Islamic New Year

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Islamic New Year
Official nameرأس السنة الهجرية
Raʿs as-Sanah al-Hijrīyah
Also calledArabic New Year, Hijri New Year
Observed byMuslims
  • sunset, last day of Dhu al-Hijjah
  • dusk, 1 Muharram
  • 1 Muharram

The Islamic New Year (Arabic: رأس السنة الهجرية‎, Raʿs as-Sanah al-Hijrīyah), also called the Hijri New Year or Arabic 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 622 Common Era (CE), the year of the emigration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijra.[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 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]

Gregorian correspondence[edit]

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

The following dates are predicted for the Gregorian calendar dates to correspond with the Islamic new year:[6]

Islamic year Gregorian date
1442 AH 20 August 2020[6][7]
1443 AH 9[8] or 10[9] August 2021
1444 AH 30 July 2022
1445 AH 19 July 2023

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Beginning of Hijri calendar Archived 1 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine – Paul Lunde, Saudi Aramco World Magazine (November/December 2005), retrieved 1 January 2019
  2. ^ "Islamic Crescents' Observation Project". Archived from the original on 12 November 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  3. ^ "Islamic Crescents' Observation Project: Saudi Dating System". Archived from the original on 30 October 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  4. ^ Robert Harry van Gent, The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia Archived 11 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Islamic Crescents' Observation Project, Visibility of Muharram Crescent 1432 AH Archived 10 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine; seen on 6 December in Algeria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Africa.
  6. ^ a b "Principal Islamic days of observation (1420 AH to 1450 AH)". Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Hijri Calendar 1442 AH (based on Global Crescent Moon Sighting): Important dates in Hijri Calendar 1443 AH". Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Muharram Hijri calendar Letters: Islamic calendar of year 1443". Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Hijri Calendar 1443 AH (based on Global Crescent Moon Sighting): Important dates in Hijri Calendar 1443 AH". Retrieved 7 October 2020.

External links[edit]