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Andrei Tretyakov, inscriptor, creounity

and Creative Force
2009.

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Lunar Hejira (Arab countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen etc; also works for Mughal coins)

  • Direct conversion
  • Reverse conversion

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Precise Lunar Hejira date converter accurate to within one day:

date processing from the Gregorian cal. to the Lunar Hejira and back again.
Please type in numerals only, i.e. 3 or 03 instead of March!

You can share a link to this ( ) precise Lunar Hejira date converter


Please enter the date in numbers, then press Calculate ✓ button

Day
Month
Year
Convert to the Lunar Hejira date (from the Gregorian date)
Convert from the Lunar Hejira date (to the Gregorian date)
Calculate

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Month
serial number
Name of the month
in the Lunar Hejira
Name of the month
in the Gregorian cal.
1 Muharram January
2 Safar February
3 Rabi' al-Awwal
(Rabi I)
March
4 Rabi' al-Thani
(Rabi II)
April
5 Jumada al-Awwal
(Jumada I)
May
6 Jumada al-Thani
(Jumada II)
June
7 Rajab July
8 Sha'aban
(Shaaban)
August
9 Ramadan September
10 Shawwal October
11 Dhu al-Qi'dah
(Thul-Qiaadah)
November
12 Dhu al-Hijjah
(Thul-Hijja)
December

  • Chronological system info
  • Images of coins

The Lunar Hejira and the countries that adopted it

The Arabian lunar calendar (also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar) is known as the Lunar Hejira. Hejira (الهجرى,   listen to the pronunciation of this word) is an Arabic word, that in English means the commencement of migration; the starting point of moving from place to place. This calendar is nowadays widely used in many Muslim countries of Asia, the Middle East and Northern Africa.

This is a list of countries that have adopted the Lunar Hejira and that are currently using it, and also those which used the Lunar Hejira in the XX-th century:

In Asia and the Middle East:

  • Afghanistan (until 1919 AD). 1 Afghani = 100 Pul.
  • Bahrain. 1 Dinar = 1,000 Fils.
  • Iran (until 1925 AD). Monetary unit is Rial.
  • Iraq. 1 Dinar = 100 Fils.
  • Jordan, the Hashemite Kingdom of. 1 Dirham = 100 Fils;
    1 Dinar = 1000 Fils = 100 Piastres.
  • Kuwait. 1 Dinar = 1,000 Fils.
  • Maldives. 1 rufiyaa = 100 laari.
  • Oman. 1 Saidi Rial = 1,000 Baisa.
  • Palestinian autonomy. 1 Dinar = 100 Mils.
  • Qatar. 1 Rial = 100 Dirhams.
  • Saudi Arabia. 1 Riyal = 20 Girsh; 1 Girsh = 5 Halala;
    Thus, 1 Riyal = 100 Halala.
  • Syria (the country in which the biological father of Steve Jobs,
    former CEO of Apple, Inc., was born). 1 Pound = 100 Piastres.
  • Turkey (until 1928 AD). 1 Kurush = 40 Para; 1 Lira = 100 Kurush.
  • United Arab Emirates. 1 Dirham = 100 Fils.
  • Yemen. 1 Rial (Riyal) = 100 Fils; 1 Dinar = 1,000 Fils.

In Northern Africa:

  • Algeria. 1 Franc = 100 Centimes.
  • Egypt. 1 Pound = 100 Piastres;
    1 Piastre = 10 Milliemes.
  • Libya. 1 Dinar = 1,000 Dirham.
  • Mauritania. 1 Ouguiya = 5 Khoums
    (only ouguiya coins were minted).
  • Morocco. 1 Dirham = 100 Santimat.
  • Sudan. Monetary unit is Sudanese Pound.
  • Tunisia. 1 Franc = 100 Centimes;
    1 Dinar = 1000 Milliemes.

If you want to get an overall impression of the area of use of the Lunar Hijra in the world, refer to this map.

Countries with a red outline make use of the Lunar Hejira at present, whereas countries with a green outline are known to have used the Lunar Hejira in the past.

