( Country Specific Calendars are now ready to download on our website. Please click here to download the calendar for your country! )
Since several years we publish regularly a calendar for Makkah on our site, valid also for the whole of the Arabic peninsula. A calendar that is both in conformity with Sharia and scientifically accurate. We have also shown that the method we employ for calculating the calendar for Makkah is generalizable and utilisable for any other country in the world. Thus leading us towards establishing calendars for all countries in the world, calculable years in advance, rigorously faithful to the precepts of Islam, at the leading edge of present astronomical knowledge and – above all – free of all arbitrary national decisions. In fact, we already use this method in order to determine the dates for the beginning and end of Ramadan as well as the beginning of DhulHijjah.
After a great deal of investment in both time and in grey matter, we are proud to announce to our faithful readers that from 01-03-2015 onwards, we will publish on our site, year after year, a specific Hegirian calendar for each and every country in the world. We hope that our effort will contribute in a significant manner to the fulfilment of the Muslim community all across the world.
We outline below the method that we have used in order to establish a calendar for each country. Since we will give only a condensed version of the explanation, we invite our readers to refer to the detailed introduction of our calculation for the calendar for Makkah by clicking on this link. Our method for calculating specific calendars is the same in essence.
At the beginning of each Islamic month we publish the predicable visibility curves of the new moon on our site, covering the whole earth. These visibility curves are presented in different colour zones extending from certain naked eye visibility to the absence of any visibility even with powerful optical tools. Within these visibility zones we choose a point of reference just within the tip of the parabola representing the “blue zone”. The reason for choosing this particular reference point is amply explained in the introduction to the Makkah Calendar.
For each country in the world, we choose a point at the extreme east of the country. If Fajr at this point is after the visibility of the crescent (defined by the best time of visibility) at the point of reference in the blue zone, then the Islamic month will be considered as having begun in the country, just as if the moon had been visible in the country just after sunset. We choose the easternmost point in the country because if visibility is acquired before Fajr in the east, it will all the more be acquired further west, where Fajr is later. We have called this concept: “the concept of the extension of the visibility zone”.
We have to introduce a nuance in the choice of the easternmost point in each country. In fact, it happens that for some countries the easternmost point is lost in an uninhabited territory in the ocean, in the mountains, in virgin forest or in the desert. Thus, in practice, we define the easternmost point as the last inhabited and identified locality on a geographical map.
A second nuance has to be introduced for the particular cases of both China and Russia. Let us consider each case by turn:
China occupies a longitudinal spread from 74°E to 135°E. Although the country follows a single time zone (Beijing time), in practice the country functions differently in the east and in the west. Thus it seemed reasonable to us to define – for the frequent case where the totality of the country does not fall within a single visibility zone – two distinct calendars: for Eastern China and for Western China. Thus the reader will find two choices for China in the list of countries. The cities we have retained for the Fajr calculations for the two zones are respectively Fuyuan County, Jiamisu, Heilongjiang (48.4°N, 134.3°E) for Eastern China and Chengdu (30.7°N, 104.1°E) for Western China.
Russia, the largest country in the world, covers longitudinally the whole of the eastern hemisphere from 20°E onwards. In addition, it juts into a part of the western hemisphere, crossing the International Date Line, until 170°W. Since October 2014, Russia functions with 11 different time zones. However, it would not be reasonable at all to define 11 different calendars for Russia. Thus we have opted for three calendars, for the cases where all of the country is not covered by a single visibility zone. These calendars are: Eastern, Central and Western Russia. The localities we have retained for the Fajr calculations are respectively: Uelen (66.2°N, 169.8°W) for Eastern Russia, Yakutsk (62.0°N, 129.7°E) for Central Russia and Nizhnevartovsk (61.0°N, 76.6°E) for Western Russia. The reader will thus find three options for Russia in the list of countries.
The reasoning for China and for Russia does not apply to the two other very large countries of the world: USA and Canada. Our experience shows that, practically each month, both these countries fall within the extension of the zone of visibility in the Pacific Ocean. We will not fail to point out to our readers the cases that are not in conformity with this rule.
The case of Saudi Arabia is different. The very reason for the existence of our site, and its origin, lie in establishing an accurate calendar for Makkah. It so happens that the easternmost point of the country is in Shaybah (22.5°N 54.0°E). In practically all cases, the two calendars will be identical, Saudi Arabia not being a very big country. However, in the list for the countries, we have chosen a dual appellation for this country: Makkah/Saudi Arabia. In the rare cases where the two calendars are different we will publish both.
With the publication of reliable country specific calendars for the entire world, we hope to have taken a large step towards the unification of the Islamic world around the Word of God. The feat is particularly significant because we have already shown by strict combinatory analytics that the total and theoretical number of legitimate Islamic calendars in the world is 584 ( number of islamic calendars). Is it not a grace to be able –with the same scientific rigour – to be able to reduce this number to just one calendar by country, calculated and published month after month.
May the Almighty guide our efforts in this direction! God has promised: “And who is more faithful to His promise than God?” (Surah 9, Verse 111). Further, “God has promised to those amongst you who believe and do righteous deeds, that He will surely establish them as His lieutenants on earth, as He has done for those who lived before them. He has promised to establish firmly the religion that he has chosen for them, and to change their fear in security and peace.” (Surah 24, Verse 55)