Ansar Ahmed Ullah:: Eid-ul-Azha was celebrated with due solemnity and religious fervor by Bangladeshi expatriates and political refugees living in Germany in the House of Integration, an integration initiative of German-Bangladesh Association in Bonn, Germany on Monday 12 September.
About one hundred expatriates living in Bonn, Cologne, Siegburg, Meckenheim, Euskirchen and other nearby cities attended the Eid congregation held in the morning. The renowned German Somalian Imam Shaikh Hossain led the Eid congregation. His Arabic Khutba was translated into German language by Education Coordinator of the House of Integration Hossain Abdul Hai.
In his Khutba Imam Hossain said, ‘Eid congregation and the Eid Celebration are the gifts from The Almighty Allah for the Muslim community. The Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated on the 10th of Zilhajj month of the Hizri calendar as Hazrat Ibrahim (AS), on this day some 4,000 years ago, offered to sacrifice his beloved son Hazrat Ismail (AS) who willingly submitted to the will of his father to please Allah. But the Almighty in His benign mercy spared Hazrat Ismail (AS) and instead sent a ram to be sacrificed. To commemorate this historic event, the Muslims all over the world slaughter sacrificial animals and draw inspiration from the unique example of sacrifice by two great prophets — Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and Hazrat Ismail (AS) – to please Allah.’ Mr Shaikh Hossain urged, ‘We have to be inspired with the mentality of restraint and sacrifice to establish peace, harmony and welfare in society with the teaching of Qurbani.’
On the occasion a special feast was hosted in the House of Integration for the political refugees from Bangladesh, who recently came to Germany crossing dangerous long distance of desert and ocean. Along with the political asylum seekers, a number of organisers, members and well-wishers of House of Integration and German guests attended the Eid festival in the afternoon.
In an interview with the media, the Founder President of the House of Integration Mr Juboraj Talukder said with the cooperation of some like-minded expatriates, he established this integration centre in the Duisdorf area in Bonn 2012. He added, this integration house and mosque have been a reunion centre for the expatriates from Bangladesh and other countries to nurture the Bengali, German and Arabic languages, their tradition and culture to promote mutual understanding within mainstream German society.
He also said, ‘some days ago I visited the refugee tents and hostels in this region and saw the poor facilities of food and housing there. Bangladeshi political asylum seekers are unable to eat German food, they pass days in a mental agony and find it difficult to integrate in the mainstream society without any state support. That is why we have tried here today to share the festivities of Bangladesh on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. Our effort of teaching them German and other languages, and of orienting them with the social norms and regulations of German society will continue for their better integration in this European country.’
The renowned Bangladeshi-German social activist Mr Nurul Islam said although there are some mosques in Bonn, which are founded by the Turkish and Arabian communities, Bangladeshi expatriates rush here to offer Jumma and Eid prayer, as here they get the opportunity of listening to Khutba in their mother tongue and to socialise with other Bangladeshi people here.
Another founding organiser of the House of Integration Ms Tamanna Talukder present in the Eid Congregation opined having listened to the Khutba in our mother tongue and getting special prayer room for the women is what brings us here specially for Jumma & Eid congregation and to share our feelings with other Bangladeshi expatriates.