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Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 CE) was an
Arab The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world in Western Asia, ...

Arab
religious, social, and political leader and the founder of
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a
prophet In religion, a prophet or prophetess is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divinity, divine being and is said to speak on behalf of that being, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings f ...
divinely inspired to preach and confirm the
monotheistic Monotheism is the belief that there is only one deity, an all-supreme being that is universally referred to as God.F. L. Cross, Cross, F.L.; Livingstone, E.A., eds. (1974). "Monotheism". The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2 ed.). Ox ...
teachings of
Adam Adam; el, Ἀδάμ, Adám; la, Adam is the name given in Book of Genesis, Genesis 1-5 to the first human. Beyond its use as the name of the first man, ''adam'' is also used in the Bible as a pronoun, individually as "a human" and in a coll ...
,
Abraham Abraham, ; ar, , , name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common Hebrews, Hebrew patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the Covenant (biblical), special ...
,
Moses Moses hbo, מֹשֶׁה, Mōše; also known as Moshe or Moshe Rabbeinu (Mishnaic Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ, ); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, Mūše; ar, موسى, Mūsā; grc, Mωϋσῆς, Mōÿsēs () is considered the most important Prop ...
,
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
, and other
prophets In religion, a prophet or prophetess is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divinity, divine being and is said to speak on behalf of that being, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings f ...
. He is believed to be the
Seal of the Prophets Seal of the Prophets ( ar, خاتم النبيين, translit=khātam an-nabīyīn or khātim an-nabīyīn; or ar, خاتم الأنبياء, translit=khātam al-anbiyā’ or khātim al-anbiyā), is a title used in the Qur'an and by Muslims ...
within Islam. Muhammad united
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula, (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") or Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. ...
into a single Muslim
polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize ...
, with the
Quran The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...

Quran
as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief. Muhammad was born approximately 570CE in
Mecca Mecca (; officially Makkah al-Mukarramah, commonly shortened to Makkah ()) is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland from Jeddah on the Red ...

Mecca
. He was the son of
Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib (; ar, عَبْد ٱللَّٰه ٱبْن عَبْد ٱلْمُطَّلِب, ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib; ) was the father of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was the son ...
and Amina bint Wahb. His father Abdullah was the son of
Quraysh The Quraysh ( ar, قُرَيْشٌ) were a grouping of Arab clans that historically inhabited and controlled the city of Mecca and its Kaaba. The Islamic prophet Muhammad was born into the Banu Hashim, Hashim clan of the tribe. Despite this, ma ...
tribal leader Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim, and he died a few months before Muhammad's birth. His mother Amina died when he was six, leaving Muhammad an orphan. He was raised under the care of his grandfather, Abd al-Muttalib, and paternal uncle, Abu Talib. In later years, he would periodically seclude himself in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights of prayer. When he was 40, Muhammad reported being visited by
Gabriel In Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), Gabriel (); Greek language, Greek: grc, Γαβριήλ, translit=Gabriḗl, label=none; Latin language, Latin: ''Gabriel''; Coptic language, Coptic: cop, Ⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗ, transli ...
in the cave and receiving his first revelation from God. In 613, Muhammad started
preaching A sermon is a religious discourse or oration by a preacher, usually a member of clergy. Sermons address a scriptural, theological, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law, or behavior within both past and present contexts. El ...
these revelations publicly, Muhammad Mustafa Al-A'zami (2003), ''The History of The Qur'anic Text: From Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments'', pp. 26–27. UK Islamic Academy. . proclaiming that " God is One", that complete "submission" ('' islām'') to God is the right way of life ('' dīn''), and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other
prophets in Islam Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأنبياء في الإسلام, translit=al-ʾAnbiyāʾ fī al-ʾIslām) are individuals in Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around t ...
. Muhammad's followers were initially few in number, and experienced hostility from Meccan polytheists for 13 years. To escape ongoing persecution, he sent some of his followers to
Abyssinia The Ethiopian Empire (), also formerly known by the exonym Abyssinia, or just simply known as Ethiopia (; Amharic and Tigrinya language, Tigrinya: ኢትዮጵያ , , Oromo language, Oromo: Itoophiyaa, Somali language, Somali: Itoobiya, Afar l ...
in 615, before he and his followers migrated from Mecca to
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, , Turkish: Medine-i Münevvere) and also commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second-holiest city in Islam Islam (; ar, ...
(then known as Yathrib) later in 622. This event, the '' Hijra'', marks the beginning of the
Islamic calendar The Hijri calendar ( ar, ٱلتَّقْوِيم ٱلْهِجْرِيّ, translit=al-taqwīm al-hijrī), also known in English as the Muslim calendar and Islamic calendar, is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 ...
, also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the
Constitution of Medina The Constitution of Medina (, ''Dustūr al-Madīna''), also known as the Charter of Medina ( ar, صحيفة المدينة, ''Ṣaḥīfat al-Madīnah''; or: , ''Mīthāq al-Madina'' "Covenant of Medina"), is the modern name given to a document be ...
. In December 629, after eight years of intermittent fighting with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The conquest went largely uncontested and Muhammad seized the city with little bloodshed. In 632, a few months after returning from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he fell ill and died. By the time of his death, most of the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula, (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") or Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa Africa is t ...
had
converted to Islam Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination to the exclusion of others. Thus "religious conversion" would describe the abandoning of adherence to one denomination and affiliatin ...
. The revelations (each known as '' Ayah —'' literally, "Sign f God) that Muhammad reported receiving until his death form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the verbatim "Word of God" on which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad's teachings and practices (''
sunnah In Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was r ...
''), found in the
Hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث, , , , , , , literally "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally "remnant"/"effect") refers to what the majority of Muslims believe to be a record of the words, actions, and the silent approva ...
and '' sira'' (biography) literature, are also upheld and used as
sources Source may refer to: Research * Historical document * Historical source * Source (intelligence) or sub source, typically a confidential provider of non open-source intelligence * Source (journalism), a person, publication, publishing institute o ...
of Islamic law (see
Sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a body of religious law that forms a part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the Five Pillars of Islam, religious precepts of Islam and is based on the Islamic holy books, sacred scriptures o ...
).


Names and appellations

The name ''Muhammad'' () means "praiseworthy" in Arabic. It appears four times in the Quran. The Quran also addresses Muhammad in the second person by various appellations;
prophet In religion, a prophet or prophetess is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divinity, divine being and is said to speak on behalf of that being, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings f ...
,
messenger ''MESSENGER'' was a NASA Space probe, robotic space probe that orbited the planet Mercury (planet), Mercury between 2011 and 2015, studying Mercury's chemical composition, Geology of Mercury, geology, and Mercury's magnetic field, magnetic field ...
, servant of God (abd''), announcer (''bashir''), witness (''
shahid ''Shaheed'' ( ,  ,   ; pa, ਸ਼ਹੀਦ) denotes a martyr in Islam. The word is used frequently in the Quran in the generic sense of "witness" but only once in the sense of "martyr" (i.e. one who dies for his faith); ...
''), bearer of good tidings (''mubashshir''), warner (''nathir''), reminder (''mudhakkir''), one who calls nto God('' dā'ī''), light personified (''noor''), and the light-giving lamp (''siraj munir'').


Sources of biographical information


Quran

The
Quran The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...

Quran
is the central
religious text Religious texts, including scripture, are Text (literary theory), texts which various religions consider to be of central importance to their religious tradition. They differ from literature by being a compilation or discussion of beliefs, m ...
of
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
. Muslims believe it represents the words of
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...
revealed by the archangel
Gabriel In Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), Gabriel (); Greek language, Greek: grc, Γαβριήλ, translit=Gabriḗl, label=none; Latin language, Latin: ''Gabriel''; Coptic language, Coptic: cop, Ⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗ, transli ...
to Muhammad.''Living Religions: An Encyclopaedia of the World's Faiths'', Mary Pat Fisher, 1997, p. 338, I.B. Tauris Publishers. The Quran, however, provides minimal assistance for Muhammad's chronological biography; most Quranic verses do not provide significant historical context.


Early biographies

Important sources regarding Muhammad's life may be found in the historic works by writers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries of the Muslim era (AH – 8th and 9th century CE). These include traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad, which provide additional information about Muhammad's life.Reeves (2003), pp. 6–7. The earliest written ''sira'' (biographies of Muhammad and quotes attributed to him) is
Ibn Ishaq Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (; according to some sources, ibn Khabbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān, ar, محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار, or simply ibn Isḥaq, , meaning "the son of Isaac"; died 767) was an 8 ...
's '' Life of God's Messenger'' written c. 767 CE (150 AH). Although the original work was lost, this sira survives as extensive excerpts in works by
Ibn Hisham Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Hishām ibn Ayyūb al-Ḥimyarī al-Muʿāfirī al-Baṣrī ( ar, أبو محمد عبدالملك بن هشام ابن أيوب الحميري المعافري البصري; died 7 May 833), or Ibn Hisham, e ...
and to a lesser extent by
Al-Tabari ( ar, أبو جعفر محمد بن جرير بن يزيد الطبري), more commonly known as al-Ṭabarī (), was a Muslim historian and scholar from Amol, Tabaristan. Among the most prominent figures of the Islamic Golden Age, al-Tabari i ...
.S.A. Nigosian (2004), p. 6. However, Ibn Hisham wrote in the preface to his biography of Muhammad that he omitted matters from Ibn Ishaq's biography that "would distress certain people". Another early history source is the history of Muhammad's campaigns by
al-Waqidi Abu `Abdullah Muhammad Ibn ‘Omar Ibn Waqid al-Aslami (Arabic language, Arabic ) (c. 130 – 207 Islamic calendar, AH; c. 747 – 823 Anno Domini, AD) was a historian commonly referred to as al-Waqidi (Arabic: ). His surname is derived from his ...
(death 207 AH), and the work of Waqidi's secretary
Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi Abū ‘Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Sa‘d ibn Manī‘ al-Baṣrī al-Hāshimī or simply Ibn Sa'd ( ar, ابن سعد) and nicknamed ''Scribe of Waqidi'' (''Katib al-Waqidi''), was a scholar and Arabian biographer. Ibn Sa'd was born in 784/785 ...
(death 230 AH). Many scholars accept these early biographies as authentic, though their accuracy is unascertainable. Recent studies have led scholars to distinguish between traditions touching legal matters and purely historical events. In the legal group, traditions could have been subject to invention while historic events, aside from exceptional cases, may have been only subject to "tendential shaping".


Hadith

Other important sources include the
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث, , , , , , , literally "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally "remnant"/"effect") refers to what the majority of Muslims believe to be a record of the words, actions, and the silent approva ...
collections, accounts of verbal and physical teachings and traditions attributed to Muhammad. Hadiths were compiled several generations after his death by Muslims including
Muhammad al-Bukhari Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Muhammad in Islam, Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet Divine inspiration, di ...
, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, Muhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi, Abd ar-Rahman al-Nasai,
Abu Dawood Abū Dāwūd (Dā’ūd) Sulaymān ibn al-Ash‘ath ibn Isḥāq al-Azdī al-Sijistānī ( ar, أبو داود سليمان بن الأشعث الأزدي السجستاني), commonly known simply as Abū Dāwūd al-Sijistānī, was a scholar o ...
,
Ibn Majah Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Yazīd Ibn Mājah al-Rabʿī al-Qazwīnī ( ar, ابو عبد الله محمد بن يزيد بن ماجه الربعي القزويني; (b. 209/824, d. 273/887) commonly known as Ibn Mājah, was a medieval ...
,
Malik ibn Anas Malik ibn Anas ( ar, مَالِك بن أَنَس, ‎ 711–795 CE / 93–179 Islamic calendar, AH), whose full name is Mālik bin Anas bin Mālik bin Abī ʿĀmir bin ʿAmr bin Al-Ḥārith bin Ghaymān bin Khuthayn bin ʿAmr bin Al-Ḥārit ...
, al-Daraqutni.Lewis (1993), pp. 33–34. Some Western academics cautiously view the hadith collections as accurate historical sources. Scholars such as Madelung do not reject the narrations which have been compiled in later periods, but judge them in the context of history and on the basis of their compatibility with the events and figures. Muslim scholars on the other hand typically place a greater emphasis on the hadith literature instead of the biographical literature, since hadiths maintain a traditional chain of transmission (
isnad Hadith studies ( ar, علم الحديث ''ʻilm al-ḥadīth'' "science of hadith", also science of hadith, or science of hadith criticism or hadith criticism) consists of several religious scholarly disciplines used by Muslim scholars in th ...
); the lack of such a chain for the biographical literature makes it unverifiable in their eyes.


Pre-Islamic Arabia

The
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula, (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") or Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa Africa is t ...
was, and still is, largely arid with volcanic soil, making agriculture difficult except near oases or springs. Towns and cities dotted the landscape, two of the most prominent being
Mecca Mecca (; officially Makkah al-Mukarramah, commonly shortened to Makkah ()) is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland from Jeddah on the Red ...

