wikishia:Manual of Style/Dates

From wikishia

Welcome to manual of style of dates! This page is a part of the Manual of Style of Wikishia.

Calendar Era

WikiShia uses two calendars:

  1. Lunar Hijri calendar (or Islamic calendar): The epoch of the calendar is the new lunar year in which the migration (Hijra) of prophet Muhammad (s) from Mecca to Yathrib took place in 622 CE. This calendar is based on lunar cycles; a lunar year has 12 lunar months and about 354 to 355 days. The lunar months are spelled as follows: 1. Muharram, 2. Safar, 3. Rabi' I, 4. Rabi' II, 5. Jumada I, 6. Jumada II, 7. Rajab, 8. Sha'ban, 9. Ramadan, 10. Shawwal, 11. Dhu l-Qa'da, 12. Dhu l-Hijja. Years in this calendar are marked by AH (Latin: Anno Hegirae, "in the year of the Hijra") for year after Hijra and BH for lunar years before that.
  2. Western Dionysian era system (or the Common Era): This era which is based on the incarnation of Christ was introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in 525 CE and have two styles: old style and new style. For dates before October 15, 1582 CE (Ramadan 17, 990 AH) the Julian calendar (old style) works in Wikishia. And for dates after 1582 when the Gregorian calendar was first adopted in some places the Gregorian calendar (new style) must be applied. Years in this calendar are marked by CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before the Common Era).

So dates before October 15, 1582 CE are given in the Islamic calendar and then the Julian calendar. And dates after that are given in the Islamic calendar and then the Gregorian calendar.

We assume the start of the Julian year to be January 1 although it was beginning on different dates such as March 25.


The style of adding the dates is simply writing the lunar Hijri date first, and the date in Common Era after a slash "/". For example,

Imam Husayn (a) is martyred on Muharram 10, 61/October 10, 680.

When the exact day and month of the event is known we normally use the format of "month day, year" for both Islamic calendar and Western Christian calendar like the example above. But when the exact date is not known and we only know the Lunar Hijri year, we would use this format: 61/680-81. So it means that the event took place in 61 AH yet we do not know whether 680 CE or 681 CE because the exact month is unknown. For example,

Ayatollah Kuhkamara'i was born in 1310/1892-93.

And when there is no report about even the year we would use a question mark. For example,

Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju'fi (b. ? - d. 128/746) was an outstanding companion of Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a).

There is no need to add AH or CE when we use the two calendars (lunar Hijri/Common Era); because the slash represents them. But if just one era style is mentioned it is necessary to specify the calendar era.


Month and day:

For linking, month and day are linked together both in lunar Hijri calendar and Julian/Gregorian calendar.


Islamic years must be linked simply without AH, because numbers are redirected to Hijri years. So, for example, 61 will go to 61 AH. Yet, to link years before Hijra, the abbreviation BH must be added into the brackets ([[]]); for example 1 BH. The same rule also applies for Julian/Gregorian years. for the important years that are linked, the abbreviation CE most be added (for example [680 CE|680]); other wise it will be go to Hijri year.


[[Muharram 10]], [[61]]/[[October 10]], [[680 CE|680]]

[[Dhu l-Hijja 9]], [[1 BH]]/[[JUne 25]], 622 

Note: only Gregorian centuries should be linked.

Before Hijra

For the years before Hijra (622 CE) we use BH. However sometimes in articles there are dates which are not referenced to Hijra and instead they are referenced to Bi'tha or even to 'Am al-Fil (year of the elephant) as it is common in Islamic historical works and traditions. The year of Bi'tha was 14 lunar years before Hijra[1] in 13 BH/610 and the year of the elephant was approximately 40 years before Bi'tha in about 570 CE.

Calendar Converter

The recommended converter for dates in Wikishia is Fourmilab's calendar. A simple version of it is also accessible here

Year Zero

In history and reality, "year zero" (0 AH/BH) does not exist in the Islamic calendar. In this system, the year 1 BH (-1) is followed by 1 AH (+1). However, there is a year zero in the recommended converter (and maybe many other converters). So to see the dates in 13 BH, one should look at -12 in the converter.



In both Islamic and Western calendars, days should be categorized under the months. i.e, Muharram 10 is categorized under Muharram; and January 21 is categorized under January. For the categories not to be shown in the main page the categories should be between <noinclude> tags.







Lunar Hijri calendar

Months and days: {{Months and days of the lunar Hijri year}}
years: {{Year nav|number of the year}}
centuries: {{1st century AH}}, {{2nd century AH}}, {{3rd century AH}}, {{15th century AH}}

Julian/Gregorian calendar

Months and days: {{Calendar}}
centuries: {{7th century CE}}, {{21st century CE}}


  1. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 2, p. 392.