A Muslim at prayer
Al-Hijra : Islamic New Year
Al-Hijra is the Islamic New Year but unlike January 1st and it's hangovers, the Muslim community celebrate their new year in a different way...
Al-Hijra, the Islamic New Year, is the first day of the month of Muharram.
It marks the Hijra (or Hegira) in 622 CE when the Prophet Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina, and set up the first Islamic state.
It's a low-key event in the Muslim world, and isn't celebrated as much as the two major festivals of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.
The mourn the memory of the 680 AD tragedy in which Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of Muhammad the Prophet was killed in the battle of Karbala, and the event - called Muharram, is named after the month in which it took place.
During the first nine days of the month, muslims gather to remember and honour the sacrifice that Imam Hussain and members of his family made with their lives to protect Islam from corruption - known as majlish - which can be translated as a meeting of people.
There is no specific religious ritual required on Muharram, but Muslims will think about the general meaning of Hijra, and regard this as a good time for 'New Year Resolutions'.
The Qur’an uses the word 'Hijra' to mean moving from a bad place or state of affairs to a good one, and so Muslims may think about how their faith helps them leave behind bad ways of living and achieve a better life.
However only some local Muslims partake in Muharram celebrations:
"I know many of my friends get involved with the Shiah rituals, although I myself do not attend the celebrations, I can understand the religious interest in the events - However Eid is more important to me."
last updated: 10/01/2008 at 10:46
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