Maal Hijrah to Muslims all over the world is inextricably intertwined with Awal Muharram. The 29th day of December 2008 on the Gregorian calendar recently was Awal Muharram, the 1st day of the Islamic month of Muharram 1430.
Muharram is the first month in the Islamic calendar year which is based on the lunar cycle. And the last month in the Islamic calendar is Zulhijjah, the month when Muslims undertake the pilgrimage to Makkah and when we find the festival and celebrations of Aidil Adha which marks the close of the pilgrimage.
Awal Muharram, the start of the Muslim year, is based on the date of the Hijrah (or Hijra) meaning "migration", of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahhu alaihi wassalam) from Makkah to Medinah, in year 622 on the command and guidance of God, through His Angel Gabriel.
During the 13 years from the first revelation of Islam and its subsequent propagation, the Muslim community in Makkah had been subjected to severe tortures, enslavement, humiliations and persecution by the mostly anti-Muslims Quraish groups.
The Hijrah was in fact a great strategical move to a place where the populace wholeheartedly accepted Muhammad’s (s.a.w) prophet-hood and embraced Islam, and they were bent to defend and fight for the religion.
In fact, after several years, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and his followers were able to return to Makkah where they forgave their enemies, and within a century of his death, Islam had spread to all parts of the world.