The Hijri and Gregorian Calendars: Comparison and Conversion
Two calendars are in regular use in the Muslim world: the Gregorian and the Hijri. The Gregorian calendar is named after the Roman Catholic pope, Pope Gregory XIII, while the Hijri is named after the migration (hijrah) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from his homeplace, Makkah to the town of Madinah in 622 CE. Islamic rituals are directly based on the hijrah as the greatest historical landmark marking the beginning of the era for the spread of Islam and establishment of the new Muslim polity. Thus, for a Muslim the Hijri calendar is not merely a calendar but a matter of identity of which s/he should be proud. However, the Muslim experience of colonisation and the subsequent imposition of the Gregorian calendar have led to the marginalisation of the Hijri calendar. Consequently many events are not known by the Muslims by their Hijri date. Many do not know how to determine the equivalent Hijri date. The Gregorian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582, and underwent many modifications whereas the Hijri calendar remained as it started.