Hijra Calendar
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The Islamic calendar, called the Hijra calendar, is a lunar-based calendar. As such, the Islamic year is about 354 days long, so the Islamic dates move through the seasons, completing the cycle in approximately 34 years. The first year corresponds to the year of migration of the Muslims from Makkah to Madina.

ALLAH states in the Noble Quran:

"The number of months in the sight of ALLAH is twelve (in a year) - so ordained by HIM the day HE created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight usage. So wrong not yourselves therein, and fight the Pagans all together as they fight you all together. But know that ALLAH is with those who restrain themselves." (At-Taubah: 36)

So there are 12 months in the Hijra calendar and each month officially starts with the sighting of the new crescent moon. With advances in astronomy, we are able to calculate those days in advance but when it comes to official events and holidays such as Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr, etc., many communities and Muslim states rely upon the actual sighting, so the dates in a prepared calendar may not coincide with the actual day the events are observed or celebrated.

The 12 months are:

 

Number Month
1    Muharram
2    Safar
3    Rabi' Al-Awal (Rabi' I)
4    Rabi' Ath-Thanee (Rabi' II)
5    Jamaad Al- Awal (Jamaad I)
6    Jamaad Ath-Thanee (Jamaad II)
7    Rajab
8    Sha'ban
9    Ramadan
10    Shawwal
11    Thul Qui'dah
12    Thul Hijjah

 

Muharram is the 1st month of the Hijra year. It is one of the 4 Sacred months. The 10th day of Muharram is the Day of 'Ashura. 'Ashura is the day ALLAH saved Moses (Musa, peace be upon him) and his followers from Pharaoh. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him) advised Muslims to fast on this day and the day before or the day after as well. He also encouraged Muslims to fast often during Muharram.

 

Rajab is the 7th month of the Hijra year and is one of the 4 Sacred months.

 

Sha'ban is the 8th month of the Hijra year. It is the month before Ramadan and anyone that did not complete their fasting of Ramadan the previous year and is able to fast should make up the missed days before the end of Sha'ban. It is also a month Muslims are encouraged to fast in preparation for Ramadan.

 

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Hijra year and is a very important month. Many non-Muslims recognize it as the month of fasting for Muslims but it is much more than that. You can find more on Ramadan here.

 

Shawwal is the 10th month of the Hijra year. It is the month after Ramadan and the 1st day of Shawwal is the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, the Holiday to break the fast of Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to fast 6 days during this month, but they are prohibited from fasting on Eid-ul-Fitr. You can find more on Eid-ul-Fitr here.

 

Thul Qui'dah is the 11th month of the Hijra year and is one of the 4 Sacred months. Muslims intending to perform Hajj begin preparing for that magnificent journey during this month.

 

Thul Hijjah is the 12th month of the Hijra year and is the month when Hajj occurs. You can find more on Hajj here. The 8th day of Thul HIjjah is the beginning of Hajj and the 9th day is the Day of 'Arafa, a key day during the Hajj. This is the day when all Pilgrims must go to the plateau of 'Arafa from afternoon until sunset and spend that time in remembrance (of ALLAH) and contemplation. Anyone missing this requirement will not be credited with performing Hajj. The 10th day of Thul Hijjah is the first day of Eid-ul-Adha, the Holiday of Sacrifice which occurs during the Hajj. It is often referred to as the day of the Great Pilgrimage because many of the required duties of Hajj are performed on this day. You can find more on Eid-ul-Adha here.

 

These following are the dates for 1435H/1436H:
(Note: these dates are based on astronomical calculations. The actual dates are based on lunar observations and may differ slightly. One should verify the dates of special events such as the start and end of Ramadan, the day of 'Arafa, etc. with their local Islamic Center.)

 

   Event           
   Hijri Date       
   Gregorian Date   
   Start of Ramadan    Ramadan 1, 1435    June 28, 2014
   Eid-ul-Fitr    Shawwal 1, 1435    July 28, 2014
   Beginning of Hajj    Thul Hijjah 8, 1435    October 2, 2014
   Day of 'Arafa    Thul Hijjah 9, 1435    October 3, 2014
   Eid-ul-Adha    Thul Hijjah 10, 1435    October 4, 2014
   Islamic New Year    Muharram 1, 1436    October 25, 2014
   Ashura    Muharram 10, 1436    November 3, 2014

 

For more information about Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, Eid-ul-Adha, Islamic Basics or other Islamic topics, please contact your local Masjid or Islamic Center or contact IFANCA.