Islamic Calendar

Lunar Months

This is in the Qur'an:

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said within his final sermon:

The lunar year is about 354 days, so the months gravitate backwards through the solar based Gregorian calendar. Islamic months begin at sunset of the first day, the day when the lunar crescent is visually sighted.

  Full Islamic Name Shorter Islamic Name Meaning & Comment
1st Muharram Muharram Forbidden (one of the four months during which it is forbidden to fight)
2nd Safar Safar Catastrophes (untrue); Empty or Yellow
3rd Rabi-ul-Awwal Rabi I/ Rabia Awal First month of spring
4th Rabi-ul-Akhir Rabi II/ Rabia Thani Second month of spring
5th Jumaada-al-Oola Jumad I/ Jumada Awal First freeze
6th Jumaada-ath-Thaani Jumad II/ Jumada Thani Second freeze
7th Rajab Rajab Rajaba – respect another holy month when fighting is prohibited
8th Sha'baan Sha'ban Consecutively escalating innumerous blessings/ to spread and distribute
9th Ramadhaan Ramadan Ramadha - intense heat daytime asting
10th Shawwaal Shawwal Uplift/ breakage - superstition of unsuccessful marriages (abolished)/ Sins forgiven Six voluntary fasts/ Light and vigorous
11th Zul-Qi'dah Dhul-Qi'dah The month of rest - also when no fighting is allowed
12th Zul-Hijjah Dhul-Hijja Hajj–Pilgrimage - 1st 10 days most virtuous, yet again when no warfare or fighting is allowed



Martyrdom of Imam Hussain 10 Muharram The grandson of Muhammad (pbuh)
Hijrah Rabi-al-Awal Commemorates the migration of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers from Makkah to Madinah (July 16 622 CE)
The Prophet’s (pbuh) birthday 12 Rabi-Awal Sometimes involves readings on the life of the Prophet (pbuh). Dates are 20 August 570 CE or 22 April 571 CE
Shab-e-Miraj 27 Rajab The Night of the Journey and Ascension when Prophet (pbuh) underwent a miraculous journey from Makkah to Jerusalem ascending to the heavens
Shal-e-Barat 15 Sha'ban Night of blessings when the fate of individuals is decided
Leilat-al-Qadar 27 Ramadan The Night of Power when the Qur'an was first revealed through Muhammad
Id-ul-Fitr 1 Shawwal The end of the fast of Ramadan leading to zakat charity (often food), communal prayer (sermon is optional), and feasting but definitely not fasting.
Id-ul-Adha 10 Dhul Hijjah This is the festival of sacrifice that unites those on the Hajj with other Muslims around the world and sacrificed animals are shared and offered to the poor


Adrian Worsfold