Article Who Is Muhammad (may peace be upon him)?


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Muhammad (ﷺ): The Man
Muhammad (ﷺ) was born in 570 C.E. in Mecca. He was orphaned at a young age; his father died before his birth, followed by his mother six years later. Muhammad (ﷺ)’s grandfather, and then his uncle, cared for him for the remainder of his youth. As a result, no single figure molded Muhammad (ﷺ)’s beliefs and outlook on life from an early age.

As a young boy, he worked as a shepherd. This was significant, as he noted much later, “All the prophets of God were shepherds.” Muhammad (ﷺ) then adopted the premier Arab occupation of trading and was widely respected for his integrity and sincerity. However, despite his intelligence, he could not read or write, nor was he skilled in composing poetry, a hallmark of Arab society. Therefore, the claim that Muhammad (ﷺ) authored the Quran is unfounded. To this effect, God declares in the Quran, “[Muhammad] does not speak from his own desire. The Quran is nothing less than a revelation that is sent to him” (53:3-4).

Prior to prophethood, Muhammad (ﷺ) was greatly regarded for his superior character and exceptional manners, earning him the title of the ‘Truthful One.’ Meccans entrusted him with their possessions for safekeeping and he was often asked to mediate disputes as an impartial judge.

At the same time, Muhammad (ﷺ) detested the polytheistic Arab customs and did not participate in idolatry. He was also deeply bothered by the many social evils in Arabia, such as the ill treatment of women, widespread alcoholism, constant warfare and subjugation of the poor. He often escaped the atmosphere of Mecca to a cave outside the city, isolating himself for days at a time in meditation.

Although Muhammad (ﷺ)’s pre-prophetic life was highly reputable, it does not indicate that he was poised to make any significant worldly impact. Yet, these life experiences and the development of his character were God’s way of preparing Muhammad (ﷺ) for the monumental task ahead.

Muhammad (ﷺ): The Prophet
One night, in the year 610 C.E., God sent the angel Gabriel with revelation to Muhammad (ﷺ). This was one of the most significant events in human history. It marked the beginning of his prophethood and transformed his life entirely. As the prophet of God receiving divine inspiration, all his endeavors henceforth were devoted to leading humanity back to the pure worship of God. He led an earnest life based on the most sublime values, initiating tremendous changes in Arabia and beyond.

Whereas earlier he removed himself from the social and spiritual corruption in Mecca, he now proactively worked to reform it. Muhammad (ﷺ) called his fellow Meccans to cease their worship of idols and to affirm the Oneness of God; he also invited them to a life of righteousness and piety. He warned them of an afterlife where they will be held accountable for their earthly deeds and also gave joyful news of paradise to those who believed and lived a God-conscious life.

Like previous prophets, Muhammad (ﷺ)’s message was rejected by many of his people. They insisted on maintaining the religious and social customs of their ancestors. The elite mocked Muhammad (ﷺ), accusing him of deceit and madness – the same man whom they freely trusted and honored before. Only a few people believed in him, particularly the poor and disadvantaged who were attracted to his message due to its emphasis on equality and justice.

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and his small group of followers endured persecution for 13 years in Mecca. Eventually, they were forced to leave Mecca and migrate to Medina, a city whose people eagerly welcomed them. Here, Muhammad (ﷺ) established the very first Islamic society which eliminated the spiritual and social problems rampant in the Arabian Peninsula. Freedom of religion was instituted in Medina; women were honored and respected as equals; racial discrimination was practically eliminated; tribal warfare was replaced with united ties of brotherhood; usury and alcohol were completely forbidden.

The French historian, Alphonse de Lamartine, has stated: “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?”

When comparing his life before and after becoming a messenger, it becomes clear that God enabled him to attain this stature and renown through his prophethood. By the end of his life in 622 C.E., the powerful teachings of Islam had overcome even its most ardent enemies. Convinced by the truth of Muhammad (ﷺ)’s message and inspired by the purity of his character, the entire Arabian Peninsula embraced Islam.

Yet, some individuals have alleged that Muhammad (ﷺ) was not a true messenger of God but a sham; this reflects a poor understanding of his teachings, personality and life achievements. Many non-Muslim intellectuals throughout history have attested to the impossibility of this view. The British historian, Dr. Montgomery Watt, addresses this perspective in his writing, “His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.”

In Life of Mohammed, the famous American intellectual, Washington Irving, wrote: “In his private dealings, he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and poor, the powerful and weak, with equity, and was beloved by the common people for the affability with which he received them, and listened to their complaints… In the time of his greatest power he maintained the same simplicity of manners and appearance as in the days of his adversity… He was displeased if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonials of respect were shown to him.”

