At one point, Muhammad broke fellowship with the Jewish clans of Medina, of which there were around 3, of the 11 clans. At one point in time, they even had control of Yathrib. At this point, Muhammad respected Jews, like Christians, as “People of the Book,” of whose Bible he believed his revelations to be continuations.
Muhammad even observed Yom Kippur and faced towards Jerusalem while praying, although the Jews eventually rejected his prophethood, leading Muhammad to change the city towards which one prayed to Mecca rather than Jerusalem, and to fast during Ramadan rather than Yom Kippur.
Muhammad’s group executed the men and sold the women and children of one of the Jewish groups into slavery, and expelled the other two clans. It ought to be quickly noted that this event does not mark the beginning of the rivalry between Jews and Arabs. Rather, this sort of violent rivalry between clans was quite common and even unremarkable in Arabia.
Muhammad undertook a pilgrimage with 1,500 men as they made their way to Hudaybiya, when they were encountered by Meccan militants who seemed to believe that Muhammad and his men had less than savory intentions.
The two sides, however, made a truce. However, the Meccans later betrayed Muhammad and attacked him in 628. Muhammad’s group marched against Mecca with 10,000 of his men, which caused the Meccans to quickly surrender without bloodshed. This led to the conversion of most of the Meccans to Islam.
By 630, his army was the strongest in Arabia, which at this point had already become primarily Muslim. Two years later, Muhammad, with his health failing, would return to Mecca and die. Abu-Bakr, Muhammad’s best friend, was chosen to be the “caliph,” which comes from an Arabic word meaning “to succeed.” This successor was a mere community leader.
Abu-Bakr and Umar (the former’s successor) eventually conquered the Byzantine and Persian Empires, both of which had become very weak from fighting one another. Within the coming decade, the Muslim Arabs conquered Syria, Egypt, Palestine and Cyrenaica (modern-day Libya) as well as Persia. Within a century, the Arabs ruled Spain, North Africa, and the whole Middle East.
The Arab Empire was a force to be reckoned with for 600 or so years, although during the Abbasid era (950), it became increasingly fragmented and tornw ith internal conflicts.
Harms, Gregory; Ferry, Todd M. (2012-06-14). The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction (Kindle Location 176). Pluto Press. Kindle Edition.