Prophet Muhammad was born in 570 CE in Makkah (Bakka, Baca, Mecca). His father, Abdullah, died several weeks before his birth in Yathrib (Medinah) where he went to visit his father's maternal relatives. His mother died while on the return journey from Medinah at a place called ‘Abwa’ when he was six years old. Muhammad was popularly known as ‘al-Ameen’ for his unimpeachable character by the Makkans and visitors alike.The title Al-Ameen means the Honest, the Reliable and the Trustworthy, and it signified the highest standard of moral and public life.
Muhammad was deeply interested in matters beyond this mundane life. He used to frequent a cave that became known as “Hira‘” on the Mountain of “Nur” (light) for contemplation. The cave itself, which survived the times, gives a very vivid image of Muhammad’s spiritual inclinations. Resting on the top of one of the mountains north of Mecca, the cave is completely isolated from the rest of the world. It was in that cave in 610 CE, i.e. at the age of forty, that Prophet Muhammad received from Allah the first verses of the Qur’an. The Qur’an continued to be revealed in fragments to Prophet Muhammad over the following twenty two years. The last words of the Book were revealed to the Prophet shortly before his death in 632 CE.
In the first two to three years after the revelation, the Prophet preached Islam secretly to individuals whom he trusted. When he started calling people to Islam publicly, the new religion gradually attracted more people but, not surprisingly, also increasing hostility from the idol worshipping population of Mecca. The Prophet was subjected to harassment and abuse. However, armed with patience, resilience, and determination, and protected by his uncle Abu Talib and the clan of Hashim, the Prophet was able to carry on preaching the new faith to people.