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Islamic Calendar

Islamic Calendar Research

Islamic Calendar

The Islamic calendar, also known as the Muslim calendar or the Hijri calendar, is used in most Muslim countries. Although many of these countries also use the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes, the Muslim calendar sets the days of Islamic holidays and fasting. It is a lunar calendar consisting of 354 days over the course of 12 months. This makes their year about 11 days shorter than the tropical solar year, which the Gregorian calendar is based upon.

In the Islamic calendar, each month begins when the lunar crescent is first observed after a new moon. Because weather conditions and the location of the observer can vary greatly, it is impossible to know in advance when a new month begins. Although calendars are printed, they are really only a prediction of the year. Any given month in the year can actually start a day earlier or later than what is printed in the calendar.

How Are Years Counted in The Islamic Calendar?

In the Islamic calendar, years are counted by starting from the time Mohammed emigrated from Mecca to Medina—an event known as the Hijira, which dates to AD 622 per the Gregorian Calendar. Years in the Islamic calendar are designated “H” for Hijira or “AH” for Anno Hegirae, Latin for “in the year of the Hijira.”

Saudi Arabia’s Version of The Islamic Calendar

Because Saudi Arabia does not concurrently use the Gregorian calendar, there was obviously a need for a calendar which isn’t dependent on actual observation of a new moon to establish a new month. Although Saudi Arabia maintains this tradition for identifying religious days, it bases its civil calendar on a calculated astronomical moon.

Established in 2002 (AH 1423), the rule goes as such:

If on the 29th day of an Islamic month the new moon, as seen from the center of the earth) occurs before sunset and the moon sets after the sun, then the next day will mark the first day of a new month. If it doesn’t, then the next day will be the last day (the 30th) of the current month.

Determining Holy Days Results in Differing Opinions

As you might imagine, the determination of holy days and festivals in the Islamic world can be quite problematic. Look up “moon sighting debate” on youtube and you’ll find at least 25 videos of Muslims debating lunar observation as it impacts the day on which Ramadhan falls. The result is different opinions throughout the Muslim world, and even among family members.

Different opinions throughout the Muslim world, and even among family members, which results in celebrating on different days. In the case of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar known as a month of fasting and one of the most important events in the Islamic calendar, most Muslims use the calculated time of the new moon or rely on Saudi Arabia’s official declaration of the new moon in order to determine the start of Ramadan.

The Islamic Calendar vs The Biblical Calendar

Similarities between the Islamic calendar and the Biblical calendar begin and end with both accounting, to varying degrees, for lunar cycles in their calculations for the length of a year. The calculations which both calendars are based on are complex and deeply rooted in each culture’s religious and agricultural traditions, as well as their observations of lunar cycles.

Don Roth, an engineer by profession, has conducted extensive research into the Biblical calendar and its relationship to the Hebrew Calculated calendar. In his free 3-DVD collection, Don explains his mathematical proof for why the Hebrew Calculated calendar is true to the Biblical calendar and can be considered the true calendar of God.

Order your free DVDs revealing Don’s proof today, or to ask a question regarding the Biblical calendar and the Islamic calendar.

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