Muhammad is born

570 Jan 1
, Mecca

Muhammad, the son of 'Abdullah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim and his wife Aminah, was born in 570 CE, approximately, in the city of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula. He was a member of the family of Banu Hashim, a respected branch of the prestigious and influential Quraysh tribe.


576 Jan 1
, Mecca

Muhammad was orphaned when young. Some months before the birth of Muhammad, his father died near Medina on a mercantile expedition to Syria. When Muhammad was six, he accompanied his mother Amina on her visit to Medina, probably to visit her late husband's tomb. While returning to Mecca, Amina died at a desolate place called Abwa, about half-way to Mecca, and was buried there. Muhammad was now taken in by his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, who himself died when Muhammad was eight, leaving him in the care of his uncle Abu Talib.

Muhammad marries Khadijah

595 Jan 1
, Mecca

Around the age of twenty five, Muhammad was employed as the caretaker of the mercantile activities of Khadijah, a distinguished Quraysh lady of 40 years of age. Khadijah entrusted a friend named Nafisa to approach Muhammad and ask if he would consider marrying. When Muhammad hesitated because he had no money to support a wife, Nafisa asked if he would consider marriage to a woman who had the means to provide for herself. Muhammad agreed to meet with Khadijah, and after this meeting they consulted their respective uncles. The uncles agreed to the marriage, and Muhammad's uncles accompanied him to make a formal proposal to Khadijah. Khadijah's uncle accepted the proposal, and the marriage took place.

Black Stone

605 Jan 1
, Kaaba

According to a narration collected by historian Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad was involved with a well-known story about setting the Black Stone in place in the wall of the Kaaba in 605 CE. The Black Stone, a sacred object, was removed during renovations to the Kaaba. The Meccan leaders could not agree which clan should return the Black Stone to its place. They decided to ask the next man who comes through the gate to make that decision; that man was the 35-year-old Muhammad. This event happened five years before the first revelation by Gabriel to him. He asked for a cloth and laid the Black Stone in its center. The clan leaders held the corners of the cloth and together carried the Black Stone to the right spot, then Muhammad laid the stone, satisfying the honor of all.

First Vision

610 Jan 1
, Cave Hira

According to Muslim belief, at the age of 40, Muhammad is visited by the angel Gabriel while on retreat in a cave named Hira on Mount Jabal al-Nour, near Mecca. The angel recites to him the first revelations of the Quran and informs him that he is God's prophet. Later, Muhammad is told to call his people to the worship of the one God, but they react with hostility and begin to persecute him and his followers.

Muhammad began to preach to the public

613 Jan 1
, Mecca

According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad's wife Khadija was the first to believe he was a prophet. She was followed by Muhammad's ten-year-old cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib, close friend Abu Bakr, and adopted son Zaid. Around 613, Muhammad began to preach to the public (Quran 26:214). Most Meccans ignored and mocked him, though a few became his followers. There were three main groups of early converts to Islam: younger brothers and sons of great merchants; people who had fallen out of the first rank in their tribe or failed to attain it; and the weak, mostly unprotected foreigners.

Persecution of Muslims

Persecution of Muslims

613 Jul 1
, Mecca

As his followers increased, Muhammad became a threat to the local tribes and rulers of the city, whose wealth rested upon the Ka'aba, the focal point of Meccan religious life that Muhammad threatened to overthrow. Tradition records at great length the persecution and ill-treatment towards Muhammad and his followers. Sumayyah bint Khayyat, a slave of a prominent Meccan leader Abu Jahl, is famous as the first martyr of Islam; killed with a spear by her master when she refused to give up her faith. Bilal, another Muslim slave, was tortured by Umayyah ibn Khalaf who placed a heavy rock on his chest to force his conversion.

Manuscript illustration by Rashi ad-Din's "World History", depicting the Negus of Abyssinia (traditionally attributed to the king of Aksum) declining the request of a Meccan delegation demanding from him to yield up the Muslims.

