Arabic – Days and Months – Arabic Beginner Lesson- 46 – Learn Arabic Free Online
Arabic – Days and Months
When you’re engaged in kalaam khafiif, you may find that you need to refer to
certain days of the week or months. Fortunately the days of the ‘usbuu’ (oohseh-
booh; week) are number derivatives — that is, they’re derived from Arabic
numbers. So recognizing the roots of the words for days of the week is key:
al-‘aHad (al-ah-had; Sunday)
al-‘ithnayn (al-eeth-nah-yen; Monday)
ath-thulathaa’ (ah-thoo-lah-thah; Tuesday)
al-‘arbi’aa’ (al-ah-reh-bee-ah; Wednesday)
al-khamiis (al-khah-mees; Thursday)
al-jumu’a (al-joo-moo-ah; Friday)
as-sabt (ass-sah-bet; Saturday)
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Notice that ‘aHad (Sunday) is derived from waaHid (1); al-‘ithnayn (Monday)
from ‘ithnayn (2); ath-thulathaa’ (Tuesday) from thalaatha (3); al-‘arbi’aa’
(Wednesday) from ‘arba’a (4); and al-khamiis (Thursday) from khamsa (5).
In the Islamic calendar, Sunday is the first day, Monday the second day, and
al-jumu’a gets its name from jumu’a, which means “to gather;” it’s the day
when Muslims gather around the mosque and pray. Similarly, as-sabt is the
day of rest, similar to the Jewish Sabbath.
Arabs use three different types of calendars to note the passage of time.
The Gregorian calendar is basically the same calendar as the one used
throughout the Western world.
The Islamic calendar is partly based on the lunar cycle and has radically
different names for the months than its Western counterpart.
The lunar calendar is based entirely on the moon’s rotations and is
used to identify specific religious holidays, such as the end and beginning
of the holy month of Ramadan, in which Muslims fast from the
break of dawn until dusk.
Tables 4-7 and 4-8 show the ash-hur (ah-shuh-hur; months) in the Gregorian
and Islamic calendars, because they’re the most widely used calendars.
Table 4-7 Gregorian Calendar
Arabic Pronunciation Translation
yanaayir yah-nah-yeer January
fibraayir feeb-rah-yeer February
maaris mah-rees March
‘abriil ah-beh-reel April
maayuu mah-yoo May
yunyu yoo-neh-yoo June
yulyu yoo-leh-yoo July
‘aghusTus ah-goo-seh-toos August
sibtambar see-beh-tam-bar September
‘uktuubar oo-key-too-bar October
nufambar noo-fahm-bar November
disambar dee-sahm-bar December
Chapter 4: Getting to Know You: Making Small Talk 77
The Arabic names of the Gregorian months are similar to the names in
English. However, the names of the Islamic calendar are quite different.
Table 4-8 Islamic Calendar
rabii’ al-awwal rah-bee al-ah-wall
rabii’ ath-thaanii rah-bee ah-thah-nee
jumaada al-awwal joo-mah-dah al-ah-wall
jumaada ath-thaanii joo-mah-dah ah-thah-nee
dhuu al-qaa’ida zoo al-kah-ee-dah
dhuu al-Hijja zoo al-hee-jah
Because the Islamic calendar is partly based on the lunar cycle, the months
don’t overlap with the Gregorian calendar, making it difficult to match the
months with the Gregorian ones.