Most of us know about Jesus Christ and his life. Therefore, I will briefly cover Jesus in this paper. As for Muhammad, I will attempt to shed some light on the subject of this “Messenger of God”. Perhaps a better understanding of this Islamic icon can be obtained and understood through this comparative essay. Both of these religious figures caused a renewal of faith and belief in the one and only God, or Allah as the Muslims know Him by.
Jesus Christ, son of God, was born to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem, Israel. He was baptized by John the Baptist. When Jesus was baptized God called out from Heaven and declared “This is my beloved son”. This signified that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus had twelve companions oh his choosing. These were his disciples, also known as the apostles. They went with Jesus in his travels. In these travels, Jesus taught the masses about God through parables and sermons.
Jesus performed many miracles to prove that he was the son of God. He used his holy powers to overcome nature, disease and even death itself. He made believers out of many people that had witnessed the miracles. These miracles, along with his teachings, caused many to glorify God and believe that Jesus was truly the Messiah. The Messiah was foretold to be the savior of the world and the King of the Jews. Sadly, the Jewish leaders did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. The Jews had Jesus arrested. He was nearly released by the Roman Governor Pilate but the Jews threatened to riot. Pilate gave in and sentenced Jesus to be crucified.
Delivering on the promise that he had made to his disciples, Jesus came back to life after he had died on the cross. As it is told in the Bible, He was sealed up in a guarded tomb. An angel came and scared the heck out of the guards and fled the scene. The disciples later went to the tomb to discover it empty. Jesus had died on the cross for the sins of humanity and had risen from the dead, thus again proving that he was the true Messiah. The Prophet Muhammad was born in 569A.D. in Makkah, also known as Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
He was raised by his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib. This was because Muhammad’s father had died before he was born. Upon his grandfather’s death, he was brought up by his uncle Abu Talib. The Makkans claim to be descended from Abraham by Ismail. (Pickthall, M.) Therefore, it could be said that [Islam](http://www.associatedcontent.com/topic/6753/islam.html) is similar to Christianity in the fact that both are Abrahamic religions.
Muhammad journeyed with his uncle with a group of merchants that traded is Syria. Muhammad eventually became the merchant for the wealthy widow Khadijah. Although she was fifteen years older that Muhammad the two came to be married for twenty-six years. His marriage put him in good standing with the Makkahan people of notoriety. This, along with his excellent conducts in business and society, earned him the surname Al-Amin which meant “trustworthy”. (Pickthall, M.)
Muhammad was a non-conformist to the popular religion of his time. The House of Allah, known as the Kabah, was said to be built by Abraham for the worship of Allah only. Kabah had come to be a place of worship to other idols as well. Muhammad and others like him were known as Hunafa. They desired to know the true religion of Abraham and did not agree with the current worship of many idols. (Pickthall, M.)
The Hunafa sought the truth through inner reflection or meditation. Muhammad’s place of [meditation](http://www.associatedcontent.com/topic/4047/meditation.html) was known as Hira, a cave located in the Mountain of Light, near Makkah. This is where the angel Jibril, known as Gabrial to Christians, revealed to Muhammad his destiny. The angel appeared to Muhammad and stated “O Muhammad! Thou art Allah’s messenger, and I am Jibril”. (Pickthall, M.)
At first, Muhammad was quite disturbed by this event. He came to terms with his purpose and began to preach. In the beginning of his ministry he only preached to his family and friends. This was mainly due to the people of Makkah believing that Muhammad had gone crazy. (Pickthall, M.)
After a few years the prophet Muhammad was commanded by Allah to begin to preach to the public in order to convert the pagan Arabs to Islamic beliefs. Muhammad and his converts were met with much opposition by the Quraysh. They wanted to continue to idolize their pagan gods. The majority of Muhammad’s converts were powerless in defense against the Quraysh. The persecution was horrible. Muhammad urged all of his converts that were able to escape Makkah and go to the Christian country of Abyssinia which is now Ethiopia. (Pickthall, M.)