Islamic calendar

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This article is about the Hijri calendar based on lunar observation. Islamic calendar_sentence_0

For the solar calendar whose first year is fixed to the Hijra, see Solar Hijri calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_1

For the rule-based Hijri calendar, see Tabular Islamic calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_2

The Islamic calendar (Arabic: ٱلتَّقْوِيم ٱلْهِجْرِيّ‎ at-taqwīm al-hijrīy), also known as the Hijri, Lunar Hijri, Muslim or Arabic calendar, is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. Islamic calendar_sentence_3

It is used to determine the proper days of Islamic holidays and rituals, such as the annual period of fasting and the proper time for the Hajj. Islamic calendar_sentence_4

In almost all countries where the predominant religion is Islam, the civil calendar is the Gregorian calendar, with Syriac month-names used in the Levant and Mesopotamia (Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine). Islamic calendar_sentence_5

Notable exceptions to this rule are Iran and Afghanistan, which use the Solar Hijri calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_6

Rents, wages and similar regular commitments are generally paid by the civil calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_7

The Islamic calendar employs the Hijri era whose epoch was established as the Islamic New Year of 622 AD/CE. Islamic calendar_sentence_8

During that year, Muhammad and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina and established the first Muslim community (ummah), an event commemorated as the Hijra. Islamic calendar_sentence_9

In the West, dates in this era are usually denoted AH (Latin: Anno Hegirae, "in the year of the Hijra") in parallel with the Christian (AD), Common (CE) and Jewish eras (AM). Islamic calendar_sentence_10

In Muslim countries, it is also sometimes denoted as H from its Arabic form (سَنَة هِجْرِيَّة, abbreviated ھ). Islamic calendar_sentence_11

In English, years prior to the Hijra are denoted as BH ("Before the Hijra"). Islamic calendar_sentence_12

As of December 2020 CE, the current Islamic year is 1442 AH. Islamic calendar_sentence_13

In the Gregorian calendar reckoning, 1442 AH runs from approximately 20 August 2020 to 9 August 2021. Islamic calendar_sentence_14

History Islamic calendar_section_0

Pre-Islamic calendar Islamic calendar_section_1

Main article: Pre-Islamic calendar Islamic calendar_sentence_15

For central Arabia, especially Mecca, there is a lack of epigraphical evidence but details are found in the writings of Muslim authors of the Abbasid era. Islamic calendar_sentence_16

Inscriptions of the ancient South Arabian calendars reveal the use of a number of local calendars. Islamic calendar_sentence_17

At least some of these South Arabian calendars followed the lunisolar system. Islamic calendar_sentence_18

Both al-Biruni and al-Mas'udi suggest that the ancient Arabs used the same month names as the Muslims, though they also record other month names used by the pre-Islamic Arabs. Islamic calendar_sentence_19

The Islamic tradition is unanimous in stating that Arabs of Tihamah, Hejaz, and Najd distinguished between two types of months, permitted (ḥalāl) and forbidden (ḥarām) months. Islamic calendar_sentence_20

The forbidden months were four months during which fighting is forbidden, listed as Rajab and the three months around the pilgrimage season, Dhu al-Qa‘dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, and Muharram. Islamic calendar_sentence_21

A similar if not identical concept to the forbidden months is also attested by Procopius, where he describes an armistice that the Eastern Arabs of the Lakhmid al-Mundhir respected for two months in the summer solstice of 541 AD/CE. Islamic calendar_sentence_22

However, Muslim historians do not link these months to a particular season. Islamic calendar_sentence_23

The Qur'an links the four forbidden months with Nasī’, a word that literally means "postponement". Islamic calendar_sentence_24

According to Muslim tradition, the decision of postponement was administered by the tribe of Kinanah, by a man known as the al-Qalammas of Kinanah and his descendants (pl. qalāmisa). Islamic calendar_sentence_25

Different interpretations of the concept of Nasī’ have been proposed. Islamic calendar_sentence_26

Some scholars, both Muslim and Western, maintain that the pre-Islamic calendar used in central Arabia was a purely lunar calendar similar to the modern Islamic calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_27

According to this view, Nasī’ is related to the pre-Islamic practices of the Meccan Arabs, where they would alter the distribution of the forbidden months within a given year without implying a calendar manipulation. Islamic calendar_sentence_28

This interpretation is supported by Arab historians and lexicographers, like Ibn Hisham, Ibn Manzur, and the corpus of Qur'anic exegesis. Islamic calendar_sentence_29

This is corroborated by an early Sabaic inscription, where a religious ritual was "postponed" (ns'’w) due to war. Islamic calendar_sentence_30

According to the context of this inscription, the verb ns'’ has nothing to do with intercalation, but only with moving religious events within the calendar itself. Islamic calendar_sentence_31

The similarity between the religious concept of this ancient inscription and the Qur'an suggests that non-calendaring postponement is also the Qur'anic meaning of Nasī’. Islamic calendar_sentence_32

The Encyclopaedia of Islam concludes "The Arabic system of [Nasī’] can only have been intended to move the Hajj and the fairs associated with it in the vicinity of Mecca to a suitable season of the year. Islamic calendar_sentence_33

It was not intended to establish a fixed calendar to be generally observed." Islamic calendar_sentence_34

The term "fixed calendar" is generally understood to refer to the non-intercalated calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_35

Others concur that it was originally a lunar calendar, but suggest that about 200 years before the Hijra it was transformed into a lunisolar calendar containing an intercalary month added from time to time to keep the pilgrimage within the season of the year when merchandise was most abundant. Islamic calendar_sentence_36

This interpretation was first proposed by the medieval Muslim astrologer and astronomer Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi, and later by al-Biruni, al-Mas'udi, and some western scholars. Islamic calendar_sentence_37

This interpretation considers Nasī’ to be a synonym to the Arabic word for "intercalation" (kabīsa). Islamic calendar_sentence_38

