This decisive event took place when Muhammad was forty years old, ca. 610, and the revelations continued until his death in 632. The Quran is the record of the messages Muhammad recited in the name of God. It forms the basis of the religion of Islam, which by the time of Muhammad's death had united nearly all the people of the Arabian peninsula into a single polity with common beliefs and purpose. And it is the inaugural event for the establishment and spread of a religion that is now the second-largest religion in the world, with over one billion followers. Muslims live in almost every country in the world, and are the majority in forty-eight countries stretching from north Africa to southeast Asia, with the greatest populations concentrated in south Asia and Indonesia. Despite the great diversity in languages, customs, lifestyles, and beliefs, Muslims share their love for the messenger and dedication to the message.
1. Where did Islam get its name? Why are its followers called Muslims?
2. What are some possible narratives for the beginning of Islam?
3. Why is Abraham important to Islam’s history?
4. How do Muslims see themselves as different from other “people of the book”?
5. Who was Muhammad? Describe his role in the Night of Power.