Other View

Nowruz: A Symbol of Unity

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Dr. Ashaq Hussain

Nowruz is the most beautiful celebration of nature that promises hope and verdure by turning winter into spring. This festival is the symbol of moderation, peace, warmness, light, abundance and liveliness that the Almighty grants the human kind; a moderation whose roots are in the changes in the nature, religious beliefs and merciful Islamic laws. Why and who celebrate Nowruz?What is the reality of Nowruz? What is the view of Islam about Nowruz? Does Nowruz belong to any one school of thought?What are the positive points of Nowruz celebration are some queries hitting in the minds of many?

Before discussing this topic, it is important to mention that with the development of social media society is reeling with many positive as well as many negative effects of it. So, it is now the great responsibility of the writers or social media handlers to post authenticated stuff in the social media platforms. Most people are not able to present the correct opinion of any school of thought because they do not have complete knowledge of the subject. Therefore, we should make every effort to ensure that research on different topics continues to reach the masses in such a way so that different schools of thought can get closer to each other by gaining knowledge about each other’s correct ideas. Nowruz is one such topic now a days making rounds in the social media where some who do not have accurate information about this topic are seen making fatwas on each other. This article is being presented for the purpose of providing accurate information about the day to the public in the light of arguments and historical evidence and as such has no connection with any religion or sect.

To begin with let us First of all, talk about the Islamic view of celebrations or Eid by pointing to a common pointwhere everyperson of anysect declares it an important day or event that is important to them as the beginning of the year or the moment to expresses happiness and in usual terminology the day is called as an Event or Eid. For example, Christians call the day of Jesus’ birth the beginning of the year, in Islamthe migration of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the beginning of the Islamic year(Hijri calendar) and in the same way the Iranians consider the completion of the solar system’s orbit around the Sun as the beginning of the year. It seems more obvious why some people from Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India and Pakistan also celebrate it as an event.

In Iran, the first day of his year is named Nowruz, this is when the sun enters the new orbit and this day is thus a big event and big celebration for Iranians the way as some countries celebrate the Christian year. However, it should be noted that the Iranians chose spring as the beginning of the year in which the plants are refreshed and greenery flourishes. Thus, in Iran Nowruz is celebrated as a festival and the beginning of spring when the earth’s orbit around the sun is completed. If we look the celebration at a scientific angle, at the change that has taken place, then spring brings a state of happiness in the mood of human beings, everything becomes fresh and green, the chirping of bubbles heralds the arrival of spring, so the expression of happiness in human nature is Nowruz (the new day). In our society today, some naive members especially of the Shia school of thought consider it a religious festival, while some extremists, narrow-minded, illiterate scholars; so-called Islamic contractors, reward it with kufr, shirk, infidelity and other medals.

Before stating anything, about the Islamic view of Nawruz, let me first of all remind you that there are two kinds of commands in Islam: the first Founding or basic command; these are the rules that did not existed before Islam and the the people did not know anything before it and it is the Islam which hasspecified them in the basic form and the second one Retainedcommand are the rulings that preceded Islam, i.e, people performed these rulings and they were not opposed by any Islamic law, and Islam either supported them, or Islam has followed these rules in the shape of different cultures, different faiths, manners and customsso many such rulings remained the same in different religions or at least in human nature and thus these continued in the society.

So at a time when Islam began to spread across different nations, cultures and customs, it came up with two ways: The etiquette and customs which were against the Islamic goals and principles were dealt with severely and were prohibited whereas the Etiquette and customs which were not contrary to the Islamic aims and principles, were either supported or were not taken in a hostile attitude in other words a silence was adopted towards them. Nowruz is one such case which fits in the latter case of rules and regulations. Although like any other religious festival Nowruz too has its pros and cons. Forgiveness, giving gifts to others, cleaning the house, inviting one another, helping the poor, etc. are matters that were positive and admirable in Islam and the Muslims themselves through the hadiths of the Prophet Encouraged these.

There are also some negative aspects such as considering it a religious festival due to lack of knowledge, extravagance of some people, committing sins on that day like music etc. which are haraam at all times and occasions and no Muslim will allow to do these things whether he belongs to any school of thought or sect or nation.  After the Islamic Revolution, Nowruz has been given an Islamic perspective and every effort has been made to eliminate its negative aspects, so that people can live within the Islamic and moral spheres and can perform positive, supportive and admirable work for the religion of Islam.

To conclude with it can be said that Nowruz festival has nothing to do with religion or any creed or sect. In Iran, from where this Eid originated, Shias and Sunnis still celebrate Nowruz together as a national Eid, in countries other than Iran like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, the majority of whom are Sunnis, also traditionally celebrate Nowruz and there are many countries where this festival is not celebrated at all while both schools of thought live there like Kuwait, Lebanon and Iraq etc. So, to attribute this festival to a particular group means that the enemy of Islam and humanity is hell bent to divide the Muslims through this subject and this is thus the new way of the enemy in Islamic dress (so-called Muftis) to create distance and gap between Muslims through such fatwas.So, we all shouldbe aware of these stupid extremist clerics who are tools of the enemy and especially active in social and electronic media to create an unrest in this society and thus provide an excuse for theheathens to laugh and rule.

Dr.Ashaq Hussain is Assistant Professor (Selection Grade) At Govt. Degree College Chatroo and can be reached at joinchemistry@gmail.com

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