The Kabba. Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
According to Islamic tradition, the cube-shaped Kabba dates back to the time of Abraham. It is the most sacred Muslim site, and the location towards which all Muslims face during prayer.
The Islamic calendar (or Hijri calendar) is a purely lunar calendar. It contains 12 months that are based on the motion of the moon, and because 12 synodic months is only 12 x 29.53=354.36 days, the Islamic calendar is consistently shorter than a tropical year, and therefore it shifts with respect to the Christian calendar.
The calendar is based on the Qur'an (Sura IX, 36-37) and its proper observance is a sacred duty for Muslims.
The Islamic calendar is the official calendar in countries around the Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia. But other Muslim countries use the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes and only turn to the Islamic calendar for religious purposes.
• What does an Islamic year look like?
• So you can’t print an Islamic calendar in advance?
• How does one count years?
Fasting the 9th & 10th of Muharram: Virtues & Rules
First of all, it is very important to make it clear that fasting on the day of `Ashura’ – the 10th of Muharram- is of great merits in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Fasting the day of `Ashura' (is of great merits), I hope that Allah will accept it as an expiation for (the sins committed in) the previous year” (Muslim).
Also, fasting the 9th of Muharram is highly recommended by the Sunnah. Imam At-Tirmidhi reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) used to say: We should fast on two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram to distinguish ourselves from the Jewish community. (At-Tirmidhi)
Explaining the virtue of fasting on the 9th and the 10th of Muharram, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states:
The Month of Muharram
With the sighting of the new moon the Islamic new year is ushered in. The first month Muharram, is a month of great reward and virtue. Muharram itself means `sacred' and is from those months which have been mentioned as sacred in the Holy Quraan.
Almighty Allah states in the Holy Quraan:
"Four of them ( Zil-Qadah, Zil-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab) are sacred."
From out of the four sacred months, Muharram has been blessed with certain specific virtues:-
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) said:
"The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadhan is the fasting of Allah's month of Muharram."
In another Hadeeth, Hazrat Ibn Abbas (radi-anhu) reports: "that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) said:" The one that keeps a fast in the month of Muharram will receive the reward of thirty fasts for each fast (in this sacred month). "
This is the fourth month of the Islamic Calendar.
The meaning of the word Rabi-Ul-Akhir:- The second month of spring.
Events of Rabi-Ul-Akhir:-
Battle of Furu' from Buhraan took place in 3 A.H Sariyyah-Battle in which the Holy Prophet did not take part in, instead he consigned one of his Companions as the colonel. The consigned: Sariyyah Ali Ibn Abi Talib in the 9th Hijri. Sariyyah-Ibn Alqamah Mujaazziz Mudlejee.
Deaths in Rabi-Ul-Akhir:-
Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin- 18th Rabi-ul-Awal 725 Hijri. Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilanee- 11th Rabi-ul-end: 561 Hijri passed away at the age of 90.
Virtues of Muharram and Fasting on 'Ashura', The SALIH AL-MUNAJJID
Abu Bakarah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumadah and Sha'ban."
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets and Chief of the Messengers, and upon all his family and companions.
Allah's sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of theHijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein … "Al-Qur'an 9:36
Fasting the Day of ‘Ashura’
‘Ashura’ commemorates the day that Allah saved the Children of Israel from Pharaoh.
Fasting on Muharram 10, known as the Day of ‘Ashura’, expiates for the sins of the past year. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) arrived in Madinah in 622 CE, he found that the Jews there fasted on Muharram 10 and asked them the reason for their fasting on this day. They said,” This is a blessed day. On this day Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy (in Egypt) and so Prophet Musa [Moses] fasted on this day giving thanks to Allah.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“We are closer to Musa than you are.”
Muhammad’s Biography: From Birth To Adulthood
The Prophet’s Birth
It was in the year 570 of the Christian Era that Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was born in Mecca, a city in present day Saudi Arabia. His father, Abdullah, was a great-great-grandson of Qusayy, the founder of Mecca, and belonged to the Hashimite family of Quraish. His mother, Ameena, was descended from Qusay’s brother. Returning with a caravan from Syria and Palestine, Abdullah stopped to visit relatives in an oasis to the north of Mecca, fell ill there and died several months before his son’s birth.
The Islamic Calendar
The Islamic Calendar has 12 months but, unlike Western calendars, has only 354 days. This is because the Islamic Calendar (or Hijri Calendar) follows the movements of Earth's Moon.
Like much of Islam, the calendar is based on the Quran and on personal reflection of the relationship between Muslims and Allah. Each month of the Islamic Calendar officially begins when the lunar crescent is first seen after a new moon. This is not always an exact time, especially if the skies are cloudy or overcast. In a sense, the start of each month can be different for everyone. Many people, however, prefer to rely on an official announcement by Muslim authorities as to when each month begins.
The importance of the lunar cresent is also partly the explanation for why many countries with predominantly Muslim populations have a crescent shape on their flags.
The 12 months of the Islamic Calendar, in order are these:
3. Rabi' al-awwal
4. Rabi' al-thani
The Twelve Months of the Islamic Lunar Calendar
The Islamic lunar calendar (also referred to as Hijri calendar) is a purely lunar calendar. It contains 12 months that are based on the phases of the moon. Each lunar month is approximately 29.53 solar days. Therefore, the Islamic calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar. 12 lunar months is about 12 x 29.53=354.36 days (10 to 11 days shorter than the solar calendar). This why you may have noticed that the month of Ramadan and the time of Hajj gets earlier each year.
