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    Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah


    by Jai
    10th September, 2010 at 10:00 am    

    Muslims and Jews around the world will currently be celebrating Eid and Rosh Hashanah respectively. Islam and Judaism, along with Christianity, are of course from the same “Abrahamic” group of religions.

    Eid marks the last day of Ramadan (or “Ramzan”, as we South Asians pronounce it), and is a major public holiday in India due to the country’s large Muslim population. Non-Muslim Indians often join in the festivities with Muslim friends. In the subcontinent, the night before Eid is called “Chand Raat”, meaning “the night of the moon”, and it is upon the sighting of the new moon that Eid is declared.

    Rosh Hashanah marks the start of the Jewish New Year. The majority of Indian Jews (many of whose ancestors had been there for thousands of years) migrated to Israel after the formation of that country, but there are still small communities of Jews in India. Historically they frequently lived in the same residential areas as Muslims. India is still a popular tourist destination for large numbers of Israelis every year.

    Some suitable music by the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan:

    - “I cannot find a moment’s peace, my beloved, without you”:

    - A more traditional qawwali originally written by Bulleh Shah (full English translation at the end of this article). Bulleh Shah (1680-1757) was a Punjabi Sufi from the Qadiri Sufi order who spent his life promoting interfaith understanding & friendship, along with opposing religious extremism and bigotry. He is one of the most famous Sufis in Indian history, and is revered to this day by many non-Muslims as well as Muslims in the subcontinent.

    The music has an added poignancy considering the ongoing troubles in the world today, most recently the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, the apparently-suspended bonfire of Qurans in Florida, and the increasingly militant hostility towards Muslims in some quarters of the United States. Numerous American Jewish leaders are also forcefully voicing their opposition to the way ordinary Muslims are being treated, not least because they of all people recognise the warning signs from the bitter experience of their own history. There has also been a recent wave of terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

    It’s interesting reading reviews of Nusrat saab’s work on Amazon; people who aren’t South Asian and don’t necessarily even understand what Nusrat saab is singing have spoken of being inexplicably moved to tears while listening to his songs. Others have beautifully described the experience in the following way: “Nusrat’s music invites us to eavesdrop on a man communing with his God, ever so eloquently. He makes the act of singing a passionate offering to God. But we do not merely eavesdrop. The deepest part of Nusrat’s magic lies in the fact that he is able to bring our hearts to resonate with the music, so deeply, that we ourselves become full partners in that offering. He sings to God, and by listening, we also sing to God”.

    For those whose ears, hearts and minds are open to such things, the experience offers a momentary awareness of the blazing light in the darkness, a fleeting understanding of unbreakable strength and tremendous compassion, a brief glimpse of something far greater than ourselves. Even if it is indeed only for a moment.

    There is a verse from the Guru Granth Sahib — the collection of hymns written by authors from multiple faiths which was compiled by the Sikh Gurus and which serve as Guru Gobind Singh’s eternal successor — which approximately translates as “God holds you close to him like a father holds his child”. One should never be complacent in life, of course, but whether it is during moments of personal crisis or during global upheavals, an awareness of such matters can offer a measure of hope and reassurance, even when it appears that a thunderstorm is looming on the horizon.

    On behalf of Picked Politics, I wish our Muslim and Jewish friends Eid Mubarak and Shana Tova.


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    Filed in: Muslim,Religion






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    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. sunny hundal

      Blogged: : Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah http://bit.ly/bm6tsG


    2. Rezina

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah http://bit.ly/bm6tsG


    3. paulstpancras

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah http://bit.ly/bm6tsG


    4. The Bamba Baby

      #ShanaTova RT @paulstpancras2010RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah http://bit.ly/bm6tsG http://tinyurl.com/266gvrm


    5. The Bamba Baby

      #ShanaTova RT @RezinaChowdhury2010RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah http://bit.ly/bm6tsG http://tinyurl.com/24fuzho


    6. Roland Ellison

      RT @sunny_hundal: Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah http://bit.ly/bm6tsG


    7. The Bamba Baby

      #ShanaTova Pickled Politics » Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah http://tinyurl.com/2dm9l29


    8. I always follow back

      Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah: 11 hrs ago >> RT @ aleddilwyn : Why @ TheGreenParty should vote yes to AV http://bi... http://bit.ly/cixnTb


