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Islamic Calendar: The Month Of Rabīʿ al-Ākhir

Islamic Calendar: The Month Of Rabīʿ al-Ākhir

The month of Rabīʿ al-Ākhir (also known as Rabīʿ ath-Thānī) is upon us! What do you know about this Hijri month? Read on to increase your knowledge of Arabic and Islam insha’Allah!


Meaning of Rabīʿ al-Ākhir

In Arabic, Rabīʿ al-Ākhir is written as رَبِيع ٱلْآخِر and Rabiʿ ath-Thānī as رَبِيع ٱلثَّانِي.

In a previous blog article about the month of Rabīʿ al-Awwal, we went over the meaning of Rabīʿ which means spring. As for the word آخِر Ākhir, it comes from the root letters أ خ ر and means “last,” “ultimate,” “end” in Arabic, andٱلْآخِر Al-Ākhir therefore means “the last.” As a side note on the Arabic language – although not related to the month – the Hereafter is ٱلْآخِرَة al-Ākhirah.

The word ٱلثَّانِي ath-Thānī comes from إِثْنَان “two” and means “the second,” “the next,” “the other.”

Literally, Rabīʿ al-Ākhir therefore means “the last spring” and Rabiʿ ath-Thānī “the second, the other spring.” Since the months of the Islamic calendar were sometimes named after the weather conditions and seasons at the time they were named, it is likely that it was the end of spring when this month was named. And Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى knows best.


Chronological Order in the Hijri Calendar

The month of Rabīʿ al-Ākhir is the fourth month of the Islamic Hijri Calendar. This month comes after Rabīʿ al-Awwal and before Jumādā al-ʾAwwal (or Jumādā al-ʾŪlā‎).


When will Rabi’ al-Ākhir take place this year?

This year (2020), Rabīʿ al-Ākhir started on Monday, November 16.


Some Interesting Facts about the Hijri Calendar

  • In the Qur’an, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى says:

هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَاءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُورًا وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُوا عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ ۚ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّـهُ ذَٰلِكَ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ۚ يُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

“It is He who made the sun a shining light and the moon a derived light and determined for it phases – that you may know the number of years and account [of time]. Allah has not created this except in truth. He details the signs for a people who know.”

(Surah Yūnus, 10:5)

  • Muslims all around the world use the Islamic or the Hijri calendar to determine the beginning and end of the months and to demarcate religious events and holidays.
  • Each Hijri month starts with the beginning of the new moon cycle.
  • The Hijri calendar consists of 12 months dictated by the cycles of the moon.
  • The introduction of this calendar was rooted in resolving conflicts in the dating and marking systems at the time. During the time of the 2nd Khalifa (Caliph) Umar رضي الله عنه,  17 years after the Hijra (migration), this calendar was introduced.
  • Prior to this the Arabs used great events to name the years; such as ‘Year of the Elephant or عــام الــفــيــل’
  • The Prophet’s ﷺ migration to Madinah in 622 AD/CE (Muharram 1, 1 AH,) marks the beginning of the Hijri calendar.


Things we can do this month

Some Hijri months like Rabīʿ al-Ākhir do not carry any particular meaning in terms of specific acts of worship or Islamic celebrations. These months are perfect to continue building our good habits insha’Allah:

  • Revive the Sunnah by fasting on Mondays, Thursdays, and the White days (13th, 14th, and 15th Hijri days) of the month (which should fall on November 28, 29 and 30).
  • Donate money regularly and give sadaqah (charity).
  • Spend some time towards a good cause.
  • Continue learning about Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and grow our love for him.
  • Ramadan is just 5 Hijri months away insha’Allah! It’s never too early to prepare ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually.
  • Take advantage of the short days in the winter to make up missed fasts.
  • Increase voluntary prayers and supplications.
  • Increase time with Quran for recitation, memorization, and understanding.
  • Ask Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى for forgiveness and guidance.


May Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى accept it from all of us, Ameen!

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