Islamic New Year 2021, a time of worship, more than festivities.
A new day, a new month, or the beginning of anything new brings hope. We plan resolutions or at least expect a little change. The initialization is the time when we forget our sorrow for a while. Therefore, pushing a restart button. No one knows what a fresh year will bring.
Islamic New Year has a mild connection to all that we stated above. It does bring hope but history saddens our soul. The origin is full of agony and left us lessons to learn.
Whether it is Islamic New Year in London or not, we have concluded this document to portray history and genuineness.
What is Islamic New Year?
Just like Gregorian New Year, Islamic New Year is the beginning of lunar Hijri year. The first month is Muharram. Eleven other months follow the 1st one. It has other titles as well. For instance, Arabic New Year and some call it Hijri New Year.
The first month is one of the sacred months in Islamic history. It has a total of 29 to 30 days, depending on the lunar cycle. All the months or the entire year of Islam are dependent on the moon’s orbit around Earth.
Currently, Muslims have celebrated for more than 1400 years. In August of 2021, the new Islamic year 1443 will begin. Unlike its name, the concept of spending it is a lot different than other cultures. There is an absence of fireworks and open announcements.
Even Muslims do not arrange indoor parties. Whether you are witnessing Islamic New Year in London or elsewhere, the vision is almost the same. This also demonstrates the respected unity of Muslims around the globe.
The history of the Islamic calendar goes back to 622 CE. It was the time of Khalifa Hazrat Umar Ibn Al-Khattab’s reign. The date of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (MPBUH)’s migration to Medina was finalized as the start of the Islamic year.
Before that suggestions were also in regards to Holy Prophet Muhammad (MPBUH)’s the date of birth.
When is Islamic New Year?
Islamic New Year begins at the end of the month Dhul Hijjah. Islamic New Year 2022 can hardly align with the start of the Gregorian year. This is because of the lunar lifecycle. Every year there is a change of almost 10 days.
The short lunar cycle decreases by nearly 10 days each year as compared to the Gregorian calendar. There is a possibility that the 1st of Muharram is on the same date to 1st of January, in the future.
It is also the reason why some Muslims have observed the 1st of Muharram on various seasons. Just like the individuals born in the 90s have observed Ramadan in winters. In the Gregorian year 2021, Muslims were fasting in May during scorching heat.
Islamic New Year 2021 initiates on Tuesday, 9th of August in the South Asian region. In 2022, this region will observe Islamic New Year on the evening of the 29th of July.
When is Islamic New Year 2021 in UK?
Islamic New Year 2021 in the UK is also expected on the 9th of August. However, the dates might differ depending on the sighting of the moon. In 2022, Islamic New Year in the UK is hopefully on the 29th of July.
According to Greenwich Mean Time, there is a slight difference in hours between the UK and South Asian countries. The number is 4 if we consider the time of London.
For instance, if the time in Pakistan is 9 pm, it’s 5 pm in the UK. This is a little bit helpful in determining the difference in Islamic dates but you should prioritize the moon sighting.
Moreover, when there is the eve of Islamic New Year, you will observe a thin crescent moon in the sky.
How Muslims celebrate Islamic New Year?
The word, celebration, is a bit controversial for Islamic New Year 2021 or any other year. It is more like a remembrance. Muslims around the globe hardly conduct ceremonies or décor their house on this occasion.
No one sings or greets everybody else like on Eid. There are a couple of reasons for it. Firstly, it is not an Islamic celebrative occasion. This means, according to the religious teachings, it is not an Eid.
Usually, the expressive happiness is displayed on two Eids. Secondly, it has a very sad history. The first month, Muharram, observed a lot of depressing Islamic incidents. Due to which Muslims just recall history.
Whether being religious or not, individuals give time to Holy Verses and try to deeply connect to Holy Quran. Some become punctual in prayers at the beginning of the Islamic New Year in the UK, just like in Ramadan.
Many start reading Islamic history books to determine what actually happened in this sacred month. Even the Muslim kids do the same. They follow the footsteps of their elders and visit mosques. Reading Muharram’s history is lesson-oriented and filled with suffering.
Many Muslims read to lift their spiritual belief. Moreover, others read to pay homage to this Holy month. Muslims also prefer to perform Nafl prayers, which are not obligatory but are symbols of worship and gratitude.
