Principle and origin
The islamic calendar or the Hijjri year is based on the principle of a lunar year; it is formed of 12 months of 29 or 30 days, thus constituting a Hijri year of 354 or 355 days.
This calendar is called Hijri by reference to the Hijra (exodus) of the prophet Muhammad –peace be upon him-, from Makkah (Mecca) to Medina (Al Madina), which was a turning point and a landmark event in the spread of the Islamic religion. The first day of the Muslim calendar, is the first of Mouharam year of the Hijra (AH) and is the 15th or 16th July 622 of the Common Era, according to theologians.
Determination of the Muslim calendar
The Islamic calendar is lunar; it is based on the observation of the appearance of the crescent moon. Thus, towards the end of each month, that is to say, the 29th of the current month, the sky is scrutinized to observe the crescent moon, if we can distinguish around the time of sunset before it disappears with the twilight, the day is the first day of the following month, otherwise the current month will count 30 days and the beginning of the following month will only be for two days.
This is the same method adopted for determining the beginning of Ramadan, God and the prophet have advocated it in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Astronomical calculation is not really the most common method, even if some theologians have tried to introduce it. The lunar observation remains to this day the most used method.
The Months of the hijri year (AH)
The months of the Muslim calendar are:
- Rabia al awal
- Rabia ath-thani
- Joumada al oula
- Joumada ath-thania
- Dhou al qi'da
- Dhou al-hijja
Four of these months are sacred in Islam, God has wanted to be so, they are : Muharram, Rajab, Dhu al Hijjah and Dhu al Qi'da.
Special dates on the Muslim calendar
However, there are certain dates that are special and that we celebrate or not according to the traditions of the country, especially some consider that to celebrate is a bid'ah.
Some of these dates include the first Muharram, which is the New Year of the Muslim calendar. The 10th of the same month of Muharram celebrates the feast of Ashura or 'Achouraa, this date has been the scene of many historical events. It is considered by some as a day of fasting with the 9th day of the month.
The day of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad –peace be upon him- is called Eid Al Mawlid Annabaoui or just Mawlid Nabawi corresponding to 12 Rabia al Awal.
This date commemorates the birth of the prophet Mohammed -peace and blessings be upon him– and is very special for Muslims, many Muslims celebrate it with their families in some countries, while others consider the celebration as a Bid'a because it is not a religious feast. Some choose this time to perform Umrah, Makkah is often filled at this time of the year.
The start of Ramadan is an important date in the Islamic calendar because it is the holy month long awaited by all Muslims throughout the year. During the month of Ramadan, there is a very special night called Laylat Al Qadr (the Night of Destiny), which has a unique spirituality, Allah described it as better than 1000 months, the date is not determined, it is within the last ten days of Ramadan.
Dates of the islamic feasts 2017/1438
- Date of 1st Muharram 2017/1438: 21 September 2017
- Date of Aid Mawlid Nabawi 2017/1438: 30 November 2017
- Date of the beginning of Ramadan 2017/1438: 27 Mai 2017
- Date of Eid Al Fitr 2017/1438: 25 June 2017
- Date of Eid Al Adha 2017/1438: 1 September 2017
These dates are approximate, of course, we will announce the exact dates on Assabile once they are determined.
Written by: Ali Youssef