Muslims all around the globe will be celebrating the Islamic (Hijiri or Arabic) New Year starting next week, which also marks the beginning of Muharram – the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
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And like other Islamic holidays, the dates vary every year depending on the Gregorian calendar, as the observance of these events are based on moon sightings or the lunar cycle. However, in Kuwait, the holiday will not be moved, as it will be observed on Sept. 11 this year according to the Civil Service Commission, as shared in a report by the Arab Times Online.
Kuwait to Observe Islamic New Year on Sept. 11
With the dawn of a new lunar calendar year well in front of us, some people would ask about the significance and meaning of the Muharram, which is considered as one of the four holy months of the Islamic calendar.
Muharram is the second holiest month in the Islamic calendar, next to Ramadan. With its literal name meaning “forbidden,” many followers of the faith choose to fast during the ninth and tenth days of the month.
The Muharram also commemorates the anniversary of the historic battle of Karbala dated on 10 October 680 AD wherein the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, Imam Hussein ibn Ali, had been killed during the siege of the Iraqi city 100 km south of Baghdad, an event that is widely venerated by Shia Muslims today.
Similarly, the New Year honours the journey of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, which was known as Hijrah where the name of the first day of the year was derived.
In most Islam-practicing nations, the Muharram is celebrated as a cultural holiday, and not particularly a religious one. Observances of the holiday vary for Shia and Sunni Muslims, but the date is widely observed as a public holiday in most Muslim countries including the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.
Practicing Muslims observe the holiday by offering prayers in their mosques and spending time with family at home. The highlight of the event is on reflection, remembrance and thanksgiving, according to religious scholars.