Mecca
and
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, , Turkish: Medine-i Münevvere) and also commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second-holiest city in Islam Islam (; ar, ...
. Medina was a large flourishing agricultural settlement, while Mecca was an important financial center for many surrounding tribes. Communal life was essential for survival in the
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to denudation. About one ...
conditions, supporting indigenous tribes against the harsh environment and lifestyle. Tribal affiliation, whether based on kinship or alliances, was an important source of social cohesion. Indigenous Arabs were either
nomad A nomad is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherers, Nomadic pastoralism, pastoral nomads (owning livestock), tinkers and Merchant, trader nomads. In t ...
ic or sedentary. Nomadic groups constantly traveled seeking water and pasture for their flocks, while the sedentary settled and focused on trade and agriculture. Nomadic survival also depended on raiding caravans or oases; nomads did not view this as a crime.Loyal Rue, ''Religion Is Not about God: How Spiritual Traditions Nurture Our Biological'', 2005, p. 224. In pre-Islamic Arabia, gods or goddesses were viewed as protectors of individual tribes, their spirits associated with sacred trees,
stones In geology Geology () is a branch of natural science concerned with Earth and other Astronomical object, astronomical objects, the features or rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over tim ...
, springs and wells. As well as being the site of an annual pilgrimage, the
Kaaba The Kaaba (, ), also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah ( ar, ٱلْكَعْبَة ٱلْمُشَرَّفَة, lit=Honored Ka'bah, links=no, translit=al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah), is a building at the c ...
shrine in Mecca housed 360 idols of tribal patron deities. Three goddesses were worshipped, in some places as daughters of Allah: Allāt, Manāt and al-'Uzzá. Monotheistic communities existed in Arabia, including Christians and
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
.
Hanif In Islam, a ( ar, حنيف, ḥanīf; plural: , ), meaning "renunciate", is someone who maintains the pure monotheism of the patriarch Abraham in Islam, Abraham. More specifically, in Islamic thought, renunciates were the people who, during the ...
s – native pre-Islamic Arabs who "professed a rigid monotheism" – are also sometimes listed alongside Jews and Christians in pre-Islamic Arabia, although scholars dispute their
historicity Historicity is the historical actuality of persons and events, meaning the quality of being part of history instead of being a historical myth, legend, or fiction. The historicity of a claim about the past is its factual status. Historicity denot ...
. According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad himself was a Hanif and one of the descendants of
Ishmael Ishmael ''Ismaḗl''; Classical/Qur'anic Arabic: إِسْمَٰعِيْل; Modern Standard Arabic: إِسْمَاعِيْل ''ʾIsmāʿīl''; la, Ismael was the first son of Abraham, the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions; and is cons ...
, son of
Abraham Abraham, ; ar, , , name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common Hebrews, Hebrew patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the Covenant (biblical), special ...
, although no known evidence exists for a historical Abraham or Ishmael, and the links are based solely on tradition instead of historical records. The second half of the sixth century was a period of political disorder in Arabia and communication routes were no longer secure. Religious divisions were an important cause of the crisis.
Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots ...
became the dominant religion in
Yemen Yemen (; ar, ٱلْيَمَن, al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen,, ) is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and borders Saudi Arabia to the Saudi Arabia–Yemen border, north and ...
while Christianity took root in the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Persis, Fars, ), sometimes called the ( ar, اَلْخَلِيْجُ ٱلْعَرَبِيُّ, Al-Khalīj al-ˁArabī), is a Mediterranean sea (oceanography), me ...
area. In line with broader trends of the ancient world, the region witnessed a decline in the practice of polytheistic cults and a growing interest in a more spiritual form of religion. While many were reluctant to convert to a foreign faith, those faiths provided intellectual and spiritual reference points. During the early years of Muhammad's life, the
Quraysh The Quraysh ( ar, قُرَيْشٌ) were a grouping of Arab clans that historically inhabited and controlled the city of Mecca and its Kaaba. The Islamic prophet Muhammad was born into the Banu Hashim, Hashim clan of the tribe. Despite this, ma ...
tribe to which he belonged became a dominant force in western Arabia. They formed the cult association of ''hums'', which tied members of many tribes in western Arabia to the
Kaaba The Kaaba (, ), also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah ( ar, ٱلْكَعْبَة ٱلْمُشَرَّفَة, lit=Honored Ka'bah, links=no, translit=al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah), is a building at the c ...
and reinforced the prestige of the Meccan sanctuary. To counter the effects of anarchy, Quraysh upheld the institution of sacred months during which all violence was forbidden, and it was possible to participate in pilgrimages and fairs without danger. Thus, although the association of ''hums'' was primarily religious, it also had important economic consequences for the city.


Life


Childhood and early life

Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib ibn HashimMuhammad
Encyclopedia Britannica An encyclopedia (American English) or encyclopædia (British English) is a reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either general or special to a particular field or discipline. Encyclopedias are divided into article ( ...
. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
was born in Mecca about the year 570 and his birthday is believed to be in the month of Rabi' al-awwal. He belonged to the
Banu Hashim ) , type = Quraysh, Qurayshi Arab clan , image = , alt = , caption = , nisba = al-Hashimi , location = Mecca, Hejaz Middle East, North Africa, Horn of Africa , descended = Hashim ibn Abd Manaf , parent_tribe ...
clan, part of the
Quraysh tribe The Quraysh ( ar, قُرَيْشٌ) were a grouping of Arab clans that historically inhabited and controlled the city of Mecca and its Kaaba. The Islamic prophet Muhammad was born into the Banu Hashim, Hashim clan of the tribe. Despite this, ma ...
, which was one of
Mecca Mecca (; officially Makkah al-Mukarramah, commonly shortened to Makkah ()) is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland from Jeddah on the Red ...

Mecca
's prominent families, although it appears less prosperous during Muhammad's early lifetime. Tradition places the year of Muhammad's birth as corresponding with the
Year of the Elephant The ʿām al-fīl ( ar, عام الفيل, Year of the Elephant) is the name in Islamic history for the year approximately equating to 570–571 CE. According to Islamic resources, it was in this year that Muhammad was born.Hajjah Adil, Amina, ...
, which is named after the failed destruction of Mecca that year by the
Abraha Abraha ( Ge’ez: አብርሃ) (also spelled Abreha, died after CE 570;Stuart Munro-Hay (2003) "Abraha" in Siegbert Uhlig (ed.) ''Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: A-C''. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. r. 525–at least 553S. C. Munro-Hay (1991) ''Aksum ...
, Yemen's king, who supplemented his army with elephants. Alternatively some 20th century scholars have suggested different years, such as 568 or 569.
Muhammad's father, Abdullah, died almost six months before he was born. According to Islamic tradition, soon after birth he was sent to live with a
Bedouin The Bedouin, Beduin, or Bedu (; , singular ) are nomadic Arabs, Arab tribes who have historically inhabited the desert regions in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, the Levant, and Mesopotamia. The Bedouin originated in the Syrian Desert ...
family in the desert, as desert life was considered healthier for infants; some western scholars reject this tradition's historicity. Muhammad stayed with his foster-mother, Halimah bint Abi Dhuayb, and her husband until he was two years old. At the age of six, Muhammad lost his biological mother
Amina Aminatu (also Amina; died 1610) was a Hausa people, Hausa Muslim historical figure in the Hausa Kingdoms, city-state Zazzau (now city of Zaria in Kaduna State), in what is now in the north-west region of Nigeria. She might have ruled in the mid- ...
to illness and became an orphan. For the next two years, until he was eight years old, Muhammad was under the guardianship of his paternal grandfather
Abd al-Muttalib Shayba ibn Hāshim ( ar, شَيْبَة بْن هَاشِم; 497–578), better known as ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib, ( ar, عَبْد ٱلْمُطَّلِب , lit=Servant of Al-Muttalib ibn Abd Manaf, Muttalib) was the fourth chief of the Quraysh tri ...
, of the Banu Hashim clan until his death. He then came under the care of his uncle Abu Talib, the new leader of the Banu Hashim. According to Islamic historian
William Montgomery Watt William Montgomery Watt (14 March 1909 – 24 October 2006) was a Scottish people, Scottish Oriental studies, Orientalist, historian, academic and Anglican ministry, Anglican priest. From 1964 to 1979, he was Professor of Arabic language, Arabic ...
there was a general disregard by guardians in taking care of weaker members of the tribes in Mecca during the 6th century, "Muhammad's guardians saw that he did not starve to death, but it was hard for them to do more for him, especially as the fortunes of the clan of Hashim seem to have been declining at that time." In his teens, Muhammad accompanied his uncle on Syrian trading journeys to gain experience in commercial trade. Islamic tradition states that when Muhammad was either nine or twelve while accompanying the Meccans' caravan to Syria, he met a Christian monk or hermit named Bahira who is said to have foreseen Muhammad's career as a prophet of God. Little is known of Muhammad during his later youth as available information is fragmented, making it difficult to separate history from legend. It is known that he became a merchant and "was involved in trade between the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or ~19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to the west and Australia (continent), Australia to the east. To the so ...
and the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the e ...
."''Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History'' (2005), v. 3, p. 1025. Due to his upright character he acquired the nickname "
al-Amin Abu Musa Muhammad ibn Harun al-Rashid ( ar, أبو موسى محمد بن هارون الرشيد, Abū Mūsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn al-Rashīd; April 787 – 24/25 September 813), better known by his laqab of Al-Amin ( ar, الأمين, al-Amī ...
" (Arabic: الامين), meaning "faithful, trustworthy" and "al-Sadiq" meaning "truthful" and was sought out as an impartial arbitrator. His reputation attracted a proposal in 595 from Khadijah, a successful businesswoman. Muhammad consented to the marriage, which by all accounts was a happy one. Several years later, according to a narration collected by historian
Ibn Ishaq Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (; according to some sources, ibn Khabbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān, ar, محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار, or simply ibn Isḥaq, , meaning "the son of Isaac"; died 767) was an 8 ...
, Muhammad was involved with a well-known story about setting the
Black Stone The Black Stone ( ar, ٱلْحَجَرُ ٱلْأَسْوَد, ', 'Black Stone') is a rock set into the eastern corner of the Kaaba The Kaaba (, ), also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah ( ar, ...
in place in the wall of the Kaaba in 605 CE. The Black Stone, a sacred object, was removed during renovations to the Kaaba. The Meccan leaders could not agree which clan should return the Black Stone to its place. They decided to ask the next man who came through the gate to make that decision; that man was the 35-year-old Muhammad. This event happened five years before the first revelation by Gabriel to him. He asked for a cloth and laid the Black Stone in its center. The clan leaders held the corners of the cloth and together carried the Black Stone to the right spot, then Muhammad laid the stone, satisfying the honor of all.


Beginnings of the Quran

Muhammad began to pray alone in a cave named Hira on Mount Jabal al-Nour, near Mecca for several weeks every year. Islamic tradition holds that during one of his visits to that cave, in the year 610 the angel
Gabriel In Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), Gabriel (); Greek language, Greek: grc, Γαβριήλ, translit=Gabriḗl, label=none; Latin language, Latin: ''Gabriel''; Coptic language, Coptic: cop, Ⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗ, transli ...
appeared to him and commanded Muhammad to recite verses that would be included in the Quran. Consensus exists that the first Quranic words revealed were the beginning of Quran 96:1. Muhammad was deeply distressed upon receiving his first revelations. After returning home, Muhammad was consoled and reassured by Khadijah and her Christian cousin, Waraqah ibn Nawfal.Esposito (2010), p. 8. He also feared that others would dismiss his claims as being possessed. Shi'a tradition states Muhammad was not surprised or frightened at Gabriel's appearance; rather he welcomed the angel, as if he was expected. The initial revelation was followed by a three-year pause (a period known as ''fatra'') during which Muhammad felt depressed and further gave himself to prayers and
spiritual practice A spiritual practice or spiritual discipline (often including spiritual exercises) is the regular or full-time performance of actions and activities undertaken for the purpose of inducing spiritual experiences and cultivating spiritual developm ...
s. When the revelations resumed he was reassured and commanded to begin preaching: "Thy Guardian-Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased."
Sahih Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari ( ar, صحيح البخاري, translit=Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī), group=note is a ''hadith'' collection and a book of ''sunnah'' compiled by the Persian scholar Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl al-Bukhārī (810–870) around 846. Alo ...
narrates Muhammad describing his revelations as "sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell".
Aisha Aisha ( ar, , translit=ʿĀʾisha bint Abī Bakr; , also , ; ) was Muhammad's third and youngest wife. In Islamic writings, her name is thus often prefixed by the title "Mother of the Believers" ( ar, links=no, , ʾumm al- muʾminīn), refer ...
reported, "I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over)". According to Welch these descriptions may be considered genuine, since they are unlikely to have been forged by later Muslims. Muhammad was confident that he could distinguish his own thoughts from these messages. According to the Quran, one of the main roles of Muhammad is to warn the unbelievers of their
eschatological Eschatology (; ) concerns expectations of the end of the Contemporary era, present age, human history, or of the world itself. The end of the world or end times is predicted by several world religions (both Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic and ...
punishment ( Quran 38:70, Quran 6:19). Occasionally the Quran did not explicitly refer to Judgment day but provided examples from the history of extinct communities and warns Muhammad's contemporaries of similar calamities.Uri Rubin, ''Muhammad'', Encyclopedia of the Qur'an. Muhammad did not only warn those who rejected God's revelation, but also dispensed good news for those who abandoned evil, listening to the divine words and serving God. Muhammad's mission also involves preaching monotheism: The Quran commands Muhammad to proclaim and praise the name of his Lord and instructs him not to worship idols or associate other deities with God. The key themes of the early Quranic verses included the responsibility of man towards his creator; the resurrection of the dead, God's final judgment followed by vivid descriptions of the tortures in Hell and pleasures in Paradise, and the signs of God in all aspects of life. Religious duties required of the believers at this time were few: belief in God, asking for forgiveness of sins, offering frequent prayers, assisting others particularly those in need, rejecting cheating and the love of wealth (considered to be significant in the commercial life of Mecca), being chaste and not committing
female Female (Venus symbol, symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism that produces the large non-motile ovum, ova (egg cells), the type of gamete (sex cell) that fuses with the Sperm, male gamete during sexual reproduction. A female has larger gamet ...
infanticide Infanticide (or infant homicide) is the intentional killing of infants or offspring. Infanticide was a widespread practice throughout human history that was mainly used to dispose of unwanted children, its main purpose is the prevention of resou ...
.


