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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mahomet could refer to:

People's names
  • Muhammad, variant spelling (e.g. Medieval Latin, Polish, or French)
  • Sake Dean Mahomet, an 18th century Bengali traveler
  • Mahomet Weyonomon, a Native American tribal chieftain of the Mohegan tribe from Connecticut
Other uses


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Muhammad article)

From Wikiquote

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly.

Muhammad (Arabic: محمد) (c. 5708 June 632) full name: Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Abd al-Muttalib was a political, military, and religious leader. Muslim religious belief holds that he is the Seal of the prophets, and that the Qur'an is the message of Allah revealed to him by the angel Jibreel (Gabriel). Archaic spellings of his name in English include: Mohammed, Muhammed, and Mahomet.

See also quotes from the Qur'an (القرآن) and Non-Islamic views of Muhammad.




Sunni Hadith

Note: Hadith ("Traditions") of the Prophet are those sayings attributed directly to him, and to Muslims they are second in importance only to the Qur'an. They are seen as explanations of the Quranic verses and the second source of legislation in Islamic jurisprudence.
(Arranged alphabetically)
  • Faith (Belief) consists of more than sixty branches (i.e. parts). And Haya (This term "Haya" covers a large number of concepts which are to be taken together; amongst them are self respect, modesty, bashfulness, and scruple, etc.) is a part of faith.
  • Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:
    • 1. The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else.
    • 2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah's sake.
    • 3. Who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire.
    • Bukhari 1:15
  • Allah's Apostle [Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)] said, "The deeds of anyone of you will not save you (from the (Hell) Fire)." They said, "Even you (will not be saved by your deeds), O Allah's Apostle?" He said, "No, even I (will not be saved) unless and until Allah bestows His Mercy on me. Therefore, do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and worship Allah in the forenoon and in the afternoon and during a part of the night, and always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course whereby you will reach your target (Paradise).
  • The ink of scholars (used in writing) is weighed on the Day of Judgement with the blood of martyrs and the ink of scholars out-weighs the blood of martyrs.
    • As quoted in Al-Jaami' al-Saghîr by Imam al-Suyuti, where it is declared a "weak Hadith".
    • Variant translations:
    • The ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr.
    • The ink of scholars will be weighed in the scale with the blood of martyrs.
      • As quoted in Knowledge of God in Classical Sufism : Foundations of Islamic Mystical Theology (2004) by John Renard
  • A Muslim asked: "Oh Apostle of God, who are your kin whom you have ordered us to obey?" He replied, "Ali (Blessings Peace Be Upon Him), Fatimah (Blessings Be Upon Her), and her two sons."
    • al-Suyuti, Dur al-Manthur, vol.7, p.7 ; ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tafsir al-Tabari, vol.5, p.16 ; al-Fakhr al-Razi, al-Tafsir, vol.7, p.406 ; ibn Hajar al-Haythami, al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, p.102 ; Muhibbuddin al-Tabari, Dhakha‘ir al-Uqba, p.25 ; al-Shablanji, Nur al-Absar, p.100.
  • A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that.
    • Bukhari 4:538 This is an extraordinary hadith, because following the Sunnah of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) , prostitutes can be extremely despised figures among most Muslims, yet it expresses the idea that even someone working in one of the most despised of professions, in showing mercy to an animal, can merit the forgiveness of Allah, and the wise.
  • The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Verily, Allah has revealed to me that you should adopt humility. So that no one may wrong another and no one may be disdainful and haughty towards another."
    • Riyadh-us-Salaheen, Compiled By Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi, Chapter 279, Hadith 1589 [1]
  • Allah’s Messenger kissed Al-Hasan ibn `Ali while Al-Aqra` ibn Habis At-Tamim was sitting with him . Al-Aqra` said, “I have ten children and have never kissed one of them.” The Prophet cast a look at him and said, “Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully.”
    • Al-Bukhari
  • Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to people.
    • Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, #473
  • Allah's Apostle said, "Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbor, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet.
  • Avoid cruelty and injustice for, on the Day of Judgment, the same will turn into several darknesses; and guard yourselves against miserliness; for this has ruined nations who lived before you.
    • Riyadh-us-Salaheen, Hadith 203
  • By his good character, a believer will attain the degree of one who prays during the night and fasts during the day.
    • Abu Dawood, Hadith 2233
  • ...Do not betray, do not be excessive, do not kill a newborn child.
    • Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #1731, and Al-Tirmizi, #1408.
  • Do not turn away a poor man...even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you...God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.
    • Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376
  • (Each one) of you should save himself from the fire by giving even half of a date (in charity). And if you do not find a half date, then (by saying) a pleasant word (to your brethren).
    • Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 394
  • Fear Allah and treat your children [small or grown] fairly (with equal justice).
    • Al-Bukhari and Muslim
  • Five kinds of animals are mischief-doers and can be killed even in the Sanctuary: They are the rat, the scorpion, the kite, the crow and the rabid dog.
    • Hadith - Bukhari 4:531, Narrated 'Aisha
  • "God does not judge you according to your bodies and appearances, but He looks into your hearts and observes your deeds."
    [The man asked] "Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man said. "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man further said, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your father."
    • Sahih al-Bukhari, 8:2
  • "Happy is the man who avoids dissension, but how fine is the man who is afflicted and shows endurance."
    • Sunah of Abu Dawood, Hadith 1996
  • "He who builds a masjid in the way of Allah, God will build a house for him in the paradise."
