Muharram 2021: Announcement on Islamic New Year likely today
Muslims across the world will know when Muharram , the first month of the Islamic calendar, will begin as moon sighting committees in the UAE and Saudi Arabia will meet on Sunday to sight the crescent. Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto and the president general of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has asked Muslims to look out for the new moon of Muharram on Sunday. Abubakar issued the directive on Saturday, according to a Guardian report.
"Muslims are, therefore, requested to start looking out for the new moon on Sunday and report its sighting to the nearest District or Village Head for onward communication to the Sultan," he said.
Authorities in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and other regions in the Middle East will decide the date for Muharram.
Khaleej Times reported citing the Astronomy Centre that the moon is unlikely to be sighted on Sunday and therefore, the first of Muharram will fall on Tuesday across most Islamic countries. The Islamic new year will also begin on August 10 in the UAE, Khaleej Times said citing Dubai's Islamic affairs and charitable activities department calendar.
Last week, the UAE's ministry of human resources and Emiratisation announced that the Hijri New Year holiday for the year 1443 would be marked by the public and private sectors on Thursday, August 12, this year.
Muharram is the first month in the Islamic calendar and is one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Quran, along with the seventh month of Rajab, and the eleventh and twelfth months of Dhul-Qadah and Dhul-Hijjah, respectively. The Islamic New Year is based on the lunar system unlike the Gregorian New Year, which is based on the solar system. Islamic Hijri months also have either 29 or 30 days.