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UAE has announced July 7 as the official holiday for public and private sectors employees to celebrate the Islamic New Year. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia's Supreme Court has declared that the first day of Muharram 1446 AH will be on Sunday, July 7. The crescent moon was not sighted in the Kingdom on Friday evening, July 5.

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Consequently, the court announced that Saturday, July 6, will be the last day of Dhul-Hijjah, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The Supreme Court stated, as quoted by SPA: "The Crescent Sighting Committee of the Supreme Court has decided that Saturday, 30/12/1445 AH according to the Umm Al Qura calendar, corresponding to July 6, 2024 AD, will be the completion of the month of Dhul Hijjah for the year 1445 AH as thirty days. Consequently, Sunday, 1/1/1446 AH according to the Umm Al Qura calendar, corresponding to July 7, 2024 AD, will be the first day of the month of Muharram for the year 1446 AH."

The UAE previously announced July 7 as a paid holiday for the public and private sectors to mark the New Hijri Year (1446 AH).


What is the Hijri year?

The Hijri year is named after the Arabic word for migration, specifically of Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Up on Him) from Mecca to Madina (two holy Muslim cities in what is now Saudi Arabia).

This milestone event in Islamic history took place in the corresponding year of 622 AD. It marked the beginning of the Hijri or Islamic New Year as 1 AH (After Hijri). We are now in 1445 AH. On July 7 – Muharram 1, the first day of the Islamic calendar – we will enter 1446 AH.