Hijri year

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This article is about the Islamic Calendar; for the hijra see Migration to Medina.

The Hijri year (AH anno hegirae) is year numbering system (or Calendar era) used in the Islamic calendar. It commemorates the Hijra (هِجْرَة), or emigration of Muhammad and his followers to the city of Medina in 622 CE. In Arabic, AH is symbolized by the letter هـ. The year corresponds to the Islamic Year AH.


On the actual year the migration took place, there was already a functioning Lunar calendar with named months. However, this calendar did not number the years, so for example, the year Muhammad and Ammar ibn Yasir were born was called "The Year of the Elephant".

That year was named "The permission to travel". Seventeen years later, that year was chosen as the year to start counting from: first year of Hijra, 1 After Hijra or 1 AH. The first day of 1 AH corresponds to July 16, 622 CE in the Julian Calendar.

The Hijra is celebrated annually on the 8th day of Rabi I, about 66 days after the 1st of Muharram, the first day of the Muslim year. Many writers confuse the first day of the year of the Hijra with the date of the migration to Medina itself, erroneously stating that the Hijra occurred on 1 Muharram AH 1, or July 16, 622 CE.


Migration to Medina

Muhammad's preachings did not at first have much success in the city of Mecca. His tribe, the Quraysh, which was in charge of the Kaaba, persecuted and harassed him continuously. This...
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