    9. Sufi Bloom

      Pickled Politics » Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah http://bit.ly/bLSdyf


    10. Noxi

      Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah | pickledpolitics | http://ow.ly/2Cl4H


    11. Wahida O

      1st video "tery bina (nothing without you)" is one of my most ?d songs. RT @sunny_hundal: Eid ul-Fitr & Rosh Hashanah http://bit.ly/bm6tsG


    12. james o kirk

      Pickled Politics » Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah http://bit.ly/dmDZzd


    13. james kirk

      Pickled Politics » Eid ul-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah http://bit.ly/dmDZzd




    1. BenSix — on 10th September, 2010 at 11:10 am  

      I just went to wish my 90 year-old Catholic Grandad “freedom from religious nonsense“, cjcjc. As you might guess, it came as quite a relief that human qualities are naught but evolutionary functions and nothing awaits him but a black and soulless void.

    2. BenSix — on 10th September, 2010 at 11:11 am  

      Hrm - that comment didn’t last. Now I look the fool.

    3. Jai — on 10th September, 2010 at 11:27 am  

      Now I look the fool.

      Not at all, BenSix. Your sentiment is appreciated.

      However, I will also delete any further comments along the lines of cjcjc’s idiotic remark, so it would be best not to respond to those.

    4. Dalbir — on 10th September, 2010 at 11:48 am  

      Loving that ‘Sanoo ik pal chayn na avay’ song Jai!

      Thanks for sharing.

    5. sarah — on 10th September, 2010 at 12:21 pm  

      Thanks for this post PP. Eid Mubarak to all Muslim readers!

    6. Kismet Hardy — on 10th September, 2010 at 12:48 pm  

      “Now I look the fool.”

      Welcome to my world, dude. I call it character building

      Happy eid to ex-muslim heathens like me too. Mum, if you’re reading this, please feed me

    7. halima — on 10th September, 2010 at 1:31 pm  

      Eid Mubarak!

      This has really cheered me up, Jai. Thanks and Eid Mubarak to everyone.

    8. Pete — on 10th September, 2010 at 2:33 pm  

      Has such a thing as ‘Jewish Indian Classical music’ ever been created? As a devotee of both Indian classical music and Jewish musics, it strikes me that ragas played with ‘Jewish scales’ would probably be one of the most sublime musical experiences possible.

      Eid Mubarak and Shana Tova!

    9. Grimsby Fiendish — on 10th September, 2010 at 7:15 pm  

      the night before Eid is called “Chand ki Raat”, meaning “the night of the moon”, and it is upon the sighting of the new moon that Eid is declared.

      That’s a neat trick, given that a new moon is invisible.

    10. Jai — on 11th September, 2010 at 11:37 am  

      Chand Raat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaand_Raat

      Chaand Raat is a time of celebration when families and friends gather in open areas at the end of the last day of Ramadan to spot the new moon, which signals the arrival of the Islamic month of Shawwal and the day of Eid.

      Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_moon

      The original meaning of the phrase new moon was the first visible crescent of the Moon, after conjunction with the Sun.

    11. douglas clark — on 11th September, 2010 at 10:34 pm  

      Jai,

      As someone upthread said, ‘Eid Mubarak to all Muslim readers!’

      I listened to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan probably for the first time. I have no idea what the words said, but it seemed joyous and infectious.

      I am glad you shared that with us.

    12. Jai — on 12th September, 2010 at 2:30 pm  

      Thanks for your replies, everyone. To those of you who mentioned the music, I’m glad you liked it.

      Douglas,

      I listened to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan probably for the first time.

      I’ve previously provided examples of his music in some other PP articles. You may like the following song by Nusrat too — it’s from the film “Dead Man Walking”, and the English part was sung by Eddie Vedder from the American rock group Pearl Jam.

      However, Nusrat sings most of it, and his Urdu/Hindi lyrics can be translated simply as “What is living without love ? Since you have come into this world, love each other”.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6hzDm8VwV8

      I have no idea what the words said, but it seemed joyous and infectious.

      The simple repeated lyrics of the first song are “I cannot get a moment’s peace, my beloved, without you. Alone, my soul will not be content, my beloved, without you”.

      The second song is obviously much longer, and a full English translation of the lyrics can be found via the URL link provided in the article.



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