- the lunar calendar used by Muslims and reckoned from A.D. 622: the calendar year consists of 354 days and contains 12 months: Moharram, Safar, Rabi I, Rabi II, Jumada I, Jumada II, Rajab, Shaban, Ramadan, Shawwal, Dhu 'l-Qa'da, and Dhu 'l-hijjah. In leap years the month Dhu 'l-hijjah contains one extra day. Also called Islamic calendar. See table under calendar.
* * *also called Hijrī calendar or Islamic calendardating system used in the Muslim world (except Turkey, which adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1925) and based on a year of 12 months, each month beginning approximately at the time of the New Moon. (The Iranian calendar, however, is based on a solar year.) The months are alternately 30 and 29 days long except for the 12th, Dhū al-Ḥijjah, the length of which is varied in a 30-year cycle intended to keep the calendar in step with the true phases of the Moon. In 11 years of this cycle, Dhū al-Ḥijjah has 30 days, and in the other 19 years it has 29. Thus the year has either 354 or 355 days. No months are intercalated, so that the named months do not remain in the same seasons but retrogress through the entire solar, or seasonal, year (of about 365.25 days) every 32.5 solar years.
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