The Islamic calendar is the religious calendar used by those of the Islamic faith, which is different to the normal 12-month calendar used in most of the world.
Some countries use the Islamic calendar as their primary one, but is generally only used to keep track of festivals and special occasions.
The months of the Islamic calendar are based on the phases of the moon, and have either 29 or 30 days depending on how long each phase lasts.
Because of this, the Islamic year can be either 354 or 355 days, and Islamic festivals have new dates every year.
The first year of the Islamic calendar of the Islamic calendar is treated as 622 A.D., the year when the Prophet Muhammad and his followers completed the Hijra, a holy migration from the city of Mecca to Medina.
Each year of the Islamic calendar is marked with the letters AH; meaning “after the Hijra.” For example, the year 2000 A.D. is known in the Islamic calendar as 1378 AH.
The months of the Islamic calendar are as follows:
Religious festivals are treated very seriously in the Islamic tradition. Many Islamic days of celebration are used to reflect on important events in the history of Islam, many of which shaped the way modern Muslims interact with their faith.
The two most important festivals are those of Eid; Eid Al-Fitr, and Eid Al-Adha. Here is a short list of some of the most important Muslim festivals:
Al Hijrah – Al Hijrah is the Islamic calendar’s version of New Year’s Day. It takes place on the first day of the month of Muharram.
Al Hijrah is taken as a day to celebrate Muhammad and his followers first completing the Hijra. This day is usually taken for reflection and prayer, and is not celebrated with any parties and festivals.
Ashura – a day of fasting set on the 10th of Muharram.
Mawlid an Nabi – a celebration of Muhammad’s birth, set on the 12th of Rabi-al-Awwal, the third month of the Islamic calendar. In comparison to Al Hijrah, the festivities of Mawlid an Nabi are much more exciting, and the day is often celebrated with parades and parties.
Ramadan – Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is a period of fasting for all Muslims. During Ramadan, all followers of the Islamic faith are not allowed to eat or drink from sunrise to sunset.
This rule does not apply to young children, the sick, the elderly, however. Ramadan is a celebration of the devotion of Muslims to Allah, and is known as the month in which the Quran was first revealed to Muhammad.
Laylat al-Qadr – Laylat al-Qadr is one of the final ten nights of Ramadan, and is celebrated as the night when Muhammad was first spoken to by the angel Gabriel. It is often also called “The Night of Power”.
Eid al-Fitr -the celebration of the end of Ramadan, commonly known as the Breaking of the Fast.
Eid a is celebrated on the first of Shawwal, and is a special day on which Muslim families get together for meals and exchange presents – in a way, this tradition is like Jewish Hannukah, or Christian Christmas.
Eid al-Adha – Eid al-Adha is a three-day long festival which spans from the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah to the 13th day.
Eid al-Adha is a festival which celebrates how Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son on God command, and the user the chance for Muslim to express devotion to Allah together.
Nowadays, Muslims celebrate the festival with family gatherings, meals, animal sacrifice, and gifts.
What determines the length of each month in the Islamic calendar?
– The phases of the moon.
How many days can the Islamic year have?
– 354 or 355.
What are the two most important festivals of the Islamic calendar?
– Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.
Where does the month of Ramadan fall in the Islamic calendar?
– It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
What letters are each year of the Islamic calendar marked with?
– AH, meaning “after Hijra”.