Muhammad was born into an important family in Mecca around 570. Muhammad's early life was not easy. His father, a merchant, died before he was born; and his mother died later, when he was six.
An angel appeared and spoke to Muhammad. Muslims believe that God had spoken to Muhammad through an angel and had made him a prophet, a person who tells of messages from God. Muhammad began to tell other people about the messages. Muhammad continued receiving messages from God for the rest of his life.
Muhammad taught that there was only one God, Allah, which means "the God" in Arabic. At the time most people in Arabia believed in many different gods. Muhammad said that everyone who believed in Allah would become part of a community in which rich and poor would be equal.
Then, Muhammad saw a angel.
Several of Muhammad's teaching upset many Arabs. First, they didn't like being told to stop worshiping their gods and goddesses. Second, Muhammad's new religion seemed like a threat to people who made money from the yearly pilgrimages to the Kaaba.
They began to threaten Muhammad and his small group of followers with violence. They even planned to kill Muhammad. In 622 he and many of his followers, including his daughter Fatimah, left Mecca and went to Medina. Eventually both sides began fighting.
In 630, they welcomed Muhammad back to the city and accepted Islam as their religion. Although he didn't live long after Mecca became Muslim, the religion he taught would soon spread to lands far beyond Arabia.