Names of Months
The 12 months of the calendar are:
3. Rabi' al-awwal (Rabi' I)
4. Rabi' al-thani (Rabi' II)
5. Jumada al-awwal (Jumada I)
6. Jumada al-thani (Jumada II)
11. Dhu al-Qi'dah
12. Dhu al-Hijjah
These months have been in existence since before the time of the Quran.
Monthly Profiles Of The Islamic Calender
Is the first month of the Islamic Calendar.
The meaning of the word:- The word "Muharram" means "Forbidden." Even before Islam, this month was always known as a sacred month in which all unlawful acts were forbidden, prominently the shedding of blood.
A blessing of Muharram:- There are many bounties of this month, especially the tenth of Muharram.
Two of the many virtues of the 10th of Muharram:- On this day he who spends more lavishly for the sake of his family members, Allah Ta'aalaa will bestow blessing upon the sustenance of the following year.
Abu Qataada (R.A.) has related that the Prophet has reported to have said, It is my thought that by fasting on the 10th of Muharram Allah Ta'aalaa will pardon the sins of the past year. (Tirmizi)
Events of Muharram:-
PRIOR TO ISLAM
*Adam (A.S.) was born and had entered Paradise on the 10th of Muharram.
*Ayyub (A.S.) was cured from his illness.
*A way was made in the sea for Bani Israel.
Fourth month of the Islamic Calendar.
Meaning: The second month of spring.
1. Battle of Furu' from Buhraan took place in 3 A.H Sariyyah-Battle in which the Holy Prophet did not take part in, instead he consigned one of his Companions as the colonel. The consigned: Sariyyah Ali Ibn Abi Talib in the 9th Hijri. Sariyyah-Ibn Alqamah Mujaazziz Mudlejee.
2. Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin- 18th Rabi-ul-Awal 725 Hijri. Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilanee- 11th Rabi-ul-end: 561 Hijri passed away at the age of 90.
Ninth month of the Islamic Calendar.
Meaning: Derived from "RAMADHA", literally means "intense heat". The possible reasons for this meaning:
1. When the Islamic months were enforced the month of fasting coincided with the summer months of intense heat.
2. The second reason which has been mentioned is that due to fasting the temperature within the stomach increases, again the element of heat is a factor behind the actual naming of RAMADAN.
3. It has also been said that "RAMADHAA" is one of the names of Allah Ta'aalaa. If that is the case then the month has acquired the name due to the fact that Allah Ta'aalaa burns away accumulated sins and eliminates then from the list of unlawful deeds. Once again the burning sins cannonades "HEAT". However. it should be acknowledged that this reasoning is not wholly reliable.
Meaning: This word means "whistling of the wind". When this name was assigned to this month, it was probably a windy time of the year. As mentioned earlier, most of the months were named according to weather conditions at the time. However, since they are based on the moon, the months shift about 11 days every year. So, the seasons do not necessarily correspond to the name of the month anymore.
This time of the year was considered to be cursed as many catastrophes and calamities took place. However this belief has been proven to be false and totally without foundation (absurd).
This can also be confirmed by the following hadeeth.
Hadhrat Jaabir (R.A.) has said that, "I have heard the Prophet saying, the descending of illness and evil superstition befalling in the month of Safar is untrue." (Muslim)
1. The Battle of Abwaa took place on 12th of Safar in the year 2 A.H.
2. The Battle of Khaibar took place in the year 7 A.H.
Muhammad’s Biography: The First Revelation
It was during this time when the Prophet began to see pleasant dreams which in turn proved true. He also felt an increasing need for solitude, and this lead him to seek seclusion and meditation in the rocky hills which surrounded Mecca. There he would retreat for days, taking provisions along with him, and would return to his family for more provisions.
In the blaze of day and during the clear desert nights, when the stars seem sharp enough to penetrate the eye, his very substance was becoming saturated with the ‘signs’ in the heavens, so that he might serve as an entirely adequate instrument for a revelation already inherent in these ‘signs.’ It was then that he was undergoing a preparation for the enormous task which would be placed upon his shoulders, the task of prophethood and conveying the true religion of God to his people and the rest of humanity.
Seventh month of the Islamic Calendar.
Meaning: From Rajaba "to respect". Another one of the sacred months in which fighting was forbidden prior to Islam. This was one of the most respected months for the Arabs. It is also called Rajab al Fard. Fard means alone; because the other three sacred months come one after another, except this month. It comes alone not like the other 3 consecutive sacred months.
1. The Holy Prophet ascended to Heaven on the 27th of Rajab on either Sunday or Monday (Mi'raaj).
2. Hadhrat Bilal Ibn Haritha (R.A) brought a congregation of four hundred men named Banu Muzeena in the presence of the Holy Prophet . They all embraced Islam and became followers of the Holy Prophet in the year 5 A.H
3. The battle of Tabook took place in the year 9 A.H. This was the last battle in which the Holy Prophet participated.
4. The second Oath of Aqabah took place in Rajab, 12 A.H.