Islamic New Year 2019: Date, time and significance

Islamic New Year 2019: It is since 622 A.D. that the New Year has been observed.
Islamic New Year 2019: Dates also differ because certain Islamic organisations refer to local moon sightings to decide on the new month.(Unsplash)
Islamic New Year 2019: Dates also differ because certain Islamic organisations refer to local moon sightings to decide on the new month.(Unsplash)
Updated on Sep 10, 2019 10:38 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Delhi | By

The first month of the Islamic New Year is Muharram. After Ramadan, it is the second most holy month of the Islamic year. It is since 622 A.D. that the New Year has been observed. It is believed that this is when Prophet Mohammed had migrated from Mecca to Yathrib (present-day Medina) so that he could escape religious persecution.

Although the date may wary, due to the time difference between countries, the Islamic New Year shall commence on the evening of August 31. Dates also differ because certain Islamic organisations refer to local moon sightings to decide on the new month. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia uses astronomical calculations to decide on their dates.

The Islamic New Year is also called the Arabic New Year or Hijri New Year. It is about 12 days shorter than the Gregorian year. In certain Muslim majority countries, the day is observed as a public holiday. For example, the Dubai government has announced the Hijri New Year as a holiday. The migration which takes place is referred to as Hijra in Arabic, also spelt as Hegira.

The Hijri calendar comprises 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. This calendar is used to determine the days when Islamic holidays and rituals take place. Some of the exceptions of this rule are Iran and Afghanistan, as they use the Solar Hijri calendar.

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