The Arabs, according to one explanation mentioned by Abu Ma'shar, learned of this type of intercalation from the Jews. Islamic calendar_sentence_39

The Jewish Nasi was the official who decided when to intercalate the Jewish calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_40

Some sources say that the Arabs followed the Jewish practice and intercalated seven months over nineteen years, or else that they intercalated nine months over 24 years; there is, however, no consensus among scholars on this issue. Islamic calendar_sentence_41

Postponement (Nasī’) of one ritual in a particular circumstance does not imply alteration of the sequence of months, and scholars agree that this did not happen. Islamic calendar_sentence_42

Al-Biruni also says this did not happen, and the festivals were kept within their season by intercalation every second or third year of a month between Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram. Islamic calendar_sentence_43

He also says that, in terms of the fixed calendar that was not introduced until 10 AH (632 AD/CE), the first intercalation was, for example, of a month between Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram, the second of a month between Muharram and Safar, the third of a month between Safar and Rabi'I, and so on. Islamic calendar_sentence_44

The intercalations were arranged so that there were seven of them every nineteen years. Islamic calendar_sentence_45

The notice of intercalation was issued at the pilgrimage, the next month would be Nasī’ and Muharram would follow. Islamic calendar_sentence_46

If, on the other hand, the names relate to the intercalated rather than the fixed calendar, the second intercalation might be, for example, of a month between Muharram and Safar allowing for the first intercalation, and the third intercalation of a month between Safar and Rabi'I allowing for the two preceding intercalations, and so on. Islamic calendar_sentence_47

The time for the intercalation to move from the beginning of the year to the end (twelve intercalations) is the time it takes the fixed calendar to revolve once through the seasons (about 32 1/2 tropical years). Islamic calendar_sentence_48

There are two big drawbacks of such a system, which would explain why it is not known ever to have been used anywhere in the world. Islamic calendar_sentence_49

First, it cannot be regulated by means of a cycle (the only cycles known in antiquity were the octaeteris (3 intercalations in 8 years) and the enneadecaeteris (7 intercalations in 19 years). Islamic calendar_sentence_50

Secondly, without a cycle it is difficult to establish from the number of the year (a) if it is intercalary and (b) if it is intercalary, where exactly in the year the intercalation is located. Islamic calendar_sentence_51

Although some scholars (see list above) claim that the holy months were shuffled about for convenience without the use of intercalation, there is no documentary record of the festivals of any of the holy months being observed in any month other than those they are now observed in. Islamic calendar_sentence_52

The Qu'ran (sura 9.37) only refers to the "postponement" of a sacred month. Islamic calendar_sentence_53

If they were shuffled as suggested, one would expect there to be a prohibition against "anticipation" as well. Islamic calendar_sentence_54

If the festivities of the sacred months were kept in season by moving them into later months, they would move through the whole twelve months in only 33 years. Islamic calendar_sentence_55

Had this happened, at least one writer would have mentioned it. Islamic calendar_sentence_56

Sura 9.36 states "Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months" and sura 37 refers to "adjusting the number of months". Islamic calendar_sentence_57

Such adjustment can only be effected by intercalation. Islamic calendar_sentence_58

There are a number of indications that the intercalated calendar was similar to the Jewish calendar, whose year began in the spring. Islamic calendar_sentence_59

There are clues in the names of the months themselves: Islamic calendar_sentence_60

Islamic calendar_description_list_0

  • Rabi' I - first springIslamic calendar_item_0_0
  • Rabi' II - second springIslamic calendar_item_0_1
  • Jumada I - first month of parched landIslamic calendar_item_0_2
  • Jumada II - second month of parched landIslamic calendar_item_0_3
  • Sha'ban - Arabs "dispersed" to find waterIslamic calendar_item_0_4
  • Ramadan - scorchedIslamic calendar_item_0_5
  • Shawwal - female camels "raised" their tails after calvingIslamic calendar_item_0_6

In the intercalated calendar's last year (AD/CE 632), Dhu al-Hijjah corresponded to March. Islamic calendar_sentence_61

The Battle of the Trench in Shawwal and Dhu'l Qi'dah of AH 5 coincided with "harsh winter weather". Islamic calendar_sentence_62

Military campaigns clustered round Ramadan, when the summer heat had dissipated, and all fighting was forbidden during Rajab, at the height of summer. Islamic calendar_sentence_63

The invasion of Tabak in Rajab AH 9 was hampered by "too much hot weather" and "drought". Islamic calendar_sentence_64

In AH 1 Muhammad noted the Jews of Yathrib observing a festival when he arrived on Monday, 8 Rabi'I. Islamic calendar_sentence_65

Rabi'I is the third month and if it coincided with the third month of the Jewish calendar the festival would have been the Feast of Weeks, which is observed on the 6th and 7th days of that month. Islamic calendar_sentence_66

Prohibiting Nasī’ Islamic calendar_section_2

Further information: Nasi' Islamic calendar_sentence_67

In the tenth year of the Hijra, as documented in the Qur'an (Surah At-Tawbah (9):36–37), Muslims believe God revealed the "prohibition of the Nasī'". Islamic calendar_sentence_68

The prohibition of Nasī' would presumably have been announced when the intercalated month had returned to its position just before the month of Nasi' began. Islamic calendar_sentence_69

If Nasī' meant intercalation, then the number and the position of the intercalary months between AH 1 and AH 10 are uncertain; western calendar dates commonly cited for key events in early Islam such as the Hijra, the Battle of Badr, the Battle of Uhud and the Battle of the Trench should be viewed with caution as they might be in error by one, two, three or even four lunar months. Islamic calendar_sentence_70

This prohibition was mentioned by Muhammad during the farewell sermon which was delivered on 9 Dhu al-Hijjah AH 10 (Julian date Friday 6 March, 632 AD/CE) on Mount Arafat during the farewell pilgrimage to Mecca. Islamic calendar_sentence_71

