It’s a few hours to new year, do you have your timer on countdown, and your new year resolution list, are you planning on staying up till midnight to wish your friends and family ‘Happy new year’… Hold on, do you have any idea what I’m talking about, it’s the middle of October! what new year is this?
It’s the new year of the hijra calendar, the year 1436 has finally come to an end, and we’re stepping into the first month in the new year of 1437 (Muharram), it doesn’t sound so exciting, does it? Well that’s because it really isn’t, so you can forget about countdowns and staying up till midnight, I was just making an entrance (lol)
What to know about Hijra
Hijra is the migration or journey of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) and his followers from Mecca to Yathrib, later renamed by him to Medina, Upon receiving divine direction to depart from Mecca, Muhammad (SAW) left his home in Mecca to emigrate to Yathrib, along with his companion Abu Bakr. Yathrib was soon renamed Madīnat an-Nabī, literally “the City of the Prophet”, but an-Nabī was soon dropped, so its name is “Medina”, meaning “the city”.
The hijra calendar was coined by Umar (RA) In AD 638 (17 AH), Abu Musa Ashaari, one of the officials of the Caliph Umar (RA) in Basrah, complained about the absence of any years on the correspondence he received from Umar, making it difficult for him to determine which instructions were most recent. This report convinced Umar of the need to introduce an era for Muslims. After debating the issue with his counsellors, he decided that the first year should include the date of the Prophet’s arrival at Medina. Uthman ibn Affan (RA) then suggested that the months begin with Muharram, in line with the established custom of the Arabs at that time. The years of the Islamic calendar thus began with the month of Muharram in the year of the Prophet’s arrival at the city of Medina.
How does this affect us
Today there is no more Hijra, A believer used to run away with his religion to Allah and His Apostle lest he should be put to trial because of his religion. Today Allah has made Islam triumphant, and today a believer can worship his Lord wherever he likes. All we need to do now, is to try to be the best Muslims that we can be.