Muhammad



Average: 3.4 (29 votes)
Fast Facts
imagesCA54DLXW.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh, Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammed, Muchamad, Ahmed, محمّد
Function: 
Prophet
Traditions: 
Islam, Sufism
Main Countries of Activity: 
Arabian Peninsula; Migration to Ethopia; Messengers to Yemen, Persia, Bazentine and Turkey
Date of Birth: 
570
Place of Birth: 
Mecca (in nowadays Saudi Arabia)
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
No
Date Left His/Her Body: 
June 8, 632

Biography

Muhammad is the founder of the religion of Islam and is regarded by Muslims as a messenger and prophet of God, the last and the greatest law-bearer in a series of Islamic prophets as taught by the Qur'an 33:40–40.

Muslims thus consider him the restorer of an uncorrupted original monotheistic faith (islām) of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets.

He was also active as a diplomat, merchant, philosopher, orator, legislator, reformer, military general, and, according to Muslim belief, an agent of divine action.

Born in 570 in the Arabian city of Mecca, he was orphaned at a young age and brought up under the care of his uncle Abu Talib.

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 claimed to receive 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 other Islamic prophets.

Muhammad gained few followers early on, and was met with hostility from some Meccan tribes; he and his followers were treated harshly. 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 united 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 single Muslim religious polity.

The revelations (or Ayat, 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” and around which the 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.

Teachings

The Qur'an is the holy book of Muslims. It states that all Muslims must believe in God, his revelations, his angels, his messengers, and in the "Day of Judgment".

Also, there are other beliefs that differ between particular sects. The Sunni concept of predestination is called divine decree, while the Shi'a version is called divine justice. Unique to the Shi'a is the doctrine of Imamah, or the political and spiritual leadership of the Imams.

Muslims believe that God revealed his final message to humanity through the Islamic prophet Muhammad via the archangel Gabriel (Jibrīl). For them, Muhammad was God's final prophet and the Qur'an is the holy book of revelations he received over more than two decades.

In Islam, prophets are men selected by God to be his messengers. Muslims believe that prophets are human and not divine, though some are able to perform miracles to prove their claim. Islamic prophets are considered to be the closest to perfection of all humans, and are uniquely the recipients of divine revelation either directly from God or through angels. The Qur'an mentions the names of numerous figures considered prophets in Islam, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, among others.

Islamic theology says that all of God's messengers since Adam preached the message of Islam - submission to the will of God.

According to the Quran the will of God is brought to the nations by the descendants of Abraham and Imran. Islam is described in the Qur'an as "the primordial nature upon which God created mankind", and the Qur'an states that the proper name Muslim was given by Abraham.

The Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam are five practices essential to Sunni Islam. Shi'a Muslims subscribe to different sets of pillars which substantially overlap with the Five Pillars. These pillars are:

  • The shahadah, which is the basic creed or tenet of Islam: "'ašhadu 'al-lā ilāha illā-llāhu wa 'ašhadu 'anna muħammadan rasūlu-llāh", or "I testify that there is none worthy of worship except God and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." This testament is a foundation for all other beliefs and practices in Islam. Muslims must repeat the shahadah in prayer, and non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam are required to recite the creed.
  • Salah, or ritual prayer, which must be performed five times a day. Each salah is done facing towards the Kaaba in Mecca. Salah is intended to focus the mind on God, and is seen as a personal communication with him that expresses gratitude and worship. Salah is compulsory but flexibility in the specifics is allowed depending on circumstances. In many Muslim countries, reminders called Adhan (call to prayer) are broadcast publicly from local mosques at the appropriate times. The prayers are recited in the Arabic language, and consist of verses from the Qur'an.
  • Zakat, or alms-giving. This is the practice of giving based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all Muslims who can afford it. A fixed portion is spent to help the poor or needy, and also to assist the spread of Islam. The zakat is considered a religious obligation (as opposed to voluntary charity) that the well-off owe to the needy because their wealth is seen as a "trust from God's bounty". The Qur'an and the hadith also suggest a Muslim give even more as an act of voluntary alms-giving (sadaqah).
  • Sawm, or fasting during the month of Ramadan. Muslims must not eat or drink (among other things) from dawn to dusk during this month, and must be mindful of other sins. The fast is to encourage a feeling of nearness to God, and during it Muslims should express their gratitude for and dependence on him, atone for their past sins, and think of the needy. Sawm is not obligatory for several groups for whom it would constitute an undue burden. For others, flexibility is allowed depending on circumstances, but missed fasts usually must be made up quickly. Some Muslim groups do not fast during Ramadan, and instead have fasts different times of the year.
  • The Hajj, which is the pilgrimage during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah in the city of Mecca. Every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it must make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime. When the pilgrim is about ten kilometers from Mecca, he must dress in Ihram clothing, which consists of two white seamless sheets. Rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kaaba, touching the Black Stone, running seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina. The pilgrim, or the hajji, is honored in his or her community, although Islamic teachers say that the Hajj should be an expression of devotion to God instead of a means to gain social standing.

