By, Javeed Ali
Nowroz is an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. In harmony with the rebirth of nature, Nowroz always begins on the first day of spring marked by vernal equinox. It is a cultural festival and we can celebrate it if it does not confront the Islamic principles. Nevertheless, we must note that there has been no objection presented against it in the traditions either. Hence, this festival could be categorized under the Mubahaat (permissible things). Moreover, Islam allows the cultural aspects of a region or a country if it doesn’t violate the fundamental ethics of Islam. Pertinently, Nowroz is famous in Kashmir as the region is culturally associated with Iran and most importantly the ancient Islamic preachers in Kashmir had come from Iran.
Some of the things which are usually carried out on the day of Nowroz are as under:-
1. Performing Ghusl and wearing cleanest and purest attire.
2. Applying perfume and fast for the day.
3. Offering Nawafil (Recommended prayers)
4. Tree planting ceremonies
5. Inviting friends and relatives and serve them with various traditional feasts.
6. Visiting kith and kin and exchange of gifts.
7. “Spring cleaning” to rid the house of dirt and germs.
8. Special congregations are held where people thank Allah Almighty for all the blessings.
9. People go out in the nature in groups and spend all day outdoors in form of family picnics.
10. Families, friends and neighbours pay house visits and relish pastry, cookies, fresh and dried fruits.
Meanwhile, all the above mentioned things are not done as a mandatory practice.
Nowroz was proclaimed as an official UN observance because it promotes peace and solidarity, particularly in families. The day also focuses on reconciliation and neighborliness, contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among people belonging to different communities. It gives the feeling of unity, brotherhood and fraternity above all barriers of colour, caste and country.
Today the festival of Nowroz is celebrated in Iran, Iraq, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Lebanon, Turkey and other parts of the world.
May Nowroz of 2018 bring peace and tranquility in the world, Ameen.
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