The Spread of Islam

Meanwhile Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) started to preach in Makkah and began to win, first his family, and then other people to Islam.

Because the leaders of Makkah felt that Islam threatened their power and their heathen religion, they began to persecute those who believed in Islam. Some of the believers even fled as far as Ethiopia to escape the dangers. Finally in AD 622 the situation  became so bad that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) sent the families who believed in Islam, one at a time, to the town of Yathrib some 450 kilometres north of Makkah. However, he himself waited for the command of Allah to leave Makkah. Interestingly, the people of Yathrib had already invited theProphet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) to settle some disputes that had arisen there and promised to protect his followers. Meanwhile the people of Makkah noticed that the Muslims were leaving so they planned to assassinate the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). He then received a command from Allah to leave Makkah. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) migrated to Madinah. This event marks the turning point in the Muslim religion, and it was decided to reckon this, the Hijrah (migration), as year 1 in the Islamic Calendar.

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