The Islamic New Year (Arabic: رأس السنة الهجرية), also known as Hijri New Year or Arabic New Year, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. The Islamic calendar consists of 12 lunar months, and the new year begins with the sighting of the crescent moon, signifying a new cycle and the potential for spiritual growth. While its primary purpose is religious, the event also serves as an opportunity to connect with family, friends, and the wider community, reflecting on the achievements and challenges of the past year and setting goals for the year ahead.
The Islamic New Year dates back to the migration (Hijra) of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. This significant event marks the turning point in the spread of Islam and serves as the starting point for the Islamic calendar. For Americans, the Islamic New Year presents a chance to learn about and appreciate the rich history and cultural traditions of the expansive Muslim community that resides within the United States. Understanding this event allows individuals outside the Muslim faith to foster greater empathy and support for the beliefs and customs of their fellow citizens.
In America, the Islamic New Year is observed with prayers, religious lectures, and gatherings in mosques and community centers. The event is often an occasion for Muslims to come together, deepen their faith, and participate in community service. The Islamic New Year varies from year to year in the Western (Gregorian) calendar, due to the differences between the lunar-based Islamic calendar and the solar-based Gregorian calendar. Muslims in America will observe the Islamic New Year in accordance with the sighting of the new moon, as is done throughout the worldwide Muslim community.
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References and related sitesIslamic Networks Group: Calendar of Important Islamic Dates