Oct 12 and which were sold out by Oct 14 morning, were part of a trial. They supplemented the 2,000 sheep imported from Australia that sold out at a price of $455 each on Sept 22 - 10 days after registration opened.

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