This in connection with the business of his

This tribe had great sway over the religious system of the Arabs. The prophet had not yet seen the light of the day when his father breathed his last. Amina, his mother, also did not survive long and expired when he was only six years of age. Therefore, the early life of Prophet Muhammad was full of difficulties. He was brought up by his uncle Abu Talib. He was not a very rich fellow.

Prophet Muhammad was very thoughtful from the very childhood. He came in contact with the Jews and Christians in connection with the business of his uncle. After this the feeling of oneness of God developed in his heart. He could come out from his financial difficulties after marrying Khadija, a rich widow. She was quite elder to him but her riches gave him an opportunity to think about God without worrying for bread and butter.

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Gradually his religious and spiritual thinking turned him into a great devotee of God. After his marriage and at the age of about forty, he underwent a spiritual transformation which invoked in him the feeling that he was a prophet and a messenger (Nabi and Rasul) of God on earth and he should try to do some good for the suffering humanity.

By this time the Arabs were idol worshippers like the Hindus. There were more than three hundred idols of different gods in Mecca. Among them the idols of Lat, Manat and Uzza, the supposed daughters of Allah, were most popular. Kaba, where these idols existed, was a famous religious place of the Arabs. It was founded by Ismail and Ibrahim and it was standing as such since then. Prophet Muhammad having established a new religion, called Islam, opposed the worship of idols so far performed by the Arabs.

The people of Quresh tribe opposed Islam vehemently for it was against idol worship which was the source of income of Quresh tribe and the prophet stressed that God needs no intermediaries between Him and man. Therefore, only Allah should be worship­ped instead of his mediators. In the beginning he preached the new faith secretly but after three years when he started preaching Islam openly, some people of Mecca opposed him and he decided to leave Mecca.

The people of Yasrib, later known as Madina, invited him and he went there in 622 A.D.. This date is regarded as very significant in the history of Islam as the Hijri calendar begins from this very year. The people of Madina not only welcomed Prophet Muhammad but also his new faith and ideas and they became the followers of Islam. During his stay at Madina, Muhammad, the prophet, compiled the Quran, the religious text of Islam.

The people of Mecca were finally defeated in the battle of Badir in 630 A.D. and soon Islam spread in the entire Arab countries. Prophet Muhammad breathed his last in 632 A.D. but it did not put a stop to his mission.

The work of the expansion of Islam was carried on by the Omayyad and Abbasid Khalifas even after his death. V. A. Smith has written in this context,

“The rapidity of the spread of Islam, the religion of Muhammad, and the dramatic suddenness with which the adherents of his creed rose to a position of dominant sovereignty constitute one of the marvels, or, it might be said, miracles of history.”