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Islamic New Year: What you need to know.

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The upcoming Hijri new year marking the start of the Muslim lunar calendar will fall during the second week of August.

While no big celebration takes place in most Muslim-majority nations to observe Islamic new year, it is a public holiday in many Muslim countries [File: AFP]
While no big celebration takes place in most Muslim-majority nations to observe Islamic new year, it is a public holiday in many Muslim countries

The Islamic new year, or the Hijri new year, marks the start of the Muslim lunar calendar. This year, it is set to fall during the second week of August 2021.

The calendar has been observed for more than 1,440 years and is used to date important Muslim events including the beginning of Ramadan (month of fasting), Eid al-Fitr and the start of the Hajj pilgrimage.

Running for 354 or 355 days, it is approximately 11 days shorter than the solar, Gregorian calendar.

The year has 12 months beginning with Muharram, and ending with Dhul al-Hijjah. Each month starts with the sighting of the new moon.

Here is what you need to know:

How is the start of the new year determined?

The date when the new Hijri year begins is determined by various techniques – including the use of scientific and astronomical calculations, or conducting an official moon-sighting exercise. The method adopted differs from country to country.

According to the Astronomy Center’s calculations, the first day of the new year in 2021 will fall on Tuesday, August 10, in most parts of the world.

When did the calendar begins

The Islamic new year starts with the migration, also known as the Hijrah, of Prophet Muhammad and his companions from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD, after they were repeatedly persecuted and threatened. The Hijrah, considered one the most important events is Islamic history was chosen as the starting point for the calendar in 639 AD by Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second caliph.

The upcoming Islamic year will be 1443 AH (Anno Hegirae in Latin or “in the year of the Hijra”).

How is it observed?

While no big celebration takes place in most Muslim-majority nations, many declare a public holiday to commemorate the occasion. These include the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.

The first 10 days of Muharram hold a considerable significance for Muslims – especially Shia Muslims – who mourn the death of Husayn Ibn Ali al-Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad who died at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD.

The death of al-Hussein took place on the 10th day of Muharram, known widely as Ashoura. It is commemorated by Shia Muslims in several ways, including with public expressions of mourning and by visiting the shrine of al-Hussein in Karbala, Iraq.

Some Sunni Muslims mark the day by voluntarily fasting.

Last year, several Muslim countries restricted activities on Ashoura to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Similar measures are likely to be taken this year as the Delta variant of the coronavirus surges across the world, including in Muslim-majority nations.

The day of Ashoura is also significant for it was when Prophet Nuh (Noah) left the ark and the day Musa (Moses) was saved from the pharaoh of Egypt by God.

SOURCE: (AL JAZEERA)


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Shocker! Kidnappers detain pregnant woman till child birth, keep new baby, set mother free

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A pregnant woman, has allegedly been set free and her baby taking away by kidnappers, after detaining her till the birth of her child, introducing a shocking but gory dimension to what has now become a sort of epidemic in parts of Africa.

Reports coming from Ghana, said the woman, who was identified as Josephine Panyin Mensah, was seized and taken away from her home in Takoradi, when her pregnancy was already due at nine months, but that her abductors only allowed her to go, after she gave birth and her baby taken away.

According to the source, the kidnappers who were interested in the unborn baby bolted with the baby after she had been delivered, adding that family sources indicated that the distraught woman is currently receiving treatment at the Effiankwanta Teaching Hospital.

The victim, was said to have gone missing on Thursday, September 16, after she went for a dawn walk in Takoradi, and that the police immediately swung into action leading a search party for her after a report was made to the by her husband, Michael Simmons.


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Breaking: Davido’s photographer dies

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Davido’s official photographer Fortunate Umunname Peter aka Fortune is dead.

He died three months after the hit maker’s close friend and associate, Habeeb Ademola Uthman aka as Obama DMW passed on.

Davido had also lost his bodyguard of six years, Ogbeide Tijani Olamilekan (Teejay) in 2020.

In 2017, Davido lost two friends and team members, Tagbo and DJ Olu.

Fortune was born and bred in Bariga, Lagos but hailed from Owerri.

He has been working with Davido since 2019.

He was born on July 10, 1997 and started off as a graphics designer before he moved to photography after his aunt, Dr. Harriet, got him his first camera which forced him to move back to Lagos from Owerri.

The exceptional photographer has made portfolios for Davido, Pogba, Popcaan, Lilbaby, Cassanova, Mayorkun, Wizkid, Jidenna, Tiwa Savage, Burna boy, Patoranking, Akon, DMW and many others.

His last Instagram post was on July 10 where he made a birthday post with a caption “Rolling stone +1”


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Breaking: Ex-Kwara gov, Jega, Utomi, Duke, others form third Force ahead 2023 elections

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Ahead of the 2023 general elections, prominent Nigerians have established a third force, Rescue Nigeria Project (RNP), to give Nigerians alternative platform to the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Founders of RNP include former governor of Kwara state, Ahmed Abdulfatai, Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, former Governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke,

Senator Lee Maeba, Usman Bugaje, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, Yomi Awoniyi, Dr. Rose Idi Danladi, Dr. Sadiq Gombe among others.

Delivering his keynote address, Abdulfatai lamented the state of the nation, noting that the high level of nepotism and lack of inclusiveness have given rise to agitations by different ethnic groups.

He recalled that in 2015, Nigerians embraced change, adding that today, “that change appears to be what we didn’t expect, as insecurity has taken over the nation.”

He said, “It is based on this that we decided to set up this Rescue Nigeria Project. We want to salvage this country and see how we can fix the mess. We want to set a template and key criteria leaders must have before they can attain any political position.

“Despite the great opportunities of the past, Nigeria has failed to live up to the dreams of its founding fathers and the hopes of successive generations of its citizens.

“Perhaps, at no other time have these failings become more apparent than in the past decade or so.

“In 2015, Nigerians overwhelmingly embraced the promise of change. These hopes have not only been dashed, but they have arguably turned out to be the worst political statements ever to be made in this country. Nigeria today appears set to fulfill all the prophesies of doom.”

He further noted that “Unprecedented nepotism and political exclusion have left the country more divided than ever as evident in the various separatists agitation that are threatening the corporate existence of the country itself.”

Also speaking, Adeniran noted that there is disaster at hand, hence the move to rescue the nation.

He said: “You only rescue when there is disaster and when you fail to rescue during disaster, it is more dangerous.

“We have a disaster in our hands and we need to rescue the country. We need to look back and see how we get here. We know where Nigeria was before now. We know the task is not going to be easy, but we have to determine how to rescue the nation.”

In his opening remarks, the RNP national coordinator, Usman Bugaje, explained that the Rescue Nigeria Project was founded on the premise that the challenges bedeviling the country were largely derived from poor leadership.


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