This year, Ohio Bohras celebrated the mark of the Islamic New Year gathered around thāls (pictured above) – a traditional large metal tray – to give thanks for the blessings bestowed by Allah TA. In compliance with social distancing mandates, community members in Ohio and all across the United States, celebrated at their individual homes with only immediate family and household residents. Although transformed from the typical large gatherings to which they are accustomed, Ohio Bohras took the opportunity to take stock of their blessings and pray for a year of prosperity for their families and the communities in which they reside.
The beginning of a new year holds a special place in cultures across the world and is associated with hope, optimism, and the promise of a new beginning. Muslims follow the Hijri calendar, a lunar calendar which starts with the month of Muharram. As with other such occasions, food plays an important part in the Islamic New Year celebration. Emulating traditions of the Fatimi Imams from Egypt, to whom the Dawoodi Bohra community trace their spiritual heritage, Bohras gather around the thāl; dishes in the thāl vary from traditional foods from the Bohra culture.