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Current time:0:00Total duration:9:50

Beginnings of Islam: The Hijra to Medina and the conversion of Mecca

Video transcript

where we left off in the last video we saw a muhammad being born into a tribal arabia he's born into a powerful tribe the Quraish who are in control of Mecca but his early life is difficult his mother dies when he's six his grandfather who's taken charge of him dies when he's eight years old but he's able to under the care of his uncle become a merchant and at the age of twenty five he marries a wealthy merchant widow named Khadijah who was fifteen years his senior then we saw at age forty in 610 while meditating in a mountain outside of Mecca he receives the first revelation of the Quran according to Islamic tradition and he's skeptical of it at first but he is reassured and then he soon receives many more revelations and within roughly three years he starts to preach those revelations now as we mentioned in that last video what he was preaching did not sit well with his own tribe those who ruled Mecca the Quraish he was preaching a monotheistic tradition based on Judaism and Christianity he was pretty he was preaching that there is no god but God but mecca's power its economy was based on people making pilgrimages there to worship the idols at the Kaaba so the creation did not like Muhammad's revelations and they did not like these early Muslims and they persecuted them they killed them they tortured them and we saw in 615 the migration of some of Muhammad's followers to Abyssinia the kingdom of Aksum modern-day Eritrea and Ethiopia to escape some of that persecution things got worse for Muhammad we saw in that last video the death of his first wife and up to that point his only wife and this is where we start to see a bit of a turning point for Muhammad and his followers in sixth 20 and this is according to Muslim traditions there isn't historical evidence for this and this is one of the more metaphysical events that we'll talk about in this narrative but according to the Islamic faith in 620 Mohammed had a night journey from Mecca to the farthest mosque which today is believed by many Muslims to be the al-aqsa mosque which was built later in Jerusalem so right right let me write over here so a night journey according to the Muslim faith to Jerusalem where he ascended with Gabriel to the heavens and he had any conversed with some of the prophets of old and once again this is clearly a metaphysical thing but it's a significant of event in the Muslim faith now the Quraish continued to persecute Muhammad and the early Muslims in Mecca we have some of them that are now in the kingdom of Aksum and Muhammad learns that there is a community a growing community of Muslims in the town of Yathrib who are starting to follow Muhammad or his revelations and they come to him and they invite him to come to Yathrib because there's actually a lot of fragmentation that there's a there's warring tribes and they're seeking an outsider to help bring some peace and authority to this place where there is already a burgeoning Muslim community so in 622 you have the famous migration of Muhammad and his followers to Yathrib which is renamed Medina and Medina literally means the city and from then on it really becomes the base of Muhammad and the early Muslims and Muhammad did this once he's in Medina he is no longer just a prophet he isn't just continuing to have his revelations according to Islamic tradition but he essentially rules over Medina and governs it so he's starting to become both a political ruler and a spiritual ruler now the Quraish in Mecca are still not happy because Muhammad is continuing to preach and he's continuing to get more and more followers and so you start having us at first a series of skirmishes between the armies or of the Quraish or the members of the creation and some of the early Muslims but these skirmishes eventually emerge into full-on conflict and here are some of the significant battles that occurred between the Quraish tribe remember that's Muhammad's own tribe and the early Muslims the early followers of Muhammad and his revelations so most famously perhaps you have the Battle of Badr because this is the first time that you have a significant confrontation between a very small that you wouldn't even necessarily call this an army a small group of Muslims roughly a little over 300 according to Muslim tradition vs. 900 or a little over 900 on the Quraish side and the Muslims are outnumbered three to one but this results in a Muslim victory and so you can imagine the early Muslims start to see this is a turning tide they were able to defeat the powerful Quraish tribe now the Quraish works happy with that and roughly a year later you have another battle outside of Medina on Mount Hood on Mount Hood and once again the Muslims which are now larger but they continued to be outnumbered even more than three to one this is closer to four to one right over here and this results in a Quraish victory this is right over there outside on the northern side of what is now called Medina but then a few years later you have a significant battle where the Quraish are have built a confederacy and they want to end this this the teachings of Muhammad they want to end these Muslims who are threatening whose preachings are threatening the pilgrimage the legitimacy of the Quraysh tribe in Mecca and so they laid siege to the city of Medina and as a defensive measure the Muslims in Medina create a trench around the city and that's why this is called the Battle of the trench and once again according to Islamic tradition the Muslims are outnumbered three to one so this is right over here the battle battle of the trench in which the Muslims are victorious and this is a significant blow to the legitimacy the prestige of the Quraysh tribe a year later you have the treaty of hudaibiya between the Quraish and the Muslims and this is significant because it's starting to put these early Muslims on the same footing as the powerful Quraish tribe it has some allowances for the Muslims to make pilgrimages to the Kaaba but then as we go into 630 there's an incident in which one tribe is it kills some members of another tribe remember we're still in a very tribal society and the other tribe the one that had some members killed was aligned was friendly with the early Muslims so the early Muslims did not appreciate this they sent an ultimatum to the Quraish and the Croatian essentially say well you know that doesn't matter we don't really take what you have to say seriously and they take one of the options of the ultimatum which is making the treaty of hudaibiya null and void so now that the treaty is not there and once again this is according to Muslim traditions which are our main accounts that we have of this time we then have in 630 10,000 Muslims which is a very significant number remember we're six years ago we're talking about only 300 Muslims in the Battle of Badr but 10,000 Muslims march on Mecca and they are able to take the city peacefully and what this results in is essentially most of the city converting to Islam and famously Muhammad goes into the Kaaba and destroys the idols there and according to Islamic tradition makes the Kaaba a center of the Muslim faith and it is even today now from that point the the spread of Islam continues you have Muhammad and his armies this green areas essentially what they were able to conquer in the remainder of his life and he lives for another he lives whoops he lives for another two years after the acceptance of Islam by Mecca and they're able to conquer most of this green this dark green area here and as we'll see shortly after his death most of Arabia and even Persia and within a few hundred years a large chunk of the world were able to be conquered by these Muslim armies