The origins and rise of Islam c500-661
The origin and rise of Islam is dated to the 6th and 7th century with the birth of Prophet Mohammed. Prophet Mohammed was born to Abdullah and Aminah bint Wahb in 570. In 582 Prophet Mohammed travelled to Syria with his uncle Abu Talib. They met a Christian monk Bahira who saw the marks of a prophet. In 595 Prophet Mohammed married Khadija for whom he was working.
- Angel Gabriel reveals the Quran in the cave of Hira on 9th February 605. His wife Khadija is the first follower of Islam
- Prophet Mohammed invited the general public to follow Islam in 613 at Mount Safa.
- Between 613 and 618 there were persecutions form Quraish and migrations of Muslims to Abyssinia.
- 619 was the year of sorrow as Khadija died.
- On 9th September 622 the First Islamic Calendar was formed
- The first Islamic state and the Constitution of Medina was formed in 623
- 632 saw the death of Prophet Mohammed. The nine years between saw many battles.
- Till the end of the 7th century there were many battles and Islam spread to many parts.
Islam which was revealed to Prophet Mohammed soon spread and many followers accepted Islam. Islam also spread through conquests, trade and pilgrimages. The greater part of the expansion happened during the rule of Rashidun from 632 to 661 CE. This was the rule of the first four descendants of Prophet Mohammed. A new Islamic political structure known as Caliphate evolved. Islam spread from the Islam state to Spain in the west to India in the east.
Causes and origin of Islam
Though Islam is believed to have started after Prophet Mohammed, it is believed that the covenants existed even before and Prophet Mohammed was the person chosen to whom it was revealed. There is a set of previous scriptures that are mentioned and they are Psalms of David, Hebrew Torah and the Gospels of Jesus Christ. So Islam has been influenced by Judaism and Christianity. Quran accepts these texts but there are many areas where Quran contradicts the ‘previous scriptures’. The revelations, Quran is the basis for Islam and most of it has been delivered by Prophet Mohammed. The Quran was only taught by word of mouth and his followers had to remember it. He would change, add or delete the verses and the followers had to learn all over again.
Developments and Consequences
Prophet Mohammed was known as the “Messenger of God”. But the wealthy people of his clan were against him as his revelations were directed against the rich. The poor and the unfortunate and the foreigner in Mecca followed Prophet Mohammed. But the rich created problems for Prophet Mohammed and he left Mecca to go to Yathrib where the majority were Arab clans. Islam slowly spread. Once when returning from Mecca many people followed Prophet Mohammed and they went to Medina. The journey to Medina was called Hijrah and the Islam calendar began then. In Medina he formally severed his ties with Judaism and Islam as a religion became strong.
The conflict that we see in Israel can be dated back to this era. It is said in Hebrew Torah that God chose Abraham and said he would father the son of God. Abraham’s wife Sarah was barren and with her permission he got a son through his housemaid Hagar. He was named Ishmael. But God had promised a son through Abraham and Sarah and this happened when Abraham was quite old. They named him Issac. Issac gave birth to Jacob and the Lord Jesus Christ was born to Jacob. God also promised Palestine to the descendants of Issac. Now Prophet Mohammed came in the lineage of Ishmael and they claim that God had promised Palestine to them. So the conflict in Israel and Palestine began in the 5th era and till date even the UNO is unable to find a permanent solution in that area.