Islamic/Hijri Calendar

Islamic calendar/Hijri calendar – is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic holy days and festivals.

The first year was the year during which the emigration of the prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijra, occurred. Each numbered year is designated either H for Hijra or AH for the Latin anno Hegirae (in the year of the Hijra). A limited number of years before Hijra (BH) are used to date events related to Islam, such as the birth of Muhammad in 53 BH.

Being a purely lunar calendar, it is not synchronized with the seasons. With an annual drift of 11 or 12 days, the seasonal relation is repeated approximately each 33 Islamic years.

Islamic months begin at sunset of the first day, the day when the lunar crescent is visually sighted. The lunar year is approximately 354 days long, so the months rotate backward through the seasons and are not fixed to the Gregorian calendar.

The months of the Islamic year are:

Muharram – “Forbidden”

Safar – “Empty” or “Yellow”

Rabia Awal – “First spring”

Rabia Thani – “Second spring”

Jumaada Awal – “First freeze”

Jumaada Thani – “Second freeze”

Rajab – “To respect”

Sha’ban – “To spread and distribute”

Ramadan – “Parched thirst” – this is the month of daytime fasting

Shawwal – “To be light and vigorous”

Dhul-Qi’dah – “The month of rest”

Dhul-Hijjah – “The month of Hajj” – annual pilgrimage to Mecca

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