Hijri year

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The Hijri year (Arabic : سَنة هِجْريّة) or era (التقويم الهجريat-taqwīm al-hijrī) is the era used in the Islamic lunar calendar, which begins its count from the Islamic New Year in 622  CE. During that year, Muhammad and his followers migrated from Mecca to Yathrib (now Medina). This event, known as the Hijra, is commemorated in Islam for its role in the founding of the first Muslim community ( ummah ).

A calendar era is the year numbering system used by a calendar. For example, the Gregorian calendar numbers its years in the Western Christian era. The instant, date, or year from which time is marked is called the epoch of the era. There are many different calendar eras such as Saka Era.

Islamic New Year holiday

The Islamic New Year, also known as Arabic New Year or Hijri New Year, is the day that marks the beginning of a new Hijri year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. The epoch of the Islamic era was set as 622 Common Era (CE), the year of the emigration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijra. 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.

Common Era or Current Era (CE) is one of the notation systems for the world's most widely used calendar era. BCE is the era before CE. BCE and CE are alternatives to the Dionysian BC and AD system respectively. The Dionysian era distinguishes eras using AD and BC. Since the two notation systems are numerically equivalent, "2019 CE" corresponds to "AD 2019" and "400 BCE" corresponds to "400 BC". Both notations refer to the Gregorian calendar. The year-numbering system utilized by the Gregorian calendar is used throughout the world today, and is an international standard for civil calendars.


In the West, this era is most commonly denoted as AH (Latin : Anno Hegirae /ˈænˈhɛɪr/ , "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 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 Hijra"), which should follow the date. [1]

<i>Anno Domini</i> Western calendar era

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".

Anno Mundi calendar era

Anno Mundi, abbreviated as AM, 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:

Because the Islamic lunar calendar has only 354 or 355 days in its year, it slowly rotates relative to the Gregorian year. The year 2019 CE corresponds to the Islamic years AH 14401441. AH 1440 corresponds to 2018 2019 in the Common Era. [lower-alpha 1]

The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. The calendar spaces leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day tropical year that is determined by the Earth's revolution around the Sun. The rule for leap years is:

Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the year 2000 is.


The Hijri era is calculated according to the Islamic lunar calendar and not the Julian or Gregorian solar one. It thus does not begin on January 1, 1 CE, but on the first day of the month of Muharram, which occurred in 622 CE. Its Julian equivalent was April 19. [2] [lower-alpha 2]

The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on 1 January 45 BC, by edict. It was the predominant calendar in the Roman world, most of Europe, and in European settlements in the Americas and elsewhere, until it was refined and gradually replaced by the Gregorian calendar, promulgated in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.

Muharram first month of the Islamic calendar

Muḥarram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year during which warfare is forbidden. It is held to be the second holiest month, after Ramaḍān. Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, Muharram moves from year to year when compared with the Gregorian calendar.

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



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: [4] for example, the year of the birth of Muhammad and of Ammar ibn Yasir (570 CE) was known as the "Year of the Elephant". [5] The first year of the Hijra (622-23 CE) was named the "Permission to Travel" in this calendar. [4]

Lunar calendar type of calendar

A lunar calendar is a calendar based upon the monthly cycles of the Moon's phases, in contrast to solar calendars, whose annual cycles are based only directly upon the solar year. The most commonly used calendar, the Gregorian calendar, is a solar calendar system that originally evolved out of a lunar calendar system. A purely lunar calendar is also distinguished from a lunisolar calendar, whose lunar months are brought into alignment with the solar year through some process of intercalation. The details of when months begin varies from calendar to calendar, with some using new, full, or crescent moons and others employing detailed calculations.

