Muh?ammad (Arabic: ????? ?; also Mohammed, Mahomet, and other variants), 570-632 CE, established the religion of Islam and the Muslim community (Ummah). Muslims believe him to have been God`s final prophet, to whom the Qur`an was divinely revealed.
The name Muhammad etymologically means "the praised one" in Arabic , being a passive participle from the root ?-M-D ??? "to praise". Within Islam, Muhammad is known as "The Prophet" and "The Messenger". The Qur`an (33:40) also refers to him as the "Seal of the Prophets". In verse 61:6 he is referred to as Ahmad, which in Arabic means `more praiseworthy`.
Born to ‘Abdu’llah ibn ‘Abdu’l-Muttalib, Muhammad initially adopted the occupation of a merchant, He was renowned amongst all tribes as being "sadaq" and "ameen", meaning honest and truthful. He often retreated to a cave on a mountain outside Mecca called Hira, for contemplation. Muslims believe that in the year 610, when Muhammad was about forty, he was visited in the cave by the Angel Gabriel who commanded him to recite verses sent by God. These first verses started:"READ, in the name of thy Sustainer, who has created man out of a germ-cell" and continued through the end of Prophet`s life. The Qur`an was revealed to Muhammad over a period of about twenty-three years, until his death.
He expanded his mission as a prophet, publicly preaching strict monotheism and warning of a Day of Judgment when all humans shall be held responsible for their deeds. He did not reject Judaism and Christianity, two other monotheistic faiths known to the Arabs, but said that he had been sent by God in order to complete and perfect those teachings.
Many in Mecca resented his preaching and persecuted him and his followers. Eventually, in 622, he was forced to move out of Mecca in a journey known to Muslims as the Hijra (the Migration). He settled in the area of Yathrib (now known as Medina) with his followers, where he was the leader of the first avowedly Muslim community.
The Meccans started att