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Ask A Muslim: How Did Islam Begin?

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What do you want to Ask a Muslim? Submit your questions online or fill out the form below.

By Maimoona Harrington

How did Islam begin?

Islam originated in a town called Makkah, also spelled Mecca, in the Arabian Peninsula, which is present day Saudi Arabia. In 610 C.E Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received his first revelation, also known as “ وحی (wahee)” in Arabic, in the cave Hira mountain, also known as Jabal Noor mountain.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was well known for being an honest and a truthful person. He became an orphan at a very young age after the death of both his parents. He was taken care of by his uncle Abu-Talib and grandfather Abu-Muttalib who belonged to the then famous clan called Banu-Hashim. His grandfather was the chief of the tribe called Quraysh in Makkah.

Often, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to travel to the outskirts of Mecca and meditate in the Cave Hira for solitude. This is where he received his first revelation at the age of 40.

Photo of Muslims gathering in Mecca by Maimoona Harrington

Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) came to him one of these nights and said to him “Recite in the name of your Lord who created.”

The Prophet (pbuh) said to the angel “I cannot read.” This divine revelation is recorded in the Muslim Holy Scripture Quran in chapter 96 called “Al-Alaq” meaning “The Clot.”

Thus this first revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) marked the beginning of Islam and the prophet’s journey to spread the message of God (Allah) to the mankind starting from his own home, relatives and friends.

I am not a religious scholar. I tried to answer this question with best of my knowledge and understanding of Islam as a Muslim.

Maimoona Harrington

About Maimoona Harrington

Maimoona Harrington was born and raised in Pakistan moved to the United States with her family in 2008. She is married and a mother of two sons. She has a bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies and sociology from Pakistan and a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from United States. Along with her career as an interpreter, translator and monitor she is also an Islamic and Pakistani Culture Adviser.

As a practicing Muslim with the extensive world travel and living in the West, she has devoted herself to spread awareness of Islam as a goodwill gesture. In an effort to do this she started writing from her own personal experiences with religion, beliefs and life in a different culture. She also has special interest in all the religions and how and why they are all important to its followers. Her primary focus is on the co-existence and harmony between all human beings. Her message is to spread peace not division. She strongly believes that if you want to be closer to your creator then love His creation unconditionally and expect nothing in return for He loves us unconditionally and forgives us no matter how sinful we are!

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