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How do you convert a Gregorian year to Hijri?

The Islamic calendar (Hijri) is a lunar calendar. It started in 622 CE. With a simple formula, it is easy to convert dates.

Last updated: May 2, 2021

Meaning of Hijri

The name هِجْرة (hijrah) describes the migration of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in June 622 CE. This also marks the beginning of the Islamic or (lunar) Hijri-calendar, so called التَّقْوِيم الهِجْرِيّ الْقَمَرِيّ

The Muslim calendar is a lunar calendar and doesn’t follow a sol­ar system like the Gregorian or Persian calendar.

Normally, in Arabic, it is marked by the letter ھ. It is written in the form that it has at the beginning of the word (ھ) – and not the stand-alone form: ه.

I am not sure why; maybe so it is not confused with the number 5. The Gregorian or Christian calendar is marked by the Arabic let­ter مmeaning: مِيلادِيّ, A.D.

So let us come back to our question:

Which (Gregorian) year is, for example, 1435 Hijri? First of all, one lunar year has about 354 days. We need to convert it. The easiest way is to use a corrective factor (354 di­vided by 365) ≈ 0.97.

A formula

1. If you want to convert a Hijri date to a Gregorian date, you need to multiply the original Hijri year by 0.97 and add 622:

Year Gregorian ≈ Year Hijri × 0.97 + 622

2. If you want to convert a Gregorian date to a Muslim date, you have to subtract 622 from the year and multiply it by 1.03:

Year Hijri ≈ (Year Gregorian– 622) × 1.03

In our example, the result is: 1435 x 0.97 + 622 = 2013.95

It is the year: 2014

Tools to convert Hijri dates

Many websites are offering automatic conversion. I can recommend the following two:

Are you interested in history? Then check out these articles:

picture credit: Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay

Any thoughts or ideas about this? Leave a comment!

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