Tips to Spend Islamic New Year 2022 in UK
- You can learn something from history. We all have read many times the heirloom of Hazrat Hussain (Alaihissalam). The best motive is to follow what He (Alaihissalam) did. That Muslims’ noble Leader did not give up. He (Alaihissalam) was not scared of death. Even, He (Alaihissalam) and His companions were dedicated towards the right path. Although His life was at risk, His actions guarded Islam to date. Try to become like Him (Alaihissalam). Fearless for the right and protecting your family. This does not mean to become rude. Just be persistent in a kind way.
- Be extra caring to others on this occasion. On Islamic New Year, many people, particularly Shia, will remember past events. This will make them sad. Try to please with motivational speeches. Give good reasons why the history happened. Suggest ideas to boost faith and stay with them throughout this time. Once you are humble, believers can weep out their sorrows to you. Eventually, they will feel a bit better.
- Do not forget the poor. Start a Muharram campaign. Collect some money and give it to homeless people. Other than the food, you can also assist them religiously. For instance, buy a portable Holy Quran or books of prominent religious leaders.
- If you ever get a chance to become a politician, follow the tranquil rules to resolve an issue. Avoid becoming barbaric. Think of all the possibilities and never ruin the lives of the innocents. Also, make sure to pass on the right traditions to the younger generation.
How United Kingdom Muslims community celebrate Islamic New Year?
Islamic New Year is not aggressively cherished in the United Kingdom. Just like in other countries, it is quiet and much relied on remembrance. The UK not being a Muslim nation does not offer a public holiday on this occasion.
Although there are millions of Muslims residing, they all either take a day off or spend minimal time at work. Many Muslim business owners in London and other UK cities shrink the working hours. Similarly, the educational institutes do not support any holidays.
It is upon the Muslim student whether to take a day off or not. The first day of the Islamic New Year 2021 in the UK or other years apparently goes unnoticed to the public. Muslims pray at home and revive their spiritual regime.
The Muslims have good knowledge about its worth and respect its Holiness. However, the Shia community shows extensive mourning in this month. They remember Hazrat Hussayn ibn Ali (Alaihissalam), the beloved Grandson of Holy Prophet Muhammad (MPBUH).
Shias also wear black and weep in the month of Muharram.
Shias are also facing hurdles just like the rest of the world because of COVID 19. An article in Tehran Times, published last year, mentioned the radical efforts of Shia Centers’ leaders in England.
In 2020, the representatives of Ayatollah advised Shias to keep the tradition alive. They suggested that it is essential to pass on the Ashura culture to the modern generation. Due to the personality and tragedy of Hazrat Hussayn (Alaihissalam), the community is growing.
However, it was ordered to keep distance in public areas. The statement also prohibited the indoor gatherings of more than 30 people.
When is 9th and 10th Muharram in London 2021?
In 2021, the dates are the 17th and 18th of August. While, in 2022, 9th and 10th Muharram in London are expected on the 7th and 8th of August. Eventually, Ashura Day in London 2022 is on the 8th of August.
This will arrive with a gap of 10 days from 2021. Just like mentioned above, the expected dates are almost the same around the world. However, the moon sighting for the 1st of Muharram can alter the time of Ashura Day in London.
Considering the cities of the United Kingdom, there is a tiny to no difference in time. Due to this, the entire country might observe the same Islamic date. As discussed earlier, Muslims should always rely on the moon cycle, despite where they live.
So, the consideration of Ashura Day in London 2022 depends on the moon as well.
What is Ashura?
Ashura means the tenth. Usually, for Muharram, Ashura is linked to the day, so collectively it is Ashura Day. This means the tenth day. Tenth of Muharram has a huge significance in the UK as well.
It is the day when Hazrat Hussayn (Alaihissalam) was martyred in the Karbala Battle.
Being the Grandson of the Islamic Prophet (MPBUH), it was Hazrat Hussayn (Alaihissalam)’s responsibility to keep reviving the religion. He (Alaihissalam) was the one who stood against Yazid’s cruelty. Yazid was the caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate.
He ruled from 680 to 683, according to the Gregorian calendar. His nomination was opposed by many Muslim grandees. Hazrat Hussayn (Alaihissalam) was one of them. Yazid had a policy of killing the one who opposes him.
