Muhammad (570-632 C.E.) is the Prophet sent by God to the Arabic people; he is also the Seal of the Prophets – the final Prophet to be sent until the final day of judgement . Muhammad was born into the wealthy Banu Hashim Clan of Mecca, which belonged to the tribe of Quraysh . Muhammad’s soul was created by God from light, which was placed in his father Abdullah’s loins. According to Islamic myth, when Muhammad’s mother Amina became impregnated God released heaven’s aroma’s upon the earth, river’s flowed “backward to their source,” and animals in Arabia spoke human tongues prophesying the Prophet's arrival . Muhammad’s parents were poor, when he was young his mother died and he was orphaned; the Prophet grew up with his extended kin and learned to herd animals. |
As a toddler Muhammad had various experiences which singled him out as being different from others. One legend describes his first encounter with the Archangels Gabriel and Mikail. While playing with his foster-brother the angels lay Muhammad down and removed his heart, which they then washed of its black blood-clot: the “nucleus of sin in a man’s heart.” This purification made it possible for Muhammad to later receive God’s revelation and to preach to the people [...4]. When Muhammad became older he married a widow named Khadija, and managed her caravan trade . At the age of forty, fifteen years after his marriage, Muhammad set out on a solitary spiritual retreat to Mt. Hira near Mecca. In a brilliant light the angel Gabriel appeared to Muhammad and made him aware of God’s plan for his life .
After a period of self doubt, Muhammad accepted his divine fate and began preaching the revelations God gave him – manifested in The Qur’an – to the people of Mecca. However, the Prophet met resistance in Mecca due to the entrenched customs and beliefs that the people held. Therefore, in 622, Muhammad accepted an invitation to emigrate to Yathrib, an oasis in central Arabia which was later renamed Medina (City of the Prophet). This is known as the Hijira, or “the flight”, and its enactment marks the commencement of the Islamic calendar and community. However, the people of Medina did not prove entirely receptive to Muhammad’s message either; therefore, he decided to conquer and return to Mecca, to make Mecca the centre of the Islamic faith . That being said, it should also be noted that "10,000 solders, most of whom [were] from Yathrib," joined Muhammad's seige against Mecca .
Muhammad accomplished victory by attacking caravans headed for Mecca in an attempt to destabilize the city’s food-supply, through direct armed confrontation with the Meccans both in Medina and in Mecca, and through divine intervention on behalf Muhammad’s forces . Muhammad rallied support by exhorting heroism, and by offering Paradise to those who died in combat with pagans .
The time when Muhammad lived on earth is described as a golden age for Arabians and humanity: “a time when justice prevailed and sin was punished.” The Prophet’s followers “only had to ask Muhammad and God himself would answer” . Following the battles for Mecca, Muhammad preached God’s message to the people, and when he died his soul was carried to heaven by the Archangel Azrail .
note: both historical and legendary accounts surrounding the Prophet’s life are far more extensive and detailed than this brief summation can possibly contend with – please see the References & Bibliography for further readings.