Founder of Islam---
Name: Mohammed/Muhammad (meaning: highly praised)
Birth Place: Mecca
Year of Birth: 570 AD
Year of Death: 632 AD
Father: Abdullah (died before he was born)
Mother: Aminah (died when he was six)
Uncle: Abu Talib
Family: Khadija (a rich widow); after her death in 619, he married nine women (including Aisha, the daughter of his kinsman, the daughter of Abu Bakr, a Christian Coptic slave); all his sons died in infancy; an only daughter named Fatima
Occupation (before became a preacher): shepherd (before twelve), trader (after twelve)
Founded Religion: Islam
Teaching: There is no God but Allah
Personality: kind to animals, faithful to Allah, just, humble, friendly, honest
Power of Influence: Islam is the dominant religion of the third-world nations of the Middle East and Africa and the second largest of the world's religions with 589,143,400 followers though it is the youngest of the major religions of the world
An Incident: Once, he heard a child crying outside the mosque while he was leading the prayer. He neither became angry nor got impatient---but he cut the group prayer short as to allow the child's mother to leave the mosque and take care of her child. All the other followers were surprised and as well as touched by Mohammed's considerate and generous manner.
Mohammed was brought up by his uncle Abu Talib because his parents died very early. He accompanied his uncle on a trading mission to Syria when he was only 12. When Mohammed was 25 years old, he met a 40-year-old wealthy widow caravan owner, Khadija and they got married. In the years following his marriage he began to go into the hills surrounding Mecca to meditate about the religious beliefs of the people. One night, Mohammed who was about 40 experienced a vision of Angel Gabriel, who said Mohammed was a prophet of Allah (meaning: God who created everything), the only God. He was greatly perplexed by the experience but was reassured by him wife. So he came to accept his prophetic mission and began to preach, but was met with the rich merchants' rejection and hostility because Mohammed said all people were equal before Allah, including slaves and the poor. In 622 AD, Mohammed escaped to Yathrib (Medina) just as his enemies were preparing to murder him. His flight became known as the Hegira which marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. He was soon given supreme authority in Medina, and he began to establish the ritual practices of Islam and to carry out social reforms.
The Meccans still persisted in their hostility and the first major battle between Mecca and Medina occurred. The Muslims won or held their own against superior forces in all the battles. This led to the spread of Islam at a more rapid pace. The conflicts with Mecca ended when Mohammed entered the city with an army of 10,000 men. This symbolized that Mohammed became the sole leader of the Arabian people. Between 630 and 632, the Muslims under the leading of Mohammed began to unite the towns of Arabia. In 632, Mohammed at the age of 62 died suddenly and unexpectedly in Medina on 8th June of that year.
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