At age 25, in 595, he was married an older woman, Khadija, who had previously employed him as her agent in trade. They would go on to have two sons and four daughters.
retreated to a cave in the nearby Mount Hira, just outside Mecca, to meditate.
At age 40, in the month of Ramadan, while he was on one of his retreats,
he received his first revelation from God, brought by the angel Gabriel.
He was called upon to be Gods messenger, to make known Gods
will to the whole of humanity, and to show the way to human dignity, progress
and real happiness.
Only a few people followed Mohammed during the early years of his ministry. Most of the tribes in the area rejected him they had their own gods and their own idols. But Muhammad persevered.
Both Muhammad's wife and his uncle died in 619. When his uncle died, leadership of his clan was given to Abu Lahab, a man who had long been Muhammeds enemy. Abu Lahab removed the protection of his clan from Muhammad, causing him to flee Mecca.
Muhammad took the followers he did have and, in 622, established a settlement at what is now Medina. This migration is called the Hijra.
After eight years
of preaching at Medina, and of warfare between the tribes there, Muhammad
and his followers converted the various tribes of Medina to Islam, united
them into an army, returned to Mecca and conquered it.
After this, Muhammad
led an expedition against northern Arabia. Many local chiefs submitted
to Islam, and as the years went on, more tribal leaders and Bedouin submitted
to the new religion. Indeed, by the time Mohammed died, most of the Arabian
peninsula had been converted to Islam.
death, there was controversy over who would succeed him as leader of Islam.
Many prominent friends of Muhammad wanted Abu Bakr, who was made the first
caliph. However, this choice was contested by others, who believed that
Muhammad had designated his cousin and son-in-la, Ali ibn Abi Talib, as