The prophet Muhammad and his life before and during Islam
Prophet Mohammad who, the Muslim fraternity view and regard as a messenger and a prophet is believed to have been sent by Allah (God) to guide the humanity towards the right way (Rogerson, 2003). Among the prophets sent by God to mankind, he is believed to be the last among them, though the Muslims believe of the possibility of later subordinate’sprophets (Ahmadiyya) within Islam after Mohammad (Haddad& Smith, 2014). This being the case, the prophet is highly regarded among the different Muslim groups as a prophet. In fact, there is no disagreement as to the existence, calling, and undertakings among the Sunni and Shia groups. The Shia and Sunni Muslim groups emerged as a result of the split of Islam after the death of Mohamed in relation who would take over the leadership of Islam. This being the case, Mohammed has been generally accepted by the Muslims as the founder of Islam (Melton& Baumann, 2010). In the seventh century, he was the most unveiled significant figure in the west, and is also considered to be one of the most influential figures of all times in the globe. This is depicted by his life, deeds, thoughts, and ideologies that have been debated and followed by opponents, followers, and supporters over the century. This condition complicates his biography. Philosophers regarded him as a positivist, while the Christians regarded him as an apostate. The brief introduction creates a leeway to examine the featured life and achievements of Prophet Muhammad before and during Islam.
Mohammad, whose name is taken to mean “highly praised” was born in 571AD during the Christian era of Rabi Iwhich occurred on the twelfth lunar month (Tapper& Tapper, 1987).His father had died shortly before he was born, while his mother died when he was only a kid at six years. He was therefore raised as an orphan by his uncle, who gave him the work of a shepherd. At the age of 9, (though some texts indicates that this was at age 12), he joined his uncle who was aiding a caravan to Syria (Rogerson, 2003). He was from a noble family (Quraish), who were the guardians of a spiritual centre that served the whole of Arabia –the Ka’ba. ADuring those times, the place-Arabia, was deep in idolatry with every household keeping idols. By then, the Arabians had no faith in the afterlife and therefore exhibited no responsibility on their actions. They however allegedthat demons and diseases existed and were as a result of evil spirits. Like the fellow country peoples, Mohammad was not taught on how to read and write, though his youth was occupied in trade, but despite this fact, he had high morals which distinguished him from the rest of his compatriots. Since he lived a reserved life, he only kept for himself men/friends whose morals were admitted by all (Ali, 2011). This fact describes his purity as well as the undestroyed character and the love for verity and honesty (Ali, 2011).
History has it that he never tasted wine, and so was his friend Abu Bakr. The society was full of gambling, yet he didn’t participate in any of these. The life that he lived was a complete opposite of the society’s way. Above all, his life was remarkably rare case, as evidenced by his love for the poor, the widowed, orphans, the slaves, and the weak in the society among others helpless groups (Spencer, 2007). It is indicated that he even at one time took an oath to help the oppressed. At twenty five, He married a wealthy lady whom he had worked for, but despite this fact, he spent freely to aid the poor. Any slave who came to his house was set free and this angered Quraish, who ordered Abu Talib who ordered his execution because of the fame that he had gained from people, but the person mandated to execute him refused citing his goodness to the people. It ought to be recorded here that the window that he married was 15years older and he stayed on with her without remarrying for the next 24 years that he lived. This was despite the fact that the communitys culture allowed for polygamy.
When he was about 40 years at around 610c.e. He began going in a solitude place in a cave at mount Hira, which surroundsMecca. He used to stay long in this place for hours and sometimes days meditating. It is in this placewhen the he received the first revelations from God. The revelations received were inform of a Quran (which means recitation). It is believed that, while in the cave, an imposing figure suddenly appeared and commanded him to recite (read) a scroll (Quran) that was laid before him (Egan, 2002). He was terrified by the sudden appearance and the command to read. He stammered telling the figure that he did not know how to read, but the figure who was Gabriel, the angel of the lord (Egan, 2002). These therefore, formed the first revelations of God to man and acted as the last testament to mankind. Since that revelation, the meditation of the prophet at the cave ended, and he began preaching Islam, guided by the revelation.
Transforming the nation
Before he began preaching the good news of Allah, the nation (Arab) was full of superstitious and ignorance. They even used to burry baby girls alive as they adhered to their idolatry practices. It is indicated that by the end of his mission, when he was 63 years old, the nation had become transformed and no longer relied on superstitions, nor were they ignorance. Indeed, the whole nation had become a cultured people who were willing to sacrifice for the sake of their fellow brothers. Through his teachings, he taught the people even the basics in life including how to wash oneself, as well as the important affairs that governs the human society (Barise, 2005). It is important to note that the revelations brought in the Arabic verses in an intermittent manner, any time God wanted to reveal anything to the human race including the important issues, how to worship, salvation, death and resurrection among other things. Three years after the divine revelation, the prophet had only gained 40 followers, and since his teachings distracted the Meccan mode of living, both in morals and economic perspective, he together with his followers faced may rejections and persecutions. In fact, it initially took the direction of mockery, but sooner violence erupted and members of smaller movements were harassed and stoned as they prayed. Others were even thrown into jail, and even denied service by merchants (Baram, 2008).
Hijira and the Persecution
Theincreasedpersecution did not deter the prophet from preaching. This led to the transformation of followers from Yathrib city. The city needed a strong leader and Mohammad was proposed as the best beneficiary to take up the job, and as a condition, they covenanted to worship Allah only and obey Mohammad as well as come to his defence and that of his followers. This was revealed to Mohammad by god and he planned to escape to the city. The Meccans tried to prevent it, but he, Abu Bakr and others managed to escape, thus arriving safe at Yathrib. There was Hijira celebration, and it denoted the start of the Muslim year. The city was later renamed medina al Nabi, or simply medina. The prophet established himself here proving to be a capable politician, a prophet and a statesman
Battle for Mecca and the spread of Islam
After Mohammad had established the job which he had been called to do at medina, the people encouraged him to engage in battles with the people from Mecca. This went on for a long time, but in 627, the medina people overpowered the Meccans. In 630 after the defeat of mecca, Mohammad rededicated the Kaba temple to Allah and also witnessed the conversion of almost all the Meccan population to Islam (Donner, 2010). The prophet then returned to medina where he died having conquered almost the whole part of Arabia for Islam (Renn, 2012). By 634, the entire Arabian Peninsula had been converted to Islam as well as far and wide countries. This was attributed to the military might and the political capability that the prophet’s successors had.
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