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History and Development of The Hijri Calendar

Yodi Supriyadi Yodi Supriyadi
Saturday, February 11, 2023
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History and Development of The Hijri Calendar

التقويم الهجري

Purwakarta, candatangan.site - Hijri Calendar or Islamic Calendar (Arabic: التقويم الهجري; at-taqwim al-hijri), is a calendar used by Muslims, including in determining the date or month related to worship, or other important days. This calendar is called the Hijri Calendar, because the first year of this calendar is the year in which the Prophet Muhammad's Hijrah took place from Mecca to Medina, namely in 622 AD. day. The Islamic calendar uses the circulation of the moon as a reference, in contrast to the ordinary calendar (the Gregorian calendar) which uses the circulation of the sun.


Determination of the start of a day / date on the Hijri Calendar is different from the Gregorian calendar. In the Gregorian calendar system, a day/date starts at 00.00 local time. But in the Hijri Calendar system, a day/date starts when the Sun sets in that place.

The Hijri calendar is built on the average of the synodic cycle months of the lunar calendar (qomariyah), has 12 months in a year. By using the synodic cycle of the moon, the number of days in a year is (12 x 29.53059 days = 354.36708 days). This explains that 1 year of the Hijri Calendar is about 11 days shorter than 1 year of the Gregorian calendar.

the moon's synodic cycle varies

In fact, the moon's synodic cycle varies The number of days in a month in the Hijri Calendar depends on the position of the moon, earth and sun. The age of the moon which reaches 30 days corresponds to the occurrence of a new moon (new moon) at the apooge point, which is the furthest distance between the moon and the earth, and at the same time, the earth is at its closest distance to the sun (perihelion). Meanwhile, one month that lasts 29 days coincides with the time of the new moon at perige (the closest distance to the moon from the earth) with the earth at its farthest point from the sun (aphelion). from this it can be seen that the age of the moon is not fixed but varies (29-30 days) according to the position of the three celestial bodies (Moon, Earth and Sun).

The determination of the beginning of the month (new moon) is marked by the appearance of the first sighting (visibility) of the Crescent Moon (hilal) after the new moon (conjunction or ijtimak). In this phase, the Moon sets shortly after the sunset, so that the position of the new moon is on the western horizon. If the new moon cannot be seen on the 29th day, then the number of days in that month is rounded up to 30 days. There is no specific rule which months have 29 days, and which have 30 days. Everything depends on the sighting of the new moon.

The names of the days and months

The Hijri calendar consists of 7 days. A day begins with the setting of the sun, in contrast to the Gregorian calendar which starts the day at midnight. Here are the names of the days:

1. al-Itsnayn (Monday)

2. ats-Tsalaatsa' (Tuesday)

3. al-Arba'aa / ar-Raabi' (Wednesday)

4. al-Khamsatun (Thursday)

5. al-Jumu'ah (Friday)

6. As-Sabbath (Saturday)

7. al-Ahad (Sunday)

The Hijri calendar consists of 12 months:

1 Muharram 30 days

2 Safar 29 day trip

3 Rabiul early 30 days

4 Rabiul late 29 days

5 Friday early 30 days

6 Friday end 29 days

7 Rajab 30 days

8 Sha'ban 29 days

9 Ramadan 30 days

10 Shawwal 29 days

11 Dzulkaidah 30 days

12 Dzulhijjah 29/(30) days

Total 354/(355) days

Early Decisive History

The determination of when the year 1 Hijri begins is done 6 years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. However, the system underlying the Hijri Calendar has existed since pre-Islamic times, and this system was revised in the 9th year of the Medina periode

Before the arrival of Islam, in Arabia there was a calendar system based on a mixture of the Moon (komariyah) and the Sun (syamsiyah). The cycle of the month is used, and to synchronize with the seasons, the number of days is increased (intercalation).

At that time, the numbering of the year was not known. A year is known by the name of an event that is quite important in that year. For example, the year in which Muhammad was born is known as the "Year of the Elephant", because at that time, there was an invasion of the Kaaba in Mecca by an army of elephants led by Abraha, the Governor of Yemen (one of the provinces of the Kingdom of Aksum, now including Ethiopia).

Calendar revision

In the era of Muhammad's prophethood, the pre-Islamic calendar system was used. In the 9th year after the Hijrah, verses 36-37 of Surat At-Taubah were revealed, which forbade adding days (intercalation) to the calendar system.

Determination of Year 1 Islamic Calendar

After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, it was proposed when Year 1 of the Islamic Calendar began. Some suggest that Muhammad's birth year is the starting point for the Islamic calendar. Some have suggested that the beginning of the benchmark for the Islamic calendar is the year the Prophet Muhammad died.

Finally, in 638 AD (17 H), the caliph Umar bin Khatab set the beginning of the benchmark for the Islamic calendar to be the year in which the Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina. The initial determination of this benchmark is done after eliminating all additional months (intercalation) in the 9 year period. The 1st of Muharram in the 1st Hijriah coincides with the 16th of July 622, and this date does not mean the date of the Prophet Muhammad's migration. The event of the migration of the Prophet Muhammad occurred in September 622. The oldest document that uses the Hijri Calendar system is papyrus in Egypt in the year 22 H, PERF 558.

