How did Hijri calendar start?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

When the Messenger of Allah migrated to Madinah, the Muslims did not have a calendar peculiar to them. Therefore, they accepted the migration of the Prophet as the beginning of the calendar and started to use phrases like, “one month after the migration of the Messenger of Allah, two months after the migration of the Messenger of Allah...”

It was used like that until the Messenger of Allah died. However, after that, it stopped. The caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr and the first four years of the caliphate of Hazrat Umar passed like that. There was a need for a calendar for the formal transactions and civil relations.

Thereupon, Hazrat Umar had a meeting with the Companions regarding the issue. Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas suggested the death of the Prophet, Talha b. Ubaydullah suggested the beginning of the prophethood, Hazrat Ali suggested the migration of the Prophet to Madinah and some others suggested the birthday of the Prophet being accepted as the beginning of the Muslim calendar. 

As a result of the negotiations of this committee that convened in the seventeenth or sixteenth year of Hijrah, the offer of Hazrat Ali was accepted. However, there was not an agreement on the first month of the calendar. Abdurrahman b. Awf suggested the month of “Rajab” because it was the first one of the forbidden months; Talha b. Ubaydullah suggested the month of Ramadan because it was the blessed month of Muslims; Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) suggested the month of Muharram because it was the beginning of the year. The offer of Hazrat Ali was accepted in this issue as well.

Thus, Muslims designed a calendar peculiar to them based on the lunar months and starting from the year when the Prophet migrated to Madinah. (az-Zabidi, Tajrid, 8/121-122)

Questions on Islam

In order to make a comment, please login or register