  • He who has been a ruler over ten people will be brought shackled on the Day of Resurrection, until the justice (by which he ruled) loosens his chains or tyranny brings him to destruction.
  • "I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this," — putting his index and middle fingers together.
    • Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 8 Book 73 Number 34
  • I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for."
    • Narrated by 'Umar bin Al-Khattab: Sahih Al-Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 1, Number 1
  • In the name of God, I put my trust in God. O God, I seek refuge in Thee lest I stray or be led astray or cause injustice or suffer injustice or do wrong or have wrong done to me!
    • Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2, Number 67b.
  • It is better for a leader to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing.
    • Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1011
  • It is a fine thing when a believer praises and thanks God if good comes to him, and praises God and shows endurance if smitten by affliction. The believer is rewarded for (every good action), even for the morsel he raises to his wife's mouth.
    • Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 537
  • It is better for any of you to carry a load of firewood on his own back than to beg from someone else.
  • Narrated Abu Qatadah: “The Messenger of Allah came towards us while carrying Umamah the daughter of Abi Al-`As (Prophet’s granddaughter) over his shoulder. He prayed, and when he wanted to bow, he put her down, and when he stood up he lifted her up.”
    • Al-Bukhari
  • Narrated Umm Khalid: I (the daughter of Khalid ibn Said) went to Allah’s Messenger with my father and I was wearing a yellow shirt. Allah’s Messenger said, “Sanah, Sanah!” (`Abdullah, the narrator, said that sanah meant “good” in the Ethiopian language). I then started playing with the seal of prophethood (between the Prophet’s shoulders) and my father rebuked me harshly for that. Allah’s Messenger said, “Leave her.” The Prophet, then, invoked Allah to grant her a long life thrice.
    • Al-Bukhari
  • O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety.
    • Narrated in Mosnad Ahmad, #22978.
  • People, beware of injustice, for injustice shall be darkness on the Day of Judgment.
    • Narrated in Mosnad Ahmad, #5798, and Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #2447.
  • Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded.
  • Righteousness is good morality, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in your soul and which you dislike people finding out about.
    • An-Nawawi's "Forty Hadith," Hadith 27
  • Seven kinds of people will be sheltered under the shade of God on the Day of Judgment...They are: a just ruler, a young man who passed his youth in the worship and service of whose heart is attached to the mosque...two people who love each other for the sake of God...a man who is invited to sin...but declines, saying 'I fear God' who spends his charity in secret, without making a show...and one who remembers God in solitude so that his eyes overflow.
    • Riyadh-us-Salaheen, Hadith 376
  • Sometimes I enter prayer and I intend to prolong it, but then I hear a child crying, and I shorten my prayer thinking of the distress of the child's mother.
    • Fiqh us-Sunnah, Volume 2, Number 51b
  • The best among you are those who are best to their wives.
    • Narrated in Ibn Majah, #1978, and Al-Tirmizi, #3895.
  • The example of a believer is like a fresh tender plant; from whichever direction the wind blows, it bends the plant. But when the wind dies down, (it) straightens up again.
    • Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 4, Number 1
  • The first cases to be adjudicated between people on the Day of Judgment will be those of bloodshed [killing and injuring]
    • Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #1678, and Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #6533.
  • The first to be summoned to Paradise on the Day of Resurrection will be those who praise God in prosperity and adversity.
    • Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 730
  • The Prophet said, “(It happens that) I start the prayer intending to prolong it, but on hearing the cries of a child, I shorten the prayer because I know that the cries of the child will incite its mother’s passions.”
    • Al-Bukhari
  • There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human.
    • Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #2244, and Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #2466.
  • "What is the best type of Jihad [struggle]?" He answered: "Speaking truth before a tyrannical ruler."
    • Riyadh us-Saleheen Volume 1:195
  • While a man was walking along a road, he became very thirsty and found a well. He lowered himself into the well, drank, and came out. Then [he saw] a dog protruding its tongue out with thirst. The man said: "This dog has become exhausted from thirst in the same way as I." He lowered himself into the well again and filled his shoe with water. He gave the dog some water to drink. He thanked God, and [his sins were] forgiven. The Prophet was then asked: "Is there a reward for us in our animals?" He said: "There is a reward in every living thing."
    • Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 104
  • Whoever killed a person having a treaty with the Muslims, shall not smell the smell of Paradise though its smell is perceived from a distance of forty years.
  • Abu Huraira reported that a person came to Allah, 's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Who among the people is most deserving of a fine treatment from my hand? He said: Your mother. He again said: Then who (is the next one)? He said: Again it is your mother (who deserves the best treatment from you). He said: Then who (is the next one)? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Again, it is your mother. He (again) said: Then who? Thereupon he said: Then it is your father.
    • Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, Book 032, Number 6180 [2]
  • Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: A woman was punished because she had kept a cat tied until it died, and (as a punishment of this offence) she was thrown into the Hell. She had not provided it with food, or drink, and had not freed her so that she could eat the insects of the earth.
    • Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, Book 026, Number 5570 [3]
  • Verily Allah has enjoined goodness to everything; so when you kill, kill in a good way and when you slaughter, slaughter in a good way. So every one of you should sharpen his knife, and let the slaughtered animal die comfortably.
    • Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, Book 021, Number 4810 [4]

