Islamic New Year

Behold, I am doing a

new thing; now it

springs forth, do you

not perceive it? I will

make a way in the

wilderness and rivers

in the desert.

– Isaiah 43:19 ESV

Viewpoint: Saudis follow a Hijri (Islamic Year) calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar, but they acknowledge the Gregorian calendar as most of the world uses it. The Islamic New Year is on July 18th this year. When you think about the New Year on the Gregorian calendar and how people celebrate it, family and friends gather together. There might be games, food, and fun while counting the hours and minutes until midnight and the new year begins. For Saudis celebrating the new year, Hijri or Gregorian is frowned upon by the more conservative Muslims. So, there is no national holiday; it is a workday. Some families and friends may gather and serve some “Gahwa Hilwa” or sweet coffee and greet each other with the phrase “kol aam wa intum bekhair” (best wishes for a happy new year). Saudis observe this holiday because Hijri comes from the word Hijra which means migration; the start of the Hijri calendar marks the migration of their prophet Mohammad from Mecca to Madina. As Saudis come to the end of another Islamic year when they look back over the year, will they feel satisfied by all the good they have done, or will something be missing?   

Prayer Points: As the Islamic New Year ends, pray that many Saudis feel something is missing in life; ask that they begin to search to fill the emptiness inside. Pray that God will connect them to believers in KSA that will point them to Jesus.