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The Beginnings of Islam


A: With the Hijra or Hegire – the migration of the Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Medina in 622. This date marks the beginnings of Islam and the Muslim era.

Beginnings of Islam and Medina – city of the Prophet

After Muhammad’s revelations he began to preach with great zeal. This was still in the area of his home town, Mecca. Some 100 or so followers joined Muhammad, however, there was also great opposition to him. Unable to make any progress in Mecca, Muhammad decided to move to Yathrib, a city some 450 kilometers or 280 miles north of Mecca. The city was later named Medina meaning, “city of the Prophet”.

September 24, 622

This migration, called Hijra in Arabic, started on September 24, 622. This marks the beginning of Islam, and the Muslim calendar starts with this date.

Battles and Victories

During the second year in Medina, life became financially difficult. Muhammad started to raid caravans and divide the spoils among his men. He became very powerful and with just 350 armed men, Muhammad attached a caravan at Badr, defeating an army of one thousand men who had come from Mecca to protect the caravan. The victory at Badr had great importance for Muhammad as it assured him that Allah was with him.

The Importance of Mecca

Muhammad continued to grow in power and in the sixth year of Hijra, 628, a peace treaty was made between the Quraish in Mecca and Muhammad and his followers. Two years later Muhammad broke the treaty by attacking Mecca with an army of ten thousand men. He took control of the city and became the undisputed political and religious leader of Arabia. Mecca became the center of Islam.

Shiites and Sunnis

In the tenth year of Hijra, 632, Muhammad died. After his death a power struggle broke out among his followers. There was division and warfare and several different sects branched out within Islam. The Shia (or Shiites) and the Sunnies became the two major groups within Islam.

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  1. Hello, HMD
    How are you? Well Im trying to understand how Islam started…So where are you getting your info so I could look in to it and understand a lil more.

    • The best book about Islam for non Muslims I can think of is “No god but God” by Islamic scholar Reza Aslan. He writes an objective account about Muhammad’s life, about how Islam developed as a religion, about Islamic empires, about the effects of colonization, and about the Middle East today.

  2. Where do you get that Muhammad’s desires are stronger than what our God will allow.
    Will God let me do as i please b/c i desire it so? even if its against him? when dose God step in? dont we do what we do b/c God allows us to?

    • Johanna,
      God gives us free will. He desires us to follow his laws and his word, but gives us free will to do as we please. If he didnt allow us to do anything not of his will why would there be athiest and people commiting sins daily? What point would there be to stand in judgement upon judgement day? So while God does desire for us to follow him and obey him, he does give us free will.

  3. Hello, how is everyone I just have a few questions for my Muslim brothers…How do Muslims know that God is with them? What kind of relationship do Muslims have with the living God

    • Salaam Alaykum.

      God is not a physical being. It would be illogical to assume so. To say that God is a physical being would mean that God has a form and exists inside the universe, meaning the Creator is in his own Creation/ the Creation was created by a Creation. God is not a physical being, but we believe in him, just like numbers, emotions, etc. are not physical but we know they exist. As long as we obey God, do good deeds, and worship him, nothing prevents God from rewarding us.

  4. NEWS FLASH: The Creator of the Universe, the Master of All doesn’t condone warriors to go kill people, while plundering their belongings! This ancient traditional acceptance in the modern era is stupid and a little embarrassing. When will humanity truely seek the one and only true God? Instead of following ancient pagan writings from thousands of years ago? Islam is false, Christianity is false, Judiasm is false, but God is real WAKE UP seek God not in books written by humanity for the purpose of humanity!!

