Hijrah 1446: Significance, origin… all to know as Muslims mark New Year Calendar

 Hijrah 1446: Significance, origin… all to know as Muslims mark New Year Calendar

Image Credit: Getty Images Image Source: BBC

Borno, Bauchi, Oyo, Osun, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano, and Kwara states are observing a public holiday today to celebrate the start of the Hijrah 1446 calendar, which commenced yesterday, Sunday.

The Hijrah, also known as the Islamic New Year, commemorates a pivotal event in Islamic history and holds profound spiritual and cultural importance for Muslims. As Muslims around the world mark the beginning of Hijrah 1446, it is essential to understand the significance, origin, and key facts about this important occasion in the Islamic calendar.

The Origin of Hijrah

The term “Hijrah” refers to the migration of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. This migration was a turning point in Islamic history, marking the establishment of the first Muslim community (Ummah) under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad. The event of Hijrah signifies not just a physical journey but also a profound spiritual and societal transformation.

The Islamic calendar, or Hijri calendar, is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It begins with the month of Muharram and is used to date significant events in the Islamic world. The year 1446 AH (Anno Hegirae, “in the year of the Hijrah”) marks 1446 years since the Hijrah.


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Significance of Hijrah

1. Spiritual Renewal: The Hijrah represents a time of spiritual renewal and reflection for Muslims. It encourages believers to renew their faith, seek forgiveness, and set intentions for the coming year.

2. Community and Brotherhood: The migration to Medina established the foundation of a strong Muslim community based on principles of brotherhood, mutual support, and social justice. It emphasizes the importance of unity and cooperation among Muslims.

3. Endurance and Perseverance: The Hijrah teaches lessons of endurance, perseverance, and reliance on God. The hardships faced by Prophet Muhammad and his followers during the migration inspire Muslims to remain steadfast in their faith despite challenges.

4. New Beginnings: Just as the Hijrah marked a new beginning for the early Muslims, the Islamic New Year provides an opportunity for Muslims to reflect on their past actions and make positive changes for the future.

Key Facts About Hijrah

– Lunar Calendar: The Islamic calendar is lunar, with each month beginning with the sighting of the new moon. This makes the Islamic year about 10 to 12 days shorter than the Gregorian year.

-Months of the Islamic Calendar: The Hijri year consists of 12 months: Muharram, Safar, Rabi’ al-Awwal, Rabi’ al-Thani, Jumada al-Awwal, Jumada al-Thani, Rajab, Sha’ban, Ramadan, Shawwal, Dhu al-Qi’dah, and Dhu al-Hijjah.

-Al-Hijra Day: The first day of Muharram, known as Al-Hijra Day, is celebrated as the Islamic New Year. It is a time for Muslims to reflect on the significance of the Hijrah and its lessons.

-Ashura: The 10th day of Muharram, known as Ashura, is a day of fasting and reflection for many Muslims, especially in remembrance of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn at the Battle of Karbala.

Celebrations and Observances

The Islamic New Year is generally observed with quiet reflection and prayer rather than festive celebrations. Muslims may attend special prayers at mosques, recite Quranic verses, and engage in charitable acts. It is also a time for families to come together and discuss the teachings of Islam and the significance of the Hijrah.

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