Friday, November 25, 2011

Islamic New Year 1433

Yes, we in Malaysia celebrate Ma'al Hijrah or the Islamic New Year. But only as a formal and ceremonial occasion orchestrated by the goverment. Year in and year out - it's now 1533 H - there's the usual congregation with invited guests and also opened to the public. There wiil be the usual do'a and al-quran recitals, lots of speeches, some religious show, songs and dances or pantomime, and the price giving ceremony to winners of the Ma'al Hijrahs' personality Awards.

A big do indeed. But it's no national celebration like Aidilfitri or Aidiladha, CNY, Deepavali, Christmas and the Gregorian New Year. It often goes without any recognizable reception in the homes of the average Muslims from all races in Malaysia, although that day is a public holiday and replaceable if it falls on a day that's already a public holiday.

It is the same in other Muslim countries. The muslim New Year has never become an important day to review one's performance in the past year, renew one's resolves and set new goals for the next year etc as is done when ushering in the Gregorian New Year. But in actual fact the first day of Muharam is a very important date in the history of Islam since it was the day Prophet Muhammad SAW and his friends migrated from Mecca to Madinah and started establishing and expanding the influence of the religion. The event is known as the Hijra. - moving from a state of ignorance or irreligiousity to following the path of righteousness as set by Allah through the last of His Prophets and the al-Quran. For the Muskims as a whole hijra means leaving all that is bad and prohibited or disdained by Allah and turning over a new leaf. It is equivalent to reviewing ones performance in the past year and setting new resolves and goals, very much like we are expected to do with the coming of a new year on the Gregorian calender.

Muslims are supposed to hold a special prayer (solat sunat) at the mosques like on the day of celebrating Aidilfitri and Aidiadha. All mosques should be holding that prayer. But are we doing that? In Malaysia we have the big function as already mentioned which does not include a mass prayer. Is this because Prophet Muhammad had not prescribed explicitly that a mass prayer should be held on the occasion of Maal Hijra. The same can also be said about his birthday - Maulid Nabi. Yet tbe celebration is more widely held. Shouldn't there be, therefore, an attempt to make Ma'al Hijrah more meaningful to all Muslims, young and old. After all It's the day that Islam really began to establish itself as a world religion.


kaykuala said...

Akhi Norzah,
Endorse your sentiments fully! In time to come in competing with PAS to get things Islamic be seen may be it'll be more than just a holiday.


Al-Manar said...

If there is nothing else I should do I would wish you and dear Hank a happy and meaningful new year Hijrah, that all what good you choose to start will succeed.

norzah said...

I am just hoping that Ma'al Hijrah will be celebrated in some more meaningful ways in view of the fact that some minor historical dates in the Gregorian calendar are now given more prominence than this Muslim historical occasion. As it is I think Valentine Day and
other newly created festive days like Father's Day Mother's Day, Teacher's etc are celebrated more widely in Malaysia and other parts of the Muslim world than the historical Hijrah date. I think slowly important Islamic dates are slowly disappearing from historical book because of the negligence of the Muslims themselves. They fail to honor and celebrate important dates in the Muslim calendar.

norzah said...

Akhir Hank and Pakcik Al-Manar, i think the above response is appropriate for both of your comment. Though I meant it to be for Akhi Hank before responding to you Palcik Al-Manar i forgot to address him in person. Thanks for the comment Akhi Hank and thanks to you too Pakcik. I wish both of you will have a new ma'am hijrah resolve to pursue and may Allah endow you with success in pursuing it. Salam.

kaykuala said...

Akhi Norzah and Pak Cik,
Wishing you well! It has been a good year. It was around this time last year that Pak Cik gave me the idea of poetry.I went AWOL for a few months, lost precious time trying to get my bearings. I'm just glad Pak Cik and Ma'am Ninot were there.Thanks to both of them!

And Akhi Norzah, you are always there too with lots of new ideas in your writings.The ensuing year will definitely be a good year. I have as yet to fulfill a promise of getting some sketches done, InsAllah I will. Nice to have all of you good folks for company!

Thanks a lot and looking forward to 1433/2012.


Anonymous said...

With this new year...hope all are better than before...amin...

norzah said...

I wish you the best of the Ma'al Hijrah too, Akhi Hank. Let's blog on in search of the truth and say out what we feel about things happening around us as sincerely as possible. I will always be here to support your efforts and I thank you very much for supporting mine.

norzah said...

May you have a happy and successful new year too, Anonymous, and thanks for the visit.