The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, this means that it changes over time and the placement of each month will differ from previous years. Every month symbolizes a particular meaning and it comes in a systematic way.
Below, is a list of the Islamic months and what they stand for.
The word Muharram means ‘forbidden”. This is the first month in the Islamic calendar and it is perceived to be the second holiest month after Ramadan. This month came about to prevent the Arabs from fighting. Muslims in some arrears of the world observe this month through fasting. On the tenth day of this month is the day of Ashura.
This day is observed all over the Muslim Uma as it is marked the day the Prophet Musa obtained victory over the Egyptian Pharaoh.
This literally means ‘empty’. But it has also been said that most Islamic months are given names based on the seasons. Safar can also mean yellow so it follows that its named is derived from the season of autumn, wherein leaves of trees are yellow in color.
One thing we’re sure of is that the ideology behind his month is the time when the Arabs set out of their homes to fight their enemies.
The word Rabi means ‘spring’. Al-awwal means ‘in time’. So the word together means ‘the first spring’. This month is celebrated as it is believed to be the month of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. Which falls on either 12th or 17th. Muslims acknowledge this day in different ways although, the exact date is unknown.
Nevertheless, some Muslims don’t celebrate this day due to lack of evidence in either the Qur’an or the Hadith.
This is also known as Rabi’ al-thani. Just as mentioned previously, it is named after a particular season- winter to be precise. The month begins when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted.
The name of the month was derived from the word ‘Jumda’. Which is used to indicate dry parched land. Which symbolizes dry months.
Has the same origins of the previous month.
This month is derived from the word ‘Rajaba’- which means ‘respect.’ Just as Muharram, this month prohibits battles. When Prophet Muhammad sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah saying these exact words;
“Allāhumma bārik lanā fī rajaba wa shaʻbāna wa balligh-nā ramaḍāna”
This month states separation. This month was named at the time when the pagan Arabs were in search of water. “Laylat al-Bara’at” (Night of Records) is on the 15th of this month.
The word ‘Ramadan’ is derived from ‘Ar-ramda’ which means heat. This is a holy month since the holy Qur’an was revealed at this time. All Muslims in the proper condition should observe this month through fasting (which is one of the five pillars of Islam).
‘Shawwal’ means to carry or lift. This name was given because it is the time when female camels would carry a fetus (about to bring a calf in the world), so this month reflects a scarcity of milk. The first day of this month is known as Eid Al-fitr. This day marks the end of Ramadan. And it is observed by Muslims all over the globe.
This month means ‘master of truce’. Just as ‘Muharram’ and ‘Rajab’, this month also prohibits battles.
This month literally means ‘The month of Pilgrimage’. It also a month that prohibits battles. One of the five pillars of Islam- Hajj. This is a month that brings Muslims from all over the world to Mecca to visit the kaaba. And it is performed on the 8th 9th and 10th of this month. The next day, marks the ‘Day of sacrifice’ (Eid al-Adah).
The Islamic months are really important as it gives a guide to know the time of the year and to be prepared for events that are about to occur, it also gives historical perspectives about the evolution of these months.