The Hijrah or Hijra (Arabic: الهجرة) was the journey the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers took from Mecca to Medina.[1][2] The year in which the Hijrah took place is also identified as the epoch of the Lunar Hijri[a] and Solar Hijri calendars; its date equates to 16 July 622 in the Julian calendar.[3][4][b] The Arabic word hijra means primarily "a severing of ties of kinship or association."[7][8] It has been also transliterated as Hegira in medieval Latin, a term still in occasional use in English.

Early in Muhammad's preaching of Islam, his followers only included his close friends and relatives. Most of his tribesmen, the Quraysh, however, were indifferent to his activities, as they did not appear to be particularly interested in devotional meetings, and accordingly, Muhammad did not encounter any serious opposition from them; that was the case until he began to attack their beliefs, which caused tensions to arise.[9][10][11] Muhammad and his small faction of Muslims then reportedly faced several challenges including a boycott of Muhammad's clan, torture, killing, and other forms of religious persecution by the Meccans. Toward the end of the decade, Abu Talib, Muhammad's uncle, who supported him amidst the leaders of Mecca, died. Finally, the leaders of Mecca ordered the assassination of Muhammad, which was to be executed by 11 men with swords.[12][page needed]

In May 622, after having convened twice with members of the Medinan tribes of Aws and Khazraj at al-'Aqabah near Mina, Muhammad secretly left his home in Mecca to emigrate to their city, along with his friend, father-in-law and companion Abu Bakr.[13] Prophet Muhammad's arrival at Medina was warmly welcomed, resulting in the renaming of the city from Yathrib to Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (Arabic: المدينة المنورة‎, romanized: al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah, lit. 'The Enlightened City', Hejazi pronunciation: [almadiːna almʊnawːara]), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Medina (Arabic: المدينة‎, romanized: al-Madina, Hejazi pronunciation: [almadiːna]; lit.'the City').[14]

After the hijrah, Muhammad began attacking the caravans of the Meccans and plundering their goods,[15][16] which prompted armed conflicts between the Muslims and the Quraysh, including the battles of Badr, Uhud, and the Trench.[17] Sometime after the latter battle and after Muhammad had successfully eliminated the three major Jewish tribes from Medina, he reportedly stopped making raids on the Quraysh,[18] at which point he mostly focused his attention on the north, where he raided Banu Lihyan and Banu Mustaliq, to name a few.[18]

Etymology edit

Hijrah is a contemporary transliteration of the Arabic word هجرة which means primarily "a severing of ties of kinship or association."[7][8] Hajara, the verb's first stem, is defined as "to cut off someone from friendly association" or "to avoid association with." And the third stem, hājara, denotes "a mutual termination of friendly relations." The word has been mistranslated as "flight."[19] Since 1753, the word has also been used to refer to an exodus in English.[20]

Background edit

Medina was inhabited by both Arabs and Jews. The Arabs consisted of two tribes–the Banu Aws and Banu Khazraj. The Aws and Khazraj were constantly at war with each other, and this made traditional rules for maintaining law and order dysfunctional, and, without a neutral man with considerable authority over things, stability seemed unlikely.[21] It is also accepted by modern historians of Arabia that the Arabs of Medina had heard from their Jewish fellow citizens of the coming of a prophet.[22][23]

During Dhu al-Hijjah of the year 620 CE, Muhammad convened with some members of the Banu Khazraj tribe from Medina near the al-'Aqabah Hill in Mina just outside of Mecca, propounded to them the doctrines of Islam, and recited portions of the Quran.[24][25] Impressed by this, they embraced Islam,[22] and during the pilgrimage of 621, five of them brought seven others with them. These twelve informed Muhammad of the beginning of gradual development of Islam in Medina, and took a formal pledge of allegiance at Muhammad's hand, promising to accept him as a prophet, to worship none but one God, and to renounce sins including theft, adultery, and murder, in what is now known as the First Pledge of al-'Aqabah.[26][27][28] At their request, Muhammad sent with them Mus‘ab ibn 'Umair to teach them the instructions of Islam.[29] The following year, in 622, a delegation of around 75 Muslims consisting of members of both the Aws and Khazraj from Medina restated the terms of the First Pledge and also assured Muhammad of their full support and protection if the latter would migrate to Medina as an arbitrator to reconcile among the Aws and Khazraj.[30] This is known as the Second Pledge at al-Aqabah,[23][31] and was a religiopolitical success that paved the way for the Medinan Hegira.[32] Following the pledges, Muhammad encouraged his followers to migrate to Medina, and in a span of two months, nearly all the Muslims of Mecca migrated to the city.

Migration edit

Muslims believe Muhammad waited until he received divine direction to depart from Mecca. In anticipation of receiving this direction, Muhammad began making preparations and informed Abu Bakr. On the night of his departure, Muhammad's house was besieged by men of the Quraysh, who had seen large numbers of the Muslims leave the city and had planned to kill him as soon as he left. Muhammad, who was renowned for his trustworthiness, owned various properties of members the Quraysh entrusted to him and he asked Ali to stay behind to return them and to fulfill his obligations on his behalf. Muhammad asked Ali to wear his cloak and to lie down on his bed assuring him of God's protection. Ali wore Muhammad's cloak, leading the assassins to think Muhammad had not yet departed. Ali risked his life by staying in Mecca but ultimately survived the plot. He would later leave for Medina with his mother, Fatima bint Asad, Muhammed's daughters Fatimah and Umm Kulthum, and two other women, Muhammad's wife Sawda and wetnurse Umm Ayman.[33][34]

Muhammad and Abu Bakr left the city and took shelter in a cave atop the Thawr mountain south of Mecca before continuing their journey to elude the Quraysh party pursuing them led by Suraqa bin Malik. They stayed in the cave for three days before resuming their journey. During the journey, whenever Suraqa neared Muhammad and Abu Bakr, Suraqa's horse stumbled until he finally gave up on the desire of capturing Muhammad.[34] Muhammad and Abu Bakr turned to the Red Sea, following the coastline up to Medina, arriving at Quba'. He stopped at Quba' and established a mosque there. He waited there for fourteen days for Ali and his family to join him. Thereafter he continued to Medina, participated in their first Friday prayer on the way. Upon reaching the city, they were greeted cordially by its people.

Aftermath and legacy edit

Muhammad's followers suffered from poverty after fleeing persecution in Mecca and migrating with Muhammad to Medina. Their Meccan persecutors seized their wealth and belongings left behind in Mecca.[35] Beginning in January 623, Muhammad led several raids against Meccan caravans travelling along the eastern coast of the Red Sea. Members of different tribes were thus unified by the urgency of the moment. This unity was primarily based on the bonds of kinship.[35][36][37]

The second Rashidun Caliph, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, designated the Muslim year during which the Hegira occurred the first year of the Islamic calendar in 638 or the 17th year of the Hegira. This was later Latinized to Anno hegirae, the abbreviation of which is still used to denote Hijri dates today.[14] Burnaby states that: "Historians in general assert that Muhammad fled from Mecca at the commencement of the third month of the Arabian year, Rabi 'u-l-awwal. They do not agree as to the precise day. According to Ibn-Ishak, it was on the first or second day of the month;"[38]

Several Islamic historians and scholars, including Al Biruni, Ibn Sa'd, and Ibn Hisham, have discussed these dates in depth.[39] The hypothetical dates of the major milestones of the Hegira are calculated by retrocalculating the dates in the current Islamic calendar. When the tabular Islamic calendar was invented by Muslim astronomers, it changed all the known dates by about 118 days or four lunar months. The Muslim dates of the Hijrah are those recorded in an original lunisolar pre-Islamic Arabian calendar that was never converted into the purely lunar calendar to account for the four intercalary months inserted during the next nine years until intercalary months (nasī') were prohibited during the year of the Farewell Pilgrimage (10 AH).

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ commonly known in the West as 'the' Islamic calendar, though both calendars are used by Muslims.
  2. ^ 1 Muharram of the new fixed calendar corresponded to Friday, 16 July 622 CE, the equivalent civil tabular date (same daylight period) in the Julian calendar. The Islamic day began at the preceding sunset on the evening of 15 July. This Julian date (16 July) was determined by medieval Muslim astronomers by projecting back in time their own tabular Islamic calendar, which had alternating 30- and 29-day months in each lunar year plus eleven leap days every 30 years. For example, al-Biruni mentioned this Julian date in the year 1000 CE.[5] Although not used by either medieval Muslim astronomers or modern scholars to determine the Islamic epoch, the thin crescent moon would have also first become visible (assuming clouds did not obscure it) shortly after the preceding sunset on the evening of 15 July, 1.5 days after the associated dark moon (astronomical new moon) on the morning of 14 July.[6]

