Islamic New Year

November 28, 2011 by staff 

Islamic New Year, New Year is an event universally celebrated by people all over the world. The celebrations signify a fresh beginning, new desires, and new things. Irrespective of caste, creed, and age, people look forward to the New Year with much hope for better fortune in the year ahead. Different groups celebrate the New Year according to their customs and traditions but the enthusiasm is the same.

The Muharram (meaning respect in Islam) festival is observed for 10 days and begins with the appearance of the new moon of the month on which it falls. This year, the Islamic New Year will be celebrated on November 26.

The calendar that Islam follows is guided by the trajectory of the moon and is composed of 354 days, eleven days shorter than the solar calendar. Celebrated on the first day of Muharram which is the first month of the Islamic calendar, the Islamic New Year’s Day is celebrated to remind Muslims of the Hijra or migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina. The Islamic calendar itself was adopted after the actual migration but the New Year has become an occasion to remember the significance of the Prophet’s migration.

The event also commemorates the death of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Imam Hussein who, along with his family and followers, was killed in the battle of Karbala in 680 which took place on the tenth day of the month of Muharram.

The Prophet’s son-in-law Ali and Ali’s elder son Hassan are also remembered during this period as having suffered and died for righteous causes. Shia Muslims and the Sunni. The Shias celebrate the day with public enactments of grief while the Sunnis celebrate the occasion on a quieter note with silent offerings.

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