The question of what Eid Al-Zahra is and why it is celebrated by some of the Shia has perplexed me for some time. A few days back Sheikh Bahmanpour gave a talk trying to address this question and qualify the purpose of the Eid.

The Sheikh suggested the Eid is to celebrate the beginning of the Imamah of the 12th Imam. This is an event that puts into motion the establishing of justice on Earth. There are however many problems I see with this narrative, but none the less, the talk is quite interesting and picks up on interesting issues like what is Eid and the meaning of the 12th Imam starting his Imamah.

The talk can be found on the Hujjat Stanmore website here

It can also be downloaded directly from here

My notes on the talk are given below.

All the translations of Quranic verses are taken from the translation by Ali Quli Qarai.

Talk by Sheikh Bahmanpour given at Hujjat Stanmore on the eve of Eid Al-Zahra on the 20th December 2015

8th Rabi Al-Awal marks the date of the 11th Imam, Imam Hasan Al-Askari (a.s) passing away - one of the greatest men not only in Islam but in all history.

9th Rabi Al-Awal is therefore the first day of Imamah for the 12th Imam, Imam Mahdi (a.s). For several centuries the Shia have been celebrating this day for different reasons. Some of the reasons commendable and at other times the reasons not so commendable. The name given to the day is Eid Al-Zahra which should give us some idea of why we celebrate this day.

The word Eid is from awd - coming back. We call a day Eid when the blessings of Allah comes back to us, or we go to Allah, which is the same thing. We are constantly 'shielding' our selves from his bounty and mercy, so if we go away from Him then the blessings of Allah stop coming to us.

وَلَو أَنَّ أَهلَ القُرىٰ آمَنوا وَاتَّقَوا لَفَتَحنا عَلَيهِم بَرَكاتٍ مِنَ السَّماءِ وَالأَرضِ وَلٰكِن كَذَّبوا فَأَخَذناهُم بِما كانوا يَكسِبونَ