Islamic New Year 1446 AH & Muharrum

~ Islamic year 1446 AH ~

Depending on the sighting of the new moon, the Islamic new year is expected to start on Sunday 7 July 2024.

~ The Start of the Islamic Calendar ~

In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, the year was not numbered, but rather taken from significant events which occurred in the year, such as ‘the year of the elephant.’

The Islamic year was started from the time of Umar ibn al Khattāb, a father-in-law of the prophet (ﷺ) and the second Khaleefah of Islam. The early Muslims of this time determined that the most significant event from which our calendar should begin, which they deemed to be the most important, was the migration (Hijra). Not because it was the migration in itself, rather it was the time that Islam gained prominence and that the Islamic law manifested itself as a way of life, rather than just a set of beliefs and rituals. Thus, the Islamic Calendar starts from the time that the prophet (ﷺ) migrated (made Hijra) to Madina and it is for this reason, the Islamic calendar is called the Hijra calendar. It is sometimes written as hegira calendar. It is usually denoted by a ‘H’ or ‘AH’ after the date.

~ A Sacred Month ~

There are four sacred months in Islam, in which war was prohibited in pre-Islamic times. The order which banned fighting was later abrogated, however the months remain sacred, and thus actions during them are more rewarding.

The first month of the Islamic Calendar is Muhurrum and is one of those sacred months.

~ It is celebrated by fasting ~

It is not customary to congratulate or wish others a happy new year when Muhurrum starts as is done in the Gregorian Christian calendar. Rather it is recommended to fast during the month of Muhurrum, more than any other month, except for the obligatory fasting of Ramadān.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: The most excellent fast after Ramadān is God’s month, al-Muhurrum, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night. [Sahih Muslim Hadith 2611]

May Allah keep us steadfast on the way of the prophet (ﷺ).