The Hijri calendar ( ar, ٱلتَّقْوِيم ٱلْهِجْرِيّ, translit=al-taqwīm al-hijrī), also known in English as the Muslim calendar and Islamic calendar, is a
A lunar calendar is a calendar based on the monthly cycles of the Moon's phases (synodic months, lunations), in contrast to solar calendars, whose annual cycles are based only directly on the solar year. The most commonly used calendar, the G ...
consisting of 12 lunar month
s in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to determine the proper days of Islamic holiday
s and rituals, such as the annual fasting
and the annual season for the great pilgrimage
. 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
) but the religious calendar is the Hijri one.
This calendar enumerates the Hijri era
In chronology and periodization, an epoch or reference epoch is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The "epoch" serves as a reference point from which time is measured.
The moment of epoch is usually decided by ...
was established as the
Islamic New Year
The Islamic New Year ( ar, رأس السنة الهجرية, '), also called the Hijri New Year, is the day that marks the beginning of a new lunar Hijri year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the Islamic ...
in 622 CE
. During that year, Muhammad
and his followers migrated from
Mecca (; officially Makkah al-Mukarramah, commonly shortened to Makkah ()) is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the holiest city in Islam. It is inland from Jeddah on the Red Sea, in a narrow v ...
and established the first Muslim community ('' ummah
''), an event commemorated as the
The Hijrah or Hijra () was the journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina. The year in which the Hijrah took place is also identified as the epoch of the Lunar Hijri and Solar Hijri calendars; its date eq ...
. In the West, dates in this era are usually denoted AH ( la, Anno Hegirae, "in the year of the Hijrah"). In Muslim countries, it is also sometimes denoted as H
from its Arabic form (, abbreviated ). In English, years prior to the Hijra are denoted as BH ("Before the Hijra").
CE, . In the Gregorian calendar
reckoning, 1444 AH runs from approximately 30 July 2022 to 18 July 2023.
For central Arabia, especially
Mecca (; officially Makkah al-Mukarramah, commonly shortened to Makkah ()) is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the holiest city in Islam. It is inland from Jeddah on the Red Sea, in a narrow v ...
, there is a lack of epigraphical evidence but details are found in the writings of Muslim authors of the
The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ; ar, الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة, ') was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttali ...
era. Inscriptions of the ancient
South Arabia () is a historical region that consists of the southern region of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia, mainly centered in what is now the Republic of Yemen, yet it has also historically included Najran, Jizan, Al-Bahah, and ...
n calendars reveal the use of a number of local calendars. At least some of these South Arabian calendars followed the lunisolar system
. Both al-Biruni
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.
The Islamic tradition is unanimous in stating that Arabs of Tihamah
Najd ( ar, نَجْدٌ, ), or the Nejd, forms the geographic center of Saudi Arabia, accounting for about a third of the country's modern population and, since the Emirate of Diriyah, acting as the base for all unification campaigns by the ...
distinguished between two types of months, permitted (''ḥalāl'') and forbidden (''ḥarām'') months.
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.
A similar if not identical concept to the forbidden months is also attested by
Procopius of Caesarea ( grc-gre, Προκόπιος ὁ Καισαρεύς ''Prokópios ho Kaisareús''; la, Procopius Caesariensis; – after 565) was a prominent late antique Greek scholar from Caesarea Maritima. Accompanying the Roman gener ...
, where he describes an armistice that the Eastern Arabs of the Lakhmid al-Mundhir respected for two months in the
The summer solstice, also called the estival solstice or midsummer, occurs when one of Earth's poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere ( Northern and Southern). For that hemisphere, the summer ...
of 541 CE.
However, Muslim historians do not link these months to a particular season. The Qur'an
links the four forbidden months with ''Nasī'', a word that literally means "postponement".
According to Muslim tradition, the decision of postponement was administered by the tribe of
The Kinana ( ar, كِنَاَنَة, Kināna) were an Arab tribe based around Mecca in the Tihama coastal area and the Hejaz mountains. The Quraysh of Mecca, the tribe of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, was an offshoot of the Kinana. A number of mo ...
