Saudi Arabia: Calendar

Saudi Arabia: Calendar Last updated on Sunday 25th April 2010

Officially, Saudi Arabia uses the Islamic, or Hijri, calendar. Islamic dates are calculated from the year that the prophet Mohammed migrated (hijra) from Makkah to Medina in the year 622 AD. The Western method of designating Islamic dates is referred to in Saudi Arabia as A.H. (Anno Hegirae). For example, the year 1996 AD corresponds roughly to 1417 AH.

The Islamic calendar is based on a lunar year rather than the solar one used in the West. A lunar month, therefore, is the time between two successive new moons. Although the Islamic year contains twelve months, the lunar year is shorter than the solar year by eleven days. As a result, the holy days and the months themselves shift gradually from one season to another. It is important to remember that the Islamic year bears no relation to the seasons.

The months of the Islamic calendar are:

Moharram

Safar

Rabi Awwal

Rabi Thani

Jumad Awwal

Jumad Thani

Rajab

Shaban

Ramadhan

Shawwal

Dhul-Qudah

Dhul-Hijjah

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