The three successive sacred (forbidden) months mentioned by Prophet Muhammad (months in which battles are forbidden) are Dhu al-Qa'dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, and Muharram, months 11, 12, and 1 respectively. Islamic calendar_sentence_72

The single forbidden month is Rajab, month 7. Islamic calendar_sentence_73

These months were considered forbidden both within the new Islamic calendar and within the old pagan Meccan calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_74

Days of the week Islamic calendar_section_3

Islamic days, like those in the Hebrew and Bahá'í calendars, begin at sunset. Islamic calendar_sentence_75

The Christian liturgical day, kept in monasteries, begins with vespers (see ), which is evening, in line with the other Abrahamic traditions. Islamic calendar_sentence_76

Christian and planetary weekdays begin at the following midnight. Islamic calendar_sentence_77

Muslims gather for worship at a mosque at noon on "gathering day" (Yawm al-Jumʿah) which corresponds with Friday. Islamic calendar_sentence_78

Thus "gathering day" is often regarded as the weekly day off. Islamic calendar_sentence_79

This is frequently made official, with many Muslim countries adopting Friday and Saturday (e.g., Egypt, Saudi Arabia) or Thursday and Friday as official weekends, during which offices are closed; other countries (e.g., Iran) choose to make Friday alone a day of rest. Islamic calendar_sentence_80

A few others (e.g., Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco, Nigeria) have adopted the Saturday-Sunday weekend while making Friday a working day with a long midday break to allow time off for worship. Islamic calendar_sentence_81

Islamic calendar_table_general_0

No.Islamic calendar_header_cell_0_0_0 NameIslamic calendar_header_cell_0_0_1 ArabicIslamic calendar_header_cell_0_0_2 MeaningIslamic calendar_header_cell_0_0_3 English equivalentIslamic calendar_header_cell_0_0_4
1Islamic calendar_cell_0_1_0 al-ʾAḥadIslamic calendar_cell_0_1_1 ٱلْأَحَد‎Islamic calendar_cell_0_1_2 the OneIslamic calendar_cell_0_1_3 SundayIslamic calendar_cell_0_1_4
2Islamic calendar_cell_0_2_0 al-ʾIthnaynIslamic calendar_cell_0_2_1 ٱلْإِثْنَيْن‎Islamic calendar_cell_0_2_2 the SecondIslamic calendar_cell_0_2_3 MondayIslamic calendar_cell_0_2_4
3Islamic calendar_cell_0_3_0 ath-ThulāthāʾIslamic calendar_cell_0_3_1 ٱلثُّلَاثَاء‎Islamic calendar_cell_0_3_2 the ThirdIslamic calendar_cell_0_3_3 TuesdayIslamic calendar_cell_0_3_4
4Islamic calendar_cell_0_4_0 al-ʾArbiʿāʾIslamic calendar_cell_0_4_1 ٱلْأَرْبِعَاء‎Islamic calendar_cell_0_4_2 the FourthIslamic calendar_cell_0_4_3 WednesdayIslamic calendar_cell_0_4_4
5Islamic calendar_cell_0_5_0 al-KhamīsIslamic calendar_cell_0_5_1 ٱلْخَمِيس‎Islamic calendar_cell_0_5_2 the FifthIslamic calendar_cell_0_5_3 ThursdayIslamic calendar_cell_0_5_4
6Islamic calendar_cell_0_6_0 al-JumʿahIslamic calendar_cell_0_6_1 ٱلْجُمْعَة‎Islamic calendar_cell_0_6_2 the GatheringIslamic calendar_cell_0_6_3 FridayIslamic calendar_cell_0_6_4
7Islamic calendar_cell_0_7_0 as-SabtIslamic calendar_cell_0_7_1 ٱلسَّبْت‎Islamic calendar_cell_0_7_2 the RestIslamic calendar_cell_0_7_3 SaturdayIslamic calendar_cell_0_7_4

Months Islamic calendar_section_4

Four of the twelve Hijri months are considered sacred: Rajab (7), and the three consecutive months of Dhū al-Qa'dah (11), Dhu al-Ḥijjah (12) and Muḥarram (1). Islamic calendar_sentence_82

As the lunar calendar lags behind the solar calendar by about ten days every Gregorian year, months of the Islamic calendar fall in different parts of the Gregorian calendar each year. Islamic calendar_sentence_83

The cycle repeats every 33 lunar years. Islamic calendar_sentence_84

Islamic calendar_table_general_1

No.Islamic calendar_header_cell_1_0_0 NameIslamic calendar_header_cell_1_0_1 ArabicIslamic calendar_header_cell_1_0_2 MeaningIslamic calendar_header_cell_1_0_3 NoteIslamic calendar_header_cell_1_0_4
1Islamic calendar_cell_1_1_0 al-MuḥarramIslamic calendar_cell_1_1_1 ٱلْمُحَرَّم‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_1_2 forbiddenIslamic calendar_cell_1_1_3 A sacred month, so called because battle and all kinds of fighting are forbidden (ḥarām) during this month. Muharram includes Ashura, the tenth day.Islamic calendar_cell_1_1_4
2Islamic calendar_cell_1_2_0 ṢafarIslamic calendar_cell_1_2_1 صَفَر‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_2_2 voidIslamic calendar_cell_1_2_3 Supposedly named this because pre-Islamic Arab houses were empty this time of year while their occupants gathered food. Another account relates that they used to loot the houses of their enemies after defeating them in battle, leaving nothing behind.Islamic calendar_cell_1_2_4
3Islamic calendar_cell_1_3_0 Rabīʿ al-ʾAwwal

or Rabīʿ al-ʾŪlāIslamic calendar_cell_1_3_1

رَبِيع ٱلْأَوَّل‎

or رَبِيع ٱلْأُولَىٰ‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_3_2

the first springIslamic calendar_cell_1_3_3 Also means to graze, because cattle were grazed during this month. Also a very holy month of celebration for many Muslims, as it was the month the Prophet Muhammad was born.Islamic calendar_cell_1_3_4
4Islamic calendar_cell_1_4_0 Rabīʿ ath-Thānī

