With global Muslims now in full anticipation, the Islamic New Year is expected to start on Wednesday, July 19, according to astronomical calculations.
“The Astronomical New Moon (conjunction) is on July 17, 2023 (Monday) at 18:32 UT. On July 17, the crescent can not be seen anywhere,” moonsighting.com reported.
“On July 18, with difficulty it may be seen in Africa and parts of Southern Europe, but can easily be seen in Americas. On July 19, it can be seen in the whole world.”
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This practically means that the New Hijri Year, the first day of the month of Muharram, will take place on Wednesday the 19th of July 2023.
The Hijri New Year is the day that marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year. This first day of the year is the first day of Muharram.
Muharram is one of the four sacred months of the Hijri year, and Muslims consider it the second holiest month after Ramadan.
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The Hijri calendar started in the year 622 AD with the emigration of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from Makkah to Madinah; the incident is known as the Hijrah.
In fact, Muslims 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.
In fact, the lunar Hijri year is eleven to twelve days shorter than the solar Gregorian year. Thus, the Hijri New Year, Muharram 1, doesn’t come on the same day of the Gregorian calendar every year.