The Islamic civilization arose in Arabia having as its founder Mohammed, who was born around 570, also used as the start date of the founding of Islam, also called Islam or Islam is a monotheistic Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an.
Muhammad, the founder of Islam, receives his revelations of the Quran in 610, while meditating in the mountains near Mecca and introduces himself as prophet and begins to publicly preach his message. After several conflicts peacefully Muhammad conquer Mecca in 630 and establishing a theocracy. Muhammad died on 8 June 632 in Medina, and Abu Bakr, and fellow Arab general Muhammad becomes the first caliph of Islam Muhammad is largely responsible for the creation of a coherent political unity among the Arabs.
After 632 Islamic civilization spreads with amazing speed across the Middle East. The Muslim armies conquered the Arabian Peninsula, Persia, Syria, Armenia, Egypt, North Africa and Afghanistan. In 711, Muslims conquered Spain, bringing Islam to Europe.
The Muslim empire, or caliphate was already present on three continents when the capital was moved from Mecca to Damascus and the caliphs begin construction of several mosques to consolidate his rule. The expansion of Islam in Europe was contained only in 732, the Franks led by Charles Martel in France already.
Around the year 750 begins the decline of the Islamic empire because of political and religious conflicts occurring in the dismemberment independent caliphates and several civil wars between them. In the eleventh century, the Iberian peninsula begins the movement of reconquest of the territories held by the Arabs and also the Crusades, European armies sent by the pope to the Middle East to wage a "holy war" against Muslims. And in the East in the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Turks conquered what remained of the vast Islamic empire.
Islam has two chains, Shiites and Sunnis, and this split occurred in Islam after Muhammad's death not designated any successor, occurring a dispute over who should fill the place of Muhammad - Ali or Abu Bakr. Today Sunnis are the largest branch of Islam which represents almost 84% of Muslims and Shiites about 16%.
How Islamic cultural legacy left great cultural contributions, assimilating the knowledge of civilizations with whom they came into contact and spread to Europe during the Middle Ages. In the arts of Muslims excelled in architecture, building large palaces and mosques and also motifs, designs with a combination of geometric shapes used to decorate the walls of mosques. In the literature, with major works as "The thousand and one nights", "King Solomon's Mines" and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves". In mathematics developed algebra and trigonometry. In agriculture, spread new products and new techniques such as irrigation.
Today Islam is the second religion with the largest number of faithful, behind Christianity.