How did prophets gather followers
Mohammed ibn Abd Allah - The Prophet from Mecca
Religion and Society in the Time of Muhammad
During the Prophet's lifetime, society was divided into different tribes. Muhammad's family belonged to the Kuraish tribe and there in turn to the Hashemite clan. The Hashemites were part of the ruling caste, but not particularly rich. The clan offered protection to the individual.
Mohammed grew up largely without parents. His father died before he was born. At the age of six he also lost his mother. He was first placed in the care of his grandfather, then raised by an uncle.
Mohammed was not a Muslim then. People did not believe in one but in several gods. There were different shrines to which pilgrimages were made for all these gods.
The Kaaba in Mecca was an important place of pilgrimage. A square, cube-shaped building that is an important sanctuary for Muslims to this day. Every year millions of believers make a pilgrimage to Mecca and circle the black block.
The apparition in the cave
The young caravan leader Mohammed married an elderly woman named Khadischa and had seven children with her. Three sons, who sadly all died very early, and four daughters. Mohammed often withdrew to a cave in Mount Hira to meditate and reflect in solitude.
According to the tradition of his future wife Aisha, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him one day at the age of 40. The angel grabbed him, hugged him tightly and only let go of him when he was completely exhausted.
Then he asked him: "Read!". Mohammed hesitantly replied, "I can't read". Gabriel grabbed it again and squeezed it as hard as the first time. Then he let go of him and repeated his command "Read!".
The third time Gabriel continued: "Read in the name of your Lord who created. Created man from a sticky drop. Read, and your Lord is the most generous, who taught with the pen, taught man what he did not know. "
These words later became the first of a whole series of revelations (suras) collected in the Koran. The suras are not chronologically ordered. This bears the number 96, for example. The Koran consists of 114 suras in total.
Mohammed was very frightened after his encounter with the archangel. He left the cave and again heard the terrifying voice of the angel calling: "Mohammed, you are Allah's Messenger and I am Gabriel." Mohammed was supposed to bring divine revelation to people.
He quickly found followers in Mecca. He taught that there could only be one god and not several, as was customary in Mecca until then. He thus represented the doctrine of monotheism, the principle of the one and only God.
Islam prevailed on the Arabian Peninsula
The teachings of Muhammad were suspect to the leaders of his tribe in Mecca. Tensions arose. When the situation became more and more threatening for him, he and his supporters moved to Medina. That was AD 622. The emigration is known as "Hijra". It is the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
In contrast to the Christian calendar, the years are calculated according to the course of the moon and not according to the course of the sun. They are about ten to eleven days shorter.
In Medina, Mohammed wrote a municipal code. He founded the first community on the Arabian Peninsula where people were linked by their religion and not by their tribal affiliation. This community is called "Ummah".
The "Umma" was involved in a series of battles with the tribes of the area in the years to come. Many of the tribal chiefs converted to Islam. Only Mecca persisted.
In 630 AD, Mohammed recaptured his hometown. A great military success that became known far beyond Mecca. This also helped spread his teaching. Until the death of Muhammad in 632 AD, Islam was recognized almost everywhere on the Arabian Peninsula.
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