The Islamic Hijri Calendar

The Islamic Calendar is a lunar calendar – that is, it is marked by the moon’s orbit of Earth. It is also known as the Hijri Calendar because the Hijri years (corresponding with the year 622 CE), begin from the year in which the hijrah (migration) of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), from Makkah to Medina took place. Year 1 Hijri marked the establishment of the first Islamic state in Medina and therefore holds significance for Muslims. It was actually the Caliph ‘Umar bin al-Khattab who instituted the Hijrah as the first Islamic Hijri year.


What is the significance of the Islamic New Year?

While there are no prescribed days of worship for Muslims to observe on the 1st of Muharram, Muslims may use it as a time to  reflect on the journey and struggle  of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the Muslims of his time. Many sacrifices and much hardship was endured in the lead up to the establishment of the first Islamic government and city, and around the Muslim world, it marks the beginning of the year and people’s annual plans.


When is the Islamic New Year?

Each year, the Islamic new year is determined by the sighting of the Moon. The entire calendar and it’s religious and notable days are organised in line with the lunar calendar, and so moves forward approximately 11-12 days each year, while the Gregorian calendar runs on the solar year. 

The coming new year will occur on the 30th July 2022.


How is the Islamic New Year celebrated?

There are no set customs or requirements for celebrating the new year, however, since Muharram is one of the sacred months ordained by Allah (SWT), when good acts are multiplied in reward, it is an opportune time for Muslims to incorporate acts of sadaqah jaariyah, nafl (voluntary) prayers, fasting and Qur’an recitation.

scholar verified badge islamic relief

We ensure our content is reviewed and verified by qualified scholars to provide you with the most accurate information. This webpage was last reviewed by Sheikha Fatima Barkatulla.

Page last reviewed: 07 February 2022

Next review due: Within 12 months

© Copyright 2022 Islamic Relief Worldwide, Inc. All rights reserved. Registered Charity No. 328158

Quick Donate