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Hijri year

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The Hijri year (Arabic: سَنة هِجْريّة) or era (التقويم الهجري at-taqwīm al-hijrī) is the era used in the Islamic lunar calendar. It begins its count from the Islamic New Year in which Muhammad and his followers migrated from Mecca to Yathrib (now Medina). This event, known as the Hijrah, is commemorated in Islam for its role in the founding of the first Muslim community (ummah).

In the West, this era is most commonly denoted as AH (Latin: Anno Hegirae /ˈæn ˈhɛɪr/, 'in the year of the Hijra') in parallel with the Christian (AD), Common (CE) and Jewish eras (AM) and can similarly be placed before or after the date. In predominantly Muslim countries, it is also commonly abbreviated H ("Hijra") from its Arabic abbreviation hāʾ (هـ). Years prior to AH 1 are reckoned in English as BH ("Before the Hijrah"), which should follow the date.[1]

A year in the Islamic lunar calendar consists of twelve lunar months and has only 354 or 355 days in its year. Consequently its New Year's Day occurs ten days earlier each year relative to the Gregorian calendar. The year 2023 CE corresponds to the Islamic years AH 1444 – 1445; AH 1444 corresponds to 2022 – 2023 in the Common Era.[a]

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Calendar era

Calendar era

A calendar era is the period of time elapsed since one epoch of a calendar and, if it exists, before the next one. For example, it is the year 2023 as per the Gregorian calendar, which numbers its years in the Western Christian era.

Epoch

Epoch

In chronology and periodization, an epoch or reference epoch is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The "epoch" serves as a reference point from which time is measured.

Islamic New Year

Islamic New Year

The Islamic New Year, also called the Hijri New Year, is the day that marks the beginning of a new lunar Hijri year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the Islamic year is observed by most Muslims on the first day of the month of Muharram. The epoch of the Islamic era was set as the year of the emigration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijrah, which equates to 622 CE in the Gregorian calendar. All religious duties, such as prayer, fasting in the month of Ramadan, and pilgrimage, and the dates of significant events, such as celebration of holy nights and festivals, are calculated according to the Islamic calendar.

Mecca

Mecca

Mecca is the holiest city in Islam and the capital of Mecca Province in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. It is 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah on the Red Sea, in a narrow valley 277 m (909 ft) above sea level. Its last recorded population was 1,578,722 in 2015. Its estimated metro population in 2020 is 2.042 million, making it the third-most populated city in Saudi Arabia after Riyadh and Jeddah. Pilgrims more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj pilgrimage, observed in the twelfth Hijri month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah.

Medina

Medina

Medina, officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (Arabic: المدينة المنورة, romanized: al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah, lit. 'The Enlightened City', Hejazi pronunciation: [almadiːna almʊnawːara], and also commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah, is the second-holiest city in Islam and the capital of Medina Province in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. As of 2020, the estimated population of the city is 1,488,782, making it the fourth-most populous city in the country. Located at the core of the Medina Province in the western reaches of the country, the city is distributed over 589 km2, of which 293 km2 constitutes the city's urban area, while the rest is occupied by the Hejaz Mountains, empty valleys, agricultural spaces and older dormant volcanoes.

Hijrah

Hijrah

The Hijrah or Hijra was the journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina. The year in which the Hijrah took place is also identified as the epoch of the Lunar Hijri and Solar Hijri calendars; its date equates to 16 July 622 in the Julian calendar. The Arabic word hijra means "departure" or "migration", among other definitions. It has been also transliterated as Hegira in medieval Latin, a term still in occasional use in English.

Islam

Islam

Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centered around the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad. Adherents of Islam, called Muslims, number approximately 1.9 billion globally and are the world's second-largest religious population after Christians.

Anno Domini

Anno Domini

The terms anno Domini (AD) and before Christ (BC) are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin and means 'in the year of the Lord', but is often presented using "our Lord" instead of "the Lord", taken from the full original phrase "anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi", which translates to 'in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ'. The form "BC" is specific to English and equivalent abbreviations are used in other languages: the Latin form is Ante Christum natum but is rarely seen.

