The Hijri new year marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year. It is also known as Ras as-Sanah al-Hijriyah. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, which is the first month in the Islamic calendar.
Advent of the Islamic Calendar
The first Islamic year began in 622 AD and is believed to mark the emigration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina. The word Hijrah means immigration. The Islamic Calendar was started 1434 years before by the second Caliph Omar ibn Khattab, which makes the current year 1436 AH according to the Islamic calendar. The AH here stands for the Latin term ‘Anno Hegirae’ or ‘After Hijrah’.
Calculation of the New Year
The Islamic calendar runs on the lunar system, and the first day of the new month is decided based on sighting of the moon. So, the new year is determined by the sighting of the new moon. Therefore, the exact day varies in different countries, but there is generally only a difference of one or two days.
The Umm al-Qura Calendar, used in Saudi Arabia, is also followed by several neighbouring states on the Arabian Peninsula, such as Bahrain and Qatar. In India, the Hijri new year falls on October 25.