The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Nowruz celebration should not violate Islamic teachings

Nowruz is one of the biggest ancient festival in Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan celebrate it to welcome the most pleasant, budding and reviving season of the year spring which is considered a national and traditional value.
To get rid of the cold and dry winter and welcome the arrival of both spring and New Year, Afghans start preparations in earlier days. Various types of celebrations with different names are held in several parts of the country in Nowruz as Gul Surkh (rose blossom) festival in Mazar-e-sharif, Balkh, Gul-e-naranj (orange blossom) in Nangarhar, Gul-e-badam (almond blossom) in Daikundi, Gul-e-angoor (grape blossom) in Herat, Gul-e-zard (yellow blossom) in Kapisa, Gul-e-anar (pomegranate blossom) in Kandahar, Gul-e-arghawan (purple blossom) in Parwan province and several other festivals in other parts of the country.
The most glorious ceremony is held at the tomb of Hazrat Ali “the fourth caliph of Islam” in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital city of northern Balkh province that is widely participated by thousands of people from different parts of the country.
A special flag is raised at this tomb on the first day of new year and Nowruz officially begins. On the eve of Nowruz, women clean, paint and decorate their homes with certain beautiful housewares.
Nowruz is also popular for some special and delicious traditional foods prepared in the eve and morning of Nowruz. The most popular ones are Haft Mewa, a fruit salad that is made of 7 different types of dry fruits and Samank, a sweet food that is made from germinated wheat.
Nowruz was officially recognized as a festival by the United Nations General Assembly in March 2010 and placed on the world calendar. However, religious scholars have different views on the celebration of the first day of the New Year. Some religious scholars say that celebrating Nowruz as a non-Muslim holiday is forbidden in Islam, but if people are happy about the connection between spring and celebrating it within the framework of Sharia, there is no avoidance.
But some scholars say that Islam forbids the celebration of this day in any form. However, some scholars say that “without a doubt, our new year, according to the solar calendar, is the month of Hamal.
Solar Year calendar does not have any problem from the Islamic point of view.
Our New Year starts from the month of Hamal (21st March) and whenever a new day, week, month or year begins, people pray for its upcoming blessings. The Prophet Hazrat Mohammad while seeing the new moon, would pray for its blessings. So, if one prays for the blessings on the arrival of New Year, it is not in contradiction with the religion.
Saida Ahmadi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.