[ by a man known as the ''al-Qalammas'' of Kinanah and his descendants (pl. ''qalāmisa'').] [
Different interpretations of the concept of ''Nasī'' have been proposed. Some scholars, both Muslim and Western,] [F.C. De Blois, "TA’RĪKH": I.1.iv. "Pre-Islamic and agricultural calendars of the Arabian peninsula", ''The Encyclopaedia of Islam'', 2nd edition, X:260.] [A. Moberg, "NASI'", ''The Encyclopaedia of Islam'', 2nd, VII: 977.] maintain that the pre-Islamic calendar used in central Arabia was a purely lunar calendar similar to the modern Islamic calendar. 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. This interpretation is supported by Arab historians and lexicographers, like Ibn Hisham, Ibn Manzur
Muhammad ibn Mukarram ibn Alī ibn Ahmad ibn Manzūr al-Ansārī al-Ifrīqī al-Misrī al-Khazrajī () also known as Ibn Manẓūr () (June–July 1233 – December 1311/January 1312) was an Arab lexicographer of the Arabic language and author o ..., and the corpus of Qur'anic exegesis
Tafsir ( ar, تفسير, tafsīr ) refers to exegesis, usually of the Quran. An author of a ''tafsir'' is a ' ( ar, مُفسّر; plural: ar, مفسّرون, mufassirūn). A Quranic ''tafsir'' attempts to provide elucidation, explanation, in ....
This is corroborated by an early Sabaic inscription, where a religious ritual was "postponed" (''ns'w'') due to war. 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. 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''. The '' Encyclopaedia of Islam
The ''Encyclopaedia of Islam'' (''EI'') is an encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies published by Brill. It is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies. The first edition was published i ...'' concludes "The Arabic system of asī'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. It was not intended to establish a fixed calendar to be generally observed." The term "fixed calendar" is generally understood to refer to the non-intercalated calendar.
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
A lunisolar calendar is a calendar in many cultures, combining lunar calendars and solar calendars. The date of Lunisolar calendars therefore indicates both the Moon phase and the time of the solar year, that is the position of the Sun in the ... containing an intercalary month added from time to time to keep the pilgrimage within the season of the year when merchandise was most abundant. This interpretation was first proposed by the medieval Muslim astrologer and astronomer Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi, and later by al-Biruni, [ Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi (787–886), ]
', ''Journal Asiatique'', series 5, xi (1858) 168+.
al-Mas'udi, and some western scholars. [A. Moberg,] This interpretation considers ''Nasī'' to be a synonym to the Arabic word for "intercalation" (''kabīsa''). The Arabs, according to one explanation mentioned by Abu Ma'shar, learned of this type of intercalation from the Jews.
, ''E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam''.
The Jewish ''Nasi'' was the official who decided when to intercalate the Jewish calendar. 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.
Nasi' is interpreted to signify either the postponement of the pre-Islamic month of Hajj, or the (also pre-Islamic) practice of intercalation periodic insertion of an additional month to reset the calendar into accordance with the seasons.
In the tenth year of the Hijra, as documented in the Qur'an ( Surah At-Tawbah (9):36–37), Muslims believe
In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typically ... revealed the "prohibition of the Nasī'".
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. 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 Badr ( ar, غَزْوَةُ بَدِرْ ), also referred to as The Day of the Criterion (, ) in the Qur'an and by Muslims, was fought on 13 March 624 CE (17 Ramadan, 2 AH), near the present-day city of Badr, Al Madinah Provinc ..., the Battle of Uhud
The Battle of Uhud ( ar, غَزْوَة أُحُد, ) was fought on Saturday, 23 March 625 AD (7 Shawwal, 3 AH), in the valley north of Mount Uhud.Watt (1974) p. 136. The Qurayshi Meccans, led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, commanded an army of 3,000 ... 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. This prohibition was mentioned by Muhammad during the farewell sermon
The Farewell Sermon ( ar, خطبة الوداع, ''Khuṭbatu l-Widāʿ'' ) also known as Muhammad's Final Sermon or the Last Sermon, is a religious speech, delivered by the Islamic prophet Muhammad on Friday the 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah, 10 AH ( ... which was delivered on 9 Dhu al-Hijjah AH 10 (Julian date Friday 6 March 632 CE) on Mount Arafat during the farewell pilgrimage
The Farewell Pilgrimage ( ar, حِجَّة ٱلْوَدَاع, Ḥijjatu Al-Wadāʿ) refers to the one Hajj pilgrimage that Muhammad performed in the Islamic year 10 AH, following the Conquest of Mecca. Muslims believe that verse 22:27 of the Qura ... to Mecca.
