Muhammad was born in Arabia, a country in the Middle East. His parents died when he was a child and he was raised by his kind-hearted uncle.
When got he grew up he became a successful trader in the city of Mecca. Muhammad later got married and had a number of children.
Muhammad in Mecca
Mecca was a very busy place, with traders coming from far and wide to buy and sell goods in the market.
Pilgrims came to pray at the shrine in the centre of the city and local business people made a lot of money from pilgrims and traders.
The dishonesty of the business people in Mecca worried Muhammad. He saw how they were drunk and gambled and were often violent and so he began to go off by himself to the hills outside the city. He wanted to be alone to think and pray.
One day, Muhammad was alone in a cave in the hills. Something special happened.
An angel of God came to him and told him that there is only one God: Allah, and Muhammad was Allah’s messenger.
He was frightened and rushed home to tell his wife, who calmed him down and believed everything he said. She felt that her husband was a holy man, a prophet.
After that the angel spoke to Muhammad many times and these words were later written down in a holy book called the Qu’ran.
Muhammad went out to teach his message on the streets of Mecca. He told people to change their ways.
Only a few people listened to Muhammad because his message was bad for business.
The city traders became angry with him and he had to leave. The people of the city of Medina invited him to come and teach there.
Muhammad took his family and traveled across the desert. The journey from Mecca to Medina is called the Hejira and this event marks the beginning of Islam.
Muhammad and his family were welcomed in Medina and he soon became the ruler of the city.
Later he went back to Mecca with a large army. He went to the shrine and removed all the statues. It then became the shrine of the one God, Allah.
Muhammad taught his followers to believe in Allah and live good lives. Mecca became the holy city of Islam. Muhammad died in Medina, aged 62 years.