The Islamic New year, better known as Muharram, begins on Friday and it is a time for Muslims to reflect on the past year and remember the origin and greatness of their faith.
Muharram is the first month in the Islamic year and a time of mourning and peace. It is forbidden for Muslims to fight during this month, but the peace-seeking cultural observance of Islam has been overcast by the dark clouds of sober reflections on the violence of extremist terrorist groups such as ISIS, which continues to make headlines for their atrocious and inhuman activities, all in the name of religion.
Considered to be one of the most important months in Islam, a number of historic events have occurred during this month. But scholars are of the view that the most important aspect of the month is the fact that it is a reflection on non-violence.
"The Muslim New Year is really celebrated as a cultural holiday, not a particularly religious one," Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, director of outreach at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia, told Washington Times
"For Arabs, prior to the advent of the Prophet Muhammad, they had considered this a month of nonviolence. All the tribes, independent of religion, knew this month was committed to non-violence."
According to the Islamic Calendar, the day also celebrates the beginning of 'hijra', the migration or the journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in June 622 CE.
"The city was established so people could be free to proactive their religion," Abdul-Malik further told the paper. "(At the time) this lunar calendar is significant for them because it's the beginning of a new era they recognised in that time."