The 1st Muharram of 622 is the beginning of the Muslim calendar. On September 24, 622, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) performed the Hijrah (from Arabic means the movement, migration) from Mecca to the oasis of Yathrib (Medina).
1. The Muslim Lunar Calendar
The Hijri is based on the lunar calendar. The lunar year consists of twelve lunar months, including 354 (355) days. Odd months contain 30 days, and even months contain 29. The lunar cycle is 30 years: 19 regular years with 354 days and 11 leap years with 355 days. To keep the new moon near the 1st day of the month, the day of the leap year is included in the last month of the year – Zu al-Hijjah.
The lunar year is shorter than the solar year (miladi) by 10-12 days, depending on the leap year, so it is not tied to the seasons. The lunar month of 29.5 days is a period of the natural cycle. However, the Moon phase is associated with the power of the sea tide, the parameters of the atmosphere and magnetosphere, the strength of the reflection of sunlight from the Moon’s surface. All these cyclical changes affect plants, animals, and humans.
2. The Hijrah is the Starting Point
The Muslim Hijri calendar begins with the Hijrah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from Mecca to Yasrib, later called Medina, and is based on the Lunar calendar.
3. Who Created the Islamic Calendar?
There are many opinions about how the Islamic calendar was established. And the most authoritative of them is that the decision to do so belongs to the second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA). This is confirmed by Imam Abu Nuaym, who testifies that Abu Musa al-Ashari, the Caliph’s governor in Basra, wrote to Umar (RA), and that Umar (RA) sends them messages that have no number. Therefore Umar (RA) gathered people, and they proposed to set the calendar from the moment of the message of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Ali ibn Abu Talib (RA) suggested that the calendar should start from the moment of the migration of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA) listened to Ali’s advice.
After listening to all the suggestions, Umar (RA) said that the migration was what divided “the truth and the falsehood”, so the time in the calendar should start with the migration.
4. Days in Hijri Calendar
In contrast to the 365 days of the Gregorian calendar, the Hijri calendar has 354 days per year. This means that every 33 Gregorian years, according to the Hijri calendar, you become a year older than the traditional calendar. The time on the Hijri calendar goes faster.
5. Five Forbidden Months
In the Islamic calendar, a number of months are forbidden. These are Rajab, Muharram, Ramadan, Zu al-Hijjah, and Zu al-Qadah. In Islam, these are the holy months. During these months, military operations were prohibited due to the fact that it was necessary to protect the pilgrims who arrived at the Kaaba, near which trade brought great profits during this period. If war was inevitable, then the pagan Arabs moved the forbidden month and conducted military operations.
6. Tabular Islamic Calendar
A new version of the Hijri calendar has recently appeared. It is called the tabular Islamic calendar, and it is based on mathematical data. The calendar works on arithmetic rules, rather than on observations of the Moon and astronomical calculations. It has a 30-year cycle with 11 leap years of 355 days and 19 years of 354 days. In the long run, it accumulates one extra day every 2,500 years. That is, its accuracy is 1 day in 2500 years.
We can all contribute to the development of the Hijri calendar and it starts with the fact that we formulate the right intentions. Thus, we become a living example of the fact that using the Islamic calendar is not difficult.
- Significance of the Islamic Hijri Calendar – IslamWeb.net
- The Beginning Of Hijra Calendar – Sound Vision