Brief History of Islam
Islam was gradually revealed to humanity by a number of earlier prophets, but the final and complete revelation of the faith was made through the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the 7th century CE.
Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Mecca in Saudi Arabia in 570.
He was a deeply spiritual man, and often spent time in meditation on Mount Hira.
One night in 610 he was meditating in a cave on the mountain when he was visited by the angel Jibreel who ordered him to "recite". After some difficulty Muhammad (pbuh) found that he was reciting words which he came to understand were the words of God.
During the rest of his life Muhammad (pbuh) continued to receive these revelations. The words were remembered and recorded, and form the text of the Holy Qu'ran, the Muslim scripture.
Realising that God had chosen him as his messenger Muhammad began to preach what God had revealed to him.
The simple and clear-cut message of Islam, that there is no God but Allah, and that life should be lived in complete submission to the will of Allah, was attractive to many people, and they flocked to hear it.
Muhammad's (pbuh) popularity was seen as threatening by the people in power in Mecca, and Muhammad (pbuh) took his followers on a journey from Mecca to Medina in 622.
This journey is called the Hijrah (migration) and the event was seen as so important for Islam that 622 is the year in which the Islamic calendar begins.
The Return to Mecca
7 years late Muhammad (pbuh) had gained so many followers that he was able to return to Mecca and conquer it.
From this time on he was generally accepted as the true final Prophet of God (pbuh).
Muhammad continued to lead his community both spiritually and in earthly matters until his death in 632.
Article Contributed by: itsIslam Staff