The symbol of the Hijri calender

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Respect for symbols is most important in religious matters, since they represent the faith itself. The symbols or Sha’a-ir are the emblems of that sense of belonging, such as the place of worship, the sacred scriptures, the decorum, the prayer and the call to prayer, among other things. They are also the basic fineries of religion. There is a need to enhance the value of the Sha’a-ir and the symbolic elements of Islam. Piety is described in the Qur’an as being an enhancing of the symbol of Islam: “And whoever holds in honor the Rites of Allah, such honor should come truly from piety of heart”. (Surah 22 Al Hajj verse 32). In fact, the months of the Hijri Calendar are the symbols of Islam. “O ye who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the Rites of Allah, nor of the sacred month” (Surah 5 Al Maïdah verse 2).

Allah Ta’ala has created the sun and the moon for various purposes. “It is He who has made the sun a shining glory and the moon a light (of beauty), and measured out stages for it, that ye might know the number of years and the count (of time).” (Surah 10 Yunus verse 5). Allah Ta’ala has established the movement of the earth around the sun in order to cause changes in the seasons and in temperature in the course of the year. The sowing and the harvesting take place in ideal conditions according to the seasons. Migratory birds watch the alternation of seasons in order to undertake their migration.

On the other hand, the moon exerts its influence on the tides. The monthly cycle takes place every 29 or 30 days. “They ask thee concerning the new moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for pilgrimage.” (Surah 2 Al Baqarah verse 189). The rotation of the earth over itself determines the duration of one day. The week is made up of seven days under the sun. The lunar year consists of twelve months. On the other hand, the solar year is measured by one revolution of the earth around the sun. This comes to about 365 days, although there is a slight variation of 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. Which requires that, every four years, an adjustment of one additional day is made to the solar calendar, which then totals 366 days.

The Gregorian calendar has, in the course of centuries, undergone many changes. The history of that calendar is filled with modifications and mutations. The last one took place in Italy when the calendar was modified on Thursday 4th October 1582 and the next day, Friday, was given the date of 15th October, 1582.

On the other hand, the Hijri calendar has remained the same, as it has not undergone any change. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has, during the farewell pilgrimage a few months before his death, expressed himself as follows: “The dates are back as they were on the day Allah Ta’ala created the heavens and the earth. Every year is made up of twelve months. Four of them are sacred. Three of them are consecutive, they are: Zul Qa’dah, Zul Hijjah and Muharram. The fourth one, Rajjab, is the month of Mudar and is placed between Jamaad-us-Saani and Shaabaan.”

The Prophet (PBUH) then asked: “In which month we are?” The companions replied: “Allah and His Prophet (PBUH) know best.” The Prophet (PBUH) then asked: “Is it not the month of Zul Hijjah? What is the date today? Is it not the tenth day of Zul Hijjah?” (Bukhari). These assertions throw light on the calendar and confirm that, since the creation of the heavens and the earth, it is our lunar calendar, the Hijri calendar, which is originally and wholly accurate.

“The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year) – so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred: that is the right religion. So wrong not yourselves therein” (Surah 9 At- Tawbah verse 36). During periods of welfare, a truce has to be observed during those months.

In addition, the Hijri calendar is very simple to calculate and requires no adjustment. Whoever does not know how to follow the numerical dates of the solar calendar can easily follow those of the lunar months, which are these follows:- Muharram, Safar, Rabi ul Awwal, Rabi us Saani, Jamaad ul Awwal, Jamaad us Saani, Rajjab, Shabaan, Ramadaan, Shawwaal, Zul Qa’adah, Zul Hijjah.

Since the Hijri month involve many implementations of religious prescriptions, it is imperative to watch very closely the changes of months. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to say on the appearance of the new moon: “O Allah! Make of this new moon a means of benefit, of faith, of prosperity and of submission for us. My Lord and your Lord is Allah” (Tirmizi).

Finally, a Muslim can use the Gregorian calendar for his daily tasks, but the Hijri calendar remains the main calendar for him. The Gregorian dates are not the real dates, since the calendar underwent so many changes.

Interested parties can convey their address by SMS or e-mail to us to enable their families to follow the Hijri calendar every month.

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