The history of Islam concerns the Islamic religion and its adherents, known as Muslims. "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "one who submits to God". Muslims and their religion have greatly impacted the political, economic, and military history of the Old World, especially the Middle East, where lie its roots. Though it is believed by non-Muslims to have originated in Mecca and Medina, Muslims believe that the religion of Islam has been present since the time of the prophet Adam. The Islamic world expanded to include people of the Islamic civilisation, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilisation.
A century after the death of last Islamic prophet Muhammad, the Islamic empire extended from Spain in the west to Indus in the east. The subsequent empires such as those of the Abbasids, Fatimids, Almoravids, Seljukids, Ajuuraan, Adal and Warsangali in Somalia, Mughals in India and Safavids in Persia and Ottomans were among the influential and distinguished powers in the world. The Islamic civilization gave rise to many centers of culture and science and produced notable scientists, astronomers, mathematicians, doctors, nurses and philosophers during the Golden Age of Islam. Technology flourished; there was investment in economic infrastructure, such as irrigation systems and canals; and the importance of reading the Qur'an produced a comparatively high level of literacy in the general populace.
In the later Middle Ages, destructive Mongol invasions from the East, and the loss of population in the Black Death, greatly weakened the traditional centre of the Islamic world, stretching from Persia to Egypt, and the Ottoman Empire was able to conquer most Arabic-speaking areas, creating an Islamic world power again, although one that was unable to master the