Photos

Locations

Muslims have several holy places for pilgrimage of which Mecca is the holiest. These holy places are:

  • Mecca
    Islam's holiest site, Mecca, is where Muhammad was born. During his exile in Medina, Muhammad had his followers pray in the direction of Mecca instead of Jerusalem which was the original orientation site. Going on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a person's life is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Mecca is closed to non-Muslims because of a revelation Muhammad allegedly received from God, but some outsiders have entered while disguised as Muslims.

    Even before Muhammad, Mecca was a pilgrimage site for pagan polytheists and some argue that the Muslim practice of pilgrimage was borrowed from those ancient rituals. Some scholars argue that because Jews and Christians rejected Muhammad's message, ancient pagan practices had to be incorporated into Islam in order to more easily capture the allegiance of local polytheists.

    Located in the courtyard of the Great Mosque in Mecca is a windowless cube known as the Kaaba, believed by Muslims to have been built by the prophet Abraham In the southeastern corner of the Kaaba is the "Black Stone," an object which Muslims believe was given to Abraham by the angel Gabriel.

  • Medina
    Medina is where Muhammad was exiled after he found little support for his ideas in his home city of Mecca, making it the second holiest site in Islam. There was a large Jewish community in Medina which Muhammad had hoped to convert, but his failure eventually led him to banish, enslave, or kill every Jew in the area. The presence of non-believers was at first an affront to Muhammad's claims that his religion superseded theirs; later, it was an affront to the holiness of the place.
  • Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
    The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is a Muslim shrine which stands where the first Jewish temple is believed to have stood, where Abraham tried to sacrifice his son to God, and where Muhammad ascended into heaven in order to receive God's commandments. For Muslims this is the third holiest site for pilgrimage, after Mecca and Medina. It may be the oldest surviving example of early Islamic architecture and is modeled after the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre, located nearby.
  • Hebron
    The city of Hebron is holy for both Muslims and Jews because it contains the "Cave of the Patriarchs," supposedly a tomb for Abraham and his family.
  • Mashhad
    Mashhhad, Iran, is the site for the burial places and shrines for all twelve of the imams revered by the Twelver Shia Muslims. These holy men, believed to be a source of sanctity, are all martyrs because they were murdered, poisoned, or otherwise persecuted. It wasn't Christians or Jews who did this, though, but other Muslims.
  • Qom
    Qom, Iran, is an important pilgrimage site for the Shi'a because of the burial sites of numerous shahs. The Borujerdi mosque is opened and closed each day by government guards who praise Iran's Islamic government. It is also the site of Shia theology training — and thus also of Shia political activism. When the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran from exile, his first stop was Qom.

View Video

Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Muhammed: The Prophet

by Ikbal Ali-Shah

(Paperback)

Trade paperback book

Recommended DVD & Video: 
Cover image

Muhammad: The Last Prophet

(DVD)

From the creators of The King and I, The Fox and the Hound, and the Swan Princess comes the first animated feature length film about Islam's Prophet. This groundbreaking film is set around 1400 years ago during the early ages of Islam. The film relates the events that unfolded and led to the rise of a renewed religion in the Arabian Desert, eventually spanning 7 continents and counting 1.6 billion adherents around the world.

This movie aims to introduce the story of Islam and its Prophet to new generations in the appealing and accessible medium of animation. Though the Prophet is not personified, sound and cinematography are employed in the telling of his story. The film is capped off with a stunning soundtrack by Emmy-award winning composer William Kidd.

