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A Reminder about the New Hijri Year

The 1st of Muharram 1443 corresponds to Tuesday 10th August 2021.

This means the 10th of Muharram, the Day of ‘Āshūrā will be on Thursday 19th August 2021.

The Sunnah is to fast the 10th of Muharram along with a day before or/and a day after; hoping by it that Allāh forgives a year of sins.

Many people will not be aware that we have entered the new Hijri year. Had it been the first day of the Gregorian calendar every one of us would know about it and some may have even celebrated it. This reflects the fact that we have become detached from our Islamic heritage. Many Muslims are oblivious to the Hijri calendar, such that most are unaware of what lunar year or month we are currently in. Most of our children are unaware of the names of the Arabic months let alone able to name them in the correct order.

The concern is not with regards to celebrating the new Hijri year, as we do not ‘celebrate’ any day except the two Eids – ʿEid ul-Ad’ha and ʿEid ul-Fitr. Rather, it is a matter of being connected to and aware of the Islamic emblems. It is a matter that links this ummah to its root and heritage. Three of the pillars of Islām are carried out according to the Islamic calendar: Zakāh, fasting and the Ḥajj.

A Muslim is obliged to calculate his or her wealth and the zakāt payable at the same time every Islamic year (that is when the person’s hawl comes to an end), and thus, it is highly significant for an individual to know what consists of a complete Hijri year. The new moon being sighted for the ninth month of the Hijri calendar is an indication for Muslims to begin fasting. Consequently, it is regarded important for a Muslim to be aware of the Hijri calendar and the debate on the subject of the new moon. Similarly, Ḥajj occurs during the twelfth Hijri month: Dhu’l-Hijjah. Allāh says in the Qur’ān,

They ask you about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.[1]

The Ḥajj [pilgrimage] is [in] the well-known months.[2]

In addition to these pillars, there are a number of other Islamic activities and practices that should be implemented in accordance with the Islamic Calendar. Allāh says,

Verily, the number of months with Allāh is twelve months [in a year], so was it ordained by Allāh on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred.[3]

In his exegetical work Al-Qurtubi said about this verse that “on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth” demonstrates that His ordainment was even before the act of creating the heavens and earth, and He calculated these months, named and ordered them on that day. He revealed the knowledge of this ordainment to Prophets in the form of revelation. This is the meaning of “the number of months with Allāh is twelve months (in a year)” – its ordainment is everlasting. Al-Qurtubi went on to say that this verse indicates that the laws of worship and other things pertain to months and years as understood by the Arabs rather than months as understood by non-Arabs, the Romans and the Copts, even if their months do not extend beyond twelve months.

It is narrated from Abū Bakr (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

The division of time has turned to its original form which was in existence the day Allāh created the heavens and earth. The year consists of twelve months of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab of Mudhar which comes between Jumada and Sha’ban.[4]

The first month of the Hijri year, Muharram, is a sacred month which has a number of virtues. It has been narrated from the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) that after Ramaḍān, the most rewarding time to fast is in the month of Muharram. It was narrated that Abū Hurairah (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) said, “The Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said: ‘The best fasts after Ramaḍān is the month of Allāh – Muharram, and the best prayer after the obligatory prayer is prayer at night.'[5]

The Prophet called this month the month of Allāh as an indication of its great status. However, it is evident that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) did not fast any month completely except Ramaḍān. Thus the hadīth encourages fasting regularly in the month of Muharram and it is not an indication to fast the entire month.

The ʿiddah of a female widow is four lunar months and ten days. The ʿiddah of a woman who does not see a period due to age is three lunar months. Allāh tells us in the Qur’ān,

And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the ʿiddah (prescribed period), if you have doubts [about their periods], is three months, and for those who have no courses their ʿiddah is three months likewise, except in the case of death.[6]

If the signs of bulūgh (puberty) within an individual are absent, the age of the person so as to ascertain the attainment of bulūgh is calculated according to the Hijri calendar and not the Gregorian one. The kaffarah (expiation) for sexual intercourse during Ramaḍān, zihār, and killing by mistake, is fasting two Islamic months consecutively which are between 29 and 30 days. It was narrated from Ibn ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

We are an unlettered nation, we do not write or calculate. The month is such-and-such or such-and-such – meaning sometimes it is twenty-nine and sometimes it is thirty.[7]

Some practical steps to propagate the use of the Hijri calendar

Firstly, we have to realise that Islām itself propagates the Hijri calendar. We are able to carry out various practices according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) through the use of the Islamic calendar. Moreover, we have to ensure that we use the Islamic calendar for all of our Islamic activities. Our mosques should have facilities that digitally display both the Hijri and Gregorian calendars. In addition to this, we should also display wall calendars. Families can play an important role by reminding their children of the importance of certain Hijri dates in the life of a Muslim.

Is it permissible to congratulate others on the new Hijri year?

The matter is flexible as there is no textual evidence to prohibit this action nor to allow it. However, it should not become a regular habit as it was not a practice of the Companions of the Prophet.

It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light and measured out their stages that you might know the number of years and the reckoning. Allāh did not create this but in truth. He explains the signs in detail for people who have knowledge.[8]

According to exegetes, the main function of the sun is that it is a source of light whereas the moon is an object that is utilised to determine the Islamic year.

