Sunday, January 01, 2012

A New Year ?

Yet another year arrives! And every year we have more and more things to debate on to prove we are one-up than others! Just like new inventions, we have newer debates.... religious, political n general. When a 'New Year' (this too has is now debatable) comes, we look back on the year that was.... the best and the worst that the year brought. And we look forward to what the coming year has to give. We make resolutions (keep some and break some !) and plans and wish all will be the best in the coming year.

So many things are linked with the new English year (there is a reason for calling it English) this time. Since some past few years, many 'doomsday predictors' have been saying that the world with end in 2012 (a movie was made to cash in on it!). And some predict that there will be wars to bring the world to an end in 2012. I'd seen headlines on a Marathi newspaper a few months back, stating that the mini rebellions in middle east and elsewhere are equal to earlier wars as the definition of wars have changed over the period of time. Maybe it's right in way. But linking it to the world coming to an end in 2012, is not agreeable by me. For me, I still believe, like the Quran states, that the knowledge of Last Day lies with the Almighty alone.

This year we had some religious leaders questioning us on what are we wishing each other for? This ain't our New Year. Yes, I agree. Islamic New Year is the first of Muharram month (though sadly only a handful wished good things for me on that day!), 'Gudi Padwa' is the Marathi New Year, Diwali marks the new year of the Gujaratis and some other Hindus, 'Onam' is Keralite new year, 'Pongal' is Tamilian new year, while for Parsis its 'Pateti'.... the list goes on... So what is the Calender we are following? The English (or Christian) one. We accept and follow the English calender for uniformity in the world. A lot of things, including our age is calculated on the basis of the English calender else lunar months being smaller, we would be a few years more older !!! So if we do that, we should accept that a new calender year has changed instead of getting all flared up and branding people who wish others. The best and diplomatic way to wish is 'Happy New English Year' to your non-Christian friends. This has been a growing trend this year. I got a few sms to that effect this time from Hindu friends as well. This is definately a better move than boycotting wishing each other altogether!

I do not accept any other religion beliefs or become a non-Muslim if I wish anyone on Christmas or Diwali or New Year. I am just respecting their sentiments and being part of their happiness as I am part of a society. And I know that we cannot live as islands by ourselves. We are part of a whole world and our actions should make others look upto us and make others say - ''Who is this examplary person and which community is he/ she part of? I respect him/ her and his religion for that." A maulana said something against Santa Claus recently, though many Christians as well as those who are well-read very well know that Santa Claus has no religious significance in Christianity. It was added later for children and has many legends or history behind how his existence become part of Christmas. The people who point fingers at others in the name of religion, often trying to prove they are right themselves, are violating many religious laws themselves (and some of them do not know the actual history of things). They make posters, put their own pictures on it, the local buses have their huge pictures when their rallies are to happen (Islam is against picturesque representations!). We follow what suits us and discard what doesn't. Aren't we making a mockery of religion just to prove we are right and others are wrong?

Let us live and let live, set us spread love and happiness and cheer and joy. And yes, not to forget spreading knowledge, which is a gift of God. Because sharing knowledge is an act of charity (sadqa). And then watch how may emulate and adore you for it. But at the same time, let not little knowledge make us arrogant and proud as Pride and Arrogance are hated by the Almighty. And little knowledge, we all know, is a dangerous thing!

May 2012 bring a changed and tolerant person in us all. And may Allah bless us with knowledge and guide us all on the way to Righteousness (Siraatul Mustaqeem). Ameen!

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