ʻAmmār ibn Yāsir ibn ʿĀmir ibn Mālik Abū al-Yaqzān 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 most loyal and beloved companions of Muhammad and ‘Ali; thus, he occupies a position of the highest prominence in Islam. Historically, Ammar ibn Yasir is the first Muslim to build a mosque. He is also referred to by Shia Muslims as one of the Four Companions. Some Shia consider Ammar's ultimate fate to be unique among the fates of Muhammad's companions, for they perceive his death at the battle of Siffin as the decisive distinguisher between the righteous group and the sinful one in the First Fitna.

The ʿām al-fīl is the name in Islamic history for the year approximately equating to 570 CE. According to some 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 Yemen, which was subject to the Kingdom of Aksum of Ethiopia, marched upon the Ka‘bah in Mecca with a large army, which included one or more 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 theorized that an epidemic, perhaps caused by smallpox, could have caused such a failed invasion of Mecca. 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.


17 years after the Hijra, [4] [6] 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. [7] Tradition credits Othman with the successful proposal, simply continuing the order of the months that had already been established, beginning with Muharram.[ citation needed ] Adoption of this calendar was then enforced by Umar. [8]


Different approximate conversion formulas between the Gregorian (AD or CE) and Islamic calendars (AH) are possible: [9] [10] [11]

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


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

Given that the Islamic New Year does not begin January 1 and that a Hijri year is 11 days shorter than a Common Era year, [12] there is no direct correspondence between years of the two eras. A given Hijri year will usually fall in two successive Western years and in rare cases even in three successive years. For an extreme 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 2041 CE will correspond with the last few days of AH 1462, all of 1463, and the first week of 1464.[ citation needed ]

See also


  1. See List of Islamic years#Modern.
  2. It is sometimes mistakenly placed on July 16.[ citation needed ] The error derives[ citation needed ] from the tabular Islamic calendar which was devised by later Islamic astronomers. This reckons time backwards according to the lunar calendar, which causes it to miss the three intercalary months (about 88 days) added to the then-lunisolar calendar between the time of the Hijra and AH 10,[ citation needed ] when Muhammad is recorded as having received a revelation prohibiting their use. [3]

Related Research Articles

Islamic calendar lunar calendar

The Islamic, Muslim, or Hijri 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 period of fasting and the proper time for the pilgrimage to Mecca. The civil calendar of almost all countries where the religion is predominantly Muslim is the Gregorian calendar. Notable exceptions to this rule are Iran and Afghanistan, which use the Solar Hijri calendar. Rents, wages and similar regular commitments are generally paid by the civil calendar.

Intercalation or embolism in timekeeping is the insertion of a leap day, week, or month into some calendar years to make the calendar follow the seasons or moon phases. Lunisolar calendars may require intercalations of both days and months.

622 Year

Year 622 (DCXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 622 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

The Iranian calendars are a succession of calendars invented or used for over two millennia in Iran also known as Persia. One of the longest chronological records in human history, the Iranian calendar has been modified time and time again during its history to suit administrative, climatic, and religious purposes.

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.

Hegira journey of Muhammad

The Hegira is the migration or journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Yathrib, later renamed by him to Medina, in the year 622. In June 622, after being warned of a plot to assassinate him, Muhammad secretly left his home in Mecca to emigrate to Yathrib, 320 km (200 mi) north of Mecca, along with his companion Abu Bakr. Yathrib was soon renamed Madīnat an-Nabī, but an-Nabī was soon dropped, so its name is "Medina", meaning "the city".

Rajab is the seventh month of the Islamic calendar. The lexical definition of Rajaba is "to respect", of which Rajab is a derivative. This month is regarded as one of the four sacred months in Islam in which battles are prohibited. The pre-Islamic Arabs also considered warfare blasphemous during the four months.

Ṣafar is the second month of the lunar based Islamic calendar. The Arabic word ṣafar means "empty", corresponding to the pre-Islamic Arabian time period when people’s houses were empty, as they were out gathering food. Ṣafar also means "whistling of the wind", as this was likely a windy time of year. Most of the Islamic months are named according to weather conditions of the time; however, since the calendar is lunar, the months shift about 11 days every year, meaning that the seasons do not necessarily correspond to the name of the month.

Rabīʿ al-Awwal is the third month in the Islamic calendar. During this month, many Muslims celebrate Mawlid - the birthday of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. Although the exact date is unknown, Sunni Muslims believe the date of birth of Muhammad to have been on the twelfth of this month, whereas Shi'a Muslims believe him to have been born on the dawn of the seventeenth day. Muhammad himself never celebrated the mawlid, instead encouraged Muslims to fast on Mondays of every week due to his birthday being “on a Monday”. The name Rabī‘ al-awwal means the first [month] or beginning of spring, referring to its position in the pre-Islamic Arabian calendar.

Jumādā al-Awwal, also known as Jumādā al-Ūlā or Jumada Ⅰ, is the fifth month of the 12 lunar months in the Islamic calendar. The month spans 29 or 30 days.

Ramadan or Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which the Quran was revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

The Javanese calendar is the calendar of the Javanese people. It is used concurrently with two other calendars, the Gregorian calendar and the Islamic calendar. The Gregorian calendar is the official calendar of the Republic of Indonesia and civil society, while the Islamic calendar is used by Muslims and the Indonesian government for religious worship and deciding relevant Islamic holidays.

The Rumi calendar, a specific calendar based on the Julian calendar was officially used by the Ottoman Empire after Tanzimat (1839) and by its successor, the Republic of Turkey until 1926. It was adopted for civic matters and is a solar based calendar, assigning a date to each solar day.

The list of traditional Turkish units of measurement, a.k.a. Ottoman units of measurement, is given below.

The Solar Hijri calendar, also called the Solar Hejri calendar or Shamsi Hijri calendar, and abbreviated as SH, is the official calendar of Iran and Afghanistan. It begins on the March equinox (Nowruz) as determined by astronomical calculation for the Iran Standard Time meridian and has years of 365 or 366 days.

Inscriptions of the ancient South Arabian calendars reveal the use of a number of local calendars. At least some of these South Arabian calendars followed the lunisolar system. For Central Arabia, especially Mecca, there is a lack of epigraphical evidence, but details are found in the writings of Muslim authors of the Abbasid era. Some historians maintain that the pre-Islamic calendar used in Central Arabia was a purely lunar calendar similar to the modern Islamic calendar. Others concur that the pre-Islamic calendar was originally a lunar calendar, but suggest that about 200 years before the Hijra it was transformed into a lunisolar calendar, which had an intercalary month added from time to time to keep the pilgrimage within the season of the year when merchandise was most abundant.

Hijra, Hijrah, Hegira, Hejira or Hijrat may refer to:


  1. Official site, Government of Sharjah, retrieved 21 January 2017.
  2. Fazlur Rehman Shaikh, Chronology of Prophetic Events (London: Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., 2001), p. 157.
  3. Quran   9:36–37.
  4. 1 2 3 Aisha El-Awady (2002-06-11). "Ramadan and the Lunar Calendar". Islamonline.net . Retrieved 2006-12-16.
  5. Hajjah Adil, Amina, "Prophet Muhammad", ISCA, Jun 1, 2002, ISBN   1-930409-11-7
  6. 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.
  7. The Beginning of Hijri calendar   Paul Lunde, Saudi Aramco World Magazine (November/December 2005), retrieved 1/1/2019
  8. Umar bin Al-Khattab (2002). "Islamic Actions and Social Mandates: The Hijri Calendar". witness-pioneer.org. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
  9. Islamic and Christian Dating Systems
  10. Clark, Malcolm (2013). Islam for dummies. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons. p. 489. ISBN   1118053966.
  11. 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.
  12. 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hejira]
  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 | Questia, Your Online Research Library". Questia.com. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  14. "Islamic New year to be observed on 11th January | AAJ News". Aaj.tv. 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  15. Islamic Crescents' Observation Project, Visibility of Muharram Crescent 1430 AH