There are 12 months in the Islamic Year:
The names of these months pre-date the revelation of the Quran. They were named by the Arabs based on the seasons of the year and the conditions of their lives.
Month 1 – Muharram – the literal meaning is “sacred.” It is said the Arabs called this month sacred as they forbade fighting, war, and killing during it.
Month 2 – Safar – the literal meaning is “to empty” or “become pale.” This was the month that the Arabs would often leave home in search of food and provision, or to fight wars and, at times, to escape the severe heat.
Month 3 – Rabi al-Awwal – This was the first month of spring and so was named the first spring month.
Month 4 – Rabi al-Akhir – This was the second month of spring and therefore was named the last month of spring.
Month 5 – Jumada al-Uwla – Jumada means “to become solid.” It is said that it was named this in the winter when the water would freeze in the desert cold.
Month 6 – Jumada al-Akhirah – Like the previous month, this was an extension of the winter cold season and so was named in the same way.
Month 7 – Rajab – This comes from the word which means “to honour.” The Arabs would honour this month as being sacred and thus forbade fighting in it.
Month 8 – Sha’ban – After Rajab, the Arabs would disperse in this month to engage in fighting again, and so it was called Sha’ban which means “to disperse.”
Month 9 – Ramadan – This comes from the root word which denotes the meaning of intense heat and thirst. This month usually occurred in the middle of summer.
Month 10 – Shawwal – Meaning abundance of camel milk. This was the month in which the cattle and camels would produce a lot of milk.
Month 11 – Thul-Qa’dah – The literal meaning is “the month of sitting.” The Arabs also honoured this month and forbade fighting in it.
Month 12 – Thul-Hijjah – The literal meaning is “the month of pilgrimage,” as the pilgrimage takes place in it.