Muhammad (ﷺ): The Legacy
In the century following Muhammad (ﷺ)’s death, Islam expanded in all directions, absorbing the Persian and Byzantine Empires to the North, reaching as far as Spain in the West and extending its borders to include parts of India and China to the East. This rapid spread of Islam in such a short period of time has caused many to marvel at how a man with a simple message could produce such an astonishing impact on the world.

Mahatma Gandhi, a champion of peace in modern times, said about his experience of studying the life of Muhammad (ﷺ),“I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle.”

Similar admiration was expressed by British intellectual and women’s rights activist, Annie Besant:“It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme.”

Muhammad (ﷺ) was the final prophet in a long line of messengers sent by God which included, among others, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, may peace be upon all of them. Like previous prophets, Muhammad (ﷺ) called people towards belief in the One God and taught them to be just and merciful. His life and teachings have been meticulously documented by thousands of historical sources dating back to his companions.

Michael M. Hart, a Jewish-American historian, placed Muhammad (ﷺ) first in his book, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. According to Hart, “He was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels… It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.”

Muhammad (ﷺ) was indeed one of the most important men in human history; his impact on the world continues to be felt strongly today. Reflecting on his remarkable life and amazing accomplishments leads to an inevitable question: Was Muhammad (ﷺ) simply an extraordinary person or did his greatness result from his being a genuine prophet of God?

Without a doubt, the answer to this question carries great implications. We encourage you to delve deeper into the study of Muhammad (ﷺ)’s life and explore this potentially life-changing question yourself.

[ If you see this ﷺ - It represents the invocation Muslims say with his name: May God’s peace and blessings be upon him. ]

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#WhoIsMuhammad #OurProphet #OurHonour #Islam

Abu Juwairiya

Junior Member
Alhamdolilah. A wonderful article brother. Keep up the good work. May we see many more such articles and good works from you.

Ahmed Malek

New Member
Born about 570 into a respected branch of the prestigious and influential Qurashi family of Mecca, Ban Hashim, Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Abdul-Muttalib bin Abd Manaf bin Qusay bin Kaleb bin Marra bin Kaab bin Lu’ay bin Ghaleb bin Fahr bin Malik bin Al-Nadr bin Kinana bin Khuzaymah bin Madrakah bin Ilyas bin Mudar bin Nizar bin Maad bin Adnan.

Abdullah the father of the Prophet married Amna Bint Wahab. The Prophet – Peace and blessings be upon him – was born on the twelfth of the month of Rabi` Al Awal of the year of the Elephant – the year in which Abraha went to destroy the Kaaba – but Arabs confronted him, and Abd al-Muttalib told him that the house has a God who protects it. When Abraha came with the elephants, Allah the Almighty sent upon them birds carrying stones from a fire that destroyed them, and the Almighty protected the house from any harm.
Muhammad – Peace be upon him -was orphaned before born. Earlier months before the birth of Muhammad, his father died near Madinah on a mercantile mission to Syria. When Muhammad was six, he accompanied his mother Amina to Madinah to visit her dead husband’s tomb. While returning to Mecca, Amina died at a desolate place called Abwa and buried there. Abdul Muttalib, Muhammad’s grandfather, took the responsibility of raising his grandson, but he died after two years when Muhammad was only eight, and he recommended Abu Talib, Muhammed’s uncle, to take care of raising Muhammad.

According to Arab custom, after his birth, Muhammad was sent to BanuSa’ad clan, a neighboring Bedouin tribe. There, Muhammad spent the first two years of his life with his foster-mother Halima, who asked his mother Aminah to keep him for the blessings and benevolence which returned to her tribe for his presence; So Aminah agreed, and Muhammed spent his first five years with his foster-mother Halima As-Sadia.

Based on Islamic narrations, Allah, the Almighty, sent two angels who opened his chest, took out the heart, and removed a blood clot from it. He then washed with Zamzam water in a golden washbowl. In Islam, this incident signifies the idea that Allah, the Almighty, purified his Prophet and protected him from sin or involving in any disrespectful and coarse practice.

Muhammad’s sheep herding:​

Abu Talib was not very rich, so Muhammed helped his uncle in sheepherding in Mecca. Abu Hurairah – May Allah be pleased with him – reported: The messenger of Allah – Peace be upon him – said, “Every Prophet has tended sheep”. He was asked: “And did you?” He replied, “Yes, I tended them for a few carats for the Makkans.” [Al-Bukhari].

Muhammad’s youth and marriage with Khadija:​

Around the age of twelve, Muhammad accompanied his uncle Abu Talib in a mercantile expedition to Syria and gained experience in commercial business. On this journey, Muhammad is said to have been recognized by a Christian monk, Bahira, who prophesied about Muhammad’s future as a Prophet of Allah.

