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Muhammad

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"Allah cursed the Jews and the Christians, for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets." -- Sahih Bukhari 2.23.472 (Last utterances of Mohammed according to Koran)

Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah (Arabic: محمد بن عبدالله, Muḥammad ibn ‘Abdullāh; also spelled Mohammed, Muhammed, or Mahomet) (Born::570 AD, Mecca - Died::June 8, 632 AD, Medina), was the founder of the religion of Islam and is regarded by Muslims as the last messenger and prophet of God (Arabic: الله, Allāh) as taught by the Qur'an 33:40–40.

The Sunnah

Muhammad was born in Mecca. He belonged to the clan of Hashim, a poor but respected branch of the prestigious and influential tribe of Quraysh. His father, ‘Abdu’llah ibn ‘Abdu’l-Muttalib, died before he was born. After his mother's death when he was six, he was brought up by his grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, and after his grandfather's death, by his uncle Abu Talib. Pensive and withdrawn in temperament, he displayed an acute moral sensitivity at an early age, and he was known as al-Amin (“the trusted one”). Like his fellow tribesmen, he became a trader and made several journeys to Syria, where he may have met and conversed with Christians. He then began to manage the business of a rich widow, Khadija; she was greatly impressed by both his honesty and ability, and she shortly offered him marriage, which he accepted. Muhammad was 25 years old and Khadija may have been as old as 40 at the time.

During the month of Ramadan, Muhammad would retreat to a cave located at the summit of Mount Hira, just outside Mecca in the Arabian Hijaz, where he fasted and prayed. According to Islamic belief, when he was about forty years old (610) he was visited by Angel Gabriel and commanded to recite verses sent by God. These revelations continued until his death twenty-three years later. The collection of these verses is known as the Qur'an.

Muslims discern the sunnah (سنة) or "way" of the prophet through Muhammad's non-Quranic utterances to his personal habits, all ways should be mirrored. One can attain these insights into his life primarily by way of hadiths or reports of his life passed down orally until finally written down in the eighth century AD. The hadiths are considered to originate from contemporaries and eyewitnesses to Muhammad. There are thousands of hadiths with some very lengthy while others are only a few sentences. Many were considered fakes, not what they claimed to be. There are six major Hadith collections and through Islamic scholars during the time (from about 870 to 920 AD) those that were not real were found out.[1]

He expanded his mission as a prophet, publicly preaching strict monotheism, condemning the social evils of his day, and warning of a Day of Judgment when all humans shall be held responsible for their deeds.

After ignoring Muhammad's preaching, the elites in Mecca, feeling threatened by his message, harassed Muhammad and persecuted his followers. This continued and intensified over more than a decade. The hardships reached a new level for Muhammad after the deaths of his wife Khadija and his uncle Abu Talib, who, although not becoming a Muslim, had protected Muhammad throughout. Eventually, in 622, Muhammad left Mecca in a journey known to Muslims as the Hijra (the Migration). He settled in the area of Yathrib (now known as Medina) with his followers, where he was the leader of the first Muslim community.

Frequent ghazi (plural ghazawāt) or raids on the Quraish by Muhammad over the years finally erupted into a full-blown Battle of Badr (624 AD), one of the few mentioned in the Qur'an.[2] A tentative Hudaybiyya (or peace agreement) in 628 is enforced only to be broken by Muhammad at the slightest provocation in 629 AD.[3][4] The second epoch division, after Mecca, takes place primarily within the city of Medina, The City of the Prophet. This time can be defined as, not a new peaceful life trajectory, but continuation and indeed furtherance or maturity within the infantile actions of war he entertained in Mecca. The time in Medina gains mass converts to Islam, then through further leadership by Muhammad a strong national (or regional) political and military foundation is constructed to further the religion of Islam.

Six years of continuous war between Muslim and Meccan forces followed, culminating later in the bloodless Muslim victory and conquest of Mecca. The Muslims subsequently removed everything they considered idolatrous from the Kaaba. Most of the townspeople accepted Islam. In March 632, Muhammad led the pilgrimage known as the Hajj. On returning to Medina he fell ill and died after a few days, on June 8.

Under the caliphs who assumed authority after his death, the Islamic empire expanded into Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, North Africa, southern Spain, and Anatolia. Later conquests, commercial contact between Muslims and non-Muslims, and missionary activity spread Islam over much of the Eastern Hemisphere, including China and Southeast Asia. [5]

See Also

References

  1. Six Major Hadith Collections By Wikipedia
  2. Ghazi by Wikipedia
  3. Oxford Islamic History A Very Short Introduction by Adam Silverstein ; pg. 123-124
  4. Hamas, Al-Arabiya Seethe Over My Muhammad Bio by Robert Spencer. March 25, 2008
  5. Muhammad by Wikipedia

External Links

Non-Muslim biographies

Muslim biographies