In Medina, Muhammad dies in the arms of Aishah, his third and favorite wife. In 610, in a cave north of Mecca, he had a vision in which God commanded him to become the Arab prophet of the true religion. Muhammad regarded himself as the last prophet of the Judaic-Christian tradition, and his inspired teachings brought unity to the Bedouin tribesmen of Arabia.
After gaining followers in Mecca he was forced to flee to Medina, where he administered a rapidly growing empire. In 630, he returned to Mecca as a conqueror, and by his death in 632 he was the effective ruler of all southern Arabia.
During the next century, vast conquests continued under Muhammad’s successors, and by 732 the Muslim empire was among the largest the world had ever seen. Today, Islam is the world’s second-largest religion.