Opposition

According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad's wife
Khadija Khadija, Khadeeja or Khadijah ( ar, خديجة, Khadīja) is an Arabic feminine given name, the name of Khadija bint Khuwaylid, first wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. In 1995, it was one of the three most popular Arabic feminine names in th ...
was the first to believe he was a prophet. She was followed by Muhammad's ten-year-old cousin
Ali ibn Abi Talib ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib ( ar, عَلِيّ بْن أَبِي طَالِب; 600 – 661 common era, CE) was the last of four Rashidun, Rightly Guided Caliphs to rule Islam (r. 656 – 661) immediately after the death of Muhammad, and he was ...
, close friend
Abu Bakr Abu Bakr Abdallah ibn Uthman Abi Quhafa (; – 23 August 634) was the senior Companions of the Prophet, companion and was, through his daughter Aisha, a father-in-law of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Isla ...
, and adopted son Zaid. Around 613, Muhammad began to preach to the public. Most Meccans ignored and mocked him, though a few became his followers. There were three main groups of early converts to Islam: younger brothers and sons of great merchants; people who had fallen out of the first rank in their tribe or failed to attain it; and the weak, mostly unprotected foreigners.Watt, ''The Cambridge History of Islam'' (1977), p. 36. According to Ibn Saad, opposition in Mecca started when Muhammad delivered verses that condemned idol worship and the polytheism practiced by the Meccan forefathers. However, the Quranic exegesis maintains that it began as Muhammad started public preaching.Uri Rubin'', Quraysh'', Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an. As his followers increased, Muhammad became a threat to the local tribes and rulers of the city, whose wealth rested upon the Kaaba, the focal point of Meccan religious life that Muhammad threatened to overthrow. Muhammad's denunciation of the Meccan traditional religion was especially offensive to his own tribe, the
Quraysh The Quraysh ( ar, قُرَيْشٌ) were a grouping of Arab clans that historically inhabited and controlled the city of Mecca and its Kaaba. The Islamic prophet Muhammad was born into the Banu Hashim, Hashim clan of the tribe. Despite this, ma ...
, as they were the guardians of the Kaaba. Powerful merchants attempted to convince Muhammad to abandon his preaching; he was offered admission to the inner circle of merchants, as well as an advantageous marriage. He refused both of these offers. Tradition records at great length the persecution and ill-treatment towards Muhammad and his followers. Sumayyah bint Khayyat, a slave of a prominent Meccan leader Abu Jahl, is famous as the first martyr of Islam; killed with a spear by her master when she refused to give up her faith.
Bilal __NOTOC__ Bilal may refer to: People * Bilal (name) (a list of people with the name) * Bilal ibn Rabah, a companion of Muhammad * Bilal (American singer) * Bilal (Lebanese singer) Places * Bilal Colony, a neighbourhood of Korangi Town in Kara ...
, another Muslim slave, was tortured by Umayyah ibn Khalaf who placed a heavy rock on his chest to force his conversion. In 615, some of Muhammad's followers
emigrated Emigration is the act of leaving a resident country or place of residence with the intent to settle elsewhere (to permanently leave a country). Conversely, immigration Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination ...
to the Ethiopian
Kingdom of Aksum The Kingdom of Aksum ( gez, መንግሥተ አክሱም, ), also known as the Kingdom of Axum or the Aksumite Empire, was a kingdom centered in Northeast Africa and South Arabia from Classical antiquity to the Ethiopia in the Middle Ages, Middle ...
and founded a small colony under the protection of the Christian Ethiopian emperor Aṣḥama ibn Abjar. Ibn Sa'ad mentions two separate migrations. According to him, most of the Muslims returned to Mecca prior to Hijra, while a second group rejoined them in Medina.
Ibn Hisham Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Hishām ibn Ayyūb al-Ḥimyarī al-Muʿāfirī al-Baṣrī ( ar, أبو محمد عبدالملك بن هشام ابن أيوب الحميري المعافري البصري; died 7 May 833), or Ibn Hisham, e ...
and
Tabari ( ar, أبو جعفر محمد بن جرير بن يزيد الطبري), more commonly known as al-Ṭabarī (), was a Muslim historian and scholar from Amol, Tabaristan. Among the most prominent figures of the Islamic Golden Age, al-Tabari i ...
, however, only talk about one migration to Ethiopia. These accounts agree that Meccan persecution played a major role in Muhammad's decision to suggest that a number of his followers seek refuge among the Christians in Abyssinia. According to the famous letter of ʿUrwa preserved in al-Tabari, the majority of Muslims returned to their native town as Islam gained strength and as high ranking Meccans, such as
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب, also spelled Omar, ) was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, ruling from August 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr () as the second caliph of the Rashidun C ...
and
Hamzah Hamza ( ar, همزة ') () is a letter in the Arabic alphabet, representing the glottal stop . Hamza is not one of the 28 "full" letters and owes its existence to historical inconsistencies in the orthography, standard writing system. It is de ...
, converted. However, there is a completely different story on the reason why the Muslims returned from Ethiopia to Mecca. According to this account—initially mentioned by
Al-Waqidi Abu `Abdullah Muhammad Ibn ‘Omar Ibn Waqid al-Aslami (Arabic language, Arabic ) (c. 130 – 207 Islamic calendar, AH; c. 747 – 823 Anno Domini, AD) was a historian commonly referred to as al-Waqidi (Arabic: ). His surname is derived from his ...
then rehashed by Ibn Sa'ad and
Tabari ( ar, أبو جعفر محمد بن جرير بن يزيد الطبري), more commonly known as al-Ṭabarī (), was a Muslim historian and scholar from Amol, Tabaristan. Among the most prominent figures of the Islamic Golden Age, al-Tabari i ...
, but not by
Ibn Hisham Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Hishām ibn Ayyūb al-Ḥimyarī al-Muʿāfirī al-Baṣrī ( ar, أبو محمد عبدالملك بن هشام ابن أيوب الحميري المعافري البصري; died 7 May 833), or Ibn Hisham, e ...
and not by
Ibn Ishaq Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (; according to some sources, ibn Khabbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān, ar, محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار, or simply ibn Isḥaq, , meaning "the son of Isaac"; died 767) was an 8 ...
. Muhammad, desperately hoping for an accommodation with his tribe, pronounced a verse acknowledging the existence of three Meccan goddesses considered to be the daughters of Allah. Muhammad retracted the verses the next day at the behest of Gabriel, claiming that the verses were whispered by the devil himself. Instead, a ridicule of these gods was offered. This episode, known as "The Story of the Cranes," is also known as " Satanic Verses". According to the story, this led to a general reconciliation between Muhammad and the Meccans, and the Abyssinia Muslims began to return home. When they arrived Gabriel had informed Muhammad that the two verses were not part of the revelation, but had been inserted by Satan. Notable scholars at the time argued against the historic authenticity of these verses and the story itself on various grounds. Al-Waqidi was severely criticized by Islamic scholars such as
Malik ibn Anas Malik ibn Anas ( ar, مَالِك بن أَنَس, ‎ 711–795 CE / 93–179 Islamic calendar, AH), whose full name is Mālik bin Anas bin Mālik bin Abī ʿĀmir bin ʿAmr bin Al-Ḥārith bin Ghaymān bin Khuthayn bin ʿAmr bin Al-Ḥārit ...
,
al-Shafi'i Abū ʿAbdillāh Muḥammad ibn Idrīs al-Shāfiʿī ( ar, أَبُو عَبْدِ ٱللهِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِدْرِيسَ ٱلشَّافِعِيُّ, 767–19 January 820 CE) was an Arab Muslim Muslims ( ar, المس ...
,
Ahmad ibn Hanbal Ahmad ibn Hanbal al-Dhuhli ( ar, أَحْمَد بْن حَنْبَل الذهلي, translit=Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal al-Dhuhlī; November 780 – 2 August 855 CE/164–241 AH), was a Muslim jurist, theologian, ascetic, hadith traditionist, an ...
,
Al-Nasa'i Al-Nasāʾī (214 – 303 Islamic calendar, AH; 829 – 915 CE), full name Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Aḥmad ibn Shuʿayb ibn ʿAlī ibn Sīnān al-Nasāʾī, (variant: Abu Abdel-rahman Ahmed ibn Shua'ib ibn Ali ibn Sinan ibn Bahr ibn D ...
, al-Bukhari,
Abu Dawood Abū Dāwūd (Dā’ūd) Sulaymān ibn al-Ash‘ath ibn Isḥāq al-Azdī al-Sijistānī ( ar, أبو داود سليمان بن الأشعث الأزدي السجستاني), commonly known simply as Abū Dāwūd al-Sijistānī, was a scholar o ...
,
Al-Nawawi Abū Zakariyyā Yaḥyā ibn Sharaf al-Nawawī ( ar, أبو زكريا يحيى بن شرف النووي;‎ (631A.H-676A.H) (October 1230–21 December 1277), popularly known as al-Nawawī or Imam Nawawī, was a Sunni Sunni Islam () ...
and others as a liar and forger. Later, the incident received some acceptance among certain groups, though strong objections to it continued onwards past the tenth century. The objections continued until rejection of these verses and the story itself eventually became the only acceptable orthodox Muslim position. In 616 (or 617), the leaders of Makhzum and
Banu Abd-Shams Banu Abd Shams () refers to a clan within the Mecca Mecca (; officially Makkah al-Mukarramah, commonly shortened to Makkah ()) is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holie ...
, two important Quraysh clans, declared a public boycott against Banu Hashim, their commercial rival, to pressure it into withdrawing its protection of Muhammad. The boycott lasted three years but eventually collapsed as it failed in its objective. During this time, Muhammad was able to preach only during the holy pilgrimage months in which all hostilities between Arabs were suspended.


Isra and Mi'raj

Islamic tradition states that in 620, Muhammad experienced the ''
Isra and Mi'raj The Israʾ and Miʿraj ( ar, الإسراء والمعراج, ') are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around ...
'', a miraculous night-long journey said to have occurred with the angel
Gabriel In Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), Gabriel (); Greek language, Greek: grc, Γαβριήλ, translit=Gabriḗl, label=none; Latin language, Latin: ''Gabriel''; Coptic language, Coptic: cop, Ⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗ, transli ...
. At the journey's beginning, the ''Isra'', he is said to have traveled from
Mecca Mecca (; officially Makkah al-Mukarramah, commonly shortened to Makkah ()) is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland from Jeddah on the Red ...

Mecca
on a winged steed to "the farthest mosque." Later, during the ''Mi'raj'', Muhammad is said to have toured
heaven Heaven or the heavens, is a common Religious cosmology, religious cosmological or transcendence (religion), transcendent supernatural place where beings such as deity, deities, angels, souls, saints, or Veneration of the dead, venerated ancest ...
and
hell In religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or religious organization, organizations, that ...
, and spoke with earlier prophets, such as
Abraham Abraham, ; ar, , , name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common Hebrews, Hebrew patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the Covenant (biblical), special ...
,
Moses Moses hbo, מֹשֶׁה, Mōše; also known as Moshe or Moshe Rabbeinu (Mishnaic Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ, ); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, Mūše; ar, موسى, Mūsā; grc, Mωϋσῆς, Mōÿsēs () is considered the most important Prop ...
, and
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
.
Ibn Ishaq Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (; according to some sources, ibn Khabbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān, ar, محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار, or simply ibn Isḥaq, , meaning "the son of Isaac"; died 767) was an 8 ...
, author of the first biography of Muhammad, presents the event as a spiritual experience; later historians, such as
Al-Tabari ( ar, أبو جعفر محمد بن جرير بن يزيد الطبري), more commonly known as al-Ṭabarī (), was a Muslim historian and scholar from Amol, Tabaristan. Among the most prominent figures of the Islamic Golden Age, al-Tabari i ...
and
Ibn Kathir Abū al-Fiḍā’ ‘Imād ad-Dīn Ismā‘īl ibn ‘Umar ibn Kathīr al-Qurashī al-Damishqī (Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an interna ...
, present it as a physical journey. Some western scholars hold that the Isra and Mi'raj journey traveled through the heavens from the sacred enclosure at Mecca to the celestial ''al-Baytu l-Maʿmur'' (heavenly prototype of the Kaaba); later traditions indicate Muhammad's journey as having been from Mecca to Jerusalem.


Last years before Hijra

Muhammad's wife Khadijah and uncle Abu Talib both died in 619, the year thus being known as the " Year of Sorrow". With the death of Abu Talib, leadership of the Banu Hashim clan passed to Abu Lahab, a tenacious enemy of Muhammad. Soon afterward, Abu Lahab withdrew the clan's protection over Muhammad. This placed Muhammad in danger; the withdrawal of clan protection implied that blood revenge for his killing would not be exacted. Muhammad then visited Ta'if, another important city in Arabia, and tried to find a protector, but his effort failed and further brought him into physical danger. Muhammad was forced to return to Mecca. A Meccan man named Mut'im ibn Adi (and the protection of the tribe of Banu Nawfal) made it possible for him to safely re-enter his native city. Many people visited Mecca on business or as pilgrims to the
Kaaba The Kaaba (, ), also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah ( ar, ٱلْكَعْبَة ٱلْمُشَرَّفَة, lit=Honored Ka'bah, links=no, translit=al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah), is a building at the c ...
. Muhammad took this opportunity to look for a new home for himself and his followers. After several unsuccessful negotiations, he found hope with some men from Yathrib (later called Medina). The Arab population of Yathrib were familiar with monotheism and were prepared for the appearance of a prophet because a Jewish community existed there. They also hoped, by the means of Muhammad and the new faith, to gain supremacy over Mecca; the Yathrib were jealous of its importance as the place of pilgrimage. Converts to Islam came from nearly all Arab tribes in Medina; by June of the subsequent year, seventy-five Muslims came to Mecca for pilgrimage and to meet Muhammad. Meeting him secretly by night, the group made what is known as the "'' Second Pledge of al-'Aqaba''", or, in Orientalists' view, the "''Pledge of War''". Following the pledges at Aqabah, Muhammad encouraged his followers to
emigrate Emigration is the act of leaving a resident country or place of residence with the intent to settle elsewhere (to permanently leave a country). Conversely, immigration Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination ...
to
Yathrib Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, , Turkish: Medine-i Münevvere) and also commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the Holiest sites in Islam, second-holiest city in Islam, ...
. As with the
migration to Abyssinia The migration to Abyssinia ( ar, الهجرة إلى الحبشة, translit=al-hijra ʾilā al-habaša), also known as the First Hijra ( ar, الهجرة الأولى, translit=al-hijrat al'uwlaa, label=none), was an episode in the early histor ...
, the Quraysh attempted to stop the emigration. However, almost all Muslims managed to leave.


Hijra

The Hijra is the migration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. In June 622, warned of a plot to assassinate him, Muhammad secretly slipped out of Mecca and moved his followers to Medina, Muhammad Mustafa Al-A'zami (2003), ''The History of The Qur'anic Text: From Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments'', pp. 30–31. UK Islamic Academy. . north of Mecca. Muhammad Mustafa Al-A'zami (2003), ''The History of The Qur'anic Text: From Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments'', p. 29. UK Islamic Academy. .


