Who is Muhammed

 

Muslims regard Muhammad as the final Prophet and Messenger God sent to humanity, culminating a line of great teachers, starting from Adam and including such illustrious people as Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, and Jesus.

Muhammad was born in 570 of the common era in the ancient city of Mecca, in Western Arabia. Mecca is the city that Muhammad’s great ancestor and “father of prophets,” Abraham, had migrated to from Palestine. In Mecca, Abraham and his first son, Ishmael, erected the cubed-shaped building called the Ka‘ba, dedicating it as a house in which none but God Himself shall be worshipped. However, after millennia, the sanctuary in Mecca fell into disarray. Idols of stone and lumber were strewn throughout the sanctuary. By the time of Muhammad’s birth, the Arabs, who inhabited the region, had no less than 360 idols they devoted themselves to. Muslims view this period as the “age of ignorance.”

Muhammad was deeply disturbed by the condition of his people and would often retreat to a mountain cave to ponder matters concerning God and the moral situation of the Meccan folk. Then one night in the ninth month of the Arab lunar calendar, Muhammad heard a voice in the cave. The voice startle him. It asked him to “Read!” The command was repeated thrice; each time he was squeezed so tightly he nearly collapsed. The voice was that of Angel Gabriel bearing a message from God. It was the beginning of Muhammad’s call to Prophethood. From that night forward, for some 23 years, Muhammad began receiving revelations from God that constituted, ultimately, the whole Quran (the Muslim scripture). His message gained adherents in Mecca. He taught them faith, rites of worship, excellent character, and the proper way to comport one’s life. Muhammad’s call was not merely for the Arabs. Very early on, it was clear that he was sent to all of humanity; and his call started in a region of the world that saw the birth of human religion.

Muslims believe in Muhammad as a man, Prophet, and Messenger--not as God, an angel, or the son of God. He is considered an excellent example of human behavior and noble conduct, fully human, someone whose teachings Muslims turn to and try to emulate. His teachings, in essence, were the teachings of all the Prophets who came before him, especially Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. The Prophet died in 633, leaving the Quran and personal teachings.