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Islamic calendar facts for kids

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King Khaled airport exit stamp
Islamic Calendar stamp issued at King Khalid airport (10 Rajab 1428 / 24 July 2007)

The Islamic calendar (Arabic: التقويم الهجري) is a calendar. It is used to determine islamic holidays in most of Islam. It is a lunar calendar. It has 12 months, and 354 days in a non-leap year and 355 days in a leap year. This means that each year, the calendar is about 11 days shorter than a solar calendar, like the Gregorian. Islamic years are often called hijra years, because the first year of the calendar when the hijra occurred, that is when Prophet Muhammad went from Mecca to Medina.

The current Islamic Calendar year is 1442 H (AH = Anno Hegiræ = Hijri year).

Two Islamic countries (Iran and Afghanistan) use a different calendar, the Solar Hijri Calendar.

The hijiri calendar uses the moon.


A lunar month (one new moon to the next) lasts a little over 29.5 days. For convenience, a month is the Islamic calendar is either 29 days or 30 days, one after the other. So a 29-day month is followed by a 30-day month (29+30 is the same as 29.5+29.5). In most years, that means that a year of 12 calendar months last 354 days. But that "a little over" is 44 minutes every month so, to keep the calendar in step with reality, an extra day is needed nearly every third year, so these years are 355 days long.

Months Number Month name
in English
1 Muḥarram forbidden
2 Safar void
3 Rabīʿ al-Awwal the first spring
4 Rabīʿ al-Thānī or Rabī’ al-Ākhir the second spring
5 Jumādá al-Ūlá the first of dry land
6 Jumādá al-Ākhirah the last of dry land
7 Rajab honour
8 Sha‘bān scattered
9 Ramaḍān burning heat
10 Shawwāl raised
11 Dhū al-Qa‘dah the one of sitting
12 Dhū al-Ḥijjah the one of pilgrimage (Hajj)

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Calendario musulmán para niños

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