Last Sunday Muslims of Russia celebrated Eid al-Adha, a feast which is known in Russia as Kurban-Bairam. We continue to show how it was celebrated in Russia and former USSR countries.
Estimates of the number of Muslims living or working in the Russian capital run from 2 million to as high as 5 million.
It was very cold that day. Old people were complaining that they had never had to celebrate the feast in such a bad weather.
This time local authorities were ready for the event. Police cordoned off the area and set up metal detectors to screen worshipers. Some ambulances were waiting nearby.
As time went by, Muslims occupied the opposite side of the street next to the mosque and even the traffic-way.
The bus the drivers of which were trying to sell sheep wasn’t allowed to park wherever they wanted.
Dear Muslims, Brothers and Sisters! Happy Kurban-Bairam! We invite you to visit Krasnogorsk city for making sacrifice. The bus will take you to the point of destination and back free of charge.
Last years sheep were sold and killed right in the Moscow streets. This caused discontent of the Muscovites who had to face the scenes. This time buses with sheep could carry their trade only in the lanes.
In Moscow over 170 000 people participated in celebration of the feast.
It originates from the Biblical legend of the arch-father Abraham (Ibrahim in Islam), his wife Hagar and their son Isaac’s (Ismail in Islam) being offered for sacrifice.
An angel told Ibrahim to sacrifice his son in the name of Allah. Ibrahim was ready to do that but Allah substituted his son for a lamb at the last gasp.
Sacrifice is instituted by Qur’an. It says: “Pray to your Lord and make a sacrifice”. The sacrificial animals should have been one-year-aged and sound, without any defects.
On November 6 over 50 000 people gathered together next to the principal mosque in Moscow. It was an early morning when mullah made a speech in honor of Allah.
Then Muslims went to sacrifice sheep.
On Kurban-Bairam one must wear clean and best clothes, change his or her route for the one that leads to a mosque, sacrifice sheep (cows or camels), and feed the poor. Only then one can eat him-/herself.
Praying in the street.
The sheep will be sacrificed.
The street is completely blocked.
Many of those who decided to pray in the streets in spite of temperatures of minus 8 degrees Celsius were migrant workers from countries in Central Asia that were once part of the Soviet Union.
Women are praying separately from men.
One fast and skillful movement of a knife – and a sacrifice is made.
Amount of prayers amazes. Muslim and government leaders addressed the rising ethnic tensions that have accompanied the influx of Muslim migrants, including many from the Caucasus republics in southern Russia.
A sermon delivered by the chief Russian Mufti stressed the importance of compassion, patriotism and interfaith harmony. The Mufti also thanked the Russian government for provided support.
Though the Moscow police was prepared for extraordinary situations, the celebrations were peaceful enough.