H.E.A.V.E.N.: AUGUST 11 - 28, 2073

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The raid was unsuccessful, but that year became known as the Year of the Elephant , during which Muhammad was born sura al-Fil. This report convinced Umar of the need to introduce an era for Muslims. After debating the issue with his counsellors, he decided that the first year should be the year of Muhammad's arrival at Medina known as Yathrib, before Muhammad's arrival. Uthman ibn Affan then suggested that the months begin with Muharram, in line with the established custom of the Arabs at that time.

The years of the Islamic calendar thus began with the month of Muharram in the year of Muhammad's arrival at the city of Medina, even though the actual emigration took place in Safar and Rabi' I of the intercalated calendar, two months before the commencement of Muharram in the new fixed calendar. F A Shamsi postulated that the Arabic calendar was never intercalated. According to him, the first day of the first month of the new fixed Islamic calendar 1 Muharram AH 1 was no different from what was observed at the time. This Julian date 16 July was determined by medieval Muslim astronomers by projecting back in time their own tabular Islamic calendar , which had alternating and day months in each lunar year plus eleven leap days every 30 years.


Due to the fact that the Islamic calendar relies on certain variable methods of observation which are used to determine its month-start-dates, the start-dates of its months sometimes vary slightly from the month-start-dates of the astronomical lunar calendar , which are based directly on astronomical calculations. Still, the Islamic calendar seldom varies by more than three days from the astronomical-lunar-calendar system, and roughly approximates it. Both the Islamic calendar and the astronomical-lunar-calendar take no account of the solar year in their calculations, and thus both of these strictly lunar based calendar systems have no ability to reckon the timing of the four seasons of the year.

In the astronomical-lunar-calendar system, a year of 12 lunar months is In this calendar system, lunar months begin precisely at the time of the monthly "conjunction", when the Moon is located most directly between the Earth and the Sun. The month is defined as the average duration of a revolution of the Moon around the Earth By convention, months of 30 days and 29 days succeed each other, adding up over two successive months to 59 full days.

This leaves only a small monthly variation of 44 minutes to account for, which adds up to a total of 24 hours i. To settle accounts, it is sufficient to add one day every three years to the lunar calendar, in the same way that one adds one day to the Gregorian calendar every four years. The Islamic calendar, however, is based on a different set of conventions being used for the determination of the month-start-dates. Traditionally, the first day of each month is the day beginning at sunset of the first sighting of the hilal crescent moon shortly after sunset.

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If the hilal is not observed immediately after the 29th day of a month either because clouds block its view or because the western sky is still too bright when the moon sets , then the day that begins at that sunset is the 30th. Such a sighting has to be made by one or more trustworthy men testifying before a committee of Muslim leaders.

Holy Days Calendar

Determining the most likely day that the hilal could be observed was a motivation for Muslim interest in astronomy, which put Islam in the forefront of that science for many centuries. Still, due to the fact that both lunar reckoning systems are ultimately based on the lunar cycle itself, both systems still do roughly correspond to one another, never being more than three days out of synchronisation with one another. This traditional practice for the determination of the start-date of the month is still followed in the overwhelming majority of Muslim countries.

Each Islamic state proceeds with its own monthly observation of the new moon or, failing that, awaits the completion of 30 days before declaring the beginning of a new month on its territory. But, the lunar crescent becomes visible only some 17 hours after the conjunction, and only subject to the existence of a number of favourable conditions relative to weather, time, geographic location, as well as various astronomical parameters.


Due to the interplay of all these factors, the beginning of each month differs from one Muslim country to another, during the 48 hour period following the conjunction. The information provided by the calendar in any country does not extend beyond the current month. A number of Muslim countries try to overcome some of these difficulties by applying different astronomy-related rules to determine the beginning of months.


Thus, Malaysia , Indonesia , and a few others begin each month at sunset on the first day that the moon sets after the sun moonset after sunset. In Egypt, the month begins at sunset on the first day that the moon sets at least five minutes after the sun. A detailed analysis of the available data shows, however, that there are major discrepancies between what countries say they do on this subject, and what they actually do. In some instances, what a country says it does is impossible. Due to the somewhat variable nature of the Islamic calendar, in most Muslim countries, the Islamic calendar is used primarily for religious purposes, while the Solar-based Gregorian calendar is still used primarily for matters of commerce and agriculture.

If the Islamic calendar were prepared using astronomical calculations, Muslims throughout the Muslim world could use it to meet all their needs, the way they use the Gregorian calendar today. But, there are divergent views on whether it is licit to do so. A majority of theologians oppose the use of calculations beyond the constraint that each month must be not less than 29 nor more than 30 days on the grounds that the latter would not conform with Muhammad's recommendation to observe the new moon of Ramadan and Shawal in order to determine the beginning of these months.

However, some jurists see no contradiction between Muhammad's teachings and the use of calculations to determine the beginnings of lunar months. Thus the jurists Ahmad Muhammad Shakir and Yusuf al-Qaradawi both endorsed the use of calculations to determine the beginning of all months of the Islamic calendar, in and respectively. The major Muslim associations of France also announced in that they would henceforth use a calendar based on astronomical calculations, taking into account the criteria of the possibility of crescent sighting in any place on Earth.

