by Andrew Walden
In response to the www.HawaiiFreePress.com article “Hawaii ‘Islam Day’ secretly marks September 11” UH Manoa Department of Religion professor James D. Frankel today writes:
“Andrew Walden has uncovered no secret or nefarious conspiracy to honor the deplorable terrorism of September 11, 2001. The 12th day of Rabi ul-Awwal will fall on September 24, 2009, but will be on September 13 next year and September 2 the year after that.”
Frankel is dead wrong -- and has exposed an utterly stupendous ignorance of his own field of study.
Had Professor Frankel bothered to look at an Islamic calendar he would have discovered that the Islamic lunar calendar’s “12th day of Rabi ul-Awwal” fell on March 9, 2009 and will next year fall on February 26, 2010.
Perhaps Frankel’s knowledge of comparative religion stems from reading the Hawaii Legislature’s resolutions? This writer has been able to discover no other source which “accidentally” confuses September 24, 2009 for the “12th day of Rabi ul-Awwal.”
Perhaps one day Frankel will be as well versed in the Islamic calendar as the thousands of Pakistanis, Algerians, Bruneians, Turks, Kurds, Nigerians, and Kashmiris seen in this photo montage marking the “12th day of Rabi ul-Awwal” on the date Westerners describe as March 9, 2009. Ironically Frankel should have got a hint—he was writing in response to a question from a gentleman who writes that “the Muslim New Year celebration already passed in March….”
Photo Montage: http://www.worldbulletin.net/news_detail.php?id=37988
“Neither Mr. Walden, nor the legislators, nor whatever Muslim advisors they may have consulted, seem to understand the nuances involved here. Had they come to me for a brief history lesson, we might have avoided much of this commotion.”
Here is a "brief history lesson" for Frankel.
The “12th day of Rabi ul-Awwal” on the Islamic lunar calendar—this year March 9, 2009—is marked as “Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi” in lieu of both Mohammad’s unknown birthday and the anniversary of his death. This date also corresponds to the arrival of Mohammad in Medina in what both Julian and Gregorian calendars describe as the year 622 AD and is designated as the foundation of Islam. Of course pinning down any of these dates could be subject to dispute because of the proliferation of Islamic opinions. For instance the Shia run five days behind the Sunni—marking “Milad un-Nabi” on the “17th day of Rabi ul-Awwal”.
It is not clear whether Frankel’s correspondent was referring to these commemorations as "Islamic New Year" or if he was thinking of NoRoz, the Zoroastrian and Persian New Year, celebrated with grass shoots and goldfish on the first day of spring. The uncurious Frankel does not question this. The actual New Year Day of the Islamic calendar is 1st Muharram – which was most recently marked on December 29, 2008.
Frankel asserts: “Reference to the Julian calendar is a red herring.”
The Julian calendar is made relevant by a substitution of Gregorian for Julian contained in a key line of the Legislature’s Islam Day resolution:
“the Prophet Mohammad left his house to migrate to Madinah and reached Quba in the vicinity of Madinah on the 12th day of Rabi ul-Awwal according to the lunar calendar, or September 24th according to the Gregorian calendar, thereby marking the birth of Islam….” (Emphasis added)
As this writer explained:
This is false. September 24th is the date of Mohammad’s arrival in Medina according to the old Julian calendar -- which is 13 days behind the modern Gregorian calendar. The fact that “Gregorian” is mentioned in the resolution implies that somebody was considering the two calendars.
Had the Hawaii legislature intended to mark the Julian date September 24 they would have picked the Gregorian date October 7, 2009 for Islam Day. Had they wished to mark the date celebrated each year by Muslims, that would have been the “12th day of Rabi ul-Awwal” -- March 9, 2009.
But instead they picked the modern Gregorian date September 24, 2009. This day corresponds to no holiday in the Islamic calendar. But on the Julian calendar it is September 11, 2009.
Frankel--and all the world's non-Muslims--need to acquaint themselves with the Islamic doctrine of “al-Taqiyyah”. The Al-Islam encyclopedia defines "al-Taqiyyah" as "Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies….”
Whereas many other religions place a high value on truthfulness, a Muslim who fails to lie to non-Muslims in order to empower Islam is a sinner. Al-Taqiyyah is but one aspect of the difference between Islam and all other world religions.
This writer thanks Prof. Frankel for the opportunity to expose the false sophistication of yet another UH Manoa liberal arts professor. All professors should take this opportunity to remind themselves of the price they pay for allowing their academic pursuits to be degraded and corrupted by the pernicious influence of ‘political correctness’.
And remember, Ahura Mazda is with you.
Islamic calendar: http://moonsighting.com/important.html
Further reading: http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/716/Hawaii-ldquoIslam-Dayrdquo-secretly-marks-September-11.aspx
The Love of Truth in Pre-Islamic Iran http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Culture/love_of_truth.htm
(EDITOR'S NOTE May 15: Readers have suggested one more possibility. Had they intended to mark the Gregorian equivalent of the Julian date September 24, 622 the Legislators would have chosen the Gregorian date September 27, 622. This in turn raises an interesting point.
The resolution falsely ties "the 12th of Rabi ul awwal" to a rather insignificant event on Mohammad's trek or "Hijra" from Mecca to Medina--the day Mohammad "reached Quba in the vicinity of Madinah". In fact "the 12th of Rabi ul awwal" is tied to an event four days later--the arrival of Mohammad in Medina proper to attend prayers. But even the Julian date Sept 20, 622 when Mohammad "reached Quba" falls on the Gregorian date September 23, 622. Close, but no cigar.
Key dates in Hijra/Hegira of Mohammad--note use of Julian calendar: http://www.answers.com/topic/hegira
So, no matter how you slice it, the Hawaii Legislature has been tricked into celebrating a date which means absolutely nothing on the Islamic calendar but corresponds to September 11, 2009 on the old Julian calendar. Those who are befuddled by this need to learn what al-Taqiyya means and they need to learn it now.)