Difference between revisions of "Muhammad"

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'''Muhammad''' (or '''Mohammed''' or (archaic) '''Mahomet'''), A.D. 570-632) was the founder of [[Islam]], one of the world's major religions.  
 
'''Muhammad''' (or '''Mohammed''' or (archaic) '''Mahomet'''), A.D. 570-632) was the founder of [[Islam]], one of the world's major religions.  
  
 
Regarded by devout [[Muslim]]s as [[Allah]]'s final and greatest [[prophet]], Muhammad claimed Allah's [[revelation]]s, via the angel [[Gabriel]], that [[Judaism]] and [[Christianity]] had grown corrupt, and that Muhammad was to restore the religion God intended.  
 
Regarded by devout [[Muslim]]s as [[Allah]]'s final and greatest [[prophet]], Muhammad claimed Allah's [[revelation]]s, via the angel [[Gabriel]], that [[Judaism]] and [[Christianity]] had grown corrupt, and that Muhammad was to restore the religion God intended.  
  
In accordance with the Islamic [[hadith]], it is considered proper to add an honorary phrase of "sallalahu aleyhi wasallam (or SAW)," meaning "Peace Be Upon Him (or PBUH)," after speaking Muhammad's name. Many consider Muhammad to be one of the greatest and influential men to ever walk the earth, an example being the [[Christian]] author [[Michael Hart]] placing the Prophet Muhammad as number one, most influential human of all time, saying:
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In accordance with the Islamic [[hadith]], it is considered proper to add an honorary phrase of "sallalahu aleyhi wasallam (or SAW)," meaning "Peace Be Upon Him (or PBUH)," after speaking Muhammad's name. Many consider Muhammad to be one of the greatest and influential men to ever walk the earth, an example being the [[Christian]] author Michael Hart placing the Prophet Muhammad as number one, most influential human of all time, saying:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world's great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. <ref>http://www.amaana.org/ismailim.html</ref>
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'''''My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world's great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader.''''' <ref>http://www.amaana.org/ismailim.html</ref>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
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== Images ==
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Representations of the Prophet are well known from early on, but are not very common. While some Muslims hold beliefs that it is against Islam to make images of the Prophet, others have more relaxed attitudes, and among Shia Muslims, such pictures are common, and much liked. <ref>[http://www.hf.uib.no/religion/popularikonografi/default_eng.html Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion (AHKR), University of Bergen.]</ref>
 
== Life of Muhammad==
 
== Life of Muhammad==
 
The Prophet Muhammad, was from Abrahamic decent, he was descending through his son [[Ismael]], who under God's orders, was left in the Arabian desert with only a little food and water, the spot this occurred is now called [[Mecca]], today over 3 million Muslims annually re-enact the frantic running of Ismael's mother Hager as she looked for water, in which Ismael hit the ground with his foot causing a spring of water to flow forth, still flowing today it's known of the Well of [[Zam Zam]].
 
The Prophet Muhammad, was from Abrahamic decent, he was descending through his son [[Ismael]], who under God's orders, was left in the Arabian desert with only a little food and water, the spot this occurred is now called [[Mecca]], today over 3 million Muslims annually re-enact the frantic running of Ismael's mother Hager as she looked for water, in which Ismael hit the ground with his foot causing a spring of water to flow forth, still flowing today it's known of the Well of [[Zam Zam]].

Revision as of 00:58, 21 April 2010

Mohammad.jpg

Muhammad (or Mohammed or (archaic) Mahomet), A.D. 570-632) was the founder of Islam, one of the world's major religions.

Regarded by devout Muslims as Allah's final and greatest prophet, Muhammad claimed Allah's revelations, via the angel Gabriel, that Judaism and Christianity had grown corrupt, and that Muhammad was to restore the religion God intended.