The three successive sacred (forbidden) months mentioned by Prophet Muhammad (months in which battles are forbidden) are Dhu al-Qa'dah, Dhu al-Hijjah
Dhu al-Hijja ( ar, ذُو ٱلْحِجَّة, translit=Ḏū al-Ḥijja, ), also spelled Zu al-Hijja, is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar. It is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, one in which the ''Ḥajj'' ( Pilgri ..., and Muharram, months 11, 12, and 1 respectively. The single forbidden month is Rajab, month 7. These months were considered forbidden both within the new Islamic calendar and within the old pagan Meccan calendar.
Days of the week
The Islamic day begins at sunset. Muslims gather for prayer at a mosque at noon on "gathering day" (), which corresponds with the lunar start of the day, which is Thursday evening, at the moment when the sun has completely set. Maghrib on this day is the start of the day.
Thus "gathering day" is often regarded as the weekly day off. 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. A few others (e.g., Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco, Nigeria, Malaysia) have adopted the Saturday-Sunday weekend while making Friday a working day with a long midday break to allow time off for worship.
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). As the mean duration of a tropical year is 365.24219 days, while the long-term average duration of a synodic month is 29.530587981 days, the average lunar year is (365.24219 − 12 × 29.530587981 ≈) 10.87513 days shorter than the average solar year, causing months of the Hijri calendar to advance about eleven days earlier relative to dates in the Gregorian calendar every calendar year. "As a result, the cycle of twelve lunar months regresses through the seasons over a
period of about 33 [ solar] years".
Length of months
Each month of the Islamic calendar commences on the birth of the new lunar cycle. Traditionally, this is based on actual observation of the moon's crescent ('' hilal'') marking the end of the previous lunar cycle and hence the previous month, thereby beginning the new month. Consequently, each month can have 29 or 30 days depending on the visibility of the moon, astronomical positioning of the earth and weather conditions. However, certain sects and groups, most notably Bohras Muslims namely Alavis, Dawoodis and
The Sulaymani branch of Tayyibi Isma'ilism is an Islamic community, of which around 70,000 members reside in Yemen, while a few thousand Sulaymani Bohras can be found in India. The Sulaymanis are sometimes headed by a '' Da'i al-Mutlaq'' from ...s and Shia Ismaili
Isma'ilism ( ar, الإسماعيلية, al-ʾIsmāʿīlīyah) is a branch or sub-sect of Shia Islam. The Isma'ili () get their name from their acceptance of Imam Isma'il ibn Jafar as the appointed spiritual successor (imām) to Ja'far al- ... 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.
In pre-Islamic Arabia, it was customary to identify a year after a major event which took place in it. Thus, according to Islamic tradition, Abraha, governor of Yemen, then a province of the Christian
Kingdom of Aksum
The Kingdom of Aksum ( gez, መንግሥተ አክሱም, ), also known as the Kingdom of Axum or the Aksumite Empire, was a kingdom centered in Northeast Africa and South Arabia from Classical antiquity to the Middle Ages. Based primarily in w ... ( Ethiopia), attempted to destroy the Kaaba with an army which included several elephants. The raid was unsuccessful, but that year became known as the '' Year of the Elephant
The ʿām al-fīl ( ar, عام الفيل, Year of the Elephant) is the name in Islamic history for the year approximately equating to 570–571 CE. According to Islamic resources, it was in this year that Muhammad was born.Hajjah Adil, Amina, " ...'', during which Muhammad was born (sura al-Fil). Most equate this to the year 570 CE, but a minority use 571 CE.
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
Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni (973 – after 1050) commonly known as al-Biruni, was a Khwarazmian Iranian in scholar and polymath during the Islamic Golden Age. He has been called variously the "founder of Indology", "Father of C ...:
# The year of permission.
# The year of the order of fighting.
# The year of the trial.
# The year of congratulation on marriage.
# The year of the earthquake.
# The year of enquiring.
# The year of gaining victory.
# The year of equality.
# The year of exemption.
# The year of farewell.
In (17 AH), Abu Musa, one of the officials of the Caliph Umar
ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب, also spelled Omar, ) was the second Rashidun caliph, ruling from August 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr () as the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate ... () 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. This report convinced Umar of the need to introduce an era for Muslims. 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). Uthman ibn Affan
Uthman ibn Affan ( ar, عثمان بن عفان, ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān; – 17 June 656), also spelled by Colloquial Arabic, Turkish and Persian rendering Osman, was a second cousin, son-in-law and notable companion of the Islamic prop ... then suggested that the months begin with Muharram, in line with the established custom of the Arabs at that time. 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. Because of the Hijra, the calendar was named the Hijri calendar.
