Navroz, a message of love

The history of Navroz celebration is traced back to time immemorial. Historical accounts reveal that Navroz celebration started in ancient Persia by King Jamsheed, the greatest king of Pishdadian Dynasty. According to the Persian calendar, Navroz (new day) is celebrated on March 21 as the first day of a new year. This celebration permeated into the fold of Islam in its formative period. There is no question whether Navroz is an Islamic celebration or not. Fastidious views of Islamic judicial, legal, economic and cultural traditions reveal that Islam borrowed many things from earlier civilizations, including Romans, Greeks, the Christian world, Judaism and early pagan Arab society. Some of concepts which Islam borrowed from early civilizations include the sale of Salam (where price is paid in advance and article delivered in future date), separation of spouses (including Talaq, Il’a, Zihar and Khul’a), stoning to death in case of fornication and cutting of hands in connection with theft, the concept of marriage, dower and will etc. These and many other examples are there which Islam borrowed from earlier civilizations. navrozThe celebration of Navroz is another example of the permeation of the concepts of previous civilizations into the fold of Islam. Salman Farsi, one of the companions of the holy prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), is reported to have celebrated Navroz with great pomp and show. It is reported that once Salman Farsi asked permission from the holy prophet to arrange the celebration of Navroz. The holy prophet allowed Salman Farsi to attend and celebrate the event by saying that if an event was not contrary to Islamic values, there was no harm in celebrating it. Based upon this tradition, the Shias, including Isthna Ashris, Akhbari and the Ismaili Muslims celebrate Yom-i-Navroz with great fervour. This event was in vogue and celebrated with great religious zeal during the Ummayed (661-750 AD), the Abbasid (750-1031) and the Fatimid (909-1171) periods. In the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, this day was celebrated in the Sultanate and Mughal periods. The writings of Amir Khusraw (1253-1326), Abul Fazal’s Akber Nama (1551-1602) and Emperor Jahangir’s Tuzk-e-jahangiri (1569-1627) testify to this fact. In Chitral, Navroz is celebrated with great religious enthusiasm by the Ismaili Muslims. Their Sunni brethrens also participate in Navroz events with great respect. A day before Navroz, houses undergo a complete cleaning, the traditional “Baipash” being ornamented with special care. A pinch of flour is imprinted in the ceilings and pillars of the Baipash. Variety of dishes prepared and the guests are entertained with the exemplary hospitality. The Ismaili literature gives great importance to this day. According to their literature, Navroz was the day on which the universe was created. It was the day Hazrat Adam was created, it was the day the Tufan-e-Nooh was calmed down and it is also said that it was on Navroz that the holy prophet declared “Man kuntum Maula Fa Haza Aliun Moula.” On the basis of all these and many other attributed notions, Navroz is celebrated in Ismaili circles with great enthusiasm. It is pertinent to note here that in many regions of the globe, spring seasons exhibit its first miracle on Navroz. With the start of the spring, the buried and died down greenery comes out with a new life to spell their dormant magic on the creatures. Hence Navroz is the day of new life, a day of renewed commitments, a day of peace and harmony and a day of happiness. Navroz gives the message of love, tranquility, harmony, peaceful co-existence, respect for others and profound message of unity of humankind.]]>

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