or Rabīʿ al-ʾĀkhirIslamic calendar_cell_1_4_1

رَبِيع ٱلثَّانِي‎

or رَبِيع ٱلْآخِر‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_4_2

the second spring, the last springIslamic calendar_cell_1_4_3 Islamic calendar_cell_1_4_4
5Islamic calendar_cell_1_5_0 Jumādā al-ʾAwwal

or Jumadā al-ʾŪlāIslamic calendar_cell_1_5_1

جُمَادَىٰ ٱلْأَوَّل‎

or جُمَادَىٰ ٱلْأُولَىٰ‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_5_2

the first of parched landIslamic calendar_cell_1_5_3 Often considered the pre-Islamic summer. Jumādā may also be related to a verb meaning "to freeze" and another account relates that water would freeze during this time of year.Islamic calendar_cell_1_5_4
6Islamic calendar_cell_1_6_0 Jumādā ath-Thāniyah

or Jumādā al-ʾĀkhirahIslamic calendar_cell_1_6_1

جُمَادَىٰ ٱلثَّانِيَة‎

or جُمَادَىٰ ٱلْآخِرَة‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_6_2

the second of parched land, the last of parched landIslamic calendar_cell_1_6_3 Islamic calendar_cell_1_6_4
7Islamic calendar_cell_1_7_0 RajabIslamic calendar_cell_1_7_1 رَجَب‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_7_2 respect, honourIslamic calendar_cell_1_7_3 This is the second sacred month in which fighting is forbidden. Rajab may also be related to a verb meaning "to remove", so called because pre-Islamic Arabs would remove the heads of their spears and refrain from fighting.Islamic calendar_cell_1_7_4
8Islamic calendar_cell_1_8_0 ShaʿbānIslamic calendar_cell_1_8_1 شَعْبَان‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_8_2 scatteredIslamic calendar_cell_1_8_3 Marked the time of year when Arab tribes dispersed to find water. Sha‘bān may also be related to a verb meaning "to be in between two things". Another account relates that it was called thus because the month lies between Rajab and Ramadan.Islamic calendar_cell_1_8_4
9Islamic calendar_cell_1_9_0 RamaḍānIslamic calendar_cell_1_9_1 رَمَضَان‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_9_2 burning heatIslamic calendar_cell_1_9_3 Burning is related to fasting as with an empty stomach one's worldly desire will burn. Supposedly so called because of high temperatures caused by the excessive heat of the sun. Ramaḍān is the most venerated month of the Hijri calendar. During this time, Muslims must fast from pre-dawn until sunset and should give charity to the poor and needy.Islamic calendar_cell_1_9_4
10Islamic calendar_cell_1_10_0 ShawwālIslamic calendar_cell_1_10_1 شَوَّال‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_10_2 raisedIslamic calendar_cell_1_10_3 Female camels would normally be in calf at this time of year and raise their tails. At the first day of this month, the Eid al-Fitr, "Festival of Breaking the Fast" begins, marking the end of fasting and the end of Ramadhan.Islamic calendar_cell_1_10_4
11Islamic calendar_cell_1_11_0 Ḏū al-QaʿdahIslamic calendar_cell_1_11_1 ذُو ٱلْقَعْدَة‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_11_2 the one of truce/sittingIslamic calendar_cell_1_11_3 This is a holy month during which war is banned. People are allowed to defend themselves if attacked.Islamic calendar_cell_1_11_4
12Islamic calendar_cell_1_12_0 Ḏū al-ḤijjahIslamic calendar_cell_1_12_1 ذُو ٱلْحِجَّة‎Islamic calendar_cell_1_12_2 the one of pilgrimageIslamic calendar_cell_1_12_3 During this month Muslim pilgrims from all around the world congregate at Mecca to visit the Kaaba. The Hajj is performed on the eighth, ninth and the tenth of this month. Day of Arafah takes place on the ninth of the month. Eid al-Adha, the "Festival of the Sacrifice", begins on the tenth day and ends on sunset of the twelfth, and this is a fourth holy month during which war is banned.Islamic calendar_cell_1_12_4

Length of months Islamic calendar_section_5

Each month of the Islamic calendar commences on the birth of the new lunar cycle. Islamic calendar_sentence_85

Traditionally this is based on actual observation of the moon's crescent () marking the end of the previous lunar cycle and hence the previous month, thereby beginning the new month. Islamic calendar_sentence_86

Consequently, each month can have 29 or 30 days depending on the visibility of the moon, astronomical positioning of the earth and weather conditions. Islamic calendar_sentence_87

However, certain sects and groups, most notably Bohras Muslims namely Alavis, Dawoodis and Sulaymanis and Shia Ismaili Muslims, use a tabular Islamic calendar (see section below) in which odd-numbered months have thirty days (and also the twelfth month in a leap year) and even months have 29. Islamic calendar_sentence_88

Prohibition of the name Ramadan Islamic calendar_section_6

According to numerous Hadiths, 'Ramadan' is one of the names of God in Islam, and as such it is prohibited to say only "Ramadan" in reference to the calendar month and that it is necessary to say the "month of Ramadan", as reported in Sunni, Shia and Zaydi Hadiths. Islamic calendar_sentence_89

Year numbering Islamic calendar_section_7

Main article: Hijri year Islamic calendar_sentence_90

In pre-Islamic Arabia, it was customary to identify a year after a major event which took place in it. Islamic calendar_sentence_91

Thus, according to Islamic tradition, Abraha, governor of Yemen, then a province of the Christian Kingdom of Aksum (Ethiopia), attempted to destroy the Kaaba with an army which included several elephants. Islamic calendar_sentence_92

