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Muhammad - The Islamic Encyclopedia, History, People, Places


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Muhammad[1] (Arabic: مُحمّد) is the last prophet of Islam. He was born on around 9th March 571 (23rd Muharram 52 BH) in the city of Mecca and belonged to the tribe of Quraysh. He also belonged to the Hashimite family, which was named after his grandfather, Hashim ibn `Abd Munaf. Muhammad was also a descendant of the Prophet Ishmael. He died in the year 632 CE (10 AH).

Life of Muhammad Saws.gif
Birth 570 CE (54 BH)
Muhammad Saws.gif is orphaned 575 CE (49 BH)
Marriage to Khadija 595 CE (28 BH)
Makkah phase of dawa 610622
Quran revealed 610 CE (12 BH)
Declaration at mount Safa 613 CE (9 BH)
First emigration to Abyssinia 615 CE (7 BH)
Start of Boycott of Banu Hashim 616 CE (6 BH)
Year of Sorrow 619 CE (3 BH)
Isra and Mi'raj 620 CE (2 BH)
First pledge of Aqaba 621 CE (1 BH)
Emigration to Yathrib 622 CE (0 AH)
Madinah phase of dawa 622632
Battle of Badr 624 CE (2 AH)
Battle of Uhud 625 CE (3 AH)
Battle of the Trench 627 CE (5 AH)
Treaty of Hudaibiyyah 628 CE (6 AH)
The first pilgrimage 629 CE (7 AH)
Conquest of Makkah 630 CE (8 AH)
Death 632 CE (10 AH)

Muhammad is considered to be the role model for a Muslim, because of his noble character. He is venerated by Muslims all around the world, and the phrase "may God's peace and blessings be upon him" (صلّى الله عليهِ وسلّم, translit. sallahu `alayhi wasallam) is often placed after his name in respect for him. Muslims also believe that it was through him that the archangel Gabriel revealed the Qur`an from God.

The name Muhammad means "praised one" in Arabic, and it is the most common given name in the world.[2]



Muhammad bin `Abdullah bin `Abdul-Muttalib bin Hashim, bin `Abd Munaf bin Qusai bin Kilab bin Murra bin Ka`b bin Lo’i bin Ghalib bin Fahr (who was called Quraish and whose tribe was named after him) bin Malik bin An-Nadr bin Kinana bin Khuzaiman bin Mudrikah bin Elias bin Mudar bin Nizar bin Ma`ad bin `Adnan.



Main article: Birth of Muhammad

Muhammad was born in the city of Mecca on a Monday morning, 9th March 571 (23rd Muharram 52 BH), which was the same year as the Year of the Elephant. Roughly two months before this great event, his father, `Abdullah ibn `Abd al-Muttalib, had died. According to the customs of the Arabs of the time, young Muhammad Saws.gif was sent to a wet nurse, Haleemah bint Abi Dhuaib who belonged to the tribe of Bani Sa`d bin Bakr. Haleemah's husband, Al-Harith bin `Abdul `Uzza belong to the same tribe.

"Muhammad" written in Arabic calligraphy

After he was weaned, which was at the age of two, Haleemah insisted Muhammad's Saws.gif mother, Aminah, to let him stay with them. This was because when Muhammad came into her life, it was full of blessings and good fortune. At the age of about four or five, Muhammad returned back to his mother who would live until he was six years old. Upon her death, the Prophet was taken to live with his grandfather `Abd al-Muttalib. Two years later, `Abd al-Muttalib passed away in Mecca, and Abu Talib, the Prophet's uncle from his father's side, was put in charge of Muhammad.

Marriage to Khadijah

At the age of 25, Muhammad Saws.gif went to Syria as a merchant for Khadijah bint Khuwailid. Before that, Muhammad had no particular job. Khadijah was a bussiness woman and she was known for her honor and fortune. Khadijah had heard of Muhammad's honesty, manners, and noble character so she sent for him to do her some business. Muhammad agreed, and that is when he went to Syria.

Khadijah noticed the increase in her profits when Muhammad has began to work for her. She was also pleased by his honesty and character. She told her secret (to marry the Prophet Saws.gif) to one of her friends, and this friend of hers' informed Muhammad. Muhammad accepted her proposal and married Khadijah. Muhammad Saws.gif never married anyone else while he was married to her.

