The rise of Islam began with the Prophet Muhammad, who was born in about 570 in the city of Mecca, in central western Arabia. From about the age of forty before his death in 632 Muhammad received frequent revelations from Allah delivered through the angel Gabriel. These were written down into a lot of chapters or suras and collected together a generation after the death of Muhammad. The book was called Qurâ€™anA second source of authority for Muslims is the Hadith which means statement .
The Hadith consists of a collection of sayings and deeds of the Prophet and his companions which were transmitted by a chain of authorities and written down between the ninth and eleventh centuries. The example set by the Prophet as recorded in the Hadith is known as the Sunnah, a term that literally means "w ell-trodden path". The Sunnah provides the normative basis upon which Muslims conduct their lives.
The main sectarian division in Islam is between the Sunni and Shi'a traditions. Sunni and Shi'a share the same prophetic revelatory event described in the Qur'an and the Sunnah: they each accept as fundamental Allah's unity and the mission and mes sage of Muhammad. The division between the two traditions derives from the question of who is authorised to rule over the community of Muslims For the Sunni, authority to rule was originally in the hands of the community , which appointed a caliph to rule on its behalf.
They recognise the first four caliphs as Muhammad's legitimate successors. The Shi'a, however,.