Shi'ite Hadith

On the mourning of his grandson Husayn

The Shrine of Imām Husayn ibn ‘Alī in Karbalā, Iraq
  • The Holy Prophet (AS) said: Surely, there exists in the hearts of the Mu'mineen, with respect to the martyrdom of Husain (A.S.), a heat that never subsides.
    • Mustadrak al‑Wasail vol 10 pg. 318
  • O' Fatimah! Every eye shall be weeping on the Day of Judgment except the eye which has shed tears over the tragedy of Husain (A.S.) for surely, that eye shall be laughing and shall be given the glad tidings of the bounties and comforts of Paradise.
    • Bihar al‑Anwar, vol. 44 pg. 193.
  • On the Day of Judgment, you shall intercede for the ladies and I shall intercede for the men; every person who has wept over the tragedy of Husain (A.S.), we shall take him by the hand and lead him into Paradise.
    • Bihar al‑Anwar vol. 94 pg. 192,
  • (On the Day of Judgment, a group would be seen in the most excellent and honourable of states. They would be asked if they were of the Angels or of the Prophets. In reply they would state): "We are‑neither Angels nor Prophets but of the indigent ones from the ummah of Muhammad (S.A.W.)". They would then be asked: "How then did you achieve this lofty and honourable status?" They would reply: "We did not perform very many good deeds nor did we pass all the days in a state of fasting or all the nights in a state of worship but yes, we used to offer our (daily) prayers (regularly) and whenever we used to hear the mention of Muhammad (S.A.W.), tears would roll down our cheeks".
    • Mustadrak al‑Wasail, vol 10, pg. 318.
  • (A hopeful sinner is closer to the mercy of Allah then a hopeless worshipper.
    • Mizan al-hikma, Volume 10, Page 504, Tradition 7109