Revelation at mount Hira

At about the age of forty, the Prophet Saws.gif would often head to the mountains surrounding Mecca, staying in a cave in seclusion, thinking about creation. One of these caves was called Hira', located in Jabal An-Nour ("Mountain of Light"). During one of these visits to the cave of Hira', an Angel came to him, unexpectedly. This Angel squeezed him forcefully and ordered him to "recite" (or "read"). At this the Prophet Saws.gif replied that he cannot read, for he was an illiterate. This happened two more times, when the Angel recited:

Read in the name of your Lord, who created,1 created man from a clot.2 Read! And your Lord is most bountiful.3 He who taught (the use of) the pen4 taught man which he knew not.5
Qur`an, 096:001-005

Trembling with fear, the Prophet repeated the verses. He returned back to his wife, Khadijah, and said, "Cover me,... cover me." He told Khadijah of the incident, and she tried to reassure him by telling him that Allah would never disgrace him because he is a kind and noble person.[3]




The Prophet Muhammad Saws.gif had a total of twelve wives throughout his lifetime. However, he was not married to all of them at once. For example, Muhammad Saws.gif never married anyone else while being married to his wife Khadijah.

  1. Khadijah bint Khuwailid
  2. `Aishah bint Abi Bakr
  3. Sawda bint Zum`ah
  4. Hafsa bint `Umar
  5. Zaynab bint Khuzaymah
  6. Umm Habibah bint Abu Sufyan
  7. Umm Salamah
  8. Zaynab bint Jahsh
  9. Juwariyah bint al-Harith
  10. Safiyah bint Hayi ibn Akhtab
  11. Maymunah al-Hilaliyah
  12. Mariya al-Qibtiya

Muhammmad had four daughters and three sons in all. All three of his sons died in their childhood, and all of his children were from Khadijah, except for his son Ibrahim who was from Mary the Copt. The following are his seven children:

  1. Al-Qasim (male), died at the age of two[4]
  2. Zainab (female)
  3. Ruqaiyah (female)
  4. Umm Kulthum (female)
  5. Fatimah (female)
  6. `Abdullah (male), died during his infancy[4]
  7. Ibrahim (male)

Basic teachings

Some teachings from the Qur`an

The Qur`an is the revelation revealed upon Muhammad. Basic teachings include the worship of God, patience, equality of mankind, and reliance upon God. Also, the Qur`an tells us to believe in the Prophets, the Angels, the Scriptures, the Last Day, and Divine Decree.

The believers are naught else than brothers. Therefore make peace between your brethren and observe your duty to Allah that haply ye may obtain mercy.
Qur`an, 0049:010
O ye who believe! Seek help in steadfastness and prayer. Lo! Allah is with the steadfast.
Qur`an 002:153
The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each ear Hath a hundred grains. Allah giveth manifold increase to whom He pleaseth: And Allah careth for all and He knoweth all things.
Qur`an 002:261

Oneness of God

This is the most important belief in Islam, the Oneness of God. The Qur`an frequently reminds its readers to not only believe in Him as the only god, but to also worship Him.


A hadith (pl. ahadith) is an action or saying of the Prophet Muhammad Saws.gif. Many details of his life and of those who lived with him are recorded in these traditions.


Examples of some of his sayings:

"None of you will have faith until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."[5]
"The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger."[6]
"Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and to your deeds."[7]

Hadith Qudsi

A hadith qudsi a saying of Allah, reworded and said by the Prophet Muhammad. They are considered second to the Qur`an, because like it, they are revelations revealed to the Prophet. Examples of hadith qudsi:

Spend (on charity), O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.[8]
I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.[9]

Last Sermon

Miracles of the Prophet

Main article: Miracles of Muhammad

Muhammad is recorded to have performed many miracles, ranging from making food multiply through his very hands to splitting the moon into two.


  1. Variant transliterations of the Prophet's name include Mohammad, Mohamad, Mohammed, and Mohamed.
  3. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 001, Book 001, Number 003
  4. 4.0 4.1
  5. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 001, Book 002, Number 012
  6. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 008, Book 073, Number 135
  7. Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6221
  8. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 007, Book 064, Number 264
  9. Sahih Muslim, Book 035, Number 6471

Further references

External links

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