12 Months of the Islamic Lunar Calendar

12 Months of the Islamic Lunar Calendar

As with the typical Georgian calendar the Islamic calendar (aka Hijri calendar) also consists of 12 months. The months are based on phases of the moon and each month is approximately 29.53 solar days.

As Muslims it’s important for us to know the names & timings of each month (not just Ramadan!) as every month contains significant events which are important for us to understand so we’re able to further our knowledge of Islam.

In this article we’ll cover the names of each month as well as add a some significant events that took place during each month.

12 months of the islamic lunar calendar

 1) Muharram 

What is Muharram?

Muharram is the first month of the lunar Islamic calendar & begins when the new moon is sighted. It is one of the four sacred months of the year where warfare is forbidden. Muharram is the second holiest month the Islamic calendar behind Ramadan.

The significance of Muharram & some important events that took place (and some still do):

  • The 10th of Muharram, known as the day of Ashura marks the day Noah (Nuh A.S) left the Ark.
  • It is also the day that Moses (Musa A.S) and his people was saved from the pharaoh of Egypt firaun by Allah (SWT).
  • Adam (AS) was created on the 10th or Muharram.
  • Ibrahim (AS) was born on the 10th of Muharram.
  • The 10th of Muharram marks the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala when Imam Husayn (R.A), the Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) grandson was martyred.
  • Sunni Muslims are encouraged to fast on the 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th of this sacred month.
  • As this is a holy month additional ibaadat & du’a is recommended.

Related: 10 Special Times to Make Du’a and Have it Accepted

 2) Safar 

Safar is the second month in the lunar hijri calendar. The arabic word for safar means empty or vacant.

There are many misconceptions surrounding this month and we’ll highlight some of them below:

  • Some people believe if marriage is performed during this month it will not be successful.
  • Some believe that the 1st – 13th of Safar are unlucky and evil.
  • Others believe that if you begin an important project, business, trade etc during this month it will be unsuccessful.
  • They believe this month of Safar is full of misfortune and calamities.

I must stress this could not be further from the truth. These are all false beliefs and have already been eradicated by the Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W) when he said:

“There is no superstitious owl, bird, no star-promising rain, no bad omen in the month of safar”.Sahih Bukhari, 5707

Some Major events that took place during the Month of Safar:

  • The Battle of ‘Abwaa’ took place.
  • The Battle of ‘Khaibar’ took place.

Deaths in Rajab:

  • The martyrdom of Hasan Ibn Ali (RA), Grandson of the Prophet (S.A.W)

 3) Rabi Al-Awwal 

Rabi Al-Awwal is the third month of the Islamic Calendar. It means “the first [month] or beginning of spring“, referring to its position in the pre-Islamic Arabian calendar.

Some important events during that took place during this month:

  • The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was born on the 12th Rabi Al-Awwal.
  • The Hijra (migration) took place in this month.
  • The Building of the first mosque in Islam (Quba Mosque).

 4)Rabi Al-Thani 

Rabi-Al-Thani is the fourth month in the Islamic calendar & is also known as Rabi Al-Aakhir. If we look at the literal meaning of the month it means ‘the second month of spring‘.

Some important events during that took place during this month:

  • The battle of ‘Furu‘ started in this month.
  • The battle of ‘Sariyyah‘ also took place in this month, however the prophet Muhammed (S.A.W) was not present for this & sent one of his companions to take lead in the battle.
  • The Sufi shiekh Abdul Qadir Gilani passed away.

 5) Jumada Al-Awwal 

Jumada Al-Awwal is the fifth month of the Islamic calendar. It indicates the start of summer. The origin of the months name comes from the word Jamad meaning dry possibly referring to the upcoming dry months.

Some important events during that took place during this month:

  • The Prophet Muhmmad (S.A.W) Marriage to Khadijah bint Khuwaylid was in this month.
  • The Battle of ‘Moota‘ took place in this month.

Deaths in Jumada Al-Awwal:

  • Abdul Muttalib (R.A), the grandfather of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) passed away.

 6) Jumada Al-Thani 

Jumada-Al-Thani is the sixth month in the Islamic calendar. It shares the same meaning as  Jumada Al-Awwal but also means the second of the summer months.

Some important events during that took place during this month:

  • The battle of ‘Salaasil’ took place.

Deaths in Jumada Al-Awwal:

  • Abu Salama (R.A) passed away.

 7) Rajab 

Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic calendar. The meaning of Rajab comes from the word Rajaba which means “to respect“.

Some important events during that took place during this month:

  • The Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W) ascended to Heaven on the 27th of Rajab (also known as Mi’raaj).
  • Hadhrat Bilal Ibn Haritha (R.A) brought four hundred men named Banu Muzeena in the presence of the Prophey Muhammad (S.A.W). They all embraced & became followers of Islam & the Prophet (S.A.W)
  • The battle of ‘Tabook‘ took place. This was the last battle in which the Prophet (S.A.W) participated in
  • The second Oath of Aqabah took place in Rajab.

Deaths in Rajab:

  • Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A) passed away on the 15th of Rajab.
  • Imam Shafi’ee (R.A) passed away on the 14th Rajab.
  • Imam Muslim (R.A) passed away on the 24th of Rajab.
  • Imam Nawawee (R.A) passed away on the 14th of Rajab.