The raid was unsuccessful, but that year became known as the Year of the Elephant, during which Muhammad was born (sura al-Fil). Islamic calendar_sentence_93

Most equate this to the year 570 AD/CE, but a minority use 571 CE. Islamic calendar_sentence_94

The first ten years of the Hijra were not numbered, but were named after events in the life of Muhammad according to Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī: Islamic calendar_sentence_95

Islamic calendar_ordered_list_1

  1. The year of permission.Islamic calendar_item_1_7
  2. The year of the order of fighting.Islamic calendar_item_1_8
  3. The year of the trial.Islamic calendar_item_1_9
  4. The year of congratulation on marriage.Islamic calendar_item_1_10
  5. The year of the earthquake.Islamic calendar_item_1_11
  6. The year of enquiring.Islamic calendar_item_1_12
  7. The year of gaining victory.Islamic calendar_item_1_13
  8. The year of equality.Islamic calendar_item_1_14
  9. The year of exemption.Islamic calendar_item_1_15
  10. The year of farewell.Islamic calendar_item_1_16

In AH 17 (638 AD/CE), Abu Musa Ashaari, one of the officials of the Caliph Umar in Basrah, complained about the absence of any years on the correspondence he received from Umar, making it difficult for him to determine which instructions were most recent. Islamic calendar_sentence_96

This report convinced Umar of the need to introduce an era for Muslims. Islamic calendar_sentence_97

After debating the issue with his counsellors, he decided that the first year should be the year of Muhammad's arrival at Medina (known as Yathrib, before Muhammad's arrival). Islamic calendar_sentence_98

Uthman ibn Affan then suggested that the months begin with Muharram, in line with the established custom of the Arabs at that time. Islamic calendar_sentence_99

The years of the Islamic calendar thus began with the month of Muharram in the year of Muhammad's arrival at the city of Medina, even though the actual emigration took place in Safar and Rabi' I of the intercalated calendar, two months before the commencement of Muharram in the new fixed calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_100

Because of the Hijra, the calendar was named the Hijri calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_101

F A Shamsi (1984) postulated that the Arabic calendar was never intercalated. Islamic calendar_sentence_102

According to him, the first day of the first month of the new fixed Islamic calendar (1 Muharram AH 1) was no different from what was observed at the time. Islamic calendar_sentence_103

The day the Prophet moved from Quba' to Medina was originally 26 Rabi' I on the pre-Islamic calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_104

1 Muharram of the new fixed calendar corresponded to Friday, 16 July 622 AD/CE, the equivalent civil tabular date (same daylight period) in the Julian calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_105

The Islamic day began at the preceding sunset on the evening of 15 July. Islamic calendar_sentence_106

This Julian date (16 July) was determined by medieval Muslim astronomers by projecting back in time their own tabular Islamic calendar, which had alternating 30- and 29-day months in each lunar year plus eleven leap days every 30 years. Islamic calendar_sentence_107

For example, al-Biruni mentioned this Julian date in the year 1000 AD/CE. Islamic calendar_sentence_108

Although not used by either medieval Muslim astronomers or modern scholars to determine the Islamic epoch, the thin crescent moon would have also first become visible (assuming clouds did not obscure it) shortly after the preceding sunset on the evening of 15 July, 1.5 days after the associated dark moon (astronomical new moon) on the morning of 14 July. Islamic calendar_sentence_109

Though Cook and Crone in Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World cite a coin from AH 17, the first surviving attested use of a Hijri calendar date alongside a date in another calendar (Coptic) is on a papyrus from Egypt in AH 22, PERF 558. Islamic calendar_sentence_110

Astronomical considerations Islamic calendar_section_8

Theological considerations Islamic calendar_section_9

If the Islamic calendar were prepared using astronomical calculations, Muslims throughout the Muslim world could use it to meet all their needs, the way they use the Gregorian calendar today. Islamic calendar_sentence_111

But, there are divergent views on whether it is licit to do so. Islamic calendar_sentence_112

A majority of theologians oppose the use of calculations (beyond the constraint that each month must be not less than 29 nor more than 30 days) on the grounds that the latter would not conform with Muhammad's recommendation to observe the new moon of Ramadan and Shawal in order to determine the beginning of these months. Islamic calendar_sentence_113

However, some jurists see no contradiction between Muhammad's teachings and the use of calculations to determine the beginnings of lunar months. Islamic calendar_sentence_114

They consider that Muhammad's recommendation was adapted to the culture of the times, and should not be confused with the acts of worship. Islamic calendar_sentence_115

Thus the jurists Ahmad Muhammad Shakir and Yusuf al-Qaradawi both endorsed the use of calculations to determine the beginning of all months of the Islamic calendar, in 1939 and 2004 respectively. Islamic calendar_sentence_116

So did the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) in 2006 and the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) in 2007. Islamic calendar_sentence_117

The major Muslim associations of France also announced in 2012 that they would henceforth use a calendar based on astronomical calculations, taking into account the criteria of the possibility of crescent sighting in any place on Earth. Islamic calendar_sentence_118

But, shortly after the official adoption of this rule by the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) in 2013, the new leadership of the association decided, on the eve of Ramadan 2013, to follow the Saudi announcement rather than to apply the rule just adopted. Islamic calendar_sentence_119

This resulted in a division of the Muslim community of France, with some members following the new rule, and others following the Saudi announcement. Islamic calendar_sentence_120

Isma'ili-Taiyebi Bohras having the institution of da'i al-mutlaq follow the tabular Islamic calendar (see section below) prepared on the basis of astronomical calculations from the days of Fatimid imams. Islamic calendar_sentence_121

Astronomical 12-moon calendars Islamic calendar_section_10

Islamic calendar of Turkey Islamic calendar_section_11

Turkish Muslims use an Islamic calendar which is calculated several years in advance by the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı). Islamic calendar_sentence_122

