Peace Islands Institute

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Dec 19th
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Ashura Celebration

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Observing a Middle Eastern tradition that celebrates the landing of Noah's ark, IDC and volunteers of IDC prepared a dessert called Noah's Pudding and served almost 1000 servings to their neighbors and friends on Febrary 20, 2005 and following days.

 

Director and Program Coordinator of Dr. Levent Koc visited neighbor Churches and served Noah's Puddings. First Presbytearian Church, Carlstadt, was the first one we visited.


ashura celebration
Pastor Donald Pitches and two members from the congregation of the church.

ashura celebration
Pastor Donald Pitches and lovely ladies from the congregation of the church.

ashura celebration
Pastor Marc Tarantino and our director Levent Koc and some residents of Carlstadt.


A lovely little girl is enjoying Noah's Pudding with her mother.


ASHURA AND ITS RELIGIOUS SOURCES FOR MUSLIMS

A day of fasting among the Muslims observed on the tenth day of the first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram, and derived from the Jewish Day of Atonement.*
When the Prophet Muhammad arrived in Madinah in 622 CE, he found that the Jews of this city fasted on Muharram 10th, and asked them the reason for this. They said, “This is a blessed day. On this day God saved the Children of Israel from their enemy (in Egypt). Therefore the Prophet Moses fasted on this day in gratitude to God.” The Prophet Muhammad said, “We are closer to Moses than you are.” Then he fasted and encouraged the Muslims to fast on that day and the day before in gratitude to God, just as Moses had done thousands of years before.
*Muharram 10 is February 19 this year

THE STORY OF ASHURA (NOAH’S PUDDING)
ashura celebrationIt was thousands of years ago that a community was again on the threshold of a catastrophe. This community had abandoned worshipping one God and started to commit all kinds of sins including adultery.

The Prophet Noah called this community to the true way of believing in one God for 950 years, but they teased him and called him crazy. Later, even his wife joined the unbelievers in their betrayal. Noah suffered with his people for 800 years, but he remained sincere in his faith in the Lord. Then, one day, God sent the Angel Gabriel to Noah to warn about a coming flood and to order him to build a ship. Noah built the ship and God ordered him to take a couple from each of the creatures, all of the believers, and his family with the exception of his wife. Once again, Noah warned his people and told them about the flood, but they kept denying him.

Finally, the supplies were loaded and the believers and animals boarded the ship. Then God ordered to the sky, "O sky! Let your water pour down." and He ordered to the earth, "O earth, hold your water." The water began to rise. As all of the nonbelievers were drowning along with their vices, a long and tumultuous journey started for Noah and the believers.

ashura celebrationDays passed. Food became scarce. They were facing starvation. None of the remaining food ingredients was sufficient to make a decent meal, so Noah gathered all of them and mixed producing a delicious meal.
As a result, the believers survived the famine, and the very next day, the flood receded. Today we call the meal that Noah prepared "Noah's Pudding" or "Ashura."
Every year people cook Noah’s Pudding in remembrance of Noah and God's mercy on him and on the believers.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE
ashura celebrationAshura is a day of great historical significance. Because God granted His special offerings to 10 prophets on this day:
• God created heavens and worlds.
• God accepted the repentance of Adam after his exile from Paradise.
• God saved Noah and his companions.
• God spoke directly to Moses and gave him the Commandments.
• Jonah was saved from the stomach of the fish.
• The sea split apart to let the children of Israel pass and joined back to destroy Pharaoh’s army.
• Jesus was born and raised to the heavens.
• Job was restored to health.
• Fire did not burn Abraham.
• Solomon was granted his kingdom.
• Joseph was rescued from the well.
• Jacob and Joseph rejoined.
• God raised Enoch to the heavens.

THE TRADITION STILL CONTINUES!

The making of ashura is a common practice among Muslims and Christians in the Middle East.
In Turkey, people cook ashura at a certain time of the year. Christian communities throughout the Middle East prepare a similar sweet dish, called hedik, amah, or qamhiyyi.

People who cook ashura at home send a cup of it to each of their neighbors. Because, one has the responsibility to maintain good relations with their neighbors regardless of what their religion or beliefs may be.

THE RECIPE
Thousands of years old recipe for Noah’s Pudding - makes 30 servings for you and your neighbors.

ashura celebrationIngredients*:
1 cup wheat
1 cup white beans
1 cup chickpeas
1 cup raisins
1 cup almonds
3/4 cup peanuts
12 dried apricots
5 1/2 cups sugar
Water (enough to cover)
Topping: walnuts, cinnamon

Preparation:
1. Soak wheat, white beans, chickpeas, and almonds in water overnight.
2. Boil the above ingredients (step 1) and remove their outer shells or skin.
3. Soak the raisins in boiling water until they soften.
4. Put the above ingredients (steps 1-3) in a large pot and boil. Add peanuts and almonds (peeled and cut in half) at this point.
5. Chop the apricot into small pieces and add to the mixture along with sugar.
6. Boil for 10-15 minutes.
7. Enjoy your pudding!

* These are the ingredients we chose. Feel free to experiment with other grains, fruits, and nuts.

 

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