Common Era

Common Era

Common Era (CE) and Before the Common Era (BCE) are year notations for the Gregorian calendar, the world's most widely used calendar era. Common Era and Before the Common Era are alternatives to the original Anno Domini (AD) and Before Christ (BC) notations used for the same calendar era. The two notation systems are numerically equivalent: "2023 CE" and "AD 2023" each describe the current year; "400 BCE" and "400 BC" are the same year.

Anno Mundi

Anno Mundi

Anno Mundi, abbreviated as AM or A.M., or Year After Creation, is a calendar era based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history. Two such calendar eras have seen notable use historically:Since the Middle Ages, the Hebrew calendar has been based on rabbinic calculations of the year of creation from the Hebrew Masoretic Text of the Bible. This calendar is used within Jewish communities for religious purposes and is one of two official calendars in Israel. In the Hebrew calendar, the day begins at sunset. The calendar's epoch, corresponding to the calculated date of the world's creation, is equivalent to sunset on the Julian proleptic calendar date 6 October 3761 BC. The new year begins at Rosh Hashanah, in Tishrei. Anno mundi 5783 began at sunset on 25 September 2022 according to the Gregorian calendar. The Byzantine calendar was used in the Eastern Roman Empire and many Christian Orthodox countries and Eastern Orthodox Churches and was based on the Septuagint text of the Bible. That calendar is similar to the Julian calendar except that its reference date is equivalent to 1 September 5509 BC on the Julian proleptic calendar.

Lunar month

Lunar month

In lunar calendars, a lunar month is the time between two successive syzygies of the same type: new moons or full moons. The precise definition varies, especially for the beginning of the month.

Gregorian calendar

Gregorian calendar

The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most parts of the world. It was introduced on February 24 with a papal bull, and went into effect in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a modification of, and replacement for, the Julian calendar. The principal change was to space leap years differently so as to make the average calendar year 365.2425 days long, more closely approximating the 365.2422-day 'tropical' or 'solar' year that is determined by the Earth's revolution around the Sun.

Definition

The Hijri era is calculated according to the Islamic lunar calendar, whose epoch (first year) is the year of Muhammad's Hijrah, and begins on the first day of the month of Muharram (equivalent to the Julian calendar date of April 19, 622 CE).[2]

The date of the Hijrah itself did not form the Islamic New Year. Instead, the system continues the earlier ordering of the months, with the Hijrah occurring around the 8th day of Rabi al-Awwal, 66 days into the first year.

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Lunar calendar

Lunar calendar

A lunar calendar is a calendar based on the monthly cycles of the Moon's phases, in contrast to solar calendars, whose annual cycles are based only directly on the solar year. The most widely observed purely lunar calendar is the Islamic calendar. A purely lunar calendar is distinguished from a lunisolar calendar, whose lunar months are brought into alignment with the solar year through some process of intercalation – such as by insertion of a leap month. The details of when months begin vary from calendar to calendar, with some using new, full, or crescent moons and others employing detailed calculations.

Solar calendar

Solar calendar

A solar calendar is a calendar whose dates indicate the season or almost equivalently the apparent position of the Sun relative to the stars. The Gregorian calendar, widely accepted as a standard in the world, is an example of a solar calendar. The main other type of calendar is a lunar calendar, whose months correspond to cycles of Moon phases. The months of the Gregorian calendar do not correspond to cycles of the Moon phase.

Epoch

Epoch

In chronology and periodization, an epoch or reference epoch is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The "epoch" serves as a reference point from which time is measured.

Hijrah

Hijrah

The Hijrah or Hijra was the journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina. The year in which the Hijrah took place is also identified as the epoch of the Lunar Hijri and Solar Hijri calendars; its date equates to 16 July 622 in the Julian calendar. The Arabic word hijra means "departure" or "migration", among other definitions. It has been also transliterated as Hegira in medieval Latin, a term still in occasional use in English.

Muharram

Muharram

Muḥarram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year when warfare is forbidden. It is held to be the second holiest month after Ramadan.