From 1 Muharrem 1400 AH (21 November 1979) until 29 Zilhicce 1435 (24 October 2014) the computed Turkish lunar calendar was based on the following rule: "The lunar month is assumed to begin on the evening when, within some region of the terrestrial globe, the computed centre of the lunar crescent at local sunset is more than 5° above the local horizon and (geocentrically) more than 8° from the Sun." Islamic calendar_sentence_123

In the current rule the (computed) lunar crescent has to be above the local horizon of Ankara at sunset. Islamic calendar_sentence_124

Saudi Arabia's Umm al-Qura calendar Islamic calendar_section_12

Saudi Arabia uses the sighting method to determine the beginning of each month of the Hijri calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_125

Since AH 1419 (1998/99), several official hilal sighting committees have been set up by the government to determine the first visual sighting of the lunar crescent at the beginning of each lunar month. Islamic calendar_sentence_126

Nevertheless, the religious authorities also allow the testimony of less experienced observers and thus often announce the sighting of the lunar crescent on a date when none of the official committees could see it. Islamic calendar_sentence_127

The country also uses the Umm al-Qura calendar, based on astronomical calculations, but this is restricted to administrative purposes. Islamic calendar_sentence_128

The parameters used in the establishment of this calendar underwent significant changes during the decade to AH 1423. Islamic calendar_sentence_129

Before AH 1420 (before 18 April 1999), if the moon's age at sunset in Riyadh was at least 12 hours, then the day ending at that sunset was the first day of the month. Islamic calendar_sentence_130

This often caused the Saudis to celebrate holy days one or even two days before other predominantly Muslim countries, including the dates for the Hajj, which can only be dated using Saudi dates because it is performed in Mecca. Islamic calendar_sentence_131

For AH 1420–22, if moonset occurred after sunset at Mecca, then the day beginning at that sunset was the first day of a Saudi month, essentially the same rule used by Malaysia, Indonesia, and others (except for the location from which the hilal was observed). Islamic calendar_sentence_132

Since the beginning of AH 1423 (16 March 2002), the rule has been clarified a little by requiring the geocentric conjunction of the sun and moon to occur before sunset, in addition to requiring moonset to occur after sunset at Mecca. Islamic calendar_sentence_133

This ensures that the moon has moved past the sun by sunset, even though the sky may still be too bright immediately before moonset to actually see the crescent. Islamic calendar_sentence_134

In 2007, the Islamic Society of North America, the Fiqh Council of North America and the European Council for Fatwa and Research announced that they will henceforth use a calendar based on calculations using the same parameters as the Umm al-Qura calendar to determine (well in advance) the beginning of all lunar months (and therefore the days associated with all religious observances). Islamic calendar_sentence_135

This was intended as a first step on the way to unify, at some future time, Muslims' calendars throughout the world. Islamic calendar_sentence_136

Since 1 October 2016, as a cost-cutting measure, Saudi Arabia no longer uses the Islamic calendar for paying the monthly salaries of government employees but the Gregorian calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_137

Other calendars using the Islamic era Islamic calendar_section_13

The Solar Hijri calendar is a solar calendar used in Iran and Afghanistan which counts its years from the Hijra or migration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD/CE. Islamic calendar_sentence_138

Tabular Islamic calendar Islamic calendar_section_14

Main article: Tabular Islamic calendar Islamic calendar_sentence_139

The Tabular Islamic calendar is a rule-based variation of the Islamic calendar, in which months are worked out by arithmetic rules rather than by observation or astronomical calculation. Islamic calendar_sentence_140

It has a 30-year cycle with 11 leap years of 355 days and 19 years of 354 days. Islamic calendar_sentence_141

In the long term, it is accurate to one day in about 2,500 solar years or 2,570 lunar years. Islamic calendar_sentence_142

It also deviates up to about one or two days in the short term. Islamic calendar_sentence_143

Kuwaiti algorithm Islamic calendar_section_15

Main article: Tabular Islamic calendar § Kuwaiti algorithm Islamic calendar_sentence_144

Microsoft uses the "Kuwaiti algorithm", a variant of the tabular Islamic calendar, to convert Gregorian dates to the Islamic ones. Islamic calendar_sentence_145

Microsoft claimed that the variant is based on a statistical analysis of historical data from Kuwait, however it matches a known tabular calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_146

Notable dates Islamic calendar_section_16

Main article: Muslim holidays Islamic calendar_sentence_147

Important dates in the Islamic (Hijri) year are: Islamic calendar_sentence_148

Islamic calendar_unordered_list_2

  • 1 Muharram: Sunni Islamic New Year.Islamic calendar_item_2_17
  • 10 Muharram: Day of Ashura. For Sunnis, the crossing of the Red Sea by Moses occurred on this day. For both Shias and Sunnis, the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, and his followers.Islamic calendar_item_2_18
  • 12 Rabi al-Awwal: Mawlid or Birth of the Prophet for Sunnis.Islamic calendar_item_2_19
  • 17 Rabi al-Awwal: Mawlid for Shias.Islamic calendar_item_2_20
  • 27 Rajab: Isra and Mi'raj for the majority of Muslims.Islamic calendar_item_2_21
  • 15 Sha'ban: Mid-Sha'ban, or Night of Forgiveness. For Twelvers, also the birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam.Islamic calendar_item_2_22
  • 1 Ramadan: Shia Islamic New Year. The first day of fasting.Islamic calendar_item_2_23
  • 27 Ramadan: Nuzul al-Qur'an. The most probable day Muhammad received the first verses of the Quran. (17 Ramadan in Indonesia and Malaysia)Islamic calendar_item_2_24
  • Last third of Ramadan which includes Laylat al-Qadr.Islamic calendar_item_2_25
  • 1 Shawwal: Eid ul-Fitr.Islamic calendar_item_2_26
  • 8–13 Dhu al-Hijjah: The Hajj to Mecca.Islamic calendar_item_2_27
  • 9 Dhu al-Hijjah: Day of Arafa.Islamic calendar_item_2_28
  • 10 Dhu al-Hijjah: Eid al-Adha.Islamic calendar_item_2_29

