Muhammed Ibn Abdullah was born in Mecca, Arabia in 570 AD.
His father’s name was Abdullah and his mother’s name was Aminah.
His father was a member of the tribe of Quraish. This was the leading tribe of the city.
The city of Mecca was founded by Prophet Abraham’s African wife Hagar and his son Isma’il.
Many centuries before Muhammed was born, the Prophet Abraham took his second wife Hagar and his infant son Isma’il to a deserted location in the southern part of Arabia.
There was nothing there but sand. No trees for shade, nor any water.
He informed Hagar that he had to leave them there alone.
She asked him why was he leaving them there.
He said that G-D had revealed to him that he must do so.
She replied, “If this is what G-D has ordained then I will do as HE commands.”
After being there for some time; all her provisions of food and water were exhausted.
With her baby crying and nothing in her breast to nourish him, she left him sitting in the sand and walked to a nearby hill (later called As-Safa); looking for any travelers on the horizon.
Seeing no one; she then walked to another nearby hill (later called Al-Marwa) that was in the opposite direction.
She still saw no one. She then retraced her steps to the first hill.
Still no one in sight.
She walked and sometimes ran, back and forth between these hills several times.
Imagine the anguish of this desperate mother!
Leaving her crying child sitting in the sand, while she goes back and forth walking and sometimes running between these two hills. Praying to G-D the whole time, asking HIM to please let someone come to their aid.
The child Ismail, is also distraught. Tears running down his face while he cries loudly.
Why has his mother left him alone sitting on the sand while she goes back and forth?
Why is his mother no stopping to comfort him in her arms?
He is frustrated and while he cries he digs his heels into the sand where he sits.
After the seventh time walking and running between the hills; with tears in her eyes she looks at her crying child.
She notices moisture where he has been digging his heels into the sands.
She walks over to him and starts to dig out the sand where the moisture is.
Out comes a spring bubbling with clear water (later called the well of ZamZam).
The Merciful G-D had answered her prayers and provided water from a source that she could not have envisioned.
Later travelers came who provided them with food.
This location became a rest spot for travelers because it was now a place where water was available.
Others decided to settle there permanently and thus began the city of Mecca.
And now many centuries after this event the Well of ZamZam is still producing water.
Other wells have been dug in Mecca, during these past centuries and they all have dried up.
Only the well of ZamZam is still producing water.
Later Abraham and her son Ismail built in Mecca, the First House of worship dedicated to The One True G-D.
That House is called the Khaaba.
Abraham prayed after it’s completion, that this House would be a place of Pilgrimage for all people who believed in The One True G-D.
Many years later after the death of Abraham and Ismail, the people in Mecca and the surrounding countries reverted back to paganism.They filled the Sacred House of G-D with idols gods made out of wood, stone and metal.They knew these man made objects were not the G-D of Abraham; but, they believed these physical idols brought them closer to what they called “The Invisible G-D.”Mankind from ancient times, has falsely believed that they needed physical objects that they can see and touch in order for their worship to be valid.These pagans also corrupted the rituals of Pilgrimage taught by Abraham centuries before.The pagans who came on the pilgrimage to honor their idols; committing all kinds of illicit and immoral activities while in Mecca. Whore mongering, drunkenness, gambling, fighting all done during their worship of their idols.Many of them also circled the House of G-D completely nude. If their clothing was soiled, or torn and dirty; they felt it would be dishonorable to wear them while circling the Khaaba.
This was the situation in the city of Mecca when Muhammed was born.Shortly before Muhammed was born his father Abdullah died.
When he was still a toddler he was sent to live with an Arab family in the desert.
According to ancient Arab tradition, children of city dwellers who could afford it sent their baby boys to live with Bedouin families (desert dwellers).
They believed it was healthier for young boys. It was supposed to make them grow up into sturdier.
His mother travelled to the city of Medina to get him when he was about six years old.
She died on the journey back to Mecca.
He then lived with his paternal grandfather. Two years later his grandfather died.
He then went to live with one of his uncle.
All these tragedies happened early in his life; because that was what The Creator had ordained.
These losses made him a thoughtful person from an early age. This cultivated a soul within him, that was kind and compassionate to all animals and Human Beings.
He grew into the kind of person that was needed to deliver G-D’s Message to his people.
As a teenager, he went on caravan travels with his uncle to Syria.
Syria at that time included what is now known as Palestine, Lebanon, and Israel.
Muhammed was impress with the behaviour of the Christians he encountered in Syria.
Although the Christians of Syria had their own internal problems; Muhammed saw their behaviour as being much more civilised than the people of Arabia.
The typical Arab male in Mecca was arrogant and barbaric. To show any kind of human kindness was considered a weakness.
