Hegira


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Hegira

or

Hejira

(both: hĭjī`rə, hĕj`ərə) [Ar.,=Hijra=breaking off of relations], the departure of the prophet MuhammadMuhammad
[Arab.,=praised], 570?–632, the name of the Prophet of Islam, one of the great figures of history, b. Mecca. Early Life

Muhammad was the son of Abdallah ibn Abd al-Muttalib and his wife Amina, both of the Hashim clan of the dominant Kuraish (Quraysh)
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 from Mecca in Sept., 622. Muhammad was a monotheist and preached against the polytheism of the Meccan religion. This aroused the hostility of the merchant leaders of his native city, who derived much of their wealth from pilgrimages to Mecca and its surrounding cities. Forced to flee from his enemies, Muhammad went to Yathrib (later renamed MedinaMedina
, Arabic Medinat an-Nabi [city of the Prophet] or Madinat Rasul Allah [city of the apostle of Allah], city (1993 pop. 608,226), Hejaz, W Saudi Arabia. It is situated c.
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), where he became ruler. The Muslim era is dated from the first day (July 16, 622, in the Western calendar) of the lunar year in which the Hegira took place, and the abbreviation A.H. is used with that year (A.H. 1) and subsequent years.

Hegira

 

the emigration of Muhammad and his followers (muhajirun) from Mecca to Yathrib (Medina), which Muslim tradition dates at Sept. 8–21 (or 24), 622.

During the reign of the caliph Umar I (634–44), the year of the Hegira was proclaimed the first year in the Muslim era; hence, the Muslim era is also called the Hegira. Calendars of the lunar Hegira are used in many countries of the Near and Middle East and in certain other countries; calendars of the solar Hegira are used in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, and elsewhere. When converted to the Gregorian system, the beginning of the lunar Hegira corresponds to July 16, 622, and that of the solar Hegira to Mar. 20–21, 622, the vernal equinox.

The Muslim lunar year contains 354 days, and the distribution of days by month in the Hegira calendars differs from the distribution in the Gregorian calendar (used virtually throughout the world), so that the translation of dates from the Hegira to the Gregorian system and vice versa requires special formulas and tables. For example, the year 1976 of the Gregorian calendar corresponds to 1396/1397 of the lunar Hegira and to 1355/1356 of the solar Hegira.

REFERENCES

Tsybul’skii, V. V. Sovremennye kalendari stran Blizhnego i Srednego Vostoka: Sinkhronisticheskie tablitsy ipoiasneniia. Moscow, 1964.
Seleshnikov, S. I. Istoriia kalendaria i khronologiia. Moscow, 1970.

Hegira (Hijrah)

Muhammad’s flight from Mecca to Medina (622). [Islamic Hist.: EB, V: 39–40]
See: Escape

Hegira

, Hejira
1. the departure of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina in 622 ad; the starting point of the Muslim era
2. the Muslim era itself
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