Announcement

  • NEW!   We have released a country specific Hijri calendar for 1438. Please click Hijri calendar 1438 to download it for your country.
  • NEW!   We have released Islamic calendar for Gregorian year 2017.Please click Islamic calendar 2017 to download it for your country.

FAQ

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The Makkah Calendar is the Islamic Calendar/Hijri Calendar for the holy town of “Makkah”. It is based on the predicted visibility of the new moon. Our work enlarges upon the traditional Islamic idea of beginning the new month when the first crescent is observed in the evening sky, as reported by two reliable witnesses. The scientific calendar for Makkah has been calculated using modern astronomical methods which make it quite possible to establish an accurate calendar for Makkah decades in advance.
The Makkah Calendar calculations are based on the new moon birth data provided by the US Naval Observatory and on Visibility Curves which are based on Yallop’s algorithm for predicted visibility of the young crescent. This algorithm has been much improved upon by Syed Khalid Shaukat from Washington, USA. The visibility curves we have used have been provided by him.

There follows a simple explanation of Makkah Calendar calculation methodology.
- On the evening of the day of the birth of the new moon, scrutinise if the new crescent is visible in Makkah [Makkah should be either in the green or in the blue zone of the Visibility Curves]. In that case, the new month will start on next day.
- If the new moon is not visible at Makkah, slide towards the west, further and further west of Makkah to scrutinise if the crescent is visible there. One obvious question which comes to the mind is where and when one should stop? The answer is: slide until it is time for the morning prayer (fajr) in Makkah.
- If the crescent is visible before fajr in Makkah, we consider the visibility as visibility referred to Makkah itself. The new month will start on next day. We call this concept extended visibility.
- If the crescent is not visible until fajr in Makkah, then we move on to the next day and repeat the above process.

Please read the Makkah Calendar introduction section to get a more detailed description of the Makkah Calendar calculation methodology. If you still have questions, please feel free to write us on [email protected].
We carefully observe the visibility curves on the evening after the birth of the new moon. If there is no visibility in Makkah itself, then we select a point to the west of Makkah which is in the green or blue belt of the visibility curves. The whole green and blue belt to the west of Makkah has to be explored. These zones represent easy visibility of the crescent with the naked eye. However, we insist that the point of observation be on land. Visibility in the open ocean cannot be attested by witness in the present circumstances.
At the selected point of observation on land, we calculate the best time of visibility of the new moon according to the formula given by Yallop (see N° 10 below):

      Best time of visibility of the new moon = Sunset time + 4/9 * (Difference between sunset and moonset time)

After having calculated the best time of visibility we compare this time with the time of fajr in Makkah. If the time of visibility is before fajr in Makkah, we consider that the visibility is acquired in Makkah itself. The month can begin next day. For easy comparison, we calculate all times in universal time (UTC).
The observational duration is the time one gets to observe the new moon after the sunset. It is difference between sunset and moonset time. For example, for a particular location, if sunset time is 18:30 and moonset time is 19:15, the observational duration is 45 minutes.
Yes, the Makkah Calendar is calculated as per Islamic laws. The Islamic tradition relies on the visibility of the crescent. As we said before, it is impossible to see the crescent at conjunction. We have to allow for a span of ten to twelve hours at least so that the crescent becomes visible in the evening sky. The Makkah calendar project accounts for precisely this. If there is no visibility in Makkah itself, extra time is obtained by waiting for the fajr prayer next morning. We have a photographic gallery on our site which totally confirms with actual photographs our predictions about the visibility of the crescent according to the Visibility Curves.
We understand the importance of the Islamic calendar and its religious impact. The Makkah Calendar calculations go through a strict quality assurance process before they are published on our website. There are three separate teams involved in the process. The first team does the calculations while the second team verifies each and every record manually to make sure that there isn’t any mistake. These calculations are then submitted to a third and senior most team for review. After its go ahead, results are published on our website.
Apart from this, each month, to verify our calculation and visibility predictions, we contact observatories and amateur astronomical groups near to the selected observational point and ask them to photograph the crescent. We then publish the photographs in our Photo Gallery section along with the necessary details. So far, we have never come across an instance which contradicts our results.
Visibility curves are a pictorial representation of the visibility conditions of the new moon plotted on a world map. These curves are based on Yallop’s algorithm and have been developed after years of research by Khalid Shaukat of moonsighting.com and Fawzi Kayali. Over the years, these calculations have been verified and refined by physically observing the moon. The visibility conditions of new moon are represented in four different colours namely

[A] Green – Easily visible with naked eye
[B] Blue – Visible if perfect conditions
[C] Gray – Optical aid to find moon
[D] Red – Visible with optical aid only

