Thursday, November 16, 2017

New Year - Dawoodi Bohra

The start of a new year is an auspicious occasion, no matter what calendar is followed.  The Muslim New Year falls on the Egyptian calender which starts with the Blessed month of Moharram-ul-Haram.

The Dawoodi Bohras (most peaceful community) every year helds their own unique celebration of the Islamic new year, which is based on the Egyptian calendar that the community follows.

Traditionally, Bohras eat in a ‘thaal’ or a steel serving dish of mammoth proportions (as pix above) that is laden down with small portions of the various delights of their cuisine. It is placed about a foot off the ground on a kundli (stand) for the family that gathers around for a meal eaten out of the same dish.

The new year’s eve is widely referred to as the thaal’s birthday, with the thaal symbolising the hope of the coming year’s prosperity. It is treated with respect and as a token of respect it is laden with as many food items as it can take.

The norm is to have different dishes on the thaal this night.  Usually every item on the thaal is prepared in small quantity if the dishes are many. Individual sweetmeats, fruits and even the salt, with which it is mandatory to start and end every meal.

Food symbolises individual blessings and the variety is an implicit prayer in hope of being blessed in various ways in the coming year. This concept is called ‘sakhan’.  
Pehli raat thaal menu significance as per my knowledge  😊

My sasuma had explained that 4 things are important representing the 4 elements in nature whose Significance are these:

Jannat nu Phaal ~ Pomegranate
Water ~ Fish
Earth ~ Wheat which we keep lachka or thuli. 

Underground ~ Muli (Radish) or any other veg which grows underground.    

Before the tasting of the salt, there is the ritual of ‘wadhawanu’ which entails passing a coconut over the thaal seven times in a clockwork direction. This tradition is often performed on birthdays as well, and since new year’s eve is considered the thaal’s birthday, it is given the same honour.  Bohris start their meal with a sweet dish and alternate with savoury dishes as they progress along the courses. After wadhawanu comes the tasting of the salt, which is followed by ‘sundenu’ or ‘shakranu’. This is a small dish of sweetened rice which is always eaten before a meal to commemorate a happy occasion.  With the coming years it is now the tradition to minimise the dishes to few due to health reasons.  NO TO FOOD WASTAGE is our MOTTO.

Greetings are shared with one and all.  New clothes are worn.  The entire tradition of the first night of the new year comprises rituals that denote the hope of a blessed year to follow.

#Arbaeen & Zainab S.A. #Katballa

#Bibi Zainab (sa) & Arbaeen

As received from Naimal Fatima

When she reached Karbala that tragic yearp,
From her tired eyes came another tear,

Alone in the dessert without a shadow above,
Was the grave of Hussain, her brother beloved.

She was tired, and weak and in a lot of pain,
Her Heart cried out ‘ O My Brother Hussain'

I have come to mourn you with all of my heart,
And to tell you the torture that tore us apart.

They took us through crowds that were calling our name,

Our hearts were sinking and our heads bowed in shame.

Sakina was slapped for no reason at all,
For crying, for sitting, or when to you she would call.
She was tortured all the way in front of our eyes,

Alas in the Prison of Damascus she lies.
She called out to you till her very last breath,

And I called to Abbas at the time of her death.

What all we went through I have no strength to tell,
And now my dear brother I bid you farewell.

My heart is broken at the sight of your grave,
Alone in the dessert without any shade.

Then she looked up with tears flowing down her face And said O’ Lord , I know of thy infinite power and grace.

Let the death of my brother be mourned like no other
and let not alone be the grave of my brother.

Today, Ya Bibi Fatema A.S. Ya Zainab S.A... the prayer of your heart,
Is fulfilled by millions walking towards Imam Hussain A.S.,

Their eyes full of sorrow their hearts full of pain,
Marching to their Master, Your Son, brother Hussain.

A crowd never heard of, a scene never seen,
How could it not be heard?
The wish of a queen!

Labbayk ya Zaynab (sa)

Labbayk ya Hussain (as)

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Say Alhamdullilah

Whatever happens is by the Will of Allah, whether it be good or bad. Sometimes we forget Allah when it comes to happy moments, but immediately turn to Him for the bad. We should always be thanking Allah (SWT) for His infinite blessings, even in the tough times. He still gives and gives and we don’t even ask. The mercy of our Lord is beyond.. Subhna’Allah. “Its better a calamity that turns you to Allah, than a blessing that makes you forget Allah”
Always say Alhamdulillah for everything….