Islamic Hijri Calendar is of great significance in the Muslim world. There are 12 months in Islamic calendar each one of it has its own importance. The Islamic Hijri calendar is also known as the lunar calendar. Islamic calendars are based on the shifting of the moon and contain approximately 30 days in each month because of the moon’s shape and movements. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran: “It is He Who made the sun a shining light and the moon a derived light and determined for it phases – that you may know the number of years and account (of time). Allah has not created this except in truth. He details the signs for a people who know.” (Quran, 10: 5)
The Hijri calendar continues to be widely used by Muslims around the world to determine important Islamic days on which they observe annual fasting, to attend the major pilgrimage, Hajj, & to celebrate other Islamic holidays and rites.
Facts About Hijri Calendar
Below mentioned are some interesting facts about the Islamic Hijri Calendar:
- Hazrat Umar (RA) initiated the use of the Hijri calendar over others used during his time. This was done when Muslim lands expanded far & wide and a complaint of a debt reach Umar (RA). They knew the month but were confused over the year.
- Hijrah was the starting point of Hijri Calendar. It was then decided that the starting point for this calendar would be the Hijrah i.e., migration of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) from Makkah to Madinah. It is so because Hijrah was considered the paramount event that established the Islamic nation.
- Hijri Calendar is different from lunar calendar. The lunar calendar is based on astronomical calculations, with each year adding up to about 354.37 days. Whereas the Hijri Calendar is based on the sighting of the moon.
- Each numbered year in Hijri Calendar is designated either “H” for Hijra or “AH” for the Latin Anno Hegirae (in the year of the Hijra).
- There are 4 months in the Hijri calendar which are considered sacred by Muslims. Muharram, Rajab, Dhul Qi’dah and Dhul Hijjah.
- The 8th month of the Hijri Calendar is Shaban, which literally means scattered or separation.
In ancient Arabia this month marked the time of year when Arab tribes dispersed to find water.
- The 10th month in the Hijri Calendar is Shawwal, literally means to raise or lift. As this was the time when she-camels would normally be carrying a fetus.
- The Hijri calendar has 354 days in a year. As opposed to the 365 days of the Gregorian calendar.