Islamic New Year: A reminder for solemn reflection, spiritual renewal and positive action
Saturday, 26 November 2011
Throughout the world today, Muslims welcome the year 1433 in the Islamic Calendar of Hijrah. The new year begins with the first day of the month of Muharram. Both the concept of Hijrah (migration) and the many significant events commemorated in the month of Muharram provide the vision, inspiration and an opportunity for solemn reflection and renewal of spirits.
Traditionally Muslims do not hold a celebration at the beginning of the Islamic new year. Instead, this is a time to commemorate the immense sacrifice and contribution of those who dedicated their lives in the service of the Creator.
As we enter the new Hijrah year, we would like to take this opportunity to remember a few powerful examples from the history of Islam: of sacrifice in striving for truth, freedom from oppression and serving the humanity. These important lessons are derived from the great migration of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, and indeed the migration of earlier Prophets such as Ibrahim (Abraham) and Musa (Moses).
The sacred month of Muharram is filled with many significant events, particularly the 10th of Muharram which is commonly known as Ashura. According to our traditions it is the day when Prophet Musa was saved from the Pharaoh. Ashura is however commemorated for the tragic massacre at Karbala, in Iraq in 61 A.H. of Imam Husain, his family and supporters. They sacrificed their lives in order to uphold the Prophet's message of truth, freedom and justice.
Muslim communities in Britain as well as in Europe can take much inspiration from all these historical events and commit themselves to renew their unity, full engagement with the wider society and commitment to work for the common good of all.