Muharram -- The first month of the Islamic calendar
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. The Islamic year begins on the first day of Muharram, and is counted from the year of the Hijra the year in which Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina.
The Islamic calendar was first introduced by the close companion of the Prophet, 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab. During his leadership of the Muslim community, in approximately 638 A.D., he consulted with his advisors in order to come to a decision regarding the various dating systems used at that time. It was agreed that the most appropriate reference point for the Islamic calendar was the Hijrah, since it was an important turning point for the Muslim community. After the emigration to Madinah (formerly known as Yathrib), the Muslims were able to organize and establish the first real Muslim "community," with social, political, and economic independence. Life in Madinah allowed the Muslim community to mature and strengthen, and the people developed an entire society based on Islamic principles.
The noble Hijrah from Makkah to Madinah is one of the grandest events in the history of Islam. And because of that 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab decide to use The Hijrah year as a start for Islamic calendar.
The Hijra teach us a lot. It teach us to sacrifice, to reminds us with great models and examples of trust in Allah and dependence upon him and His Messenger.
The lessons and examples in the life of the Prophet and the Hijra to Madinah should not simply be seen as a historical story to enjoy reading or hearing but one that we should consider a model for our own actions, so that we may truly be one of his followers.
There is no specific religious ritual required on this day, but Muslims will think about the general meaning of Hijra, and regard this as a good time for 'New Year Resolutions' where we have to be a better person than before.
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