Throughout the Muslim world. including in Eurasian and Caucasus countries, Muslims on Tuesday celebrated Eid al Adha, or as it is better known in the Turkic world, Qurban Bayram.
Millions of Muslims gathered in mosques across the world early Tuesday to perform the Eid prayer and start the celebrations for the Muslim feast. Meanwhile, over 2 million pilgrims are today carrying out the final rites of the hajj in Saudi Arabia.
Muslims believe the prophet Ibrahim's faith was tested when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son Ismail. God stayed his hand, sparing his son. The "Feast of the Sacrifice" commemorate Ibrahim's test of faith.
In many countries Muslims slay sheep as part the Eid ritual, and food is distributed to the poor.
In Moscow, thousands of believers gathered on Tuesday for a prayer service led by Mufti Ravil Gainutdin, Chairman of the Council of Muftis and the Religious Board of Muslims of Russia, TASS reported.
"(Eid) prayers in mosques and communities in our country traditionally bring together representatives of various ethnic groups from Russia and even from around the world of any age, both young and old. Our state has historically been based on such unshakable foundations as faith, moral principles, family values, which in their entirety determine the way of life of the country's population with its ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity," Gainutdin said.
Among those issuing congratulations on the occasion of the holiday was Russian president Vladimir Putin.
"Eid al-Adha calls for kindness and justice, mercy and piety, careful and cordial attitude towards those around us, our fellow human beings. These lofty humanistic ideals are the solid foundation for a person's moral upbringing," the Russian president stated.
In his message to the people of Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev said that Eid al-Adha, "symbolizes moral unity, solidarity and brotherhood."
"I do believe that this blessed holiday will boost our people's heroism and devotion for the progress of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan and will further strengthen civil peace and national and moral solidarity in our country" said president Aliyev in his message.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: Muslims perform Qurban Bayram prayer at Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey on Tuesday, 21 August 2018 (picture courtesy of Anadolu News Agency, Ankara)
On 20 January 26,000 Soviet troops entered Baku and massacred large numbers of civilians who were calling for the restoration of Azerbaijan independence. In Azerbaijan the day is often referred to as Black January.