The rise of Islam. How was the cult of Allah born?

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6 min readDec 29, 2022

One in 4 people in the world is a follower of Allah, and Islam is the second largest monotheistic religion after Christianity. How and when did this religion originate? Here are the most important facts about the origins of Islam.

[Photo: Jörg Peter from Pixabay]

How did the followers of Islam rapidly conquer a vast area from the Atlantic to India? They were well organized, dedicated to their faith and generously rewarded. They also had talented and ruthless chiefs. The rise of Islam is one of the most important events that influenced the course of history not only of the Middle East, but also of Africa, Europe and Asia.

When was Islam founded?

The rise of Islam is associated with the nomadic people of the Arabs, who have inhabited the Arabian Peninsula since ancient times. For most of their history, the Arabs worshiped many Gods, the most important of which was Allah. Although the word directly translated means “the One God,” for many hundreds of years it referred to the Arab god of the moon. In pre-Muslim times, Arabs had an elaborate belief system in the spirit and demon world. They worshipped deities in the form of stones, trees and animals.

Muhammad is considered the founder of Islam and the first Muslim religion. This Arab merchant, born in 570 in Mecca, is rather unanimously regarded by scholars of Islamic history as a historical figure. According to Muhammad’s own claims, he supposedly experienced a revelation of the principles of the new faith in 610.

The Islamic prophet Muhammad solves a dispute over lifting the black stone into position at al-Kaaba [Photo: Rashid Al-Din, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

The origins of Islam

The founder of Islam, a religion professed today by one and a half billion people, began with failure. He gained no more than 100 followers in his hometown of Mecca for 20 years. The leaders of the merchant tribe of Qurayshites that ruled the city long treated him with a wink as a haunted mystic. He did not seem threatening. Yes, from his first revelation in 610 he argued that the archangel Jibril (Gabriel) was conveying to him the words of the supreme God worshipped by the peoples of the desert — Allah — but little came of it. The people of Mecca still worshipped their…