Last year, we started a campaign to encourage Muslims worldwide to adopt a Hijri-first lifestyle; to make the Hijri calendar their primary calendar in their personal and professional lives. The call was not just for individuals but for organizations and companies, especially those who operate in the Muslim lifestyle space.
Alhamdulillah, the Productive Muslim Company, spent the last 12 months making internal and external modifications to adopt the Hijri-first lifestyle. Here are some of the changes we made:
- We switched all our communications to Hijri-first, i.e., all the dates on our website, email campaigns, and social media posts display the Hijri date first, followed by the Gregorian date.
- We planned our masterclasses and events to align with the Hijri calendar and will soon publish a 1443H calendar for all our upcoming programs.
- We held our annual company retreat during Ramadan (instead of Dec/Jan) so that we plan from one Ramadan to the next, and we hold quarterly reviews according to the Hijri months.
- We set up company-wide vacations around the Hijri calendar, so all team members can enjoy Eid and special Islamic events with their families and friends.
- Our Team payroll is now aligned with the Hijri calendar, i.e., team members are paid at the end of each Islamic month.
The above changes may seem subtle, but they significantly impacted our internal team culture, and they resonated with our readers. Here’s what a board member of an Islamic school wrote to me and said:
“I want to thank you for displaying the Hijri date so prominently and forcing us to look at the regular date in parenthesis. This is such a small, subtle change, but I think this shows leadership and may soon be followed by other masjids in their communications. It will eventually change our culture and help us focus on the Hijri dates. This has motivated me to start using Hijri dates on our communication from our Islamic school now.” Abu Sabiq, Board Member, Montessori School of Excellence
The Barakah of Switching to Hijri First
I have to admit that initially, the above changes took some adjustment. Team members had initial frustrations figuring out the Hijri date and communicating in Hijri-first, even in quick internal messages. However, being a small company, we could quickly make these changes and iron out any issues that popped up during the switch.
Moreover, after a few months of adopting a Hijri-first lifestyle, we noticed the benefits of making the switch, including:
- We were more conscious of the sacred months of Islam and aligned our communication and messaging around them.
- We felt the Barakah of planning our annual retreat in Ramadan discussing future company plans during the most blessed month.
- We became more aware of special Islamic events in history and aligned our communication around them.
- It helped us align with our internal Barakah culture mindsets, values, and rituals.
How can your company/organization switch to a Hijri-first lifestyle?
If you are a company/organization that serves the Muslim community, it makes sense to adopt a Hijri-first lifestyle. However, making your team switch to Hijri first can be challenging since it’s more practical and efficient to stick to the Gregorian calendar.
Here are 4 steps to help your team make the switch:
- Explain the Why: As a company/organization that serves the Muslim community, you must show leadership and honor the calendar that Allah SWT chose for this Ummah. If we as companies/organizations operating in the Islamic space don’t step up to protect and propagate the Islamic Hijri calendar, then who will? Making the case that going Hijri-first is critical for the benefit of the community will help rally your team around this switch (If you need help to make a case for your team to go Hijri, share this article with them).
- Be a Role Model: As a leader, you need to adopt a Hijri-first lifestyle in your personal and professional life and be comfortable communicating dates according to the Hijri calendar. It would be best if you communicated in Hijri-first even in daily ‘quick’ messages, whether it’s an email, slack, or Whatsapp message. When your team sees that you’re sticking to a Hijri-first communication and this is not another ‘management fad’ – they will get that this is important to you and make the switch.
- Setup a Plan: Once you agree as a team to switch your company to become Hijri-first. Set up a plan on how you’ll make the switch. For example, for The Productive Muslim Company, we started going Hijri-first in all our external communication. By Ramadan, we switched our annual planning to Hijri-first. Finally, in Shawwal, we switched payroll to Hijri. Don’t try to make all changes at once, as it might disorient you and the team. Also, download our Hijri-Adoption Framework so you can measure yourself and team on your progress going Hijri.
- Hold Your Team Accountable: During the first few weeks of implementing a Hijri-first plan, you’ll need to constantly give feedback to your team to communicate according to the Hijri calendar. This might come across as bothersome – but after a few weeks and a couple of nudges – your team will be aligned, and your company will be a Hijri first inshaAllah.
I hope this encourages your team and company to adopt a Hijri first lifestyle. If you need more help to understand the concept of going Hijri, watch this webinar, where I go in-depth on how you can adopt a Hijri-first lifestyle: