The Islamic Religion claims that there is only one god and that Muhammad is his messenger. It was started in AD 622 by the prophet Muhammad. Approximately one fifth of the world's population now follows this religion, which is more than any religion except Christianity. Followers of the Islamic religion are called Muslims. They follow the words of their god Allah, which are told in the Koran, the holy book of Islam. They also follow the five pillars of Islam, which are the framework for Muslim life. Muslims believe that they must give in to Allah's will.
Islam's founder, the prophet Muhammad, was born in the Arabian city of Mecca. Mecca was a center of trade, and a home to many religious practices. Muhammad was encountered by many beliefs, which led him to ponder their meanings and discover what he believed was true faith. He often retreated to the caves above Mecca where he would meditate. This is where the Muslims believe he was visited by the angel Gabriel. Gabriel informed him that he would be the definitive prophet of Allah and would be responsible for transmitting the Creator's will. This will was told to Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years and was later put together to form the Koran. Muhammad was first ordered to teach his immediate family about Islam, but was eventually instructed to deliver Allah's message to all of mankind. Muhammad communicated the message and set an example for how each person should lead their life. Muhammad died in 632 after giving his last sermon. .
During his meetings with Gabriel, Muhammad was also told that earlier prophets had spread the will of Allah. This included Jesus, Abraham, and Moses. Muslims believe that these earlier prophets had helped to prepare the world for the Koran. They also believe that Allah inspired the beliefs of other people such as Christians and Jews. However, certain differences caused disputes between Muslims and Christians.