The oldest calendar known to mankind
The count of months, as far as God is concerned, is twelve. This has been God’s law,
Since the lunar calendar consists of 12 months of alternately 29 and 30-day month, the lunar year has 354 days. Actually the period between the two new moons is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds.
This discrepancy between the length of the lunar year and the solar year was not respected by the ancient people who tried to fight the system by trying to adjust the lunar calendar to fall on the same time with the solar calendar. in the early calendars, public authorities tried to predict well in advance on what days of the year the new moons were to be celebrated. Devoted respect for this ancient custom was prescribed to the Greeks by an oracle. It thus becomes clear how important it was to the ancients to discover some period that would make the same phases of the moon come around on the same dates of the year. This discovery has come down to us under the name of Meton, who announced it to the
Greeks in 433 BC when they were assembled for the Olympic games.
It was as follows: Any phase of the moon returns after an interval of 29 1/2 days, and it turns out that 19 solar years contain exactly 236 lunations. Thus after 19 years, the same phases of the moon come back on the same dates of the year so that it is enough to note these dates for a period of 19 years so as to be able to predict them in advance for all subsequent periods of the same length.
However, it seems 19 years designed by God Almighty was too long for the impatient human beings, so they tried to adjust the lunar calendar by a process of intercalation. Intercalation consists of inserting an extra month into the normal 12-month period every few years. In primitive civilizations, this was done whenever the seasons and their appropriate months did not coincide. Usually the priests, who were responsible for
religious observances, decided when intercalation was necessary.
The Babylonians realized the 19-year lunar cycle, established a 19-year cycle in which 7 years contained 13 months, and the rest 12 months. The Jewish calendar in use today uses a similar method. It, too, is based upon the cycles of the moon, like the ancient Babylonians, the Jews use intercalation based on a 19-year cycle.
The Islamic calendar, which turned out to be actually the real lunar calendar as designed by the One and Only God, is the same calendar used by the Babylonians and the Jews with the exception of intercalation. God, as He promised in the Quran to correct the corruption that happened to the old religions, prohibited intercalation.
Altering the Sacred Months is a sign of excessive disbelief; it augments the straying of those who
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