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Ayatullah Fazel Lankarani’s speech on the occasion of the New Year

  • Date 25 May 2022
  • Clock 02:00
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News Summary :
Every day on which an important religious or worldly matter occurs may be called Nowruz. Nowruz is not a specific day.

In the name of God, the beneficent, the merciful

Praise be to God, the Lord of the universe, and peace and blessings be upon our master Muhammad and his immaculate progeny

Since these days coincide with the arrival of the New Year or Nowruz, I present to you the point which I have deducted from the narrations. It is often asked whether Nowruz is for  the Iranians/Persians who celebrate these days or is this only one of the applications of the general concept of Nowruz which has been mention in hadiths.

My understanding is that every day in which an important event of reviving the religion or reviving the humanity occurs, that is, therein is a spiritual revival or guidance or this worldly guidance, in hadiths it is called Nowruz. In 7-8 cases in hadiths this term has been used.

1.       The day on which prophet Ibrahim (as) broke the idols is said to be Nowruz.

2.       In a hadith narrated by Mu’alla ibn Khunais from Imam Sadiq (as) the Imam is quoted to have said, “Nowruz is the day on which the Prophet (pbuh&hf) asked people to pay allegiance to Ali (as) in Ghadir Khum, after which people acknowledged his guardianship. Good for those who keep this allegiance and woe betide those who abandon it.”

3.       Nowruz is the day on which the Prophet (as) sent Ali (as) to the Valley of the Jinns and asked them to pay allegiance.

4.       Nowruz is the day on which Ali (as) defeated the Khawarij in Nahrawan.

5.       According to some narrations the appointment of Muhammad (pbuh&hf) to prophethood occurred on Nowruz.

6.       Based on these hadiths, the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (as) will occur on Nowruz. Among these different occasions, the most important of them all is the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (as). The Imam (as) will reappear on this day and will defeat Dajjal.

According to a hadith, the Imam (as) is quoted to have said, “There is no Nowruz but we expect in it the reappearance.” What is the meaning of this part of the hadith? The hadith continues, “That is because it is of our days and the Persians preserved it and you (the Arabs) wasted it.” It can be concluded from this hadith that the reappearance of the Imam (as) will be on the very Nowruz that we celebrate.

In this hadith the Imam (as) says that the Persians learned from us to call this day as Nowruz. We taught them that the reappearance of the Last Savior will be on Nowruz and thereupon they applied this term to the New Year in the hope that Imam Mahdi (as) will reappear on such day. Therefore, Nowruz is not something ancient belonging to 7000 years ago. Of course, there used to be some rituals practiced on the New Year which had nothing to do with Islam and Islam did not indorse it like starting a fire or jumping over an open fire. Such customs are superstitions and irrational. Though such practices existed before Islam, the Imam (as) says that the Persians call this day Nowruz in the hope that the reappearance will occur on such day and they learned this usage from us.

The hadith continues, “One of the Israelite prophets asked God to revive those who left their homes in thousands, apprehensive of death, whereupon Allah said to them, "Die.” [The Quran, 2:243]. God told him to pour water where their bodies lay. When he did that they all, i.e., thirty thousand people, became alive. After that, pouring water on Nowruz became a tradition and no one knew its origin except those who were steadfast in knowledge. That day was the first day of the Persian calendar.” Now what can be concluded from this hadith?

In my opinion, from these narrations it can be concluded that throughout history, every day on which an important religious or worldly matter occurs, it may be called Nowruz. Nowruz is not a specific day. The Persians applied it to the first days of their calendar. Every day on which there is revival of the nature, revival of humanity, revival of religion, standing against oppression, even the birthday of a person, can be called Nowruz. Based on this, we can call the birthday of the Prophet (pbuh&hf) or Lady Zahra (as) or any of the Imams (as) as Nowruz. Even the day on which Imam Hussain (as) was martyred, since it was revival of religion, may be called Nowruz.

Peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hf) and his immaculate progeny

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