Sunset on Monday August 9 marks the start of the Islamic New Year, known as the Hijiri New Year.

Hijiri New Year ends at sundown on Tuesday, August 10, with days in the Islamic calendar beginning and ending at sunset.

The start of the new year aligns with the start of the Muslim lunar calendar, which is approximately 11 days shorter than the solar, Gregorian calendar, used in the U.S. Ulink the Gregorian calendar, the Islamic lunar calendar runs for either 354 or 355 days a year. It includes 12 months and starts Monday with the first month of Muharram at the sighting of the new moon.

The date of the new Hijiri year is determined by the moon and astronomical calculations, and techniques can vary between countries.

The Islamic new year started with the migration of Prophet Muhammad and his companions from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD, also known as the Hijrah, after they were repeatedly persecuted and threatened.

In 639AD, the second caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab chose the Hijrah as the starting point for the Islamic New Year, given its importance in Islamic history. The upcoming Islamic year will be 1443 AH, which means it has been 1443 years since Prophet Muhammad’s migration.

Unlike other New Year’s celebrations, most Muslim-majority countries do not hold big celebrations for Hijiri New Year – although some do declare a public holiday. Some Sunni Muslims mark the day by voluntary fasting.

During the first 10 days of Muharram, many Muslims mourn the death of Husayn Ibn Ali al-Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad who died at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD. The event holds special significance for Shia Muslims. Al-Hussein died on the tenth day of Muharram, known as Ashoura.

Ashoura is also an important day in the Islamic calendar as it marks the day that Musa (Moses) and the Israelites were saved from Pharaoh of Egypt by God creating a path in the sea, and that Nuh (Noah) left the Ark.

To the Muslim community in Brooklyn and beyond, may this new year bring peace, prosperity and happiness to you and to the world.

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