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Are you ready for the Holidays this year?

Historical events happened in December:

The annual December holidays in South Africa and across the globe , like in many other parts of the world, have roots in cultural, religious, and historical traditions. Here’s a brief overview:

Reconciliation Day (December 16th): December 16th marks the anniversary of the end of apartheid in South Africa. The day was initially known as the Day of the Vow, commemorating the Voortrekker victory over the Zulus in 1838. After the end of apartheid, the holiday was transformed into Reconciliation Day in 1994 to promote national unity and healing.

December 19: On the 19 December, 1111 CE {7/8 Jumada al-Thani, 505 AH}), the great Muslim theologian, jurist and scholar Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali (Allah have mercy on him), died in the city of Tus in modern-day Iran (then part of the Great Seljuk State).

He was nicknamed “Hujjatul Islam” or the “Proof of Islam” and was also considered a mujaddid or reviver of the Islamic tradition.

His most famous works include his magnum opus titled Ihya Ulum Ad-Din (“The Revival of the Religious Sciences”) as well as his work critiquing philosophy titled “Tahafut al-Falasifa” (“Incoherence of the Philosophers”).

December 24: On this day (24 December, 1144 CE {18/19 Jumada al-Thani, 539 AH), Imad al-Din Zengi of the Oghuz Turkic Zengid Dynasty conquered the Crusader state of Edessa, after an almost one month-long siege.

It was the first major victory Muslims had in the Crusades.

December 31:On this day (31 December 695 CE {15/16 Ramadan, 76 AH}), Muhammad bin Qasim, the first general to lead Muslim armies into India, was born.

Muhammad bin Qasim (Allah have mercy on him) was born in Taif, the same city that previously tortured our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and to whom he famously showed mercy to.

The question that then arises, what would the condition of us Muslims who originate/are from the Indian subcontinent be like if it weren’t for our beloved Prophet’s ﷺ mercy and consequently the efforts of Muhammad bin Qasim?

Day of Goodwill (December 26th):Formerly known as Boxing Day, December 26th is a public holiday associated with acts of charity and goodwill. The name change reflects a shift from its colonial origins to a focus on generosity and community service.

How were the annual School Holidays initiated?

The school holiday calendar in South Africa, including the annual December holidays, is established and regulated by the Department of Basic Education. The scheduling of school holidays is a government function and is not attributed to the actions of a specific individual.

The academic calendar, including the timing and duration of school holidays, is determined by the Department of Basic Education in consultation with various stakeholders, including teachers, parents, and education experts. The goal is to ensure a balanced and effective academic year while considering the needs of students, teachers, and the broader education community.

While the December holiday period typically aligns with the festive season and various cultural and religious celebrations, it is not the result of an individual’s initiative but rather a part of the overall education policy and planning in South Africa.

This December most of the schools will be closing on the 14th of December 2023 and will reopen on the 17th of January 2024.

Are you ready for the holidays?

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