Hari Raya must be celebrated, but festivities can be delayed

Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri – Picture from Bernama

By John Isaac

MUSLIMS should celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri but they can delay the festivities, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.

“After fasting for a month, we are obligated to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri on the first day of Syawal.

“We must eat and we must perform the Hari Raya prayers in the way we are advised to under the movement control order (MCO).

“However, the way we mark the occasion may not be the same as festive celebrations are more about tradition.

“Perhaps we have to limit visiting each other during Hari Raya Aidilfitri while we practise social distancing.

“But we can postpone the festive celebrations that we normally have with open houses and so on.

“As to whether we can postpone the celebrations to another time due to the MCO, we can discuss this possibility in the National Fatwa Council after getting the views of the clerics, ” he said in an interview with The Star yesterday.

He was asked to comment on the possibility of Malaysia following the example of Indonesia which has postponed its Hari Raya celebrations.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had earlier said that Malaysia may defer its public holidays for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration, which is what Indonesia has done in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Indonesia has decided to postpone its Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays to Dec 28 to 31 to stop the mass movement of its people who will return to their hometowns while the world is still grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.