Migration to Medina

A delegation, consisting of the representatives of the twelve important clans of Medina, invited Muhammad to serve as chief arbitrator for the entire community; due to his status as a neutral outsider. There was fighting in Yathrib: primarily the dispute involved its Arab and Jewish inhabitants, and was estimated to have lasted for around a hundred years before 620. The recurring slaughters and disagreements over the resulting claims, especially after the Battle of Bu'ath in which all clans were involved, made it obvious to them that the tribal concept of blood-feud and
an eye for an eye "An eye for an eye" ( hbo, עַיִן תַּחַת עַיִן, ) is a commandment found in the Book of Exodus 21:23–27 expressing the principle of reciprocal justice measure for measure. The principle exists also in Babylonian law. In Roman c ...
were no longer workable unless there was one man with authority to adjudicate in disputed cases.Watt, ''The Cambridge History of Islam'', p. 39. The delegation from Medina pledged themselves and their fellow-citizens to accept Muhammad into their community and physically protect him as one of themselves. Muhammad instructed his followers to emigrate to Medina, until nearly all his followers left Mecca. Being alarmed at the departure, according to tradition, the Meccans plotted to assassinate Muhammad. With the help of Ali, Muhammad fooled the Meccans watching him, and secretly slipped away from the town with Abu Bakr. By 622, Muhammad emigrated to Medina, a large agricultural
oasis In ecology, an oasis (; ) is a fertile area of a desert or semi-desert environment'ksar''with its surrounding feeding source, the palm grove, within a relational and circulatory nomadic system.” The location of oases has been of critical im ...
. Those who migrated from Mecca along with Muhammad became known as ''
muhajirun The ''Muhajirun'' ( ar, المهاجرون, al-muhājirūn, singular , ) were the first converts to Islam and the Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad's advisors and relatives, who emigrated with him from Mecca to Medina, the event known in ...
'' (emigrants).


Establishment of a new polity

Among the first things Muhammad did to ease the longstanding grievances among the tribes of Medina was to draft a document known as the
Constitution of Medina The Constitution of Medina (, ''Dustūr al-Madīna''), also known as the Charter of Medina ( ar, صحيفة المدينة, ''Ṣaḥīfat al-Madīnah''; or: , ''Mīthāq al-Madina'' "Covenant of Medina"), is the modern name given to a document be ...
, "establishing a kind of alliance or federation" among the eight Medinan tribes and Muslim emigrants from Mecca; this specified rights and duties of all citizens, and the relationship of the different communities in Medina (including the Muslim community to other communities, specifically the Jews and other "
Peoples of the Book People of the Book or Ahl al-kitāb ( ar, أهل الكتاب) is an Islamic term referring to those religions which Muslims regard as having been guided by previous revelations, generally in the form of a scripture. In the Quran they are ident ...
"). The community defined in the Constitution of Medina, ''
Ummah ' (; ar, أمة ) is an Arabic word meaning "community". It is distinguished from ' ( ), which means a nation with common ancestry or geography. Thus, it can be said to be a supra-national community with a common history. It is a synonym for ' ...
'', had a religious outlook, also shaped by practical considerations and substantially preserved the legal forms of the old Arab tribes. The first group of converts to Islam in Medina were the clans without great leaders; these clans had been subjugated by hostile leaders from outside. This was followed by the general acceptance of Islam by the
pagan Paganism (from classical Latin ''pāgānus'' "rural", "rustic", later "civilian") is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christianity, early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism, or ethnic religions ot ...
population of Medina, with some exceptions. According to
Ibn Ishaq Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (; according to some sources, ibn Khabbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān, ar, محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار, or simply ibn Isḥaq, , meaning "the son of Isaac"; died 767) was an 8 ...
, this was influenced by the conversion of Sa'd ibn Mu'adh (a prominent Medinan leader) to Islam. Medinans who converted to Islam and helped the Muslim emigrants find shelter became known as the '' ansar'' (supporters). Then Muhammad instituted brotherhood between the emigrants and the supporters and he chose Ali as his own brother.


Beginning of armed conflict

Following the emigration, the people of Mecca seized property of Muslim emigrants to Medina. War would later break out between the people of Mecca and the Muslims. Muhammad delivered
Quran The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...

Quran
ic verses permitting Muslims to fight the Meccans. According to the traditional account, on 11 February 624, while praying in the Masjid al-Qiblatayn in Medina, Muhammad received revelations from God that he should be facing Mecca rather than Jerusalem during prayer. Muhammad adjusted to the new direction, and his companions praying with him followed his lead, beginning the tradition of facing Mecca during prayer. Muhammad ordered a number of raids to capture Meccan caravans, but only the 8th of them, the Raid of Nakhla, resulted in actual fighting and capture of booty and prisoners. In March 624, Muhammad led some three hundred warriors in a raid on a Meccan merchant caravan. The Muslims set an ambush for the caravan at Badr. Aware of the plan, the Meccan caravan eluded the Muslims. A Meccan force was sent to protect the caravan and went on to confront the Muslims upon receiving word that the caravan was safe. The
Battle of Badr The Battle of Badr ( ar, غَزْوَةُ بَدِرْ ), also referred to as The Day of the Criterion (, ) in the Quran, Qur'an and by Muslims, was fought on 13 March 624 CE (17 Ramadan (calendar month), Ramadan, 2 Anno Hegirae, AH), near the ...
commenced. Though outnumbered more than three to one, the Muslims won the battle, killing at least forty-five Meccans with fourteen Muslims dead. They also succeeded in killing many Meccan leaders, including Abu Jahl. Seventy prisoners had been acquired, many of whom were ransomed.Lewis (2002), p. 41.Rodinson (2002), pp. 168–69. Muhammad and his followers saw the victory as confirmation of their faith and Muhammad ascribed the victory to the assistance of an invisible host of angels. The Quranic verses of this period, unlike the Meccan verses, dealt with practical problems of government and issues like the distribution of spoils. The victory strengthened Muhammad's position in Medina and dispelled earlier doubts among his followers. As a result, the opposition to him became less vocal. Pagans who had not yet converted were very bitter about the advance of Islam. Two pagans, Asma bint Marwan of the Aws Manat tribe and Abu 'Afak of the 'Amr b. 'Awf tribe, had composed verses taunting and insulting the Muslims. They were killed by people belonging to their own or related clans, and Muhammad did not disapprove of the killings. This report, however, is considered by some to be a fabrication. Most members of those tribes converted to Islam, and little pagan opposition remained. Muhammad expelled from Medina the
Banu Qaynuqa The Banu Qaynuqa ( ar, بنو قينقاع; he, בני קינוקאע; also spelled Banu Kainuka, Banu Kaynuka, Banu Qainuqa, Banu Qaynuqa) was one of the three main Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an eth ...
, one of three main Jewish tribes, but some historians contend that the expulsion happened after Muhammad's death. According to
al-Waqidi Abu `Abdullah Muhammad Ibn ‘Omar Ibn Waqid al-Aslami (Arabic language, Arabic ) (c. 130 – 207 Islamic calendar, AH; c. 747 – 823 Anno Domini, AD) was a historian commonly referred to as al-Waqidi (Arabic: ). His surname is derived from his ...
, after Abd-Allah ibn Ubaiy spoke for them, Muhammad refrained from executing them and commanded that they be exiled from Medina. Following the Battle of Badr, Muhammad also made mutual-aid alliances with a number of Bedouin tribes to protect his community from attacks from the northern part of
Hejaz The Hejaz (, also ; ar, ٱلْحِجَاز, al-Ḥijāz, lit=the Barrier, ) is a region in the west of Saudi Arabia. It includes the cities of Mecca, Medina, Jeddah, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, Tabuk, Yanbu, Taif, and Baljurashi. It is also known as ...
.


Conflict with Mecca

The Meccans were eager to avenge their defeat. To maintain economic prosperity, the Meccans needed to restore their prestige, which had been reduced at Badr. In the ensuing months, the Meccans sent ambush parties to Medina while Muhammad led expeditions against tribes allied with Mecca and sent raiders onto a Meccan caravan.
Abu Sufyan Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayya ibn Abd Shams ( ar, صخر بن حرب بن أمية بن عبد شمس, Ṣakhr ibn Ḥarb ibn Umayya ibn ʿAbd Shams; ), better known by his ''Kunya (Arabic), kunya'' Abu Sufyan ( ar, أبو سفيان, Abū Sufyān), ...
gathered an army of 3000 men and set out for an attack on Medina.Lewis (1960), p. 45. A scout alerted Muhammad of the Meccan army's presence and numbers a day later. The next morning, at the Muslim conference of war, a dispute arose over how best to repel the Meccans. Muhammad and many senior figures suggested it would be safer to fight within Medina and take advantage of the heavily fortified strongholds. Younger Muslims argued that the Meccans were destroying crops, and huddling in the strongholds would destroy Muslim prestige. Muhammad eventually conceded to the younger Muslims and readied the Muslim force for battle. Muhammad led his force outside to the mountain of Uhud (the location of the Meccan camp) and fought the
Battle of Uhud The Battle of Uhud ( ar, غَزْوَة أُحُد, ) was fought on Saturday, 23 March 625 AD (7 Shawwal, 3 AH), in the valley north of Mount Uhud.Watt (1974) p. 136. The Qurayshi Meccans, led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayya ...
on 23 March 625. Although the Muslim army had the advantage in early encounters, lack of discipline on the part of strategically placed archers led to a Muslim defeat; 75 Muslims were killed, including
Hamza Hamza ( ar, همزة ') () is a letter in the Arabic alphabet, representing the glottal stop . Hamza is not one of the 28 "full" letters and owes its existence to historical inconsistencies in the orthography, standard writing system. It is de ...
, Muhammad's uncle who became one of the best known martyrs in the Muslim tradition. The Meccans did not pursue the Muslims; instead, they marched back to Mecca declaring victory. The announcement is probably because Muhammad was wounded and thought dead. When they discovered that Muhammad lived, the Meccans did not return due to false information about new forces coming to his aid. The attack had failed to achieve their aim of completely destroying the Muslims. The Muslims buried the dead and returned to Medina that evening. Questions accumulated about the reasons for the loss; Muhammad delivered Quranic verses 3:152 indicating that the defeat was twofold: partly a punishment for disobedience, partly a test for steadfastness. Abu Sufyan directed his effort towards another attack on Medina. He gained support from the nomadic tribes to the north and east of Medina; using propaganda about Muhammad's weakness, promises of booty, memories of Quraysh prestige and through bribery. Muhammad's new policy was to prevent alliances against him. Whenever alliances against Medina were formed, he sent out expeditions to break them up. Muhammad heard of men massing with hostile intentions against Medina, and reacted in a severe manner. One example is the assassination of Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf, a chieftain of the Jewish tribe of
Banu Nadir The Banu Nadir ( ar, بَنُو ٱلنَّضِير, he, בני נצ'יר) were a Jewish Arab tribe which lived in northern Arabia at the oasis of Medina until the 7th century. The tribe refused to convert to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘال ...
. Al-Ashraf went to Mecca and wrote poems that roused the Meccans' grief, anger and desire for revenge after the Battle of Badr. Around a year later, Muhammad expelled the Banu Nadir from Medina forcing their emigration to Syria; he allowed them to take some possessions, as he was unable to subdue the Banu Nadir in their strongholds. The rest of their property was claimed by Muhammad in the name of God as it was not gained with bloodshed. Muhammad surprised various Arab tribes, individually, with overwhelming force, causing his enemies to unite to annihilate him. Muhammad's attempts to prevent a confederation against him were unsuccessful, though he was able to increase his own forces and stopped many potential tribes from joining his enemies.


Battle of the Trench

With the help of the exiled
Banu Nadir The Banu Nadir ( ar, بَنُو ٱلنَّضِير, he, בני נצ'יר) were a Jewish Arab tribe which lived in northern Arabia at the oasis of Medina until the 7th century. The tribe refused to convert to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘال ...
, the Quraysh military leader
Abu Sufyan Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayya ibn Abd Shams ( ar, صخر بن حرب بن أمية بن عبد شمس, Ṣakhr ibn Ḥarb ibn Umayya ibn ʿAbd Shams; ), better known by his ''Kunya (Arabic), kunya'' Abu Sufyan ( ar, أبو سفيان, Abū Sufyān), ...
mustered a force of 10,000 men. Muhammad prepared a force of about 3,000 men and adopted a form of defense unknown in Arabia at that time; the Muslims dug a trench wherever Medina lay open to cavalry attack. The idea is credited to a Persian convert to Islam,
Salman the Persian Salman the Persian or Salmān al-Fārsī ( ar, سَلْمَان ٱلْفَارِسِيّ), born Rūzbeh Khoshnūdān ( fa, ), was a Persians, Persian companion (Sahaba) of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, ...
. The siege of Medina began on 31 March 627 and lasted two weeks. Abu Sufyan's troops were unprepared for the fortifications, and after an ineffectual siege, the coalition decided to return home. The Quran discusses this battle in sura Al-Ahzab, in verses 33:9–27. During the battle, the Jewish tribe of
Banu Qurayza The Banu Qurayza ( ar, بنو قريظة, he, בני קוריט'ה; alternate spellings include Quraiza, Qurayzah, Quraytha, and the archaic Koreiza) were a Jewish tribe which lived in northern Arabia, at the oasis of Yathrib (now known as M ...
, located to the south of Medina, entered into negotiations with Meccan forces to revolt against Muhammad. Although the Meccan forces were swayed by suggestions that Muhammad was sure to be overwhelmed, they desired reassurance in case the confederacy was unable to destroy him. No agreement was reached after prolonged negotiations, partly due to sabotage attempts by Muhammad's scouts. After the coalition's retreat, the Muslims accused the Banu Qurayza of treachery and besieged them in their forts for 25 days. The Banu Qurayza eventually surrendered; according to
Ibn Ishaq Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (; according to some sources, ibn Khabbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān, ar, محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار, or simply ibn Isḥaq, , meaning "the son of Isaac"; died 767) was an 8 ...
, all the men apart from a few converts to Islam were beheaded, while the women and children were enslaved. Walid N. Arafat and Barakat Ahmad have disputed the accuracy of Ibn Ishaq's narrative.Meri, ''Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia'', p. 754. Arafat believes that Ibn Ishaq's Jewish sources, speaking over 100 years after the event, conflated this account with memories of earlier massacres in Jewish history; he notes that Ibn Ishaq was considered an unreliable historian by his contemporary
Malik ibn Anas Malik ibn Anas ( ar, مَالِك بن أَنَس, ‎ 711–795 CE / 93–179 Islamic calendar, AH), whose full name is Mālik bin Anas bin Mālik bin Abī ʿĀmir bin ʿAmr bin Al-Ḥārith bin Ghaymān bin Khuthayn bin ʿAmr bin Al-Ḥārit ...
, and a transmitter of "odd tales" by the later Ibn Hajar. Ahmad argues that only some of the tribe were killed, while some of the fighters were merely enslaved.Ahmad, pp. 85–94. Watt finds Arafat's arguments "not entirely convincing", while Meir J. Kister has contradicted the arguments of Arafat and Ahmad. In the siege of Medina, the Meccans exerted the available strength to destroy the Muslim community. The failure resulted in a significant loss of prestige; their trade with Syria vanished. Following the Battle of the Trench, Muhammad made two expeditions to the north, both ended without any fighting. While returning from one of these journeys (or some years earlier according to other early accounts), an accusation of adultery was made against
Aisha Aisha ( ar, , translit=ʿĀʾisha bint Abī Bakr; , also , ; ) was Muhammad's third and youngest wife. In Islamic writings, her name is thus often prefixed by the title "Mother of the Believers" ( ar, links=no, , ʾumm al- muʾminīn), refer ...
, Muhammad's wife. Aisha was exonerated from accusations when Muhammad announced he had received a revelation confirming Aisha's innocence and directing that charges of adultery be supported by four eyewitnesses (sura 24,
An-Nur Light ( ar, النور, ; The Light) is the List of chapters in the Quran, 24th chapter of the Quran with 64 verse (poetry), verses. The surah takes its name, An Nur, from verse 35. Summary *1 This Surah, chapter Revelation in Islam, reveale ...
).


