The Birth and Rise of Islam

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Muslims believe that their faith is the culmination of the revelations given to the faithful Hebrews and Christians of old. However, their teachings diverge from the Bible on some points, even though they cite both Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures in the Quran.


Thus, all Muslims belong to one community, the umma, irrespective of their ethnic or national background
Muhammad was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, about 570 C.E. His father, 'Abd Allah, died before Muhammad's birth. His mother, Aminah, died when he was about six years old. At that time the Arabs practiced a form of worship of Allah that was centered in the Mecca valley, at the sacred site of the Kabah. A simple cube like building where a black meteorite was revered. As Muhammad grew up, he questioned the practices of his day. At age 25, Muhammad married Khadija, a well-to-do, 40-year-old woman. At age 40, during a retreat in the hills outside Mecca, Muhammad had his first experience of Islam. The angel Gabriel appeared to a fearful Muhammad and informed him that he was God's chosen messenger. Gabriel also communicated to Muhammad the first revelation from God. Terrified and shaken, Muhammad went to his home. His wife became the first person to accept his message and convert to Islam. After receiving a series of additional revelations, Muhammad started preaching the new religion, initially to a small circle of relatives and friends, and then to the general public.
The Meccans first ignored Muhammad, then ridiculed him. ...
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