The Islamic Calendar

The Islamic calendar (or Hijri calendar) is a lunar calendar based on the positions of the moon.

  • In every year there are 12 months.
  • In each month there are either 29 or 30 days.
  • Therefore each year has either 354 or 355 days.
  • Each new year falls 10 or 11 days earlier (annual drift) according to the 365 day solar calendar.
  • A month begins by the sighting of the new moon (i.e. first visible crescent).
  • The western convention in designating Islamic dates is by the abbreviation AH, which stands for the Latin anno hegirae, or “Year of the Hijrah“.
  • The 12 months of the Islamic calendar are as follows:
# Name of Month Arabic Pronunciation
1 Muharram
2 Safar
3 Rabi’ al-Awwal (Rabi’ I)
4 Rabi’ al-Thani (Rabi’ II, Rabi’ al-Akhir)
5 Jumada al-Ula (Jumada I, Jumada al-Awwal)
6 Jumada al-Thani (Jumada II, Jumada al-Akhira)
7 Rajab
8 Sha’ban
9 Ramadan
10 Shawwal
11 Dhul-Qa’dah
12 Dhul-Hijjah


  1. “Islam in Focus”. By Hammudah Abdalati. Da’wah Academy International Islamic University. Pg 202
  2. “Understanding the Islamic Calendar”. By Mountain of Light [Link]
  3. “Islamic calendar”. (2012, June 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:24, July 1, 2012, from [Link]
  4. “Tafsir ibn Kathir (Abridged) Volume 4” – Second Edition. By Imam Abu Al-Fida Ismail Ibn Kathir. Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, July 2003, pg 421.

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