This chapter deals with the life and career of Muhammad. In Muslim belief, the religion of Islam is based on divine revelation and represents a divinely willed and established institution. In the perspective of history, the origins of Islam can be traced back to the prophetic career of Muhammad, its historical founder in the first third of the seventh century. Born around 570 in Mecca, a town in a rocky valley of the Hijaz—the northwestern quarter of the Arabian Peninsula—Muhammad began his prophetic proclamations circa 610. He appeared not as a mystic or visionary but as a prophet with the mission to convert the Quraysh, his fellow Arab tribesmen who had settled there. The discussions cover Muhammad's life from ca. 570 to 610; Muhammad's career in Mecca from ca. 610 to 622 and in Medina from 622 to 632; and Muhammad as a political leader.
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