islamic topics

Islamic, Christian and Jewish (Hebrew) Calendars

The following reviews the basics of the Islamic (Ramadan), Jewish and Christian calendars.

Islamic Calendar

The Islamic calendar (also known as the Hijri calendar)

  • The calendar is based on the lunar cycle (based on the phases of the moon).
  • It is believed that Caliph Umar (second Capliph after the death of prophet Muhammad) started numbering the years of the Islamic calendar from the year of the Hijra (Prophet’s emigration from Makkah to Al-Madinah)
  • The Islamic calendar has approximately 12 months and 354 days
  • New day in the Islamic calendar starts at sunset.
  • All Muslim holidays are based on the Islamic calendar.
  • The 12 Islamic months in the Islamic calendar are Muharram, Safar, Rabi’ al-awwal, Rabi’ al-thani, Jumada al-awwal, Jumada al-thani, Rajab, Sha’aban, Ramadan, Shawwal, Dhu al-Qi’dah and Dhu al-Hijjah.

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Jewish Calendar

  • The Jewish calendar (Hebrew calendar) is based on lunisolar calendar (based on phases of the moon and the solar cycles).
  • The calendar is based on the creation, which according to Jewish religion happened around 3760 BC.
  • This calendar has anywhere between 353 to 385 days.
  • New day in the Jewish calendar starts at sunset.
  • The twelve regular months include: Nisan, Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, Elul, Tishrei, Marcheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, and Adar.

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 jewish calendar

Christian Calendar

  • The Gregorian calendar is also sometimes referred to as the Christian or Western calendar
  • The years in this calendar are based on Jesus’s birth. So, according to Christians, “AD 2007” literally means “in the 2007’th year since the birth of Jesus.
  • There were other calendars introduced before the Gregorian calendar such as the Julian calendar. However, the Gregorian calendar sought to improve the earlier versions. The Christian calendar went through many changes with the last change named after Pope Gregory XIII
  • The Gregorian calendar comprises of 12 months, and 365 days (366 days in a leap year). The months in the Gregorian calendar are of 30 or 31 days with February having 28 days and 29 days in a leap year.
  • New day in the Gregorian calendar starts at midnight.
  • Gregorian calendar forms the basis of the current day’s calendar.

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20 comments… add one
  • M.A. Saleem

    Good and useful info. I had no idea about the Jewish Calendar. Many thanks.

  • Matthew Collins

    There are some additional things about the various calendars. Both the Islamic and Jewish calendars begin their months on the same day (namely the night of the crescent moon following the new moon and each month ends on the night of the new moon). This differs from the pagan calendar which is also lunar but each month begins on the night of the full moon. The Jewish calendar is essentially the calendar of Nippur a city in Ancient Sumer in Mesopotamia, which although lunar, resets the calendar by the addition of a thirteenth month so that each month always occurs in the same part of the solar year. The Islamic calendar lacks this adjustment to realign the calendar with the solar year which causes the Islamic months to move forward each solar year by a couple weeks each year.

    There is also a correction; the Gregorian calendar is divided between A.D. and B.C. The A.D. is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase Anno Domini which literally translates as “Year of our Lord”. This does refer to Jesus’ birth but is not actually in the translation of the phrase. The abbreviation B.C. stands for Before Christ, Christ being English for Kristos which is Greek for Messiah.

    • I love this bit of addition, I used to hear that Isa alayhi salam was never called Jesus by his mother and had never heard it; now did he know the word Christ. so the injeel translator into Greek language translated his name. Regardless of a language, no one’s name should change in writing. Christians would rather check who they are worshipping. Thanks for clarification.

    • Abdulkarim Mohammed

      great insight!

    • Najeeb

      Also, with all due respect, don’t forget to mention the pagan aspect of it! Basically, nature and creation worship.

      January: named after Janus, the god of doors and gates
      February: named after Februalia, a time period when sacrifices were made to atone for sins
      March: named after Mars, the god of war
      April: from aperire, Latin for “to open” (buds)
      May: named after Maia, the goddess of growth of plants
      June: from junius, Latin for the goddess Juno
      July: named after Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.
      August: named after Augustus Caesar in 8 B.C.
      September: from septem, Latin for “seven”
      October: from octo, Latin for “eight”
      November: from novem, Latin for “nine”
      December: from decem, Latin for “ten”

      Read more: The Names of the Months http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0002067.html#ixzz3W6Pegty3

      Therefore, 2 months were added. And Jesus (Peace be upon him) is not born in December, even according to Christian scholars; he was born in a warmer time of year.

      Also, the days of the week used are of pagan connection too.