They had tribal wars that lasted generations. Many times these wars began because of some small trifling matter.
Their tribal honoured meant everything to them. If someone insulted their tribe then violence always followed the insult. The strong tribes took advantage of the weaker tribes.
The women of the weaker tribes were prey for the men of stronger tribe. It became so bad for women that many fathers buried their infant daughters alive in the sand. They feared that if they grew up to become attractive women; they may cause shame to their fathers and their tribes if they were raped.
Women were viewed only as sex objects and the bearers of children. When a woman no longer appealed to her husband sexually; he would say to her, “you are now like my mother. I no longer desire you sexually.”
Muhammed was nothing like them. He was always concern about the less fortunate people in Mecca. He along with his friend Abu Bakr had established a group to help impoverished visitors to Mecca.
This is what muslim.org/islam says about this time in his life, before he received the Revelation from G-D:
“Above all, his earlier life was marked by that rare characteristic, rarest of all in Arabia at the time, love of the poor, the orphan, the widow, the weak, the helpless and the slave. Before he had affluence of means, he was one of the members who took an oath to stand by the oppressed and formed themselves into a league as champions of the injured.”
(End of quote)
When he was still a young man, he developed a reputation for honesty. He was given the nickname of “Al Amin;” which meant the honest and trustworthy one.
Whenever his neighbours left Mecca, they would entrust their valuables to him for safekeeping, until they returned.
Muhammed was a kindhearted, gentle, and compassionate Human Being.
In a society filled with coal he was a diamond.
In contrast to the average male Arab at that time he was a virgin when he got married at 25 years old. The woman he married was a widow past 40 years old.
Her name was Khadijah. Unlike the typical Arab woman; she had inherited wealth from her dead husband.
She continued her dead husband’s business.
She had heard about Muhammad’s honesty and hired him to conduct business for her on a caravan journey to Syria.
On his return he gave her the profit for the business transactions he had made on her behalf.
She was surprised by the large amount of money he gave her.
She had hired others to do the same for her in the past and never received even a half of what Muhammed gave her. Obviously they had been cheating her because she was a woman.
Khadijah was so impressed with Muhammed; that she later asked her maid to ask Muhammed a question.
She was to ask Muhammed if he would be willing to marry her mistress Khadijah.
He accepted her proposal of marriage. So at the age of 25 years old he married the 40 year old widow Khadijah.
In contrast to the typical Arab male with multiple wives, he never had another wife until after her death 25 years later.
When Muhammed was 40 years old he went to a cave above the city of Mecca to meditate. His people had over the years become more barbaric and brutal in their treatment of each other.
He wanted to meditate on what he could do to help change his barbaric people. He had never prayed to the idols gods of his people. He had sensed within his soul that there must exist a greater power. After all his father’s name was Abdullah; which meant the slave/servant of The One True G-D. At that time Abdullah was an unusual name. Very few Arabs were called Abdullah.
The Arabs at that time believe that Allah was the invisible god that was very far away from Human Beings. They believed this invisible god was out of touch with their everyday lives.
They created idol gods from wood, metal and stones that would answer their prayers rather than some invisible god that they couldn’t see.
So Muhammed was seeking help in order to help his people. And that is when the Angel Gabriel revealed the first Revelation of what would later be called the Holy Qur’an.
Muhammed heard a loud voice that said to him, “Read.”
Muhammed replied, “I don’t know how to read.”
Gabriel once again said, “Read.”
Muhammed again replied, “I don’t know how to read.”
Then as Muhammed later described it to his companions, “I felt like my chest being gripped by some powerful invisible force, that prevented me from
breathing, then I heard a booming voice say:”
“Read (or proclaim)! With the Name of your Guardian-Lord and Protector who has created-”
“Created mankind, out of a mere lump of congealed cells:”
“Read (or proclaim)! And your Lord-Creator is The Most Bountiful One,-”
“HE Who has taught (mankind) the use of the pen -”
“Taught Mankind what they knew not.”
(End of first Revelation to Muhammed)
He then relayed to his companions, that the strong gripping force he felt stopped.
He then ran down the hill to his home.
Khadijah saw him entering their home, frightened and trembling. She asked him what was the matter.
He told her what had happened in the cave and that he felt something bad was happening to him. He repeated to her the words that he had heard in the cave. She comforted him and assured him that it may not be something that was bad. She reminded him of his goodness and consideration for the welfare of others. She said that what had happened to him; could be explained by someone who had knowledge of these kinds of things. She had a cousin who was one of a few Christians in Arabia. His name was Waraqa Ibn Nawfal. He had been trying in vain, all of his life to teach Christianity to his fellow Arabs. They had laughed and ridiculed him. They taunted him about the Christian’s belief that Jesus was a god. They asked him if he could prove that Jesus was better than their idol gods.
