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Al-Hijra – Islamic Festival

In the Islamic religion, Al-Hijra – the New Year – is celebrated on the first day of Muharram, the month in which Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE (the Hijra). The holiday is also known simply as Muharram. Islamic years are calculated from 1 Muharram, 622 CE. They are followed by the suffix AH, which stands for “After Hijira” or Anno Higirae (Latin). In 2005, Al-Hijra falls on February 10, 2005, which will be 1426 AH.

Unlike the important holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, there are few rituals associated with Islamic New Year. There are no prescribed religious observances. Most Muslims regard the day as a time for reflection on the Hijira and on the year to come. In modern times, some Muslims exchange greeting cards to celebrate the holiday.

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