Julian calendar

Julian calendar

The Julian calendar is a solar calendar of 365 days in every year with an additional leap day every fourth year. The Julian calendar is still used in parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church and in parts of Oriental Orthodoxy as well as by the Berbers.

Islamic New Year

Islamic New Year

The Islamic New Year, also called the Hijri New Year, is the day that marks the beginning of a new lunar Hijri year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the Islamic year is observed by most Muslims on the first day of the month of Muharram. The epoch of the Islamic era was set as the year of the emigration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijrah, which equates to 622 CE in the Gregorian calendar. All religious duties, such as prayer, fasting in the month of Ramadan, and pilgrimage, and the dates of significant events, such as celebration of holy nights and festivals, are calculated according to the Islamic calendar.

History

Predecessors

By the age of Muhammad, there was already an Arabian lunar calendar, with named months. Likewise, the years of its calendar used conventional names rather than numbers:[3] for example, the year of the birth of Muhammad and of Ammar ibn Yasir (570 CE) was known as the "Year of the Elephant".[4] The first year of the Hijra (622-23 CE) was named the "Permission to Travel" in this calendar.[3]

Establishment

17 years after the Hijra,[3][5] a complaint from Abu Musa Ashaari prompted the caliph Umar to abolish the practice of named years and to establish a new calendar era. Umar chose as epoch for the new Muslim calendar the hijrah, the emigration of Muhammad and 70 Muslims from Mecca to Medina.[6] Tradition credits Othman with the successful proposal, simply continuing the order of the months that had already been established by Prophet Muhammad, beginning with Muharram, as there was no set order of months during the pre-Islamic era (Age of Ignorance - Jahiliya). Adoption of this calendar was then enforced by Umar.[7]

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Lunar calendar

Lunar calendar

A lunar calendar is a calendar based on the monthly cycles of the Moon's phases, in contrast to solar calendars, whose annual cycles are based only directly on the solar year. The most widely observed purely lunar calendar is the Islamic calendar. A purely lunar calendar is distinguished from a lunisolar calendar, whose lunar months are brought into alignment with the solar year through some process of intercalation – such as by insertion of a leap month. The details of when months begin vary from calendar to calendar, with some using new, full, or crescent moons and others employing detailed calculations.

Ammar ibn Yasir

Ammar ibn Yasir

Abū 'l-Yaqẓān ʿAmmār ibn Yāsir ibn ʿĀmir ibn Mālik al-ʿAnsīy al-Maḏḥiǧī also known as Abū 'l-Yaqẓān ʿAmmār ibn Sumayya was one of the Muhajirun in the history of Islam and, for his dedicated devotion to Islam's cause, is considered to be one of the closest and most loyal companions of Muhammad and to Muslims; thus, he occupies a position of the highest prominence in Islam.

Year of the Elephant

Year of the Elephant

The ʿām al-fīl is the name in Islamic history for the year approximately equating to 570–571 CE. According to Islamic resources, it was in this year that Muhammad was born. The name is derived from an event said to have occurred at Mecca: Abraha, the Abyssinian, Christian ruler of Aksum marched upon the Ka‘bah in Mecca with a large army, which included war elephants, intending to demolish it. However, the lead elephant, known as 'Mahmud', is said to have stopped at the boundary around Mecca, and refused to enter. It has been mentioned in the Quran that the army was destroyed by small birds that carried pebbles that destroyed the entire army and Abraha perished. Surah Fil in Quran illustrates the incident clearly. The year came to be known as the Year of the Elephant, beginning a trend for reckoning the years in the Arabian Peninsula. This reckoning was used until it was replaced with the Islamic calendar during the times of ‘Umar.

Umar

Umar

ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb was the second Rashidun caliph, ruling from August 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr as the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate on 23 August 634. Umar was a senior companion and father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was also an expert Muslim jurist known for his pious and just nature, which earned him the epithet Al-Fārūq.

Calendar era

Calendar era

A calendar era is the period of time elapsed since one epoch of a calendar and, if it exists, before the next one. For example, it is the year 2023 as per the Gregorian calendar, which numbers its years in the Western Christian era.

