Muharram was designated as the first month in the Islamic year by Umar, the second Caliph. At the beginning of a new year, Muslims set aside the sins of the past and determine to make a new start. . . Awwal Muharram is the Islamic New Year celebration. . . . The day commemorates the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E. Muhammad's journey, called the Hijrah, came about as a result of hostility toward his teachings and the sparsity of converts in Mecca. In Medina, Muhammad was welcomed, and Islam gained a solid following.
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Source Notes: In Religious Holidays and Calendars, 2d ed., ed. Karen Bellenir (1998).
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