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Unlike other calendar systems that use leap days or leap months to synchronize the calendar with the solar year, the Islamic calendar is completely detached from astronomical seasons marked by the equinoxes and solstices.
An Islamic year consistently falls about 11 days short of the solar year.
The Iranian astronomer Al-Biruni (973 – 1048 CE) states that the Caliph Umar (c.583 – 644 CE) introduced the Islamic year count in 638 CE.
Pre-Islamic time reckoning did not utilize year numbers as each year was identified by an important event that occurred in it.
Human Rights Watch does not advocate for or against Shari'a per se, or any other system of religious belief or ideology; nor do we seek to judge or interpret the principles of any religion or faith.
We are simply concerned about human rights violations resulting from the implementation of any legal system, in any country.
However, this will take some time: it is predicted that the year numbers will coincide on May 1, 20874 CE/AH.
To make Islamic time reckoning more predictable and universal, Muslim scholars developed the Tabular Islamic calendar in the 8th century CE.
There are several different schools of thought and within each of these, different interpretations of the provisions of Shari'a.The manner in which Shari'a has been applied to criminal law in Nigeria so far has raised a number of serious human rights concerns.It has also created much controversy in a country where religious divisions run deep, and where the federal constitution specifies that there is no state religion.The former is a solar calendar, so its year count differs substantially from that of the Islamic lunar calendar.For example, January 1, 2016 fell into year 1437 AH in the Lunar Hijri calendar, which corresponds to year 1394 in the Solar Hijri calendar.
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Since 2000, twelve states in northern Nigeria have added criminal law to the jurisdiction of Shari'a (Islamic law) courts.