Migration to Abyssinia

615 Jan 1
, Aksum

In 615, some of Muhammad's followers emigrated to the Ethiopian Kingdom of Aksum and founded a small colony under the protection of the Christian Ethiopian emperor Aṣḥama ibn Abjar. Ibn Sa'ad mentions two separate migrations. According to him, most of the Muslims returned to Mecca prior to Hijra, while a second group rejoined them in Medina. Ibn Hisham and Tabari, however, only talk about one migration to Ethiopia. These accounts agree that Meccan persecution played a major role in Muhammad's decision to suggest that a number of his followers seek refuge among the Christians in Abyssinia.

Year of Sorrow

619 Jan 1
, Mecca

In the Islamic tradition, the Year of Sorrow ( عام الحزن‎) is the Hijri year in which Muhammad's wife Khadijah and his uncle and protector Abu Talib died. The year approximately coincided with 619 CE or the tenth year after Muhammad's first revelation.

The Al-Qibli Chapel, Part of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in the Old City of Jerusalem. Considered to be the third holiest site in Islam after Al-Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi.

Isra and Mi'raj

620 Jan 1
, Al-Aqsa Mosque

Islamic tradition states that in 620, Muhammad experienced the Isra and Mi'raj, a miraculous night-long journey said to have occurred with the angel Gabriel. At the journey's beginning, the Isra, he is said to have traveled from Mecca on a winged steed to "the farthest mosque." Later, during the Mi'raj, Muhammad is said to have toured heaven and hell, and spoke with earlier prophets, such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Ibn Ishaq, author of the first biography of Muhammad, presents the event as a spiritual experience; later historians, such as Al-Tabari and Ibn Kathir, present it as a physical journey.

Some western scholars? hold that the Isra and Mi'raj journey traveled through the heavens from the sacred enclosure at Mecca to the celestial al-Baytu l-Maʿmur (heavenly prototype of the Kaaba); later traditions indicate Muhammad's journey as having been from Mecca to Jerusalem.


Hegira and the start of the Islamic calendar

622 Jun 1
, Medina

In June 622, warned of a plot to assassinate him, Muhammad secretly slipped out of Mecca with Abu Bakr and moved his followers to the nearby town of Yathrib (later to be known as Medina) in a large agricultural oasis, where the people there accepted Islam. Those who migrated from Mecca along with Muhammad became known as muhajirun. This marks the "Hegira" or "emigration," and the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
Battle of Badr

Battle of Badr

624 Mar 13
, Battle of Badr

Muhammad took keen interest in capturing Meccan caravans after his migration to Medina, seeing it as repayment for his people, the Muhajirun. A few days before the battle, when he learnt of a Makkan caravan returning from the Levant led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, Muhammad gathered a small expeditionary force to capture it. Though outnumbered more than three to one, the Muslims won the battle, killing at least forty-five Meccans with fourteen Muslims dead. They also succeeded in killing many Meccan leaders, including Abu Jahl. The Muslim victory strengthened Muhammad's position; Medinans eagerly joined his future expeditions and tribes outside Medina openly allied with Muhammad. The battle marked the beginning of the six-year war between Muhammad and his tribe.

The Prophet Muhammad and the Muslim Army at the Battle of Uhud

Battle of Uhud

625 Mar 23
, Mount Uhud

The Battle of Uhud (غَزْوَة أُحُد‎) was fought on Saturday, 23 March 625 AD in the valley north of Mount Uhud. The Qurayshi Meccans, led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, commanded an army of 3,000 men toward Muhammad's stronghold in Medina. The battle was the only battle throughout the Muslim–Quraish War in which the Muslims did not manage to defeat their enemy and it came just nine months after the Battle of Badr.

