Islam, which is today, one of the greatest religions of the world had its origin in Arabia in the seventh century. The doctrines of this faith were first proclaimed by Proclaimed by Prophet Muhammad under whose banner the scattered tribes of Arabia became a nation. Prophet Muhammad was born in A.D. 570 at Mecca in Arabia.

From the beginning, Muhammad was absorbed in religion. He would often withdraw and spend days and night at a cave near Mt. Hira close to Mecca. Here he meditated and prayed. One night, as he was alone in the cave the angle Gabriel appeared to him and proclaimed Muhammad to be the messenger of Allah. He bade Muhammad to spread his faith among the people of Arabia.

Muhammad accepted this as a true revelation from heaven and it encouraged him to now announce his mission. He openly announced himself as the prophet of Allah, ‘divinely commissioned to lead the Arab people to a new morality and a monotheistic faith’. Muhammad condemned the worship of many gods and idols, as was then prevalent amongst the Arab tribes. By doing so, he turned the Arabs and also his own tribesmen against himself. He was abused and stoned by them. Some Arabs got together to plan his murder. He took shelter in Medina. His flight to Medina with a group of followers on July 2, A.D. 622 is known as the Hijra and is regarded as the official beginning of the Mohammedan era.

In Medina, Muhammad preached his religion and won many flowers. Muhammad said, “Allah is most great” and founded his new faith Islam which means ‘to surrender’, ‘to make peace’. Its flowers came to be called Mussalmans or Muslims.


In A.D. 630, Muhammad proclaimed Mecca as the holy city of Islam. He continued preaching his new religion and won many converts. In A.D. 632 after a long illness, he passed away.

Muhammad left behind a religion simple and clear and strong which remains to this day a virile force through half the world.

Teachings of Muhammad:

The teachings of Muhammad are contained in the ‘Holy Quran’. Some of his teachings are as follows:


1. There is only one god- ‘Allah’ and Muhammad is his prophet.

2. Idol worship is a curse and should be abandoned.

3. All men are equal and there should be no distinction of any sort among the prophet’s followers. There should be no question of inferiority and superiority.

4. There will be a day of judgment when each one will be rewarded or punished according to one’s deeds.


5. A Muslim should pray on Friday at the mosque and observe the five appointed times of prayer or Namaz.

6. He should give charity to the poor.

7. He should fast during the month of Ramzan. This is regarded as one of the very pious duties of every Muslim.

8. Muslim should go to Mecca, once in a lifetime.


Muhammad was against the practice of drinking and gambling. He also vehemently condemned the taking of the flesh of pig.

He was in favor of treating the women and slaves kindly. Muhammad tried to improve the position of women in Arabia. He put an end to the practice of female infanticide and tried to place women on the same footing with man in legal processes. He put some restrictions on the movement of women. He believed that ‘their homes are better for them’ and that they should go out of their homes only when necessary. He also emphasized on the modesty of dress. Muhammad thought the mother to be worthy of much respect.

During Muhammad’s time, Islam spread to almost the whole of Arabia. But gradually it spread to the other parts of the world as well such as Western Asia, Africa, Europe, India, the Malay Archipelago, etc.