In the year 570 A.D., a man who would greatly influence the religious beliefs of Islam was born in the city of Makkah. This man’s name was Muhammad.
Muhammad was orphaned when his parents were killed, and was left to be raised by an uncle. In order to survive, Muhammad went to work as a caravan leader when he was only a teenager. He was very good at his job and brought his employer, a 40-year-old widow, tremendous wealth.
When Muhammad reached the age of 25, this widow proposed marriage to him. After marrying this wealthy woman, Muhammad was now free to contemplate life. His new found wealth allowed him more free time than before his marriage.
As Muhammad contemplated his faith, he became concerned about the greed and wickedness of his people. He saw a great disparity between the wealthy and the poor. He was also concerned about the worship of idols instead of worshipping Allah, or God.
In 610 A.D., after years of prayer and anguish over the sins of his people, Islamic tradition states that Muhammad received a revelation from Allah telling him to preach to the people. Muhammad later received other revelations giving him further instructions about what to share with his people.