Q: I knew that Muslims have their own calendar which is different than the one I’m used to.
How is that? Is it based on the Birthday of Mu’hammad?
A. Dear Sarah,
That is true Sarah. Arabs before Islaam, and also Muslims until today follow the lunar calendar for months. It depends on the
phases of the moon.
There are also 12 months in the lunar calendar, and each month is either 29 or 30 days long. Important occasions take
place in these months such as Fasting in the month of Rama’daan, and pilgrimage in the month of >thoo Al’hijjah.
Years in the Islaamic calendar are calculated from the year Prophet Mu’hammad (P.B.U.H.) immigrated from Makkah to Almadeenah which took place 1429 years ago.
Actually the idea to start a different annual calendar did not come until the time of the second ‘Kaleefah (Caliph) ‘Umar Bin Al’kattaab who though that it would be prude to date according to the year of immigration since it is a milestone in the history of Islaam.
Muslims love and respect Prophet Mu’hammad (P.B.U.H.), but his birthday does not have a religious or a ritual significance. Mu’hammad was man with the message, but he was not the message.
Yours in humanity,