Mecca, currently Saudi Arabia, 570-Medina, currently Saudi Arabia, June 8, 632

Abū Muḥammad ibn al-Qāsim ʿ Abd Allāh ibn ʿ Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim, is the full name of Mohammed, an Arab prophet and founder of Islam. He led a prosperous and enjoyable family life, performing spiritual retreats and long meditations. According to the story, one day at Mount Hira he was visited by the angel Gabriel, who told him: “You are the messenger of God” and instructed him to recite and preach God’s revelations.

Portrait of the Prophet Muhammad riding the buraq steed.

Portrait of the Prophet Muhammad riding the buraq steed.

These revelations were part of the Koran, the sacred book for Muslims. After this, Muhammad spent the rest of his life preaching the message of one god and a life exercised under submission to Allah. His popularity became a threat to other tribes and in 622 Muhammad was forced to emigrate to Medina with his followers. This episode is called Hijra.

After several military achievements including the battles of Badr and Uhud, Muhammad and the Muslims went to Mecca, achieving its conquest in 630. During the next few years, millions of people recognized him as the last prophet sent by God, and converted to Islam. Thus, Muhammad united the Arabian Peninsula under a single monotheistic religion that has transcended through India, China, Morocco and even Western countries. Muslims and non-Muslims consider him one of the most important religious leaders.