From the beginning, Muhammad was absorbed in religion. He would often withdraw and spend days and night at a cave near Mt. Hira close to Mecca. Here he meditated and prayed. One night, as he was alone in the cave the angle Gabriel appeared to him and proclaimed Muhammad to be the messenger of Allah. He bade Muhammad to spread his faith among the people of Arabia.
Muhammad accepted this as a true revelation from heaven and it encouraged him to now announce his mission. He openly announced himself as the prophet of Allah, ‘divinely commissioned to lead the Arab people to a new morality and a monotheistic faith’. Muhammad condemned the worship of many gods and idols, as was then prevalent amongst the Arab tribes. By doing so, he turned the Arabs and also his own tribesmen against himself. He was abused and stoned by them. Some Arabs got together to plan his murder. He took shelter in Medina. His flight to Medina with a group of followers on July 2, A.D. 622 is known as the Hijra and is regarded as the official beginning of the Mohammedan era.
In Medina, Muhammad preached his religion and won many flowers. Muhammad said, “Allah is most great” and founded his new faith Islam which means ‘to surrender’, ‘to make peace’. Its flowers came to be called Mussalmans or Muslims.
In A.D. 630, Muhammad proclaimed Mecca as the holy city of Islam. He continued preaching his new religion and won many converts. In A.D. 632 after a long illness, he passed away.
Muhammad left behind a religion simple and clear and strong which remains to this day a virile force through half the world.