Sources: www.islam21c.com

Originally posted on 28 November 2011

Islam21c requests all the readers of this article, and others, to share it on your facebook, twitter, and other platforms to further spread our efforts.


[1] Al-Qur’ān 2:189

[2] Al-Qur’ān 2:197

[3] Al-Qur’ān 9:36

[4] al-Bukhārī and Muslim

[5] Muslim

[6] Al-Qur’ān 65:4

[7] al-Bukhārī and Muslim

[8] Al-Qur’ān 10:5

About Shaykh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.


  1. praying the decree upon us all is subtle...

    look up …* * * *…early hours…

    ya sattar ya Allah

  2. follower of Beloved muhammed...who promised us east and west ..will be blessed!


    What am i getting myself into…..its all a show?! ….THERE I GO AGAIN…another sin..one too many….sorry do not mean to annoy…..

    May i be too amongst those who repent in this blessed month….ameen.

    There is still hope..for us all…in sha Allah…like always in all things…ya wail to us all…but saying so..it is only through Allah’s mercy and grace that anybody will be or is saved….so let us hope and pray it is so that we enter the mercy that encompasses all

    The sun hasnt risen yet….lets all remember arms length though….just to end after another of my own insignificant sentences…and to Allah willing to follow up a not so good deed with a better deed…let me end on / with the best of speeches….ie Allah/God’s speech….ie the One who has the say so in all things…whether world events to the other so called lesser insignificant and minute things…..

    IstigfirAllah…w atoob ilaihi….Allah forgive us

    Compete with one another to achieve forgiveness from your Lord and to reach Paradise, which is as vast as the heavens and the earth, and is prepared for those who believe in God and His Messenger. This is the blessing of God and He grants it to whomever He wants. The blessings of God are great.(m sarwar translation)

    • we all have a say....after and through Allah's permission

      We do agree it is God / Allah who is in control?!….

      Apologies for being arrowgant….do not worry…its aimed at satan *and his-story….i need to get him out of me..like us all…

      Allah forgive me and may i not be misunderstood..trying to make amends!

      need to follow the book….Peace love and happiness on us all….we all choose


    s-alam alai-kom


    why is it so quiet. i was a bit emotional few minutes back.i hope in away im right and im wrong.subhan Allah i truly no nothing. even tho while i write this got a feeling i should not. Only God knows just like the time اقتربت ام لا

    was scared. but i suppose im quite that and stupid. i suppose it is us (mainly i) who has built on sand dunes.ALLAH AKBAR ALLAH AKBAR-…..dreams of tables getting bigger. closer or not- and silence or speech- i wish i was amongst those who crossed/cross the sea / ocean….either way if tommorrows history comes- back to earth personaly may have a jammed packed weekend starting from this friday- i pray i am amongst the akrameen.

    what and who said…as i wait for solution…i still can not bring myself to the real giver of solutions.


    peace.over n out. and verily Allah al-mustaan. TAKBEER. ALLAH AKBAR.

  4. Salamalaikum brothers and sisters
    Alhamdulillah the school of thought of ahlul bayt a.s whom majority of Muslims abhor does not have this problem because we start preparing for imam al Hussain a.s at the start of every Islamic year.

  5. It would be useful if the next release of the Islam21c website had the Hijri calendar date displayed prominently on the homepage, manually adjusted each month depending on 29 or 30 day months (not just an automated feed like most websites). Jazakallahu khairan.

  6. as salaamu alaikum and jazaak’Allahu khairun for the reminder.

    A sincere suggestion – perhaps a banner across the top of this sites webpages with the hijri month and date would be appropriate?


  7. Samy Merchant

    “The concern is not with regards to celebrating the new hijri year…”

    Is it a sin to celebrate the fact that Muhammad (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) left the persecution in Mecca and migrated to the beautiful and friendly city of Medina? It is ONLY through celebration that we remember things. Please, let’s move Islam into the 21st century, islam21c.com

    • Islam21c attempts to articulate Islam in the 21st century, not change it to fit whatever happens to be in vogue in the 21st century. Thus there is a duty to take a principle-based approach to these things; to be precise, it is not actually the celebration of the hijra you are alluding to, it is in fact the celebration of an arbitrary number of days after that event (every 355 or so days).

  8. Samiuddin Sheikh

    Very nice article for all Muslims, young, old, men and woman. I think it is necessary to tell why our new year starts from Moharram———-Is it because of only the martyrdom of grandson of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him).

  9. Thanks A lot
    BArakAllah ,ZazaKAllah Shaiakh ..

  10. Mr

    Is it a sin to sit in the mosque and to explain the lives of the family of our beloved(SWS)and the saddest moment of Karbala during the first ten days of Muharram ? I personally think that all the events pertaining Islam should be narrated regularly in our mosque to enable the new generation to understand Islam and the path carried out by our beloved (SAW) the sahabas and Khalifs. Doing this during a specific period i.e in the same month it arose is the best way. What about Ashoura ?

  11. mrs
    Jazakumullahu khair,may ALLAH make this article beneficial for all of us,

  12. mrs
    jazakummullah khair, ALLAH make this effort beneficial for shaikh and for us.

  13. New Year
    Jzk Sheikh! Good article, mA. 🙂

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