References edit

  1. ^ Shaikh, Fazlur Rehman (2001). Chronology of Prophetic Events. London: Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd. pp. 51–52.
  2. ^ Marom, Roy (Fall 2017). "Approaches to the Research of Early Islam: The Hijrah in Western Historiography". Jamma'a. 23: vii.
  3. ^ Burnaby, Sherrard Beaumont (1901). Elements of the Jewish and Muhammadan calendars. pp. 373–5, 382–4.
  4. ^ Dershowitz, Nachum; Reingold, Edward (2018). "Table 1.2 Epochs for various calendars". Calendrical Calculations (Third ed.). O'Reilly. p. 17. ISBN 9781108546935. OCLC 1137352777.
  5. ^ al-Biruni, The chronology of ancient nations, tr. C. Edward Sachau (1000/1879) 327.
  6. ^ "NASA phases of the moon 601–700". Archived from the original on 8 October 2010.
  7. ^ a b (Schacht et al. 1998, p. 366)
  8. ^ a b (Holt et al. 1978, p. 40)
  9. ^ Buhl & Welch 1993, p. 364.
  10. ^ "Muhammad | Biography, History, & Facts | Britannica". 24 May 2023. Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  11. ^ Lewis 2002, p. 35–36.
  12. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (6 October 2020). The Sealed Nectar (Ar-Raheeq Al-makhtum): Biography of the Noble Prophet Muhammad -Peace Be Upon Him-. Independently Published. ISBN 979-8-6941-4592-3.
  13. ^ Moojan Momen (1985), An Introduction to Shi'i Islam: History and Doctrines of Twelver Shi'ism, Yale University Press, New edition 1987, p. 5.
  14. ^ a b Shamsi, F. A. (1984). "The Date of Hijrah". Islamic Studies. 23 (3): 189–224. JSTOR 20847270.
    Shamsi, F. A. (1984). "The Date of Hijrah". Islamic Studies. 23 (4): 289–323. JSTOR 20847277.
  15. ^ Peters, Francis E. (1 January 1994). Muhammad and the Origins of Islam. SUNY Press. pp. 211–214. ISBN 978-0-7914-1875-8.
  16. ^ Buhl & Welch 1993, p. 269.
  17. ^ Buhl & Welch 1993, p. 369-370.
  18. ^ a b Buhl & Welch 1993, p. 370.
  19. ^ (Schacht et al. 1998, p. 366)
  20. ^ "Definition of HEGIRA". Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  21. ^ Holt, et al (2000), pp. 39–40.
  22. ^ a b Shibli Nomani. Sirat-un-Nabi. Vol 1. Lahore.
  23. ^ a b Holt, et al (2000), p. 40.
  24. ^ Sell, Edward (1913). The Life of Muhammad (PDF). Madras: The Christian Literary Society for India. p. 70. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  25. ^ Holt, P. M.; Lambton, Ann K. S.; Lewis, Bernard (2000). The Cambridge History of Islam. Cambridge University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0521219464.
  26. ^ Khan, Muhammad Zafra (1980). Muhammad, seal of the prophets. London. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-85525-992-1.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  27. ^ Peter Malcolm Holt, Ann K S Lambton, and Bernard Lewis, The Cambridge History of Islam, Volume 1, The Central Islamic Lands, Cambridge, 2000, p. 40. ISBN 978-0-85525-992-1
  28. ^ Sell (1913), p. 71.
  29. ^ Murad, Khurram. (1998). Who is Muhammad, peace be upon him. Islamic Foundation (Great Britain). Leicester: Islamic Foundation. ISBN 978-0-86037-290-5. OCLC 41621132.
  30. ^ Hitti, Philip Khuri (1946). History of the Arabs. London: Macmillan and Co. p. 116.
  31. ^ Khan (1980), p. 73.
  32. ^ Sell (1913), p. 76.
  33. ^ Muir, William (1861). The life of Mahomet Volume 2. pp. 258–59.
  34. ^ a b Al Mubarakpuri, Safi ur Rahman (2002). "On the Road to Madina". Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum – The Sealed Nectar: Biography of the Noble Prophet. Darussalam. ISBN 9960899551. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  35. ^ a b John Esposito, Islam, Expanded edition, Oxford University Press, pp. 4–5.
  36. ^ William Montgomery Watt, Muhammad at Mecca, Oxford, 1953, pp. 16–18.
  37. ^ Rue, Loyal D. (2005). Religion is Not about God: How Spiritual Traditions Nurture Our Biological Nature and what to Expect when They Fail. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0813535111. p. 224.
  38. ^ Sherrard Beaumont Burnaby, Elements of the Jewish and Muhammadan calendars (1901).
  39. ^ Caussin de Perceval writing in 1847 as reported in 1901 by Sherrard Beaumont Burnaby, Elements of the Jewish and Muhammadan calendars (London: 1901) 374–75.

Bibliography edit

External links edit