Today Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor issued a unique greeting specifically for his Arab friends on the occasion of Eid. He posted a photograph of himself dresses as an Arab man, saying Eid Mubarak to his friends in the Arab world. Although the photograph was the main point of attention that attracted widespread reactions, the hashtag he used also raised some curiosity. He used the words EidMubarak1441H as the hashtag in his tweet, and some people were seen asking what does the 1441H part in that hashtag means.
Not just Shashi Tharoor, many people posting Eid greetings on Twitter used the term 1441H, and some people were seen asking what does this mean.
It is not some special number having significance in Islam, like the number 786, but simply the year as per Islamic calendar. The H means Hijri year, the year used in the Islamic calendar, and 1441 is simply the year as per that calendar.
The Islamic calendar’s 1st year was on 622AD, when Muhammad and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina and established the first Muslim community (ummah). This event is commemorated as the Hijra, and accordingly, the years in the calendar are called Hijri years.
According to this Hijri calendar, the current year is 1441, and that’s why people are seen using the term 1441H in their Eid greetings.
It may be noted that although 1441 years have passed since Muhammad migrated to Medina according to the Islamic calendar, the period comes to 1398 years as per the Gregorian calendar. This is because, while the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar with 365 or 366 days a year, the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar with 354 or 355 days in a year. For that reason, more years have passed according to the Hijri year as compared to the Gregorian calendar. The Islamic calendar starts in the month of Muharram. The Eid al-Fitr marks the beginning of the month of Shawwal, the 10th month, after the Ramadan month when devote Muslims observe fasting during the day.