Combat between Ali ibn Abi Talib and Amr Ibn abde Wudd near Medina

Battle of the Trench

626 Dec 29
, near Medina

The Battle of the Trench (غزوة الخندق‎) was a 27-day-long defence by Muslims of Yathrib (now Medina) from Arab and Jewish tribes. The strength of the confederate armies is estimated around 10,000 men with six hundred horses and some camels, while the Medinan defenders numbered 3,000. In the siege of Medina, the Meccans exerted the available strength to destroy the Muslim community. The failure resulted in a significant loss of prestige; their trade with Syria vanished.

Treaty of Hudaybiyyah

Treaty of Hudaybiyyah

628 Jan 1
, Medina

The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah was a pivotal treaty between Muhammad, representing the state of Medina, and the Qurayshi tribe of Mecca in January 628. After the signing of the treaty, the Quraysh of Mecca no longer considered Muhammad to be a rebel or a fugitive from Mecca. It helped to decrease tension between the two cities, affirmed peace for a period of 10 years , and authorised Muhammad's followers to return the following year in a peaceful pilgrimage, later known as The First Pilgrimage.

Muhammad conquers Mecca

Muhammad conquers Mecca

630 Jan 1
, Mecca

The truce of Hudaybiyyah was enforced for two years until a tribal killing caused an issue. After this event, Muhammad sent a message to Mecca with three conditions, asking them to accept one of them. These were: either the Meccans would pay blood money for the slain among the Khuza'ah tribe, they disavow themselves of the Banu Bakr, or they should declare the truce of Hudaybiyyah null. The Meccans replied that they accepted the last condition. Muhammad marched on Mecca with 10,000 Muslim converts. He enters the city peacefully, and eventually all its citizens accept Islam. The prophet clears the idols and images out of the Kaaba and rededicates it to the worship of God alone. The conquest marked the end of the wars between the followers of Muhammad and the Quraysh tribe.

Conquest of Arabia | ©Angus McBride

Conquest of Arabia

630 Feb 1
, Hunain

Following the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad was alarmed by a military threat from the confederate tribes of Hawazin who were raising an army double the size of Muhammad's. The Banu Hawazin were old enemies of the Meccans. They were joined by the Banu Thaqif (inhabiting the city of Ta'if) who adopted an anti-Meccan policy due to the decline of the prestige of Meccans. Muhammad defeated the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes in the Battle of Hunayn.

Expedition of Tabuk

Expedition of Tabuk

630 Aug 1
, Expedition of Tabuk

Muhammad and his forces marched northwards to Tabuk, near the Gulf of Aqaba in October 630. It was his largest and last military expedition. After arriving at Tabuk and camping there, Muhammad's army prepared to face the Byzantine invasion. Muhammad spent twenty days at Tabuk, scouting the area, making alliances with local chiefs. With no sign of the Byzantine army, he decided to return to Medina. Though Muhammad did not encounter a Byzantine army at Tabuk, according to the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, "this show of force demonstrated his intention to challenge the Byzantines for control of the northern part of the caravan route from Mecca to Syria".

Death of Muhammad

632 Jun 8
, Medina

Muhammad dies after a prolonged illness on Monday, 8 June 632, in Medina, at the age of 62 or 63, in the house of his wife Aisha. The Muslim community elects his father-in-law and close associate, Abu Bakr, as caliph, or successor.


References for Prophet Muhammad.

  • A.C. Brown, Jonathan (2011). Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-955928-2.
  • Guillaume, Alfred (1955). The Life of Muhammad: A translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-636033-1
  • Hamidullah, Muhammad (1998). The Life and Work of the Prophet of Islam. Islamabad: Islamic Research Institute. ISBN 978-969-8413-00-2
  • Lings, Martin (1983). Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources. Islamic Texts Society. ISBN 978-0-946621-33-0. US edn. by Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
  • Peters, Francis Edward (1994). Muhammad and the Origins of Islam. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-1876-
  • Rubin, Uri (1995). The Eye of the Beholder: The Life of Muhammad as Viewed by the Early Muslims (A Textual Analysis). Darwin Press. ISBN 978-0-87850-110-6.