F A Shamsi (1984) postulated that the Arabic calendar was never intercalated. 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. The day the Prophet moved from Quba' to Medina was originally 26 Rabi' I on the pre-Islamic calendar. 1 Muharram of the new fixed calendar corresponded to Friday, 16 July 622 CE, the equivalent civil tabular date (same daylight period) in the Julian calendar
The Julian calendar, proposed by Roman consul Julius Caesar in 46 BC, was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on , by edict. It was designed with the aid of Greek mathematicians and astronomers such as Sosigenes of Alexandria. .... The Islamic day began at the preceding sunset on the evening of 15 July. 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. For example, al-Biruni mentioned this Julian date in the year 1000 CE. 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
In astronomy, the new moon is the first lunar phase, when the Moon and Sun have the same ecliptic longitude. At this phase, the lunar disk is not visible to the naked eye, except when it is silhouetted against the Sun during a solar eclipse. ...) on the morning of 14 July.
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
Coptic may refer to:
* Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya
* Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century
* Coptic alphabet, ...) is on a papyrus from Egypt in AH 22, PERF 558.
Due to the Islamic calendar's reliance on certain variable methods of observation to determine its month-start-dates, these dates sometimes vary slightly from the month-start-dates of the astronomical lunar calendar, which are based directly on astronomical calculations. Still, the Islamic calendar seldom varies by more than three days from the astronomical-lunar-calendar system, and roughly approximates it. Both the Islamic calendar and the astronomical-lunar-calendar take no account of the
A tropical year or solar year (or tropical period) is the time that the Sun takes to return to the same position in the sky of a celestial body of the Solar System such as the Earth, completing a full cycle of seasons; for example, the time f ... in their calculations, and thus both of these strictly lunar based calendar systems have no ability to reckon the timing of the four seasons of the year.
In the astronomical-lunar-calendar system, a year of 12 lunar months is 354.37 days long. In this calendar system, lunar months begin precisely at the time of the monthly "conjunction", when the Moon is located most directly between the Earth and the Sun. The month is defined as the average duration of a revolution of the Moon around the Earth (29.53 days). By convention, months of 30 days and 29 days succeed each other, adding up over two successive months to 59 full days. This leaves only a small monthly variation of 44 minutes to account for, which adds up to a total of 24 hours (i.e., the equivalent of one full day) in 2.73 years. To settle accounts, it is sufficient to add one day every three years to the lunar calendar, in the same way that one adds one day to the Gregorian calendar every four years. The technical details of the adjustment are described in Tabular Islamic calendar.
The Islamic calendar, however, is based on a different set of conventions being used for the determination of the month-start-dates. Each month still has either 29 or 30 days, but due to the variable method of observations employed, there is usually no discernible order in the sequencing of either 29 or 30-day month lengths. Traditionally, the first day of each month is the day (beginning at sunset) of the first sighting of the hilal (crescent moon) shortly after sunset. If the hilal is not observed immediately after the 29th day of a month (either because clouds block its view or because the western sky is still too bright when the moon sets), then the day that begins at that sunset is the 30th. Such a sighting has to be made by one or more trustworthy men testifying before a committee of Muslim leaders. Determining the most likely day that the hilal could be observed was a motivation for Muslim interest in astronomy, which put Islam in the forefront of that science for many centuries. Still, due to the fact that both lunar reckoning systems are ultimately based on the lunar cycle itself, both systems still do roughly correspond to one another, never being more than three days out of synchronisation with one another.
This traditional practice for the determination of the start-date of the month is still followed in the overwhelming majority of Muslim countries. Each Islamic state proceeds with its own monthly observation of the new moon (or, failing that, awaits the completion of 30 days) before declaring the beginning of a new month on its territory. But, the lunar crescent becomes visible only some 17 hours after the conjunction, and only subject to the existence of a number of favourable conditions relative to weather, time, geographic location, as well as various astronomical parameters. Given the fact that the moon sets progressively later than the sun as one goes west, with a corresponding increase in its "age" since conjunction, Western Muslim countries may, under favorable conditions, observe the new moon one day earlier than eastern Muslim countries. Due to the interplay of all these factors, the beginning of each month differs from one Muslim country to another, during the 48-hour period following the conjunction. The information provided by the calendar in any country does not extend beyond the current month.
