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Hijri calendar: Not just a dating system

The first in the Islamic year started in approximately 622AD during the Prophet’s (pbuh) migration from Makka to Medina as commanded by Allah (swt) to escape the persecutions of the Makkan idolaters. It became official Islamic dating system during the reign Umar Ibn Khattab in 638AD. Four of the Hijri months are considered as sacred and devoid of any rancour or hostilities. They are Muharram, Rajab, Dhul – Qadah and Dhul – Hijjah.
The Hijri Calendar is therefore not just a dating system but bears lots of implications which include religious, social, economic, medical and legal on the life of every Muslim, whether individually or collectively.
One of the religious implications is that of maturity to take up Islamic rites as compulsory at age 10 using the Hijri calculation. Hajj is performed in the month of Dhul – Hijjah while fasting  29 or 30 days is in the month Ramadhan.
The social implications include the Zakkat rate which is compulsory to be paid on a property that has remained with the owner for a year of the lunar months.
Islamically, a child is considered weaned after attaining the age of two years of the Hijri calendar.
Medical implications include the calculation of pregnancy and embryonic development done over 40 days consecutively of the lunar months. The post child birth blood flow is considered stopped after four lunar months while that of menstrual flow goes through 28 days cycle.
Economically, trades, transactions and debt contracts are also documented using the Hijri dates. By legal implication, the waiting period “Idah” before the dissolution of an Islamic marriage is three months of menstrual cycle. Intentional breaking of Ramadhan fast and killing of a Muslim both take the expiation of three consecutive months of fasting.
These and many more are the imperatives of the Hijri Calendar for a Muslim as not just another dating system but as one in which the whole of his life is wrapped up in.
(teejaany@gmail.com)

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