Perfect for the family and for encouraging interfaith dialogue, this film is a definite must-see!

Bonus Features:
Choice of screen language (English or Arabic)
English and Arabic subtitles
Bios of historical characters from the film
Stills Gallery
Trailers
Bonus Audio CD

Unique packaging transforms into the world s holiest site for Muslims The Holy Kaba
Music Play by William Kidd
Special audio CD of popular Islamic songs by renowned artists within the Muslim community (such as Yusuf Islam)

Pro Opinions

Muslim Prophecies in the Wake of 9/ I I

NIDHI PARKASH's picture

In the Koran, there are many references to Judgment Day; some evoke a catharsis, other imply a process of introspection and Self-Knowledge:

Con Opinions

Regarding the PICTURE that you posted

Nabeel Khalid's picture

You have done a pretty nice job in gathering data about different "gurus" world over. Its very nice, very informative, concise and very much appreciated....

salim's picture

pic or not pic, is this the important issue?

who is this you you are talking about? guru profiles here are created and edited by many users, there is no "you" the same way there is no real issue with pics.

The pic issue is overrated by muslims who are not really acquainted with the koran and true muslim issues. Spiritualy, it does not matter at all and I advise everyone to focus on the right issues instead of the marginal issues of whether there is a picture or not.

salim | Sat, 10/23/2010 - 04:41
Nabeel Khalid's picture

Some bigots just don't get it.....

Look, I am sure some bigots just won't get it.... I hope you do.... Think this over logically. He is Guru for Muslims mainly... Accepted? He came as a Profit for Islam. and some other people from other religions do realize His spiritualism..... But that doesn't forbid you for giving Him due respect. The image that you love may belong to your grandpa or anyone else..... but for all i know it doesn't belong to Prophet Mohammad (as i mentioned no one really knows what he looked like!)
Spiritually, You can't draw him.... because many people belive those who see Him and don't have pre-established silly views about Him would convert to Islam immediately.

Spiritualism aside... Fake imagery is an ugly issue..... Just think about all the people you might upset. And Salim.... not all of them are easy going as me... Some even believe that its a crime punishable by death whatsoever!
If such a person does see the image and manages to trace you, your IP, your contact or your address.... then my dear blogger.... That would definitely become a big issue... Hell... It could make headlines! I hope you are not into getting famous and all........

But if you do want to put up fake imagery of respectable personalities..... than i hope you wont mind doing the same in kind next time..... :-D
I am an animal lover anyways!

Nabeel Khalid | Sun, 10/24/2010 - 02:41
salim's picture

Why ugly issue?

Hey Nabeel, why imagery is an ugly issue? Aren't there millions images of Jesus? Million images of Moses? Million images of Mahavira and Buddha? I think to the contrary - people putting efforts in creating images (of course, ones like the one that was here that do not mock the person) of someone means they love this someone.

One can not conduct his/her way according to the decision of others to get upset or not, this upset is the thing which is a means of control, of abuse, of intolerance to others, of ignorance, not the image itself which is merely a combination of colorful dots on a canvas.

Whom they will trace? what will they trace? This is the absurdity - there is no one to trace and nothing to trace but themselves. Better they understand the hidden motives behind what they are doing: attention and control. There is no single statement in the Koran that forbids having images of Mohammad.

salim | Sun, 10/24/2010 - 07:25
reuterro's picture

Muhammad

In my opinion Muhammad was an impostor and a killer. I hope that it is allowed to say this here!

reuterro | Wed, 11/30/2016 - 14:11
Nathyogi's picture

Re: Regarding the PICTURE that you posted

Come out from dogmatic views.
None can stop one from worshipping a picture.
Muhammad did not belong to those who propagate, practice and advocate divisive feelings, selfish thoughts and dogmatic views.
He supported those who have surrendered to God and His will.

Don't you have pictures of you, your parents and family members? Do you remember your favourite stars, heros without a picture in the mind?

His teachings cannot be understood unless one surrenders to the will of God.
This is difficult to do, so his teachings were exploited by selfish persons to fulfil their selfish needs.

Nathyogi | Fri, 09/26/2014 - 06:44