(Arabic; derived from the root ha-ja-ra, meaning to emigrate from one's own land and take up residence in another country). Technically, the term hijra designates the migration of Prophet Muhammad and his early Muslim community from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. The hijra was taken as a result of the Meccans’ intensifying persecution of the Muslims following the removal of protection from the Prophet upon the death of his uncle, Abu Talib in 619 CE. The Muslim community left for Yathrib (later called Madinat al-Nabi, ‘City of the Prophet’; also known as al-Madinat al-Munawwara, ‘The Illuminated City’). Then, upon receiving the divine command, the Prophet followed his community there. The importance of hijra lies in the fact that it is with hijra that the Muslim community (umma) was firstly formally constituted. Suras in the Qur’an are labeled as either Meccan or Medinan; as the content of the suras reflect the changed position of the umma before and after the hijra. The Muslim calendar provides another indication of the significance of this event: its beginning was set on the first day of the lunar year in which the hijra had taken place.