A number of Muslim countries try to overcome some of these difficulties by applying different astronomy-related rules to determine the beginning of months. Thus, Malaysia, Indonesia, and a few others begin each month at sunset on the first day that the moon sets after the sun (moonset after sunset). In Egypt, the month begins at sunset on the first day that the moon sets at least five minutes after the sun. A detailed analysis of the available data shows, however, that there are major discrepancies between what countries say they do on this subject, and what they actually do. In some instances, what a country says it does is impossible.
Due to the somewhat variable nature of the Islamic calendar, in most Muslim countries, the Islamic calendar is used primarily for religious purposes, while the Solar-based Gregorian calendar is still used primarily for matters of commerce and agriculture.
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. But, there are divergent views on whether it is licit to do so.
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.
However, some Islamic jurists see no contradiction between Muhammad's teachings and the use of calculations to determine the beginnings of lunar months. They consider that Muhammad's recommendation was adapted to the culture of the times, and should not be confused with the acts of worship.
Thus the jurists
Ahmad Muhammad Shakir
Ahmad Muhammad Shakir ( ar, أحمد محمد شاكر, Aḥmad Muḥammad Shākir) (January 29, 1892, Cairo – June 14, 1958) was an Egyptian Islamic scholar of hadith. He is the son of Muḥammad Shākir ibn Aḥmad, an Islamic scholar of ... 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. So did the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) in 2006 and the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) in 2007.
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. 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. This resulted in a division of the Muslim community of France, with some members following the new rule, and others following the Saudi announcement.
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
The Fatimid Caliphate was an Ismaili Shi'a caliphate extant from the tenth to the twelfth centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it ranged from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east. The Fatimids, a dy ... imams.
Astronomical 12-moon calendars
Islamic calendar of Turkey
Turkish Muslims use an Islamic calendar which is calculated several years in advance by the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı). 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." In the current rule the (computed) lunar crescent has to be above the local horizon of Ankara at sunset.
Saudi Arabia's ''Umm al-Qura'' calendar
Saudi Arabia uses the sighting method to determine the beginning of each month of the Hijri calendar. 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. 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.
The country also uses the Umm al-Qura calendar, based on astronomical calculations, but this is restricted to administrative purposes. The parameters used in the establishment of this calendar underwent significant changes during the decade to AH 1423.
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. 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.
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).
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. 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.
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). This was intended as a first step on the way to unify, at some future time, Muslims' calendars throughout the world.
Since AH 1438 (1 October 2016), Saudi Arabia adopted the Gregorian calendar for payment of the monthly salaries of government employees (as a cost cutting measure), while retaining the Islamic calendar for religious purposes.
Other calendars using the Islamic era
Solar Hijri calendar
The Solar calendar ( fa, گاهشماری هجری خورشیدی, Gâhšomâri-ye Xoršidi; ps, لمريز لېږدیز کلیز, lamrez legdez kalhandara; ku, ڕۆژژمێری کۆچیی ھەتاوی, Salnameya Koçberiyê) is a solar ... 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 CE.
Tabular Islamic calendar
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. It has a 30-year cycle with 11
A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or bissextile year) is a calendar year that contains an additional day (or, in the case of a lunisolar calendar, a month) added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical year or ...s of 355 days and 19 years of 354 days. In the long term, it is accurate to one day in about 2,500 solar years or 2,570 lunar years. It also deviates up to about one or two days in the short term.
Microsoft uses the "Kuwaiti algorithm", a variant of the tabular Islamic calendar, to convert Gregorian dates to the Islamic ones. Microsoft claimed that the variant is based on a statistical analysis of historical data from Kuwait, however it matches a known tabular calendar.
Important dates in the Islamic (Hijri) year are:
* 1 Muharram: the
Islamic New Year
The Islamic New Year ( ar, رأس السنة الهجرية, '), also called the Hijri New Year, is the day that marks the beginning of a new lunar Hijri year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the Islamic ....
