At the time the local Arab tribes of Aus and Khazraj dominated the city, and were in constant conflict.
Muhammad's closest companions, the four "rightly guided" Caliphs who succeeded him, continued to expand the state to encompass Jerusalem, Ctesiphon, and Damascus, and sending armies as far as the Sindh.
The Islamic empire stretched from Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) to the Punjab under the reign of the Umayyad dynasty.
An important Islamic concept concerning the structure of ruling is shura, or consultation with people regarding their affairs, which is the duty of rulers mentioned in two verses in the Quran, 3, and .
One type of ruler not part of the Islamic ideal was the king, which was disparaged in Quran's mentions of the Pharaoh, "the prototype of the unjust and tyrannical ruler" (, 79) and elsewhere.
The document was drawn up with the explicit concern of bringing to an end the bitter intertribal fighting between the clans of the Aws (Aus) and Khazraj within Medina.