570–632 - Arab
Founder of Islam. Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam is a "religion of the book" rooted in the Hebrew bible. But its principal source is the Koran, which was revealed to Mohammed by the Angel Gabriel and written down for posterity. Mohammed was expelled from his native Mecca, in the Arabian Peninsula, for preaching his uncompromising form of monotheism, but eventually returned at the head of a conquering army.
?–661 - Arab
Fourth caliph of Islam, cousin of Mohammed, and husband of the Prophet's daughter, Fatima. He was assassinated, but his life gave birth to the Shia branch of Islam (contrasted to the Sunni branch). The Shia branch also later gave birth to Sufism, a mystical interpretation of Islam.
673–735 - English
Priest, monk, author, and saint. He wrote in Latin on a multitude of subjects including sermons, saints' lives, Biblical commentaries, hymns, language, and natural history. His best-known work was The Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People), which covers more than church history and is an invaluable source.