Hegira The Latin name for the Hijra, the Prophet Muhammad’s flight from Mecca to Yathrib (Medina) in 622 ce. The term is used in the often abbreviated year naming system Anno Hegirae (ah) which forms the basis of the Islamic Hijri calendar, 1 ah being the year of the emigration. The Hijri calendar is based on the lunar cycle and so the Islamic year has approximately 354 days.
Hejaz The old name for Arabia. Now the west coast region of the Arabian Peninsula, entirely contained within modern-day Saudi Arabia.
hibah A gift or donation. Gifts were expressly encouraged by the Prophet Muhammad to increase goodwill and friendship, especially when no gift is expected in return. It can also mean the distribution of one’s wealth among one’s family as in a will, although it can be done at any time during the donor’s life. Loans often use the hibah principle instead of interest. The borrower will thank the lender by giving a discretionary gift, although no such gift can be claimed or demanded by the lender.
Hidden Imam Twelver Shi’a Muslims believe that the Twelfth Imam (the twelfth rightful successor to the Prophet Muhammad, the first being Ali) never died but went into occultation or hiding, and will return at the end of time to bring peace and justice.
high street bank An informal term given to everyday retail banks with multiple branches, traditionally found in towns and cities and dealing with members of the public. Many towns in Britain traditionally had a street named (officially or informally) High Street, which is where the name originates from. The term is usually used to differentiate between retail banks and, for example, merchant banks. The phrase ‘high street’ is similarly used in other sectors, for example ‘high street fashion’ is clothing worn by the masses and purchased from chain stores as opposed to high fashion and designer labels. (Note that high street bank does not have a capital ‘H’ or ‘S’.)
hijab A modest form of veil worn by Muslim women and girls which allows the whole of the face to be seen but covers the hair, neck and shoulders. It is extremely common in the Muslim world and in secular countries, and they are often coloured or patterned rather than black.