When and where did the Muslim religion start

Question:

I want to know from when or which nation the Muslim religion started. Is it from Ishmael son of Abraham?

Answer; ( from http://evidenceforchristianity.org/where-and-when-did-islam-originate-did-ishmael-son-of-abraham-start-this-religion/)

Islam as a religion was established by Muhammad, a member of the Arabic Quraish tribe from the West-Central part of the Arabian Peninsula in the region of present-day Mecca.  Muhammad is a real person who lived from AD 570-632.  He claimed to receive a revelation from the archangel Gabriel in AD 610 to be a prophet to the Arabic peoples promoting monotheism and a belief in Allah.  His movement started slowly, but when he moved to Medina, it began to gain momentum.  Later, Muhammad returned and conquered Mecca.  By his death, his troops had conquered much of the Arabian Peninsula.  By physical force and persuasion Islam spread across North Africa and the Middle East, reaching India by about the 11th century.

The Old Testament claims that Ishmael, son of Abraham moved into the area we now call “Arabia.”  It claims that the Arab peoples are the direct descendant of Ishmael.  Muslims agree that this is true.  They believe that the promised son of Abraham in Genesis is actually Ishmael, not Isaac.  They claim that Abraham traveled to Mecca with Ishmael and worshipped the one true God at the Kabba, a stone idol in Mecca.  There is not external verification of this claim and no evidence that Abraham made this journey.  What we can say for sure is that Ishmael definitely did not establish the religion Islam because he died over two thousand years before the religion was founded by Muhammad.  Muhammad himself definitely did not claim that Ishmael founded Islam, but he did claim that he was a prophet in the spirit of Abraham, Ishmael and Moses.


Is the Arab nation descended from Ishmael?

I am tempted to give you the short answer and just reply No! But that would not be completely true; the evidence is too complex to give such an answer. On the other hand, it’s amazing how many Christians just assume the answer to be Yes. A popular old reference Bible calls Ishmael “the progenitor of the Arabs” and goes on to say that Muhammad “came from the line of Ishmael.” That is very definitely untrue as well. The truth is that the term “Arab” designates peoples of diverse ethnic origins who are united only by the Arabic language and culture. The seed of Ishmael represents only a very small component of the genetic pool of the Arabic people. Let me explain.

In Arabic and Hebrew the term arab means “nomad” (synonymous with bedouin), and originally referred only to the nomadic people who roamed the Arabian Peninsula. Later, it was used to designate all the inhabitants of the peninsula–both nomads and town-dwellers. According to the Old Testament, the earliest inhabitants of the peninsula descended from Joktan (Gen. 10:26-29), a descendent of Shem (whence the term Semite). Later, the area was also settled by Abraham’s sons through Keturah (Gen. 25:1-4), the 12 sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13-16), and finally the sons of Esau (Gen. 36:1-19), all descendents of Abraham (also Semitic). Clearly, Ishmael’s offspring represent just a small fraction of the Arab peoples.  read more

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Afghan Cameleers: the forgotten original Muslims of Australia

The first significant Muslim community in colonial Australia was that of the Afghan cameleers.

The Aboriginal people in the northern part of the continent, now known as Australia, formed bonds with Muslims from Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula as early as the 1600’s. However, the first significant Muslim community in colonial Australia was that of the Afghan cameleers. By the 1800’s, the Australian colonies were all experiencing an economic boom period. Explorers, settlers, pastoralists, and prospectors were racing to discover the mysteries of the vast interior. As they moved away from the coast, it became obvious that traditional methods of transportation were not suitable in this wide open, apparently barren, land.

Muslims in the Australian Interior

Many of the expeditions into the vast Australian interior ended in tragedy. The climate and terrain were unlike anything the explorers had ever experienced, and many people died without having achieved their exploratory goals. Horses, donkeys, and bullocks were the conventional methods of transport, but they required regular watering and large stocks of feed. They were not suited to the harsh, dry, rocky environment. As early as the 1830s, camels were being suggested as a solution to the problem, and the first lone camel to be used in Australia was attached to the Horrocks expedition of 1846.

John Ainsworth Horrocks (English pastoralist and explorer) described the camel as temperamental; biting both humans and goats, but could carry up to 350 lbs (approx. 159kg).  Neither Horrocks nor the camel survived this expedition, but not due to the camel’s unsuitability.  Four days into their journey, Horrocks paused to reload his gun, but when the camel lurched, the firearm was accidentally discharged and he shot himself in the hand and face.  Seriously wounded, Horrocks died several days later, but not before ordering the destruction of the camel.

The first Muslim cameleers arrived at Port Melbourne on 9 June 1860 to join the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition.  The extensive introduction of camels and their handlers proved to be a turning point in the exploration and development of the Australian colonies.  Consequently, over the next 50 years, more than 2000 Afghan cameleers played a significant role in the Australian economy. However, the Muslim cameleers were rarely given credit for their accomplishments. Diaries and historical records confirm that several of the cameleers deserved recognition as explorers and vital members of scientific expeditions.

Zachariah Matthews, in his essay on Islam in Australia, states that the journals, diaries and reports of the early European explorers speak very highly of the Afghans and their strict adherence to the religion of Islam. They write of their excellent character, reliability, stamina and life-saving skills.  He asserts that many of the explorers gladly acknowledged the debt owed to their camel-handlers.

According to Bilal Cleland, in his History of Islam in Australia, Afghan Muslims participated in all the major explorations since 1860, including the last exploration of the interior, the Madigan expedition across the Simpson Desert in 1939.  Apart from these heroic achievements, the cameleers were responsible for carting supplies, mail and even water to remote settlements.  They had an important role in the development of infrastructure, such as the overland telegraph line between Adelaide and Darwin and the rail link between Port Augusta and Alice Springs, which became known as the Ghan.

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