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Before we talk about the Islamic calendar, it is important to remind ourselves about what Qur’an and Hadeeth say about this subject.
A Suggested Global Islamic Calendar
By Khalid Shaukat
Before we talk about the Islamic calendar, it is important to remind ourselves about what Qur’an and Hadeeth say about this subject. The most relevant instruction from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is:
They ask thee concerning the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage.(Al-Baqarah 2:187)
Remember, this is guidance for the whole mankind, not just for Muslims. The calendar should be for whole mankind. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala also stressed that the calendar should be lunar with twelve months in a year.
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. (Al-Taubah 9:36) Further, Qur’an says:
It is He Who made the Sun to be a shining glory and the Moon to be a light (of beauty), and measured out stages for her; that you might know the number of years and the count (of time). Nowise did Allah create this but in truth and righteousness. (Thus) does He explain His Signs in detail, for those who understand. (Yunus 10:5)
The Sun and the Moon follow courses (exactly) computed. (Al-Rahman 55:5) Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has created the Sun and Moon and both of them move according to precise and pre-defined patterns. Knowledge of these patterns help people calculate time, days and years, as mentioned in Surah Yunus, Ayah 5 mentioned above. This pattern is not only for prayer times, but it is for all time periods like the beginning of a month throughout the year. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala tells us that we should pray our daily Salah and begin and end our fasts based on the movement of the sun.
Establish regular prayers -with the sun’s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony. (Al-Isra’ 17:78)