Islamic Calendar 2018
The Islamic Calendar 2018: A Complete Guide to Islamic Dates and Festivals
As the year 2018 comes to an end, it’s important for Muslims around the world to understand and be aware of the upcoming Islamic dates and festivals in the year 2019. The Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri calendar, is based on the lunar calendar and consists of twelve months. Each month in the Islamic calendar is determined by the sighting of the new moon, and its dates differ from the Gregorian calendar.
The Significance of the Islamic Calendar
The Islamic calendar holds great significance in the lives of Muslims, as it determines the dates of religious observances such as fasting during Ramadan, the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj), and the celebration of various festivals and events. The Islamic calendar not only serves as a way to keep track of time but also symbolizes the connection between Muslims worldwide.
The Structure of the Islamic Calendar
The Islamic calendar follows a lunar cycle, with each month lasting either 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the new moon. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, which is based on the solar cycle, the Islamic calendar does not account for leap years. Consequently, the Islamic calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar, resulting in a shift in dates every year.
The twelve months in the Islamic calendar are as follows:
- Rabi’ al-awwal
- Rabi’ al-thani
- Jumada al-awwal
- Jumada al-thani
- Dhu al-Qidah
- Dhu al-Hijjah
The Islamic year begins with the month of Muharram, which is considered one of the holiest months for Muslims. It is a month of reflection and remembrance, particularly for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
Key Islamic Dates in 2018
Before delving into the upcoming Islamic dates and festivals in 2019, let’s take a quick look back at the significant dates in 2018. These dates hold great importance in the Islamic calendar and are observed by Muslims around the globe:
1. Mawlid al-Nabi (Birthday of Prophet Muhammad)
On the 12th day of Rabi’ al-awwal, Muslims celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. This day is marked with special prayers and gatherings to honor the life and teachings of the Prophet.
2. Laylat al-Miraj (Night of Ascension)
Laylat al-Miraj commemorates the night when the Prophet Muhammad ascended to the heavens. It falls on the 27th day of the Islamic month Rajab and is a night of prayer and reflection.
Ramadan is the month of fasting, which holds immense spiritual significance for Muslims. It is observed during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and involves abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn till dusk. Muslims also engage in increased prayer and acts of charity during this holy month.
4. Eid al-Fitr
Eid al-Fitr is the festival that marks the end of Ramadan. Muslims around the world celebrate this joyous occasion with prayers, feasts, and the exchange of gifts. The date of Eid al-Fitr is determined by the sighting of the new moon, signifying the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the month of Shawwal.
Hajj is a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia and is obligatory for all financially and physically capable Muslims at least once in their lifetime. It takes place during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah and is considered one of the five pillars of Islam. Millions of Muslims from around the world gather in Mecca to perform the rituals of Hajj.
Islamic Dates and Festivals in 2019
Now, let’s explore the significant Islamic dates and festivals that will be observed in the year 2019:
1. Islamic New Year
The Islamic New Year, also known as Ras as-Sanah al-Hijriyah, marks the beginning of the Islamic lunar calendar. It falls on the first day of the month of Muharram. The year 2019 in the Islamic calendar will begin on August 31st.
2. Mawlid al-Nabi (Birthday of Prophet Muhammad)
The celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, will take place on November 10th, 2019. This day is marked with special prayers and gatherings, where Muslims reflect on the life and teachings of the Prophet.
3. Laylat al-Bara’a (Night of Forgiveness)
Laylat al-Bara’a is a night of forgiveness and blessings, observed in the month of Sha’ban. It is believed that during this night, Allah forgives the sins of the believers. Muslims engage in prayers and seek forgiveness for themselves and their loved ones on this night, which will be on April 20th, 2019.
In the year 2019, Ramadan is expected to begin on the evening of May 5th and end on the evening of June 4th. This month of fasting signifies inner reflection, self-discipline, and a deepening of one’s faith. Muslims practice fasting from dawn till dusk and engage in increased acts of worship.
5. Eid al-Fitr
Eid al-Fitr, the joyous festival that marks the end of Ramadan, is anticipated to be celebrated on June 5th, 2019. Muslims gather for prayers, feasts, and the exchange of gifts, spreading love and joy in their communities.
In 2019, Hajj is expected to take place from August 9th to August 14th. Muslim pilgrims from all corners of the world will gather in Mecca to perform the rituals of Hajj, symbolizing unity and submission to Allah.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the significance of the Islamic calendar?
A: The Islamic calendar holds great significance in the lives of Muslims, as it determines the dates of religious observances, festivals, and events. It symbolizes the connection between Muslims worldwide and reminds them of their religious obligations and commemorations.
Q: Why does the Islamic calendar differ from the Gregorian calendar?
A: The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, while the Gregorian calendar follows the solar cycle. The Hijri calendar consists of twelve lunar months, which are shorter than the months in the Gregorian calendar. As a result, the dates of Islamic events shift each year in relation to the Gregorian calendar.
Q: How are the new moon sightings determined?
A: The new moon sightings are determined by Islamic scholars and local moon sighting committees. These committees keep an eye out for the sighting of the new moon each month, and once it is confirmed, the new month officially begins.
Q: How can I keep track of Islamic dates and festivals?
A: There are various Islamic calendars available, both in print and online, which provide the dates of Islamic events and festivals. You can also refer to local Islamic centers or websites for accurate Islamic dates in your region.
Q: Are all Muslims required to observe the same dates and festivals?
A: Some dates, such as the beginning of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, are observed globally by Muslims. However, other festivals and dates may vary depending on cultural and regional practices. It’s important to follow the guidelines established by the local Islamic authorities in your area.
Q: Can non-Muslims participate in Islamic festivals?
A: Islamic festivals are primarily celebrated by Muslims; however, non-Muslims are often welcome to attend and learn about the traditions and customs. It’s always best to seek permission and guidance from the hosting community or Islamic center before participating.
Q: Can the Islamic calendar be used for business or administrative purposes?
A: While the Islamic calendar is predominantly used for religious purposes, it can also be utilized for administrative and business purposes in Muslim-majority countries. However, most countries that use the Islamic calendar follow dual dating systems to accommodate international conventions.
The Islamic calendar serves as a unifying force among Muslims worldwide, enabling them to come together in observing dates that hold immense spiritual and cultural significance. By familiarizing ourselves with the Islamic calendar and the dates of upcoming festivals, we can gain a deeper understanding of our faith and the global Muslim community.
As we enter the year 2019 in the Islamic calendar, let us embrace the dates and festivals that lie ahead with love, unity, and a renewed commitment to our faith.