The moon-sighting committee will announce when the Islamic New Year will begin. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Public and private sector employees in the UAE will get a holiday for the Hijri New Year (Islamic New Year), the 1st of Muharram 1441, the Federal Authority for Human Resources (FAHR) and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) announced.

Muharram 1, 1441 falls on Saturday (August 31) or Sunday (September 1).

The first day of the Hijri New Year will be officially determined following a moon sighting later this month.

Earlier this year, UAE had announced that the holiday calendar would be unified for the public and private sectors.

UAE residents will also have another holiday to look forward to in December with Commemoration day and National Day giving us a 5-day long weekend.

So what is Hijri New Year?

The occasion marks 1,441 years since the migration of Prophet Mohammed and his companions from Makkah to Madinah, Islam’s holiest cities in Saudi Arabia.

The first year in the Islamic calendar, Hijri 1, corresponds to the year 622AD.

Hijri is derived from Arabic word Hijrah, which means migration. In the religious context, it specifically refers to the migration of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) more than 14 centuries ago.

Read: What are the other UAE 2019 public holidays?

When will it take place?

Hijri New Year actually falls on August 31, Saturday. 

Why does the Islamic calendar start with Hijrah and what is the significance of this event?

Hijrah was the definitive turning point in the history of Islam. It is not just a historical event, but is an opportunity for introspection.

Thousands of years ago, Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and his companions migrated, leaving everything behind — their homes, their property, and their loved ones.

They chose to sacrifice worldly gains and comforts for the perseverance of their religion, which was at the time in danger in Makkah. The prophet himself was escaping his death from the Quraish elderlies.

What is the Hijri calendar?

The Hijri calendar is based on the lunar year, in which months are 29 or 30 days, depending on when the waxing crescent moon is sighted after the new moon.

As a result, the Hijri year is shorter than the Gregorian solar year, arriving around 11 days “earlier” after each full cycle.

What are the months on the Hijri calendar?

1. Muharram

2. Safar

3. Rabi Al Awwal

4. Rabi Al Thani

5. Jumada Al Ula

6. Jumada Al Akhira

7. Rajab

8. Sha’aban

9. Ramadan

10. Shawwal

11. Dhu Al Qa’da

12. Dhu Al Hijja