The Muslim calendar follows a lunar cycle of 12 months. Every new moon signifies
the beginning of a new month. Each month is from 29 to 30 days long, depending
on the moon sighting. An Islamic year then has approximately 354 days. There are no
leap years. Each year the Islamic months move backward by about a week and a half
through the months of the English calendar. Because of this, Islamic festivals and annual
rituals will be in different seasons each year.
The names of the months predate Islam and have ancient roots in the Arabian peninsula.
It was during the rule of the Caliph Umar, in 637, that the beginning date for
the Islamic calendar was fixed according to the year that the Prophet made his migration
from Mecca to Medina. The year 622 is our year zero!
|Serial no.||Islamic Month||English Meaning||Explanation|
|1||Muharram||The Sacred Month||The Islamic New Year.|
|2||Safar||The Month of Traveling||Traditionally the month thatcaravans set out for Syria or
|3||Rabiul Awwal||The First Spring||Muhammad sallallahoAlaiheWasallam was born on thetwelfth of this month.|
|4||Rabius-sani||The Second Spring||Named for the last vestiges ofspring.|
|Jumadi ul Awwal||The First Dry Month||Refers to the hot summer months.|
|Jumadi us-sani||The Second Dry Month||A continuation of the preceding.|
|Rajab||The Month of Respect||Pre-Islamic Arabs used to hold ageneral truce in this month to
allow for religious pilgrimage.
|Sha’ban||The Dividing Month||Many Muslims hold a special ceremonyin this month to mark
the importance of Allah’s knowledge
of the future.
|Ramadan||The Month of Great Heat||Muslims fast from dawn to duskthis month.|
|Shawwal||The Month of Hunting||The festival of the fast breakingoccupies the first three days of
|Dhul Qa’dah||The Month of Rest||Traditionally a time when businessactivity slowed in Arabia.|
|Dhul Hajjah||The Month of Pilgrimage||When the hajj to Mecca takesplace.|