Historical Timeline: ISLAM

Adapted from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/teach/muslims/timeline.html



570 C.E.          Muhammad is born in Mecca.


610 C.E.          According to Muslim belief, at the age of 40, Muhammad is visited by the angel Gabriel while on retreat in a cave near Mecca. The angel recites to him the first revelations of the Quran and informs him that he is God's prophet. Later, Muhammad is told to call his people to the worship of the one God, but they react with hostility and begin to persecute him and his followers.


622 C.E.          After enduring persecution in Mecca, Muhammad and his followers migrate to the nearby town of Yathrib (later to be known as Medina), where the people there accepted Islam. This marks the "hijra" or "emigration," and the beginning of the Islamic calendar. In Medina, Muhammad establishes an Islamic state based on the laws revealed in the Quran and the inspired guidance coming to him from God. Eventually he begins to invite other tribes and nations to Islam.


630 C.E.          Muhammad returns to Mecca peacefully, and eventually all its citizens accept Islam. The prophet clears the idols and images out of the Kaaba and rededicates it to the worship of God alone.


633 C.E.          Death of Muhammad. Abu Bakr, his father-in-law and close associate, elected as caliph, or successor.


638- 730 C.E. Islam spreads out of the Arabian peninsula into Syria, Palestine, Lebanon Iraq, Egypt, North Africa, India and Spain.


661 C.E.          Imam Ali is killed, bringing to an end the rule of the four "rightly-guided caliphs": Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali. Beginning of the Umayyad dynasty. Beginning of split between Shia (“the party of Ali”) and Sunni Muslims.


732 C.E.          Muslims are defeated at Potiers in France by Charles Martel.


750 C.E.          The Abbasids take over rule from the Umayyads, shifting the seat of power to Baghdad.


1099 C.E.        European Crusaders take Jerusalem from the Muslims. Eventually Muslims defeat the Crusaders and regain control of the holy land.


1120 C.E.        Islam continues to spread throughout Asia. Malaysian traders interact with Muslims who teach them about Islam.


1453 C.E.        Ottomans (Turkish Muslims) conquer the Byzantine (Eastern Christian) seat of Constantinople and change its name to Istanbul.


Ca 1800 C.E.   Approximately 30% of Africans forced into slavery in the United States are Muslim.


1924 C.E.        World War I ends with the defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, which was the last of the Islamic empires. Many regions populated by Muslims in Africa and Asia are colonized by Europeans. Traditional religious ways of life are threatened and, in some cases, destroyed.


1930 C.E.        The Nation of Islam is created in the U.S. by W. D. Fard. It is based on some Islamic ideas, but contains innovations, such as the appointment or declaration of Elijah Muhammad as a prophet.


1948 C.E.        The state of Israel is created. Some Palestinian and Lebanese refugees flee to the United States, among them, Muslims and Christians.


1975 C.E.        Wallace D. Muhammad, the son of Elijah Muhammad, takes over leadership of the Nation of Islam after his father's death and brings most of his followers into mainstream Islam.


1979 C.E.        The Iranian Revolution results in the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the first attempt at an Islamic state in the modern era.