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The beginning of the Hijri calendar

Question

Is there any authentic Hadith which says the Islamic calendar started from when the first Wahi was revealed to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) or did it start after Hijra when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) reached Madinah.

Did the Islamic calendar start during the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) or during the time of the Sahabah?

Which calendar was used during the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam)?

 

Answer

The calendar before Islam

Prior to Islam, the  calendars were based on major international events. Initially it was from the ‘arrival of Adam (‘alayhis salam)’. This was replaced with a new calendar after the incident of Nabi Ibrahim (‘alayhis salam) in the fire, then the Arabs replaced that with the year in which the Ka’bah was built. This continued being replaced till the last renewal was of the ‘Year of the elephants’ – which was also the year of the birth of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) –

 

The Islamic calendar

The current Islamic calendar is based on the Migration (Hijrah) of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

This was agreed upon by the Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) in the era of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) in the year 17 A.H.

Prior to this the muslims would name each year after any major event that may have occurred during that year. This changed in the year 17 A.H. as mentioned above.

 

References for the above:

Al-i’lan bit Tawbikh, pgs.145-146 and Tarikh Dimashq, vol.1 pg.39-44

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

 

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar