Al Hijri New Year: When is Muharram 2021?

Muharram, the first month of the Hijri calendar, is one of four sanctified months in the Muslim faith

A picture taken on November 6, 2018 shows Aermacchi MB-339 jets from UAE's Al-Fursan flying over the the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi. / AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACE

The first month of the Islamic calendar is expected to start on Tuesday, August 10.

The Hijri year 1443 begins on that day.

A public holiday to mark the occasion will take place in the UAE on Thursday, August 12.

Muharram is the first of 12 months on the Islamic calendar.

It is one of four sanctified months that are of particular reverence – the others are Rajab (7th), Dhu Al Qaeda (11th) and Dhu Al Hijjah (12th).

As with other Islamic holidays, Muharram changes every year when the 354 or 355-day year is viewed against the lunar cycle.

What is Al Hijri New Year?

It marks the arrival of the Prophet Mohammed in Madinah after emigrating from Makkah. It was from this definitive moment that Muslims formed a state based on Islamic teachings, and Islam began to flourish and spread as a major religion.

In contrast to Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha, there are no religious observances prescribed for Al Hijra and it is generally regarded as a day of reflection rather than celebration.

In recent times, some Muslims have begun exchanging greeting cards to celebrate the holiday, and wishing someone a "Happy New Hijri Year" is considered polite.

Why are Rajab, Dhu Al Qaeda, Dhu Al Hijjah and Muharram special?

During these four sanctified months, war is prohibited unless out of necessity and only in self-defence. Performing as many forms of worshipping as possible is greatly encouraged.

The Quran reads: “Lo! The number of the months with Allah is twelve months by Allah’s ordinance in the day that He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred.” (Surat At-Tawbah 36).

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Updated: August 8th 2021, 12:04 PM