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.