Knowledge About The Islamic Calender

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Knowledge About The Islamic Calender
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The Islamic Calendar is based on the Lunar Calendar consisting of 354-355 days annually … For example, the various dates in the Islamic Calendar such as …

The Islamic Calender

Use of the Lunar Calendar The Islamic Calendar is based on the Lunar Calendar consisting of 354-355 days annually and is 10 days shorter than the western Solar Calendar. The Lunar month is based on the time it takes the moon to complete a single orbit around the earth and it is just over 29½ days. There are many advantages to the Lunar calendar. For example, the various dates in the Islamic Calendar such as Ramadan and Hajj rotate every year and are not fixed like the Solar Year. People, therefore, will perform acts of worship in various climatic conditions and in different length of hours in submission to the will of Allah where human imagination plays no part. The new moon marks the beginning of each new lunar month and it is easy for people to see the new moon and know that a new month has begun. This probably explains why most ancient civilizations such as the Babylonians, the Jews, the Greeks and the Egyptians in the Middle East, the Aztecs and the Incas of the West, and the Hindus and the Chinese of the East used this system Interestingly, the English word `month’ is derived from the word `moon’. Origin and Significance of the Hijri Calendar The Islamic Calendar was started by the second Caliph Umar in 16 AH/ 637 CE [2] . The event of the Hijrah, the migration of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) from Makkah to Madinah in 622 CE, was chosen to begin the Islamic Calendar because it was the first major sacrifice made by the whole Ummah for the preservation of Islam in its formative period. The Caliph Umar is reported to have remarked: “The Hijrah has separated truth from falsehood, therefore, let it become the Epoch of the Era” [3] . The Hijrah year reminds Muslims every year of the sacrifices made by the first Muslims and should prepare them to do the same. The constant use of the Hijri Calendar for acts of worship and as a frame of reference to major historical events will help Muslims keep links with their roots and further enhance their knowledge of their religion and history. Months of the Islamic Calendar There are twelve months in the Islamic Calendar. As the Qur’an says: “Surely the number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve, in accordance with His decree from the day He created the heavens and the earth, out of which four are sacred” (9:36) [4] . The four Sacred Months (al-Ashhur al-Hurum are Rajab, Dhul Qa`dah, Dhul Hijjah and Muharram [5] . The sanctity of these months was also accepted in the Pre-Islamic era when fighting was forbidden and there were cease-fires where battle was ongoing. Because Rajab is a sacred month, it was customary for people in pre-Islamic times to perform `Umrah during it as they were guaranteed safety and security [6] . Dhul Hijjah is the month when people from far away places go to perform the Pilgrimage (Hajj). The two other Sacred Months come before (Dhul Qa`dah) and after (Muharram) this month, so that people’s journeys to and from the Ka`bah to distant places are safe.

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