Truce of Hudaybiyyah

Although Muhammad had delivered Quranic verses commanding the
Hajj The Hajj (; ar, حَجّ '; sometimes also spelled Hadj, Hadji or Haj in English) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a Fard, mandatory religious duty for Mu ...
, the Muslims had not performed it due to Quraysh enmity. In the month of Shawwal 628, Muhammad ordered his followers to obtain sacrificial animals and to prepare for a pilgrimage (''
umrah The ʿUmrah ( ar, عُمْرَة, lit=to visit a populated place) is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca (the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city for Muslims, located in the Hejazi region of Saudi Arabia) that can be undertaken at any time of the y ...
'') to Mecca, saying that God had promised him the fulfillment of this goal in a vision when he was shaving his head after completion of the Hajj. Upon hearing of the approaching 1,400 Muslims, the Quraysh dispatched 200 cavalry to halt them. Muhammad evaded them by taking a more difficult route, enabling his followers to reach al-Hudaybiyya just outside Mecca. According to Watt, although Muhammad's decision to make the pilgrimage was based on his dream, he was also demonstrating to the pagan Meccans that Islam did not threaten the prestige of the sanctuaries, that Islam was an Arabian religion.Watt, ''al- Hudaybiya or al-Hudaybiyya''
Encyclopaedia of Islam The ''Encyclopaedia of Islam'' (''EI'') is an Encyclopedia, encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies published by Brill Publishers, Brill. It is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies. Th ...
.
Negotiations commenced with emissaries traveling to and from Mecca. While these continued, rumors spread that one of the Muslim negotiators, Uthman bin al-Affan, had been killed by the Quraysh. Muhammad called upon the pilgrims to make a pledge not to flee (or to stick with Muhammad, whatever decision he made) if the situation descended into war with Mecca. This pledge became known as the "Pledge of Acceptance" or the " Pledge under the Tree". News of Uthman's safety allowed for negotiations to continue, and a treaty scheduled to last ten years was eventually signed between the Muslims and Quraysh. The main points of the treaty included: cessation of hostilities, the deferral of Muhammad's pilgrimage to the following year, and agreement to send back any Meccan who emigrated to Medina without permission from their protector. Many Muslims were not satisfied with the treaty. However, the Quranic sura " Al-Fath" (The Victory) assured them that the expedition must be considered a victorious one. It was later that Muhammad's followers realized the benefit behind the treaty. These benefits included the requirement of the Meccans to identify Muhammad as an equal, cessation of military activity allowing Medina to gain strength, and the admiration of Meccans who were impressed by the pilgrimage rituals. After signing the truce, Muhammad assembled an expedition against the Jewish oasis of
Khaybar KhaybarOther standardized Arabic transliterations: / . Anglicized pronunciation: , . ( ar, خَيْبَر, ) is an oasis situated some north of the city of Medina in the Medina Province of Saudi Arabia. Prior to the rise of Islam ...
, known as the Battle of Khaybar. This was possibly due to housing the Banu Nadir who were inciting hostilities against Muhammad, or to regain prestige from what appeared as the inconclusive result of the truce of Hudaybiyya. According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad also sent letters to many rulers, asking them to convert to Islam (the exact date is given variously in the sources).Lings (1987), p. 260. He sent messengers (with letters) to
Heraclius Heraclius ( grc-gre, Ἡράκλειος, Hērákleios; c. 575 – 11 February 641), was List of Byzantine emperors, Eastern Roman emperor from 610 to 641. His rise to power began in 608, when he and his father, Heraclius the Elder, the Exa ...
of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
(the eastern Roman Empire), Khosrau of
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
, the chief of
Yemen Yemen (; ar, ٱلْيَمَن, al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen,, ) is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and borders Saudi Arabia to the Saudi Arabia–Yemen border, north and ...
and to some others. In the years following the truce of Hudaybiyya, Muhammad directed his forces against the Arabs on Transjordanian Byzantine soil in the
Battle of Mu'tah The Battle of Mu'tah ( ar, مَعْرَكَة مُؤْتَة, translit=Maʿrakah Muʿtah, or ar, غَزْوَة مُؤْتَة, link=no ') took place in September 629 (1 Jumada al-Awwal Jumada al-Awwal ( ar, جُمَادَىٰ ٱلْأَو ...
.


Final years


Conquest of Mecca

The truce of Hudaybiyyah was enforced for two years.Lings (1987), p. 291. The tribe of
Banu Khuza'a The Banū Khuzāʿah ( ar, بنو خزاعة singular ''Khuzāʿī'') is the name of an Azdite, Qaḥṭānite tribe, which is one of the main ancestral tribes of the Arabian Peninsula. They ruled Mecca for a long period, prior to the Isla ...
had good relations with Muhammad, whereas their enemies, the
Banu Bakr The Banu Bakr bin Wa'il ( ar, بنو بكر بن وائل '), or simply Banu Bakr, were an Arabian tribe belonging to the large Rabi'ah branch of Adnanite tribes, which also included Abd al-Qays, Anazzah, Taghlib. The tribe is reputed to have en ...
, had allied with the Meccans. A clan of the Bakr made a night raid against the Khuza'a, killing a few of them. The Meccans helped the Banu Bakr with weapons and, according to some sources, a few Meccans also took part in the fighting. After this event, Muhammad sent a message to Mecca with three conditions, asking them to accept one of them. These were: either the Meccans would pay blood money for the slain among the Khuza'ah tribe, they disavow themselves of the Banu Bakr, or they should declare the truce of Hudaybiyyah null. The Meccans replied that they accepted the last condition. Soon they realized their mistake and sent
Abu Sufyan Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayya ibn Abd Shams ( ar, صخر بن حرب بن أمية بن عبد شمس, Ṣakhr ibn Ḥarb ibn Umayya ibn ʿAbd Shams; ), better known by his ''Kunya (Arabic), kunya'' Abu Sufyan ( ar, أبو سفيان, Abū Sufyān), ...
to renew the Hudaybiyyah treaty, a request that was declined by Muhammad. Muhammad began to prepare for a campaign. In 630, Muhammad marched on Mecca with 10,000 Muslim converts. With minimal casualties, Muhammad seized control of Mecca. He declared an amnesty for past offences, except for ten men and women who were "guilty of murder or other offences or had sparked off the war and disrupted the peace".''The Message'' by Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani
chapter 48
referencing Sirah by
Ibn Hisham Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Hishām ibn Ayyūb al-Ḥimyarī al-Muʿāfirī al-Baṣrī ( ar, أبو محمد عبدالملك بن هشام ابن أيوب الحميري المعافري البصري; died 7 May 833), or Ibn Hisham, e ...
, vol. II, page 409.
Some of these were later pardoned. Most Meccans converted to Islam and Muhammad proceeded to destroy all the statues of
Arabian gods Deities formed a part of the Polytheism, polytheistic religious beliefs in pre-Islamic Arabia, with many of the deities' names known. Up until about the fourth century AD, polytheism was the dominant form of religion in Arabia. Deities represent ...
in and around the Kaaba. According to reports collected by
Ibn Ishaq Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (; according to some sources, ibn Khabbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān, ar, محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار, or simply ibn Isḥaq, , meaning "the son of Isaac"; died 767) was an 8 ...
and al-Azraqi, Muhammad personally spared paintings or frescos of Mary and Jesus, but other traditions suggest that all pictures were erased. The Quran discusses the conquest of Mecca.


Conquest of Arabia

Following the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad was alarmed by a military threat from the confederate tribes of
Hawazin The Hawazin ( ar, هوازن / ALA-LC: ''Hawāzin'') were an Arab tribe originally based in the western Najd and around Ta'if in the Hejaz. They formed part of the larger Qays tribal group. The Hawazin consisted of the subtribes of Banu Sa'd, and ...
who were raising an army double the size of Muhammad's. The Banu Hawazin were old enemies of the Meccans. They were joined by the
Banu Thaqif The Banu Thaqif ( ar, بنو ثقيف, Banū Thaqīf) is an Tribes of Arabia, Arab tribe which inhabited, and still inhabits, the city of Ta'if and its environs, in modern Saudi Arabia, and played a prominent role in early Islamic history. Durin ...
(inhabiting the city of Ta'if) who adopted an anti-Meccan policy due to the decline of the prestige of Meccans. Muhammad defeated the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes in the
Battle of Hunayn :''This is a sub-article to Muhammad after the conquest of Mecca.'' The Battle of Hunayn ( ar, غَزْوَة حُنَيْن, Ghazwat Hunayn) was between the Muslims of Muhammad and the Bedouin, Bedouins of the Qays, including its clans of ...
. In the same year, Muhammad organized an attack against northern Arabia because of their previous defeat at the
Battle of Mu'tah The Battle of Mu'tah ( ar, مَعْرَكَة مُؤْتَة, translit=Maʿrakah Muʿtah, or ar, غَزْوَة مُؤْتَة, link=no ') took place in September 629 (1 Jumada al-Awwal Jumada al-Awwal ( ar, جُمَادَىٰ ٱلْأَو ...
and reports of hostility adopted against Muslims. With great difficulty he assembled 30,000 men; half of whom on the second day returned with Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy, untroubled by the damning verses which Muhammad hurled at them. Although Muhammad did not engage with hostile forces at Tabuk, he received the submission of some local chiefs of the region. He also ordered the destruction of any remaining pagan idols in Eastern Arabia. The last city to hold out against the Muslims in Western Arabia was
Taif Taif ( ar, , translit=aṭ-Ṭāʾif, lit=The circulated or encircled, ) is a city and governorate in the Mecca Province, Makkan Region of Saudi Arabia. Located at an elevation of in the slopes of the Hijaz Mountains, which themselves are part ...
. Muhammad refused to accept the city's surrender until they agreed to convert to Islam and allowed men to destroy the statue of their goddess
Al-Lat Al-Lat ( ar, اللات, translit=Al-Lāt, ), also spelled Allat, Allatu and Alilat, is a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess A goddess is a female deity. In many known cultures, goddesses are often linked with literal or metaphorical pregnancy or ...
.Ibn Ishaq (translated by Guillaume, A. 1955) The Life of Muhammad. Oxford University Press, Oxford. pp. 281–287. A year after the Battle of Tabuk, the Banu Thaqif sent emissaries to surrender to Muhammad and adopt Islam. Many bedouins submitted to Muhammad to safeguard against his attacks and to benefit from the spoils of war. However, the bedouins were alien to the system of Islam and wanted to maintain independence: namely their code of virtue and ancestral traditions. Muhammad required a military and political agreement according to which they "acknowledge the suzerainty of Medina, to refrain from attack on the Muslims and their allies, and to pay the
Zakat Zakat ( ar, زكاة; , "that which purifies", also Zakat al-mal , "zakat on wealth", or Zakah) is a form of almsgiving, often collected by the Muslim Ummah. It is considered in Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is a ...
, the Muslim religious levy."


Farewell pilgrimage

In 632, at the end of the tenth year after migration to Medina, Muhammad completed his first true Islamic pilgrimage, setting precedent for the annual Great Pilgrimage, known as ''
Hajj The Hajj (; ar, حَجّ '; sometimes also spelled Hadj, Hadji or Haj in English) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a Fard, mandatory religious duty for Mu ...
''. On the 9th of
Dhu al-Hijjah Dhu al-Hijja ( ar, ذُو ٱلْحِجَّة, translit=Ḏū al-Ḥijja, ), also spelled Zu al-Hijja, is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar The Hijri calendar ( ar, ٱلتَّقْوِيم ٱلْهِجْرِيّ, translit ...
Muhammad delivered his Farewell Sermon, at
Mount Arafat Mount Arafat ( ar, جَبَل عَرَفَات, translit=Jabal ʿArafāt), and by its other Arabic name, (), is a granodiorite hill about southeast of Mecca, in the Makkah Province, province of the same name in Saudi Arabia. The mountain is ...
east of Mecca. In this sermon, Muhammad advised his followers not to follow certain pre-Islamic customs. For instance, he said a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black any superiority over a white except by piety and good action. He abolished old
blood feud A feud , referred to in more extreme cases as a blood feud, vendetta, faida, clan war, gang war, or private war, is a long-running argument or fight, often between social group In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or ...
s and disputes based on the former
tribal The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human social group. The predominant worldwide usage of the term in English language, English is in the discipline of anthropology. This definition is contested, in p ...
system and asked for old pledges to be returned as implications of the creation of the new Islamic community. Commenting on the vulnerability of women in his society, Muhammad asked his male followers to "be good to women, for they are powerless captives (''awan'') in your households. You took them in God's trust, and legitimated your sexual relations with the Word of God, so come to your senses people, and hear my words ..." He told them that they were entitled to discipline their wives but should do so with kindness. He addressed the issue of inheritance by forbidding false claims of paternity or of a client relationship to the deceased and forbade his followers to leave their wealth to a testamentary heir. He also upheld the sacredness of four lunar months in each year. According to
Sunni Sunni Islam () is the largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word ''Sunnah'', referring to the tradition of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia ...
tafsir Tafsir ( ar, تفسير, tafsīr ) refers to exegesis, usually of the Quran. An author of a ''tafsir'' is a ' ( ar, مُفسّر; plural: ar, مفسّرون, mufassirūn). A Quranic ''tafsir'' attempts to provide elucidation, explanation, in ...
, the following Quranic verse was delivered during this event: "Today I have perfected your religion, and completed my favours for you and chosen Islam as a religion for you". According to
Shia Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm is the second-largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib as his S ...
tafsir, it refers to the appointment of
Ali ibn Abi Talib ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib ( ar, عَلِيّ بْن أَبِي طَالِب; 600 – 661 common era, CE) was the last of four Rashidun, Rightly Guided Caliphs to rule Islam (r. 656 – 661) immediately after the death of Muhammad, and he was ...
at the pond of Khumm as Muhammad's successor, this occurring a few days later when Muslims were returning from Mecca to Medina.


