Dubai: Dubai’s Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) on Saturday announced the first electronic launch of the Hijri (Islamic year) calendar for the year 1442 AH (corresponding to 2020-2021 AD). There is no fee for using this service.
The Islamic new year 1442 AH will begin on August 23 this year, marking a national holiday.
The e-calendar will be available through IACAD’s social media platform “as a quick and easy procedure”. It also comes in line with IACAD’s adherence to the COVID-19 precautionary measures to ensure the safety of community members without the need to visit IACAD.
The public can view the daily Hijri calendar for the year 1442 AH through IACAD’s website and through its official social media platforms, in addition to subscribing to IACAD social service starting from the new Hijri year. More information can be sought through its toll free number 800600.
Decades of service
Dubai has been issuing a hard copy of the Hijri calendar since 1973 and now has introduced a digital version for the first time.
“The Hijri calendar is an important part of the Islamic cultural system, as Muslims have been chronicling the calendar since the succession of Omar Bin Al Khattab [the second caliph of Muslims], and the issuance of the Hijri calendar for Dubai goes back to Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum [late Ruler of Dubai] era. The first issuance of it was in 1393 AH – 1973 – in order to fix the history of the government registry,” Dr Hamad Al Shaikh Ahmad Al Shaibani, director-general of IACAD, said.
The Islamic is a lunar calendar, with the start and end dates of the month dependent on sighting each new crescent moon.
“A group of specialists are working together to set prayer times in Dubai and its suburbs… As well as a set of sermons, aphorisms [sayings], dates of religious and national events and official holidays during the year 1442 AH (2020-2021), which contributes in spreading the spirit of tolerance, coexistence and achieving more social cohesion among all segments of society.”
The Hijri calendar also displays scientific and astronomical updates and environmental information added to its contents. Included are timings for Ramadan, as well as a set of important dates for the Muslim community, such as the date of fasting Ashura, the Prophet’s birthday, the first day of Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha.
Dr Omar Mohammad Al Khatib, executive director of IACAD’s Islamic Affairs Sector said the Calendar Unit in the Research Department provides the notebook calendar at the beginning of each new Hijri year as a guide.
“The notebook calendar is talking about the stages of the Prophet’s biography and some major historical events that constituted major junctions and transformations in the life of the Islamic nation. It also a summary to the zodiac and horoscopes according to their chronological order to know the seasons and climatic features for planting seeds, fruit, vegetable trees, the cuttings of date palms and flowers, the ripeness of their fruits and the time of their harvest,” Al Khatib added.
Al Khatib said it also provides knowledge of the rainy season, the proliferation of fish and their availability in the markets, the season of fishing, all “according to the apparent causes.”
“[IACAD] is keen to support Dubai’s paperless strategy in order to enhance its online presence with the aim of developing its services in building digital and electronic trends in compliance with the directives of the leadership,” Buti Abdullah Al Jumairi, Executive Director of the Corporate Support Sector, IACAD, said.
“For the first time since the calendar issuance, IACAD launches the calendar as a soft copy, as the calendar was printed in previous years.”