Salaam, and heartiest congratulations to all our young friends on the eve of the New Year. Today is our last chat of the year before start of the two-week long Nowrouz holidays. It means there will be no issue of Kayhan International till Saturday April 4, and we will not meet until Wednesday, April 8, that is, three weeks from now.
As you know, Nowrouz literally means "New Day”. It is celebrated each year on the first day of spring, the Vernal Equinox. Usually Nowrouz falls on the 20th or 21st of March, depending on whether there has been a leap year.
Glory to God Almighty, Who created us from clay, gave us life, will make us die, and then resurrect us for the Judgement, followed by rewards or punishment, as per our deeds – of course, after having been availed of infinite divine mercy.
When we ponder on the world of nature, we understand the philosophy of life, death and resurrection. Nature renews itself every year. We have all seen the falling of the leaves in autumn, dried up leaves which die and wither away. And all of us have seen the blossoming of trees and plants with the coming of spring. Spring is the season when nature seems to renew itself. Trees grow green in the spring. New green leaves appear, the whiteness and stillness of winter gives way to the greening, blossoming, and regeneration/invigoration of spring. Spring buzzes with life, warmth and movement, in sharp contrast to the cold winter months.
Humans, too, follow a cycle in their lives. The older generations pass away, and they are "replaced” by new-born babies. Just as the day passes and the night begins, winter ends and spring begins. Just as the day has a limited duration, the lives of human beings also have a "limited duration”. But how nice it would be if we too could "regenerate ourselves” with the coming of spring, just like nature does.
Time, of course never stops. Time is like a train which keeps on moving, and stops at no station. Humans, too, should always be working and learning. There is a famous statement from the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), the cousin, son-in-law and divinely-designated vicegerent of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). He says: "If two of your days are identical to one another, then you have suffered a loss, and he, whose tomorrow, is worse than his today, has indeed been deprived”.
We understand Nowrouz and its celebration by pondering on the timeless wisdom of the holy Qur’an. For example, ayahs 19 and 20 of Surah Ankabout, say:
"Have they not regarded how Allah originates the creation? Then He will bring it back. That is indeed easy for Allah. Say, ‘Travel over the land and then observe how He has originated the creation.’ Then Allah shall bring about the genesis of the Hereafter. Indeed Allah has power over all things.”
Since Nowrouz is rooted in the ethereal teachings of Islam, and the New Year in Iran is based on the auspicious migration of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) from Mecca and Medina (similar to the lunar hijri calendar), Friday, we start 1399 solar hijri.
We congratulate all our readers, especially you young friends, who unfortunately this year due to the outbreak of coronavirus are not able to go anywhere as we remember last year, millions of Iranians had flocked to the holy shrines of the Ahl al-Bayt.
Isha’ Allah (God willingly), this year we would stay at home as the health authorities have recommended us and we would pray to God at the exact time of the start of the New Year (07:19:37), for the reappearance of the Lord of the Age, Imam Mahdi (AS).
Goodbye, God bless you all, and see you next year.