* 10 Muharram: Day of Ashura
A day is the time period of a full rotation of the Earth with respect to the Sun. On average, this is 24 hours, 1440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds. In everyday life, the word "day" often refers to a solar day, which is the length between two so .... For both Shias and Sunnis, the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, and his followers. For Sunnis, the crossing of the Red Sea by Moses occurred on this day, along with many other significant events in the lives of prophets and that have to do with Creation.
* 12 Rabi al-Awwal: Mawlid
Mawlid, Mawlid an-Nabi ash-Sharif or Eid Milad un Nabi ( ar, المولد النبوي, translit=mawlid an-nabawī, lit=Birth of the Prophet, sometimes simply called in colloquial Arabic , , among other vernacular pronunciations; sometimes , ) ... or Birth of the Prophet for Sunnis.
* 17 Rabi al-Awwal: Mawlid
Mawlid, Mawlid an-Nabi ash-Sharif or Eid Milad un Nabi ( ar, المولد النبوي, translit=mawlid an-nabawī, lit=Birth of the Prophet, sometimes simply called in colloquial Arabic , , among other vernacular pronunciations; sometimes , ) ... for Shias.
* 27 Rajab: Isra and Mi'raj
The Israʾ and Miʿraj ( ar, الإسراء والمعراج, ') are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islam, the Islamic prophet Muhammad (570–632) took during a single night around the year 621 (1 BH – 0 BH). With ... for the majority of Muslims.
* 15 Sha'ban: Mid-Sha'ban, or Night of Forgiveness. For Shiites, also the birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdi
Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mahdī ( ar, محمد بن الحسن المهدي) is believed by the Twelver Shia to be the last of the Twelve Imams and the eschatological Mahdi, who will emerge in the end of time to establish peace and justi ..., the Twelfth Imam.
* 1 Ramadan: The first day of fasting in Islam
* 27 Ramadan: Start of the Revelation of the Qur’an. The most probable day Prophet Muhammad received the first verses of the Quran (17 Ramadan in Indonesia and Malaysia).
* Last third of Ramadan which includes Laylat al-Qadr.
* 1 Shawwal: Eid ul-Fitr
, nickname = Festival of Breaking the Fast, Lesser Eid, Sweet Eid, Sugar Feast
, observedby = Muslims
, type = Islamic
, longtype = Islamic
, significance = Commemoration to mark the end of fasting in Ramadan
, date ....
* 8–13 Dhu al-Hijjah: The Hajj
The Hajj (; ar, حَجّ '; sometimes also spelled Hadj, Hadji or Haj in English) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried ... pilgrimage to Mecca.
* 9 Dhu al-Hijjah: Day of Arafa.
* 10 Dhu al-Hijjah: Eid al-Adha
Eid al-Adha () is the second and the larger of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam (the other being Eid al-Fitr). It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to Allah's c ....
Days considered important predominantly for Shia Muslims:
* 9 Rabi' al-Awwal: Eid-e-Shuja'
Omar Koshan ( fa, عمرکشان, "the Killing of Umar"), also known as Jashn-e Hazrat-e Zahra ("Celebration of Fatima al-Zahra'") or Eid-e-Shuja' ("Feast of the Courageous One") is a yearly festival held by some Twelver Shi'i Muslims in Iran. ... ( Mukhtar al-Thaqafi
Al-Mukhtar ibn Abi Ubayd al-Thaqafi ( ar, المختار بن أبي عبيد الثقفي, '; – 3 April 687) was a pro-Alid revolutionary based in Kufa, who led a rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate in 685 and ruled over most of Iraq ... avenges the events of Ashura
Ashura (, , ) is a day of commemoration in Islam. It occurs annually on the 10th of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. Among Shia Muslims, Ashura is observed through large demonstrations of high-scale mourning as it marks th ...).
* 13 Rajab: Birthday of Ali ibn Abi Talib
* 3 Sha'ban: Birthday of Husayn ibn Ali.
* 21 Ramadan: Martyrdom of Ali ibn Abi Talib.
