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 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.
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.
In This Article
Alternative Leap Years
- Bahá'í Leap Year
- Chinese Leap Year
- The Ethiopian Leap Year
- The Hindu Leap Year
- The Iranian Leap Year
- The Islamic Leap Year
- The Jewish or Hebrew Leap Year