Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Happy new Islamic year

The starting point for the Islamic calendar was fixed at the date of the new moon during the first lunar month in the year in which Mohammed(Peace be upon him) and his followers left Makkah for Madina. The abbreviation AH stands for 'Anno Hegirae' (Latin for the Year of the Hegira). The Hegira (which is actually pronounced Hijra) is often translated as 'the flight'. The Hegira is believed to have occured on 20 September 622 CE. The Islamic calendar was created in 639 CE. (AH 17) by the Second Caliph 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab (592-644 CE). The civil epoch (the zero date for the Islamic calendar) is July 16, 662 CE, when the new moon was first visible in Arabia in the first lunar month (it actually became new the day before). The day begins at sunset in the Islamic calendar. The Islamic calendar is strictly based on lunar cycles. For this reason, each year is about 11 days short of a solar year. Hence the start of each month will be different from one year to the next. The Islamic calendar is used to determine important religious holidays such as the start and end of Ramadan. Therefore the date of these festivals rotate backwards through the solar year. This has been attributed to the fact that the Islamic calendar originated in the desert regions close to the equator.


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