Hijri New Year’s Day is observed on the first day of Muharram and the dates change every year. It takes place from July 18 to 19 this year. It is also called the Islamic New Year or Arabic New Year. Owing to the difference between the Islamic lunar year and the Gregorian calendar’s solar year, the Islamic New Year does not occur on the same day as the Gregorian calendar.
History of Hijri New Year's Day
Hijri New Year’s Day marks the Islamic New Year and is celebrated by Muslims across the world. The date of this event changes every year and can even vary in different countries. Some Islamic organizations mark the day with local sightings of the moon, whereas many other Islamic institutions and countries follow an astronomical calculation to determine the dates of the Islamic calendar. This results in a difference of a couple of days while celebrating.
This event dates back to the 7th century A.D. when Muslims, unfortunately, faced religious persecution. The Prophet Muhammad and his followers decided to emigrate to Medina, which came to be known as the Hijra. This event sought rights for Muslims and holds great importance, making it sacred.
This day is also typically celebrated on the first day of Muharram, a sacred month of remembrance for Muslims across the world. It marks the death anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussein. This is observed by mourning ceremonies and many Shia Muslims participate in a “matam” parade, where men come to the streets and partake in a chest-beating ritual. Sunni Muslims observe Muharram as a time to usher in the new with prayer and introspection.
This whole month starting from the Hijri New Year’s Day and the holy month of Muharram is significant for Muslims across the globe. You can be part of this observance by learning more about the faith and talking to your Muslim friends. Expand your knowledge and deep dive into a religion that aims to promote peace.
Hijri New Year's Day timeline
The Prophet Muhammad and his followers migrate from Mecca to Medina.
The Prophet Muhammad returns to his birthplace, Mecca, with 10,000 men.
The Prophet Muhammad’s companion, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, adopts Hijra as the reference point for the Islamic calendar.
Saudi Arabia follows astronomical calculations to determine the Islamic New Year dates and settles on the current scheme.
Hijri New Year's Day FAQs
Do Muslims fast on the Islamic New Year?
The Islamic New Year commences when the new moon is spotted at sunset. Many followers of the faith opt to fast on its ninth and tenth day of Muharram.
What do Muslims do on Hijri New Year?
Muslims recite verses from the Koran and hold special prayers and sermons at public halls and mosques to mark Muharram.
What happens during Al-Hijra?
Al-Hijra is the first day of the month of Muharram and also commemorates when the Prophet Muhammad traveled from Mecca to Medina.
How to Observe Hijri New Year's Day
Learn about the Islamic faith
Even if you follow another faith, there is no harm in learning about the various religions and cultures that exist in the world. Use this day to talk to a Muslim and learn about their faith and history. You will be surprised at how much information you will get beyond the books.
Read the “Quran” and offer prayers
If you are a follower of the faith, spend the day reading the “Quran” and offering prayers. Attend a sermon and visit the mosque. Spend the day with God and allow yourself to be absolved of your sins to start afresh.
Pledge to be kind
On Hijri New Year’s Day which marks the beginning of a new year, pledge to be kind to other people. Kindness goes a long way and helps us to be happier. Perform small acts of kindness throughout the day like feeding the homeless, helping a stranger, making amends, seeking forgiveness, etc.
5 Facts About The Islamic Faith You Should Know
The five pillars of Islam
There are five pillars of Islam are; The Shahadah, The Salat or Salah, Zakat, Sawm, and Hajj.
The Arabic root word for Islam means “voluntary submission to God” in a religious context.
The second-largest religion in the world
With around 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, Islam is the second-largest religion, after Christianity.
An Abrahamitic religion
Islam is a monotheistic religion that believes there is only one almighty creator.
The largest Muslim population
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population with approximately 12.7% of the world's Muslims living there.
Why Hijri New Year's Day is Important
It is the Islamic New Year
It is an important day for Muslims as it marks a new year for them. New Year can usher in new beginnings and provide us with an opportunity to leave our sins in the past and work towards a better life.
It is a holy time
Hijri New Year’s Day marks the beginning of a holy month as it is celebrated on the first day of Muharram. It is a time to seek penance and surrender to God.
A larger number of people celebrate
There are around 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. Hijri New Year’s Day is thus celebrated across the globe by billions of people, making it an extremely important day. Even those who are not followers of the faith offer their support to their peers who celebrate this day.
Hijri New Year's Day dates