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  • 3/28/2006

Muhammad - The Prophet of Islam

Prophethood is not unknown to heavenly revealed religions, such as Judaism and Christianity. In Islam, however, it has a special status and significance.

According to Islam, Allah created man for a noble purpose: to worship Him and lead a virtuous life based on His teachings and guidance. How man would know his role and the purpose of his existence unless he received clear and practical instructions of what Allah wants him to do? Here comes the need for prophethood. Thus Allah had chosen from every nation a prophet or more to convey His Message to the people.

We draw no line of discrimination between Prophets. All we add is that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was also a great teacher and a Prophet of God. Due to the magnitude and extent of his works, we regard him as the greatest of them all. Yet we do not believe that the Divine door or Prophecy and the door of communication with the Creator is closed for the future. It is now in the footsteps of the Master Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that each one has to talk.

One might ask:

How were the prophets chosen, and who were entitled to this great honor?

Prophethood is Allah's blessing and favor that He may bestow on whom He wills.

 Muhammad (PBUH) was born inArabia in the year 570 AD His father's name wasAbdullah and his mother's nameAminah. Abdullah died before his son was born and his mother died when he was yet a small child. He was first placed under the care of his grandfather and then later his uncle, who raised his nephew as his own.

As a boy, Muhammad (PBUH) disliked the prevailing custom of idol worship practiced by his people. How many a night he must have paused to watch the stars and endless plains, while tending his uncle's flocks, and wondered at the real Creator of it all. He shunned the mischief of his fellow youth and soon developed a reputation for honesty, generosity, and compassion.

When he was a young man he took employment in the merchant trade and soon distinguished himself for his excellent managerial skills, which resulted in an offer of marriage from his wealthy, widowed employer, the noble lady Khadija. He was 25 and she was 40 when they got married. Their marriage was based upon love, friendship and trust.

Though time and circumstances had changed as he grew older and wiser, Muhammad (PBUH) still remained restless for the truth and he began to retreat to the solitude which could only be found outside the city of Mecca.

All the authorities agree in ascribing to the youth of Muhammad a modesty of deportment and purity of manners rare among the people of contemporary Mecca. Endowed with a refined mind and delicate taste, reserved and meditative, he lived much within himself, and did not indulge in idle pursuits like his peers. The fair character and honorable bearing of the unobtrusive youth won the respect of his fellow citizens. By common consent, he received the titleAl-Ameen - the Faithful. Even his bitterer enemy could not point to a single incident in his previous life to which exception could have been taken. He felt keenly the distress of every fellow being, and reacted very sharply to it, affording such relief and assistance as lay within his power.

For the purpose of communing with himself and imploring light and guidance from the Supreme Being concerning the problems that troubled his mind and soul, he made a habit of retiring for several days at a time to one of his hills a few miles out of Mecca. There he occupied himself in prayer and contemplation.

Muhammad (PBUH) was 40 years old when the Divine Call came to him in his retreat on MountHira. Although his word was treated with great respect until now, after the Call came to him, his message was treated with ridicule and suspicion, and he was urged by God to challenge his opponents in the words:

"I have spent a whole lifetime among you before this; will you not then understand?" (10:17).

History bears out that this was the darkest period of the dark ages in Mecca. The light and comprehensive guidance needed by the whole of mankind were supplied through Muhammad (PBUH).

This was Muhammad (PBUH (, for all his truthfulness, patience, piety and spirit, commissioned as the last and final Prophet of Allah to humanity. Though many trials, tests and triumphs lay ahead of him, he always called people to the service of the One God, to shun myths and idols and to do unto others only what is good and right. He always lived a frugal life, and even after all of Arabia was liberated from the darkness of ignorance, he (PBUH), as the ruler, still slept on a reed mat and mended his own clothes.

He taught a new standard to people and brought civilization to an area of the world where it had long ago passed by. His lips moved with the Revelation of God and his life put its precepts into practice. Though persecuted by the idol-worshippers for 13 years in Mecca and followed faithfully by the believing citizens of Medina for 10 years thereafter, he remained unto his death a devoted father, husband, leader and Prophet. He was given the title of "Mercy to the worlds" by God Himself in the Qur'an and anyone who has studied the details and adventures of his life must necessarily declare the same. This man Muhammad (PBUH) is truly the hero of his age as well as an inspiration to ours.

Compiled by: Ramineh Rezazadeh

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