Abu Dhabi: The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan announced that the crescent of the Islamic month of "Muharram" 1445 AH was sighted On Tuesday, July 18, 2023.
In Abu Dhabi, the crescent was spotted at the International Astronomical Centre's Observatory at 06:58 GMT. The moon was then 7.9 degrees away from the sun.
In Irbid, Jordan, observer Dr. Anas Sawalha photographed the crescent at 05:48 GMT. At the time of observation, the moon was at a distance of 7.7 degrees from the sun.
In a separate announcement, Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court declared that Tuesday would mark the end of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, 1444 Hijri. According to the Umm Al Qura calendar, Wednesday, July 19, 2023, will usher in the month of Muharram, 1445 Hijri.
In UAE, Friday, July 21, has been declared the official holiday to celebrate New Islamic Hijri Year for public and public sector employees. This comes in implementation of a Cabinet Resolution on official holidays in the public and private sectors in the UAE in 2023.
The commencement of Muharram marks the Islamic New Year, also known as the Hijri New Year. This occasion holds great significance for Muslims as it represents the start of a new lunar calendar year. It commemorates the migration, or Hijra, of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers from Mecca to Medina in the year 622.
The Islamic calendar follows the lunar cycle, causing the Hijri New Year to fall on different dates of the Gregorian calendar each year, as the lunar year is approximately 11 days shorter than the solar year.
In line with this, the UAE has officially declared Friday, July 21, as a holiday to celebrate the New Islamic Hijri Year for all public and private sector employees.