Mohammad was the son of Abdullah, who was a descendant of Ishmael. The latter was the son of Abraham and Hagar. Muhammad was born in Mecca City in August 570 AD. He later became the founder of a major religion - Islam. The main aspects of Muhammad’s life include his troubled childhood, adult life as a trader, marriage to Khadija, meditation and revelations in Hira Cave, founding of Islam, persecution of Muslims and his death.
Muhammad was born at a time when Arabs were polytheists –worshippers of multiple gods and goddesses. The worship of many deities was as a result of numerous social problems that Arabs were going through, such as invasion by Jews. Arabs believed that these problems would be solved by worshipping many gods, even if there was a supreme God. The latter, they believed, was pleased through the worship of smaller deities. The society also gradually descended into all manner of vices due to desperation and numerous social problems (Guillaume 68-73). In essence, the community was far from the religion that Muhammad would later launch.
Mohammad’s mother was a widow, his father having died soon after marrying the prophet’s mother. Soon after birth, Muhammad was taken to the rural area to be suckled and fed well by a maid. He was brought back to his mother at the age of six years. Muhammad later lost his mother during a visit to his father’s people at Medina. His grandfather adopted the boy. However, the new guardian died only two years later, leaving the boy in the care of an uncle – Talib. Under Talib, Muhammad grew into adulthood.
The future prophet became an established trader, who travelled widely. It was while doing business that he met his future wife. The latter had been widowed twice, and had two sons and a daughter from two previous relationships. Their bond developed to the point of contemplating marriage. They solemnized their matrimony when Muhammad was aged twenty five years and his wife, Hazrat Khadija, was forty years old (Lings 43).
His life was, however, to take a different turn because a religious vocation was awaiting him. Since his childhood Muhammad had had abnormal incidences whereby an inner voice, as he would say, would address and direct him. For instance, there was a time when he had untied his leg-sheet in order to use it on the shoulders while carrying bricks, and he fainted. While lying unconscious, he heard a voice asking him to cover his body up to the knees. Such events made him to become more conscious of the need to devote his life to religious issues.
Makkah had become a haven for idol-worship during Muhammad’s childhood, though he had never participated in the practice. He had also shunned atheistic behavior and practices. He had endeavored to be an upright person since childhood. In adulthood, he was much aggrieved by the sins and evils that people were committing.
He, therefore, retreated to Hira Cave to pray in solitude. Here he beseeched God to forgive his people and show them the right way. It is in this hideout that he received his first revelation. He encountered angel Jibril who ordered him to read some proclamation. The second revelation came to him after six months. This became another important turning point for Muhammad and Islam. He decided to teach Islam and to spread it to the then known world (Tariq 30-35). Muhammad saw the need to spread the truth about Allah to a polytheist society.
Muhammad’s efforts to spread Islam can be divided into four phases. The first phase took three years. It was mainly concerned with secret invitations to the religion. The second phase extended for two years. It involved public declarations of the prophet’s revelation. He was, however, mocked and criticized. In the third phase, which was six years long, the prophet and his followers were treated harshly. Despite this, Islam was spreading fast and gaining more adherents, especially in the neighboring regions. The fourth phase was characterized by deep persecution and suffering of Muslims. The prophet’s uncle and wife died during this time (Lings 75). This was a very trying time for Muhammad.
According to Lings (76) despite all the suffering Muhammad and his followers went through, they never gave up. This made the unbelievers and enemies of Islam more agitated. Inhuman acts against Muslims worsened. The resilience of Muslims resulted in many more people wanting to be Muslims. Muhammad continued to preach the worship of Allah. He sent some followers to Africa for safety, when Makkah had become too hostile due to torture by the Quryash. These Muslims spread the new religion wherever they went (Ahmad 232). The prophet performed his initial miracles ten years after the start of the new religion. He also received the holy Quran, which would later on be used by all Muslim generations as a guide to Allah’s teachings (Guillaume 117-119). Prophet Muhammad became sick and died in 632 AD, aged 62 years. This brought to an end the life of one of the most influential human beings ever.
In conclusion, Muhammad is the central figure of Islam. He lost his parents at a tender age and had to be brought up by relatives. As an adult, he became a trader and, in the process, met and married Khadija. It was in Hira Cave that he received and accepted revelations that led him to form and preach Islam. He was to encounter a lot of opposition from his people while attempting to convert them to the new religion. Although he and his followers were persecuted, they continued to spread the religion. Long after his death, Islam remains one of the most widespread and popular religions in the world, thanks to the devotion of Prophet Muhammad.
Ahmad, Hadrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud. Life of Muhammad SA 3rd ed. Islamabad: Islam
International Publications Ltd., 2012. Print.
Guillaume Alfred. Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah. New
York: Penguin Group, 2010. Print.
Lings, Martin. Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources. Vermont: Rochester: Inner,
Tariq, Ramadan. The Messenger: The Meaning of the Life of Muhammad. New York: Penguin
Group, 2008. Print.