Awal Muharram

national and public holidays in Malaysia Islamic holiday observed in several countries

Awal Muharram or Hijri New Year is celebrated by Muslims as the day symbolises two important events in the Muslim year

When is Awal Muharram ?

Year Weekday Date
2017 Friday September 22nd
2016 Sunday October 2nd
2015 Wednesday October 14th
2014 Saturday October 25th
2013 Tuesday November 5th

Who observes Muharram in 2016?

Country Date Known as
Algeria Algeria 2 Oct Muharram
Bahrain Bahrain 2 Oct Hijri New Year
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina (regional) 2 Oct Hijri New Year
Brunei Brunei 2 Oct Al-Hijra
Egypt Egypt 2 Oct El Hijra
India India (regional) 2 Oct Muharram
Indonesia Indonesia 2 Oct Muharram
Iraq Iraq 2 Oct Islamic New Year
Jordan Jordan 2 Oct Hijri New Year
Kuwait Kuwait 2 Oct Hijri New Year
Lebanon Lebanon 2 Oct Hijri New Year
Libya Libya 2 Oct Hijri New Year
Malaysia Malaysia 2 Oct Awal Muharram
Maldives Maldives 2 Oct Islamic New Year
Morocco Morocco 2 Oct Fatih Muharram
Oman Oman 2 Oct Hijri New Year
Tunisia Tunisia 2 Oct Ras el am el Hejri
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 2 Oct Hijri New Years Day
Yemen Yemen 2 Oct Hijri New Year
Nigeria Nigeria (regional) 3 Oct Hijri New Year

Awal Muharram or Hijri New Year is celebrated by Muslims as the day symbolises two important events in the Muslim year.

Awal means beginning in English and Muharram is the name of the first month in the Muslim calendar.

Islam has a calendar based on the revolutions of the Moon. Thus, it is only 354 days long. Islamic New Year is celebrated on the first day of Muharram, the first Islamic month.

Compared to Western calendars, the Islamic year goes backwards by about 11 days every year.

The date shown on this page is the date that most countries will observe. The date in some countries may vary by up to two days, as some countries use a lunar sighting basis to determine the date. Because of this, the offical dates may not be announced until close to the actual day.

The date for Islamic New Year in other countries for 2016 along with the name of the day in that country is shown in the table of countries to the right.

The day also coincides with the Prophet's journey from Mecca to Medina on the first of Muharram in 622AD.

To mark the occasion, Muslims attend various religious activities, spiritual singing, religious meetings throughout the country. The traditions and customs for Muharram vary for Shia and Sunni Muslims.

For both, the marking of the beginning of the new year is usually quiet, unlike New Year's celebrations associated with other calendars. It is a time for Muslims to reflect on the passing of time and their own mortality.

Muslims gather in mosques for special prayers and readings.

They recite Koranic verses and hold special prayers and sermons at public halls and mosques.

The New Year itself is known to Muslims as Maal Hijra.


In Malaysia, a 'Tokoh Ma'al Hijrah' is awarded to a Muslim personality to honour their contribution to Islam.

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