Similar Python converters have been mainly derived from or using the ummalqura package developed by Khalid Al-hussayen and updated lately by Borni DHIFI, which was ported from hijri.js, a Javascript tool published by Suhail Alkowaileet. The last goes back to R.H. van Gent, who built the original converter partly based on his astronomical calculations for years after 1420 AH and partly on a comparison calendar prepared by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in 1993 for the years 1356-1411 AH.

In contrast, the hijri-converter package was written in Python from scratch. Although it was inspired by R.H. van Gent’s work, it is based on multiple official sources including archived issues of Umm al-Qura newspaper published weekly since 1343 AH, one that is in complete alignment with the official printed Umm al-Qura calendar. Other sources were also used to build the package including the Comparison Calendar prepared by KFUPM for the years 1356-1411 AH, the Umm al-Qura Comparative Calendar (Taqwīm Umm al-Qurá al-muqāran) books for the years 1412-1450 AH, and the official website of Umm al-Qura calendar for the years 1451-1500 AH. That makes hijri-converter package more accurate and broader in terms of years included, 1343-1500 AH.

When it comes to performance, using hijri-converter package to convert from Hijri to Gregorian and back is nine times faster (or six times faster, with Hijri date validation enabled) than that when ummalqura package was used.

# hijri-converter, without Hijri date validation
$ python -m timeit -s 'from hijri_converter import convert' -n 50000 -r 5 'convert.Hijri(1402, 10, 15, False).to_gregorian(); convert.Gregorian(1982, 8, 4).to_hijri()'
50000 loops, best of 5: 1.95 usec per loop

# hijri-converter, with Hijri date validation
$ python -m timeit -s 'from hijri_converter import convert' -n 50000 -r 5 'convert.Hijri(1402, 10, 15, True).to_gregorian(); convert.Gregorian(1982, 8, 4).to_hijri()'
50000 loops, best of 5: 2.77 usec per loop

# ummalqura, without Hijri date validation
$ python -m timeit -s 'from ummalqura.hijri import Umalqurra' -n 50000 -r 5 'Umalqurra().hijri_to_gregorian(1402, 10, 15); Umalqurra().gegorean_to_hijri(1982, 8, 4)'
50000 loops, best of 5: 17.3 usec per loop

The above code illustrates the execution time of both packages compared (tested on Mac mini (M1, 2020) with Apple M1 chip and 16GB memory).

Beside code quality, packaging and maintenance issues that ummalqura package has, the following table summarizes the main differences:




Conversion range

1343-1500 AH

1356-1500 AH

Accuracy 1



Performance 2

~9x (faster)


Python 3 support



Rich comparison



Input validation



Hashable objects



Type annotations



Code testing




Verified with the years 1343-1355 AH included, which are missing from ummalqura package but can produce wrong dates when used.


Although not recommended for production, Hijri date validation was disabled in hijri-converter package; to be comparable with ummalqura package.