573 - The Prophet Muhammad
By Caitlyn Given
Muhammad lived from about 570 to 632, and was born in Mecca as a member of the Quraysh tribe. In this time period, most tribes worshipped their own gods, but they all could pray for their gods at Mecca’s many worship sites. There were mostly polythetic Arabians, but there were also some Christians and Jews. Allah was considered the greatest of all of the worshipped gods. Muhammad was raised by his grandfather and uncle and worked as a merchant until around age 40. He married a wealthy woman, Khadijah. Muhammad was already religious, but he devoted his life to religion after his acclaimed experience with the angel Gabriel while meditating at Mount Jabal al-Nour.
Muhammad eventually decided that Allah had been the one who spoke to him, through Gabriel, and that it was then his duty to become the final prophet and spread the word of allah being the only god. This is a part of the Islam belief system, and its followers and called Muslims. Muhammad initially had a small following, but soon gained more followers while also being opposed by the greater population. Muhammad and his followers were forced to leave Mecca and migrate to Yathrib. This is known as the Hijrah. At the time, Yathrib was struggling because of political problems. Muhammad gained many followers and demonstrated his leadership skills in Yathrib, which was renamed Medina. He was also a political leader and became a military leader because of the conflict between Medina and Mecca. Eventually, Muhammad and his followers returned to Mecca and defeated them and took over. Meccans began to convert to Islam, since Muhammad was their new leader, although they were not forced to and any previous conflict was pardoned. Muhammad kept preaching and teaching the ways of Allah throughout this time, He died two years later, but his word continued to be spread and Islam started to become more and more popular.
Muhammad’s ideas and words were recorded by his followers in what is now the Qur’an, which is the base of the Islamic religion. This, and other writings by Muhammad’s followers, are used to show Muslims the rules they should follow in their daily life. He is, to this day, an extremely respected prophet to Muslims. Muhammad’s actions were major steps to converting the whole Arabian Peninsula to Islam.
This is the dome of the rock. According to Muslims, this is where Muhammad ascended to heaven.
This is Muhammad’s name written in Arabic calligraphy. It is against the Islamic law to create images of Muhammad, which is a tradition and a way to prevent the Muslims from worshipping idols.