Muhammad was born in Mecca and lived there for roughly the first 52 years of his life (c. 570–622). This period is generally divided into two phases, before and after declaring the prophecy. Childhood and early lifeSee also: Mawlid and Family tree of MuhammadMuhammad was born about the year 570 and his birthday is usually celebrated by Muslims in the month of Rabi' al-awwal. He belonged to the Banu Hashim clan, one of the prominent families of Mecca, although it seems not to have been prosperous during Muhammad's early lifetime. The Banu Hashim clan was part of the Quraysh tribe. Tradition places the year of Muhammad's birth as corresponding with theYear of the Elephant, which is named after the failed destruction of Mecca that year by the Aksumite kingAbraha who had in his army a number of elephants. 20th-century scholarship has suggested alternative dates for this event, such as 568 or 569.Miniature from Rashid-al-Din Hamadani'sJami al-Tawarikh, c. 1315, illustrating the story of Muhammad's role in re-setting theBlack Stone in 605. (Ilkhanate period)His father, Abdullah, died almost six months before Muhammad was born. According to Islamic tradition, soon after Muhammad's birth he was sent to live with a Bedouin family in the desert, as the desert life was considered healthier for infants. Muhammad stayed with his foster-mother, Halimah bint Abi Dhuayb, and her husband until he was two years old. Some western scholars of Islam have rejected the historicity of this tradition. At the age of six, Muhammad lost his biological mother Amina to illness and he became fully orphaned. For the next two years, he was under the guardianship of his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, of the Banu Hashim clan, but when Muhammad was eight, his grandfather also died. He then came under the care of his uncle Abu Talib, the new leader of Banu Hashim. According to Islamic historian William Montgomery Watt, because of the general disregard of the guardians in taking care of weak members of the tribes in Mecca in the 6th century, "Muhammad's guardians saw that he did not starve to death, but it was hard for them to do more for him, especially as the fortunes of the clan of Hashim seem to have been declining at that time."While still in his teens, Muhammad accompanied his uncle on trading journeys to Syria gaining experience in commercial trade, the only career open to Muhammad as an orphan. Islamic tradition states that when Muhammad was either nine or twelve while accompanying the Meccans' caravan to Syria, he met a Christian monk or hermit named Bahira who is said to have foreseen Muhammed's career as a prophet of God.Little is known of Muhammad during his later youth, and from the fragmentary information that is available, it is difficult to separate history from legend. It is known that he became a merchant and "was involved in trade between the Indian ocean and the Mediterranean Sea." Due to his upright character he acquired the nickname "al-Amin" (Arabic: الامين), meaning "faithful, trustworthy" and "al-Sadiq" meaning "truthful"and was sought out as an impartial arbitrator. His reputation attracted a proposal in 595 from Khadijah, a 40-year-old widow who was 15 years older than he. Muhammad consented to the marriage, which by all accounts was a happy one.Several years later, according to a narration collected by historian Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad was involved with a well-known story about setting theBlack Stone in place in the wall of the Kaaba in 605 CE. The Black Stone, a sacred object, had been removed to facilitate renovations to the Kaaba. The leaders of Mecca could not agree on which clan should have the honour of setting the Black Stone back in its place. They agreed to wait for the next man to come through the gate and ask him to choose. That man was the 35-year-old Muhammad, five years before his first revelation. He asked for a cloth and put the Black Stone in its centre. The clan leaders held the corners of the cloth and together carried the Black Stone to the right spot, then Muhammad set the stone in place, satisfying the honour of all.