Korban Bayram

The four day feast of Korban Bajram (Eid al-Adha in Arabic) began this Saturday, so my school had a half day on Friday and was closed Monday. Korban Bajram commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son, and God’s faithfulness in providing a sheep instead.  In Islam that son was Ishmael, and the story takes place before Isaac was born. Sura 37:100 – 112

“O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!”

So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.

Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: “O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!”

(The son) said: “O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!”

So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),We called out to him “O Abraham! “Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!” – thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was obviously a trial – And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice: And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times: “Peace and salutation to Abraham!”

Thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For he was one of our believing Servants. And We gave him the good news of Isaac – a prophet – one of the Righteous.

Since the absolute oneness of God is such a big deal in Islam, I’m surprised at that use of We.

Saturday morning at sunrise the men and some women went to the mosque for prayers and a sermon, then came home for coffee. The village separated into groups of men and of young women and girls, while the wives and mothers mostly stayed at home to receive guests. The men and boys traveled in their own group, had coffee and sweets at various houses, and slaughtered some cows. The young women and girls, meanwhile, took a route of their own, and I followed them. Mostly a group of 20 or so would arrive at a house and greet the women of the house with urime festiv! (blessed feast!), perhajer Bajrami, or me fat Bajrami, shake hands, and eat a piece of chocolate, and possibly drink coffee or juice. The young married women were all decked out in their bridal vestments — lovely traditional costumes with white fluffy Turkish pants and blouses, and heavily embroidered belts and vests. They greet a visitor by taking her hand in both their own, and sort of waving it around a little. Somebody somewhere probably knows why they do this for Bajram, but I am not yet one of those people.

After coming home for sarma (meat, onions, and spices wrapped in cabbage or grape leaves and boiled in an oily broth), I went to visit with some of my students, and then followed them up to a hill where they sang songs and danced. I failed to learn any folk songs, as I had hoped, but it was lovely and I got to meet some neighbors.They went bride visiting again on Sunday, but not Monday so far as I could tell, because it was cold and rainy.


One thought on “Korban Bayram

  1. hi; below I am sharing an explanation about the use of ‘We’,

    FIRST INDICATION: From beginning to end, the Qur’an demonstrates Divine unity; this is a clear indication that those sort of phrases in the Qur’an are not as you understand them. Rather,The Best of Creators is to say, “He is at the highest and best rank of creativity,” which in no way indicates that there is another creator. Like the other attributes, creativity has many degrees or ranks.The Best of Creators means, “He is a Glorious Creator at the furthest and most excellent degree of creativity.”

    SECOND INDICATION: Terms like,The Best of Creators do not look to a plurality of creators, but to the varieties of the state of being creature. That is, “He is a Creator Who creates everything in an appropriate form, at the most faultless degree.” Verses like,Who makes most excellent everything He creates, (24) express this meaning.

    THIRD INDICATION: The comparison suggested by terms like,The Best of Creators, God is Most Great, The Best Judge between truth and falsehood, (25) and The Most Bountiful are not comparative and superlative adjectives comparing God Almighty’s attributes and actions, which are actual, with others who possess samples of those attributes and actions. For all the perfections in the universe, and in jinn, men, and angels, are but pale shadows in relation to His perfection. How should any comparison be possible? It is rather human beings, and particularly the people of neglect, who see perfection in terms of comparison.

    For example, a private shows complete obedience and respect to his corporal. It seems to him that all benefits come from him and he thinks little of the king. Even if he does think of him, it is still to the corporal that he shows his gratitude. So it is said to the private: “See here! The king is much greater than your corporal, it is only him that you should thank.” Now this sentence does not compare the king’s imperial commandership, which is actual, with that of the corporal, which is partial and only apparent; because to do so would be meaningless. It is a result of what the private considers to be important, of how he sees his relations with the corporal, that he prefers him and loves and thanks only him.

    Similarly, when apparent causes are imagined to be the creator and bestower of bounties in the view of the people of neglect, they become a veil to the True Bestower of Bounties. These neglectful people cling onto causes and think that bounties and favours are from them; they praise and acclaim them. The Qur’an says: “God Almighty is a greater, more excellent Creator, a far better Bestower of Bounties. So look to Him, and thank Him.”

    FOURTH INDICATION: Just as there may be comparison between actual beings and preference for some over others, so there may be comparisons between possible or even hypothetical things and preference. Numerous degrees or levels are present in the true natures of most things. So too, in the view of the intellect, innumerable degrees may be present in the true natures of the Divine Names and sacred attributes. Whereas God Almighty is at the most perfect and excellent of all the possible and imagined degrees of those attributes and Names. The whole universe witnesses to this truth through all its perfections.His are the Most Beautiful Names, 26 “describing all His Names as the most excellent,” expresses this meaning.
    From The Words of Risale-i Nur


    24. Qur’an, 32:7.

    25. Qur’an, 6:57.

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