Saturday, December 5, 2009
570 Muhammad's Birth and Infancy
Muhammad was born in the year 570 in the town of Mecca, a mountain town in the high desert plateau of western Arabia. His name derives from the Arabic verb hamada, meaning "to praise, to glorify." He was the first and only son of Abd Allah bin Al-Muttalib and Amina bint Wahb. Abd Allah died before Muhammad's birth and Muhammad was raised by his mother Amina, who in keeping with Meccan tradition entrusted her son at an early age to a wet nurse named Halima from the nomadic tribe of the Sa'd ibn Bakr. He grew up in the hill country, learning their pure Arabic.
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575 Muhammad Becomes an Orphan
When Muhammad was five or six his mother took him to Yathrib, an oasis town a few hundred miles north of Mecca, to stay with relatives and visit his father's grave there. On the return journey, Amina took ill and died. She was buried in the village of Abwa on the Mecca-Medina Road. Halima, his nurse, returned to Mecca with the orphaned boy and placed him in the protection of his paternal grandfather, Abdul Al-Muttalib. In this man's care, Muhammad learned the rudiments of statecraft. Mecca was Arabia's most important pilgrimage center and Abdul Al-Muttalib its most respected leader. He controlled important pilgrimage concessions and frequently presided over Mecca's Council of Elders.
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578 Muhammad in Mecca in Care of an Uncle
Upon his grandfather's death in 578, Muhammad, aged about eight, passed into the care of a paternal uncle, Abu Talib. Muhammad grew up in the older man's home and remained under Abu Talib's protection for many years. Chroniclers have underscored Muhammad's disrupted childhood. So does the Qur'an: "Did God not find you an orphan and give you shelter and care? And He found you wandering, and gave you guidance. And he found you in need, and made you independent" (93:6-8).
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594 Muhammad's Teens
When young boy, Muhammad worked as a shepherd to help pay his keep (his uncle was of modest means). In his teens he sometimes traveled with Abu Talib, who was a merchant, accompanying caravans to trade centers. On at least one occasion, he is said to have traveled as far north as Syria. Older merchants recognized his character and nicknamed him El–Amin, the one you can trust.
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594 Muhammad Acts as Caravan Agent for Wealthy Tradeswoman, Khadija
In his early twenties, Muhammad entered the service of a wealthy Meccan merchant, a widow named Khadija bint Khawalayd. The two were distant cousins. Muhammad carried her goods to the north and returned with a profit.
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609 Muhammad's Marriage and Family Life
Impressed by Muhammad's honesty and character, Khadija eventually proposed marriage. They were wed in about 595. He was twenty-five. She was nearly forty.
Muhammad continued to manage Khadija's business affairs, and their next years were pleasant and prosperous. Six children were born to them, two sons who both died in infancy, and four daughters. Mecca prospered too, becoming a well–off trading center in the hands of an elite group of clan leaders who were mostly successful traders.
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610 Muhammad Receives First Revelation
Mecca's new materialism and its traditional idolatry disturbed Muhammad. He began making long retreats to a mountain cave outside town. There, he fasted and meditated. On one occasion, after a number of indistinct visionary experiences, Muhammad was visited by an overpowering presence and instructed to recite words of such beauty and force that he and others gradually attributed them to God. This experience shook Muhammad to the core. It was several years before he dared to talk about it outside his family.
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613 Muhammad Takes his Message Public
After several similar experiences, Muhammad finally began to reveal the messages he was receiving to his tribe. These were gathered verse by verse and later would become the Qur'an, Islam's sacred scripture. In the next decade, Muhammad and his followers were first belittled and ridiculed, then persecuted and physically attacked for departing from traditional Mecca's tribal ways. Muhammad's message was resolutely monotheistic. For several years, the the Quraysh, Mecca's dominant tribe, levied a ban on trade with Muhammad's people, subjecting them to near famine conditions. Toward the end of the decade, Muhammad's wife and uncle both died. Finally, the leaders of Mecca attempted to assassinate Muhammad.
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622 Muhammad and the Muslims Emigrate to Medina
In 622, Muhammad and his few hundred followers left Mecca and traveled to Yathrib, the oasis town where his father was buried. The leaders there were suffering through a vicious civil war, and they had invited this man well known for his wisdom to act as their mediator. Yathrib soon became known as Medina, the City of the Prophet. Muhammad remained here for the next six years, building the first Muslim community and gradually gathering more and more people to his side.
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628 The Military Period
The Meccans did not take Muhammad's new success lightly. Early skirmishes led to three major battles in the next three years. Of these the Muslims won the first (the Battle of Badr, March, 624), lost the second (the Battle of Uhud, March, 625), and outlasted the third, (The Battle of the Trench and the Siege of Medina, April, 627). In March, 628, a treaty was signed between the two sides, which recognized the Muslims as a new force in Arabia and gave them freedom to move unmolested throughout Arabia. Meccan allies breached the treaty a year later.
