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Note on the word NASI

Until the last year of the Prophet's mission the Nasi or the intercalary 13th lunation indispensible for adjusting the duration of 12 lunations with the solar cycle governing the seasons, intervened every 2 or 3 years, between 2 of the prescribed 4 Sacred Months - Dhu'l Hijja, the last month of one year, and Muharram, the first month of the succeeding Pagan year.

During every 2nd or 3rd year, as a last rite of the annual Hajj, the lunar month to follow that Dhu'l Hijja was announced by the Qalam mas, a hereditary functionary, to be either sacred or secular.

This often led to subsequent violence based on the ubiquitous question as to whether raiding of one party by another was permitted, or not permitted, in this frequently occurring 13th intercalary month!


Ordinary        Intercalary
   Year              Year
---------        -----------

   Raj                  Raj

   Sha                Sha

   Ram               Ram

   Sha                Sha

   DhQ               DhQ

   DhH               DhH

   Muh               *Nasi*

   Saf                 Muh

   R I                  Saf

   R II                  R I

   J I                   R II

   J II                  J I

   ....                  J II

The apparent prohibition of intercalation was revealed only 3 months before the Prophet passed away, in verse 36 and 37 of Sura Barat. This prohibition can also be interpreted as a rhetorical recommendation for the adoption of the purely solar calendar of the never-changing 12 months, fixed by God from times immemorial, and even then observed by both Iran and Byzantium.

But the interpretation of the word 'shahr' as 'lunar' month has prevented adjustment of the Muslim religious calendar with the seasons of God over the past 13 centuries and more.

What effect, if any, this deviation from all other calendars of the human race, and followed incessantly over more than thirteen hundred years has had on the making of the Muslim religious personality is a question which has not received the study which it perhaps deserves.

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