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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: March 2011

5 - The rise of Islam, 600–705

The first Islamic century began in 622 of the Common Era with the hijra, Muhammad's 'emigration' from Mecca to the town of Yathrib, which lies about 275 miles to the north. The hijra thus marked a new beginning for Muhammad and his followers. Things are less clear in Arabia than people would wish them to be, but monotheism had certainly gained a solid foothold well before Muhammad. Abraha's ill-fated expedition to the Hijaz is known only to the Quran, but it conforms to the pattern of his Arabian expansion, which is partially documented in a number of inscriptions. Muhammad died in early June 632 after a short illness. Civil war was thus about succession to the office of caliphate, which all Muslims acknowledged should be the ruling institution of the nascent state. In the second fitna and the early Marwanid period, Kharijites challenges Umayyad authority and effective power.
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The New Cambridge History of Islam
  • Volume 1: The Formation of the Islamic World, Sixth to Eleventh Centuries
  • Edited by Chase F. Robinson
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055932
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