Death and tomb

A few months after the farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and suffered for several days with fever, head pain, and weakness. He died on Monday, 8 June 632, in Medina, at the age of 62 or 63, in the house of his wife Aisha.''The Last Prophet''
, p. 3. Lewis Lord of U.S. News & World Report. 7 April 2008.
With his head resting on Aisha's lap, he asked her to dispose of his last worldly goods (seven coins), then spoke his final words: According to the ''
Encyclopaedia of Islam The ''Encyclopaedia of Islam'' (''EI'') is an Encyclopedia, encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies published by Brill Publishers, Brill. It is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies. Th ...
'', Muhammad's death may be presumed to have been caused by Medinan fever exacerbated by physical and mental fatigue. Academics Reşit Haylamaz and Fatih Harpci say that ''Ar-Rafiq Al-A'la'' is referring to God. Muhammad was buried where he died in Aisha's house. During the reign of the Umayyad caliph
al-Walid I Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ( ar, الوليد بن عبد الملك بن مروان, al-Walīd ibn ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān; ), commonly known as al-Walid I ( ar, الوليد الأول), was the sixth Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyad ca ...
,
al-Masjid an-Nabawi Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (), known in English as the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque built by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the city of Medina in the Al Madinah Province of Saudi Arabia. It was the second mosque built by Muhammad in Medina, after ...
(the Mosque of the Prophet) was expanded to include the site of Muhammad's tomb. The
Green Dome The Green Dome ( ar, ٱَلْقُبَّة ٱلْخَضْرَاء, al-Qubbah al-Khaḍrāʾ) is a green-coloured dome built above the tombs of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad and the early Rashidun Caliphate, Rashid ...
above the tomb was built by the
Mamluk Mamluk ( ar, مملوك, mamlūk (singular), , ''mamālīk'' (plural), translated as "one who is owned", meaning "History of slavery in the Muslim world, slave", also Arabic transliteration, transliterated as ''Mameluke'', ''mamluq'', ''mamluke ...
sultan Al Mansur Qalawun in the 13th century, although the green color was added in the 16th century, under the reign of Ottoman sultan
Suleiman the Magnificent Suleiman I ( ota, سليمان اول, Süleyman-ı Evvel; tr, I. Süleyman; 6 November 14946 September 1566), commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in Western world, the West and Suleiman the Lawgiver ( ota, قانونى سلطان س ...
. Among tombs adjacent to that of Muhammad are those of his companions (
Sahabah The Companions of the Prophet ( ar, اَلصَّحَابَةُ; ''aṣ-ṣaḥāba'' meaning "the companions", from the verb meaning "accompany", "keep company with", "associate with") were the disciples and followers of Muhammad who saw or m ...
), the first two Muslim caliphs
Abu Bakr Abu Bakr Abdallah ibn Uthman Abi Quhafa (; – 23 August 634) was the senior Companions of the Prophet, companion and was, through his daughter Aisha, a father-in-law of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Isla ...
and
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب, also spelled Omar, ) was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, ruling from August 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr () as the second caliph of the Rashidun C ...
, and an empty one that Muslims believe awaits Jesus. When Saud bin Abdul-Aziz took Medina in 1805, Muhammad's tomb was stripped of its gold and jewel ornamentation. Adherents to
Wahhabism Wahhabism ( ar, ٱلْوَهَّابِيَةُ, translit=al-Wahhābiyyah) is a Sunni Islamic Islamic revival, revivalist and Islamic fundamentalism, fundamentalist movement associated with the reformist doctrines of the 18th-century Arabians, ...
, Saud's followers, destroyed nearly every tomb dome in Medina in order to prevent their veneration, and the one of Muhammad is reported to have narrowly escaped. Similar events took place in 1925, when the Saudi militias retook—and this time managed to keep—the city. In the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, burial is to take place in unmarked graves. Although the practice is frowned upon by the Saudis, many pilgrims continue to practice a
ziyarat In Islam, ''ziyara(h)'' ( ar, زِيَارَة ''ziyārah'', "visit") or ''ziyarat'' ( fa, , ''ziyārat'', "pilgrimage") is a form of pilgrimage to List of Ziyarat sites, sites associated with Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, his family members and ...
—a ritual visit—to the tomb.


After Muhammad

Muhammad united several of the
tribes of Arabia The Tribes of Arabia () or Arab tribes () are the ethnic Arab tribes and clans that originated in the Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula, (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula ...
into a single Arab Muslim religious polity in the last years of his life. With Muhammad's death, disagreement broke out over who his successor would be.
Umar ibn al-Khattab ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب, also spelled Omar, ) was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, ruling from August 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr () as the second caliph of the Rashidun C ...
, a prominent companion of Muhammad, nominated
Abu Bakr Abu Bakr Abdallah ibn Uthman Abi Quhafa (; – 23 August 634) was the senior Companions of the Prophet, companion and was, through his daughter Aisha, a father-in-law of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Isla ...
, Muhammad's friend and collaborator. With additional support Abu Bakr was confirmed as the first
caliph A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
. This choice was disputed by some of Muhammad's companions, who held that Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, had been designated the successor by Muhammad at
Ghadir Khumm The Ghadīr Khumm ( ar, غَدِير خُم) refers to a gathering of Muslims to attend a sermon delivered by the Muhammad, Islamic prophet Muhammad on 16 March 632 Common Era, CE (18 Dhu al-Hijjah 10 Islamic calendar, AH). The gathering is sai ...
. Abu Bakr immediately moved to strike against the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
(or
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn R ...
) forces because of the previous defeat, although he first had to put down a rebellion by Arab tribes in an event that Muslim historians later referred to as the
Ridda wars The Ridda Wars ( ar, حُرُوْبُ الرِّدَّةِ, lit=Apostasy Wars) were a series of military campaigns launched by the Rashidun, first caliph Abu Bakr against rebellious Arabian tribes. They began shortly after the death of the Prop ...
, or "Wars of Apostasy". The pre-Islamic Middle East was dominated by the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
and
Sassanian The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ) and also referred to by historians as the Neo-Persian Empire, was the History of Iran, last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th-8th cen ...
empires. The
Roman–Persian Wars The Roman–Persian Wars, also known as the Roman–Iranian Wars, were a series of conflicts between states of the Greco-Roman world and two successive History of Iran, Iranian empires: the Parthian and the Sasanian. Battles between the Parthian ...
between the two had devastated the region, making the empires unpopular amongst local tribes. Furthermore, in the lands that would be conquered by Muslims many Christians (
Nestorians Nestorianism is a term used in Christian theology and Church history to refer to several mutually related but doctrinary, doctrinarily distinct sets of teachings. The first meaning of the term is related to the original teachings of Christian t ...
,
Monophysite Monophysitism ( or ) or monophysism () is a Christological term derived from the Greek (, "alone, solitary") and (, a word that has many meanings but in this context means " nature"). It is defined as "a doctrine that in the person of the inc ...
s, Jacobites and
Copt Copts ( cop, ⲛⲓⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ ; ar, الْقِبْط ) are a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic reli ...
s) were disaffected from the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members. It operates as a Communion (Christ ...
which deemed them heretics. Within a decade Muslims conquered
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the F ...
,
Byzantine Syria Roman Syria was an early Roman province annexed to the Roman Republic in 64 BC by Pompey in the Third Mithridatic War following the defeat of Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity), King of Armenia Tigranes the Great. Following the partition of the Hero ...
,
Byzantine Egypt , conventional_long_name = Roman Egypt , common_name = Egypt , subdivision = Roman province, Province , nation = the Roman Empire , era = Late antiquity , capital = Alexandria , title_leader = Praefectus Augustalis , image_ ...
, large parts of
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
, and established the
Rashidun Caliphate The Rashidun Caliphate ( ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلرَّاشِدَةُ, al-Khilāfah ar-Rāšidah) was the first caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadersh ...
.


Islamic social reforms

According to
William Montgomery Watt William Montgomery Watt (14 March 1909 – 24 October 2006) was a Scottish people, Scottish Oriental studies, Orientalist, historian, academic and Anglican ministry, Anglican priest. From 1964 to 1979, he was Professor of Arabic language, Arabic ...
, religion for Muhammad was not a private and individual matter but "the total response of his personality to the total situation in which he found himself. He was responding [not only]... to the religious and intellectual aspects of the situation but also to the economic, social, and political pressures to which contemporary Mecca was subject."
Bernard Lewis Bernard Lewis, (31 May 1916 – 19 May 2018) was a British American historian specialized in Oriental studies Oriental studies is the academic field that studies Near Eastern and Far Eastern societies and cultures, languages, peoples, hist ...
says there are two important political traditions in Islam—Muhammad as a statesman in Medina, and Muhammad as a rebel in Mecca. In his view, Islam is a great change, akin to a revolution, when introduced to new societies.Lewi
(1998)
Historians generally agree that Islamic social changes in areas such as
social security Welfare, or commonly social welfare, is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet Basic needs, basic human needs such as food and shelter. Social security may either be synonymous with welfare, or refe ...
, family structure, slavery and the rights of women and children improved on the ''status quo'' of Arab society. For example, according to Lewis, Islam "from the first denounced
aristocratic Aristocracy (, ) is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class, the aristocracy (class), aristocrats. The term derives from the el, αριστοκρατία (), meaning 'rule of the best'. At t ...
privilege, rejected hierarchy, and adopted a formula of the career open to the talents". Muhammad's message transformed society and moral orders of life in the Arabian Peninsula; society focused on the changes to perceived identity,
world view A worldview or world-view or ''Weltanschauung'' is the fundamental cognitive Cognition refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses all aspects ...
, and the hierarchy of values. Economic reforms addressed the plight of the poor, which was becoming an issue in pre-Islamic Mecca. The Quran requires payment of an alms tax (
zakat Zakat ( ar, زكاة; , "that which purifies", also Zakat al-mal , "zakat on wealth", or Zakah) is a form of almsgiving, often collected by the Muslim Ummah. It is considered in Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is a ...
) for the benefit of the poor; as Muhammad's power grew he demanded that tribes who wished to ally with him implement the zakat in particular.


Appearance

In
Muhammad al-Bukhari Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Muhammad in Islam, Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet Divine inspiration, di ...
's book
Sahih al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari ( ar, صحيح البخاري, translit=Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī), group=note is a ''hadith'' collection and a book of ''sunnah'' compiled by the Persian scholar Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl al-Bukhārī (810–870) around 846. Alo ...
, in Chapter 61, Hadith 57 & Hadith 60, Muhammad is depicted by two of his companions thus: The description given in Muhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi's book Shama'il al-Mustafa, attributed to
Ali ibn Abi Talib ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib ( ar, عَلِيّ بْن أَبِي طَالِب; 600 – 661 common era, CE) was the last of four Rashidun, Rightly Guided Caliphs to rule Islam (r. 656 – 661) immediately after the death of Muhammad, and he was ...
and Hind ibn Abi Hala is as follows: The "seal of prophecy" between Muhammad's shoulders is generally described as having been a type of raised mole the size of a pigeon's egg. Another description of Muhammad was provided by Umm Ma'bad, a woman he met on his journey to Medina: Descriptions like these were often reproduced in calligraphic panels (Turkish: '' hilye''), which in the 17th century developed into an art form of their own in the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
.


Household

Muhammad's life is traditionally defined into two periods: pre-hijra (emigration) in Mecca (from 570 to 622), and post-hijra in Medina (from 622 until 632). Muhammad is said to have had thirteen wives in total (although two have ambiguous accounts, Rayhana bint Zayd and Maria al-Qibtiyya, as wife or concubineBarbara Freyer Stowasser, ''Wives of the Prophet'', Encyclopedia of the Quran.). Eleven of the thirteen marriages occurred after the migration to Medina. At the age of 25, Muhammad married the wealthy Khadijah bint Khuwaylid who was 40 years old. The marriage lasted for 25 years and was a happy one.Esposito (1998), p. 18. Muhammad did not enter into marriage with another woman during this marriage.Bullough (1998), p. 119.Reeves (2003), p. 46. After Khadijah's death, Khawla bint Hakim suggested to Muhammad that he should marry Sawda bint Zama, a Muslim widow, or
Aisha Aisha ( ar, , translit=ʿĀʾisha bint Abī Bakr; , also , ; ) was Muhammad's third and youngest wife. In Islamic writings, her name is thus often prefixed by the title "Mother of the Believers" ( ar, links=no, , ʾumm al- muʾminīn), refer ...
, daughter of Um Ruman and
Abu Bakr Abu Bakr Abdallah ibn Uthman Abi Quhafa (; – 23 August 634) was the senior Companions of the Prophet, companion and was, through his daughter Aisha, a father-in-law of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Isla ...
of
Mecca Mecca (; officially Makkah al-Mukarramah, commonly shortened to Makkah ()) is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland from Jeddah on the Red ...

