History Of Islam

History Of Islam

Prophet Mohammed was responsible for starting Islam. So, it makes sense that to understand the history of Islam, a person should first get to know more about the Prophet’s life. It was in 570 AD when Mohammed Ibn Abdallah’s birth took place in Mecca, which is located in present-day Saudi Arabia. Mohammed never knew his father, as he died before Mohammed was born.

Unfortunately, Mohammed lost his mother too when he was just six years old. This prompted Mohammed’s uncle, Abu Talib, to adopt him. When Mohammed was 12 years old, he set out to Syria to trade on a caravan. It is during this travel that a monk called Buhaira claimed that Mohammed was the last of the prophets and warned him to be careful of the Jews. Thereafter, there is no record of Mohammed’s life for the next thirteen years. However, records do show that he was active in caravan trading.

When Mohammed was twenty-five years old, he got married to rich widow, who was older than him by 15 years. His wife was called Khadijah, and she owned several trading caravans. During the caravan trades after marriage, Mohammed came in touch with Hanefites, who were Arabs but did not want to worship idols. They thought about joining the Christians and the Jews, as both religions did not have idol worship.

When Mohammed was around forty years old, in 610 AD, he had this 1st vision. At that time, he was taking shelter in Mount Hera in a cave. Mohammed thought that he was possessed by demons. This really frightened him. So, he went to his wife and narrated the incident. His wife, in turn, spoke to her uncle, who was a Hanefite, but was a Christian convert. It was this uncle, who told Mohammed’s wife that it was not demons that had possessed Mohammed, but God had come to him. The uncle wasted no time in making Mohammed a prophet and called upon other Arabs to look up to him.

This is when Mohammed started his preaching. He told people that there was just one god and that was Allah. He also called upon the people to reject worshipping of idols. However, people were not too conducive to Mohammed’s preaching. He was protected by Abu Talib’s tribe the Hasims in the initial stages. When his wife and uncle passed away in 619, Mohammed spent the next three years roaming from one city to another to evade the people who wanted to kill him.

In was only in 621 AD that tribes from Yatrob, present-day Medina, called upon Mohammed to become their prophet. These tribes were informed by the other Jewish tribes that a messiah would soon come and take over the Arab world. The tribes thought that Mohammed was that messiah. This began the start of Islam and the believers of Mohammed were called Muslims.

However, life for the Muslims was not easy. They were being persecuted. So, in 622 AD, in the month of June, around hundred and fifty Muslims from Medina decided to go to Medina. In the meantime, when the people in Mecca found about this flight, they tried to kill Mohammed. However, Mohammed along with another person called Abu Bakr managed to escape from Mecca and made their way to Medina. On reaching Medina, the Arabs tribes there made Mohammed into their prophet. However, the Jewish tribes did not accept him. The Muslim immigrants coming to Medina did not have jobs, so they resorted to robbing caravans that were going to Mecca. To overcome the robbing of their caravans, the trades in Mecca sent 1,000 soldiers to fight the Muslims in Medina. The three hundred Muslim soldiers won this battle called Battle of Bedr. Mohammed claimed that they were helped by Allah and this is when the Muslims started praying facing Mecca instead of Jerusalem.

This also sowed seeds of discontent between the Muslims and Jews. They fought several battles. In most battles the Muslims won and this gave more power to Mohammed. The Jewish men were killed after the battles, while the children and women were made into slaves and sold.

Soon Mohammed had a huge army comprising of thousands of soldiers. He attacked the city of Mecca and took it over. The residents living in Mecca embraced Mohammed as their prophet. Mohammed also went to the city of Kaaba and destroyed nearly three hundred and sixty idols there. Soon, the Muslims were waging a jihad or holy war against the neighboring cities to get them to embrace Islam and take Mohammed as their prophet.
In 632, Mohammed died all of a sudden and his friend Abu Bakr ended up becoming the leader and replacing Mohammed. He was made into the Caliph. Abu Bakr ensured that Islam became the all powerful religion in the Arab peninsula and when he died in 634, Umar became the second Caliphate. Under Umar’s leadership, Islam spread to Palestine and Syria, and the Byzantium army had to give up Jerusalem to the Muslims.

It was during the fourth Caliphate that the Muslims divided into Shia and Sunni. The Shia group thought that Ali, Mohammed’s son-in-law should have taken over after the demise of Mohammed and Ali’s sons should have also been the rightful leaders of Islam. On the other hand, the Sunni group accepts the first 3 Caliphates as the rightful leaders of Islam.

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History Of Islam

TruthNet: The History Of Islam
http://www.truthnet.org/islam/whatisislam.html