Hijri New Year starts Saturday: Dar Al-Ifta

Ahram Online , Thursday 23 Oct 2014

Islamic new year 1436 AH starts on Saturday, say Egypt's religious authorities

Saturday will mark the new Muslim Hijri year 1436 AH, Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta, the body responsible for issuing religious edicts, said in a statement on Thursday.

According to astronomical observation undertaken by the religious institution, Saturday will mark the first day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, during which prophet Mohamed emigrated from Mecca to Medina in what is now Saudi Arabia, a journey known as the Hijra.

With the Hijri lunar calendar being 11-12 days shorter than the western calendar, Muharram falls at different times every year.

The Hijri calendar, which began in AD 622, is used by Muslims around the globe to determine annual fasting during the holy month of Ramadan as well as the Hajj pilgrimage and Muslim festivals.

A cabinet spokesman said Wednesday that Saturday, a weekend across large sections of private and public sectors, will be a national holiday but won't be compensated for those who are already off.

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