Mecca
. Muhammad is said to have asked for arrangements to marry both.Watt, ''Aisha'',
Encyclopaedia of Islam The ''Encyclopaedia of Islam'' (''EI'') is an Encyclopedia, encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies published by Brill Publishers, Brill. It is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies. Th ...
.
Muhammad's marriages after the death of Khadijah were contracted mostly for political or humanitarian reasons. The women were either widows of Muslims killed in battle and had been left without a protector, or belonged to important families or clans with whom it was necessary to honor and strengthen alliances. According to traditional sources, Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad, D. A. Spellberg, ''Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: the Legacy of A'isha bint Abi Bakr'',
Columbia University Press Columbia University Press is a university press based in New York City, and affiliated with Columbia University. It is currently directed by Jennifer Crewe (2014–present) and publishes titles in the humanities and sciences, including the field ...
, 1994, p. 40.
Karen Armstrong, ''Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet'', Harper San Francisco, 1992, p. 145. with the marriage not being
consummate In many traditions and statutes of civil or religious law, the consummation of a marriage, often called simply ''consummation'', is the first (or first officially credited) act of sexual intercourse between two people, following their marriage ...
d until she reached the age of nine or ten years old. She was therefore a virgin at marriage. Modern Muslim authors who calculate Aisha's age based on other sources of information, such as a hadith about the age difference between Aisha and her sister Asma, estimate that she was over thirteen and perhaps in her late teens at the time of her marriage. After migration to Medina, Muhammad, who was then in his fifties, married several more women. Muhammad performed household chores such as preparing food, sewing clothes, and repairing shoes. He is also said to have had accustomed his wives to dialogue; he listened to their advice, and the wives debated and even argued with him. Khadijah is said to have had four daughters with Muhammad ( Ruqayyah bint Muhammad,
Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad Umm Kulthūm bint Muḥammad ( ar, أم كلثوم بنت محمد) (–630) was the third daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, a ...
, Zainab bint Muhammad, Fatimah Zahra) and two sons ( Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad and
Qasim ibn Muhammad Qāsim ibn Muḥammad ( ar, قاسم بن محمد) was the eldest of the sons of Muhammad Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of I ...
, who both died in childhood). All but one of his daughters, Fatimah, died before him. Some Shi'a scholars contend that Fatimah was Muhammad's only daughter. Maria al-Qibtiyya bore him a son named
Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Ibrāhīm ibn Muḥammad ( ar, إِبْرَاهِيم ٱبْن مُحَمَّد), was the son of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad and Maria al-Qibtiyya. He died at the age of 2. Eclipse occurrence In his book "Al ...
, but the child died when he was two years old.Nicholas Awde (2000), p. 10. Nine of Muhammad's wives survived him. Aisha, who became known as Muhammad's favourite wife in Sunni tradition, survived him by decades and was instrumental in helping assemble the scattered sayings of Muhammad that form the Hadith literature for the Sunni branch of Islam. Muhammad's descendants through Fatimah are known as ''
sharif Sharīf ( ar, شريف, 'noble', 'highborn'), also spelled shareef or sherif, feminine sharīfa (), plural ashrāf (), shurafāʾ (), or (in the Maghreb) shurfāʾ, is a title used to designate a person descended, or claiming to be descended, fr ...
s'', ''syeds'' or ''
sayyid ''Sayyid'' (, ; ar, سيد ; ; meaning 'sir', 'Lord', 'Master'; Arabic plural: ; feminine: ; ) is a surname of people descending from the Islamic prophet Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأنبياء في الإسلام, translit=al-ʾA ...
s''. These are honorific titles in
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
, ''sharif'' meaning 'noble' and ''sayed'' or ''sayyid'' meaning 'lord' or 'sir'. As Muhammad's only descendants, they are respected by both Sunni and Shi'a, though the Shi'a place much more emphasis and value on their distinction.
Zayd ibn Haritha Zayd ibn Haritha ( ar, زَيْد ٱبْن حَارِثَة, ') (), was an early Muslim, sahabah and the adopted son of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. He is commonly regarded as the fourth person to have accepted Islam, after Muhammad's wife Khad ...
was a slave that Muhammad bought, freed, and then adopted as his son. He also had a
wetnurse A wet nurse is a woman who breastfeeding, breastfeeds and cares for another's child. Wet nurses are employed if the mother dies, or if she is unable or chooses not to nurse the child herself. Wet-nursed children may be known as "milk-siblings", ...
.Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya recorded the list of some names of Muhammad's female-slaves in Zad al-Ma'ad, Part I, p. 116. According to a BBC summary, "the Prophet Muhammad did not try to abolish slavery, and bought, sold, captured, and owned slaves himself. But he insisted that slave owners treat their slaves well and stressed the virtue of freeing slaves. Muhammad treated slaves as human beings and clearly held some in the highest esteem".


Legacy


Islamic tradition

Following the attestation to the oneness of God, the belief in Muhammad's prophethood is the main aspect of the Islamic faith. Every Muslim proclaims in '' Shahadah'': "I testify that there is no god but God, and I testify that Muhammad is a Messenger of God." The Shahadah is the basic creed or tenet of
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
. Islamic belief is that ideally the Shahadah is the first words a newborn will hear; children are taught it immediately and it will be recited upon death. Muslims repeat the shahadah in the call to prayer (''
adhan Adhan ( ar, أَذَان ; also variously transliterated as athan, adhane (in French), azan/azaan (in South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, wh ...
'') and the
prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity or a deified an ...
itself. Non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam are required to recite the creed. In Islamic belief, Muhammad is regarded as the last prophet sent by God.Esposito (1998), p. 12. Qur'an 10:37 states that "...it (the Quran) is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book—wherein there is no doubt—from The Lord of the Worlds." Similarly, 46:12 states "...And before this was the book of Moses, as a guide and a mercy. And this Book confirms (it)...", while commands the believers of Islam to "Say: we believe in God and that which is revealed unto us, and that which was revealed unto
Abraham Abraham, ; ar, , , name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common Hebrews, Hebrew patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the Covenant (biblical), special ...
and
Ishmael Ishmael ''Ismaḗl''; Classical/Qur'anic Arabic: إِسْمَٰعِيْل; Modern Standard Arabic: إِسْمَاعِيْل ''ʾIsmāʿīl''; la, Ismael was the first son of Abraham, the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions; and is cons ...
and
Isaac Isaac; grc, Ἰσαάκ, Isaák; ar, إسحٰق/إسحاق, Isḥāq; am, ይስሐቅ is one of the three patriarchs (Bible), patriarchs of the Israelites and an important figure in the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, a ...
and
Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب, Jacob in Islam, Yaʿqūb; gr, Ἰακώβ, Iakṓb), later given the name Israel (name), Israel, is regarded as a Patriarchs (Bible), patriarch of the Israelites and is an important figure in Abrahamic religi ...
and the tribes, and that which
Moses Moses hbo, מֹשֶׁה, Mōše; also known as Moshe or Moshe Rabbeinu (Mishnaic Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ, ); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, Mūše; ar, موسى, Mūsā; grc, Mωϋσῆς, Mōÿsēs () is considered the most important Prop ...
and
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
received, and which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered." Muslim tradition credits Muhammad with several miracles or supernatural events.A.J. Wensinck, ''Muʿd̲j̲iza'',
Encyclopaedia of Islam The ''Encyclopaedia of Islam'' (''EI'') is an Encyclopedia, encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies published by Brill Publishers, Brill. It is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies. Th ...
.
For example, many Muslim commentators and some Western scholars have interpreted the Surah 54:1–2 as referring to Muhammad splitting the Moon in view of the Quraysh when they began persecuting his followers.Denis Gril, ''Miracles'', Encyclopedia of the Qur'an. Western historian of Islam Denis Gril believes the Quran does not overtly describe Muhammad performing
miracles A miracle is an event that is inexplicable by physical laws, natural or scientific lawsOne dictionary define"Miracle"as: "A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the ...
, and the supreme miracle of Muhammad is identified with the Quran itself. According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad was attacked by the people of Ta'if and was badly injured. The tradition also describes an angel appearing to him and offering retribution against the assailants. It is said that Muhammad rejected the offer and prayed for the guidance of the people of Ta'if. The
Sunnah In Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was r ...
represents actions and sayings of Muhammad (preserved in reports known as
Hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث, , , , , , , literally "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally "remnant"/"effect") refers to what the majority of Muslims believe to be a record of the words, actions, and the silent approva ...
) and covers a broad array of activities and beliefs ranging from religious rituals, personal hygiene, and burial of the dead to the mystical questions involving the love between humans and God. The Sunnah is considered a model of emulation for pious Muslims and has to a great degree influenced the Muslim culture. The greeting that Muhammad taught Muslims to offer each other, "may peace be upon you" (Arabic: '' as-salamu 'alaykum'') is used by Muslims throughout the world. Many details of major Islamic rituals such as daily prayers, the fasting and the annual pilgrimage are only found in the Sunnah and not the Quran. Muslims have traditionally expressed love and veneration for Muhammad. Stories of Muhammad's life, his intercession and of his miracles have permeated popular Muslim thought and
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek '' poiesis'', "making"), also called verse, is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language − such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre The metre (Brit ...
. Among Arabic odes to Muhammad, Qasidat al-Burda ("Poem of the Mantle") by the Egyptian
Sufi Sufism ( ar, ''aṣ-ṣūfiyya''), also known as Tasawwuf ( ''at-taṣawwuf''), is a mysticism, mystic body of religious practice, found mainly within Sunni Islam but also within Shia Islam, which is characterized by a focus on Islamic spiri ...
al-Busiri (1211–1294) is particularly well-known, and widely held to possess a healing, spiritual power. The Quran refers to Muhammad as "a mercy (''rahmat'') to the worlds" The association of rain with mercy in Oriental countries has led to imagining Muhammad as a rain cloud dispensing blessings and stretching over lands, reviving the dead hearts, just as rain revives the seemingly dead earth. Muhammad's birthday is celebrated as a major feast throughout the
Islamic world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic community, which is also known as the Ummah. This consists of all those who adhere to the religious beliefs and laws of Islam or to societies in which Islam is practiced. In ...
, excluding
Wahhabi Wahhabism ( ar, ٱلْوَهَّابِيَةُ, translit=al-Wahhābiyyah) is a Sunni Islamic Islamic revival, revivalist and Islamic fundamentalism, fundamentalist movement associated with the reformist doctrines of the 18th-century Arabians, ...
-dominated Saudi Arabia where these public celebrations are discouraged. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Encyclopædia Britannica, ''Muhammad'', p. 13. When Muslims say or write the name of Muhammad, they usually follow it with the Arabic phrase ''ṣallā llahu ʿalayhi wa-sallam'' (''may God honor him and grant him peace'') or the English phrase ''
peace be upon him Islam uses a number of conventionally complimentary phrases praising Allah (e.g., ), or wishing good things upon Muhammad or other Prophets and messengers in Islam, prophets (e.g., ). These phrases are encompassed by a number of terms: Prayers ...
''.Ann Goldman, Richard Hain, Stephen Liben (2006), p. 212. In casual writing, the abbreviations SAW (for the Arabic phrase) or PBUH (for the English phrase) are sometimes used; in printed matter, a small calligraphic rendition is commonly used ().


Sufism

The Sunnah contributed much to the development of Islamic law, particularly from the end of the first Islamic century. Muslim mystics, known as
sufi Sufism ( ar, ''aṣ-ṣūfiyya''), also known as Tasawwuf ( ''at-taṣawwuf''), is a mysticism, mystic body of religious practice, found mainly within Sunni Islam but also within Shia Islam, which is characterized by a focus on Islamic spiri ...
s, who were seeking for the inner meaning of the Quran and the inner nature of Muhammad, viewed the prophet of Islam not only as a prophet but also as a perfect human being. All Sufi orders trace their chain of spiritual descent back to Muhammad.


Depictions

In line with the hadith's prohibition against creating images of sentient living beings, which is particularly strictly observed with respect to God and Muhammad, Islamic religious art is focused on the word. Muslims generally avoid depictions of Muhammad, and mosques are decorated with calligraphy and Quranic inscriptions or geometrical designs, not images or sculptures. Today, the interdiction against images of Muhammad—designed to prevent worship of Muhammad, rather than God—is much more strictly observed in Sunni Islam (85%–90% of Muslims) and
Ahmadiyya Ahmadiyya (, ), officially the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community or the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at (AMJ, ar, الجماعة الإسلامية الأحمدية, al-Jamāʿah al-Islāmīyah al-Aḥmadīyah; ur, , translit=Jamā'at Aḥmadiyyah Musl ...
Islam (1%) than among Shias (10%–15%). While both Sunnis and Shias have created images of Muhammad in the past, Islamic depictions of Muhammad are rare. They have mostly been limited to the private and elite medium of the miniature, and since about 1500 most depictions show Muhammad with his face veiled, or symbolically represent him as a flame. The earliest extant depictions come from 13th century Anatolian Seljuk and
Ilkhanid The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate ( fa, ایل خانان, ''Ilxānān''), known to the Mongols as ''Hülegü Ulus'' (, ''Qulug-un Ulus''), was a khanate A khaganate or khanate was a polity ruled by a Khan (title), khan, khagan, kha ...
Persian miniature A Persian miniature (Persian language, Persian: نگارگری ایرانی ''negârgari Irâni'') is a small Persian painting on paper, whether a book illustration or a separate work of art intended to be kept in an album of such works called a ...
s, typically in literary genres describing the life and deeds of Muhammad. During the Ilkhanid period, when Persia's Mongol rulers converted to Islam, competing Sunni and Shi'a groups used visual imagery, including images of Muhammad, to promote their particular interpretation of Islam's key events. Influenced by the
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
tradition of representational religious art predating the Mongol elite's conversion, this innovation was unprecedented in the Islamic world, and accompanied by a "broader shift in Islamic artistic culture away from abstraction toward representation" in "mosques, on tapestries, silks, ceramics, and in glass and metalwork" besides books. In the Persian lands, this tradition of realistic depictions lasted through the
Timurid dynasty The Timurid dynasty ( chg, , fa, ), self-designated as Gurkani ( chg, , translit=Küregen, fa, , translit=Gūrkāniyān), was a Sunni Muslim Sunni Islam () is the largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam, followed by 85 ...
until the
Safavids Safavid Iran or Safavid Persia (), also referred to as the Safavid Empire, '. was one of the greatest Iranian empires after the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Persia, which was ruled from 1501 to 1736 by the Safavid dynasty. It is often conside ...
took power in the early 16th century. The Safavaids, who made Shi'i Islam the state religion, initiated a departure from the traditional Ilkhanid and Timurid artistic style by covering Muhammad's face with a veil to obscure his features and at the same time represent his luminous essence. Concomitantly, some of the unveiled images from earlier periods were defaced. Later images were produced in Ottoman Turkey and elsewhere, but mosques were never decorated with images of Muhammad. Illustrated accounts of the night journey (''mi'raj'') were particularly popular from the Ilkhanid period through the Safavid era. During the 19th century,
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
saw a boom of printed and illustrated ''mi'raj'' books, with Muhammad's face veiled, aimed in particular at illiterates and children in the manner of
graphic novels A graphic novel is a long-form, fictional work of sequential art. The term ''graphic novel'' is often applied broadly, including fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized work, though this practice is highly contested by comic scholars and industry ...
. Reproduced through
lithography Lithography () is a planographic method of printing originally based on the miscibility, immiscibility of oil and water. The printing is from a stone (lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a smooth surface. It was invented in 1796 by ...
, these were essentially "printed manuscripts". Today, millions of historical reproductions and modern images are available in some Muslim-majority countries, especially Turkey and Iran, on posters, postcards, and even in coffee-table books, but are unknown in most other parts of the Islamic world, and when encountered by Muslims from other countries, they can cause considerable consternation and offense.


