Sunday, March 27, 2011

Clerics in Kabul say celebrating Nawroz un-Islamic

Religious scholars on Sunday said celebrating the new year (Nawroz) was contrary to Islamic teachings, calling it "a practice of sun worshippers".

People in Afghanistan, Iran and other countries mark the new solar year that begins March 21 by holding different programmes.

"Nawroz is the Eid of sun worshipers and our Prophet (PBUH) had prohibited Muslims from celebrating this day," Maulvi Shamsur Rahman Frotan, a member of the Kabul Bank's Shariah Board, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

"During initial days of the new year, the sun rises much farther to the north, something sun worshippers believe their God is changing home which they celebrate," the Maulvi said. He said celebrating the festival was tantamount to respecting that faith.

People in Afghanistan organise colorful programmes, hoist flags at shrines of sufi saints and exchange gifts on the first day of Nawroz.

But Maulvi Frotan called flags hoisting as Bid‘ah, innovation within the religion, which is considered a sin.

A Kabul University professor of Shariah, Abdul Nasir Nasrat, also said celebrating Nawroz was an un-Islamic practice.

A member of Afghanistan Ulema Council, Qari Ziauddin, said the celebrations were against Islam and there was no room for raising flags on shrines in the religion.

He said the council planned to call a session to take a decision on the new year's festivities from Islamic point of view.

However, common citizens hold different views about the new year celebration.

Ahmad Shah, 35, a resident of Mirwais Maidan area of Kabul city, said people should abide by ulema. He said he would not participate in any programme marking the occasion.

But another Kabul resident, Samiullah, 28, said some religious scholars attended flag hoisting ceremonies at shrines, while others talked against the events.

He said he would enjoy the festivities like thousands others. "I don’t know who sun worshippers are? We have nothing to do with them, but celebrate simply the new year," he insisted.

Source: Pajhwok

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