Najaf, also known as Ghariyy, can be considered a capital not only for Shia Hawzas of Iraq but also for various Shia hawzas across the globe. The unique academic nature of this city dates back to its establishment in 450 A.H.
The Islamic Center in Kathmandu established by The World Federation in 2018 organized online programs and Majalis to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as) and his companions during the month of Muharram.
Due to the widespread lockdown situation and WHO guidelines on social gathering and social distancing to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus, all the physical programs that were scheduled were called off and instead, the Islamic Center arranged for the programs and Majalis to be held online.
The programs started with the recitation of Ziyarat Ashura and poem recitations in Urdu, Farsi and Nepali languages, followed by an hour-long Majlis by the resident Alim Maulana Zainul Abideen and concluded with Latmiyah/Nawhas. These programs were organized for both, ladies and gents and were conducted through the Zoom App. There was an average audience of 20-25 people who joined these daily programs. Keeping in mind that our community in Nepal is relatively very small, these numbers are commendable.
Here is a brief insight on the main activities conducted:
- Marthiya and Salaam Recitations: All Majalis programs began with an Urdu Marthiya/Salaam (poetry) recitation by participants from different countries like Dubai, Pakistan, India and USA. These reciters either joined us via Zoom app or sent us their recorded videos which we then played through our channel.
- Live Majlis: A daily Majlis program was held during the first 10 days of Muharram and on some of the significant days like 12th, 20th and 25th Muharram, etc. The programs were conducted via Zoom app where Azadars not only from Nepal but also from other countries like India, Pakistan, Iran, America, and Africa had joined in good numbers. A recording of these Majalis sessions were also uploaded on the center’s Youtube page and made available for wider audience. The information about these sessions were promoted through Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Telegram or other social media platforms. The center’s Youtube page - "Shia TV Nepal" which is dedicated for videos related to Islam and Ahlul-Bayt (as) received an overwhelming response with more than 4.1K views, 200 more subscriptions and around 2000 comments.
- Latmiyyah/Nawha Recitations: Different Nawhakhwan from Kathmandu recited Latmiyyah/Nawhas after every Majlis in different languages like Urdu, Hindi and Farsi. The reciters were given access to the Zoom app meetings and they recited Nauhas from within their homes in Nepal. We have also uploaded two Urdu Nawhas through our YouTube channel. These Nawhas were edited from a famous studio in Pakistan and the reciter is also a well-known personality from Meerut, India. These Nawhas have been received very well and their view count is ever increasing.
- Special Video on Muharram: We provided basic training to our volunteers who reached out to the youth of our community and many Muslims as well as non-Muslim professionals and teachers and conducted a Q&A interview for a special video on Muharram called “Nepal and Imam Hussain (as)” where they expressed their views and opinions on Imam Husain (as). Although the video covers 3 languages – Urdu, Hindi and English, to ensure that the local population was able to understand it, it was also dubbed in the Nepali language. It is available on the center’s Youtube channel and has received around 400 views. To view the video, please click here.
- Ladies Majalis: For the first time, we organized online Majalis program in Nepali language for the local non-Muslim people. The live Majalis programs for ladies were conducted via Zoom during Ayyaam-e-Aza. The program also included the recitations of Marthiya, Nawha and Ziarat Ashura.
- Matam Programs: The Afghani Shia families in Baniyatar, Kathmandu arranged for Nawha Khawani and Matam programs during the Ayyaam-e-Aza in their houses while observing the safety precautions.
- Ahmiyat-e-Azadari Conference: As a part of Tableegh activities, we were invited to the International Ahmiyat-e-Azadari & Tahaffuz-e-Aqaid Conference organized by Idara-e-Tahaffuz e Azadari, Lucknow, India on 26th July 2020. It was a virtual conference via Zoom app and our resident Aalim Maulana Zainul Abideen delivered a speech on Azadari and Shia activities in Nepal. A video of the speech was uploaded on the center’s youtube channel and is available for view here
The World Federation has been working closely with the Imam Mahdi Association of Marjaeya to ensure the compiled Islamic Laws are distributed across North America.
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