Happy 1434! (Islamic New Year)

The Hijri New Year, also known as Islamic new year (Arabicرأس السنة الهجرية‎ Ras as-Sanah al-Hijriyah) is the day that marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year in the Muslim world.

Facts on Hijri, Islamic New Year

  • The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar (there might be  a two day fasting).
  • The era of the Hijrah is in official use in: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and in the Persian Gulf area. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia use both the Muslim and the Christian eras. Many Muslim countries, such as Turkey, Nigeria, and Pakistan, use the Christian Era.
  • 12 months beginning approx with every new moon. The 12th moth is varied in a 30 year-cycle to keep up with the real phases of the moon.
  •  Eleven to twelve days shorter than the Gregorian year (solar dating system now in general use).

Many Muslims engage in prayer or take extra time to read the Koran during the month of Muharram. ©iStockphoto.com/Samina Imran

 Why?

According to the most reliable authorities, it was Umar I, the second caliph (reigned 634–644), who introduced the era used by the Muslim world.

This year was to start of the Hijah meaning the Prophet Muhammad’s migration (ad 622) from Mecca to Medina in order to escape persecution.

According to the Muslim calendar, the Hijrah took place on 8 Rabīʿ I, which corresponds to September 20, 622 (ad), in the Julian calendar (Julian calendar is 13 days off from the Gregorian).

Video on Western calendars

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