Muhammad PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 November 2008 11:18

Twelver Shi'i artistic representation of Muhammad.
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Born:  570 Mecca

Died: June 8, 632 Medina

Age: 62

Cause of death: Fell ill and died.

Notable because: One of the most influential men of the past Millennium. Introduced the idea of an invisible vengeful God to his followers, along with a code of conduct for dealing with prisoners of war involving barbaric slaughter. Changed the status of women to make them subservient to men. Consummated his marriage to 2nd wife Aisha bint Abi Bakr when she was 9 and he 53. Legacy includes Sharia law - practiced to this day. Revered by 25%of the Earths population as the only true prophet of Allah. Regarded by almost all the rest as the most harmful individual to mark the planets progress in the past two thousand years.

Muhammad is the central human figure of the religion of Islam and is regarded by Muslims as the messenger and prophet of God, the last and the greatest law-bearer in a series of prophets of Islam. Muslims consider him the restorer of the uncorrupted original monotheistic faith (islām) of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Noah, Jesus and other prophets of Islam. He was also active as a diplomat, merchant, philosopher, orator, legislator, reformer, military general, and, for Muslims and followers of several other religions, an agent of divine action.

Born in 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca, he was orphaned at a young age and was brought up under the care of his uncle. He later worked mostly as a merchant, as well as a shepherd, and was first married by age 25. Discontented with life in Mecca, he retreated to a cave in the surrounding mountains for meditation and reflection. According to Islamic beliefs it was here, at age 40, in the month of Ramadan, where he received his first revelation from God. Three years after this event Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "surrender" to Him (lit. islām) is the only way (dīn) acceptable to God, and that he himself was a prophet and messenger of God, in the same vein as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and other prophets in Islam.

Muhammad gained few followers early on, and was met with hostility from some tribes of Mecca; he was treated harshly and so were his followers. To escape persecution Muhammad and his followers migrated to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in the year 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. In Medina, Muhammad managed to unite the conflicting tribes, and after eight years of fighting with the Meccan tribes, his followers, who by then had grown to ten


thousand, conquered Mecca. In 632 a few months after returning to Medina from his Farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and died. By the time of his death most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam and he united the tribes of Arabia into a singular Muslim religious polity.

The revelations (or Ayats, lit. "Signs of God"), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Qur'an, regarded by Muslims as the “word of God”, around which his religion is based. Besides the Qur'an, Muhammad’s life (sira) and traditions (sunnah) are also upheld by Muslims. They discuss Muhammad and other prophets of Islam with reverence, adding the phrase peace be upon him whenever their names are mentioned. While conceptions of Muhammad in medieval Christendom and premodern times were largely negative, appraisals in modern times have been far less so. Besides this, his life and deeds have been debated by followers and opponents over the centuries



Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 16:11

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