The Prophet Muhammad
The Prophet Muhammad is the founder of Islam. He is known as the Messenger of God to people of the Islamic faith. Muhammad lived a rough life but he also changed people’s lives. His religion has had an effect on millions of people. There are no pictures of Muhammad’s face; he made a point that the religion was to not be about him, but about Allah. In 570 C.E in Mecca, Arabia a baby boy, a descendant of Abraham named Muhammad, whose name means “highly praised”, was born. Muhammad’s father, Abdullah, died before he was born and his mother, Amina died when he was only six years old. After the death of his mom, he became an orphan. He was taken in by a woman named Halmiah, who became his foster mother. In 595 C.E., Muhammad was contacted by one of his wealthy widowed cousins , Khadijah, who needed him to sell some goods for her. Many of Muhammad’s cousins lived in Mecca, so it was not uncommon that Khadijah had contacted him. He was known for being a very good merchant. Muhammad and Khadijah met several times to discuss the selling of goods. Khadijah began to become interested in him on a personal level, even though she was fifteen years older than Muhammad. Khadijah asked Nufaysah (known as the matchmaker) to ask Muhammad if he was interested in marrying Khadijah. Muhammad and Khadijah were soon engaged and married. Polygamy was common during this time but, Muhammad married nobody else while he was married to Khadijah. They had six children together. They had two sons and four girls, their two sons died. Muhammad and Khadijah were known to be very generous. “These were not arbitrary acts of generosity but part of a determined pursuit of a responsible moral life that stood side by side with the prayers that Muhammad addressed to the High God of Mecca.”
Islam before Muhammad was also known as the pre-Islamic view of God. People in Islam believed in spiritual cosmos, which meant they were not atheist or agnostic. The pre- Islamic Arabs believed there were multiple gods. Allah was still considered the highest God or supreme God. Many of the deities/gods represented particular tribes. The Kaaba temple was surrounded by about 360 idols from the different tribes. These idols were brought by the pilgrims during the pilgrimage, in Mecca.Religion in Mecca became their business, because pilgrims also traded when they came to worship. When Muhammad came and proclaimed monotheism, the Arabs didn’t want to give up their multiple deities. They knew abandoning pilgrimage would be a huge loss in their business affairs in Mecca.
When Muhammad was thirty-five years old, the Quraysh decided to re-build the Kaaba. While the clans of Quraysh were re-building they began to argue over which clan would put the last black stone in the Kaaba. The oldest member of Quraysh, Abu Umayya ibn al-Mughira said “Men of Quraysh, make the first man who comes in at the door of this mosque the arbiter of your difference so that he may judge on the matter.” The first man to walk in the door was the Messenger of God, and when they saw him they said “This is the trustworthy one which whom we are satisfied. This is Muhammad.” Muhammad was told what the Quraysh had discussed. They gave him a cloak and he had each clan grab the cloak. He took the stone once everyone had grabbed on and he put the stone where it belonged. Quraysh used to call the Messenger of God the “trustworthy one.”
Around the time Muhammad was forty years old, he took a trip to Mount Hira, a group of hills in Mecca, on the seventeenth day of Ramadan. During the season of pilgramige, Muhammad and his family liked to decamp in a cave in Mount Hira. During this he prayed, fasted, gave to the poor, and followed the path of righteousness. “All his life he had searched after God. What he was not prepared for now was that God had searched through him and had now come to take possession.” His first night in the cave on the seventeenth day of Ramadan he woke up in a panic, he felt...
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