» Religious holidays
Fasting month has an important role among the holidays of Islam. The history of this holiday begins in 2 Hegira (Greg 623-year), the Muslim calendar year.
As fasting fis observed during the month of Ramadan, so it called "Fasting of Ramadan".
In Islam month of Ramadan is considered the most merciful and holy among other months of year. In metaphoric sense it is called as "the sultan of eleven months", because at one of the nights of this month the holy Koran was revealed. That night is also called as "gadir" or "ahya" nights. It Is not known exactly what is the gadir night. There are various legends associated with it. But the general opinion is that gadir night is one of last ten nights of Ramadan, the night of odd day.
According to opinion of Islamic scholars, this night is one of nights of 19, 21, 23, 25, 27th night of Ramadan. There is "Gadir surah” in the Holy Koran. It is written about gadir night as: "We really gifted power and majesty in this night, and this night is stronger than thousand of months, angels come down and wait for God's command, this night is a world, morning until the dawn."
Fasting begins in the month of Ramadan when the new moon appears and lasts for 29-30 days. It is written in Koran: "As morning comes, white thread distinguishes from black thread you may eat and drink and then complete your fast till the night."
During fasting eating, drinking, smoking a cigarette is not allowed at day time. Only the children, the sick, pregnant women, soldiers, and travelers are exempted from this. Fasting man must not use antimony, perfume, tobacco, smell the flower and avoid other actions which breaches fasting. During the period of fasting man avoids the world pleasures, though continue daily function, and is dedicated to the worship of Allah, and keeps his heart clean, so Satan can not find a way in his soul. The Prophet (PBUH) says that when the month of Ramadan comes the gates of paradise are opened, gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained. During being in captivity or in war those who could not fast must observe it at any reasonable time or should pay fidya. Those who deliberately break his fast besides compensating it should confess and pay debts (kaffara). And kaffara is 60 days of the fasting or feeding 60 poors. 60-day fasting kaffara is added with one day compensation (qaza) fasting.
The day of ending of fasting is called Eid-ul-Fitr. That day all Moslems congratulate each other, visits the graves of the demised, pray for their souls. In holiday every man should give zakat in 3 kg of grain, or dates, or raisin to the poor for each person being under his patronage.
Month of fasting allows men to check their will, patience, invites them to purity, kindness.
Ramadan holiday is marked at all-country level basing on the Law “Holidays of Republic of Azerbaijan” adopted by the Milli Majlis, dated Oct 27, 1992
Eid-ul-Adha (Gurban) holiday
One of the most sacred holidays of the Islamic world is luxuriously celebrated in all Muslim countries.
The sacrifice is available in all three heavenly religions-Judaism, Christianity and Islam in various forms. However, in Islam this month has the specific nature and is of great importance. The infinite love to God, deep belief and faith in his power make its base. The Gurban bayram, which invites people to purity, honesty has very interesting history and conditions. Prophet Ibrahim that wanted to prove his loyalty to Allah was ready to sacrifice his son Ismayil. However, the Almighty Allah could not allow it to his Messenger and sent him one sheep. Therefore, the sacrifice cut in Eid-ul-Adha is called "Ismail sacrifice". At old age the Allah gifted Ibrahim one son, Ismayil. But being ready to sacrifice his lovely son for the sake of Allah is a obvious proof of faith, sincerity before the Allah. So, this story, which left the deep trace in the history of religion is a sample of trust, deep faith to the God. This story has a philosophical and moral meaning, that is the man is the most glorious and the most superior creation of Allah. Allah does not accept sacrificing of his creation for his sake.
Some conditions of animals cut in Ismail sacrifice is considered to be important. Chosen sacrificial animal must be a ram, bovine calf, or camel. As the role of the female animals in the generation producing is exceptional, so sacrificial animal is taken from males. As the age of sacrificial ram, it must be at least a six-month old animal. However, it would be better if the calf, or a camel is of one year age. The animal cut in Ismail sacrifice should be healthy. If there is any defects in animal, for example is its horns was broken or one of ears is cut, or castrated, so such animal is not recommended for sacrifice in Islam. The main point of this holiday is to distribute the sacrificial meat cut for the sake of God among the poor, to make them happy and purity, kindness and trust, love to God are the main ideas of this holiday, like in Ramadan
One of the most beautiful features of sacrifice is that there is no discrimination as for religion, the faith. In this holiday every orphan, poor from any religion has the right to avail the opportunities of rich, to taste the sacrificial meat, which he can not afford self in ordinary days. Sacrifice means that the men execute the deed that liked by Allah.
One of the conditions of Sacrifice is a duty of only those who can afford it. But a man that can not afford it, is not obliged to cut the sacrifice.
To borrow money for cutting the sacrifice is not appreciated in Islam, because the main importance of this holiday is unity, brotherhood of the rich and the poor.
Everybody should be glad in this holiday: the rich for making a deed liked by Allah and for making the poor happy, and the poor for enjoying the world wealth and for mercy and care of others to them.
After gaining the independence the Sacrifice (Gurban) holiday is marked at all-country level basing on the Law “Holidays of Republic of Azerbaijan” adopted by the Milli Majlis, dated Oct 27, 1992.
Holiday of Prophet’s Birthday (Movlud)
Movlud holiday is a celebration of birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Some historians write that the Prophet was born on 12 of rabi-ul avval month of 571, and some in on 17th of that month. This coincides with Greg. calendar of May 25, or 30. On those days, the 1431-th anniversary of birth of the Prophet will be marked. The Prophet was born "in the tumultuous light of the history", that is, unlike many historical persons, all the life of the Prophet had been studied in detail. And in order to eliminate the difference in his date of birth the Religious Foundation of Turkey had decided more appropriate to mark the birth of the Prophet since 1989, as "Kutlu (Happy) Birthday Week" from 12 to 17 of week in rabiul-avval month and this idea met with sympathy by other Muslim countries. Muslims around the world marks this week as a holiday. It is called Movlid or as Movlud like in our country.
“Movlid” translated from Arabic as "place of birth" or "time of birth". In general, some nights in Islam are considered as holy nights, the nights will be considered: the night of Qadr, the Night of Ascension day, Movlud night. At the night of Movlud the sins of those indeed gladden for birth of the Prophet are forgiven by Allah for the sake of Prophet.
For centuries own traditions of Movlud night were formed. Muslims are awake atn this night, read the Koran, pays money to poor, pray to God for forgiving their sins, and a feeling of joy, tranquility settles in hearts
However, this philosophy of Movlud night does not complete with it. Its purpose is that the Muslims have a look at a way of life the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), take a lesson from his high human qualities, moral values.
According to the Qur'an, the Prophet is an ordinary man (al-Kahf, 110), and is compassionate and merciful for believers (at-Tauba, 128), giving good news from paradise for well wishers and warning of evil wishers on punishment of hell (al-Maa'idah, 19), and is close to believers that themselves (al-Ahzab, 6). Allah had chosen him among the people, and made them as envoy, and send as Prophet with last guiding book of truth.
By bringing faith to Prophet, observing his sayings, by considering him as sacred a man gains a great reward, achieves higher levels and eternal happiness in the life hereafter. Movlud holiday reminds of all these to people again, and invite them for practical rightness, kind nature, good morals.