x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Sermon turns thoughts towards Islamic new year

Celebrations continue over the weekend, but the emphasis shifts from National Day to the Islamic new year.

Celebrations continued over the weekend with musical performances and traditional dancing, but the emphasis began to shift from National Day to the Islamic new year, as the Friday sermon reminded worshippers of its significance to the Muslim world.

As clean-up operations got under way in places such as the Abu Dhabi Corniche and Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai, the sermon urged Muslims to undergo a "spiritual migration towards the better".

"We celebrate our new year with the Hijra (migration) of the Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Madina, because it was then the plot by the disbelievers to kill the Prophet failed, and the message of Islam survived," read the sermon, released by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments.

The private sector has the day off today to mark the new Hijri year 1432, with the public sector also off tomorrow.

"In the spirit of the Hijra, we should perform our own spiritual migration toward the better, leaving laziness and sin behind."

Yesterday, the Abu Dhabi Corniche hosted folk dance groups and the capital was due to stage a night-time concert of Arab performers, including the Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram.