Definition of Hegira in US English:


(also Hejira)


  • 1Muhammad's departure from Mecca to Medina in AD 622, prompted by the opposition of the merchants of Mecca and marking the consolidation of the first Muslim community.

    1. 1.1 The Muslim era reckoned from the Hegira.
      ‘the second century of the Hegira’
      See also AH
      • ‘Due to the lunar nature of the Arabic calendar, known as the Hijra calendar, festivals do not fall on the same days each year in the Western world.’
      • ‘In the third year of the Hijra, news went wild that the Prophet was martyred.’
      • ‘Was it a matter of coincidence, therefore, that his's research on Arab critical currents in the fourth century of the Hejira started while he was introducing Western theory into critical discourse?’
    2. 1.2 An exodus or migration.
      • ‘They had delayed their hegira to their summer home in North Carolina in order to attend the dinner.’
      • ‘Oswald was also an ideal person to lead the hegira up to Lincoln Center in 1965.’
      • ‘The Hijra of the Prophet took place in 622 not 1622.’
      • ‘The journey to Medina - the hegira (the ‘breaking of former ties’) - became the true foundation of the Islamic faith.’
      • ‘She also made reference to being ‘cross-examined’ on a hour-long radio show shortly before her hegira to safety.’
      • ‘The Muslim calendar is dated from the year of the Hijra (or hegira, as it is sometimes spelt in older English texts).’
      relocation, resettling, population movement, transhumance, moving, moving abroad, emigration, expatriation, posting, exodus, departure, hegira, defection, trek, diaspora
      View synonyms


Late 16th century: via medieval Latin from Arabic hijra ‘departure’, from hajara ‘emigrate’.