      The Seven Day Week
      The Naming of the Days
      Sunday — Sun’s day
      Monday — Moon’s day
      Tuesday — Tiu’s day
      Wednesday — Woden’s day (as in knock on wood)
      Thursday — Thor’s day
      Friday — Freya’s day
      Saturday — Saturn’s day

      And Easter is connected to Old English ?astre ; of Germanic origin and related to German Ostern and east. According to Bede the word is derived from ?astre, the name of a goddess associated with spring.

      “Surely, they have disbelieved who say: “Allah (God) is the Messiah [‘Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary).” But the Messiah [‘Iesa (Jesus)] said: “O Children of Israel! Worship Allah (God), my Lord and your Lord.” Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong­doers) there are no helpers.” [The Qur’an 5:72]

      “Say (O Muhammad SAW): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims (meaning those who submit to the Will of God).”” [The Qur’an 3:64]

      And some evidence from your perspective:

      Jesus (Peace be upon him) prayed like a Muslim and was a Muslim (meaning one who submits to the Will of God [Alone]) as he stated:

      “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You Will.”” (Matthew 26:39)

      He also said Allah in his own language of Aramaic. Type in God in the search field in any Aramaic lexicon or get a physical one and see. Aramaic Lexicon on link below on a Christian site by the way.Amazing!

      May Allah (God) Almighty Guide us all! Ameen (Amen). In-Sha’Allaah (God Willing)!

  • dr adams

    Quite an interesting piece of information

  • KAFILAT

    Assalam alaekun. How many Muslims know about Islamic calendar? Or how many out of those who know do not think it is wrong to use it in the ‘Western world’. I say when are we going to stop being slaves of our own created fears?!

    N.B. MAKE A RESOLUTION: “I WILL TELL PEOPLE ABOUT ISLAMIC (HIJRI)CALENDAR”(If these months are from Allah, then what other empowering do we need?!)

  • Saheed

    Sallam allykum,
    what is the differnce between the jews and the christians?. Some christians proclaimed that there is only one God Hence their belief coincide with Muslims beliefs. Therefore could there be any way for mus;ims and christians to be one ? I have a strong belief that Allah cannot send Prophet Issa (a.s.w.) with a message and send prophet Muahammad with a different one on same issue

    • Hannah Hussain

      walaykumassalam
      christianity, judaism and islam have many simalarities but the belifs are diffrent. As you may know that all these religions are abrahamic cousions menaing they all belive in abraham.
      All these 3 religions belive that God is one however they have put their own perspective to it. Christianity belive that God is one and they belive that Jesus is the son of God however judaism dont belive in Jesus but belive that god is one however they dont belive that Jesus was the son of God. However Muslims belive that God is one and they do belive that in Jesus i.e esa however they dont belive that Jesus is the son of God instaed we belive that he is a prophet sent by Allah to send the message of god which is to have the onesness of allah. All the messengers were sent to spread this message but they had diffrent shariahs. I hope this answers your question. Asalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa brakatuhu. xx hannah hussain

  • Mumtaz

    Matthew Collins’s information is quite useful.

  • Alhamdulillah! Didn’t knw abt all these months before. Nice one. Jazakallahu khairan

  • Hannah Hussain

    alhamdullilah never found such a simple resource like this
    this has helped me a lot mashallah with my religious education in school
    jazkallah
    asalamualaykum
    hannah hussainx

  • angsana

    Alhamdulillah, syukran Ghazilla, great knowledge about the believers of Allah, similarity between Jews and Muslim a new day begin at sunset, there is truth in it That is when best to start the Dua, before we sleep and awake, very interesting indeed, we are all practicing our daily life according to the gregorian or Christian calender , new day starts at mid night, . It is,high time we starts our dAILY LIFE with the Muslim calender…ALLAH KARIM STARTS NOW…… Angsana

  • hariratu

    Asslm to a very focused n untiring team at IqraSense. I always pick something useful,educative, n higHly enriching when ever I read ur articles. U may not knw but I always pray for u for filling in so many gaps in d lives of d Muslim Ummah. Jazakallahukhairan

  • Anonymous

    Thank you team for the useful article.

  • akbar husain

    I really feel happy to read your articles. This adds to knowledge and spiritual strength. I would like the efforts to be continued. wish all those happy and prosperous contributing in this noble mission.

  • Farida Begum

    Asalamalikum nd seasons greetings,
    Thanks a lot fr sharing such wonderful asset.
    WHAT IS THIS LIFE IF FULL OF CARE.
    WE JUST STAND ND STARE
    ND NO TIME TO SHARE

  • qiyammatul hayat

    Shukran , you guys have widen up my knowledge . looking fwd from u all.

  • Najia

    assalamalaikum. thanks so much for the calendar information and thank you matthew collins for the addition and correction.

  • taslim anibaba

    The most interesting thing about all the calendars is that the basis of each of them is as indicated in the Quran. Allah created the night and the day neither Christians nor Muslims did that. He also created the sun and the moon for counting number of days. Suratul Al An am chapter 6 verse 96.

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