Monotheistic communities existed in Arabia, including Christians and Jews.Tradition places the year of Muhammad's birth as corresponding with the Year of the Elephant, which is named after the failed destruction of Mecca that year by the Abraha, Yemen's king, who supplemented his army with elephants.As well as being the site of an annual pilgrimage, the Kaaba shrine in Mecca housed 360 idols of tribal patron deities.Three goddesses were associated with Allah as his daughters: Allāt, Manāt and al-‘Uzzá.In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina.In December 629, after eight years of intermittent wars with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca.Several years later, according to a narration collected by historian Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad was involved with a well-known story about setting the Black Stone in place in the wall of the Kaaba in 605 CE.The Black Stone, a sacred object, was removed during renovations to the Kaaba.
Periodically, he would seclude himself in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights of prayer; later, at age 40, he reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave, Muhammad gained few early followers, and met hostility from Meccan polytheists.
Muhammad is sometimes addressed by designations deriving from his state at the time of the address: thus he is referred to as the enwrapped (al-muzzammil) in Quran 73:1 and the shrouded (al-muddaththir) in Quran 74:1.
The earliest surviving written sira (biographies of Muhammad and quotes attributed to him) is Ibn Ishaq's Life of God's Messenger written c. Although the work was lost, this sira was used at great length by Ibn Hisham and to a lesser extent by Al-Tabari.
Before his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam. "Sign [of God]"), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the "Word of God" and around which the religion is based.
Besides the Quran, Muhammad's teachings and practices (sunnah), found in the Hadith and sira (biography) literature, are also upheld and used as sources of Islamic law (see Sharia).
He then came under the care of his uncle Abu Talib, the new leader of the Banu Hashim.