Khadija Bint Khuwaylid, a distinguished Quraysh lady, was a merchant woman with honor and money. She was told about Muhammad and his integrity and honesty, so she offered him to be the caretaker of her mercantile activities and give him the best that she would give to other merchants. Muhammad accepted and went out to Shaam, and when he arrived there, he sat under a tree close to a monk’s Monastery called Nestorius, who told Maysara, Khadija’s servant, that no man sat under this tree but Prophets. Later, he came back with earnings twice than she gained before. Khadija attracted by his well-mannered, honesty, and trustworthiness; accordingly, she sent a marriage proposition to Muhammad through her maidservant, Meisara. As Muhammad gave his consent, the marriage solemnized in the presence of his uncle, Abu Talib, and others said that Hamza bin AbdAlmutalib who engaged her. Khadija was the first wife to whom Muhammad was married, and he lived with her for twenty-five years until she died. She gave birth to all his sons except Ibrahim.

The Prophethood of Muhammad:​

The beginning of the revelation:

After Muhammad – Peace be upon him – married Khadija and involved in the commercial merchandise, and when got forty years old, he started to withdraw into a cave – called Mount Hiraa – for contemplation and reflection. Aa’esha – the mother of the faithful believers – said: (The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Messenger was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright daylight, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food likewise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. One day, in Ramadan, in the year of 610 before CE, while he was there for contemplation, the revelation Jibril appeared to him and said, ‘Recite.’, Muhammad replied: ‘I am unable to recite.’. There upon the angel caught hold of him and embraced him firmly. This happened two more times after which the angel proclaimed Muhammad to read the following Ayaat:

The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “I do not know how to read.” The Prophet (ﷺ) added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, ‘I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?’ Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, ‘Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists), created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.” (96.1, 96.2, 96.3) Then Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely.

After this majestic incident, Muhammed back home to Khadija terrified, asking her to console him saying (Datherini Datherini). Khadija took Muhammad to Waraqah bin Nawfel who testified the prophecy of Muhammad Peace be upon him).

The call-in for the cause of Allah:​

The secret call in Mecca:

The circumstances of the da`wah were not settled in Mecca due to the spread of idolatry and the involvement of Allah; Therefore, it was difficult to call for the unification of Allah directly in it at the beginning of the matter, so what was from the Muhammad except the sacrament of the invitation, and he began to invite the people of his house and who saw in it the sincerity and desire to know the truth, so his wife Khadija and his successor Zaid bin Haritha, Ali bin Abi Talib and Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq The first to believe in his call, then Abu Bakr supported the Messenger in his call, and he embraced Islam on his hands: Othman bin Affan, Al-Zubayr bin Al-Awam, Abdul-Rahman bin Auf, Saad bin Abi Waqas, and Talhah bin Ubayd Allah, then Islam spread in Mecca little by little until he publicized the call Three years after her secrets.

The overt call in Mecca:​

The Prophet – Peace be upon him -started by calling his tribe in public, and the Prophet said: (And I warn your tribe of kin), the Messenger ascended the Mount of Safa and called upon the tribes of Quraish to unite Allah, the Almighty, but they disdained him, but the Messenger did not hesitate to call himself, and Abu Talib took himself to protect the Messenger and did not heed Quraish’s words in response to the Messenger’s call.

The boycott of Muhammad and Banu Hashim:​

The tribes of Quraysh agreed to boycott the Messenger and those who believed in him and besieged them in the people of Bani Hashem, and that boycott was not to deal with them in buying or selling, in addition to not marrying with them. And ended, after Hisham bin Amr consulted with Zuhair bin Abi illiteracy and others in ending the siege.

And they were to split the boycott document, they found that it had ceased to exist except in “your name, O Allah,” from it, and thus the siege was lifted.

The year of sorrow:​

Khadija, who served as a guard for the Messenger of Allah, died three years before his migration to Madinah.

In the same year, Abu Talib, who was protecting Muhammad from the harm of Quraysh, became very ill.

When his illness became more severe, and Quraysh people started to harm Muhammed severely after they asked him to stop Muhammad from his Dawa, Abu Talib told him what they wanted, but Muhammad did not pay attention to them. Muhammad asked his uncle to declare his Islam and say Shahada, but he unfortunately refused and died unmuslim.

These two deaths in the same year were very hard for Muhammad.

They were bond, support, and protection for him, and that year was called the year of sorrow.

The call outside Mecca:​

The Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him – went to Taif to invite the tribe of Thaqif to unite Allah after the death of his uncle and his wife, and he was harmed by the Quraysh. He was asking from the Thaqif of his support and protection and believing in what he came with, hoping for acceptance, but they did not respond and met him with ridicule and mockery.

