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With the Hijri new year holiday being shifted to Thursday, residents can enjoy another longer weekend this month. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has announced Islamic New Year holiday for the private sector on Thursday, August 12.

With the Hijri New Year holiday being shifted to Thursday, residents can enjoy another longer weekend this month.

Earlier, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources also announced public holiday for the government sector on the occasion of the Islamic New Year (Hijri 1443) on Thursday, August 12.

What is Al Hijri – The Islamic New Year?

The occasion marks 1,442 years since the migration of Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and his companions from Makkah (Islam’s holiest city in Saudi Arabia) to Madinah.

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.

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. Because 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.