Muhammad was a man born in the city of Mecca sometime in the late sixth century, probably sometime around 570. Historians are unsure, as there are few reliable sources about the early life of Muhammad. He was a member of an important tribe called the Quraysh. At this time there were many tribes that lived in the vast Arabian Peninsula. The conditions on the Peninsula did not make living there easy. The heat and the dryness made growing crops there almost impossible and the mountainous and arid conditions made life uncomfortable. Muhammad began to think about God at an early age, although it is difficult to know exactly what happened in his lifetime as little of it was documented, we still have a picture of what happened and what he did for the people in Medina. One day when he was thinking of religious matters in a cave in Mecca, he heard a voice, which said: "Recite in the name of the Lord, who created man from a clot of blood.".
Muhammad took this message as a sign that he was to be a Prophet or a mouthpiece of God, and so began his religious teachings. This essay will determine how far Muhammad was successful in his political and religious policies in his lifetime; i.e. did he achieve his aims? Firstly I will look at his religious policy and then the political ideas he had. Muhammad's teaching began with monotheism; this was the belief that there was one god for all religions. In a Polytheistic society this was not an easy thing to preach and his ideas were seen as being revolutionary and dangerous. He began to devise a new moral code, which to him was the key to salvation, however the ideas conflicted with the views of the time. Muhammad promoted the status of the individual believer but his teaching was not welcomed in Mecca. There were fears about dissension in tribes and a fall in the pilgrim business. His code placed blood second to belief in other words; religion was above brotherhood in importance.