For Makkah calendar calculations, we have used visibility fields in the Green and Blue zones only. Every month, visibility curves for the next Islamic month are published in our Visibility Prediction section in three languages, English, Arabic and French. Please write to us at [email protected] if you need additional information.
Visibility curves are based on Yallop’s algorithm and have been developed after years of research by Khalid Shaukat of moonsighting.com and Fawzi Kayali. Every month, we contact observatories and amateur astronomical groups near to the selected point of observation to verify the correctness of the Visibility Curves and our calculations and so far, we have never come across any instance which contradicts results of Visibility Curves.
Yallop’s algorithm is the method developed by the British astronomer B.D.Yallop to predict the new moon visibility. Using Yallop’s algorithm, visibility conditions of the new moon can be plotted on a world map. Please read the following papers to get more details on Yallop’s algorithm.

http://www.phys.uu.nl/~vgent/islam/downloads/naotn_69.pdf
http://www.icoproject.org/pdf/yallop_1997.pdf
The sunset, moonset and new moon birth timings have been obtained from Multiyear Interactive Computer Almanac software (MICA) developed by the United States Naval Observatory. Please visit their webpage at http://aa.usno.navy.mil/software/mica/micainfo.php to get a better idea about this.
The MICA software provides almanac data only up to the Gregorian year 2050. Beyond that, the sunset, moonset and new moon birth timings have been obtained from the United States Naval Observatory’s webpage http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneDay.php
We are concerned only with the timing of the morning prayer in Makkah (the prayer of fajr). This is a solar timing defined by the break of true dawn when a white light spreads across the horizon to the east (al Fajr al Sadiq). The time of true dawn is well known in each place where Muslims pray. It depends on the time of the year and hardly varies over the years since the motion of the earth around the sun is very constant.
One can select the Hegirian Year starting from 1431 to see the Makkah Islamic Calendar for that particular year. Following is the brief description about each table. Please keep the Visibility Curve of that particular month handy to understand the description better.

Table 1 – The calendar table displays the Gregorian dates on which a particular Islamic month starts. This table is straight forward and easy to understand.
Table 2 – The calculation table displays the detailed calculations using which the calendar dates have been calculated. Following is the brief description of each of the columns of that table. All times in this table are in UTC.

[1] Gregorian Date: New moon born date and the date after that.
[2] New Moon Born At: Time at when the new moon was born.
[3] Selected point of observation: Co-ordinates of the selected point of observation
[4] Sunset Time: Sunset time at selected point of observation
[5] Moonset Time: Moonset time at selected point of observation
[6] Best Time to Observe the Moon: Best Time of visibility of the new moon at selected point of observation calculated using following formula provided by B.D.Yallop.
      Best time of visibility of the new moon = Sunset time + 4/9 * (Difference between sunset and moonset time)
[7] Makkah Fajr Prayer: Fajr prayer time at Makkah for the date next to the date provided in the column “Gregorian Date”
[8] New Moon Visibility Status: Status indicating new moon visibility chances on the date provided in the column “Gregorian Date”.
The Photo Gallery section contains new moon photographs taken every month. For each photograph, we publish details like the date and time on which it was taken, the author of the photograph, approximate location of the place where the photograph was taken etc. We try to get photographs from places as near to the point of observation as possible for that particular month. Please note that when the moon is visible at Makkah itself, we don’t publish photographs for that month. We try our best to get a new moon photograph every month but, sometimes, this is not possible due to bad weather conditions or unavailability of observers for some points of observation. Please visit our Photo Gallery section to get a better idea.
Every month, based on the point of observation selected, we contact astronomical observatories and amateur astronomy groups around the globe to take photographs of the new moon. They take photographs for us and send them to us to upload them in our Photo Gallery section.
The Crescent Visibility Prediction section contains visibility curves organized by Islamic months. At the start of each month, visibility curves for the next Islamic month are published in our Visibility Prediction section in three languages, English, Arabic and French.
The Makkah Calendar download section contains printable Islamic Calendars for Makkah. There are two versions of the calendar.

[1] Date wise Islamic Calendar: Makkah Islamic calendar for the current islamic year. The Date wise Islamic calendar is similar to the western Gregorian calendar. The calendar is in Arabic and English. All important Islamic festivals have been marked in the calendar.
[2] Month wise Islamic Calendar: Makkah Islamic calendar for the current Islamic year. This calendar is a printable Islamic calendar for Makkah which displays the starting date of each month. The calendar is available in Arabic and English.
Makkah Calendar Project is a result of research work done by Dr. Abdelhamid Bentchikou and Dr. Moiz Rasiwala. More information about the Makkah Calendar team can be found at http://www.makkahcalendar.org/en/about.php
At present, the Makkah Calendar website is maintained in three languages namely English, Arabic and French.
The Makkah Calendar Project is not sponsored by any government or any organization. This project is a result of research work done by Dr. Abdelhamid Bentchikou and Dr. Moiz Rasiwala. Please read more about Makkah Calendar team at http://www.makkahcalendar.org/en/about.php