So Khadijah visited her cousin and told him what had happened to her husband, Muhammed.
This is what IslamiCity.com wrote about Waraqa’s reply:
He cried out: “Holy! Holy! This is the Namus (The Holy Spirit) who came to Moses.
He will be the Prophet of his people. Tell him this and bid him be brave of heart.” Some time later, when he met the Holy Prophet he again confirmed the truth declared by Torah and Gospel : “I swear by Him (G-D) in whose hand Waraqa’s life is, G-D has chosen you to be the Prophet of this people. They will call you a liar, they will persecute you, they will banish you, they will fight against you. Oh, that I could live to those days. I would fight for these.”
(End of quote)
As he was very old, he died soon thereafter.
What he predicted would happen to Muhammed is exactly what happened.
But 23 years later he was successful in converting the majority of his people in Arabia to Al-Islam.
The first 13 years were spent appealing to his neighbours and relatives in Mecca.
The pagan leadership of Mecca tried everything they could to squash this new religion that condemned their idol gods.
Many of the early followers came from the poor and those who were slaves in the city.
Because they lacked wealth and social status they suffered more than anyone else when they accepted this new religion.
Many were tortured and some were killed.
They couldn’t kill Muhammed because he was protected by his uncle; who was one of the leading and most respected men in Mecca.
But they did everything else to Muhammed.
Once an uncle of the Prophet, named Abu Lahab, placed the bloody intestines of a slaughtered animal over his back while he was prostrate in prayer.
One man every day would curse and throw garbage on the Prophet, as he walked past his house.
One day he wasn’t there as usual. The Prophet knocked on his door and why he was absent that day. The man’s wife said that he was confined to his bed due to illness. The Prophet wished him a speedy recovery. When the man heard about the Prophet’s concern for him; he never cursed or threw garbage on him again.
The pagans also led an economic boycott against the Muslims that lasted for 3 years.
Due to the hardship of the boycott, Muhammed’s wife Khadijah died. They had been married for 25 years.
While Muhammed and the Muslims were suffering in Mecca, their Guardian-Lord, unbeknownst to them, was preparing an opening for them.
In the city of Medina, the Arabs there had heard about Muhammed.
In Medina their city were a few Jewish tribes. The Jews there always spoke about their prophets; especially Prophet Moses.
So when the Arabs in Medina heard that a fellow Arab in Mecca was claiming to be a prophet; they wanted to know more.
They sent a delegation to Mecca to find out about this prophet.
What they reported on their return was favourable about the Prophet.
They then decided to invite him and his followers to come and live in Medina.
The proposal was made to Muhammed and he agreed.
The Muslims in Mecca had to keep their plans for emigration to Medina a secret.
They left in small numbers so that the pagans wouldn’t detect their departure.
After a sizeable number had left it was the Prophet’s turn to leave.
He chose his close friend Abu Bakr to travel with him.
The Meccan pagans soon learned of his departure and went looking for him.
The Prophet and his companion’s journey to Medina took longer than usual; because they had to hide from the pagans searching for them.
When they finally arrived in Medina; they were greeted by the whole city.
They made him the leader of the city much to the displeasure of the Jewish tribes. They had been manipulating the non Jewish Arabs in Medina and they wanted to continue controlling them.
Later they sign an agreement with the Prophet that their tribes would come to the defence of Medina if it was under attack. In return their religion would be respected and no Muslim would try to forcibly convert them to Al-Islam.
Later the leaders of the Jewish tribes secretly contacted the Meccan pagans; and agreed to betray the Muslims in Medina. Their plot fail and they were banished from the city.
The physical features of these Jews were more like the Jews in Ethiopia than the Caucasian looking Jews that we see today.
The Meccan pagans were not happy that this new religion would be allowed to spread to other parts of Arabia. The led many military expeditions to Medina in order to crush the Muslims there. The majority of those military expeditions failed miserably.
The religion began to spread all over Arabia.
After 10 years in Medina the Muslims marched back to the city of Mecca.
There were 10,000 Muslim soldiers on the expedition to Mecca.
The Prophet had instructed them not to attack anyone in the city.
He had been ordered by G-D to do this; because there were many people in the city who had embraced the religion secretly but had never emigrated to Medina.
The night before they entered the city he had used a psychological ploy to frighten the pagans in the city. He had instructed every soldier to light a campfire.
From a distance it looked like there were more than 10,000 Muslims soldiers coming to the city.
Many of the pagans in Mecca ran and hid in the hills above Mecca as the Muslims entered the city.
