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Muslims Worldwide Celebrate New Hijri Year

MAKKAH – Muslims around the world are celebrating the Islamic New Year as September 11, 2018 was officially declared the first day (1st Muharram) of the year 1440 Hijri.

The Saudi Press Agency, SPA, and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) all declared September 11 as the official date for the start of the New Year.

“The Supreme Court has announced that tomorrow, Tuesday, is the first day of Muharram,1440 H corresponding to 11th September 2018,” SPA said.

It said in its statement that the crescent of the month of Muharram 1440 H was not sighted on Sunday evening 29/12/1439 H, there for the Supreme Court decided that Monday 30/12/1439 H shall be the completion of the month of Dhul-Hijjah and Tuesday 1/1/1440H is the first day of Muharram according to the Umm Al-Qura calendar.

The Hijri calendar started in the year 622 AD with the emigration of Prophet Muhammad from Makkah to Madinah, known as the Hijra.

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Muslim use this lunar Hijri calendar to calculate times of prayers, fasting, Hajj, and other religious celebrations. While some determine the new month by moon sightings, most Islamic countries follow astronomical calculations.

A Hijri day starts at sunset. Thus, observing the crescent of a new Hijri month occurs during the sunset. If the crescent sets before the sunset, this means there is no new month. If it sets after the sunset, this means the beginning of the new month.

The lunar Hijri year is eleven to twelve days shorter than the solar Gregorian year. Thus, the first day of the Hijri New Year, Muharram 1, doesn’t come on the same day of the Gregorian calendar every year.

Muharram is one of the four sacred months of the Hijri year.


On social media, Muslims launched hashtags like: “Your wishes for 1440” and “Happy new Hijri year 1440” to share greetings and wishes for the new year.

Thousands of posts were shared from different parts of the world, to welcome in the new year.