Islamic New Year

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Islamic New Year
Official nameArabic: رأس السنة الهجرية
Raʿs as-Sanah al-Hijrīyah
Also calledHijri New Year
Observed byMuslims
BeginsLast day of Dhu al-Hijjah
Ends1 Muharram
Date1 Muharram
2023 date18 – 19 July 2023
2024 date7 – 8 July 2024 (estimated)

The Islamic New Year (Arabic: رأس السنة الهجرية, Raʿs as-Sanah al-Hijrīyah), also called the Hijri New Year, is the day that marks the beginning of a new lunar Hijri year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the Islamic year is observed by most Muslims on the first day of the month of Muharram. The epoch (reference date) of the Islamic era was set as the year of the emigration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijrah, which equates to 622 CE in the Gregorian calendar.[1] All religious duties, such as prayer, fasting in the month of Ramadan, and pilgrimage, and the dates of significant events, such as celebration of holy nights and festivals, are calculated according to the Islamic calendar.

While some Islamic organizations prefer determining the new month (and hence the new year) by local sightings of the moon,[2] most Islamic institutions and countries, including Saudi Arabia,[3] follow astronomical calculations to determine future dates of the Islamic calendar. There are various schemas for calculating the tabular Islamic calendar (i.e. not based on observation), which results in differences of typically one or even two days between countries using such schema and those that use actual lunar sightings. For example, the Umm al-Qura calendar used in Saudi Arabia was reformed several times in recent years. The current scheme was introduced in 1423 AH (15 March 2002).[4]

A day in the Islamic calendar is defined as beginning at sunset. For example, 1 Muharram 1432 was defined to correspond to 7 or 8 December 2010 in civil calendars (depending on the country). For an observation-based calendar, a sighting of the new moon at sunset of 6 December would mean that 1 Muharram lasted from the moment of sunset of 6 December to the moment of sunset of 7 December, while in places where the new moon was not sighted on 6 December 1 Muharram would last from the moment of sunset of 7 December to the moment of sunset of 8 December.[5]

Alternative date[edit]

Twelver Shia Muslims believe the Islamic new year is the first of Rabi' al-Awwal rather than Muharram, due to it being the month in which the Hijrah took place.[6] This has led to difference regarding description of the years in which some events took place, such as the Muharram-occurring battle of Karbala, which Shias say took place in 60 AH, while Sunnis say it took place in 61 AH.[7]

Gregorian correspondence[edit]

Since the Islamic lunar year is eleven to twelve days shorter than the solar year as approximated by the Gregorian calendar, the Islamic New Year does not occur on the same Gregorian calendar date every year.

The following dates are predicted for the Gregorian calendar dates to correspond with the Islamic new year, according to Saudi Arabia's Umm al-Qura calendar:[8]

Islamic year Gregorian date
1443 AH 9 August 2021
1444 AH 30 July 2022
1445 AH 19 July 2023
1446 AH 7 July 2024 [a]
1447 AH 26 June 2025 [a]
  1. ^ a b The actual Gregorian date of 1 Muharram may differ by locality according to local traditions, time zone and atmospheric conditions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lunde, Paul. "The Beginning of Hijri calendar". Saudi Aramco World Magazine. No. November/December 2005. Archived from the original on 1 January 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Islamic Crescents' Observation Project". Archived from the original on 12 November 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  3. ^ "Saudi Dating System". Islamic Crescents' Observation Project. Archived from the original on 30 October 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  4. ^ van Gent, Robert Harry. "The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia". Archived from the original on 11 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Visibility of Muharram Crescent 1432 AH". Islamic Crescents' Observation Project. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.; seen on 6 December in Algeria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Africa.
  6. ^ Al-Hilli, Mohammed (22 September 2021). "Muharram May Not Be The Start Of The Islamic Hijri New Year". Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project. Retrieved 13 April 2024.
  7. ^ Rizvi, Sa'eed Akhtar (1401). "Martyrdom of Imam Husayn and the Muslim and Jewish Calendars". Al-Serat (a Journal of Islamic Studies). 6 (3–4). Retrieved 13 April 2024 – via Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project.
  8. ^ "Principal Islamic days of observation (1420 AH to 1450 AH)". Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2020.

External links[edit]

Calendar converters[edit]