The purpose of this paper is to give a synopsis of the life history and work of Muhammad, son of Abdullah, the prophet of Islam. It will also seek to address the persecutions he underwent at the hands of his own clan. Muhammad was and remains one of the most influential people the world has ever seen. He was a mortal, illiterate man who has changed world history and left an indelible mark on the history books. He was the last of the prophets and one of the few with scriptures. The scripture (Qur’an) is one of the most read and revered books on the face of the earth. His work has over one billion followers worldwide comprising people from all races, social status, sex and age. He acknowledged every prophet before him and discriminated against none (Qur’an 2:285). He was a human rights champion. In this paper Quraysh and/or Mecca will mostly refer to unbelievers in Islamic monotheism at the time of Muhammad. MUHAMMAD: - BIRTH and CHILDHOOD
Muhammad the son of Abdullah and the grandson of Abdul Muttalib (leader of the Quraysh tribe and custodian of al-Ka’aba) is the prophet of the Islamic religion. Muhammad was born in Mecca in the year 570 c.e. which is also known as the Year of the Elephant. This is the year that Abrahah, the king of Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia) sent a powerful force to destroy al-Ka’aba because he viewed al-Ka’aba as a rival since it was attracting more pilgrims than his newly constructed temple in Yemen. According to history, on approaching Mecca the lead elephant of Abrahah’s convoy refused to enter the city. Then birds filled the skies stoning the army with pebbles so much so that they had to retreat in defeat. Muhammad was a descendant of Abraham through his son Ishmael. His father Abdullah died few months before Muhammad’s birth. His mother Aminah sent him the countryside to be nursed and nurtured as was the custom in Arabia. It’s believed that the children learn the qualities of self-discipline, nobility, and freedom better in the countryside than in the urban areas. It also gave them the opportunities to be speakers of eloquent Arabic spoken by the Bedouin. Aminah did not have much money to pay for the care so most of the caregivers would not take Muhammad until she met Halimah a poor Bedouin woman who became Muhammad’s nurse. One day while playing with his child peers, two angels appeared to him in human form, laid him down, opened his chest and purified his heart. For fear of what might have happened next, Halimah and her husband Harith returned Muhammad to his mother. (Britannica) Aminah died when Muhammad was only six years old. His grandfather (Abdul Muttalib) took custody of him, then two years later Abdul Muttalib fell sick and suspected he may not survive the illness, so he asked his son Abu Talib to take charge of Muhammad. Abdul Muttalib had many sons some of whom were richer than Abu Talib but he was the kindest and most respectable among his brothers. Abu Talib treated him very well and respectfully.
ADOLESCENT to MARRIAGE
At a young age he joined Abu Talib’s caravan to Syria. On this Syrian trip a Christian monk (Bahira) saw the signs of prophethood on him, invited him and his uncle to dine with him. He saw the prophet seal on his back and told Abu Talib to protect him from the Jews and Christians because might kill him if they realize his was the foretold prophet to come after Jesus (Qur’an 61:6) And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, "O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad." But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, "This is obvious magic." Muhammad was said to be a young man of unusual physical beauty and generosity of character. He was revered in Mecca due to his sense of...