Rafael SchottThe Rise of Islam1) When Muhammad was around the age of 40, overnight he heard when a voice called him while he meditated. This voice was of the Angel Gabriel who told Muhammad he was a messenger of the God. Muhammad came to believe that the God who spoke to him was Allah and that he was the last of the prophets. Muhammad then began teachings of Allah and that Allah was the only God and all others must be abandoned. Muhammad continued his teachings, but as he went to Mecca to gain more supporters he failed. Some of his followers were killed and nine years later he left Mecca and went to Medina. This travel for Muhammad was called the Hijrah it was the turning point. Muhammad gained tons of followers at Medina he became a leader to the people. Muhammad decided he would go back to Mecca and the Muslims and Meccans fought against one and other. In 630 Muhammad and his 10,000 followers entered Mecca. This was his greatest victory and now he unified the entire Arabian Peninsula under Islam.2) The main teachings of Islam are taught in the holy book of the Muslims, the Qur'an. A teaching of Islam is that there is one God (Allah) and all other practices or beliefs are from his teachings. The Muslims are taught that there is good and evil and each person is responsible for his or her actions. The Islam religion believes that when you die Allah shall decide if you will be going to heaven or hell. The Five Pillars are very important to a Muslim all believers have to do their five duties. These duties are the Five Pillars of Islam. Faith is the first pillar a person must have faith in their religion and to become a Muslim you must say "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." And you shall believe in this statement. The Second Pillar is Prayer, this signifies that you must pray five times a day, they may assemble at a mosque or a house of worship, but they always face in the direction of Mecca when they pray. The duty of praying connects them with God. Alms the Third Pillar, Muhammad taught all Muslims must support the weak. Muslims meet this responsibility by giving alms, or money to the poor. The Fourth Pillar is the Fasting, which means during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Muslims eat or drink nothing between dawn and sunset. The last Fifth Pillar is Pilgrimage, which resembles that all Muslims must perform the Hajj. The Hajj is a pilgrimage to Mecca you must do this at least once in your lifetime. During the pilgrimage in Mecca pilgrims wear identical garments so that all stand as equal before God.3) The Islamic religion split after 656 when Uthman was murdered. This action trigged a civil war between various groups struggling for power. Ali was suppose to be the next successor, but he was threatened by Muawiya, governor of Syria. Then 661 Ali was also murdered this also ended the choosing by the Muslim people to pick their successor. A family know as Umayyads took power and moved the capital city to Damascus far from Mecca. The Umayyas did not live the simple life like a leader of Islam these actions along with leadership issue led to the rise of a division in the Muslim community between the Sunni and Shi'a.4) The Islamic religion spread through Muhammad's successors. The Muslim community selected their leader after Muhammad's death. This leader was Abu-Bakr, a loyal friend of Muhammad and a man respected for his devotion to Islam. Abu and the next three elected successors continued the spread of Islam by military force. Their tactics enabled them to overwhelm forces. They defeated the two empires Persia and Byzantine because the two Empires weakened themselves. Captured people chose to accept Islam others could stay with their own religion because it is a law in Islam that no one can be forced to become Muslim.