Days considered important predominantly for Shia Muslims: Islamic calendar_sentence_149

Islamic calendar_unordered_list_3

Converting Hijri to Gregorian date or vice versa Islamic calendar_section_17

Conversions may be made by using the Tabular Islamic calendar, or, for greatest accuracy (one day in 15,186 years), via the Jewish calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_150

Theoretically, the days of the months correspond in both calendars if the displacements which are a feature of the Jewish system are ignored. Islamic calendar_sentence_151

The table below gives, for nineteen years, the Muslim month which corresponds to the first Jewish month. Islamic calendar_sentence_152

This table may be extended since every nineteen years the Muslim month number increases by seven. Islamic calendar_sentence_153

When it goes above twelve, subtract twelve and add one to the year AH. Islamic calendar_sentence_154

From 412 AD/CE to 632 AD/CE inclusive the month number is 1 and the calculation gives the month correct to a month or so. Islamic calendar_sentence_155

622 AD/CE corresponds to BH 1 and AH 1. Islamic calendar_sentence_156

For earlier years, year BH = (623 or 622) – year AD/CE). Islamic calendar_sentence_157

An example calculation: What is the civil date and year AH of the first day of the first month in the year 20875 AD/CE? Islamic calendar_sentence_158

We first find the Muslim month number corresponding to the first month of the Jewish year which begins in 20874 AD/CE. Islamic calendar_sentence_159

Dividing 20874 by 19 gives quotient 1098 and remainder 12. Islamic calendar_sentence_160

Dividing 2026 by 19 gives quotient 106 and remainder 12. Islamic calendar_sentence_161

2026 is chosen because it gives the same remainder on division by 19 as 20874. Islamic calendar_sentence_162

The two years are therefore (1098–106)=992×19 years apart. Islamic calendar_sentence_163

The Muslim month number corresponding to the first Jewish month is therefore 992×7=6944 higher than in 2026. Islamic calendar_sentence_164

To convert into years and months divide by twelve – 6944/12=578 years and 8 months. Islamic calendar_sentence_165

Adding, we get 1447y 10m + 20874y – 2026y + 578y 8m = 20874y 6m. Islamic calendar_sentence_166

Therefore, the first month of the Jewish year beginning in 20874 AD/CE corresponds to the sixth month of the Muslim year AH 20874. Islamic calendar_sentence_167

The worked example in Conversion between Jewish and civil dates, shows that the civil date of the first day of this month (ignoring the displacements) is Friday, 14 June. Islamic calendar_sentence_168

The year AH 20875 will therefore begin seven months later, on the first day of the eighth Jewish month, which the worked example shows to be 7 January, 20875 AD/CE (again ignoring the displacements). Islamic calendar_sentence_169

The date given by this method, being calculated, may differ by a day from the actual date, which is determined by observation. Islamic calendar_sentence_170

A reading of the section which follows will show that the year AH 20875 is wholly contained within the year 20875 AD/CE, also that in the Gregorian calendar this correspondence will occur one year earlier. Islamic calendar_sentence_171

The reason for the discrepancy is that the Gregorian year (like the Julian, though less so) is slightly too long, so the Gregorian date for a given AH date will be earlier and the Muslim calendar catches up sooner. Islamic calendar_sentence_172

Current correlations Islamic calendar_section_18

An Islamic year will be entirely within a Gregorian year of the same number in the year 20874, after which year the number of the Islamic year will always be greater than the number of the concurrent civil year. Islamic calendar_sentence_173

The Islamic calendar year of 1429 occurred entirely within the civil calendar year of 2008. Islamic calendar_sentence_174

Such years occur once every 33 or 34 Islamic years (32 or 33 civil years). Islamic calendar_sentence_175

