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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Things you need to know about Islamic New Year

Hijra means migration in Arabic and refers to when Prophet Mohammed made his journey from Makkah to Medina in 622AD

Abu Dhabi, Sheikh  Zayed Grand Mosque. Victor Besa for The National
Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Victor Besa for The National

The Islamic New Year (Hijri) falls on Thursday, September 21, and as a result, all government and private sector employees will enjoy a three-day weekend.

But what is Hijri? Hijra, in Arabic, means migration, and it refers to when Prophet Mohammed made his journey from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD. This is an occasion that led to the establishment of the first Muslim community based on Islamic teachings, therefore the beginning of the Islamic era, 1AH (AH definition: After Hijra).

The Islamic lunar calendar has 354 or 355 days in a year. The year 2017 AD, therefore, falls within Islamic years AH 1438 and 1439.

In terms of celebrations, this is a traditionally quiet holiday. Time is spent with family or in contemplation and prayer. People, in increasing numbers, are using the day to make resolutions.

Why did Mohammed go from Mecca to Medina

Prophet Mohammed was invited to Medina by a delegation representing the twelve most important clans. He accepted and, along with most of his followers, made the 320km trek. The situation in Medina, at this time, was one of confusion and blood feuds. What was needed was a neutral outsider to judge the various altercations. Mohammed accepted the invitation and became chief arbitrator to the entire community.

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Read more:

Al Hijri New Year holiday for UAE public and private sector announced

Time to start planning: Here's the remaining public holidays in the UAE for 2017

UAE staycations: Great value deals across all 7 emirates

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