Muhammad (PBUH) was born in Makkah in the year 570 A.D, at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe.
Muhammad (PBUH) was the son of 'Abd Allah, a noble from the tribe of the Quraysh. Muhammad's father died before Muhammad's birth, and his mother, Aminah died shortly afterwards. Muhammad was raised by his uncle, Abu Talib from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, earning the title of al Amin, the trustworthy one. The historians describe him as calm and meditative.
Muhammad (PBUH) was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society. It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near the summit of Jabal-al-Nur, the 'Mountain of Light' near Makkah.
At the age of 40 in 610 A.D, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Qur'an.
As soon as He began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution which grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijra, 'migration', in which they left Makkah for the city of Madinah some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
God's message as conveyed through Muhammad (PBUH) was not unanimously accepted in Makkah. Pagan worshippers threatened by the new monotheistic religion and merchants anxious to preserve the profitable pilgrimage trade intensified their opposition to the followers of Islam. To foil an assassination plot against him. Muhammad (PBUH) and a small group of his dedicated followers emigrated to Madinah. This, the Hijrah or emigration, dates the beginning of the Islamic calendar and the history of the Islamic community. In 629, the Prophet Muhammad re-entered Makkah without bloodshed, destroying the idols in the Ka'abah,. and the inhabitants of Makkah embraced Islam.
After several years, the Prophet and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet died at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a century of his death Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China.
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