Awal Muharram is the beginning of the New Year for Muslims. On 9 August 2021 in the Gregorian calendar, the year 1443 AH will begin on the Islamic calendar – which means that Tuesday 10 August 2021 is a public holiday here in Malaysia.  

The Islamic calendar was introduced by Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the second Khalifa after the prophet Mohammed and a close companion of Prophet in 638AD. It’s concurring with the migration of Prophet Mohammed from Makkah to Medina in the year 622AD.  

Awal Muharram is also known as Maal Hijrah. The word Hijrah is derived from an Arabic word which means moving or emigrating. As we know that the Prophet Mohammed needed to relocate because he need expand the massage of Islam. Consequently, the Prophet chose to go to a town known as Yathrib, which was 320 km north of Mecca. Yathrib is known today as Medina, in nowadays Saudi Arabia. 

During religious gatherings in Malaysia, on Awal Muharram, believers discuss verses from the Quran, sing religious tunes, and compose extraordinary petitions and different sermons both in private and in mosques. Revellers prepare sweet rice, referred to as Bubur Asyura (Asyura porridge), and eat it together with friends and relatives for breakfast. 

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