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Muhammad was the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet and God's messenger, sent to present and confirm the monotheistic teachings preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is viewed as the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity and his teachings, practices, and the Quran form the basis of Islamic religious belief.

Born approximately 570 CE (Year of the Elephant) in the Arabian city of Mecca, Muhammad was orphaned at an early age; he was raised under the care of his paternal uncle Abu Talib. Periodically, he would seclude himself in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights of prayer; later, at age 40, he reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave, where he stated he received his first revelation from God. Three years later, in 610, Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "surrender" to him is the right course of action, and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other prophets in Islam.

Muhammad gained few early followers, and met hostility from Meccan polytheists. To escape persecution, he sent some followers to Abyssinia before he and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in the year 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. In December 629, after eight years of intermittent wars with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The conquest went largely uncontested and Muhammad seized the city with little bloodshed. In 632, a few months after returning from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he fell ill and died. Before his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam.

The revelations (each known as Ayah, lit. "Sign [of God]"), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the "Word of God" and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad's teachings and practices (sunnah), found in the Hadith and sira (biography) literature, are also upheld and used as sources of Islamic law (see Sharia).

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Muhammad was the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet and God's messenger, sent to present and confirm the monotheistic teachings preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is viewed as the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity and his teachings, practices, and the Quran form the basis of Islamic religious belief.

Born approximately 570 CE (Year of the Elephant) in the Arabian city of Mecca, Muhammad was orphaned at an early age; he was raised under the care of his paternal uncle Abu Talib. Periodically, he would seclude himself in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights of prayer; later, at age 40, he reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave, where he stated he received his first revelation from God. Three years later, in 610, Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "surrender" to him is the right course of action, and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other prophets in Islam.

Muhammad gained few early followers, and met hostility from Meccan polytheists. To escape persecution, he sent some followers to Abyssinia before he and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in the year 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. In December 629, after eight years of intermittent wars with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The conquest went largely uncontested and Muhammad seized the city with little bloodshed. In 632, a few months after returning from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he fell ill and died. Before his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam.

The revelations (each known as Ayah, lit. "Sign [of God]"), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the "Word of God" and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad's teachings and practices (sunnah), found in the Hadith and sira (biography) literature, are also upheld and used as sources of Islamic law (see Sharia). More

 
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