Hence, the Holy Grandson (Alaihissalam) knew his life was in danger but decided to protect and support his tribe. Therefore, He (Alaihissalam) did not support the tyrants and lost the choice of luxury life.
He (Alaihissalam) started traveling to Mecca, thinking Yazid would never follow to that Holy place. The thoughts went wrong. The brutal Yazid sent an army at Kufa, blocking His (Alaihissalam)’s way. 30000 soldiers surrounded Him (Alaihissalam) and companions.
He still did not give up. Yazid limited their access to water and gave the final warning. It was either to support the government or get killed. Hazrat Hussayn (Alaihissalam) stood by His Principles and reject to support Yazid.
This resulted in His Martyr along with His companions’. The companions also remained loyal throughout this time. Hazrat Hussayn (Alaihissalam)’s family, comprising His sister, were kept captive. However, Hazrat Zainab (Alaihissalam) took the leadership role by verbally demonstrating what Yazid has done.
The cruel ruler died in 683 AD, three years after the incident. This illustrates that even the military strength and barbaric nature are helpless at the time of death.
Nature took its revenge from Yazid and the legacy of Hazrat Hussain (Alaihissalam) will stay forever.
What happened in Muharram?
Muharram did not just experience the Shahadat of Hazrat Hussain (Alaihissalam), there is a lot more too. There is a death anniversary of a Punjabi Sufi named Baba Farid. It is on the 5th of Muharram.
Usually, Pakistani natives consider it as a sacred day but anyone who shares the spiritual similarity can value it. He died in 665 AH. Yazid banned water access to Hazrat Hussain (Alaihissalam) and companions on the 7th of Muharram.
One of the dreadful events in history. Muhammad Sirajuddin Naqshbandi was born in 1297 AH. He was a leader of the Mughal Empire and an Islamic scholar. Also, he was the first descendant of one who built the Taj Mahal.
Indian Sufi, Ashraf Jahangir Semnani, was born in 808 AH. He was the local ruler of Semnan.
Muslims respect Sufis. They think that such personalities are loyal in faith and experience an emotional religious journey. Muslims still value the Sufis who died centuries ago. Their stories are constantly shared and people visit the tomb to pay homage.
The UK Time’s article shared some of the above.
Can non-Muslims celebrate Islamic New Year?
That all depends on their personal choices. Islamic New Year in the UK is not bound to any community. If you are a non-Muslim and willing to spend time with Muslim friends, it is a good idea.
In this way, you will understand more about the Islamic community. This also helps in correcting the false image that the world assumes about Muslims.
Can Muslims enjoy Islamic New Year in London or other places like Eid ul Fitr?
Eid ul Fitr or Sweet Eid is a lot different than Islamic New Year. This Eid has no saddened Islamic story attached to it. It is also highly advised as the day of happiness.
Muslims do not spend the Islamic New Year like Eid ul Fitr. It is best to avoid overlapping. Moreover, you can search the Muslim activities on Muharram’s Ashura in London or other UK cities to understand the difference.
Is Islamic New Year a public holiday in United Kingdom?
No, Islamic New Year is not a public holiday in the United Kingdom. England comprises different religions with a huge number of Christians. Though, this country values all belief systems. Companies do allow Muslims to take a day off.
There are Muslims everywhere in this country like in Liverpool, Manchester, etc. However, Christians still outnumber Muslims. 2021’s government might bring extensive applicable changes to the system.
Can Muslims wear new clothes on Islamic New Year 2021?
It is not an obligation of a Muslim to wear a new dress. However, if a person desires or can afford then it is fine. Although this is not a celebrative occasion, one must avoid public flattery.
Excessive makeup, glamorous attire, and loud laughter are disrespectful to the Islamic community at this time. So, at Islamic New Year 2021, make wise choices in buying new stuff.
Can Muslims fast on Islamic New Year 2021?
It is not compulsory to fast on this sacred event but it all depends on a Muslim’s choice. Fasting on any day, other than Ramadan, is fine. However, one should do some research or consult Islamic scholars.
It is notably known to fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram.
Can Muslims perform Hajj in Muharram 2021?
Hajj is only permissible in the month, Dhul Hijjah. However, Muslims can perform Umrah during the month of Muharram, Ashura, traveling from London or elsewhere. There are certain similarities between Hajj and Umrah. Therefore, we suggest you do some research before traveling.