This resulted in a division of the Muslim community of France, with some members following the new rule, and others following the Saudi announcement. Isma'ili-Taiyebi Bohras having the institution of da'i al-mutlaq follow the tabular Islamic calendar see section below prepared on the basis of astronomical calculations from the days of Fatimid imams. Saudi Arabia uses the sighting method to determine the beginning of each month of the Hijri calendar.

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Nevertheless, the religious authorities also allow the testimony of less experienced observers and thus often announce the sighting of the lunar crescent on a date when none of the official committees could see it. The country also uses the Umm al-Qura calendar, based on astronomical calculations, but this is restricted to administrative purposes. The parameters used in the establishment of this calendar underwent significant changes over the past decade.

Before AH before 18 April , if the moon's age at sunset in Riyadh was at least 12 hours, then the day ending at that sunset was the first day of the month.

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This often caused the Saudis to celebrate holy days one or even two days before other predominantly Muslim countries, including the dates for the Hajj, which can only be dated using Saudi dates because it is performed in Mecca. For AH —22, if moonset occurred after sunset at Mecca, then the day beginning at that sunset was the first day of a Saudi month, essentially the same rule used by Malaysia, Indonesia, and others except for the location from which the hilal was observed.

Since the beginning of AH 16 March , the rule has been clarified a little by requiring the geocentric conjunction of the sun and moon to occur before sunset, in addition to requiring moonset to occur after sunset at Mecca. This ensures that the moon has moved past the sun by sunset, even though the sky may still be too bright immediately before moonset to actually see the crescent. In , the Islamic Society of North America , the Fiqh Council of North America and the European Council for Fatwa and Research announced that they will henceforth use a calendar based on calculations using the same parameters as the Umm al-Qura calendar to determine well in advance the beginning of all lunar months and therefore the days associated with all religious observances.

This was intended as a first step on the way to unify, at some future time, Muslims' calendars throughout the world. Since 1 October , as a cost-cutting measure, Saudi Arabia no longer uses the Islamic calendar for paying the monthly salaries of government employees but the Gregorian calendar. The Tabular Islamic calendar is a rule-based variation of the Islamic calendar, in which months are worked out by arithmetic rules rather than by observation or astronomical calculation.

It has a year cycle with 11 leap years of days and 19 years of days. In the long term, it is accurate to one day in about 2, solar years or 2, lunar years. It also deviates up to about one or two days in the short term. Microsoft uses the "Kuwaiti algorithm", a variant of the tabular Islamic calendar, [58] to convert Gregorian dates to the Islamic ones. Microsoft claimed that the variant is based on a statistical analysis of historical data from Kuwait , however it matches a known tabular calendar.

Conversions may be made by using the Tabular Islamic calendar , or, for greatest accuracy one day in 15, years , via the Jewish calendar. Theoretically, the days of the months correspond in both calendars if the displacements which are a feature of the Jewish system are ignored.

The table below gives, for nineteen years, the Muslim month which corresponds to the first Jewish month. This table may be extended since every nineteen years the Muslim month number increases by seven. When it goes above twelve, subtract twelve and add one to the year AH. Dividing by 19 gives quotient and remainder The worked example in Conversion between Jewish and civil dates , shows that the civil date of the first day of this month ignoring the displacements is Friday, 14 June.

The date given by this method, being calculated, may differ by a day from the actual date, which is determined by observation. The reason for the discrepancy is that the Gregorian year like the Julian, though less so is slightly too long, so the Gregorian date for a given AH date will be earlier and the Muslim calendar catches up sooner.

An Islamic year will be entirely within a Gregorian year of the same number in the year , after which year the number of the Islamic year will always be greater than the number of the concurrent civil year. The Islamic calendar year of occurred entirely within the civil calendar year of Such years occur once every 33 or 34 Islamic years 32 or 33 civil years. More are listed here:.

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Because a Hijri or Islamic lunar year is between 10 and 12 days shorter than a civil year, it begins 10—12 days earlier in the civil year following the civil year in which the previous Hijri year began. Once every 33 or 34 Hijri years, or once every 32 or 33 civil years, the beginning of a Hijri year 1 Muharram coincides with one of the first ten days of January. Subsequent Hijri New Years move backward through the civil year back to the beginning of January again, passing through each civil month from December to January.

The Islamic calendar is now used primarily for religious purposes, and for official dating of public events and documents in Muslim countries. Because of its nature as a purely lunar calendar, it cannot be used for agricultural purposes and historically Islamic communities have used other calendars for this purpose: the Egyptian calendar was formerly widespread in Islamic countries, and the Iranian calendar and the Ottoman calendar a modified Julian calendar were also used for agriculture in their countries.

British author Nicholas Hagger writes that after seizing control of Libya , Muammar Gaddafi "declared" on 1 December "that the Muslim calendar should start with the death of the prophet Mohammed in rather than the hijra Mohammed's 'emigration' from Mecca to Medina in ". This put the country ten solar years behind the standard Muslim calendar. The year of my visit was officially But just two years earlier Libyans had been living through No one could quite name for me the day the count changed, especially since both remained in play.

Event organizers threw up their hands and put the Western year in parentheses somewhere in their announcements. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Hijri calendar based on lunar observation.

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