As the sun sets tonight, Muslims around the world will welcome the New Year 1427.

But don’t expect a Dick Clark-style party. In Islam, a new year is not a universal cause for the kind of celebrations thrown in many cultures around the world.

Shi’ite Muslims especially regard this as a mournful period. They will spend the first 10 days of the new year wearing black and solemnly reflecting on the martyrdom many centuries ago of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

“We say that the new year is a revered moment, a sacred time in Islam,” Dawud Walid, Michigan director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Thursday. “People normally do not take off work or school, but at night there usually are programs in the mosques that many people attend. After prayers, the imams will talk about the significance of this month for all Muslims.”

Throughout Islam, the theme of deliverance from oppression is common, Walid said, including retelling the ancient story of Moses and the Israelites fleeing slavery in Egypt.


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