Awal Muharram, the Muslim New Year’s celebration. Awal means beginning and Muharram is the beginning of the New Year, marked by the Hijra, the journey from Mecca to Medina.
The Islamic calendar is Lunar rather than solar, which means events and dates are not static and change (according to the Julian and Gregorian calendars) and a year is made 345 days.
Of course New Year is a major holiday and celebration, recalling the time when the Prophet journeyed to Medina from Mecca on the 1st of Muharram in 622, as somebody wanted to kill him, and travelled away to save his life. This is where this day came also to symbolise life and freedom from suffering, as Pagans tried to kill Prophet Mohammed, which was then followed by the universal declaration of brotherhood among all Muslims. Although the celebration of this day, unlike many New Year’s is a quiet one, as this is a time to reflect on time passing and our own human mortality as we pass into the new cycle.
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