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As well as being the site of an annual pilgrimage, the Kaaba shrine in Mecca housed 360 idols of tribal patron deities.Three goddesses were associated with Allah as his daughters: Allāt, Manāt and al-‘Uzzá.Recent studies have led scholars to distinguish between traditions touching legal matters and purely historical events.In the legal group, traditions could have been subject to invention while historic events, aside from exceptional cases, may have been only subject to "tendential shaping".Nomadic survival also depended on raiding caravans or oases; nomads did not view this as a crime.In pre-Islamic Arabia, gods or goddesses were viewed as protectors of individual tribes, their spirits being associated with sacred trees, stones, springs and wells.Before his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam. "Sign [of God]"), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the "Word of God" and around which the religion is based.Besides the Quran, Muhammad's teachings and practices (sunnah), found in the Hadith and sira (biography) literature, are also upheld and used as sources of Islamic law (see Sharia).
In 632, a few months after returning from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he fell ill and died.
Other important sources include the hadith collections, accounts of the verbal and physical teachings and traditions of Muhammad.
Hadiths were compiled several generations after his death by followers including Muhammad al-Bukhari, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, Muhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi, Abd ar-Rahman al-Nasai, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Malik bin Anas, al-Daraqutni.
Muhammad is sometimes addressed by designations deriving from his state at the time of the address: thus he is referred to as the enwrapped (al-muzzammil) in Quran 73:1 and the shrouded (al-muddaththir) in Quran 74:1.
The earliest surviving written sira (biographies of Muhammad and quotes attributed to him) is Ibn Ishaq's Life of God's Messenger written c. Although the work was lost, this sira was used at great length by Ibn Hisham and to a lesser extent by Al-Tabari.
The Arabian Peninsula was largely arid and volcanic, making agriculture difficult except near oases or springs.