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Muharram 2018 Moon not sighted today; Ashura in India, Bangladesh on September 21

Monday September 10, 2018 10:00 PM, News Network

Muharram 2018 Islamic New Year 1440

Mumbai/Dhaka: Muharram-ul-Haram moon not sighted in India and Bangladesh today i.e. Monday September 10 and hence the New Hijri year 1440 H (Islamic New Year 1440 H ) will start on Wednesday September 12.

Accordingly the day of Ashura will fall on Friday September 21, Imarat-e-Shariah Hind of Jamiat Ulema New Delhi and National Moon Sighting Committee of Bangaldesh said in two separate statements.

"The month of Dhul Hijjah will end on September 11 and the counting of Muharram will begin on September 12", said an Islamic Foundation press release.

In a statement Imarat-e-Shariah Hind New Delhi said, "There was clear sky in Delhi. Yet the new moon could not be seen today. Hence the Islamic New Year 1440 will start on Wednesday September 12 and Youm-e-Ashura will be on Friday September 21, 2018."

Earlier, Moon Sighting Committee of Pakistan said that Muharram-ul-Haram moon was not sighted in Pakistan today i.e. Monday September 10and hence the New Hijri year 1440 H (Islamic New Year 1440) will start on Wednesday September 12.

A meeting of Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee took place on Monday for the sighting of Muharram-ul Haram moon which marks the advent of the new Hijri year 1440.

Chairman Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman presided over the meeting of the moon sighting body at Pakistan Meteorological Department’s office in the metropolis.

Earlier, UAE had announced Islamic New Year holiday on Thursday September 13, 2018. This followed the announcement by the Saudi Royal Court that Tuesday, September 11, will be the first day of Muharram, 1440H.

It said in its statement that the crescent of the month of Muharram 1440H was not sighted on Sunday evening, 29/12/1439 H.

The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia decided that Monday, 30/12/1439H shall be the completion of the month of Dhul Hijjah. Thus, Tuesday 1/1/1440H is the first day of Muharram according to the Umm Al Qura calendar.

Based on lunar system, new month in the Islamic Calendar begins with sighting of the moon on 29th of the ongoing month. If moon is sighted on 29th day, new month begins from the next day, else the next day is counted as 30th day and the new month begins a day later.

The Islamic Calendar was started 1439 years before by the second Caliph Omar ibn Khattab. Before that Muslims in their respective provinces, following the Arab tradition of the time, were used to count the days and months – with sighting of the new moon and counting the days thereafter without following any particular calendar or dating system.

After the Islamic State spread beyond Arab land to new areas, the defects in the system began to surface and the need for a better and accurate calendar was felt.

"The Caliph, the Supreme Head of the Islamic State, was used to issue all the Guidelines and Pronouncements to the Governors of various Islamic Provinces from Madinah. Things were actually working fine", Rehnuma, a student of Islamic studies, explains.

"But confusion arose when contradictory orders started reaching far away provinces at the same time. Since these orders were not carrying any date, it became very difficult for the Governors to find out which one of the orders was the latest and supposed to be followed with", she adds.

To overcome the confusion, Caliph Omar finally decided to introduce the Islamic Calendar and asked the people for their opinions and suggestions on the matter.

Consequently, various historical events, including the year when Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was born, the year of the Prophethood, the time of Migration and the time when the Prophet had died, were proposed by the people.

"However unanimity surfaced for the year that coincided with the migration of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from Makkah as the commencing year of the Islamic Calendar. For, it was the migration of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him) from Makkah to Madinah that had resulted Islam nurturing into the new heights and spreading to the whole Arab lands, and also to the surrounding States", Rehnuma says quoting from the history.

"Moreover", she says, "Moharram al-Haram was also associated with many historical events and the month has always been considered as one among the four most respected and sacred months since centuries. These features only added strength to the selection of Moharram al-Haram as the first month of the Islamic calendar".

The Islamic Calendar thus introduced and adopted some 1,439 years ago, soon became popular, and also became part and partial of the calendars in every Muslim household.

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