 8) Sha’ban 

Sha’ban is the seventh month in the Islamic calendar. It means ‘consecutively escalating’ (Undisturbed increase) and is derived from the word “shu’ba”, which means branch.

Some important events during that took place during this month:

  • The night of forgiveness (Laila-tul Baraa’at) is on the 15th of of Sha’ban.
  • The Holy Kaaba (Qibla) was selected as the direction we must pray towards as Muslims.
  • Fasting during Ramadan was made compulsory.
  • The marriage of Hafsa (R. A.) with the Prophet (S.A.W) took place.
  • 42 years later, in the same month Hafsa (R.A) passed away.
  • Hussain (R. A) was born on the 5th of Shaban.
  • The battle of ‘Banu Mustaliq’ took place.
  • During this battle the ayah relating to to the purification of the body by using sand (Ayah of Tayammum)  was revealed.

Deaths in Rajab:

  • The daughter of the Prophet (S.A.W) Umme Kulthum (R.A) passed away.

 9) Ramadan 

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar & the holiest month of all. The word Ramadan is derived from the word Ramadha which means ‘intense heat‘. There are a number of reasons why this particular word may have been chosen, some of which include:

  • When we fast the temperature of our stomach increases.
  • When fasting was made compulsory the month of Ramadan came in the summer months when it was very warm.
  • Ramadhaa is one of the names of Allah (S.W.T)

The Prophet (S.A.W) on Ramadan:

“When Ramadan comes, the Doors of Mercy (another narration says Paradise) are opened, and the doors of Hell are closed, and the Shaitans are locked up”.Bukhari & Muslim

Some important events during that took place during this month:

  • The Qur’an was revealed on 27th night of Ramadan.
  • The first battle in the history of islam, the battle of ‘Badr‘ took place.
  • The Prophets grandson Hasan (R.A) was born during Ramadan
  • Victory of Makkah took place on 18th of Ramadan

Deaths in Ramadan:

  • The wife of the Prophet (S.A.W) first wife Khadijah (R.A) passed away in Ramadan.
  • The daughter of the Prophet (S.A.W) daughter Ruqayyah (R.A) passed away at the age of 23.
  • The daughter of the Prophet (S.AW) Fatimah (R.A) passed away at the age of 29 only 6 months after the death of the Prophet (S.A.W).
  • The uncle of the Prophet (S.A.W) Abbas (R.A) passed away.
  • The son in law of the Prophet (S.A.W) Ali (R.A) passed away.
  • Saffiyah (R.A) passed away during this month.
  • The mother of the believers, Aa’ishah (R.A) passed away during this month at the age 65.

 10) Shawwal 

Shawwal is the tenth month in the Islamic calendar. The meaning of the word shawwal is related to ‘uplift’ or ‘breakage’. The first day of Shawwal is the day of Eid ul Fitr.

Some important events during that took place during this month:

  • Aa’ishah Siddiqah (R.A) was born in Shawwaal four years after Prophethood. She was also married in this month.
  • The fight between Banu Qaynaqaa took place between the battle of Badr and Uhud.
  • The battle of ‘Uhud’ also took place.
  • The Prophets grandson Hussain (R.A) was born.
  • The Prophet  (S.A.W) married Umme Salamah (R.A).
  • Imam Bukhari (R.A) was born on a Friday of this month.

Deaths in Shawwal

  • The Prophet (S.A.W) uncle Abu Talib passed away in this month.

 11) Dhul Qa’dah 

Dhul Qa’dah is the eleventh month of the Islamic calendar. Taken from the word “qa’da” which means to sit. This is the third sacred month in which warfare was forbidden. People would prepare for Hajj during this month.

Some important events during that took place during this month:

  • The battle of ‘Khandaq (trench) or Ahzab’ took place.
  • The Truce of Hudabiah took place in this month
  • Dhul Qa’dah was the month of Bait-e-Rizwan (The oath of allegiance named Rizwaan)
  • The Prophet (S.A.W) returned to the city of Makkah to perform an Umrah with his companions.

 12) Dhul Hijjah 

Dhul Hijjah is the final month of the Islamic calendar and means the month of Hajj. As we know Hajj is the fifth pilar of Islam. This alone gives us an indication of how important this month is!

Some important events during that took place during this month:

  • The Prophet (S.A.W) performed the farewell Hajj and gave the historic sermon known as the “Farewell Sermon”.
  • Umar (R.A) conquered Egypt with thw army he sent.
  • Uthmaan (R.A) was appointed the third Caliph.
  • Fatimah (R.A) was married to Ali (R.A) – the fouth Caliph.

Deaths in Shawwal

  • Umar (R.A) was martyred.
  • Uthmaan (R.A) martyred.

Related: 6 Acts of Worship During the First 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah

 Some Final Words 

As Muslims it’s important for us to have a basic understanding of our Islamic calendar so we’re able to understand why certain things are done in certain months and why some months are more blessed than others.

This allows us to not only prep our worship more efficiently but ultimately become closer to Islam and in turn our creator Allah (S.W.T).

I pray this article has helped you in way shape or form. If you enjoyed reading, be sure to check out our other articles as well.

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