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Origins of Islam. Chapter 7 Section 1. Main Ideas. Arabia is mostly a desert land, where two ways of life, nomadic and sedentary, developed. A new religion called Islam, founded by Muhammad, spread throughout Arabia in the 600s. BIG IDEA:

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Origins of islam

Origins of Islam

Chapter 7 Section 1

Main ideas
Main Ideas

  • Arabia is mostly a desert land, where two ways of life, nomadic and sedentary, developed.

  • A new religion called Islam, founded by Muhammad, spread throughout Arabia in the 600s.


  • In the harsh desert climate of Arabia, Muhammad, a merchant from Mecca, introduced a major world religion called Islam.

Key terms and places
Key Terms and Places

  • Mecca- birthplace of Muhammad

  • Islam- religion based on messages Muhammad received from God

  • Muslim- a person who follows Islam

  • Qur’an- the holy book of Islam

  • Medina- city that Muhammad and his followers moved to from Mecca in 622

  • Mosque- a building for Muslim prayer

Physical features and climate
Physical Features and Climate

  • The air is hot and dry and temperatures in the summer reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Sand dunes, or hills of sand shaped by the wind, can rise to 800 feet and spread for hundreds of miles.

  • Deserts have limited amounts of water. Where there is water is mainly oases.

  • An oasis is a wet fertile area in a desert. These oases have become key stops in Arabia’s trade routes.

Two ways of life
Two ways of Life



These people settled in oases where they farmed.

These became towns.

Towns became centers of trade.

  • Lived in tents and raised herds of sheep, goats, and camels

  • They belonged to tribes (a group of related people) who helped them stay safe in the desert.

A new religion
A New Religion

  • Before this new religion, people worshipped many gods.

  • Muhammad brought a new religion to the people in Arabia.

Muhammad founds islam
Muhammad Founds Islam

  • Muhammad grew up in Mecca and managed a caravan business owned by Khadijah (ka-DEE-jah). He eventually married Khadijah.

  • Muhammad became upset with the wealthy merchants who would not help the poor.

  • He went to meditate and an angel came to him and told him to recite God’s word.

  • This made Muhammad a prophet, a person who tells of messages from God.

Muhammad founds islam1
Muhammad Founds Islam

  • The messages that Muhammad received form the basis of the religion Islam.

    • In Arabic, Islam means “to submit to God”.

  • Muslims, or people who follow Islam, believe that Muhammad continued to receive messages from God.

  • These messages were written down in the book called the Qur’an.

Muhammad s teachings
Muhammad’s Teachings

  • Muhammad taught that there was only one God, Allah (which means “the God”).

  • Although Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all monotheistic, they all three have different beliefs about God.

  • Muhammad also taught people how to live:

    • All people who believed in Allah were bound like members of a family.

    • People should help those less fortunate.

    • Muhammad urged slaveholders to treat their slaves kindly and mercifully.

    • He told them that if they set their slaves free, they would receive spiritual rewards for their actions.

Islam spreads in arabia
Islam Spreads in Arabia

  • Mecca’s rulers did not like that Muhammad had many followers and made plans to kill him.

  • Followers invited Muhammad to move to Medina (Muh-Dee-Nuh)(Arabic for “The Prophet’s city”)

  • This trip was known as the hegira (hi-JY-ruh).

  • This was so important that Muslims made the year 622 the beginning of their calendar.

Islam spreads in arabia1
Islam Spreads in Arabia

  • Muhammad’s house became known as the first mosque (Mahsk).

Summary and preview
Summary and Preview

  • In the early 600’s Islam was introduced to Arabia by Muhammad.

  • In the next section, you will learn more about the main Islamic teachings and beliefs.