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I was reading recently about an initiative in Central Asia to help Christians to argue the case for Christianity against Islam. It seemed that the Christians were well enough informed about Jesus and the history of the Apostolic Church, but ignorant of the story of Mohammed and the expansion of Islam. I guess that this situation is at least as prevalent in the West, (though we are probably increasingly ignorant about the person of Jesus and the history of the Church as well). But it does seem to me to be important for us all to understand something of the history and nature of Islam. Here is the history of the life of Mohammed and of the expansion of Islam in the 7the century AD.


610 Mohammed receives the first revelations of the Quran in Mecca.

616 Relations between Meccans and the followers of Mohammed deteriorate.

620 Arabs from Yathrib (Medina) invite Mohammed to come and be their ruler.

622 The hijrah, migration of Mohammed and 70 followers to Medina.

623 The Muslims start to raid Meccan caravans.

624 Mohammed and the Muslims defeat the Meccans at the Battle of Badr.

625 Muslims defeated by the Meccans at the battle of Uhud.

627 Meccans defeated at the Battle of the Trench.

Massacre of the Jewish tribe of Qurayzah for supporting the Meccans

630 Mecca surrenders to Muslim army. Mohammed becomes ruler of Mecca.

632 Death of Mohammed.

632 Caliphate of Abu Bakr

632-4 Wars of riddah against Arab tribes.

634 Abu Bakr unites all the tribes of Arabia.

634 Caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab

634-44 Muslim armies invade Syria, Iraq and Egypt

638 Muslims conquer Jerusalem

641 Muslims defeat Persian Empire

644 Caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan

644-50 Muslims conquer Cyprus, Tripoli, Iran, Afghanistan, and Sind

656 Murder of Uthman

656 Caliphate of Ali ibn Abi Talib

656 Battle of the Camel; rebellion against Ali

656-60 First fitnah: civil war.

657 Muawiyyah proclaimed caliph.

661-80 Umayyad dynasty

680-92 Second fitnah: civil war.

Enough said.


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