An article I wrote in collaboration with Team Ayeina:
A calendar, as Wikipedia explains, is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial or administrative purposes. Wherein the time period is divided in days, weeks, months and years. These periods are usually synchronized with the cycle of moon or sun.
Islam, being the complete guidance of life, also takes into account the importance of having a time & calendar system. Allah SWT mentions in the Holy Quran:
It is He who made the sun a shining light and the moon a derived light and determined for it phases – that you may know the number of years and account [of time]. Allah has not created this except in truth. He details the signs for a people who know.” [Quran, 10:5]
It is interesting to note that Allah SWT has mentioned the phases of both the sun & the moon in respect of formation of calendars as both are used by mankind to mark their days, however speaking specifically of Islamic calendar, Allah SWT mentions:
“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous (who fear Him).” [Quran, 9: 36]
Therefore we find out that the Islamic, Muslim, or Hijri calendar:
- Is a lunar calendar based on moon cycle
- Whose epoch is the migration year of Muhammad ﷺ
- Is majorly used to determine Islamic holidays and Rituals
- Has 12 months and each month has either 29 or 30 days depending on the dawn of new moon (hence 354 or 355 days in a year).
- Has 4 sacred Islamic months wherein fighting is prohibited; as identified by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in a Hadith:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said. “(The division of time has turned to its original form which was current when Allah created the Heavens and the Earths. The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul-Qa’ da, Dhul-Hijja and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumadi-ath-Thaniyah and Sha ban.” [Bukhari]
Since Islamic calendar is associated with Islamic Rituals, a significant part of raising Practicing Muslim kids is teaching them about Islamic Months and its importance.
One of the main activities me and my kids did before the advent of Ramadan 2017 was learning the names of Islamic Months. My kids are younger than 4 years so our activities were mainly restricted to singing and crafting but here-under are several ways to teach Kids about Islamic Months.
Alhamdulillah, now we have so many music-free Islamic songs and materials available for our kids. The benefits are multiple – our kids can associate themselves with these songs way more than the ‘ba ba black sheep’ and they learn faster.