Islamic Calendar 2017
The Islamic Calendar 2017: A Comprehensive Guide
The Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri calendar, plays a significant role in the lives of Muslims around the world. It is a lunar calendar that is based on the sighting of the moon and is used to determine the start of religious events and observances. In this article, we will explore the Islamic calendar for the year 2017, including its history, important dates, and how it is observed by Muslims. Let’s dive in!
The History of the Islamic Calendar
The Islamic calendar has its roots in the time of Prophet Muhammad, who migrated from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. This migration, known as the Hijra, marked a significant event in Islamic history and became the starting point of the Islamic calendar. Before the establishment of the Islamic calendar, the Arabian Peninsula followed various calendars, including the Julian calendar and the lunar calendar of the pre-Islamic period.
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, consisting of 12 months of either 29 or 30 days. It follows a 354 or 355-day cycle, which is approximately 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world. This difference causes the Islamic calendar to move about 10 or 11 days earlier each year in relation to the Gregorian calendar.
Understanding the Islamic Months
The Islamic calendar consists of 12 lunar months, each named with a unique Arabic name. The months are as follows:
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and holds significant historical and religious importance in Islam. It is a month of remembrance and mourning for the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
Safar is the second month of the Islamic calendar. It is often regarded as a month of bad luck and superstitions, although such beliefs go against Islamic teachings.
Rabi’al-Awwal is the third month of the Islamic calendar. It is an important month for Muslims as it marks the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad, celebrated as Mawlid al-Nabi.
Rabi’ al-Thani is the fourth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a month of reflection and contemplation for Muslims.
Jumada al-Ula is the fifth month of the Islamic calendar.
Jumada al-Thani is the sixth month of the Islamic calendar.
Rajab is the seventh month of the Islamic calendar and holds special religious significance. It is considered one of the sacred months in Islam.
Sha’ban is the eighth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a month of preparation for the holy month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a month of fasting, prayer, and self-reflection for Muslims worldwide.
Shawwal is the tenth month of the Islamic calendar and is known for the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.
Dhu al-Qadah is the eleventh month of the Islamic calendar. It holds no specific religious observances but is considered a sacred month.
Dhu al-Hijjah is the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar. It is the month of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that is an obligatory duty for all able-bodied Muslims.
Important Dates and Observances in the Islamic Calendar 2017
Now let’s explore some of the important dates and observances in the Islamic calendar for the year 2017:
1. Muharram – October 2, 2016
The Islamic year 1438 AH began on October 2, 2016, corresponding to the first day of the month of Muharram.
2. Ashura – October 11, 2016
Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, is a significant day of fasting and remembrance for both Sunni and Shia Muslims. It commemorates various historical events, including the parting of the Red Sea for the Israelites and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain.
3. Isra and Mi’raj – April 23, 2017
Isra and Mi’raj is the miraculous night journey of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascent to the heavens. It is observed on the 27th day of the Islamic month of Rajab.
4. Ramadan – May 27, 2017
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, began on May 27, 2017. It is a month of fasting from dawn to sunset and is considered the holiest month for Muslims.
5. Laylat al-Qadr – June 21, 2017
Laylat al-Qadr, also known as the Night of Power, is believed to be the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad. It is observed on one of the odd nights during the last ten days of Ramadan, with June 21, 2017, being one of the most significant nights.
6. Eid al-Fitr – June 25, 2017
Eid al-Fitr, commonly known as the Festival of Breaking the Fast, marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated with prayers, feasting, and gift-giving. It began on June 25, 2017.
7. Hajj – August 30 to September 4, 2017
Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, took place from August 30 to September 4, 2017. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is obligatory for all able-bodied Muslims who can afford it.
8. Eid al-Adha – September 1, 2017
Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. It began on September 1, 2017.
Observing the Islamic Calendar
Observing the Islamic calendar is an important aspect of Islamic culture and faith. Muslims all over the world rely on the lunar calendar to determine the timing of religious events and observances. Here are a few ways in which Muslims observe the Islamic calendar:
One of the most important religious observances in Islam is fasting, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn to sunset as a means of self-discipline and spiritual reflection.
Prayer is an essential pillar of Islam, and Muslims perform five daily prayers at specific times throughout the day. The timing of these prayers is based on the position of the sun and is adjusted according to the Islamic calendar.
Charity, known as Zakat, is a fundamental pillar of Islam. Muslims are encouraged to give a portion of their wealth to the less fortunate in society as a means of purifying their wealth and helping those in need. The Islamic calendar reminds Muslims of the importance of giving and generosity.
The Islamic calendar plays a crucial role in determining the timing of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, known as Hajj. Muslims from all over the world gather in Mecca to perform various rituals and fulfill one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How is the Islamic calendar different from the Gregorian calendar?
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar based on the sighting of the moon, while the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar that follows the position of the Earth in relation to the sun. The Islamic calendar is approximately 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.
2. Are all Islamic months considered sacred?
No, only four months in the Islamic calendar are considered sacred: Rajab, Dhu al-Qadah, Dhu al-Hijjah, and Muharram. These months have special significance and observances for Muslims.
3. Can the start of the Islamic month vary in different countries?
Yes, the start of the Islamic month can vary depending on the sighting of the moon. Since the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, different countries may have different dates for the start of a new month.
4. Are there any celebrations during the month of Safar?
No, the month of Safar is often associated with superstitions and bad luck in some cultures. However, such beliefs go against Islamic teachings, and there are no specific celebrations or observances during this month.
5. Is fasting the only religious observance during Ramadan?
No, fasting is the primary religious observance during Ramadan, but Muslims also engage in increased prayer, recitation of the Quran, and acts of charity during this holy month.
The Islamic calendar is a vital aspect of Muslim culture and faith. It helps Muslims determine the dates of religious events and observances, creating a sense of unity and shared purpose among the Muslim community worldwide. By understanding and observing the Islamic calendar, Muslims deepen their connection to their faith and strengthen their bond with fellow believers.
As 2017 has come to an end, we hope this comprehensive guide to the Islamic calendar for that year provides valuable insights and fosters a better understanding of Islamic traditions and observances. Let us embrace the diversity of religious calendars and celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures that make up our global community.