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The Hijri year (Arabic: سَنة هِجْريّة) or era (التقويم الهجري at-taqwīm al-hijrī) is the era used in the Islamic lunar calendar, which begins its count from the Islamic New Year in 622 AD/CE. During that year, Muhammad and his followers migrated from Mecca to Yathrib (now Medina). This event, known as the Hijra, is commemorated in Islam for its role in the founding of the first Muslim community (ummah).
In the West, this era is most commonly denoted as AH (Latin: Anno Hegirae /
Because the Islamic lunar calendar has only 354 or 355 days in its year, it slowly rotates within the Gregorian year. The year 2018 AD corresponds to the Islamic years 1439 – 1440 AH.
The Hijri era is calculated according to the Islamic lunar calendar and not the Julian or Gregorian solar one. It thus does not begin on January 1, 1 CE, but on the first day of the month of Muharram which occurred in 622 CE. Its Julian equivalent was April 19 but it is sometimes mistakenly placed on July 16. The error derives from the tabular Islamic calendar which was devised by later Islamic astronomers. This reckons time backwards according to the lunar calendar, which causes it to miss the three intercalary months (about 88 days) added to the then-lunisolar calendar between the time of the Hijra and AH 10, when Muhammad is recorded as having received a revelation prohibiting their use.
The date of the Hijra itself did not form the Islamic New Year. Instead, the system continues the earlier ordering of the months with the Hijra occurring around the 8th day of Rabi al-Awwal, 66 days into the first year.
By the age of Muhammad, there was already an Arabian lunar calendar, with named months. Likewise, the years of its calendar used conventional names rather than numbers: for example, the year of the birth of Muhammad and of Ammar ibn Yasir (570 CE) was known as the "Year of the Elephant". The first year of the Hijra (622-23 CE) was named the "Permission to Travel" in this calendar.
17 years after the Hijra, a complaint from Abu Musa Ashaari prompted the caliph Umar to abolish the practice of named years and to establish a new calendar era. Rejected proposals included dating from the year of Muhammad's birth or death. Tradition credits ʿAli with the proposal to date from the year during which the Muslims established a new community (Ummah) in Medina. The order of the months within the calendar was then debated. Rejected proposals included Rajab, which had been a sacred month in the pre-Islamic period; Ramadan, which is a sacred month for Muslims; and Dhu al-Hijjah, the month of the Hajj. Tradition credits Othman with the successful proposal, simply continuing the order of the months that had already been established, beginning with Muharram. Adoption of this calendar was then enforced by Umar.
AH = 1.030684 × (CE − 621.5643) CE = 0.970229 × AH + 621.5643
AH = (CE − 622) × 33 ÷ 32 CE = AH + 622 − (AH ÷ 32)
Nevertheless, as the Islamic year does not begin 1 January there is no strict correspondence between years of the two eras, e. g. 2015 CE is 1436/1437 AH, while 1436 AH is 2014/2015 CE.
- Official site, Government of Sharjah, retrieved 21 January 2017.
- Fazlur Rehman Shaikh, Chronology of Prophetic Events (London: Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., 2001), p. 157.
- Quran 9:36–37.
- Aisha El-Awady (2002-06-11). "Ramadan and the Lunar Calendar". Islamonline.net. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
- Hajjah Adil, Amina, "Prophet Muhammad", ISCA, Jun 1, 2002, ISBN 1-930409-11-7
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- Umar bin Al-Khattab (2002). "Islamic Actions and Social Mandates: The Hijri Calendar". witness-pioneer.org. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
- Islamic and Christian Dating Systems
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- F. A. Shamsi (1984). "The Date of Hijrah". Islamic Studies. 23: 189–224 & 289–332.
|Wikisource has the text of a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article about Hijri year.|