A new Islamic Year is upon us – 1443AH. While celebrating this ‘occasion’ is not Islamically proven to be an authentic practice, one may wonder how the Islamic Calendar came into play in the first place.
Before its introduction, different calculating systems were used, which caused an inconsistency with dates. When Umar ibn Al-Khattab was made aware of this, the matter was discussed with his advisors, and with Caliphs Uthman ibn Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib. Ultimately, the Hijrah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was agreed to mark the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
Okay. But why that event in particular?
Let’s go back 1443 years. The first of Muharram denotes the migration of Prophet Muhammad SAW from Makkah to Madina. Marking one of the most iconic events in Islamic History, this journey is one of the most fundamental reasons you and I practice Islam today. The Hijrah, in year 622CE, catalysed not only the social and political reform of Islam but the entire Arab Peninsula.
A minority group of Muslims adherents encircled by enmity and hostility. Humiliated, threatened, tortured and killed by the Quraysh and other non-believing tribes. Following their migration to Madinah, this small group of adherents and their practice of the Deen continued to grow. So much so that Islam began to govern economical, social and political matters, ultimately being accepted as a way of life. With Islam finally being understood as a religion, there followed the shift in Da’wah. Rather than primarily focusing on inviting people of the Quraysh to Islam, the message was now preached to the regions of Persia, Egypt and the Byzantine Empire. The universal spread of Islamic and Arabic civilization continued for over 400 years. And the ripple effect thereon? The preservation of our Deen, until this day and onwards Bi’ithnillah.