As the anniversary of New Hijri Year is round the corner, Muslims all over the world are gearing up to commemorate this valued occasion. With all its values and lessons, one recalls the historical incidents of the scared journey of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Observing the occasion attracts the attention of many to realise its significance to Muslims and how different is the Islamic Calendar?
The New Year marks the migration journey of the Prophet from the city of Mecca to Madinah. This was the central historical occasion in the early days of Islam and it declared the start of the Islamic Calendar, announcing the foundation of the first Muslim state at that time. The Prophet’s journey between the cities marked a turning point in the Islamic history.
As another year is bidding farewell, a new one is approaching to remind humanity of the glorious memories of the Prophet’s migration journey. The blessed migration reflected an honourable challenge for human excellence and presented several lessons of patience, control, knowledge and wisdom. It stands as an improvement for the future generations to take advantage of, so they will be able to clear up all the difficulties and overcome the hardships they come across during lifetime.
The Almighty Allah assigned the Prophet as a Messenger for entire humanity and bestowed him with guidance to renew the call for Islam; the religion of other Prophets and Messengers who came before him. All of them in succession conveyed the religion, which Allah accepts to their respective audiences until the religion was fully completed by revealing the Holy Quran to the last of the Prophets, Muhammad.
As the verse confirms: "Say you we believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes of Al Asbat, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we submit to Allah in Islam.”
In reference to the difference between the Gregorian and Islamic calendars, they are totally different in terms of the names of months and dates. In the Islamic Calendar, months consist of 29 or 30 days based on the moon sight while in the Gregorian calendar consist of either 30 or 31 days and they are fixed in rotation. However, both are similarly consisting of 12 months, but the ones in the Islamic Calendar are different than the Gregorian ones.
There was a highlight to the Islamic Calendar and its months in the Holy Quran as clarified in the verse: “They ask thee the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in the affairs of men and for Pilgrimage.” The number of months is also stated in the verse: “The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve in a year. So ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; Of them four are sacred; that is the straight usage so wrong not yourselves. Therein, and fight the Pagans”.
As a matter of fact, the Prophets’ journey came post his advice to his companions to migrate to a city called Habasha where there was a just Christian king who welcomed Muslims and believed in them. When the number of believers increased in Madinah, Allah revealed to the Prophet to migrate to it. After that, all Muslims started migrating one after another in compliance to the order of Allah and in obedience to the order of the Prophet.
Generally, the Prophet's migration to Madinah started a new era, so he could unite all believers as if they all had a heart of a single man. It was a dawn that enticed millions of people from every corner of the universe to believe in the Prophet Muhammad and convert to Islam.