Prophet Muhammad was born at Mecca in 571 A.D. The name of his father was Abdullah and the name of his mother was Amina. Mohammad was born after the death of his father. His mother also died when he was only six years old. After the death of his mother,
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Mohammad was brought up by his grand-father Abdul Muttalib and later on, by his uncle Abu Talib. From the very childhood Mohammad was serious minded and very often used to think about everything which he saw around him.
As a young boy of thirteen years, he joined his uncle in his business. During his trade-journeys he curiously watched the various customs of the different Arab societies. At the age of twenty-five years he was employed by a rich widow Khadija for looking after her business. She was so impressed with the noble character of Mohammad that she subsequently married him. Prophet lived with her till she died.
After her death the Prophet married other women who were also widows except the fourth one (Ayesha Begum) who was daughter of his friend and disciple Abu Bakr from Khadija, the Prophet had two sons and four daughters. But, only the fourth daughter Fatima survived him. From other wives there were no children.
Prophet Mohammad thought seriously about the evils in the society and was anxious to find out ways and means to remove them. He used to go to a lonely cave in the mountain called Hira where he thought about the concept of God, religion and the reform of the society. It is believed that once, in the month of Ramzan in 609 A.D., when the Prophet was meditating in the cave, he heard a strange voice.
The voice was from Angle Gabriel who was sent to him by God. Gabriel whispered in the ears of the Prophet: “Read in the name of Allah, the Creator of all things, who made man from a clot of blood. Read for thy Lord is most gracious, he who teaches the use of pen teaches man what he does not know”.
This was the first ‘message of God’ (Wahi) to the Prophet. Since then, a series of divine communications or messages of God were received by him on different occasions till his death. Quran is a collection of all such divine messages revealed to the Prophet from time to time. In short, the basic principles of the religion which were preached by the Prophet are as under:
(i) God (Allah) is one and only one, and that Mohammad is His messenger (Rasool).
(ii) God (Allah) is the Supreme Commander of everything that exists in this World and that everyone should “submit to the will of God”. As pointed out earlier, the Arabic word Islam means “submission to the will of God”.
(iii) All human beings are equal. No one is to be treated as superior to another because they are like brothers. Fyzee rightly observes that, “from the practical point of view, the principle of brotherhood which Islam has preached and not only preached but made real, is one of its greatest glories.”
Through his preaching’s, the Prophet laid down also the new principles of life and abolished the existing evil customs from the society. First to believe and obey these divine messages was Prophet’s wife Khadija.
Gradually others also believed in what he said. But a great majority of people in Mecca opposed these preaching’s. They did not allow the Prophet to speak and communicate the message to the people. Finding it difficult, the Prophet left Mecca and went to Medina in 622 A.D. This journey from Mecca to Medina is taken to be a ‘holy mission’ (Hejarat). At Medina his preaching’s were appreciated and more and more people became followers of the Prophet.
Prophet Mohammad not only united his followers through his new faith but also organised them as a strong political group to face the opposition. His followers fought several battles with the disbelievers. But there was such a force in the ideas of this new faith that very soon a great majority of the people of Arabia became its followers.
The personality of Prophet Mohammad dominated the minds of Arabs to such an extent that within a short period most of them embraced Islam. At the time of his death in 632 A.D., Prophet Mohammad was the religious, social and administrative head of a big Islamic Commonwealth. By Islamic Commonwealth we mean the group of great majority of people who became followers of the preachings of the Prophet.