    • you have a valid point and i would probably agree with it, but dont go around slagging of other religions, epecially three of the world’s major ones. People are free to belive whatever they want. i think the flying spaghetti monster it testimony to that

  5. I have recently taken my shahada and I’m feling very at peace with a lot of things I have believed that islam is the best way of life for over 20 years I have just never felt worthy of embracing allah as my ways r not good . But I feel that to avoid the most peacefull way of life , I Was guilty of running from my real way of life , I am not a perfect practising muslim and I do not preach tothers , however the way is islam and the world has recognised this , which I think is y people r afraid of change but the change is inevetable as it has been proven islam is a peacefull way of life and a respectfull way of living . So I for example have felt the benifit of following islam although my journey is a long one I will achieve the way of life

    • You are following a made up religion of a pedophile and violent man, Arabs have been jealous of Jews since Isaac and Ishmael,, but the God of the universe and maker of heaven and earth has determined that Israel is His land and He will give it to his chosen the Jews,,,we as mortals can accept his way or not because he gave us free will.(meaning the right to love and serve him HIS WAY or not) you are serving out of emotions and feelings and both are very deceptive and Islam is not a peaceful religion,, I read it in the Koran if others won’t convert to Islam then muslims should kill them!!!

      • Wow Lee nahas!!!! I can only but laugh at you… Unbelievable the hate you actually have in you, You are reading the quraan wrong and its leading you to believe what you do and say. I thought the hate for religion would be over and each individual would learn to love and accet the others religion, I am muslim and believe me and many others out there. What you have put down shows your ignorance in learning the next persons religion. I appreciate all religions but follow one maybe you should try the same.

        Olinka I am sure you can vouch as a revert that no one forced you into Islam it was a personal choice. In my view if you look and understand Islam it is a way of life with guidelines of a healthy living same as other religions

      • I’m with you that one Muslim extremist can be very dangerous … deciding who gets to live and who dies. I don’t want to be the decider of life and death. I don’t know how those extremists came to the conclusion they can decide. I can’t respect ignorance. The Bible says, “You know a tree by its fruit.”

  6. Which history books may I ask? Muhammad, peace be upon him, was stoned, persecuted, almost assasinated by the Makkans for almost 13 years. When God finally revealed to him a verse to allow him to protect himself, he went and fought. He made sure not to fight them until they fought him. Second of all, Muhammad, peace be upon him, was invited to Madinah to resolve a dispute between the pagan and Jewish tribes of the city. He drafted a new Constitution, in which his followers (Muslims), the Jews of Madinah, and the pagans of Madinah would protect each other. I don’t know what you’re going on about. I would suggest you read “No god but God” by Islamic Scholar and Middle East political commentator Reza Aslan, instead of reading some fundie Christian sites.

  7. The earth was perfect…..Then people showed up…A Babylon of religious confusion…After thousands of years nothing changed…Just more man made religions…
    God never assigned a religion or denomination to the Ten Commandents….Thats all I
    need….And some beer….

  8. Let me disclose a way for people to find the truth. There can’t be a bunch of truths. In itself that is a contradiction. Of all the beliefs that exist on this planet, most of them have to be wrong. There can only be one answer as to why we are here. What is the oldest written record that is directed to man and for man? That would be the Old Testament. Islam comes into existence around the year 610. That’s 610 years after Christ walked the earth. When Christ walked the earth, the first words that came out of his mouth was to validate the Old Testament. He continually spoke through the Gospels by saying: ‘It is written’. Right off the bat he’s pointing us to what we should be looking to as the source as to why we even believe in God. Just as he did. Just take the time to consider how old this book (Old Testament) is, that he is validating. Jesus is telling us that we have a book to pay attention to that is this old that has been preserved for man. Our foundation for our belief does not come from another man, nor does it come from a Church. It comes from a book that Jesus is validating. So the question arises. Why should we listen to Jesus? And here is where we discover the truth. And here is where we discover the central issue that all man has to answer for himself one way or another. Jesus asked the question of himself: ‘Who do men say that I am.’ Who is or was Jesus, is the issue that must be researched out by each individual and conclude whatever he chooses. But at least make the honest attempt. Don’t let your conclusion be based on what someone else has told you, or based on the misconception that Christianity and Jesus are one in the same.

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