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Islamic Calendar: The Month Of Rabīʿ al-Awwal

Do you know the names and order of the months in the Islamic Hijri calendar? Do you ever wonder what their names mean and what important events happened during that month in the Islamic history? Knowing the Arabic language is key!Read on to find out about Rabīʿ al-Awwal which is just around the corner!

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Meaning of Rabīʿ al-Awwal

In Arabic, Rabīʿ al-Awwal is written as رَبِيع ٱلْأَوَّل.
The word رَبِيع (Rabīʿ) comes from the root letters ر ب ع (raa-baa-ʿayn) which carry a few different meanings, including:
  • To gallop or to sit (رَبَعَ)
  • Living zone, region, residence (رَبْع)
  • Quarter, fourth part (رُبْع)
  • Four (أَرْبَعَة)
  • Square (مُرَبَّع)
  • Athlete (رَبَّاع)

The word رَبِيع Rabīʿ specifically means spring, springtime, and it is the name of not just one but two months in the Hijri calendar: Rabīʿ al-Awwal (رَبِيع ٱلْأَوَّل), also called Rabīʿ al-Ūlā (رَبِيع ٱلْأُولَىٰ), and Rabīʿ al- Āḫir (رَبِيع ٱلْآخِر), also called Rabīʿ ath-Thānī (رَبِيع ٱلثَّانِي‎).

The word أَوَّل Awwal comes from the root letters أ و ل and means "first" in Arabic, and ٱلْأَوَّل al-Awwal means "the first". The word أُولَىٰ Ūlā is the feminine form of أَوَّل Awwal and the meaning is the same.

Literally, Rabīʿ al-Awwal therefore means "the first spring", i.e. the beginning of spring, or the first month into 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 believed that it may have been springtime when this month was initially named. And Allah SWT knows best.

Chronological order in the Hijri calendar

The month of Rabīʿ al-Awwal is the third month of the Islamic Hijri Calendar. This month comes after Safar and before Rabīʿ al- Āḫir (or Rabīʿ ath-Thānī‎).

When will Rabīʿ al-Awwal take place this year?

In 2020, Rabīʿ al-Awwal should start around October 18, 2020, depending on when the new moon will start. And Allah SWT knows best.

Important event that happened during the month of Rabīʿ al-Awwal

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds. (Surah Al-Anbiyā, 21:107)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was born in this month. This month is therefore a great opportunity to learn more about the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) by reading books, listening to or watching videos about him so that we may increase our love and knowledge for the best man that ever walked this earth.

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّـهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّـهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّـهَ كَثِيرًا
There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often. (Surah Al-Aḥzāb, 33:21)


Stay tuned to learn more about the other months of the Islamic Hijri calendar insha'Allah!

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