Muhammad, born in 570 AD in Mecca (present-day Saudi Arabia), is revered as the Prophet and founder of Islam. His teachings, based on revelations from Allah, laid the foundation for the Quran and the establishment of Islam as a major world religion.
The early life of Muhammad
Orphaned at birth, Muhammad was nurtured by his grandfather and later by his uncle. Despite hailing from the respected Quraysh tribe, he grew up in modest circumstances. Mecca, a bustling trade and religious hub, was home to the Kaaba, believed to be constructed by Abraham and his son Ismail. Over time, Meccans drifted towards polytheism, with Allah being the sole deity without an idol.
In his youth, Muhammad joined camel caravans, traveling extensively and gaining insights into trade. His integrity earned him the title “al-Amin,” meaning the trustworthy. His professional journey led him to work for Khadijah, a wealthy merchant. Their professional relationship blossomed into marriage, producing several children, including Fatima, who would later marry Muhammad’s cousin, Ali.
Prophetic Call to Muhammad
Muhammad’s spiritual inclinations often led him to sacred sites around Mecca. During one such retreat in 610 AD, in the cave of Mount Jabal al-Nour, he received his first revelation from the Angel Gabriel. These divine messages would later form the Quran. Initially, he shared these revelations privately, with his wife Khadijah and close friend Abu Bakr being the first to embrace Islam.
As Muhammad began preaching against idolatry and advocating monotheism, he faced resistance, especially from Meccan merchants and tribal leaders. The economic implications of his teachings, particularly for those profiting from pilgrims visiting Mecca’s idols, intensified the opposition.
Migration and Establishment:
The growing animosity forced Muhammad and his followers to migrate to Medina in 622 AD, marking the start of the Islamic calendar. In Medina, Muhammad not only garnered more followers but also played a pivotal role in resolving tribal conflicts. Over the next few years, the Muslims faced and overcame several challenges, including battles and sieges.
By 630 AD, with a strengthened position, Muhammad and his army re-entered Mecca, achieving a near-bloodless victory. The idols around the Kaaba were destroyed, marking the city’s conversion to Islam.
Final Days and Death of Muhammad
After successfully establishing Islam in Mecca, Muhammad undertook his first Islamic pilgrimage. In March 632 AD, he delivered his farewell sermon. Shortly after, he fell ill and passed away on June 8, 632 AD. He was laid to rest in Medina, at al-Masjid an-Nabawi, one of the earliest mosques he established.