Who is Muhammed and why does he play such an important role in certain
Muhammad was an Arab trader who became the chief prophet and
founder of the Muslim religion, also known as Islam. He lived in the
sixth and seventh centuries AD. At the age of forty, while living in
Mecca, he claimed to have received a vision of the angel Gabriel. In
subsequent “visions” he claimed to receive the various sura’s (the
equivalent of books in the Bible) which were combined to make the Koran,
the scriptures of Islam. Muhammad claimed that he wrote the Koran,
despite being illiterate. After a number of years in Mecca with very
little success at making converts, Muhammad moved to Medina where he
eventually converted hundreds and gained political power in that city.
Later, after several piratical raids on caravans from Mecca, he eventually
conquered his home town, which became the base from which he established
the Muslim empire and spread his new religion throughout the Arabian
peninsula. The Muslim religion is avowedly monotheistic. It has many
elements of Judaism, at least in its historical context. The religion is
based on works salvation, with a very strong emphasis on predestination.
It would be fair to say that Muhammed is one of the four or five most
influential religious leaders in the history of humanity. The religion he
founded claims roughly one billion adherents today across North Africa,
the Middle East and South Asia, as well as scatterings in almost every
country in the world.
There is more information about Muhammad and Islam at this web
site, including a power point Islam Power Point and some notes to
accompany Islam Power Point I could say quite a lot about Muhammad: his
life, his teaching and so forth, but will let you look at the information
already available in these materials. If you have more specific
questions, please forward them to me.