European appreciation

After the
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...
, Muhammad was often portrayed in a similar way.Lewis (2002).
Guillaume Postel Guillaume Postel (25 March 1510 – 6 September 1581) was a French people, French linguist, astronomer, Christian Kabbalah, Christian Kabbalist, diplomat, polyglot, professor, Religious universalism, religious universalist, and writer. Born in ...
was among the first to present a more positive view of Muhammad when he argued that Muhammad should be esteemed by Christians as a valid prophet.
Gottfried Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz . ( – 14 November 1716) was a German polymath active as a mathematician, philosopher, scientist and diplomat. He is one of the most prominent figures in both the history of philosophy and the history of mathema ...
praised Muhammad because "he did not deviate from the natural religion".
Henri de Boulainvilliers Henri de Boulainvilliers (; 21 October 1658, Saint-Saire, Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie, Nouormandie ; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandina ...
, in his ''Vie de Mahomed'' which was published posthumously in 1730, described Muhammad as a gifted political leader and a just lawmaker. He presents him as a divinely inspired messenger whom God employed to confound the bickering Oriental Christians, to liberate the Orient from the despotic rule of the Romans and
Persians The Persians are an Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group who comprise over half of the population of Iran. They share a Culture of Iran, common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language as well as of Iranian languages, t ...
, and to spread the knowledge of the unity of God from India to Spain. Voltaire had a somewhat mixed opinion on Muhammad: in his play '' Le fanatisme, ou Mahomet le Prophète'' he vilifies Muhammad as a symbol of fanaticism, and in a published essay in 1748 he calls him "a sublime and hearty charlatan", but in his historical survey ''Essai sur les mœurs'', he presents him as legislator and a conqueror and calls him an "enthusiast."
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects ...
, in his ''
Social Contract In moral and political philosophy, the social contract is a theory or model that originated during the Age of Enlightenment and usually, although not always, concerns the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Soci ...
'' (1762), "brushing aside hostile legends of Muhammad as a trickster and impostor, presents him as a sage legislator who wisely fused religious and political powers." Emmanuel Pastoret published in 1787 his ''Zoroaster, Confucius and Muhammad'', in which he presents the lives of these three "great men", "the greatest legislators of the universe", and compares their careers as religious reformers and lawgivers. He rejects the common view that Muhammad is an impostor and argues that the Quran proffers "the most sublime truths of cult and morals"; it defines the unity of God with an "admirable concision." Pastoret writes that the common accusations of his immorality are unfounded: on the contrary, his law enjoins sobriety, generosity, and compassion on his followers: the "legislator of Arabia" was "a great man."
Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader who ...
admired Muhammad and Islam, and described him as a model lawmaker and a great man.
Thomas Carlyle Thomas Carlyle (4 December 17955 February 1881) was a Scottish essayist, historian and philosopher. A leading writer of the Victorian era, he exerted a profound influence on 19th-century art, literature and philosophy. Born in Ecclefechan, Dum ...
in his book '' On Heroes, Hero-Worship, & the Heroic in History'' (1841) describes "Mahomet" as "A silent great soul; he was one of those who cannot ''but'' be in earnest". Carlyle's interpretation has been widely cited by Muslim scholars as a demonstration that Western scholarship validates Muhammad's status as a great man in history. Ian Almond says that German Romantic writers generally held positive views of Muhammad: "
Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German people, German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, politician, statesman, theatre director, and critic. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe bibliography, His works include pla ...
’s 'extraordinary' poet-prophet,
Herder A herder is a pastoralism, pastoral worker responsible for the care and management of a herd or flock of domestic animals, usually on extensive management, open pasture. It is particularly associated with nomadic pastoralism, nomadic or transh ...
’s nation builder (...) Schlegel’s admiration for Islam as an aesthetic product, enviably authentic, radiantly holistic, played such a central role in his view of Mohammed as an exemplary world-fashioner that he even used it as a scale of judgement for the classical (the dithyramb, we are told, has to radiate pure beauty if it is to resemble 'a Koran of poetry')." After quoting
Heinrich Heine Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (; born Harry Heine; 13 December 1797 – 17 February 1856) was a German poet, writer and literary critic. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of '' Lie ...
, who said in a letter to some friend that "I must admit that you, great prophet of Mecca, are the greatest poet and that your Quran... will not easily escape my memory", John Tolan goes on to show how
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
in Europe in particular held more nuanced views about Muhammad and Islam, being an
ethnoreligious An ethnoreligious group (or an ethno-religious group) is a grouping of people who are unified by a common Religion, religious and ethnic group, ethnic background. Furthermore, the term ethno-religious group, along with ethno-regional and Ethnolin ...
minority feeling discriminated, they specifically lauded
Al-Andalus Al-Andalus translit. ; an, al-Andalus; ast, al-Ándalus; eu, al-Andalus; ber, ⴰⵏⴷⴰⵍⵓⵙ, label=Berber, translit=Andalus; ca, al-Àndalus; gl, al-Andalus; oc, Al Andalús; pt, al-Ândalus; es, al-Ándalus () was the Mus ...
, and thus, "writing about Islam was for Jews a way of indulging in a fantasy world, far from the persecution and
pogroms A pogrom () is a violent riot incited with the aim of Massacre, massacring or expelling an ethnic or religious group, particularly Jews. The term entered the English language from Russian to describe 19th- and 20th-century Anti-Jewish pogroms in ...
of nineteenth-century Europe, where Jews could live in harmony with their non-Jewish neighbors." Recent writers such as
William Montgomery Watt William Montgomery Watt (14 March 1909 – 24 October 2006) was a Scottish people, Scottish Oriental studies, Orientalist, historian, academic and Anglican ministry, Anglican priest. From 1964 to 1979, he was Professor of Arabic language, Arabic ...
and Richard Bell dismiss the idea that Muhammad deliberately deceived his followers, arguing that Muhammad "was absolutely sincere and acted in complete good faith" and Muhammad's readiness to endure hardship for his cause, with what seemed to be no rational basis for hope, shows his sincerity. Watt, however, says that sincerity does not directly imply correctness: in contemporary terms, Muhammad might have mistaken his subconscious for divine revelation. Watt and
Bernard Lewis Bernard Lewis, (31 May 1916 – 19 May 2018) was a British American historian specialized in Oriental studies Oriental studies is the academic field that studies Near Eastern and Far Eastern societies and cultures, languages, peoples, hist ...
argue that viewing Muhammad as a self-seeking impostor makes it impossible to understand Islam's development. Alford T. Welch holds that Muhammad was able to be so influential and successful because of his firm belief in his vocation.


Other religions

Followers of the
Baháʼí Faith The Baháʼí Faith is a religion founded in the 19th century The 19th (nineteenth) century began on 1 January 1801 (Roman numerals, MDCCCI), and ended on 31 December 1900 (Roman numerals, MCM). The 19th century was the ninth century of th ...
venerate Muhammad as one of a number of prophets or " Manifestations of God". He is thought to be the final manifestation, or seal of the Adamic cycle, but consider his teachings to have been superseded by those of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Baháʼí faith, and the first manifestation of the current cycle.
Druze The Druze (; ar, دَرْزِيٌّ, ' or ', , ') are an Arabic-speaking Western esotericism, esoteric ethnoreligious group from Western Asia who adhere to the Druze faith, an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheistic, Syncretic religio ...
tradition honors several "mentors" and "prophets", and Muhammad is considered an important prophet of God in the
Druze faith The Druze (; ar, دَرْزِيٌّ, ' or ', , ') are an Arabic-speaking Western esotericism, esoteric ethnoreligious group from Western Asia who adhere to the Druze faith, an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheistic, Syncretic religio ...
, being among the seven prophets who appeared in different periods of history.


Criticism

Criticism of Muhammad has existed since the 7th century, when Muhammad was decried by his non-Muslim Arab contemporaries for preaching
monotheism Monotheism is the belief that there is only one deity, an all-supreme being that is universally referred to as God.F. L. Cross, Cross, F.L.; Livingstone, E.A., eds. (1974). "Monotheism". The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2 ed.). Ox ...
, and by the
Jewish tribes of Arabia The Jewish tribes of Arabia were ethnic groups professing the Jewish faith Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic, monotheistic Monotheism is the belief that there is only one deity, an all-supreme being that is universall ...
for his perceived appropriation of Biblical narratives and
figures Figure may refer to: General *A shape, drawing, depiction, or geometric configuration *Figure (wood), wood appearance *Figure (music), distinguished from musical motif *Noise figure, in telecommunication *Dance figure, an elementary dance pattern ...
and proclamation of himself as the "
Seal of the Prophets Seal of the Prophets ( ar, خاتم النبيين, translit=khātam an-nabīyīn or khātim an-nabīyīn; or ar, خاتم الأنبياء, translit=khātam al-anbiyā’ or khātim al-anbiyā), is a title used in the Qur'an and by Muslims ...
". During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, post-classical period of World history (field), global history. It began with t ...
, various Western and
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
Christian thinkers criticized Muhammad's morality, and labelled him a
false prophet In religion, a false prophet is a person who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or Revelation, divine inspiration, or to speak for God, or who makes such claims for evil ends. Often, someone who is considered a "true prophet" by some people is ...
or even the
Antichrist In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist refers to people prophesied by the Bible to oppose Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ and substitute themselves in Christ's place before the Second Coming. The Glossary of Christianity, term Antichrist ...
, and he was frequently portrayed in
Christendom Christendom historically refers to the Christian states, Christian-majority countries and the countries in which Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus ...
as being either a
heretic Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religi ...
or as being possessed by
demons A demon is a malevolent supernatural entity. Historically, belief in demons, or stories about demons, occurs in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology, and folklore; as well as in Media (communication), media such as comics, video ...
. Modern religious and secular
criticism of Islam Criticism of Islam is broadly defined as criticism of the Islamic religion in its beliefs, principles, and/or any other ideas attributed to Islam. Criticism of Islam has existed since Islam's formative stages. Early written disapprovals came fr ...
has concerned Muhammad's sincerity in claiming to be a prophet, his morality, his
marriages Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between t ...
, his ownership of slaves, his treatment of his enemies, his handling of doctrinal matters and his psychological condition.


See also

* Ashtiname of Muhammad * Arabian tribes that interacted with Muhammad *
Diplomatic career of Muhammad The diplomatic career of Muhammad ( – 8 June 632) encompasses Muhammad's leadership over the growing Muslim community (''Ummah'') in early Arabia and his correspondences with the rulers of other nations in and around Arabia. This period was mar ...
*
Glossary of Islam The following list consists of notable concepts that are derived from Islamic culture, Islamic and associated cultural (Arab, Persians, Persian, Turkey, Turkish) traditions, which are expressed as words in Arabic language, Arabic or Persian lan ...
*
List of founders of religious traditions These are historical figure A historical figure is a significant person in history. The significance of such figures in human progress has been debated. Some think they play a crucial role, while others say they have little impact on the broa ...
*
List of notable Hijazis The Hejaz (, also ; ar, ٱلْحِجَاز, al-Ḥijāz, lit=the Barrier, ) is a region in the west of Saudi Arabia. It includes the cities of Mecca, Medina, Jeddah, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, Tabuk, Yanbu, Taif, and Baljurashi. It is also known as ...
* Muhammad and the Bible * Muhammad in film * Muhammad's views on Christians * Possessions of Muhammad *
Relics of Muhammad Traditionally, Islam has had a rich history of the veneration of relics, especially of those attributed to the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad.Goldziher, I. and Boer, Tj. de, “At̲h̲ar”, in: '' ...


Notes


Citations


References

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Al-Hibri, Azizah Y. (2003). "An Islamic Perspective on Domestic Violence". ''27 Fordham International Law Journal'' 195. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * US edn. by Inner Traditions International, Ltd. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Encyclopaedia of Islam

* * * * * *


Further reading

* * * * * * Musa, A.Y. ''Hadith as Scripture: Discussions on The Authority Of Prophetic Traditions in Islam'', New York: Palgrave, 2008 * * * Ali, Tariq, "Winged Words" (review of Maxime Rodinson, ''Muhammad'', translated by Anne Carter, NYRB, March 2021, 373 pp., ), ''
London Review of Books The ''London Review of Books'' (''LRB'') is a British literary magazine published twice monthly that features articles and essays on fiction and non-fiction subjects, which are usually structured as book reviews. History The ''London Review of ...
'', vol. 43, no. 12 (17 June 2021), pp. 11–14.


External links

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Muhammad Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Muhammad in Islam, Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet Divine inspiration, di ...
People from Mecca Prophets of the Quran Prophets in the Druze faith Quraysh The Fourteen Infallibles