The Rise of Islam

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Muhammad is the founder the religion of Islam. Muhammad is also the last prophet of the religion of Islam. He became a prophet through the angel Gabriel, who expressed God's will to Muhammad. Muhammad taught people that there is only one God and that Allah. Many people became followers of Muhammad's teachings and prayers, they became know as Muslims. Muhammad left his homeland Mecca and made a pilgrimage to Medina. On is way to Median, he attracted many followers of Islam. This journey became known as the Hijrah. Muhammad's teachings and prayers were all compiled into the holy book of Islam called the Qu'ran. The Five Pillars are the major beliefs of Islam. The Five Pillars include faith (faith in one god, Allah), prayer, Alms (give to charity), fasting, and pilgrimage to Mecca. Muhammad's good examples became known as the Sunna and the Shari'a is the body of law for all Muslims. After Muhammad's death, the spread of Islam reached new heights. Muhammad died in 632 A.D. Abu-Bakr became the Muslim ruler, or caliph, after Muhammad's death. The next three caliphs were Umar, Uthman, and Ali. The caliphs helped spread Islam by expanding the Muslim territory. They conquered Syria, lower Egypt, parts of Persia, etc. They built a strong Muslim military. After the death of the last caliph, Ali, the Umayyad dynasty came into power. The Umayyad dynasty didn't do much to spread Islam but they did give rise to a fundamental division in the Muslim community.

Many Muslim groups formed during the Umayyad rule. They formed because the Umayyads lost touch with Islam. The two sects of Islam also formed. The two sects of Islam are the Sunni and Shiite. The Sunnis believe that anyone can be a leader as long as they are Muslim but the Shiites believe that a Muslim leader should be a direct descendant of Muhammad. The Umayyads were overthrown by the Abbasids. Some members of the Umayyad dynasty escaped to Spain while the Umayyad dynasty was being overthrown. In Spain, the members of...
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