ARTS & LEISURE

Muslims celebrate Sacrifice Feast

Starting today, the Muslim community in Romania celebrates for four days, the most important religious festival in the Islamic calendar – Eid al-Adha (Kurban Bayrami).


According to the head of the Muslim Cult in Romania, mufti Muurat Iusuf, Kurban Bayrami (the Sacrifice Feast) lasts for four days and commemorates the sacrificial gesture of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, for the Judeo-Christians), forced to choose between his love for his only son and the adoration of the Creator (Allah).


“Faced with this choice, Prophet Ibrahim opts, unconditionally, for confirming his devotion to the divinity and, thus, in order to express his unconditional obedience to Allah, a bond stronger than fatherly love and protection, Ibrahim is willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Seeing his devotion and unwavering faith, the Creator sends Archangel Gabriel bearing a ram which is to be sacrificed instead. Thus, the blade of the knife cuts the animal’s throat, rather than killing his beloved child, and this day is celebrated throughout the Muslim world as the Sacrifice Feast, which reconfirms, annually, our devotion and faith in Allah,” the mufti Muurat Iusuf stated.


The feast of Kurban Bayrami marks the end of the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the holy sites of Islam, Mecca, the Mina Valley, the Arafat Mountain, the Hill of Muzdalifa and Medina, in which about two million pilgrims take part every year.


80,000 Muslims in Romania perform the ritual sacrifice at the end of the Salat al Eid or Bayram Namazi (the congregational feast prayer), officiated in the community’s mosques. According to tradition, in the first three days of Kurban Bayrami, sheep and cattle are sacrificed and two thirds of their meat is offered as a gift to friends. The traditional Kurban Bayrami dishes are prepared on the eve of the feast and include various types of broths, beans and mutton, minced meat wrapped in cabbage leaves, minced meat mixed with onions, pilaf, steaks, salads, sutlac (rice pudding), various types of pastries and the traditional baklava.
At the traditional Kurban Bayrami meal, the family members exchange wishes, and children kiss the hands of the elderly and receive gifts, pastries or money.

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