You are also welcome to take a look at the identification table for coins of the modern Arab states. This table contains 23 colour images.

[ Added on November 5th, 2012 ] If you need a visual aid to understand Kufic script and date inscriptions (an ancient form of Arabic script consisting of straight lines and angles, often with elongated verticals and horizontals; it was often used in 8th10th centuries, also on coins of that period) here is an example for you (click on the link to view the whole image in a new tab). It should be noted that some parts of the above-mentioned image involve revised data from the book Arabic coins and how to read them by Richard J. Plant, 2nd edition, 1980 Seaby, London.

Lunar Hejira origination and common structure

Both the Gregorian and Lunar calendars have their base point associated with significant events in the relevant religion.

For instance, AD, or anno Domini indicates years numbered from the supposed year of the birth of Christ; and BC, or before Christ indicates years numbered back from the supposed year of the birth of Christ. As far as the Muslim calendar is concerned, the Prophet Muhammad and his followers in Mecca migrated to Medina in the year 622 AD. This event, the Hijra, also spelled as Hejira, marks the beginning of the Islamic (Muslim, Hijri) calendar. The Hejira was an event of exceptional importance for the whole Muslim world, and therefore in 638 AD the Lunar Hejira calendar was introduced by the command of caliph Omar, and the beginning of this new era was attributed to the year 622 AD the year when Muhammad and his followers migrated to Medina. The initial point of the Hejira calendar is the 1st of Muharram, Muharram being the first month of the year. Hence, the 1st of Muharram is like January 1st in the Gregorian interpretation. This very date corresponds to Friday, July 16th, 622 AD (or, to be more precise, the night from July 15th to July 16th, as the Muslim day begins on the eve of that date, right after sunset, when the Moon appears).

The Muslim calendar is solely based on the variation of moon phases; therefore it is purely Lunar and doesnt depend on solar motion.

The Muslim year is always shorter than the solar year: it is 10, 11 or even 12 days shorter, depending on leap years. Hence, as the time moves forward, the beginning of the Muslim year moves from spring to winter, afterwards from winter to autumn, then from autumn to winter and, finally, returns again to spring. This is why there is no summer, winter, spring or autumn months in the Lunar Hejira. They are constantly migrating round the seasons of the year.

Formulæ for direct and reverse date conversion

The approximate formula for converting the Moslem date to the Gregorian date is as follows (corrections are implied to be applied; LH stands for Lunar Hejira):

Date AD = Date LH (Date LH / 33) + 622.

Hence, the backward calculation formula is:

Date LH = (33 × (Date AD 622)) / 32.

Again, both of these formulas wont give you precise results, and a 1 year calculation error is possible due to the reasons described above. For instance, 2010 AD corresponds to both 1431 LH and 1432 LH.

Coins of the Ottoman Empire and some other Muslim countries used double dating where on one side the ruler's accession year (AY) is specified in the Lunar Hejira, and on the other side of the coin the ruler's regnal year (RY) is shown. Let's take a look at the following coin:

This is a silver Ottoman coin, its nominal value is 2 kurush. It was minted during the reign of Mehmed V, the 35th Ottoman Sultan. If you want to find out the year of minting of this coin and other Muslim coins that are dated likewise, you should make use of the following formula:

DateLH = AY + RY 1.

It is necessary to subtract one year because the 1st regnal year always coincides with the accession year, so if we don't subtract it, we would count it twice. The LH year that we get as a result should then be entered into the converter, this is how we finally find out the Gregorian year when a coin was minted. As far as the above mentioned Ottoman coin is concerned, its date is 1327 + 3 1 = 1329th year of the Lunar Hejira, which corresponds to 1911 AD. It's that simple.

Interesting facts

It's an interesting fact, that the digit 4 had been earlier written not like we're now used to seeing it (٤ or ۴). It looked like this: . Those who are interested in the origins and transformation of the Arabic digits should refer to the site arabic-not-indian-numbers.com (section called Geometric Analysis of the Arabic Numerals). If you want to get an idea of those transformations, please take a look at the following picture (click to show/hide).