In accordance with the Islamic hadith, it is considered proper to add an honorary phrase of "sallalahu aleyhi wasallam (or SAW)," meaning "Peace Be Upon Him (or PBUH)," after speaking Muhammad's name. Many consider Muhammad to be one of the greatest and influential men to ever walk the earth, an example being the Christian author Michael Hart placing the Prophet Muhammad as number one, most influential human of all time, saying:

My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world's great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. [1]

Images

Representations of the Prophet are well known from early on, but are not very common. While some Muslims hold beliefs that it is against Islam to make images of the Prophet, others have more relaxed attitudes, and among Shia Muslims, such pictures are common, and much liked. [2]

Life of Muhammad

The Prophet Muhammad, was from Abrahamic decent, he was descending through his son Ismael, who under God's orders, was left in the Arabian desert with only a little food and water, the spot this occurred is now called Mecca, today over 3 million Muslims annually re-enact the frantic running of Ismael's mother Hager as she looked for water, in which Ismael hit the ground with his foot causing a spring of water to flow forth, still flowing today it's known of the Well of Zam Zam.

Muhammad was orphaned at the age of six, his father Abdullah died before he was born, his Mother, Aminah, died soon after, leaving him with his Grandfather Abdul Muttalib, who died when he was six. He was then raised by his uncle (son of Abdul Muttalib) Abu Talib, a powerful man among the Quraysh tribe who loved Muhammad more than anyone. Muhammad grew up, never to take part in pagen rituals. He despised the actions, and began a tradition of fasting, in the caves of Mecca every annual pilgrimage; the pagans at the time believed in Allah, and the Hajj, from the times of Ismael, however they later added more gods to the one God Allah. Lexically speaking, Allah comes from the word Ilah in Arabic, with the Definite article Al placed in front, making it "Al-Llah", translating as "The One God". This is why Islam was tolerated from the start, by most because Muhammad never introduced a new God, he spoke of the God of Abraham, Jesus and Moses.

Muhammad was respected in Medina, he would frequently solve disputes, he was nicknamed Al-Amin, or The truthful one, and was well loved by all. He was never known to lie, cheat, or steal, all common practices by the pagans of his time. Everyone, including his enemies, like Abu Jahl had acknowledged his lineage to noble prophets such as Ismael, and Abraham, and this was never disputed among anyone.

When he was about 40 years old, Muhammad's early revelations, from the Angel Gabriel spoke of a need to return to the monotheism of Abraham; however, Muhammad upon seeing the Angel Gabriel was unsure of himself and rushed to his house terrified. He told his wife Khadija of the events, and she assured him God wouldn't let this happen to such a humble man. Khadija later went on to see her uncle, a Christian Scholar, who after reviewing his religious texts, claimed Muhammad was the next prophet, (it is important to note, these texts are not the texts of today, as the Christians of Mecca and the Arabs were not Pauline Christians or Roman Christians) this as well as the Jews in Medina, who were also expecting a new prophet; albeit a prophet from the Jewish tribe, Muhammad's prophet-hood was an unpleasant surprise to many of them hence they rejected him. In this way, at an early age, Muhammad saw himself as reviving an ancient faith, a perceived correction to Christianity and Judaism, and restoring his people to what he saw as their rightful position as the true founders and heirs of monotheism. In these revelations, submission to the will of God - Allah - was critical. Muhammad's fledgling religion continued to develop throughout his life, through periodic revelations often relating directly to events currently facing his new faith.

The faith caught on slowly, winning only a few converts in Mecca (the first being his wife, Khadija). In 622 A.D, under increased pressure and ostracism from elders in Mecca, Muhammad began the hijra, an organized exodus of his followers from Mecca to the city of Medina. Muslims date the formation of their religion to the hijra itself, even beginning their dating system at this point.

Muhammad was first introduced to the people of Medina, when frequent wars were broken out between Jewish tribes and Arab tribes, Muhammad was sent for as a mediator between the two, most Jews spoke highly of Muhammad, accepting him as the next Prophet, although some disliked that he was not of the decent of Moses or Bani Israel. When Muhammad came to Medina, most problems were resolved, and it's hailed as a success. One important battle; which shed light on Muslim-Jewish tensions, was The Battle of the Trench, although there was a pact called The Constitution of Medina, one that gave all religions freedom, and protective status under the Muslims, from Muslims or invaders, one Jewish tribe Bani Qurayza didn't help defend the city. However they allowed in Huyayy ibn Akhtab, a man exiled by Muhammad because of a dispute between Bani Qurayza and Bani Nadir, who encouraged Bani Qurayza to attack the Muslims, and help the invaders, so Muhammad would be defeated once and for all. However their plot was found out, and the pact was broken. This incident led to the execution of approximately 700 Jewish men[3] from the tribe.