* 18 Dhu al-Hijjah: the Eid al-Ghadir
The Islamic calendar is now used primarily for religious purposes, and for official dating of public events and documents in Muslim countries. 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
The ancient Egyptian calendar – a civil calendar – was a solar calendar with a 365-day year. The year consisted of three seasons of 120 days each, plus an intercalary month of five epagomenal days treated as outside of the year proper. Ea ... was formerly widespread in Islamic countries, and the Iranian calendar
The Iranian calendars or Iranian chronology ( fa, گاهشماری ایرانی, ) are a succession of calendars invented or used for over two millennia in Iran, also known as Persia. One of the longest chronological records in human history, ... and the 1789 Ottoman calendar (a modified Julian calendar
The Julian calendar, proposed by Roman consul Julius Caesar in 46 BC, was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on , by edict. It was designed with the aid of Greek mathematicians and astronomers such as Sosigenes of Alexandria. ...) were also used for agriculture in their countries. In the Levant and Iraq the Aramaic names of the Babylonian calendar
The Babylonian calendar was a lunisolar calendar with years consisting of 12 lunar months, each beginning when a new crescent moon was first sighted low on the western horizon at sunset, plus an intercalary month inserted as needed by decree. ... are still used for all secular matters. In the Maghreb, Berber farmers in the countryside still use the Julian calendar for agrarian purposes. These local solar calendars have receded in importance with the near-universal adoption of the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes. Saudi Arabia uses the lunar Islamic calendar. In Indonesia, the Javanese calendar combines elements of the Islamic and pre-Islamic Saka
The Saka (Old Persian: ; Kharosthi, Kharoṣṭhī: ; Egyptian language, Ancient Egyptian: , ; , Old Chinese, old , Pinyin, mod. , ), Shaka (Sanskrit (Brahmi script, Brāhmī): , , ; Sanskrit (Devanagari, Devanāgarī): , ), or Sacae (An ... calendars.
British author Nicholas Hagger writes that after seizing control of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi
Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, . Due to the lack of standardization of transcribing written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi's name has been romanized in various ways. A 1986 column by ''The Straight Dope'' lists 32 spelling ... "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". This put the country ten solar years behind the standard Muslim calendar. 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. The months July and August, named after Julius and Augustus Caesar, are now Nasser and Hannibal respectively." [''Encyclopedia of the Developing World'' (2007), volume 3, p. 1338.] 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. The year of my visit was officially 1369. But just two years earlier Libyans had been living through 1429. No one could quite name for me the day the count changed, especially since both remained in play. ... Event organizers threw up their hands and put the Western year in parentheses somewhere in their announcements." [ pages 37–38.]
* Hijri support was available in later versions of traditional
Visual Basic Visual Basic is a name for a family of programming languages from Microsoft. It may refer to:
* Visual Basic .NET (now simply referred to as "Visual Basic"), the current version of Visual Basic launched in 2002 which runs on .NET
* Visual Basic ( ..., and is also available in the .NET Framework
The .NET Framework (pronounced as "''dot net"'') is a proprietary software framework developed by Microsoft that runs primarily on Microsoft Windows. It was the predominant implementation of the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) until bein ....
* Since the release of Java 8, the Islamic calendar is supported in the new Date and Time API.
* Arabic names of Gregorian months
Islamic New Year
The Islamic New Year ( ar, رأس السنة الهجرية, '), also called the Hijri New Year, is the day that marks the beginning of a new lunar Hijri year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the Islamic ... (includes a table of recent and imminent equivalent dates in the Gregorian calendar)
* List of Islamic years
This is a list of Hijri years ( la, anno Hegirae or AH) with the corresponding common era years where applicable. For Hijri years since 1297 AH (1879/1881 CE), the Gregorian date of 1 Muharram, the first day of the year in the Islamic calenda ... (most significant dates have both the Hijri date and the Gregorian date)
* List of observances set by the Islamic calendar
* Pre-Islamic Arabian calendar
* Rumi calendar
* Solar Hijri calendar
The Solar calendar ( fa, گاهشماری هجری خورشیدی, Gâhšomâri-ye Xoršidi; ps, لمريز لېږدیز کلیز, lamrez legdez kalhandara; ku, ڕۆژژمێری کۆچیی ھەتاوی, Salnameya Koçberiyê) is a solar ...
* Timeline of Islamic history, including a list of Islamic centuries and the corresponding Gregorian years
How and Why did the Hijiri Calendar Begin? ''Al-Ain University''
Helmer Aslaksen The Islamic Calendar
Khalid Chraibi, The reform of the Islamic calendar: the terms of the debate, Tabsir.net, September 2012
Open source calendar converters