All About the New Hijri Islamic Year 2023: Dates, Importance, and More

  • Publish date: Thursday، 13 July 2023 Last update: Wednesday، 19 July 2023
All About the New Hijri Islamic Year 2023: Dates, Importance, and More

When is the Islamic New Year?

The first day of the Islamic year is observed by most Muslims on the first day of the month of Muharram and it is expected to fall on the 18th of July this year, whereas the public holiday will be on the 21st of July.

The First of Muharram, or the Islamic New Year, marks the beginning of the Islamic lunar calendar year. The Islamic calendar is lunar-based and only 354 days long.

How Does the Moon Sighting of the Hijri New Year Determined?

For many Muslims, the beginning of the Islamic New Year depends on the sighting of the lunar crescent following the New Moon during the month of Muharram. The visibility of the crescent Moon often occurs within a day or two after the new Moon, although weather conditions and other variables can potentially result in a delay in its sighting.

Other Muslims use different criteria to determine the start of the calendar, such as the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), which calculates the date according to the following: The Moon must be born (become new) before sunset in Makkah, and the Moon must set after sunset. The following dates are calculated according to expected visibility. 

What is the Meaning of Awal Muharram or Hijri Year?

All About the New Hijri Islamic Year 2023: Dates, Importance, and More

Awal, meaning 'beginning' in English, and Muharram is the first month of the Muslim calendar. The first day of Muharram is, therefore, the Islamic New Year's Day and, on this date, the Hijra, the historic journey from Mecca to Medina began.

What is the Significance behind the Islamic New Year?

All About the New Hijri Islamic Year 2023: Dates, Importance, and More

The Islamic New Year, which aligns with the Hijrah, signifies the beginning of the Muslim era and is celebrated as a public holiday in many Islamic nations. The occasion marks the Prophet's journey from Mecca to Medina on the first day of Muharram in 622 CE.

On the 1st of Muharram, Muslims have no prescribed days of worship, but it serves as a time for reflection on Prophet Muhammad's journey and the struggles faced by early Muslims. The establishment of the first Islamic government and city required great sacrifices and hardships.

Muharram, one of the sacred months after Ramadan, also provides an opportunity for Muslims to engage in acts of Sadaqah Jariyah, voluntary prayers, fasting, and Qur'an recitation, with multiplied rewards. The Islamic New Year is a public holiday in many Muslim countries, fostering family gatherings and strengthening kinship bonds, while also marking the beginning of the year and annual plans.

Historical Background About Hijri New Year

All About the New Hijri Islamic Year 2023: Dates, Importance, and More

Prophet Mohammed needed to migrate from Mecca to Yathrib, now known as Medina, in modern-day Saudi Arabia, due to some intentions of executing him. This journey, known as the Hijrah, provided relief from the suffering endured by Muslims in Mecca. When the Prophet emigrated to Medina, Muslims there were indirectly saved from further persecution by the Meccan pagans.

After the Hijrah, it was then declared by the Prophet in the Constitution of Medina that Muslims are a universal brotherhood with a unique identity in faith and ideology.

How is the Islamic New Year celebrated?

Awal Muharram customs differ across countries, involving religious activities, spiritual singing, and meetings. Muharram traditions vary between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Celebrating the Hijri New Year has no fixed customs.

This article was previously published on saudimoments.To see the original article, click here

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