Islamic New year | 10 Things Only Experts Know About it

Muharram- islamic new year

The Islamic New Year’s is the first day of Muharram, which is also the first month in the lunar Islamic calendar. We all Muslims know Muharram is the second most holy month of the Islamic year after Ramadan. Observance of The Islamic New Year is a practice since 622 A.D. It is common information to us Muslims that this is the time Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)  went to Medina from Mecca. So that he could get away from the persecution by the disbelievers. 

Dates of Islamic New Year in different countries also vary because specific Islamic managements mention to local moon sightings, to have a decision on the new month of the Islamic year. In different circumstances, Saudi Arabia uses astronomical calculations to decide on their dates.

Islamic New Year traditions

People of many different Muslim communities observe having fast on these times of the month. Some of the Muslims fast on the 10th day of Muharram, which is the Day of Ashura. It doesn’t matter if Muslims are celebrating the beginning of the Islamic New Year or lamenting the loss of life. The truth is Muharram is an important and holy month for everyone. Plenty of Muslims fast, give extra prayers and spend long hours in the mosque.

Muharram will always be a month of deep reflection for Muslims across the world.

What is the difference between Hijri and Gregorian calendars?

The Gregorian calendar has 365/366 days when the Islamic year has a minimum of 354 days. The reason behind this is because the Hijri Calendar follows the motions of the moon. Compared to the Gregorian one, Hijri Calendar is usually less by 11 days. Gregorian calendars are most widely used across the whole world. Even alongside the Islamic one in most of the Arab countries, under other conditions, measure time starting with the year 0 A.D.

A.D. means Anno Domini, which means  “In the year of our Lord.” Also know that the Hijri Calendar has years marked by A.H., which means Anno Hegirae, ‘In the Year of the Hijra.’ Because the hegira took place in A.H. 1. 

The official calendar put to us in many broad Muslim countries is the Hijri Calendar, mainly in Saudi Arabia. And in another country, Muslims prefer to follow the Gregorian Calendar for most dates and consult the Hijri Calendar only for religious purposes or occasions.

Muharram is the blessed month

The Islamic New Year starts with the month of Muharram. This is a special month, during this time many important events have happened over the years. You can say that this time brings the perfect opportunity for us to reflect on the old ones as we welcome the new ones. Insha’ Allah, we hope to witness the beginning of another year. Get rewards with the chance to be a force for good in this world. We should take this opportunity to reflect on ourselves, our belief, the people we have, and the world around us, to remind ourselves of the journey we have to follow throughout our life.

Celebration of Islamic New Year

If you are thinking about the Islamic New Year celebration then you should know any celebration by Muslims needs to be put into context of the local and global situation of our fellow Muslims and other human beings too from different religions. The two Eid fully encourage us by prayers, dua for those who are suffering and aids to those in need. Though, celebrating the New Year does the opposite of what we just discussed above.

Involves non-Islamic practices 

When you imagine New Year’s Eve celebration, we don’t picture people sitting and having a sober discussion in a gathering that could take place in a mosque or with the local Imam around. These are the events that usually occur which reflects the celebrations of where this holiday theme has come from. You can also state this as an anti-Islam zone. It should not come as a surprise given that it has no basis or relationship to Islam.

Ruling on observing Islamic New Year

Upon asking the Standing Committee of Saudia Arabia for Fatwah about this issue, their response was –

‘It is not permissible to congratulate people on these occasions since observing/celebrating them is not on legislation.’

Queries about celebrating new year Islamqa

Asking Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan, who we widely recognize as a senior authority in Islamic verdicts on the committee, ‘There are some people who specify the year’s end as a time for special advice, admonitions or supplications. Are these actions accurate?’

He replied,

‘No, this is an innovation, it is not permissible to specify the end of the Hijri year as a holiday, or as a time-period for specific greetings, phrases of remembrance, or supplications. This is not permissible. The Salafi (early rightly-guided generations of Muslim predecessors) did not do this.’

Our beloved Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Abu Dawud, classes as Sahih by al-Albaani in Sahih Sunan Abi Dawud.

Also, offering Islamic New Year greetings on this day that comes back every year comes under the headline of celebrating it and accepting it as a festival, which is also forbidden for Muslims.

Hadith on celebrating Islamic New Year

If we are practicing Muslims then we should be careful. As celebrating some of these events which shows that we are following the paths of the pagan’s and Christian’s and if we do the tradition of new year celebrations then why is it wrong for us to celebrate Easter? 

It is known that the Islamic New Year was not celebrated by our beloved Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) so as his followers we should not celebrate our new year and also, we should not celebrate any other new year from any other calendars. Our calendar as described by the Prophet (PBUH) is what we all Muslims must follow. Any other events that are not part of the Muslim calendar must not be followed by us as they were not a part of Islam at the time of our beloved Prophet (PBUH).

This is further set by a Hadith by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)- ‘Medina is a sacred territory so he who made and innovation in it or gave protection to an innovator, there is upon him the curse of Allah the Almighty, of the Angels and all the people. These actions will not be accepted on the Day of Judgement with other obligatory duties for us such as- Salah, Fasting and other Fardh acts or Nafil acts from him.’ [Abu Hurayrah, Muslim 3166.] keep in mind every Bidah leads to the Fire.

Islamic prayer for the new year

If you are curious to know about the dua for the new year start, then this guide will help you to learn that.

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn Hisham [radiyallahu anhu] says that the Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) has learned the following dua for when the new month or new Islamic year would begin.

اللهم أَدْخِلْهُ عَلينا بِالأمْنِ وَالإيمان وَالسَّلامَةِ وَالإسْلام وَرِضْوَانٍ مِّنَ الرَّحْمن وِجوارٍ مِّنَ الشَّيْطان

Means, ‘O Allah, bring this year upon us with security, Iman, safety, Islam, your pleasure and protection from shaytan.’ [Al-Mu’jamul Awsat of Tabarani, Hadith: 6237]

Allah knows best. 

Conclusion

Every year as the clock strikes midnight on the 10th of Rabi al-Awal, 1436 A.H. we should thank Allah. We should pray for the blessings of having our calendar and the two Eid. May Allah grant us all with so much happiness, health, and unity for the whole bunch of the Muslim Ummah.

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