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The Islamic Leap Year

The tabular Islamic Hijri calendar has 11 leap years in a 30-year cycle. An extra day is added to the last month of the year during the Islamic leap year.


The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Hajj.

The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca occurs during the month of Dhu 'l-Hidjdja, which is one day longer in leap years.


Lunar Calendar

The Hijri calendar is a purely lunar calendar and contains 12 months that are based on the Moon phases.

Different From Civil Calendar

In this sense, it is very different from solar calendars, like the Gregorian calendar used as the civil calendar around the world. Solar calendars are based on the length of the tropical year, which is defined by Earth's revolution around the Sun. Leap years are added to keep the calendars in sync with solstices and equinoxes.

Pilgrimage Month

During a Hijri leap year, one day is added to the last month, making it 30 days instead of 29 days long. This month, Dhu 'l-Hidjdja, is also referred to as the month of the Hajj – the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Hijri calendar has a 30-year cycle with 11 leap years of 355 days and 19 years of 354 days. In the long term, it is accurate to about one day in 2500 years.

The leap year occurs in the 2nd, 5th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 18th, 21st, 24th, 26th, and 29th years of the 30-year cycle. Leap months are forbidden by the Qur'an. The calendar is based on the Qur'an and its proper observance is a sacred duty for Muslims.

Topics: Leap Year, Calendar

In This Article


Alternative Leap Years

  1. Bahá'í Calendar Leap Year
  2. Chinese Calendar Leap Year
  3. Ethiopian Calendar Leap Year
  4. Hindu Calendar Leap Year
  5. Persian Calendar Leap Year
  6. Islamic Calendar Leap Year
  7. Jewish Calendar Leap Year

Leap Years in Other Calendars

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