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630 The Conquest of Mecca
By now, the balance of power had shifted radically away from once-powerful Mecca, toward Muhammad and the Muslims. In January, 630, they marched on Mecca and were joined by tribe after tribe along the way. They entered Mecca without bloodshed and the Meccans, seeing the tide had turned, joined them.
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632 Muhammad's Final Years
Muhammad returned to live in Medina. In the next three years, he consolidated most of the Arabian Peninsula under Islam. In March, 632, he returned to Mecca one last time to perform a pilgrimage, and tens of thousands of Muslims joined him.
After the pilgrimage, he returned to Medina. Three months later on June 8, 632 he died there, after a brief illness. He is buried in the mosque in Medina. Within a hundred years Muhammad's teaching and way of life had spread from the remote corners of Arabia as far east as Indo-China and as far west as Morocco, France and Spain.
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Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the last of Allah’s Messengers and Prophets. His name is Muhammad, son of Abdullah, son of Abdul-Muttalib, peace be upon him. His lineage is traced back to Ibraheem, peace be upon him, the Friend of Allah. He was born in Makkah in 570 AC. Due to the fine reputation he enjoyed among his people, they nicknamed him “the Trustworthy.” At the age of 40, he was endowed with Prophet hood when Allah, the Exalted, revealed to him, through the angel Jibreel, the first Qur’anic verses, and commanded him to preach the Oneness of Allah and warn people against polytheism.
The Makkah polytheists opposed him and threatened his few followers harshly, but that did not shake his faith nor cause his steadfastness to waiver, nor did it stop more people from responding to his preaching.
Finally, when the majority of the people of Madinah embraced Islam, the Makkan Muslims took flight to Madinah. Later on, the messenger of Allah himself migrated to Madinah to establish there the Islamic nation. A few years later, the polytheists of Makkah and their allies succumbed to the growing power of the Muslims, and through the mercy of the Prophet Muhmmad, peace be upon him, Makkah was liberated without violence. Some thirty years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, Islam had already spread throughout the world and displaced the two greatest empires at the time; the Persian and the Roman.
Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam (1)) is the last Messenger and Prophet of Allah.
Allah is the One True God who is only worthy of worship; He is the Creator, Sustainer and Sovereign of
Muhammad Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam conveyed the international message of Islam to both
mankind and jinn in general and not to a particular race.
2. HIS LIFE:
Muhammad was born in Makkah in about A.C. 571. Makkah was then a trading center in the West of
Muhammad Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam came from a celebrated tribe, Quraysh, that had traced its
origin to the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ismael (Peace be upon them)
Since his childhood, Muhammad Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam had grown up renowned for his integrity,
intellect, keeping faith, his eloquence, credibility and reasonableness of speech.
He started as a shepherd, and then he was engaged in the caravan trade between Makkah and all –
Sham (which lies in the east of the Mediterranean)
(1) This means: “PEACE AND BLESSINGS OF ALLAH BE UPON HIM.
At the age of twenty-five, he married a well-to-do-widow called Khadija who had employed him to do her trade. From this marriage, four daughters survived into his later years, and two sons died in infancy.
At the age of forty, or around 610 A.C. Muhammad Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam received the first revelation of the divine word of God: the Qur’an.
While on retreat in the mountain-top cave near Makkah, the Archangel Gabriel came to him with the beginning of the Divine message of Islam (The Qur’an).
The Muhammad Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam received the call to proclaim the worship of the One God (Allah) against the prevailing polytheism and idol-worship of the people in and outside Arabia.
Later on, the Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam began the public preaching of his message by warning his fellow countrymen of the danger of punishment for those who did not worship the One True God. Hell awaits the disbeliever’s in the Hereafter, whilst Paradise is for the true believers in the Islam (the total surrender to the will of Allah).
As Makkah was a centre of pilgrimage because of the ka’bah, a sanctuary built by Abraham Peace be upon him, the Makkans saw a threat in this religion which condemned idolatry. They were afraid that it would not only deprive them of the respect they enjoyed as guardians of the Ka’bah but diminish the benefits they got from the yearly pilgrimage as well.
With time, resistance to the faith of monotheism became virulent. To escape persecution in Makkah, some of the Muslims immigrated to Abyssinia.
After preaching for a decade with little result and faced with mush opposition, the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam was constrained to migrate to Medina where he found refuge and support.
