Start of Hijri Islamic Year and its Importance

 Start of Hijri Islamic Year and its Importance

 Allah has taught us the principles of living, doing business, and spending life with other humans. He has also taught us how to divide time and months. There are two things that measure time. The sun and moon are the resources to measure time. (Al Rehman 5:55)

Allah has taught us the principles of living, doing business, and spending life with other humans. He has also taught us how to divide time and months. There are two things that measure time. The sun and moon are the resources to measure time. (Al Rehman 5:55)

“There are four sanctity months out of these twelve. In these months, Allah created heaven and earth”.

When people asked Hazrat Muhammad s.a.w about these four months of sanctity, he said it is haram for Muslims to indulge in war or fight during this time(Al Bakarah 2:217).

According to hadis of Bukhari, Hazrat Muhammad s.a.w said these four months are Rajab, Ziqad, Zilhaj, and Muharram. Hijri calendar is based on the moon and is called “kamri calendar”.

During the khilafat of Hazrat Usman, a committee was made, and this calendar was created as part of the Islamic calendar. This calendar started from the time of the migration of Hazrat Muhammad s.a.w. When Hazrat Muhammad s.a.w was born, twelve different calendars were used worldwide.

Ibrahimin was the king of that time then and made a temple from diamonds. He asked people to visit him and wanted to abolish Kabah. He took an army with many elephants towards Holy Kabah. What happened to them was shocking. Allah threw pebbles on them from the sky, and they lost it. The year when this incident occurred, a new calendar started which was Aam al Fail, the calendar of elephants.

From the time of Hazrat Muhammad s.a.w, many such calendars were used. The same was the case during Hazrat Umar r.a time. After thirteen years of naboot, Hazrat Muhammad s.a.w migrated at the age of fifty-three and Hijri calendar started at that time. Sahaba karam Rizwanullah Alaihim Azmaiyen was using this calendar.

After this, the Seerat nigar hijri calendar started on 1 Hijri, and on 3rd Hijri, the Hijri calendar started.

Hazrat Muhammad s.a.w was born in Rabi Ul Awal year 11 Hijri. During the time of Hazrat Ali r.a khilafat, it was decided that a calendar should be used which was easy to use and understand. Hazrat Usman wanted to use this calendar, but Hazrat Ali suggested that it should start from Muharram and then Muharram became the first month of the Hijri calendar. 

Some people complain that both sun and moon are used for telling time so why are we only using the moon for deciding the time? The answer to this is Christian calendar is based on sun and using only the moon is not non-Shiah compliant. It is also according to Islam and the Quran.

When Hazrat Muhammad s.a.w, Christian calendar was used, and according to that, it was 571 of the christian calendar. The reason of using moon in Islam is because Islamic Ibadat are related to both the moon and the sun. It is an order of Shariah to give zakat according to Hijri year based on the moon.

“O Hazrat Muhammad s.a.w, tell them to use it for giving zakat and telling time”. (Al Bakarah 158)

Therefore, Hazrat Muhammad s.a.w said to use the Hijri calendar for giving zakat. If someone uses the calendar of months January, February, etc for giving zakat, zakat will be accepted but the Qamari year is 10 days shorter than the Shamsi year hence it will make a difference of 360 days after 36 years. It will be required to give 1 year of zakat after 36 years when using the shamsi calendar. Therefore, the easy way is to give zakat during the month of Muharram or Ramazan, shawal, and Rabu ul awal.

The linkage of the month of Ramzan to the moon is a blessing for us, it comes in all seasons including winter, summer, autumn, and spring. If it was fixed according to another calendar, then it would only come in one specific month. This would have made it difficult to fast if it only came in summer.

There is one Ibadat which is linked to the sun by Allah. In the early morning when sunrise occurs and sun is at 18 degree, the time of fajar starts. This morning is called Sadiq. After sunrise, the time of fajar is finished. When the sun is almost above your head and moves towards the west (east for Pakistan), this is the time of Zawal and the time of Zuhr starts.

When the shadow of one person becomes equal to another person’s shadow, the time of Zuhr finishes and Asar starts. The time of asar remains till the sunset. Then the time of magrib starts and remains until the sun disappears towards the west and it becomes all dark. The time of Ishah starts, and it remains until the sadiq starts and the sun is at 18 degree. The time of all five prayers is linked to the sun.

This is all created by Allah. You will be surprised when you study astronomy. You will understand that it is easiest to use the sun for measuring time and there is no need to use binoculars for seeing the moon. There is also no need to use any diary or calendar for it.

You can see the moon and do suhoor and iftar. Then why Mualanas make it such a big deal and announce the seeing of the moon at 12am? A man said that he would make a four-year calendar according to science. When that man made this claim, on the same day, a student of Jamia Ashrafia made a calendar of 100 years which was not made on rough estimates but based on accuracy. Based on every month, a 200-year calendar is available in the market.

At Jamia Ashrafia, students are taught this art. Hazrat Maulana Musi used to teach it and there are two books based on it.  One is Falakiyat zari and falakiyat kabri. These books are studied by MSc students at Punjab University.

Now, a complete exists and their biggest institution is in Karachi which can tell 15 days ahead about the sight of the moon.

In surah Bakrah, ayat 163 where it talks about the commandments of Ramzan, it says:

“The one who observes the start of this month from his eyes can start the fasting”.

Even if binoculars are not available, or Royat Hilal committee does not exist, a person can start fasting by seeing the moon through his naked eye. An educated person would know the presence of the moon is not important in shariat, seeing the royat is valid. These diaries and science tell us about the presence of the moon, not the royat.

May Allah guide us to learn the importance of shamsi and qamari calendars and practice our ibadat according to them.

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