Saturday, February 10, 2007

A taste of Ashura

I am lucky that I have had the chance through my career to work with 21st Century Muslims.

A perfect example is a little act by a Turkish friend.

Ashura gets a lot of bad press in its 3rd World act. The 21st Century Muslims I know give out a very tasty dessert, with a little card to explain it all to the Infidels...I mean the non-Muslims.

I wish more would convert to this brand of Islam.
- Ashura –
(The Prophet Noah’s last meal on the Ark)
When the waters of the great Flood began to recede, the Prophet Noah and his family are said to have gathered up all the food remaining on the Ark and transformed it into a delicious pudding. The Ark eventually came to rest on Mount Araarat (today Agri Mountain in the eastern part of Turkey). Over time it came to be associated with and adopted the name of the Feast of Ashura, a day with multifaceted significance.

Taking place on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar, Ashura celebrates the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed who was killed in 680AD during the Battle of Karbala. For centuries the Jewish people have observed Yom Kippur (the 10 of Tishri (a month in the Jewish calendar), on this day God delivered Moses and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his forces) the Day of Atonement with fasting and ritual. This date has also been commemorated as the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, life and death, heaven and hell, the Pen and the Tablet, the deliverance of Abraham from the fire, and the reuniting of Jacob and Joseph. And also it is believed that Jesus was raised to heaven.

Today, mostly in the Middle-East, Muslims and Christians make a particular dessert called Ashura, a pudding made of cooked wheat, large quantities are made which takes hours to cook. It is then poured into dishes to cool and given out to family and friends.

Ashura commemorates a struggle that is steeped in deep spiritual meaning, not only for Islamic history, but for all humanity. It is a struggle between good and evil, between just and unjust, between weak and powerful, between immediate and the eternal, between principle and ambition.
Tasty too.

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