Muhammad was born in Mecca, Arabia, in AD 570. His father died before he was born and his mother died when he was only a child. He was first raised by his grandfather and later by his uncle Abu Talib. He lived with a desert tribe for a while and learned how to shepherd the flocks. At age 25, he began to serve a wealthy widow aged 40 by the name Khadija. They got married and had two sons and four daughters. The two sons died early. One of his daughters married his uncle Abu Talib's son Ali.
Arabia at that time was under bloody civil wars, political corruptions, and oppression of the poor. Muhammad felt the cal of Allah to preach against the present system. He began preaching in AD 610 but faced resistance from his own people. They threatened to kill him. In AD 622, he moved north to Medina. He soon gained some followers. Those accepted Muhammad as the messenger of God were called Muslims which means "one who submits" to God. In AD 630 Muhammad and his followers came back to Mecca and took control of it.
Today, the cities of Mecca and Medina are significant in the Islam religion. The year 622 which Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina is also significant.
Muhammad died in AD 632. His elected successor, Abu Bakr, declared the jihad or holy war from Medina and Mecca to win the world from Spain to India. When they reached Europe, they were defeated by Charles Martel's troops at the Battle of Pointiers or known as the Battle of Tours in 732. Faced with opposition in Europe, they turned eastward to Central Asia, India, and Indonesia. Today, Islam is the major religion in the Middle East, North Africa, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, and Indonesia.
Although Muslims respect and honor Muhammad, they do not worship him. He is considered to be one of the prophets or messengers of God along with Moses, Abraham, and Jesus.
The Islamic book is called the Koran which means the "recitation." Parts of the... [continues]
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