Thursday, January 10, 2008

Islamic Calendar*

Banu Salleh
The Muslim Era began with the great event of the Hijrah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions from Makkah to Madinah. The adoption of this event as the beginning of the Muslim Era took place in the Caliphate of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the second Caliph.

The Muslim calendar is lunar, and its months are determined by the various positions of the moon. In every year there are twelve months, and each month is either thirty or twenty-nine days depending on the position of the moon. These months are:
1. Muharram
2. Safar
3. Rabi’ul-Awal
4. Rabi’ul-akhir
5. Jamadial-awal
6. Jamadill-akhir
7. Rejab
8. Sya’aban
9. Ramadhan
10. Shawal
11. Zulqa’edah
12. Zulhijjah

Every week has one special day to remember and observe. This is Friday, and its significance stems from the Noon Congregational Prayers which must be observed by every Muslim who can attend. There are other significant occasions which should be remembered with a special observance.

1- Ramadhan, the month of Fasting, in which the Qur’an was revealed.

2- The Night of Honor and Excellence of Qadar which may be celebrated on the eve of twenty-third or the twenty-fifth or the twenty-seventh of Ramadhan.

3- `Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Breaking the Fast of Ramadhan) which falls on the first day of Shawwal.

4- `Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) which falls on the tenth day of Zulhaijjah.

* Excerpted with modifications from Hammudah Abulati's Islam in Focus.

® srikandeh

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