Majlis Summary

A. Method of ascertaining the first day of the month:

The first day of the month is established in the following four ways :

  1. A person himself sights the crescent
  2. A number of persons confirm to have sighted the crescent and their words assure or satisfy a person
  3. Two just (Adil) persons say that they have sighted the crescent
  4. 30 days elapse, then the 1st of the next month will be established

Should the new moon be sighted in a town, it would suffice the sighting in another town, provided the two fall on the same horizon.

The first day of the month will not be proved by the prediction made by the Astronomers. However, if a person derives full satisfaction & certitude from their findings, he should act accordingly.

B. Last day of Dhulhijjah : Make Shaytan shriek

Special Prayer for the last day of the month Dhulhijjah. When this is performed, Shaytan shrieks: Alas! All the trouble I took after him has been wasted by these words and testimony, and his year has ended with goodness. Refer Risalatul Jum’a Friday Message No 16 (18/12/2009)

C. Commencement of the new year :

On 31st December celebrations of all kinds and nature are in full swing and gain momentum as the clock ticks towards midnight to usher in the 1st January, first day of the new year.
When we as muslims enter into our new Hijri year we do not traditionally celebrate the beginning of a new year, but we do acknowledge the passing of time. Our calendar dating is based on the event of hijra ( emigration) of holy prophet from Makka to Yathrib later renamed Medina.

It is a unique point to ponder that the Islamic calendar dating did not start with other significant events such as the birth /death of holy prophet, commencement of revelation or one of the victories of the jIhad. Rather it is based on the Hijra. Thus hijra is an important turning point for the muslim community. For after hijra the muslims were able to organize & establish the first real muslim community with social, political & economic independence. Likewise on an individual level it is an opportunity for us to reflect over our current state and strive to turn (do hijra) to closer, better service to Allah SWT.

For us especially the Shia of Ahlul Bayt, the commencement of the new year finds us holding Azadari sessions with special ardour, fervor and enthusiasm.

Azadari : foretold by holy prophet :

Surely there exists in the heart of Mumin, with respect to the martyrdom of Husayn, a flame that never subsides /extinguishes.

Azadari : practice of Ahlul Bayt :

Imam Ali Ridha a.s. states : with the advent of Muharram, my father(i.e. 7th Imam) would never be seen laughing, gloom and sadness would overcome him for the (first) ten days of the month. And when the 10th day of the month would dawn, it would be a day of tragedy, grief and weeping for him.

Azadari : Divine reward :

One who moistens his eyes (cries), even a teardrop, for us, Allah will place him in Jannah. Imam Husayn a.s.

Azadari : an important pillar for survival of Madhabe Haq:

In addition   to Marja’iyyat, Azadari has ensured the survival of our Madhabe Haq. The various forms of Azadari such as marthiya, matam, processions, majlis, interfaith gatherings, ziyarat,shabih are important practices which we need to jealously guard at all times.

Azadari : a means to lead our lives as per teachings of Thaqalayn :

  • Hosea day in Guyana : the message of Islam has vanished while the practice of commemorating the 8th,9th ,10th day of Muharram continues being  done.
  • Mawlana Seyyid Hassan Jarchawi in majlis recounts the community who suffered from famine. Relief food was delivered by trains. Later the recipients  set up replicas of the train in their homes, for it delivered wheat to them. Instead of being grateful for the end i.e. the precious life giving food, importance was given to the means : i.e. the train.

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah

 

Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat