Islamic New Year

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Not to be confused with Nowruz, the New Year in the Solar Hijri calendar.

The Hijri New Year, also known as Islamic New Year (Arabic: رأس السنة الهجريةRaʼs as-Sanah al-Hijrīyah) is the day that marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. The first Islamic year beginning in 622 AD during which the emigration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijra.

While some Islamic organizations prefer determining the new month (and hence the new year) by local sightings of the moon,[1] most Islamic institutions and countries, including Saudi Arabia,[2] follow astronomical calculations to determine future dates of the Islamic calendar.

There are various schema for calculating the tabular Islamic calendar (i.e. not based on observation), which results in differences of typically one or even two days between countries using such schema and those that use lunar sightings. For example, the The Umm al-Qura Calendar used in Saudi Arabia was reformed several times in recent years. The current scheme has been introduced in AH 1423 (15 March 2002).[3]

A day in the Islamic calendar is defined as beginning at sunset. For example, 1 Muharram 1432 was defined to correspond to 7 or 8 December 2010 in official calendars (depending on the country). For an observation-based calendar, a sighting of the New Moon at sunset of 6 December would mean that 1 Muharram lasted from the moment of sunset of 6 December to the moment of sunset of 7 December, while in places where the New Moon was not sighted on 6 December, 1 Muharram would last from the moment of sunset of 7 December to the moment of sunset of 8 December. [4]

Gregorian correspondence[edit]

Main article: List of Islamic years

Since the Islamic lunar year is eleven to twelve days shorter than the solar Gregorian year, the Islamic new year does not come on the same day of the Gregorian calendar every year.

The following dates on the Gregorian calendar correspond to the Islamic new year:

Islamic Year Gregorian Date
1430 AH 28/29 December 2008
1431 AH 17/18 December 2009
1432 AH 7/8 December 2010
1433 AH 26/27 November 2011
1434 AH 14/15 November 2012
1435 AH 4/5 November 2013
1436 AH 24/25 October 2014
1437 AH 13/14/15 October 2015
1438 AH 3 October 2016
1439 AH 22 September 2017


  1. ^ Islamic Crescents' Observation Project
  2. ^ Islamic Crescents' Observation Project: Saudi Dating System
  3. ^ Robert Harry van Gent, The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia
  4. ^ Islamic Crescents' Observation Project, Visibility of Muharram Crescent 1432 AH; seen on 6 December in Algeria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Africa.

External links[edit]