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Muhajir or Mohajir (Arabic: مهاجرmuhāǧir) is an Arabic word meaning immigrant.[1] The Islamic calendar Hejira starts when Muhammad and his companions left Mecca for Medina in what is known as Hijra. They were called Muhajirun. The Arabic root word for immigration and emigration is Hijrat.

Over centuries, the term has been applied to a number of other Muslim refugee and emigrant groups:

  • Ahmad al-Muhajir, an Imam Mujtahid and the progenitor of Ba 'Alawi sada group who migrated from Iraq to Yemen to avoid tribulation in Abbasids
  • Muhajir Khwarezm, the Muslim refugees that escaped Genghis Khan's Mongol invasion of Muslim lands in the 13th century; they settled in other Muslim lands not touched by the conquerors. Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi fled Afghanistan and settled in Anatolia (modern Turkey) to escape the Mongol army
  • Muhajir (Albania), Albanians that used to live in Serbia (near Nis and Prokuplje). Approximately 30,000 ethnic Albanians retreated from the captured areas (partly under duress)[citation needed], seeking refuge in Kosovo and Metohia.
  • Muhajir Crimean, the converted Muslim refugees of Crimean ancestry, Crimean Tatars, that settled in Ottoman Empire after the Russian Empire captured the Crimea from the Muslim Crimean Khanate.
  • Muhajir (Caucasus), the Muslim population of Caucasus resettled in Ottoman Empire, Persia and the wider Middle East after the Caucasian War
  • Muhajir (Turkey), the Muslims of Balkan ancestry that settled in Turkey after the collapse of Ottoman Empire
  • Muhajir people (Pakistan), Muslim immigrants from India and other parts of South Asia who migrated to present-day Pakistan following the independence in 1947 and are predominantly native Urdu speakers
  • Palestinian refugees, Arab refugees, mostly Muslim, who migrated from the territory that became Israel, and are now mostly in neighbouring countries
  • Afghan refugees, Muslim muhajirs from Afghanistan who escaped the Soviet invasion in 1979 until the 2001 U.S. invasion in which the Taliban government was overthrown. The vast majority of them settled in Pakistan as well as in Iran
  • Rohingya refugees, Muslim refugees from Burma in Bangladesh and Pakistan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lane 1893


  • Lane, Edward William (1801–1876). [1956] Arabic-English lexicon. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing. (Originally published in London, 1863–1893)