In Medina, the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam founded and Islamic State which declared Jehad, (i.e. fighting in the cause of Allah, against all powers of evil and polytheism) ordained by Allah. This went side by side with the sending out of messengers to call the rulers and people inside and outside Arabia to embrace Islam, the religion advocated by all previous prophets of Allah.
The Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam fought many campaigns and battles against pagans, particularly those of Makkah. The most famous of these battles are: Badr, Ohud and the Trench.
In 630, in face of a massive attack by the Muslim army led by the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam himself, Makkah were granted clemency by the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam; consequently, they converted to Islam of their own free will. Makkah was purified of its polytheistic idol-worship, and ist ancient sanctuary, the ka’bah, was rededicated to Allah and reconstituted as the central pilgrimage shrine of Islam. Thus the sole worship of Allah was instituted in Makkah. By the end of his life, the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam had unified all Arabia and Islam had already begun its sweep of the Near East.
In 632, the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam died in Medina. Abu Bakr was elected as his successor (caliph) in the political and religious headship.
3. HIS PHYSICAL AND MORAL CHARACTERISTICS
In describing the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam, Anas, a companion of the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam, reported that: “He was neither tall nor short, neither pale nor dark in color. His hair was wavy, not curly or straight. I have never seen anyone who looked better than him.”
In the holy Qur’an, Allah states that the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam was paragon of virtue: “And thou art on an exalted standard of behavior.” (Al-Qalam.4)
His wife, Aisha, described him as follows “His behavior and morals were (a reflection of) the Qur’an” meaning that he Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam was guided by Allah’s words in all aspects of his life; he never deviated from the fright path.
The Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam stressed that one of the chief aims of his message is to provide a guide to proper manners and upright behavior.
Muhammad Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam was always sincere, firm and in carrying out the Divine commands. He never spoke a lie or was unfaithful to anyone; rather, he was the most truthful and rightfully just. He always stood by the oppressed. He did justice to all without making any distinction between a friend and a foe.
He was very kind to children; while walking along, he would greet them and pat them affectionately.
He was extremely polite and tender- hearted. He never used indecent language, or uttered a harsh word.
He had a great regard for the weak and the elders. He would even spread his own mantle for them to sit on.
Although he was modest and meek, he had the courage of the ravest of men. When he fought the enemies of Islam, he showed remarkable determination, perseverance and valor.
The Prophet’s character Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam was so fine and noble that people got attracted to him. Anas said that he had remained in the service of the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam for ten years, but the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam had never scolded him for his lapses. Whenever he did some job nicely, the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam used to invoke Allah’s blessings on him; and if something went wrong, the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam would say, “It was so ordained by Allah.”
Muhammad Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam was modest and helpful. He used to give a hand in the household chores.
4. OBLIGATIONS OF MUSLIMS TO WARDS THE PROPHET Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam:
a) To believe that Muhammad Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam is the seal of the prophets, and that Islam is the last of all divine messages.
b) To believe that Muhammad Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam was sent to convey the all-embracing message of Tawheed (monotheism) to mankind. [Tawheed is the faith in the oneness of God who has no partner in the creation, rule and domination of the whole cosmos].
c) To consider him Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam as the Prophet, Messenger of Allah.
d) To obey the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam, abstain from doing whatever he for bids us to do, and to worship Allah in the same way as he told us to do.
e) To love him Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam and all his companions (May Allah be pleased with them).
f) To do one’s best to propagate Islam following the prophet’s method Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam in calling the people to the true religion.
g) To say, “Salla Allahu Alayhi Sallam”, i.e. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, at every mention of the Prophet by name or by title.
5. THE GREATEST MIRACLE OF THE PROPHET Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam:
It is obvious that the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam has many signs and miracles which demonstrate and prove his prophetic mission, greatest of which is the holy Qur’an. For its majestic style and matter are unparalleled; no Arab or non-Arab could imitate even one verse (Aya) of it; it is a comprehensive book which deals with all the important issues that concern man in this life and in the Hereafter.
The holy Qur’an says, “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)”
Through all ages, the purity of the text of the holy Qur’an is guarded against any corruption or distortion. It is the only revealed book that has been maintained undistorted since its revelation until now. Thus it is the only “Book” with one version.
In 628 A.C. , a revelation promised the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wasallam, who was then still the ruler of Medina only, that he would shortly pray at the sacred mosque of Makkah, at the Ka’bah. After reaching an agreement with Quraysh, the Muslims managed to perform Hajj (pilgrimage) the following year and as mentioned before, in 630, Quraysh surrendered and the Muslims were victorious.
Indeed, without testifying that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger, one would not be considered Muslim.
“Allah testifies that there is no God but He, and the angels and those who have knowledge also testify: He stands firm for Justice. There is no God but He, the almighty, the Wise.” (The Qur’an, 3:8)
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah mush.”(Al-Ahzab .21)