Arabia was submerged and engulfed by the violent and unwise practices of its people. The birth of the prophet in the “Times of Ignorance” was a sign of Allah’s mercy upon mankind. He had chosen yet once again to guide His people towards the right path through His messenger peace be upon him. The prophet peace be upon him belonged to one of the most famous tribes in Arabia. He was an orphan since his birth. His mother died when he turned six. After the tragic death of his grandfather too, Abu Talib, his uncle took him in his custody. The Prophet was an illiterate man and worked as a shepherd in his youth.
“O you (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) enveloped (in garments), arise and warn”
Immediately after the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم got the command from Allah to proclaim the message of Islam, he wasted no time. Calling a group of people who were rooted on idolatry to the oneness of Allah (Tawheed) was not an easy task, especially if the call comes from someone who was respected, honored, called by the people as the Trustworthy (AlAmeen). Not everyone would welcome his call and answer it.
So Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم had to do deal with it wisely and with patience. This was the tiny spark that would lead to guidance of mankind from darkness to light – The Secret Call.
He started his mission with people that were closest to him, who he was determined that they would answer his call. He started with his wife, Khadijah who accepted his call immediately, without any hesitation. She was the first amongst the woman to accept Islam, followed her his freed slave Zaid Bin Haarith, his cousin Ali Bin Abi Talib and his best friend Abu Bakr As-Siddique ( رضي الله عنهم) . After them, a few more answered his call. They were known as the early converts.
They used to meet secretly in the nights and learn religion in privacy, still fearing what the Quraysh would do to them. Revelation continued after the verse in Surah Mudatthir (Chapter 74), which were short chapters with strong message of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah), reward, punishment, Paradise an Hell fire, focusing on rectifying the soul and connecting the soul with its Creator.
Prayer, during the early stages of Islam was not how we have it as five daily prayers, it was two, one in the morning and one in the evening, which was each two units of prayer. The five daily prayers were legislated in the later stages, during the Madina period.
Al-mubarakpuri, S.2008. The Sealed Nectar. Darussalam, second edition.