Spread of Islam

By dyli
  • Period: 1 BCE to 570

    Arabia Before Muhammad

    Makkah was an important city in Arabia that acted as a center for both religion and trade. It was where the Kaaba was, a shrine with 300 religious idols. The city's population was very diverse, with Jews, Christians, and Arabs living in the city. Arabs were named after the word "abhar", which meant to move. This happened because they were mainly nomads. They either originated from Africa or Mesopotamia, and practiced animistic polytheism. The Quraysh were a powerful tribe that protected idols.
  • 570

    Muhammad is born

    Muhammad was born into the Hashim family of the Quraysh tribe. His name meant "highly praised", which would be true later on in time. His father and mother, Abdallah and Amina respectively, both died early on. His father died before his birth, and his mother died when he was six, leading him to live with his uncle, Abu Talib.
  • 595

    Muhammad works for Khadījah bint al-Khuwaylid

    Khadījah bint al-Khuwaylid was a wealthy widow. Muhammad worked for her, and later married her. They had seven children, but only one survived: Fatima, a daughter.
  • Nov 3, 610

    Muhammad believes that people aren't generous enough

    Muhammad looks around at the wealthy families in Mecca, even his own, and sees that they aren't sharing wealth. Tribes were also always fighting.
  • Nov 3, 612

    Gabriel speaks to Muhammad

    Muhammad, disturbed by the greed in the city, left for the mountains (in 610) in search of an answer. He prayed and fasted, forming the basis for the Islamic holiday Ramadan. The angel Gabriel speaks to him on his 17th day in the mountains. Gabriel recited words of Allah, and commanded him to repeat them to his people. Muhammad's wife and her cousin both encouraged him, due to the cousin being Christian. In 612, he finally preaches.
  • Period: Nov 3, 617 to Nov 4, 619

    Muslims were boycotted

    Muhammad preached that the rich and powerful should help the poor and weak. He also tried to convince many to convert to Islam, but left the Jews and Christians alone because they were already "people of the book" and worshiped (more or less) the same god. Many people became Muslims. The Quraysh (who were pagans with power) and merchants did not like this. Non-Muslims boycotted the Muslims and did not allow them their services.
  • Nov 3, 622

    Muslims leave Mecca for Yathrib

    In 621, a group of tribes from Yathrib, tired of fighting among themselves, sought Muhammad for his wisdom. A year later, the Muslims fled from Mecca to Yathrib, which was revolutionary. They were united only by religion, while their culture was based upon family and tribe. Yathrib soon became the city of Medina.
  • Nov 6, 622

    Medina is formed

    When Muhammad formed Medina, he set many bases for Islam. His large, open home served as the first Mosque. The highest number of wives a man could have is commonly viewed as four. Muslims should respect other religions. Muslims should pray towards Mecca instead of Jerusalem. These were some practices created in Medina.
  • Nov 3, 632

    Muhammad dies

    Muhammad's legacy was a great one. After Muhammad's death, Islam spread throughout the region, and even more after that. The religion helped unite the area. Today, there are more than 1.5 million Muslims in the world.
  • Nov 10, 632

    Abu Bakr succeeds Muhammad

    Abu Bakr, being Muhammad's greatest friend and adviser, was second to Muhammad. Abu Bakr used his power to unite the tribes of Arabia to conquer neighboring countries. Abu Bakr also recorded Muhammad's revelations which would then become the Quran.
  • Period: Nov 10, 632 to Nov 11, 634

    Abu Bakr's Rule

  • Nov 10, 633

    Riddah Wars

    The Riddah Wars were the military campaigns instituted by Caliph Abu Bakr to unite the tribes of Saudi Arabia. He fought against non-Islamic people and converted them to Islam. Using this newfound power of all of Arabia, he then focused on taking over the Sassanid/Persian and Byzantine Empires, and therefore declared war. He died shortly after.
  • Nov 10, 634

    Umar succeeds Abu Bakr

    Umar was a brilliant military leader and societal organizer. Using his military prowess, he conquered many parts of the Middle East, from Egypt to Syria to Iran, and even parts of the Byzantine Empire. Using his organizational skills, he was able to strengthen the Arab empire by allowing conquered natives to retain their religion and land but pay a special tax by doing so. Because of this, Caliph Umar was regarded harsh but fair.
  • Period: Nov 10, 634 to Nov 11, 644

    Umar's Rule

  • Nov 10, 644

    Uthman succeeds Umar

    Uthman became Umar's successor as Umar lay dying at the age of 70. Uthman expanded the empire even more, so it encompassed Iran and North Africa. He also standardized the Quran, publishing one copy and requiring all other forms to be burned. Even though he accomplished great feats, he placed his family members in high-ranking government positions, and some citizens believed he was corrupt. He was killed by assassins in 656 CE, leading to a civil war.
  • Period: Nov 10, 644 to Nov 11, 656

    Uthman's Rule

  • Period: Nov 10, 651 to Nov 11, 750

    Umayyad Dynasty

    From 651 to 750 CE, the Umayyad Dynasty ruled. It was the first major dynasty in the Arab Empire. During this dynasty, North Africa, Spain, and parts of Central Asia became part of the empire. The Byzantine Empire and the Sassinid Empire were conquered. This expansion made the empire stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to China. Although Islam was the reason why they fought, people were not forcefully converted.
  • Period: Nov 12, 656 to Nov 13, 661

    Ali's Rule

  • Period: Nov 10, 750 to Nov 11, 1258

    Abbasid Dynasty

    The Abbasid Dynasty overthrew the Umayyad Dynasty in 750 CE. In contrast to the Umayyad's westward expansion, the Abbasids went east, and set their capital in Baghdad. The Abbasid Dynasty slowly weakened as inner political unrest ate away at its control, and in 1258 CE, the Mongols besieged Baghdad and the empire splintered into many (non-religious) dynasties.