Hijra means migration in Arabic and refers to when Prophet Mohammed made his journey from Makkah to Medina in 622AD
Things you need to know about Islamic New Year
But what is Hijri? Hijra, in Arabic, means migration, and it refers to when Prophet Mohammed made his journey from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD. This is an occasion that led to the establishment of the first Muslim community based on Islamic teachings, therefore the beginning of the Islamic era, 1AH (AH definition: After Hijra).
The Islamic lunar calendar has 354 or 355 days in a year. The year 2017 AD, therefore, falls within Islamic years AH 1438 and 1439.
In terms of celebrations, this is a traditionally quiet holiday. Time is spent with family or in contemplation and prayer. People, in increasing numbers, are using the day to make resolutions.
Why did Mohammed go from Mecca to Medina
Prophet Mohammed was invited to Medina by a delegation representing the twelve most important clans. He accepted and, along with most of his followers, made the 320km trek. The situation in Medina, at this time, was one of confusion and blood feuds. What was needed was a neutral outsider to judge the various altercations. Mohammed accepted the invitation and became chief arbitrator to the entire community.