Important dates

Important dates in the Hijri Calendar are:

  • 1 Muharram: Hijri New Year
  • 10 Muharram: Day of Ashura. Today is commemorated for the Shia to commemorate the death of Imam Husayn bin Ali
  • 12 Rabiul Awal: Maulud Nabi Muhammad (birthday of Prophet Muhammad)
  • 27 Rajab: Isra 'Mi'raj
  • Month of Ramadan: A full month of Muslims fasting in the month of Ramadan
  • 17 Ramadan: Nuzulul Qur'an
  • The last 10 odd days in the month of Ramadan occurred Lailatul Qadar
  • 1 Shawwal: Eid Al-Fitr
  • 8 Dzulhijjah: Tarwiyah Day
  • 9 Dzulhijjah: Wukuf in Padang Arafah
  • 10 Dzulhijjah: Eid al-Adha
  • 11-13 Dzulhijjah: Tasyriq Day

Hisab and Rukyat

Rukyat is the activity of observing the visibility of the new moon, namely observing the appearance of the crescent moon which is first seen after the new moon (ijtima). Rukyat can be done with the naked eye, or with optical aids such as a telescope. If the new moon is seen, then that evening has entered the 1st.

While reckoning is doing calculations to determine the position of the moon mathematically and astronomically. Hisab is a tool to find out when and where the new moon (the first crescent after the new moon) can be seen. Hisab is often done to help before doing rukyat.

The determination of the beginning of the month becomes very significant for months related to worship, such as the month of Ramadan (i.e. Muslims observe a full month of Ramadan fasting), Shawwal (i.e. Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr), and Dzulhijjah (where there are dates related to the month of Ramadan). Hajj and Eid al-Adha). The determination of when the new moon can be seen is a motivation for Muslims' interest in astronomy. This is one of the reasons why Islam became one of the early developers of astronomy as a science, apart from astrology in the Middle Ages.

Some Muslims are of the opinion that to determine the beginning of the month, it is necessary to actually observe the new moon directly (rukyatul hilal). Others argue that it is enough to determine the beginning of the month by doing reckoning (mathematical calculations), without having to actually observe the new moon. The reckoning method also has various criteria for determining, so that it often causes differences in determining the beginning of the month, which results in different days of worship such as fasting Ramadan or Eid al-Fitr.

Hijri facts

  • According to calculations, in a 30 year cycle of the Hijri Calendar, there are 11 leap years with 355 days, and 19 years with 354 days. In the long term, this one cycle is accurate enough to one day in about 2500 years. While in the short term, this cycle has a deviation of 1-2 days.
  • Microsoft uses Kuwait Algorithm to convert Gregorian Calendar to Hijri Calendar. This algorithm is claimed to be based on statistical analysis of historical data from Kuwait, but in reality it is a variation of the tabular Hijri Calendar.
  • For a rough conversion from the Hijri Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, multiply the Hijri year by 0.97, then add 622.
  • Every 33 or 34 years of the Hijri Calendar, one full year of the Hijri Calendar will occur in one Gregorian calendar year. The year 1429 H then happened completely in 2008 AD.

Hijri Calendar and Javanese Calendar

The Javanese calendar system is different from the Hijri calendar, although both have similarities. In the 1st century, in Java introduced the Saka calendar calendar system (based on the Sun) originating from India. This calendar system was used until in 1625 AD (to coincide with the year 1547 Saka), Sultan Agung changed the Javanese calendar system by adopting the Hijri Calendar System, such as the names of days, months, and based on lunar (komariyah). However, for the sake of continuity, the saka year number is continued, from 1547 Saka the Javanese calendar continues to continue the year number from 1547 Saka to 1547 Javanese.

Unlike the Hijri Calendar which purely uses moon visibility to determine the first month, the Javanese calendar has set the number of days in each month.

The name of the day of ignorance

There is a stark difference between pre-Islamic Arabs and Islamic Arabs in naming their times. That is, the influence of Islam is so great in Arab society. So it's very obvious where Arab culture and Islamic law are

The names of the days in the ignorant society are as follows:

  1. Saturday (السبت) used to be known as Shiyar (شِيَار).
  2. Sunday (الأحد) in the period of ignorance is called Awwal (أَوَّل).
  3. Monday (الاثنين) is called Ahwan (أَهْون) or Awhad (أوْهَد).
  4. Tuesday (الثلاثاء) is called Jubar (جُبَار).
  5. Wednesday (الأربعاء) is called Dubar (دبُار).
  6. Thursday (الخميس) is called Mu'nis (مُؤْنِس).
  7. And Friday (الجمعة) is called 'Arubah (عَرُوبة).


- Butar-Butar, Arwin Juli Rakhmadi. (2021). Calendar and Time System in Islam. Medan: UMSU Press.

- https://i0.wp.com/sumut.kemenag.go.id/file/fotoberita/26290.jpg

– Raghib as-Sirjani, Ta'arraf 'ala Asma al-Ayyam wa ash-Syuhur fi Jahiliyah

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