1) Reflecting on the great wisdom behind the succession of the days and nights, months and years.
2) Among the reasons behind the creation of the sun and moon is that they are to be used to calculate time.
3) The wisdom of Allaah behind making Islamic calculations based on the sighting of the moon.
4) When and how the Hijri calendar started and the wisdom behind starting it with the month of Al-Muharram.
5) Muslims must base all dealings and records according to the lunar calendar.
6) The Musim nation must be distinguished and not follow other religions in their customs and manners.
All praise is due to Allaah Who created everything that exists and Who masterfully perfected his religion. I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah Who has Power over all things. I testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, the bearer of glad tidings, and the warner, who invites to Allaah's Grace by His leave and who is as a lamp - spreading the light of guidance. May Allaah have mercy on him, his companions and their true followers.
O people! Revere Allaah and always be conscious of him. Be aware that there is manifest wisdom in the alternation of the days and nights and in the succession of months and years. It is incumbent upon us that we utilise the days and nights by performing righteous deeds within them and differ from those that fill their time with evil deeds until death overtakes them.
Allaah has given us two indicators in the day and night; in the day there is the sun while at night there is the moon. Upon the emergence of each new day, life is renewed and every worshipper summons up his energy to practice more acts of devotion. It is because of this that Allaah has likened sleeping at night to death while likening waking up during the day to resurrection. He has said that which translates as: “It is He who takes your souls by night [i.e. when you sleep] and knows what you have committed by day. Then He revives you therein [i.e. by day] that a specified term [i.e. One’s decreed life span] may be fulfilled. Then to Him will be your return; then He will inform you about what you used to do” (Al An'aam: 60).
It is a manifestation of the mercy of Allaah towards His worshippers that He has made the sun and the moon follow exactly computed courses. By observing the sun, people can know the different seasons and by looking at the moon, people will be able to deduce the beginning and end of each month. Allaah has divided the year into twelve months as He said that which translates as: “Indeed, the number of months with Allaah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allaah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion [i.e. way], so do not wrong yourselves during them...” (At-Tawbah: 36).
Of the four sacred months, three are consecutive: Dhu’l-Qi’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Al-Muharram. The fourth is Rajab which lies between the months of Jumada Al-Aakhirah and Sha’baan.
An example of the easiness of Allaah's religion is that the calculation of the beginning and end of each Islamic month is based on the sighting of the moon. Therefore, every person will be easily informed of each new month, regardless of whether they are literate or not. The advent of a new month is known by the appearance of the crescent in the west after sunset; once the crescent is manifest, one month has come to an end and another has begun. Therefore, we also come to know that the day starts at the sunset and not at midnight, because the first day of the month is marked by the sunset of the last day of the previous month.
The Islamic calendar was first introduced during the era of the Amir Al-Mu’mineen, or leader of the believers `Umar ibn Al-Khattaab , may Allaah be pleased with him, during the sixteenth or seventeenth year after the Hijrah, or migration of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, sought the peoples advice on when the Hijri calendar should start. Some held that it should have started from the birth of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, whilst others thought that it should have begun from the very first day that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam began his mission. Another group believed that the calendar should have started from the emigration and the last group held that the calendar should have begun from the death of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, agreed with those who wished to start the Islamic Calendar with the Hijrah of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam due to the fact that this marked the point in history when Allaah differentiated between truth and falsehood by giving the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam real power and authority which was manifested in the form of the first Islamic State.
The companions were also consulted on which month should mark the beginning of the year; ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab and ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan, may Allah be pleased with them both, chose Al-Muharram due to it being a sacred month and because it follows the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah, which is when the Muslims perform Hajj, or the pilgrimage, which was the last pillar of Islam that Allaah enjoined upon the Muslims. Al-Muharram also follows the month in which the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam pledged allegiance to the Ansar (His Madeenan supporters) to emigrate to Madeenah and this pledge of allegiance was one of the introductory acts of emigration. Due to all these reasons, Al-Muharram was deemed the most suitable month to begin the Islamic Calendar.
Servants of Allaah! We must be thankful to Allaah for such an easy method of calculation. The Muslim nation must have a distinct and independent identity which is derived solely from the essence of Islaam. It is incumbent on the Muslim nation that it be distinguished from other nations as far as morals, manners and entire way of life are concerned. This nation cannot be a subservient one that is always tending towards the blind imitation of others; this kind of blind imitation will not entail any goodness or prevent any evil. On the contrary, it will cause the Muslim nation to become weak and depend on others and this will cause it to forget its past glories. This nation will never be reformed except by following the very same methodology that reformed it in the past. We have learned that the day starts at sunset, the month starts once the crescent is sighted and the year starts from the day of the emigration of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. This is the method followed by the Muslims of the past; their jurists recorded dates according to this method in their books when handling issues, such as the time of settling debts and other similar matters.
“And a sign for them is the night, We remove from it the [light of] day, so they are [left] in darkness. And the sun runs [on course] toward its stopping point. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing. And the moon - We have determined for it phases, until it returns [appearing] like the old date stalk. It is not allowable [i.e. possible] for the sun to reach the moon, nor does the night overtake the day, but each, in an orbit, is swimming.” (Yaa Seen: 37-40).