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Prophet Muhammad
(57O AD - 632 AD)

    Prophet Muhammad was the founder of Islam, one of the foremost religions of the world. His religious ideas were based on equality and belief in the existence of one God. Muhammad denounced idol worship and stressed on equality, honesty and purity in personal life. The teachings of Muhammad are contained in Quran, which is the sacred book of the followers of Islam.

    Muhammad was born in 570 AD in Mecca. Before Muhammad was born, his father had died. His mother too died when he was six years old. So his uncle looked after him and made him a shepherd. He was married to his employer's widow, named Begum Khadiza. Muhammad often sat alone for days together, praying and thinking. At last, he had a vision in which an angel told him truths about God and asked him to go and teach the people about God. Muhammad began to teach religion of Islam.

    Khadizah, is wife was the first person, who accepted Islam religion and later many people became his followers. He had his first revelation in AD 610 and he declared himself, the Prophet of Allah. The keeper of Kaba wanted to kill him. So he fled to Medina in AD 622. This is known as the 'Hijra' and AD 622 marks the beginning of the Muslim Era.

    The people of Medina welcomed Muhammad and became his followers. Muhammad gathered a huge army and fought against the people of Mecca. He became victorious and returned to Mecca in 630 AD as an accepted prophet. He laid down some basic duties for faithful followers of Islam, such as five times prayers during the day, alms to the poor and fasting during the holy month of Ramzan. He died at Medina in 632 AD. So both Mecca and Medina became pilgrimage for the Muslims. The pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina is called Haj.

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