>>Islam at a Glance
Islam at a Glance
By Suhel Farooq Khan
The Islamic Calendar

The Islamic calendar is called the Hijrah (Migration) calendar.
It begins from the day when Muhammad (Peace be upon him) made a Hijrah from Makkah to Madinah.
The Islamic calendar was implemented from July 16, 622 CE. Islamic calendar follows the lunar cycles. The years of the Islamic calendar are approximately ten days shorter than the Gregorian calendar of 365 days, we normally use.

The Islamic calendar also has 12 months like the Gregorian calendar. Each month of the Islamic calendar could be either 29 or 30 days long, depending upon the moon cycle. Seven months of the Islamic calendar are of 30 days and the remaining five are of 29 days. The first day of the month starts after the sighting and visibility of the moon.

The beginning of the month of fasting Ramadan (Ninth month of the Islamic calendar), Id al-Fitr (Festival of Fasting) at the end of Ramadan and Hajj (Annual Pilgrimage to Ka’bah) are always announced only after sighting the moon. Poor Due Charity (Zakah) is also paid according to the Islamic calendar.

The twelve months of the Islamic Calendar are:

1.      Muharram

2.      Safar

3.      Rabi’ ul Awwal

4.      Rabi’ uth-thani

5.      Jumadal ula

6.      Jumadal Ukhra

7.      Rajab

8.      Sha'ban

9.      Ramadan

10.  Shawwal

11.  Dhul Qa'dah

12.  Dhul Hijjah

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