Crimean Muslims Celebrate Oraza-Bairam

30 August 2011, 09:41 | Islam | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Today is the first day of the two main feasts in Islam, Id-al-Fitr. In the Crimea, where Ukraine’s largest Muslim community live, it is called Oraza-Bairam. In the morning, celebratory collective prayers began in all the mosques of the peninsular, reported Radio Freedom.

Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fir means "breaking (the fast)". The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the twenty-nine or thirty days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of ramadan. The first day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month Shawwal.

Deputy Mufti of the Crimean Muslims, Odzha Aider Ismailov, hopes that in the nearest future, the Muslims of Simferopol will pray together in the Soborna Mpsque Buiuk Dzhuma-Dzhami. According to him, this year, the residents of Crimea celebrate the feast in an elevated mood: “This year, the feast is marked with a joyful event for the Muslims of the Crimea. Finally, the question of allocation of a land plot for the construction of the Soborna (Assembly) Mosque in Simferopol has been settled. This will undoubtedly add joy to the feast.”

Tuesday, the second day of the feast, was declared a day off for all who profess Islam. However, Muslims are to work next Saturday or Sunday to compensate for it. Last year, the Crimean Parliament approached the Supreme Council of Ukraine with a request to declare the first days of Oraza and Kurban-Bairam days off for all the residents of Crimea like the Orthodox holy days of Christmas, Easter and Pentecost in order to harmonize interethnic and interfaith relations. However, no response has been received so far.

On this day and on the next two days, the Crimean Tatars traditionally visit cemeteries, greet older people and give sweets and gifts to children.

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