The Islamic and Jewish Calendars

  The names of the twelve Islamic months are as follows, I have specified in what month Muslim festivals or holidays happen and which days are fasting days, there are 32 Muslim fasting days (assuming a 30 day Ramadhan).:

  1. Muharram: On the 10th, is a fasting day, commemorating the martyrdom of Husain (the grandson of the Prophet) and also when Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea.

  2. Safar

  3. Rabiul-Awwal: On the 12th, when the Prophet's Birthday is celebrated by some Muslims.

  4. Rabi-uthani

  5. Jumadi-ul-Awwal

  6. Jumadi-uthani

  7. Rajab

  8. Sha'ban

  9. Ramadhan: This is the holiest month, the month of fasting, when the Qur'an was first revealed. It is concluded by Eid Al-Fitr (the first Eid).

  10. Shawwal

  11. Dhil-Q'ada

  12. Dhil-Hijja: This is when Muslims from around the world make Hajj to Mecca in Arabia. It is concluded by Eid Al-Adha (the Eid of the Sacrifice), when the near sacrifice of Abraham's son is commemorated. The Day of Arafat is an Islamic Holy Day, the Day falls on the 9th day of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic Calendar. This happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan. It is the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage and the day after it is the major Islamic Holiday of Eid ul-Adha. At dawn of this day, Muslim pilgrims will make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plain of Arafat. It was from this site that Muhammad gave his famous Farewell Sermon in his final year of life. It is said that a believer who fasts on this day expiates for the past year's sins and the sins for the year coming. It is thus a day of forgiveness from sins, similar to the Jewish day of Yom Kippur.



The months of the Jewish calendar: I have specified in what month Jewish festivals or holidays happen and which days are fasting days, there are 5 in Judaism (6 for firstborn males).

  1. Nissan: 15th-22nd is Pesach (Passover).

  2. Iyar: 18th is Lag B'Omer

  3. Sivan: 6th-7th is Shavuot

  4. Tamuz: 17th is a Fast Day commemorating 3 events and is the beginning of the 3 weeks before Tishah B'Av

  5. Av: The 9th is a Fasting Day when the 2 Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed.

  6. Elul: A month in preparation for the High Holidays

  7. Tishrei: The Holiest Month, as 5 of the Jewish Holidays are in this month including Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

  8. Cheshvan

  9. Kislev: The 25th of Kislev to Tevet 2 is Chanukah.

  10. Tevet: 1st-2nd is Chanukah. The 10th is a Fast Day, when Jerusalem was sieged.

  11. Shevat

  12. Adar I: On the 11th is the Fast of Esther and Purim is on the 14th.

  13. (Adar II): This is in a leap year to synchronize the lunar calendar with the solar calendar.


Both religions are run by the lunar calendar meaning that every month is initiated by the sighting of the New moon. The Islamic calendar is a purely lunar calendar, meaning that an Islamic year is only 354 days long. Which means that holidays such as Ramadhan come 11 days earlier every year. For more information, see this link; The Islamic Calendar.

The Jewish calendar is a lunisolar calendar because it tracks the seasons. In Judaism, many of the holidays are associated with certain seasons. So to keep the holidays in those respective seasons and still be a lunar calendar, the Jewish calendar compensates by adding an extra month as needed to realign the months with the seasons, which uses a 19 year cycle. The sighting of the New Moon every month is called Rosh Chodesh in Hebrew. For more information, see The Jewish Calendar.