Who was Mohammed?
Prophet Muhammad is the final Messenger of God, sent to preach the worship of One God without associations or paganistic images. He was born in the year 560 CE, in the prosperous city of Makkah (mentioned in the Bible as “Becca”). Through his paternal lineage, Prophet Muhammad is the descendant of Prophet Abraham and his son, Prophet Ishmael.
The coming of Prophet Muhammad is foretold in the scripture of Moses and Jesus. He bore particular signs known to the scholars of these communities. God chose Muhammad and kept his heart and soul pure throughout his life as a vessel for His Word and Religion. He lived forty years as a regular citizen, much like the common men of Makkah. In childhood, he was an orphan shepherd; in adulthood, a merchant, a husband and a father. His steady reputation earned him the nickname “al-Ameen,” meaning “The Trustworthy.” He was always known for his meritorious character, charity and fair dealings with people.
The young Muhammad, before receiving the Message of Islam, never entered politics. He was socially concerned, a dedicated family member, but not an activist. In his religious life before receiving prophethood, he declined the worship of idols and used to withdraw into seclusion in the local mountain of Hira in meditative search of a higher connection with truth and God than Makkan society afforded.
It was there, in the cave of Hira and at the age of forty, that Prophet Muhammad first met the Angel Gabriel, who brought him the first revelation of the Qur’an, after which he took up the mission of Islam. He continuously preached for twenty-three years, until his death at age sixty-three. Through various stages of social and political persecution, Prophet Muhammad endured and remained steadfast in the message of Islam, ultimately establishing a vast dominion for the religion replete with scholars, warriors, statesmen, and other roles vital to the preservation of this dynamic new nation.
His foremost concern was the salvation of mankind. He informed that his likeness was that of a man who struggled to shew moths away from a fire, though the moths ignorantly endeavored to burn themselves, attracted by the glow.
On his deathbed, the Prophet Muhammad was heard repeatedly saying, “As-Salah, as-salah” meaning “The Prayer, the prayer,” exhorting his followers to mind their prayers to God. The word “salah” is rooted in the word “silah,” which means “connection.” From his initial seclusions in the cave of Hirah until his death more than twenty years later, Prophet Muhammad’s life revolved around seeking personal connection to God, and preaching a message that connected human beings to their Creator without intercessory idols or saints.