Top 10 Facts about Muhammad, the Prophet of God

Muhammad, popularly known as the Prophet of God, had a large influence over people during his time as well as later. He played a big role in uniting the tribes in a single community as well as a religious one. There are many documents and historical texts which portray him. The “Life of God’s Messenger” written by Ibn Ishaq is the first known biography. There were many after this one. The major facts about him and his life are summarized below.

 [10] Death

After a few months of the farewell pilgrimage, he fell ill and suffered from fever, headaches and weakness for many days. On Monday, 8th June 632, he died. He was 63 years old at that time and was in Medina with his wife Aisha in her house. His final words were “Rather, God on High and Paradise”. In Aisha’s house itself, his body was buried.

[9] Life in Mecca

Mecca is the place where Muhammad was born. He lived there for almost 52 years of his entire life, which is from 570 to 622. His period in Mecca can be divided into two parts; one is before the prophecy and the other after announcing it. Before prophecy, he went through hard time, his father died, his mother died and he went for trading with his uncle. He married in the year 595 with Khadijah. After 15 years, in 610 he experienced prophecy for the first time. After that he started spreading the Islamic ideas to the people and many became his followers.

[8] Life in Medina

The migration of Muhammad along with his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE is known as Hijra. Hijra is celebrated on the first day of every year as per the Muslim calendar. This migration was due to the assassin attack on Muhammad. So he travelled 320 kilometres north of Mecca to move to Medina. A representatives’ delegation of 12 clans of Medina gave invitation to Muhammad as a neutral foreigner. This delegation of Medina pledged that they and their citizens will accept Muhammad and his community and protect them. Thus, Muhammad instructed to immigrate to Medina to all his followers. When his followers left Mecca, they planned to kill Muhammad but they were fooled by Muhammad and Ali. Later, those who all came to medina were called as Muhajirun.

[7] First revelation

It is believed that Muhammad had his first revelation during the time when he was meditating on the Mount Hira. It is described that Angel Gabriel appeared before him and commanded that a verse must be memorized and preached. The verse that the angel gave to Muhammad was about the praise for the Lord. It also explained that man was created through congealed blood. The angel told him that God has made him the chosen messenger. After he returned home, all he yearned for as the spirituality. During that time, Khadijah was his wife. She, their adopted son, cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abu Bakr and Zaid became his first followers.

[6] The farewell Sermon

Muhammad taught his followers about the rites of the Great Pilgrimage – Haji which should be followed annually. This was during the tenth year of his migration to Medina. After he returned from the pilgrimage, he gave a very special and popular speech – The Farewell Sermon. This speech was delivered at Mt. Arafat in the east of Mecca. He asked his followers to not follow some of the Islamic trends. He announced that no Arabic is superior to the non-Arabic and the same applies to the non-Arabic. None among white or black is superior over the other. He also abolished all the previous disputes among the tribes and suggested them to form a new Islamic community with peace. He also asked them to respect the women as they were vulnerable in their society. He advised them to keep their wives in discipline but at the same time respect them.

 [5] Establishment of a new polity

Muhammad did a lot of things to improve the condition of people and tribes of Medina. One of the first things among them was to introduce the Constitution of Medina. This constitution was meant to build an alliance between the eight Medinan tribes and the Muslim Mecca emigrants. It also specified the duties and rights provided to the citizens and the type relationship between various communities including Muslims, Jews and others. He tried to win over the wealthy Jewish people but the Jews overcame them and insisted to preserve their Mosaic law and they never saw Muhammad as a Prophet.

[4] Muhammad’s mention in earlier times

The earliest knowledge which is documented about Muhammad is from Byzantine sources, which is a Christian source. They mention that Muhammad was a “false prophet” according to Jews and Christians. His image is displayed in ‘Doctrina Jacobi nuper baptizati’ as that of a deceiver and with the lines “..deceiving, for do prophets come with sword and chariot?” There were monotheistic groups called “Hanifs” in Arab in pre-Islamic Arabia. There were those groups which believe in the supreme powerful God. In Muslim tradition, they consider Muhammad as Hanif and also regard him as a descendant of Ishmael. Quran mentions Muhammad four times directly and many times indirectly.

[3] Household and Family

It is written by the scholarly historians that Muhammad had 13 wives out of which two of them were contracted after he migrated to Medina. When he was just 25, he married a 40 year-old Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. This one was a happy marriage and lasted 25 years during which he did not marry another woman and completely relied upon Khadija. They both had four daughters and two sons. After she died, he was asked to marry a Muslim Widow, Swada bint Zama or daughter of Um Ruman, Aisha. Aisha was just 6-7 years old when she married but after she was 10 or 11 and at puberty, the marriage was being consummated. She was known as his favourite wife. After migration, he married a many women for political and humanitarian reasons. He was helpful in household work such as cooking, sewing, shoe- repairing, etc.

[2] Childhood

Muhammad came on earth in the year 570, and his birthday is celebrated, by the Muslims, in the Rabi’ al-awwal month. He took birth in the Banu Hashim clan of Mecca, which was a prominent family there, part of Quraysh tribe, though not rich. As soon as he was born, he was sent to desert to live with a Bedouin family as per the tradition at that time and stayed there for 2 years. This was so because they believed that infants grew healthier in deserts. After 6 months after his birth, his father died and his mother died when he was 6 years old after which his grandfather took care of him for 2 years and died giving his responsibility to his uncle Abu Talib. As he was a complete orphan, the only career open for him was commercial trading. He went to the trading journeys to Syria with his uncle to learn and gain experience. During his journey to Syria, he met a Christian monk / hermit, Bahira, on his way with the Meccans’ caravan. He said that he can foresee his future career as the Prophet of God.

[1] Names and appellations in the Quran

The word Muhammad implies “Praise worthy”. Quran has the word mentioned for times but to address him, it uses second person names like messenger, Prophet, ‘abd – servant of God, shahid – witness, bashir – announcer, noor – light personified, nathir – warner, mubashshir – bearer of good times, siraj munir – light-giving lamp and many such appellations. Quran, in Sura A-Saff 61:6, announces Muhammad as ‘Ahmad’ which means “more Praise worthy”. Quran also has a record of the designations of Muhammad during that time and mentions of him as ‘al-muzzammil’ and ‘al-muddaththir’.


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