Quranic References to Calendar and Months

Both the sun and the moon are described as “calculation devices” for the people (Quran 6:96). Thus, while we use the sun for determining the times for prayer, the lunar calendar is also used to determine the times for Ramadan and Hajj.

[6:96] At the crack of dawn, He causes the morning to emerge. He made the night still, and He rendered the sun and the moon to serve as calculation devices. Such is the design of the Almighty, the Omniscient.

Specifically, the phases of the moon are cited as a timing device for the people in Quran 2:189 and 10:5.

[2:189] They ask you about the phases of the moon! Say, “They provide a timing device for the people, and determine the time of Hajj. …

[10:5] He is the One who rendered the sun radiant, and the moon a light, and He designed its phases that you may learn to count the years and to calculate. GOD did not create all this, except for a specific purpose. He explains the revelations for people who know.

God makes it very clear in the Quran that there are twelve months. We are also told that four of these months are sacred (months 12, 1, 2, 3).

God’s System: Twelve Months Per Year*

[9:36] The count of months, as far as GOD is concerned, is twelve.* This has been GOD’s law, since the day He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred. This is the perfect religion; you shall not wrong your souls (by fighting) during the Sacred Months. However, you may declare all-out war against the idol worshipers (even during the Sacred Months), when they declare all-out war against you, and know that GOD is on the side of the righteous.

[9:37] Altering the Sacred Months is a sign of excessive disbelief; it augments the straying of those who have disbelieved. They alternate the Sacred Months and the regular months, while preserving the number of months consecrated by GOD. They thus violate what GOD has consecrated. Their evil works are adorned in their eyes. GOD does not guide the disbelieving people.

*9:36 The word “month” is mentioned in the Quran 12 times, and “day” 365 times.

 

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