Place of origin Islam - Where did it begin?
Historically, Islam began in Arabia in the Middle East. Now known as Saudi Arabia, this is where the prophet Muhammad was born, raised, lived, and died.
The city of Mecca, his place of birth, is where he was orphaned. He worked as a young boy in the caravan trade and eventually became the business manager for a wealthy widow, who became his wife.
He preferred solitude to company and would go off on hikes into the surrounding mountains where he heard from God through the angel Gabriel. He then would teach of a monotheistic God to anyone who would listen. His messages angered the businessmen who made a living from the worship of many idols. Thus, his teachings gained disciples, but also many enemies.
As more and more people rallied against him, he moved to Medina, about 200 miles north of Mecca, still in Arabia. His business experience enabled Muhammad to enter in to politics and he became the head of an Islamic city-state. This move, called the hijara marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
The armies of Mecca repeatedly came against him in Medina without success. Eventually, Muhammad invaded Mecca with his own army and overtook the land very easily. He was then able to extend Muslim rule over all of Arabia. He united all the Arab tribes under the religion of Islam.
After his death, a civil war broke out amongst the tribal leaders. After these outbreaks were put down, Islam was successful in many political and military conflicts. This resulted in the proliferation of theology, medicine, science, technology, art, philosophy, and literature.
Through further conquests, the Islamic empire grew across North Africa, the Middle East, and extended to Spain, Portugal, and the borders of the Indian sub-continent.
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