The Islamic (Hijri) Calendar

The Islamic, or Hijri, calendar, is, like the Gaulish, Hebrew and Chinese calendars, a lunar calendar, i.e. it is based upon the cycles of the Moon. However, it differs greatly from these calendars in that it does not attempt to keep in synchronisation with the solar calendar. The calendar has 12 months whose lengths are traditionally based upon observation of the new moon, which signals the start of a new month, and no additional months are added to adjust it to the solar year. As a result, the months move forward form one year to the next, so, for instance, the month of Ramadan may now occur in the northern Autumn, but in a few years time it will be in the Spring.

Hijri months

The months of the Hijri calendar are as follows:

1 Muharram
2 Safar
3 Rabi'al-Awwal
4 Rabi'al-Akhir
5 Jumada'al-Awwal
6 Jumada'al-Akhir
7 Rajab
8 Sha'baan
9 Ramadan
10 Shawwal
11 Dhul-Qi'dah
12 Dhul-Hijjah