The Prophet went to the Khaaba and with his own hands took out the idol gods from inside the Khaaba.
The idols were then destroyed.
Then the Prophet recited the following verse from the Quran:“Say, the Truth has come and falsehood gone. Verily falsehood is bound to vanish.”
Then Bilal climbed to the top of the Khaaba and made the call to prayer:
“The One True G-D, is Greater than anything or anyone” (said 4 times).
“I bear witness that there is no g-d but The One True G-D” (said twice).
“I bear witness that Muhammed is the Messenger of The One True G-D” (said twice).
“Come to prayer” (said twice).
“Come to successful cultivation of your soul” (said twice).
“The One True G-D, is Greater than anything or anyone” (said twice).
“There is no g-d, but The One True G-D” (said once).
After the Muslim prayed; the pagan leaders and the people of Mecca assembled before the Prophet.
Then Muhammed addressed them saying:
“O Quraish, what do you think of the treatment that I should accord you?”
And they said, “Mercy, O Prophet of The One True G-D. We expect nothing but good from you.”
Thereupon Muhammed declared:
“I speak to you in the same words as Yūsuf spoke to his brothers. This day there is no reproof against you; Go your way, for you are free.”
Muhammed’s prestige grew after the surrender of the Meccans. Emissaries from all over Arabia came to Medina to accept him.
He also declared according to Wikipedia.org:
“The One True G-D, has made Mecca a sanctuary since the day HE created the Heavens and the Earth, and it will remain a sanctuary by virtue of the sanctity G-d has bestowed on it until the Day of Resurrection.
It (fighting in it) was not made lawful to anyone before me. Nor will it be made lawful to anyone after me, and it was not made lawful for me except for a short period of time.
Its animals (that can be hunted) should not be chased, nor should its trees be cut, nor its vegetation or grass uprooted, nor its Luqata (most things) picked up except by one who makes a public announcement about it.”
He left Mecca the city of his birth and returned to live out the last days of his life in the city of Medina.
He passed away a few months after the conquest of Mecca.
There are a few well known persons among us today and some who have passed away, who exemplifies the kind of person that Muhammed was.
Some examples are: Pope Francis, Pope John Paul II, President Jimmy Carter, Joel Osteen, Reverend Billy Graham, 14th Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Chiara Lubich, Wallace D. Muhammed, Charles Chiniquy, President George Washington, St Francis of Assisi, and Martin Luther the Reformer.
Any Human Being who loves his Creator and want to become a better Human Being; should study the life of this wonderful Human Being.
They should not be deterred from becoming acquainted with him; because of what hate mongers say about him.
The doubter and deniers of the Revelation called the Holy Qur’an had charged that the Prophet Muhammed had fabricated it. They claimed then (and even now) that he had copied from the Torah and the Gospel. The problem with that story is that Muhammed could neither read nor write. In Arabia during the 7th century men and women who could read and write were very few. The Arabs then were very good at memorizing long poetic stories; but the majority of them were not literate. There are many verses in the Qur’an that refer to Muhammed as being ‘unlettered.’ He received the Revelation from the Angel Gabriel over a 23 years time period. In many verses in the Qur’an the Angels had to give him instructions on what to say to questions asked of him. He was a very humble and kind hearted Human Being; who at first was afraid to speak openly against the idol worshipping of his people. He was admonished by one of the verses in the Qur’an to give G-D’s Message publicly. And there are many other verses in the Qur’an where he was admonished by G-D for mistakes and errors in judgment that he made. If a person fabricates something would they leave in it a retelling of their own personal errors and mistakes.
It is very hurtful for those of us who have some knowledge of the life of the noble Prophet of Islam and the Islamic religion to read the negative words and comment made by those who know nothing about him or Al-Islam.
He was the most kind hearted, and gentle person among all the Arab men.
Before his prophethood, his kindness and compassion for others was considered a weakness for an Arab male.
After the religion of Al-Islam became established, every Arab male strived to emulate the the kind and compassionate behaviour of the Prophet Muhammed.
Later when the religion spread outside of Arabia, the people who knew of the behaviour of the Prophet relayed that information about him, to the new converts to Islam.
They in turn started to emulate the Prophet’s humble and kind hearted behaviour.
Later the behaviour and sayings of the Prophet was compiled in books. These books about the sayings and behaviour of the Prophet were called, “Hadiths.”
Over the centuries since that time many Muslim leaders all over the world, were chosen because of their knowledge of the Holy Qur’an and how close their behaviour and mannerism were to that of Prophet Muhammed. So if people who call themselves Muslims today are behaving in a barbaric and saving way they are not followers of the example of the Noble prophet of Al-Islam.