(Muhammad, Mohammed, or Mahomet; Mecca, h. 575 - Medina, 632) Arab Prophet, founder of the Muslim religion. The biography of Muhammad, of which very few secure data, are known has come to us wrapped in legend. Its original name was probably Ahmad; He was born in a poor family of the noble tribe of Quraish (event that Muslims celebrate with the feast of the Mawlood). At age six he was orphaned and was picked up by his uncle Abú Talib, he accompanied on their journeys of trade.
At the age of twenty-five Mahoma married the rich widow Jadicha, who was raised; Jadicha gave him a daughter, Fatima, in addition to a more comfortable social position as a merchant that is respected in the city. He met, while on the surface, the two great monotheistic religions of his day through small communities Christian and Jewish lived in Mecca and perhaps also for business trips. With so little culture (as it probably was illiterate) were allowed to create a religion that would serve as the basis for an entire culture of universal broadcasting.
At the age of forty Mahoma began to withdraw to the desert and stay whole days in a cave in Mount Hira, where believed to receive revelation from God -Allah-, who spoke to him through the Archangel Gabriel and communicated to him the secret of the true faith. Encouraged by his wife Jadicha, began preaching in his home town, posing as continuation of previous great monotheistic prophets, Abraham, Moses and Jesus Christ. By then Mahoma was limited to preaching the return to the religion of Abraham.
Muhammad got his first followers among poor urban masses, at the time that enemistaba with the rich. When his followers were numerous, the authorities began to see him as a threat to the established order; He was accused of Sham and began the persecution. Some of his followers fled to Abyssinia, where they received the protection of the Christian negus . But the threats to the security of Mohammed came to such an extent that after Jadicha and Abú Talib death in 619, he decided to flee to Medina on July 16, the year 622. The time of that flight - Ah- it is considered as the founding date of the Islamic era.
In Medina, Mahoma took contact with the Jewish community, which rejected him for his erroneous interpretation of the Scriptures. He then realized that his preaching did not lead to the religion of Abraham, they constituted a new faith; then data change of the direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca. Combining persuasion with force, Mahoma was surrounding with followers, who began to practice the plunders against caravans and populations of the environment as a means of life. These skirmishes (Badr, Uhud), elevated to the category of battles by the official story, were discovering the Muslims 'holy war', the use of force to submit and convert unbelievers.
In Medina, Mahoma became a leader not only religious, but also politically and militarily. Clashes between Medina and Mecca culminated with the conquest of the latter city by Mohammedans in the 630, fruit of pressure military, political negotiation and suitable marriage links (Mahoma married up to twelve women, nine of them at the same time). The sanctuary of Kaaba, black stone revered in Mecca, was immediately devoted to Allah. Shortly before his death, Mahoma made a pilgrimage from Medina to Mecca, which has served as a model for this ritual that every Muslim must make once in his life.
Muhammad personally was the creator of Islamic theology, which was reflected in the Quran, only book sacred Muslim; It is a collection of sentences that are supposed to inspired by Allah and that were collected in the life of the Prophet and compiled to the 650.
In the last two years of the life of Muhammad Islam spread to the rest of Arabia, unifying the various pagan tribes who inhabited this territory. They were a set of polytheistic Semitic tribes, whose continuous state of war between clans had blocked them then to have any prominence in history. Despite being born in a backward and marginal region of the planet, and to carry himself a modest environment, Muhammad turned bellicose Arab tribes into a United people and embarked them on an unprecedented expansion. Mahoma died without male heir, disputes broke out by succession, which went to the father-in-law of the Prophet, Abú Bakr, thus become the first Caliph or successor.