Months and weekdays / الأَشْهُر وأَيّام الأُسْبُوع

Days and Months in Arabic

Months / الأَشْهُر

Understanding the concept of time, including months and calendars, plays a significant role in any language. In Arabic, this knowledge carries deep historical and cultural value.

The fundamental difference between the and Gregorian Hijri calendars lies in their basis. The Gregorian calendar is solar-based, where the duration of a year corresponds to the Earth’s revolution around the sun. This results in approximately 365.25 days in a year, which is why we have a leap year every four years to account for the extra time.

On the other hand, the Hijri calendar is lunar-based. A year corresponds to twelve lunar cycles, resulting in a year that is approximately 11 days shorter than a Gregorian year. Therefore, Islamic dates shift annually in relation to the Gregorian calendar. This difference explains why the month of Ramadan, for instance, occurs at different times in the Gregorian calendar each year.

Hijri calendar / التَقْوِيم الهِجْرِيّ

Muḥarram (sacred month)مُحَرَّم (شَهْر حَرام)
Ṣafarصَفَر
Rabīʿ al-ʾawwalرَبِيع الأَوَّل
Rabīʿ al-ʾakhīrرَبِيع الآخِر
Jumādā al-ūlāجُمادى الأُولى
Jumādā al-ʾakhīraجُمادى الآخِرة
Rajab (sacred month)رجب (شَهْر حَرام)
Shuʿbānشُعْبان
Ramaḍānرَمَضان
Shawālشَوال
Dhu al-qiʿda (sacred month)ذو القِعْدة (شَهْر حَرام)
Dhu al-ḥijja (sacred month)ذو الحِجّة (شَهْر حَرام)

Note: In the Islamic or Hijri calendar, there are four months that are considered sacred. These months hold a special place in the Islamic faith due to the religious observances that occur during these periods, and because they were considered a time of peace even in pre-Islamic times. The prohibitions against warfare during these months were meant to allow for safe travel and participation in pilgrimage and other religious activities.

Gregorian calendar / التَقْوِيم المِيلاديّ

English namesNames used in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine: (Classical Arabic inherited the names from the Babylonian and Hebrew calendars)Names used in Egypt, Sudan and Eastern Arabia (based on the old Latin names
Januaryكَانُون ٱلثَّانِييَنايِر
Februaryشُبَاطفَبْراير
Marchآذَارمارِس
Aprilنَيْسَانأَبْرِيل
Mayأَيَّارمايُو
Juneحَزِيرَانيُونْيُو
Julyتَمُّوزيُولْيُو
Augustآبأُغُسْطُس
Septemberأَيْلُولسِبْتَمْبَر
Octoberتِشْرِين ٱلْأَوَّلأُكْتُوبَر
Novemberتِشْرِين ٱلثَّانِينُوفَمْبَر
Decemberكَانُون ٱلْأَوَّلدِيسَمْبَر

Days of the week / أَيّام الأُسْبُوع

Every day of the week is represented by a distinct combination of the word for ‘day’ (يَوْم) and numerical forms, with Friday and Saturday as exceptions that possess their own titles. The term يَوْم may sometimes be omitted from this annexation construction known as إِضافة.

Sundayيَوْمُ الأَحَد
Mondayيَوْمُ الاِثْنَين
Tuesdayيَوْمُ الثُلاثاء
Wednesdayيَوْمُ الأَرْبِعاء
Thursdayيَوْمُ الخَمِيس
Friday (litt. day of the gathering)يَوْمُ الجُمُعة
Saturdayيَوْمُ السَبْت

Note: In Arabic, the week doesn’t start with Monday but Sunday, being the first day.

Note 2: Friday is called day of the gathering (يَوْم الجُمُعة) in Arabic as it’s the day Muslims are supposed to all gather at the mosque to listen to the imam’s speech and pray the noon prayer together.


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