If I could travel back in time to meet a famous person from history, I would want to meet with Prophet Mohammad. He is well known across the world as the person who brought the Islamic religion to the Arab countries. His teachings can be found in the Holy Quran (Madelung, 87). It is said in Islam that Mohammed is the last of all the prophets God will send to all the people on the earth. Mohammed is very famous because he brought a religion to the world by the orders of God and in only a short time, it became well known everywhere. Even today, there are over 1 billion people in the world who are Muslims.
Only a great person like Mohammed could have created a religion in his lifetime that would have captured the attention of all people. Islam started when God sent down angel Gabriel to Mohammed at the mountain Hara. He was first told, “Okra” which means “read”. The amazing part about this is Mohammed could never read nor write before meeting the angel. From this time at 40 years old until he was 63 years of age, he received many rules and wisdom from God. His instructions were to advise the people of God’s rules and how they should live, for they were living in “haram” or sin (Watt, 48). Mohammed was born and raised in Mecca.
His father died before he was born and he lost his mother too at the age of six and thereafter lived with his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib as an orphan (Andrea, 78). Growing up as an orphan in Mecca was never easy even though he was well fed by his guardians. At a tender age of twelve, Mohammed had started engaging in trading journeys with his uncle. He therefore started to develop interest in commercial trade probably because that was the only option he had because he grew up as an orphan. Mohammed took up the career as a merchant in his later youth and was highly regarded as trustworthy and later nicknamed “al-Amin”.
Mohammed’s youthful days are really admirable and inspiring at the same time (Madelung, 59). He not only had an upright character but was also a very hard working young man who tried and beat the odds despite his humble background. It was for his reputation that a forty year old widow called Khadijah who asked for his hand in marriage which he accepted and lived happily thereafter (Turner, 89). After the death of Khadijah, Mohammed married other women numbering about thirteen and he was survived by nine of them. One of them was called Aisha, who according to the Sunni Muslims was Mohammed’s favorite companion.
She is known for her instrumental work in bringing together the many scattered Mohammed’s sayings that later formed the Sunni’s hadith literature. As a husband, Mohammed had a great reputation at a time when women were lowly regarded in the society. It is said that he participated in house chores like washing, cooking and even sewing clothes. Although women were never treated fairly during the prophet’s time, Mohammed was extremely exceptional with his women. He not only listened to his wives’ advice but also engaged them in dialogue and arguments.
This is worth emulating in today’s Muslim societies where women continue to suffer in the hands of their men (Andrea, 75). Mohammed’s future prophetic life was said to have been prophesized by another Christian monk he met his way to his many caravans from Mecca to Syria (Watt, 56). At the onset of his prophetic life, Mohammed was fond of visiting a cave in Mount Hira every year where he would meditate for weeks. According to Islamic teachings, it was during one of the ritual meditations at Mount Hira when angel Gabriel descended and instructed him to say the following words: “Proclaim! or read! ) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created- Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful, – He Who taught (the use of) the pen, – Taught man that which he knew not” (Qur’an 96: 1-5). Mohammed was very much disturbed by these revelations and knew the task required of him. He went home and shared with his wife Khadija and Khadijah’s Christian cousin who consoled and reassured him that nothing bad would happen (Ramadan, 45). He was afraid of the news and did not know how he could get others to listen to what he was to say.
His wife was the first to tell him she believed him and that Mohammed must do what was told. The amazing thing about Mohammed is his faith and willingness to do what God commanded. He never gave up in his prayers even after a pause of almost three years after the initial revelation. He prayed continuously until God finally commanded him to start preaching the word to his people. He was living in Mekkah of Saudi Arabia when he began his teachings to the people. According to Islamic teachings, Mohammed’s wife was the first person who believed that he was a prophet.
His younger cousin called Ali Abi Talib and best friend Abu Bakr as well as his adopted son Zaid were to follow in believing in his prophesies (Turner, 102). Many of people from Mecca did not like or accept this way of life and tried to kill Mohammed. He would be mocked or chased away by the Meccans who could not believe or understand his new way of life. The opposition to Prophet Mohammed in Mecca began when he started preaching against worshiping of the idols that was a common feature in Mecca city.
