Young man praying. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot

14 August 2019, 00:52

Orientalists explain change of starting date of Eid al-Adha in Dagestan

The young moon, with which appearance in the sky the celebration of Kurban Bayram (Eid al-Adha) begins, is visible in Dagestan later than in Mecca; therefore, the transfer of the date of the holiday in this republic is justified, said Akhmet Yarlykapov. In his turn, Mikhail Roschin believes that the postponement of the Eid al-Adha indicates ambitions of Dagestani Muftis.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the Dagestani Muftiate scheduled the celebration of the Eid al-Adha holiday on August 12, while in other regions the first day of the holiday came on August 11.

By appointing the first day of Kurban Bayram on August 12, the Muftiate of Dagestan was guided by the geographical position of the republic, said Akhmet Yarlykapov, a senior researcher at the Centre for Studying Caucasian Problems at the MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations).

"When choosing the date for celebrating Kurban Bayram, the time of the appearance of the young moon is defined, but due to the geography [the moon is visible] in Mecca earlier than in Dagestan; therefore, the starting date of the holiday is shifted," Mr Yarlykapov told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

He has recalled that the holiday of Uraza Bayram (Eid al-Fitr) was also celebrated in Dagestan a day later than in the rest of the Islamic world.

The difference in dates will not lead to a conflict of Dagestanis and other Muslims, says Mikhail Roschin, a senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).

"This happens regularly and has not led to any conflicts yet. Transferring the date is the right of Dagestanis. This is within the norm, because the norm says: "When the young moon appears." The rule was respected. Dagestani theologians and scholars believe that Dagestan "is an independent religious centre, and no one can direct it," Mr Roschin told the "Caucasian Knot".

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 13, 2019 at 09:04 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Oleg Krasnov; Source: CK correspondent

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