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All you need to know about Prophet Muhammad

All you need to know about Prophet Muhammad

Muhammad ibn Abdullah (570-632) is revered today as the Prophet of Islam and the “seal of the Prophets” by his followers, the Muslims. Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad was the last—hence the “seal”—of many prophets before him in Judaism and Christianity. Like, Adam, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jesus Christ, and others. 

He was an ordinary person from Mecca who (according to Islamic books) received a divine revelation from Allah and began to preach a new faith in Arabia (between 610 and 632). Eventually, these revelations would be collected in the form of a book, the Koran, after his death.

Who is Prophet Muhammad?

Prophet Muhammad was born in the year 570 in the city of Mecca, in the province of Hijaz, in Arabia. El Hashim’s clan was part of the respected Quraish tribe. His clan (headed by his grandfather Abd al-Muttalib at the time) provided water for pilgrims travelling to Mecca. Mecca was home to a wide variety of idols and was considered a holy place centred on the Kaaba (which is still considered holy by Muslims).

Prophet Muhammad’s father, Abdullah, had died while Amina, the prophet’s mother, was still pregnant, she dying in the year 576 when Prophet Muhammad was only 6 years old. His grandfather, Abd al-Muttalib, then took on the responsibility of raising him, but he died two years later. Prophet Muhammad’s uncle, Abu Talib (son and successor of Abd al-Muttalib), then devoted himself to raising his nephew, and it is said that the two loved each other as a father and son would. When he grew up, he became an honest caravan trader (rare at the time). The Arabs referred to him as “As-Sadiq” (the truthful one) and “Al-Amin” (the trustworthy one) and, in fact, it is said that many gave him their wealth to keep, even after he started preaching a faith they didn’t believe in.

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Marriage with Khadijah

When he was 25 years old, a wealthy widow named Khadijah (v. 555-620) sent him with one of her trade caravans to do business. She was so impressed by her honesty that she sent him a marriage proposal, which he accepted. Thus, Prophet Muhammed was united in marriage with his first wife (595), a woman 15 years older than him. Khadijah support and company would help him in his mission. He would take no other wife while he was married to her. Although this was quite common in Arabia at the time. He later commented on his relationship with his wife as follows:

Allah (God) never gave me a better wife than Khadijah. She believed in me when others denied me. She put all her wealth at my service when other people hid theirs from me. And, what is more, Allah gave me children only through Khadijah. (Hadith quoted from Musnad Imam Ahmad 6:118)

The prophet had two sons and four daughters with Khadijah, his two sons dying in infancy. Later, the prophet Muhammad married another woman and had another son, who also died in infancy.

Declaration as Prophet

When he reached his thirties, he began to worship in a cave called “Hira”, in the mountain “Jabal al-Nour” (Mountain of Light), near Mecca. It is said that one fateful day in the year 610, a light appeared to him claiming to be the angel Gabriel. Angel Gabriel who approached him with the first revelation of God—”Allah.” 

It is said that Prophet Muhammad was initially puzzled and frightened, and ran back home, trembling with fear. Only after his wife comforted him and brought him to his cousin Warqa (a Christian scholar), who understood everything and told him that he was a prophet, did he realize the responsibility that had been placed on him.

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Another confederation (of Bedouin) was annihilated at the Battle of Hunayn (630). Prophet Muhammad also sent armies to conquer other important regions of Arabia. The city of Taif, from which he had been forced to flee, submitted to his rule in the year 631. The attempt to consolidate power over the Arab tribes living under Byzantine rule failed with the Muslim defeat at the Battle of Mu’tah (629). But it gave Prophet Muhammad’s successors an idea for their future (successful) efforts against the Byzantines.

At his death in 632, Prophet Muhammad was the most powerful political leader in all of Arabia. Most of the tribes had converted to Islam, although most of these conversions were politically motivated rather than spiritually motivated. This fact would be very relevant after the death of Prophet Mohammed since these tribes would separate from the Islamic empire and would have to be controlled again. After a brief illness, Muhammad died peacefully in his own home with his youngest wife, Aisha (daughter of Abu Bakr), at his side.

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