Hijrah

Hijrah

The Hijrah or Hijra was the journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina. The year in which the Hijrah took place is also identified as the epoch of the Lunar Hijri and Solar Hijri calendars; its date equates to 16 July 622 in the Julian calendar. The Arabic word hijra means "departure" or "migration", among other definitions. It has been also transliterated as Hegira in medieval Latin, a term still in occasional use in English.

Mecca

Mecca

Mecca is the holiest city in Islam and the capital of Mecca Province in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. It is 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah on the Red Sea, in a narrow valley 277 m (909 ft) above sea level. Its last recorded population was 1,578,722 in 2015. Its estimated metro population in 2020 is 2.042 million, making it the third-most populated city in Saudi Arabia after Riyadh and Jeddah. Pilgrims more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj pilgrimage, observed in the twelfth Hijri month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah.

Medina

Medina

Medina, officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (Arabic: المدينة المنورة, romanized: al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah, lit. 'The Enlightened City', Hejazi pronunciation: [almadiːna almʊnawːara], and also commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah, is the second-holiest city in Islam and the capital of Medina Province in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. As of 2020, the estimated population of the city is 1,488,782, making it the fourth-most populous city in the country. Located at the core of the Medina Province in the western reaches of the country, the city is distributed over 589 km2, of which 293 km2 constitutes the city's urban area, while the rest is occupied by the Hejaz Mountains, empty valleys, agricultural spaces and older dormant volcanoes.

Hadith

Hadith

Ḥadīth or Athar refers to what most Muslims and the mainstream schools of Islamic thought, believe to be a record of the words, actions, and the silent approval of the Islamic prophet Muhammad as transmitted through chains of narrators. In other words, the ḥadīth are transmitted reports attributed to what Muhammad said and did.

Muharram

Muharram

Muḥarram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year when warfare is forbidden. It is held to be the second holiest month after Ramadan.

Formula

Different approximate conversion formulas between the Gregorian (AD or CE) and Islamic calendars (AH) are possible:[8][9][10]

AH = 1.030684 × (CE − 621.5643)
CE = 0.970229 × AH + 621.5643 

or

AH = (CE − 622) × 33 ÷ 32
CE = AH × 32 ÷ 33 + 622

Given that the Islamic New Year does not begin January 1 and that a Hijri calendar year is about 11 days shorter than a Gregorian calendar year,[11][b] there is no direct correspondence between years of the two eras. A given Hijri year will usually fall in two successive Gregorian years. A CE year will always overlap two or occasionally three successive Hijri years. For example, the year 2008 CE maps to the last week of AH 1428,[13] all of 1429,[14] and the first few days of 1430.[15] Similarly, the year 1976 CE corresponded with the last few days of AH 1395, all of 1396, and the first week of 1397.

Months

The Hijri year has twelve months, whose precise lengths vary by sect of Islam. Each month of the Islamic calendar commences on the birth of the new lunar cycle. Traditionally this is based on actual observation of the moon's crescent (hilal) marking the end of the previous lunar cycle and hence the previous month, thereby beginning the new month. Consequently, each month can have 29 or 30 days depending on the visibility of the moon, astronomical positioning of the earth and weather conditions. However, certain sects and groups, most notably Bohras Muslims namely Alavis, Dawoodis and Sulaymanis and Shia Ismaili Muslims, use a tabular Islamic calendar in which odd-numbered months have thirty days (and also the twelfth month in a leap year) and even months have twenty nine.

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Islamic calendar

Islamic calendar

The Hijri calendar, also known in English as the Muslim calendar and Islamic calendar, is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to determine the proper days of Islamic holidays and rituals, such as the annual fasting and the annual season for the great pilgrimage. In almost all countries where the predominant religion is Islam, the civil calendar is the Gregorian calendar, with Syriac month-names used in the Levant and Mesopotamia but the religious calendar is the Hijri one.

Alavi Bohras

Alavi Bohras

The Alavi Bohras are a Tayyibi Musta'lavi Isma'ili Shi'i Muslim community from Gujarat, India. In India, during the time of the 18th Fatimid Imam Al-Mustansir Billah around 1093 AD in Egypt, the designated learned people (wulaat) who were sent from Yemen by missionaries (du'aat) under the guidance of the imam established a da'wah in Khambhat.

