C. 622-632: Muhammad and the rise of Islam

Muhammad al-Idrisi’s map of the world (1154) (Public Domain)


Muhammad (c. 570-632) is the founder of Islam and proclaimer of the Qur’ān. According to Islamic tradition, he receives his first revelations in the 610’s. With his followers, he conquers much of the Arabian Peninsula until he dies in Medina in 632.


After his death, the First Caliphate conquers the Middle East and North Africa at break neck speed. Within thirty years, the Caliphate stretches from Gibraltar to Persia.