He also became a threat to the wealthy religious leaders who depended on the Kaaba, a major defining traditional feature of the Meccan religion which Mohammed’s teachings would render obsolete. Due to these, most of his new converts were killed by the wealthy merchants and other opposing groups who never wanted their traditional religions interfered with. But Mohammed had to endure insults and ridicules only and could not be harmed or killed because he came from the Banu Hashim clan (Madelung, 56).
He left and traveled to different places including Yemen before he went back to Saudi Arabia to live in the city called Medina. The people of Medina were accepting of him and listened to his advice. There were some people there who professed to Jewish or other religions, but they did not fight with Mohammed. He had a good reputation in Medina where he helped to solve a long standing inter-ethnic conflict. A delegation comprising of representatives from all the clans involved in the fight between Jewish and Arabs in the Yathrib was sent to get Mohammed to arbitrate in the conflict.
This did not only help him to escape the hostile city of Mecca but also enable him spread his teaching to various communities and clans in the greater Middle East (Ramadan, 83). Mohammed’s teachings really formed the foundation of the Islamic religion. One of the Muslim’s sources of spiritual inspiration is the Sunnah. The sunnah according the Islamic religion are deeds and sayings of the prophet Mohammed as preserved in the hadith and includes a variety of activities as well as beliefs such religious rituals, burial rituals, personal hygiene and the love between man and God.
It is supposed to guide every Muslim and so far has been a great influence to the Muslim culture allover the world. For example, Mohammed taught Muslims a greeting to offer one another – “may peace be upon you” is wide used by Muslims from all corners of the world (Rahman, 69). The Sunnah has played an important role in the establishment and development of the religion’s sciences. Much of the prophet’s deeds and sayings have particularly contributed to the establishment of the Islamic law in the early years of the Islamic religion (Madelung, 78).
The Sufis who sought to understand the inner meaning of the holy book, Qur’an and the true nature of the prophet, considered Mohammed not only as a mere prophet but as a perfect saint. Their spiritual descent is traced back to Prophet Mohammed (Rahman, 45). Mohammed was not liked by many of the outside tribes living throughout the Middle East and they wanted to hurt him, they taught their children to throw stones at him during his travels (Andrea, 65). A great quality of Mohammed that I look to is his patience. He taught to others that a very important behavior in life is to have patience with all issues.
People would come to Mohammed with many complaints or questions to try and trick him (Madelung, 56). Others would do many things to him so he would go away. In all of these events, he would wait quietly and think before he answered or acted. I admire his ability to restrain himself and not fight small issues. In this world today, I think that everyone could benefit from this lesson of patience. Too many people die and are left hurting from wars between people who have little patience. During the spread of Islam, Mohammed gave people a choice to convert to Islam or if they did not want to, they would need to pay money that is like a tax.
The Muslims and other people who would pay could live in harmony, but the tribes who refused to pay and resisted the teaching of Islam would end up in a war. These people had killed family members of Mohammed and wanted to fight him. So Mohammed and a small army would go out to fight, for example the Battle of Badr City (Andrea, 67). The small Muslim army won the battles because God had given them the strength to fight an enemy who hated God and worshipped idols. When the battles were over, Mohammed never took prisoners and killed them on purpose.
He showed mercy and compassion. Like the Prophet Jesus had taught the way to live is with mercy, compassion and love. It is the only way to live a correct life. If you look to any of the prophets, they are famous and different from all of the other people because they took chances and were disliked. They had to remain strong in their faith of God and be patient. It was no different for Mohammed. There are many times in my life that I become angry because people are mean or I lose patience with them but I try to look to the example Mohammed made for the Muslims to follow.
I sit and read the Quran and hope to find a peace. Conclusion When the word was revealed to Mohammed, the world was in a bad situation. People were worshipping idols and hurting the less fortunate and women. It was like these people were acting like animals. Mohammed was very scared of how he would be accepted by the people and if they would reject the word of God. I admire the strength of Mohammed when he was faced with danger. I sometimes wish to have that strength, so I must remain strong in my faith to God and look to Him for guidance. This was an important teaching of the prophet Mohammed.
When I came to America, I was afraid because I was new and did not know many people. Also, the news shows things that can make people afraid of Muslims and I know some people will not like me because of it. I try hard to live by the example Mohammed set for the Muslim people so I may have a good life. It has been good for me in America. By having patience, I have learned many things about this country and also made good friends. I hope that people can look past the bad news media makes for people and discover the good things about Mohammed because there are many lessons a person can learn from his life.
Courtney from Study Moose
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