More are listed here: Islamic calendar_sentence_176

Islamic calendar_table_general_2

Islamic year within civil yearIslamic calendar_header_cell_2_0_0
IslamicIslamic calendar_cell_2_1_0 CivilIslamic calendar_cell_2_1_1 DifferenceIslamic calendar_cell_2_1_2
1026Islamic calendar_cell_2_2_0 1617Islamic calendar_cell_2_2_1 591Islamic calendar_cell_2_2_2
1060Islamic calendar_cell_2_3_0 1650Islamic calendar_cell_2_3_1 590Islamic calendar_cell_2_3_2
1093Islamic calendar_cell_2_4_0 1682Islamic calendar_cell_2_4_1 589Islamic calendar_cell_2_4_2
1127Islamic calendar_cell_2_5_0 1715Islamic calendar_cell_2_5_1 588Islamic calendar_cell_2_5_2
1161Islamic calendar_cell_2_6_0 1748Islamic calendar_cell_2_6_1 587Islamic calendar_cell_2_6_2
1194Islamic calendar_cell_2_7_0 1780Islamic calendar_cell_2_7_1 586Islamic calendar_cell_2_7_2
1228Islamic calendar_cell_2_8_0 1813Islamic calendar_cell_2_8_1 585Islamic calendar_cell_2_8_2
1261Islamic calendar_cell_2_9_0 1845Islamic calendar_cell_2_9_1 584Islamic calendar_cell_2_9_2
1295Islamic calendar_cell_2_10_0 1878Islamic calendar_cell_2_10_1 583Islamic calendar_cell_2_10_2
1329Islamic calendar_cell_2_11_0 1911Islamic calendar_cell_2_11_1 582Islamic calendar_cell_2_11_2
1362Islamic calendar_cell_2_12_0 1943Islamic calendar_cell_2_12_1 581Islamic calendar_cell_2_12_2
1396Islamic calendar_cell_2_13_0 1976Islamic calendar_cell_2_13_1 580Islamic calendar_cell_2_13_2
1429Islamic calendar_cell_2_14_0 2008Islamic calendar_cell_2_14_1 579Islamic calendar_cell_2_14_2
1463Islamic calendar_cell_2_15_0 2041Islamic calendar_cell_2_15_1 578Islamic calendar_cell_2_15_2
1496Islamic calendar_cell_2_16_0 2073Islamic calendar_cell_2_16_1 577Islamic calendar_cell_2_16_2
1530Islamic calendar_cell_2_17_0 2106Islamic calendar_cell_2_17_1 576Islamic calendar_cell_2_17_2
1564Islamic calendar_cell_2_18_0 2139Islamic calendar_cell_2_18_1 575Islamic calendar_cell_2_18_2
1597Islamic calendar_cell_2_19_0 2171Islamic calendar_cell_2_19_1 574Islamic calendar_cell_2_19_2
1631Islamic calendar_cell_2_20_0 2204Islamic calendar_cell_2_20_1 573Islamic calendar_cell_2_20_2
1664Islamic calendar_cell_2_21_0 2236Islamic calendar_cell_2_21_1 572Islamic calendar_cell_2_21_2
1698Islamic calendar_cell_2_22_0 2269Islamic calendar_cell_2_22_1 571Islamic calendar_cell_2_22_2
1732Islamic calendar_cell_2_23_0 2302Islamic calendar_cell_2_23_1 570Islamic calendar_cell_2_23_2
1765Islamic calendar_cell_2_24_0 2334Islamic calendar_cell_2_24_1 569Islamic calendar_cell_2_24_2
1799Islamic calendar_cell_2_25_0 2367Islamic calendar_cell_2_25_1 568Islamic calendar_cell_2_25_2
1832Islamic calendar_cell_2_26_0 2399Islamic calendar_cell_2_26_1 567Islamic calendar_cell_2_26_2
1866Islamic calendar_cell_2_27_0 2432Islamic calendar_cell_2_27_1 566Islamic calendar_cell_2_27_2
1899Islamic calendar_cell_2_28_0 2464Islamic calendar_cell_2_28_1 565Islamic calendar_cell_2_28_2
1933Islamic calendar_cell_2_29_0 2497Islamic calendar_cell_2_29_1 564Islamic calendar_cell_2_29_2
1967Islamic calendar_cell_2_30_0 2530Islamic calendar_cell_2_30_1 563Islamic calendar_cell_2_30_2
2000Islamic calendar_cell_2_31_0 2562Islamic calendar_cell_2_31_1 562Islamic calendar_cell_2_31_2

Because a Hijri or Islamic lunar year is between 10 and 12 days shorter than a civil year, it begins 10–12 days earlier in the civil year following the civil year in which the previous Hijri year began. Islamic calendar_sentence_177

Once every 33 or 34 Hijri years, or once every 32 or 33 civil years, the beginning of a Hijri year (1 Muharram) coincides with one of the first ten days of January. Islamic calendar_sentence_178

Subsequent Hijri New Years move backward through the civil year back to the beginning of January again, passing through each civil month from December to January. Islamic calendar_sentence_179

Uses Islamic calendar_section_19

The Islamic calendar is now used primarily for religious purposes, and for official dating of public events and documents in Muslim countries. Islamic calendar_sentence_180

Because of its nature as a purely lunar calendar, it cannot be used for agricultural purposes and historically Islamic communities have used other calendars for this purpose: the Egyptian calendar was formerly widespread in Islamic countries, and the Iranian calendar and the 1789 Ottoman calendar (a modified Julian calendar) were also used for agriculture in their countries. Islamic calendar_sentence_181

In the Levant and Iraq the Aramaic names of the Babylonian calendar are still used for all secular matters. Islamic calendar_sentence_182

In the Maghreb, Berber farmers in the countryside still use the Julian calendar for agrarian purposes. Islamic calendar_sentence_183

These local solar calendars have receded in importance with the near-universal adoption of the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes. Islamic calendar_sentence_184

Saudi Arabia uses the lunar Islamic calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_185

In Indonesia, the Javanese calendar, created by Sultan Agung in 1633, combines elements of the Islamic and pre-Islamic Saka calendars. Islamic calendar_sentence_186

British author Nicholas Hagger writes that after seizing control of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi "declared" on 1 December 1978 "that the Muslim calendar should start with the death of the prophet Mohammed in 632 rather than the hijra (Mohammed's 'emigration' from Mecca to Medina) in 622". Islamic calendar_sentence_187

This put the country ten solar years behind the standard Muslim calendar. Islamic calendar_sentence_188

However, according to the 2006 Encyclopedia of the Developing World, "More confusing still is Qaddafi's unique Libyan calendar, which counts the years from the Prophet's birth, or sometimes from his death. Islamic calendar_sentence_189

The months July and August, named after Julius and Augustus Caesar, are now Nasser and Hannibal respectively." Islamic calendar_sentence_190

Reflecting on a 2001 visit to the country, American reporter Neil MacFarquhar observed, "Life in Libya was so unpredictable that people weren't even sure what year it was. Islamic calendar_sentence_191

The year of my visit was officially 1369. Islamic calendar_sentence_192

But just two years earlier Libyans had been living through 1429. Islamic calendar_sentence_193

No one could quite name for me the day the count changed, especially since both remained in play. Islamic calendar_sentence_194

... Islamic calendar_sentence_195

Event organizers threw up their hands and put the Western year in parentheses somewhere in their announcements." Islamic calendar_sentence_196

Computer support Islamic calendar_section_20

Islamic calendar_unordered_list_4

  • Hijri support was available in later versions of traditional Visual Basic, and is also available in the .NET Framework.Islamic calendar_item_4_34
  • Since the release of Java 8, the Islamic calendar is supported in the new Date and Time API.Islamic calendar_item_4_35

See also Islamic calendar_section_21

Islamic calendar_unordered_list_5


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic calendar.