This way of writing the digit 4 can be found on many Golden Horde coins.


Information about recent updates of the converter and new information augmented

Update @November 4, 2010: oriental coin experts say that the Lunar Hejira also works for Indian Mughal coins, like these ones, and many Indian Princely States, as well as for the British Presidency coins.

Update @January 3, 2011: precise (day-to-day) Lunar Hejira date converter was added. Possible calculating error should not exceed one day.

Update @November 5, 2012: visual aid to understand Kufic script and date inscriptions (description on this page | direct link to .png file) was added.


Jump to the picture #
Country: Algeria
Denomination (value): 5 santim
Lunar Hejira year: 1383
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1964
Country: Egypt
Denomination (value): 25 piastres
Lunar Hejira year: 1413
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1993
Country: the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Denomination (value): 5 piastres
Lunar Hejira year: 1421
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 2000
Country: Iraq
Denomination (value): 5 fils
Lunar Hejira year: 1401
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1981
Country: Yemen (Democratic Republic)
Denomination (value): 1 rial
Lunar Hejira year: 1414
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1993
Country: Qatar
Denomination (value): 25 dirhams
Lunar Hejira year: 1419
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1998
Country: Kuwait
Denomination (value): 20 fils
Lunar Hejira year: 1426
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 2005
Country: Mauritania
Denomination (value): 1 ouguiya
Lunar Hejira year: 1406
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1985→1986
Country: Maldives
Denomination (value): 2 rufiyaa
Lunar Hejira year: 1415
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1995
Country: United Arab Emirates
Denomination (value): 1 fils
Lunar Hejira year: 1409
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1989
Country: Oman
Denomination (value): 25 baisa
Lunar Hejira year: 1406
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1985→1986
Country: Palestinian Autonomy (Palestina)
Denomination (value): 25 mils
Lunar Hejira year: 1431
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 2010
Country: Saudi Arabia
Denomination (value): ¼ of a riyal
Lunar Hejira year: 1354
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1935
Country: Syria
Denomination (value): 1 pound
Lunar Hejira year: 1399
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1979
Country: Sudan
Denomination (value): 5 girsh
Lunar Hejira year: 1408 (the word hejira is written in Arabic out there)
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1987
Country: Tunisia
Denomination (value): 5 santim
Lunar Hejira year: 1322
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1904
Country: Egypt
Denomination (value): 5 milliemes
Lunar Hejira year: 1335
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1917
State: Golden Horde
Ruler: Hizr Khan
Denomination (value): pul (small copper coin)
Minting city: the Gyulistan mint (arab. كلستان)
Lunar Hejira year: 762
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1361
Country: Libya
Denomination (value): ¼ dinar
Year from the date of death of Prophet Muhammad: 1369
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 2001
Country: Libya
Denomination (value): ½ dinar
Year from the date of death of Prophet Muhammad: 1372
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 2004
Country: Libya
Denomination (value): ¼ dinar
Year from the date of death of Prophet Muhammad: 1377
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 2009
State: Golden Horde
Ruler: Jani Beg Khan
Denomination (value): (silver) dirham
Minting city: the Mint of Saray al-Jadid (aka New Saray)
Lunar Hejira year: 743
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1342
State: Islamic Caliphate, the dynasty of Abbasids
Denomination (value): (silver) kufic dirham
Lunar Hejira year: 191 (see this for details)
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 807
Territory that issued this coin: Madurai Sultanate
Ruler: Jalal ud-Din Ahsan Shah
Denomination (value): silver 1/3 Tanka (look for discussion here)
Lunar Hejira year: 735
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1335
Territory that issued this coin: Madurai Sultanate
Ruler: Ghiyath ud-Din Muhammad Damghan Shah
Denomination (value): gold Half Dinar (look for discussion here)
Lunar Hejira year: 744
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 13431344
Country: Saudi Arabia
Denomination (value): 10 halala
Lunar Hejira year: 1423
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 2002
Country: Morocco
Lunar Hejira year: 1194
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1780
Country: Algeria
Denomination (value): 5 santim
Lunar Hejira year: 1383
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 1964
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