Thursday, October 15, 2015

Interfaith Days: Al-Hijra

Yesterday was Al-Hijra, the Islamic New Year. On this day, the Prophet Muhammad moved with fellow Muslims from Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E. This is not only the first day of the year but the counting of years on the Muslim (lunar) calendar) also begins with this event. Thus, we are beginning the year 1437 A.H. (Anno Hegirae, "in the year of the Hijra"). The day is not a major festival in Islam compared to Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. But Muslims reflect upon the beginning of the Muslim community. According to this site, "The date marks the beginning of Islam as a community in which spiritual and earthly life were completely integrated. It was a community inspired by God, and totally obedient to God; a group of people bound together by faith. By breaking the link with his own tribe the Prophet demonstrated that tribal and family loyalties were insignificant compared to the bonds of Islam. This Muslim community grew steadily over time, unifying the many tribes that had made up the Arab world beforehand."

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