Difference between revisions of "Muhammad"

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

Revision as of 10:32, 9 November 2008

Adolf Hitler heard the name of Muhammand

Muhammad (or Mohammed, 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.

Life of Muhammad

He began life as a wealthy tradesmen, one of the elite of his city of Mecca.

When he was about 40 years old, Muhammad's early revelations spoke of a need to return to the monotheism of Abraham; 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.

At Medina, the new Muslims immediately adopted an aggressive stance, seeking to coexist with the Jews living in Medina on his terms. The encounter ended badly, though, with Muhammad dividing and conquering the Jewish groups in Medina, ordering the massacre of the Qurayza Jewish tribe, as they refused changing their religion to his submission, after (possibly) fabricating a cause to break what is called by modern historians the Compact of Medina.[1] It is important to note however that Muhammad offered mercy to the tribe many times, but they fought on to the end. [2]

A controversial point of Muhammad's life was his marriage to Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr, who was six years old at the time of marriage.[3][4] The marriage was consumated when Aisha was nine.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7][8]

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.[9]

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.[10].

See Also

References

  1. Berkey, The Formation of Islam
  2. Karen Armstrong, A short history of Islam
  3. Sahih Bukhari 5:58:234
  4. Sahih Muslim 8:3311
  5. D. A. Spellberg, Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: the Legacy of A'isha bint Abi Bakr, Columbia University Press, 1994, p. 40
  6. Hakim Niaz Ahmad, تحقیق عمرعا،شہ صدیقہ (Research on the age of Ayesha), Mashkoor Academy, Karachi.
  7. Habib ur Rahman Kandhalwi, Age of Aisha, Al-Rahman Publishing Trust, Karachi
  8. Maulana Muhammad Ali, The Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad, p. 30, 1992, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat, ISBN 0-913321-19-2
  9. Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong
  10. 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]