Inspirational People Series: Muhammad

Quran-Mus'haf_Al_Tajweed

This humble man was born around the year 570 CE and grew up in an orphan that was raised by his uncle. He grew up and became a merchant that received a vision from the Israel God. He was said to be the last prophet and was said to receive words to write in the Quran, the religious text of the Islamic faith. His works and faith caused him to be one of the most influential people in history as about 1.57 billion individuals in the world are said to follow Muhammad’s religion. I’ve notice that in America’s western society there seems to be a lot of debate about Muhammad’s life. The overall debate is between Muhammad’s Islamic followers and Western scholars. I’ll attempt to layout the important facts about him that made him such a big figure in today’s 21st century, fourteen centuries from Muhammad’s time, and why there is a debate and confusion about this man’s belief. I’ll be sharing some of the information I know about him and the Islamic faith as well as sharing information from outside textbook and websites mainly the Encyclopedia Britannica http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/396226/Muhammad.

Muhammad was born in Mecca, Arabia, which is current day Saudi Arabia. Muhammad never met his father because of his death before Muhammad was born, and then his mom died at the age of six. This being said Muhammad had a tough life as a child even though his family had a standing reputation in their tribe. Muhammad’s grandfather,ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib, who was a  leader in the Mecca community. The Islamic believers honor Muhammad’s family and his heritage. Muhammad’s family tree can be traced back to Ishmael who was the son of who’s known as the first prophet in many Jewish, Christian, and Islamic text, Abraham.

In Mecca, when Muhammad was only a baby, there was a tradition of the Arabians  to leave their baby in the desert to leave corruption of the city and learn self-discipline. Aminah, Muhammad’s mother, followed the custom so her son could have a good Arab lifestyle, and left her son in the desert to be nurtured by a woman from a desert tribe. It is said that during his time in the desert is when angels first began watching over him preparing him for his prophetic life.

When Muhammad returned to his city  he got to know his mother until he turned six, which is when Aminah died. Muhammad’s grandfather took the responsibility of taking care of Muhammad until his death which left Abū Ṭālib, Muhammad’s uncle, to be the care taker of the idol of the Islamic faith. At a young age this may not have impacted Muhammad too greatly because of the lack of bonds he built in the short years he spent with those before his uncle. It wouldn’t be until he grows older when he respects what his uncle did for him and possibly suffers from never having a relationship with his parents, which were people that gave him his face and heritage.

As a young man Muhammad became popular in Mecca as being known as a fair and just man. It’s said that people from Mecca would go to him and ask for his advice and reasoning on different matters. From my gatherings I’m unsure what Muhammad’s ideologies and beliefs were but he seemed to be a very philosophical man. Records do show that Muhammad had come in contact with the Christian faith during one of his travels with his uncle. A Christian monk had stopped and talked with Muhammad, which most likely means that the God of Israel was a topic discussed. Like most past historical figures it is difficult to tell apart from legend and true history. Because there are diverse claims about Muhammad throughout the internet and textbooks, from this point on of this post Muhammad’s life will not be directly told from an Islamic’s knowledge but white western men as well as a teenage American black boy.

Before Muhammad’s prophetic message he gained a significant amount of respect from the Mecca community because of his great problem solving and wisdom. Muhammad would seek peace and growth in his wisdom through meditation and prayer, which made him look like a profound individual among the masses. And so the legend of Muhammad receiving a prophetic word goes like so:

  • Muhammad hind in a cave in the desert for seclusion so he could pray and meditate, and this was during the age of forty which is during the end of his merchant career.
  • Muhammad’s vision began with presence of the archangel Gabriel, an angle referenced in the Christian bible.
  • Gabriel came to Muhammad as a man and commanded him to recite verses which were revealed to him and were words that were put in the Quran.
  • After the prophecy Muhammad had questioned the vision and was unsure to tell his family, but felt confirmed when he said he saw Gabriel in the air in his true angelic form.
  • He ran to tell his wife who believed him and then seeked confirmation from her wise Christian cousin who confirmed that Muhammad was a prophet.
  • In many history text of Muhammad it’s said he got reaffirmation from his vision of Gabriel by the sound of bell-like reverberations.

This is the start of  Muhammad’s ministry and the spread of the Muslim faith. His ministry was the spread of his revelation of the Quran after his prophetic vision. He didn’t preach his message to the public until a few years after his vision. His Mecca homeland followed his words after they already had so much respect for this man, but his message of the Quran did receive much opposition. Muhammad and his family members went on missionary missions to spread the Muslim faith, and would face constant resentment. There was a time that things were going so bad for Muhammad he had lost his determination for what he believed he was willed to do.

Muhammad kept on praying and later on and proclaimed to have meet with past prophets. As he strengthen himself in his faith other areas than Mecca became accepting of Muslim. Muhammad had quickly become a prominent leader and created the Islamic morals.

Year 632 the inspirational leader of the ISlam faith died due to illness. During his life he had fought physical and emotional battles for his faith and untied Arabian tribes that were in accordance with is faith.

There has been criticism of Muhammad since his life time and from the birth of America to around the 20th century scholars that has appealed to Christianity point many holes on the life of Muhammad and his religion. Even on the encyclopedia website that I used for this man contained many comments that corrected their thoughts of Muhammad’s life and others argue his significance. Both the Jewish and Christian faith, which were beliefs that Muslim stemmed from, found Muhammad to be a false prophet.  His message had sparked many debates and during his life his words to those opposed made him known as a wise man. Today Muhammad’s life has impacted the life of billions and helped create their values. He is not only an inspiration because of his endurance through opposition and wise choices making him a sufficient leader, but because of the amount of people he impacted and gave hope to. His life backs up the saying that our life is not depicted on how many years we live but how many people we impact that can tell our story. That is why I decided to list Muhammad as an inspirational person and make his story known.

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