The execution was described as follow by Ibn Ishaq:

Then they surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina in the quarter of d. al-Harith, a woman of B. al-Najjar. Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of Allah Huyayy b. Akhtab and Ka`b b. Asad their chief. There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. As they were being taken out in batches to the apostle they asked Ka`b what he thought would be done with them. He replied, 'Will you never understand? Don't you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away do not return? By Allah it is death!' This went on until the apostle made an end of them. Huyayy was brought out wearing a flowered robe in which he had made holes about the size of the finger-tips in every part so that it should not be taken from him as spoil, with his hands bound to his neck by a rope. When he saw the apostle he said, 'By God, I do not blame myself for opposing you, but he who forsakes God will be forsaken.' Then he went to the men and said, 'God's command is right. A book and a decree, and massacre have been written against the Sons of Israel.' Then he sat down and his head was struck off.[4]

A controversial (Only in modern times; in his time period it was never brought up negatively.) point of Muhammad's life was his marriage to Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr, who was six years old at the time of engagement.[5][6] The marriage was consummated when Aisha was nine.[7] The narratives describing her age at marriage as six are narrated by Aisha herself. Though Aisha was known to use numerical substitution in other hadith, such as in the hadith of Laylat Al-Qadr where she substituted 1 for 21 and 3 for 23, which is a common way of referencing numbers in Arabic when the base number is established. Some scholars argue that she could have been speaking in such numerical substitution when narrating the Hadith regarding her age at marriage, thus rendering 16 as 6 and 19 as 9.[8] There is additional disagreement over her age at marriage, and a number of Islamic scholars believe that Aisha was older at the time of marriage. However, it is worth noting that at the time, and for thousands of years before and hundreds of years after, early marriage of a girl to a powerful man was very common. Aisha reached puberty at the age of nine, which is when the marriage was consummated.[9][10] However it is important to note, because of of the time period, where the Christian Byzantine empire, Zoroastrian Persian empire were taking brides (consummating their marriages) before puberty, Islam made it forbidden to consummate a marriage prior to puberty. Aisha was only the third wife, his two prior marriages was to that of Khadija a woman double his age (40), and then later to Sawda Bint Zama who was in her 50's. However, Comparative, Mary the mother of Jesus was around 12 where as her husband Joseph was around 90, making nearly an 80 year age gap.[11]

After Muhammad's Death

Muhammad's death at an early age caused the splintering of his religion into new sects, over the question of succession. The groups called themselves the Sunnis and the Shi'as. Many attribute this split to the high degree to which authority was centered in the powerful character of Muhammad himself: without his powerful personality, the movement could not survive intact.[12], however this depiction is not accurate in some lights. The Shi'as came into the picture much later than the death of Muhammad, and were first a nuisance group thought to be started by a Jew by the name of Abdullah ibn Saba who was burned at the stake by Abu Bakr for proclaiming Ali was God. Note that Ali disagreed with the punishment, because fire is a punishment only for Allah.

The failure or splintering of movements built around a charismatic leader is a recurring sociological problem, often studied by psychologists, and referred to as the problem of the routinization of charisma. Christianity faced the same problem, and many attribute the conquest of this problem to the leadership of the apostle Paul.[13].

See Also

References

  1. http://www.amaana.org/ismailim.html
  2. Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion (AHKR), University of Bergen.
  3. Guillaume, p. 461-464
  4. Guillaume, p. 461-464
  5. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:234
  6. Sahih Muslim 8:3311
  7. D. A. Spellberg, Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: the Legacy of A'isha bint Abi Bakr, Columbia University Press, 1994, p. 40
  8. Hakim Niaz Ahmad, تحقیق عمرعا،شہ صدیقہ (Research on the age of Ayesha), Mashkoor Academy, Karachi.
  9. Habib ur Rahman Kandhalwi, Age of Aisha, Al-Rahman Publishing Trust, Karachi
  10. Maulana Muhammad Ali, The Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad, p. 30, 1992, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat, ISBN 0-913321-19-2
  11. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08504a.htm
  12. Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong
  13. Maximillian Weber, Theory of Social and Economic Organization, in the chapter "The Nature of Charismatic Authority and its Routinization," see also Len Oakes, "Prophetic Charisma: The Psychology of Revolutionary Religious Personalities"

Notes

HIR | Muhammad's massacre of the Jewish tribe Banu Qurayzah [1]