Muslims celebrate the New Year

admin | 11/23/2011, 5:40 a.m.

On Sunday, Nov. 27th, millions of Christians will be celebrating Advent Sunday, the first day of the liturgical year in Western Christian Church. Meanwhile, 5.3 million Muslims in America will be celebrating Al Hijra or the Islamic New Years Day, according to a study by the Pew Forum. Al Hijra is the day when the Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina and set up the first Islamic state in 622 CE, a year which was designated as the first year in the Islamic calendar. Hence dates on the Muslim calendar have the suffix A.H. which stands for After Hijra. The Muslim New Year is relatively low key event compared to other major annual celebrations such as the Eid-ul-Fitr (the first day after the end of Ramadan) and the Eid-ul-Adha (the season of the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca). While there is no specific religious ritual associated with the holiday, traditionally individuals take the time to reflect upon the meaning of Hijra as well as make New Year Resolutions. While there are no specific rituals, Muharram, the first month of the New Year, is considered to be one of the few sacred months of the year where fighting is prohibited. By Kaila Heardkheard@miamitimesonline.com