Outlining the Main Events in the Life of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) and Assessing his Importance and Influence.
Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) was born around 570. He was born in Mekkah in Arabia into the Quraishi tribe. He was born on the 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal to his mother Amina. His father Abdullah died in Yathrib before the Prophet (pbuh) was born. When Muhammed was six years old, his mother Amina fell ill and died. Muhammed (pbuh) was looked after by his grandfather Abd-ul-Muttalib for two years but when Muhammed was eight, Abd-ul-Muttalib also died. Abu Talib, Muhammed (pbuh)’s uncle took care of him.
Abu Talib was a wealthy. Powerful businessman. He took Muhammed (pbuh) on many of his business trips. One such trip was a journey to Syria when Muhammed (pbuh) was twelve years old. On this trip to Syria, Abu Talib’s caravan passed the home of a Christian monk called Bahirah. Bahirah noticed that Muhammed (pbuh) had some features that matched the ones mentioned in the holy book Bahirah followed describing a prophet to come after Isa (Jesus).
As Muhammed grew up, his honest character shone through the evils of Makkan society and he was given the title ‘Al-Amin’ which means the trustworthy. Whilst working alongside his uncle as a businessman, Muhammed met Khadijah, daughter of Khuwaylid, a wealthy lady of noble birth with a well-known noble character. Khadijah asked Muhammed to marry her and he accepted. Muhammed was twenty-five at the time and Khadijah was forty years old. They were married for about twenty-five years before Khadijah died.
In Ranadhan the year Muhammed was forty years old (about 610), Muhammed sat alone in Cave Hira in Mount Bur. An angel appeared and asked him to read. Like most Arabs of the time, Muhammed (pbuh) could not write, nor could he read, so he told the angel that he could not read. The angel squeezed him and asked him to read again, and again he told the angel that he could not read. This happened three times before the angel told him to “Read in the name of your Lord…” and revealed to him the first verses of the Qur’an.
That night was one of the last five odd nights in the month of Ramadhan, there is great blessing in this night, and it is called Lailatul Qadr, the night of power. After the incident in the cave, Muhammed returned home to Khadijah. He told her what happened. Knowing what a kind, loving man he was, Khadijah believed the revelation had been from one God, Allah. Khadijah became the first person to accept Islamic monotheism and become a Muslim. Before accepting Islam, Khadijah talked to her cousin, a Chritian named Waraqah. Waraqah told Muhammed that he was a messenger confirming what Bahirah had said. Muhammed (pbuh) preached to others who knew him well. Those who he spoke to accepted Islam, Ali, his cousin, Zaid, and Abu Bakr, his best friend were among them.
In the first few years around fifty people from among his friends and family converted to Islam. In 615, the Muslims in Makkah were being persecuted so much that Muhammed (pbuh) advised them to leave Mekkah and migrate to Abyssinia where a Christian king called Negus ruled. In 619 the Makkans felt threatened by the growing number of Muslims. The Makkans boycotted them on a massive scale. No one was allowed to sell to Muslims, buy from Muslims or help them at all. During the boycott, Prophet Muhammed (pbuh)’s uncle Abu Talib died so did his wife Khadijah. He lost the two people who supported him most. Though Abu Talib had dies, the protection Muhammed had from him was not lost.
It was around this time that Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) experienced the Night Journey, Isra wal Miraj. In one night, he travelled from the Holy Mosque in Makkah to the ‘Further Mosque’ in Jerusalem. He made this journey on a winged horse called Buraq. Buraq took him to the heavens where he spoke to Allah and brought down the commandment to pray.
The message of Islam had spread 480km Makkah. A serious plot to assassinate Muhammed (pbuh) was put into action. The prophet and the Muslims in Makkah migrated to Yathrib (Madinah). On the 16th July 622 the Muslims left Makkah and went to Madinah on foot. The Madinans had visited Makkah and converted to Islam, they invited the prophet (pbuh) to be their leader. The emigration was called the Hijraj. The Muslim calendar starts from the Hijrah (AH). In Madinah the prophet ruled from a simple house. Now with Madinah as the first Islamic State the prophet taught the systems of Islam.
The Makkans hated the Muslims even more now that they had Madinah as their state. Two important battles were fought. In 624 the Muslims fought at the Battle of Badr, 300 Muslims with 900 Makkans. The Muslims won despite the numbers. They also fought the Battle of Uhud that they lost. In 627 the Makkans attacked Madinah but the Muslims had dug a trench that protected the city. The Hudaybia agreement was drawn up, which allowed the Muslims to visit Makkah on pilgrimage. In 632, Muhammed delivered his farewell speech on mount Arafat after the Muslims conquered Makkah peacefully. The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) died at the age of sixty-three.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was important in the Makkan society he lived in before he became a prophet. He was a fairly wealthy businessman. The family and tribe that he was born into were very powerful in Makkah. He himself was the grandson of Abd-al-Muttalib, one of the most powerful leaders of the Quraish tribe. For many years of his life, he was in the care of his uncle Abu Talib, an extremely wealthy businessman. Another of his uncles was Hamza, a great warrior. Many people were surprised when he did not harm the prophet but accepted Islam. As a businessman, prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was respected because everyone around him was corrupt, they cheated and lied in their trade whereas he remained honest and truthful. People trusted him so much that they gave him the title ‘Al-Amin’ which means the trustworthy.
He received his prophet hood around 610 CE. He was the last person to receive prophet hood or any kind of divine revelation. There will be no more prophets and no more revelation. He is important in Islam because prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the ‘Seal of the prophets’. He was a messenger to mankind to call the people to Allah’s way of life.
He was and still is so important that announcing your belief in him is part of the Muslim declaration of faith (the Shahada). He is part of a Muslims belief. If you do not believe that “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” then you are not a Muslim. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is also very important in Islam, as he was the last person to receive divine revelation. He was given the Qur’an by Allah through Angel Jibreel. Every word he received was carefully written down and preserved because it was so important that even if a few words were incorrect, it would ruin the beauty of the Qur’an given to prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is one of the world’s most influential men of all time. While he was alive, he managed to change the polytheist Arabian society to one of monotheistic beliefs and values. He was able to change masses with his words. Many of the things he said, did, and consented to have been recorded in Hadith narrated by people in his world. People close to his like his wives and his companions and people he met once or twice. Both kinds of people in his life valued his word so much so that they would record it, keep it and pass it on to others. Hadith are still very influential even today.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s words are so important and influential that Muslims make important decisions in their lives today based on them. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was able to change people beliefs through his image set before he became a prophet. He was an honest, trustworthy man and people believed what he was saying to be the truth because they believed that Muhammad son of Abdullah wouldn’t lie and they took him to be Muhammad, messenger of Allah. Today, people all over the world, speaking many different languages still respect prophet Muhammad (pbuh), because of his importance and influence when they say ‘Peace be upon Him (pbuh)’ after mentioning his name.
To conclude, prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was an extremely important and influential figure not just of his time. He also remains a prominent figure in history for being one of the world most influential people. He convinced masses in days and still holds a place in the hearts of millions one thousand four hundred and twenty-two years later.