570 CE: Prophet Muhammad was born in Makkah (aka Mecca), in the Arabian peninsula now called Saudi Arabia. His father, Abdullah, had died a few weeks before his birth. His grandfather entrusted him to a foster-mother, Halima, who looked after him during his infant years. When he was six, his mother died. Two years later, his grandfather also died. The young Muhammad was now looked after by Abu Talib, his paternal uncle. Abu Talib was a generous but poor man. So Muhammad had to earn his livelihood from a tender age – he was thus unable to learn how to read or write.