Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh (Arabic: محمّد; Transliteration: Muḥammad, also Mohammed)
Born in 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca, he was orphaned at a young age and was brought up under the care of his uncle. He later worked mostly as a merchant, and was first married by age 25. Discontented with life in Mecca, he retreated to a cave in the surrounding mountains for meditation and reflection.
According to Islamic beliefs it was here, at age 40, in the month of Ramadan, where he received his first revelation from God. Three years after this event Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that “God is One”, that complete “surrender” to Him (lit. islām) is the only way (dīn) acceptable to God, and that he himself was a prophet and messenger of God, in the same vein as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and other prophets in Islam.
Muhammad gained few followers early on, and was met with hostility from some tribes of Mecca; he was treated harshly and so were his followers. To escape persecution Muhammad and his followers migrated to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in the year 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
In Medina Muhammad managed to unite the conflicting tribes, and after eight years of fighting with the Meccan tribes, his followers, who by then had grown to ten thousand, conquered Mecca. In 632 a few months after returning to Medina from his Farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and died. By the time of his death most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam and he united the tribes of Arabia into a singular Muslim religious polity.
The revelations (or Ayats, lit. “Signs of God”), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Qur’an, regarded by Muslims as the “word of God”, around which his religion is based.
Besides the Qur’an, Muhammad’s life (Sira) and traditions (Sunnah) are also upheld by Muslims. They discuss Muhammad and other prophets of Islam with reverence, adding the phrase “peace be upon him” whenever their names are mentioned.