Dawoodi Bohra

Dawoodi Bohra

The Dawoodi Bohras are a religious denomination within the Ismā'īlī branch of Shia Islam. Their largest numbers reside in India, Pakistan, Yemen, East Africa, and the Middle East, with a growing presence across Europe, North America, South East Asia, and Australia. Most estimates put the worldwide population to be one million.

Sulaymani

Sulaymani

The Sulaymani branch of Tayyibi Isma'ilism is an Islamic community, of which around 70,000 members reside in Yemen, while a few thousand Sulaymani Bohras can be found in India. The Sulaymanis are sometimes headed by a Da'i al-Mutlaq from the Makrami family.

Tabular Islamic calendar

Tabular Islamic calendar

The Tabular Islamic calendar is a rule-based variation of the Islamic calendar. It has the same numbering of years and months, but the months are determined by arithmetical rules rather than by observation or astronomical calculations. It was developed by early Muslim astronomers of the second hijra century to provide a predictable time base for calculating the positions of the moon, sun, and planets. It is now used by historians to convert an Islamic date into a Western calendar when no other information is available. Its calendar era is the Hijri year. An example is the Fatimid or Misri calendar.

Source: "Hijri year", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, February 17th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijri_year.

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See also
Notes
  1. ^ See List of Islamic years#Modern.
  2. ^ As the mean duration of a tropical year is 365.24219 days, while the long-term average duration of a lunar year is 354.36707 days,[12] the average lunar year is (365.24219 − 354.36707 ≈) 10.88149 days shorter than the average solar year, causing months of the Hijri calendar to advance about eleven days earlier relative to dates in the Gregorian calendar every calendar year. The precise number of days varies, depending on accumulated differences and potential for leap-years to happen at different times.
References
  1. ^ Registration locations, Government of Sharjah, archived from the original on 2 February 2017, retrieved 21 January 2017.
  2. ^ Shaikh, Fazlur Rehman (2002). A. Clarke (ed.). Chronology of Prophetic Events. London: Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd. p. 157. ISBN 9781842000342.
  3. ^ a b c Aisha El-Awady (2002-06-11). "Ramadan and the Lunar Calendar". Islamonline.net. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
  4. ^ Hajjah Adil, Amina, "Prophet Muhammad", ISCA, Jun 1, 2002, ISBN 1-930409-11-7
  5. ^ Hakim Muhammad Said (1981). "The History of the Islamic Calendar in the Light of the Hijra". Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
  6. ^ The Beginning of Hijri calendar – Paul Lunde, Saudi Aramco World Magazine (November/December 2005), retrieved 1/1/2019
  7. ^ Umar bin Al-Khattab (2002). "Islamic Actions and Social Mandates: The Hijri Calendar". witness-pioneer.org. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
  8. ^ Islamic and Christian Dating Systems
  9. ^ Clark, Malcolm (2013). Islam for dummies. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons. p. 489. ISBN 978-1118053966.
  10. ^ Hodgson, Marshall G. S. (1977). The venture of Islam conscience and history in a world civilization. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 21. ISBN 0226346862.
  11. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hejira" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 218.
  12. ^ P. Kenneth Seidelmann, ed. (1992). Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac. p. 577. For convenience, it is common to speak of a lunar year of twelve synodic months, or 354.36707 days. (which gives a mean synodic month as 29.53059 days or 29 days 12 hours 44 minutes and 3 seconds)
  13. ^ ""Islamic New Year Observed Today; President Airs Wish for Peace on Amon Jadid Exhorts Muslims to Assist in Nat'l Resurgence". Manila Bulletin. January 20, 2007.
  14. ^ "Islamic New year to be observed on 11th January". AAJ News. Aaj.tv. 2008-01-10. Archived from the original on 2018-12-22. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  15. ^ "Visibility of Muharram Crescent 1430 AH". Islamic Crescents' Observation Project. Archived from the original on 2021-02-23. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
Further reading
  • F. A. Shamsi (1984). "The Date of Hijrah". Islamic Studies. 23: 189–224 & 289–332.

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