Migration to Abyssinia:​

Muhammad urged his companions to migrate to the land of Abyssinia; Given what they were subjected to torture and harm, informing them that there is a king who does not abuse anyone, so they left Mecca immigrants, and this was the first immigration in Islam. They numbered eighty-three men, and when Quraish heard about the immigration order, they sent Abdullah bin Abi Rabia and Amr ibn al-Aas with gifts. The gifts were to the Negus, king of Abyssinia, and they asked him to return the immigrant Muslims. In protesting that they had differentiated their religion from which they were, except that the Negus did not respond to them and asked the Muslims to clarify their situation, then Jaafar bin Abi Talib spoke on behalf them, and talked that the Muhammad guided them to the path of righteousness, away from obscenity and vices, so they believed in him, but they were harmed because of that. Later, Jaafar recited the beginning of Surat Maryam, and Najashi cried so hard, then he told the messengers of Quraysh that he would not hand over any of them, and he returned their gifts to them. Despite that, they went back to Najashi the next day, telling him that Muslims interpret the saying of Isa bin Maryam, but he heard from the Muslims their opinion of Isa.
They told him that he is a messenger of Allah, and they believed in him as they believed in Muhammed. Thus, the Negus believed the Muslims and refused the allegations of Abdullah and Amr.

Al Isra wa Al-Miraj:​

Al Isra wa Al-Miraj is on the 27th of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic schedule. It is the night that Allah, the Almighty, took Muhammad on a trip from Mecca to Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and then to heaven. Al-Isra wa Al-Miraj took place during a time when the Prophet Muhammad was facing intense hardship and pain. The Quraysh, who were his tribe and his family, constantly ridiculed, humiliated, and oppressed the Prophet – Peace be upon him – and his followers. Moreover, the Prophet – Peace be upon him – had just faced the Year of Sorrow, during which he lost his beloved wife Khadijah and his uncle Abu Talib, who was his protector and alliance.

The pledges at Al-Aqaba:​

A delegation of supporters, numbering twelve men, came to the Muhammad to pledge allegiance to Allah, the Almighty, and not stealing or falling into adultery or transgressions or false speech. That pledge was made in a place called Al-Aqaba; That is why it was called the first pledge of Al-Aqaba, and the Prophet Muhammad sent Musab bin Omair with them to teach them the Qur’an and show them matters of religion. In the following year in the Hajj season, seventy-three men and two women came to Muhammad Peace be upon him; to pledge allegiance to him, and then the second Al-Aqaba pledge was done.

Migration (Hijra):

Muslims migrated to Madinah; to preserve their religion and themselves, and to establish a safe homeland in which they live according to the principles of the Dawah. Abu Salamah and his family were the first to emigrate, and Suhaib followed him after he gave up all of his money to the Quraysh to unite Allah, the Almighty. Muslims followed each other in immigration until Mecca was almost empty of Muslims. On that account, Quraish fear the consequences of Muslim immigration; under that circumstances, a group of them met in the seminar house in search of a way to get rid of Muhammad peace be upon him.Quraish ended up having to take from every tribe a young man and strike the Prophet as a one-man; in that case, Bani Hashim cannot take revenge on them.

On the same night, Allah authorized Muhammad to emigrate, so he took Abu Bakr as his companion, and placed Ali bin Abi Taleb in his bed. Prophet Muhammad hired Abdullah bin Ariqit to guide him on the way to Al-Madinah, so the Prophet went out with Abu Bakr, heading for the cave of Thor. When Quraysh heard about the failure of their plan and the emigration of Muhammad, they began searching for him, until one of them reached the cave. Abu Bakr experienced the great fear of Muhammad, but the Prophet reassured him that the Almighty would protect them. They remained in the cave for three days until the conditions stabilized, and the search for them stopped. Then they resumed their path to the city and reached it in the thirteenth year of revelation, on the twelfth day of Rabi Al-Awwal. Muhammad and his companion Abu Baker stayed fourteen nights in Bani Amr ibn Awf, during which Muhammad founded the Quba Mosque, the first mosque built in Islam, after which he began establishing the foundations of the Islamic state.

Al-Madinah Al Munawwarah document:

Al-Madinah needed a document that organizes and guarantees the rights of its members, so Prophet Muhammad wrote a document that served as a constitution among immigrants, supporters (Al-Ansar), and Jews. The document was of great importance as it was the constitution that organizes the affairs of Al-Madinah at home and abroad. Muhammad – Peace be upon him -established the conditions according to the provisions of Islamic Sharia, and he was fair in terms of treatment with the Jews.
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