On the Qur'an

Quran cover.jpg
  • “The one who recites the Qur’an and the one who listens to it have an equal share in the reward.”
    • Mustadrakul Wasa’il, Volume 1, Page 293
  • “The best of those amongst you is the one who learns the Qur’an and then teaches it to others.”
    • Al-Amali of Shaykh at-Tusi, Volume 1, Page 5
  • “Everything in existence prays for the forgiveness of the person who teaches the Qur’an - even the fish in the sea.”
    • Usulul Kafi, Volume 3, Page 301
  • “These hearts rust just as iron rusts; and indeed they are polished through the recitation of the Qur’an.”
    • Irshadul Qulub; Page 78
  • In his last testament to ‘Ali (peace be upon him), the Messenger of Allah (blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) told him: “O’ ‘Ali! I advice you to recite the Qur’an in every state (which you may find yourself in).”
    • Man La Yahdhuruhul Faqih, Volume 4, Page 188
  • “Nothing is harder for Satan to bear than a person who recites the Qur’an by looking at the pages (of the Qur’an).”
    • Thawabul A’mal, Page 231
  • “Brighten up your houses through the recitation of the Qur’an, and do not make them (your homes) like graves, similar to what the Jews and Christians have done (by not performing the prayers and worship of God in their house and limiting this to the Synagogues and Churches).”
    • Usulul Kafi, Volume 2, Page 610
  • “One who recites ten verses (ayat) of the Qur’an every night will not be counted amongst the negligent ones (Ghafilin); and one who recites fifty verses (ayat) will be written as those who remember Allah (Dhakirin); and one who recites one hundred verses (ayat) will be written down as the obedient and worshipper of Allah (Qanitin).”
    • Thawabul A’mal, Page 232
  • “I advise you to recite the Qur’an and remember Allah much, for surely the Qur’an will remember you (do your dhikr) in the Heavens and it will be a Divine Light (nur) for you on the Earth.”
    • Al-Khisal, Page 525
  • “The superiority of the Qur’an over the rest of words, is like the superiority of Allah over His creations.”
    • Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, Volume 4, Page 237
  • “Whoever recites the first four verses of Suratul Baqarah, Ayatul Kursi (verse 255 of Suratul Baqarah) along with the two verses which follow it (verses 256 and 257 up to ‘Wa Hum Fiha Khalidun’), and the last three verses (of this same Surah) will not see any bad or sorrow in his life or his wealth; Satan will not come near him; and he will not forget the Qur’an.”
    • Thawabul A’mal, Page 234
  • “For every thing there is an embellishment (or a decoration), and the embellishment of the Qur’an is a good voice.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 92, Page 190
  • “Surely this Qur’an is the rope of Allah, and a manifest Light (nur), and a beneficial cure. Therefore, busy yourselves with the recitation of it, for Allah - The Mighty and Glorious – grants the reward of ten good deeds to you for every letter which is recited.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 92, Page 19
  • “Whenever the waves of calamities encompass you like the dark night, seek refuge with the Qur’an - for it is an intercessor whose intercession will be accepted. One who takes it as a guide, Allah will lead that person into Heaven; and whoever disregards it or goes against it, will be lead into the Hell fire.”
    • Fadhlul Qur’an, Page 599
  • “Recite the Qur’an in such a way that your hearts develop a love for it and your skin becomes softened by it. However as soon as your hearts become indifferent to it (meaning that the Qur’an has no effect on you), then stop reciting it.”
    • Mustadrakul Wasa’il, Volume 4, Page 239
  • “One who listens to the Qur’an (while it is being recited) will be kept away from the evils of this world; and one who recites the Qur’an will be kept away from the trials of the hereafter. And the person who listens to even one verse of the book of Allah - this is better (for him) than possessing a mansion of gold.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 92, Page 19
  • “The number of levels (stages) in Heaven is (equivalent to) the number of verses in the Qur’an (6236). Thus, when a reciter of the Qur’an enters into Heaven, it will be said to him: ‘Go up one level for every verse that you can recite.’ Thus, no one will be in a higher level than the one who has memorized the entire Qur’an.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 92, Page 22
  • “If you want ease and success in this world, the death of a martyr, to be saved on the Day of Loss, a shade on the Day of the burning Qiyamat, and guidance on the Day of going astray, then take lessons from the Qur’an. Surely it is the word of the Merciful, a protection from the Satan, and one of the most weightiest of things for the scale of (good) deeds (on the Day of Judgement).”
    • Jami’ul Akhbar, Page 78
  • “Surely the recitation of the Qur’an is an atonement for the sins, a covering (protection) from the Hell Fire, and a safety from the punishment. Mercy will descend upon the reciter, the Angels will seek forgiveness for him, Heaven will long for that person, and his Master (Allah) will be pleased with him.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 93, Page 17
  • “The people of the Qur’an (those who recite and those who memorize the Qur’an) will be in the highest level (in Heaven) from amongst all of the people with the exception of the Prophets and Messengers. Thus, do not seek to degrade the people of the Qur’an, nor take away their rights, for surely they have been given a high rank by Allah.”
    • Thawabul A’mal, Page 224
  • “Place a portion (of goodness) from the Qur’an in your homes, for surely ease will come to the people of that house in which the Qur’an is read, goodness will increase, and the inhabitants (of that house) will be given excess bounties.”
    • Wasa’ilush Shi’a, Volume 4, Page 85

On Prayer

  • “The first thing that Allah made obligatory upon my Ummah was the five prayers; and the first thing from their acts of worship that shall be taken up will be the five prayers; and the first thing that they will be questioned about will be the five prayers.”
    • Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 7, Tradition 18859
  • “One who adheres to the five (daily) prayers diligently, they shall be a means of illumination and salvation for him on the Day of Judgment.”
    • Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 7, Tradition 18862
  • “The prayer of a person is (in reality) a light in his heart, so whoever desires, can illuminate his heart (by means of prayers).”
    • Kanzul `Ummal, Volume7, Tradition 18973
  • “The prayer is one of the (primary) dictates of religion, in it lies the pleasure of the Lord, the Mighty and the Glorious, and it is the conduct of the Prophets.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 82, Page 231
  • “The prayer is the standard of Islam. Whosoever loves prayers, and observes their limits, timings and methods, is a true believer.”
    • Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 7, Tradition 18870
  • “For every thing there is a face and the face of your religion is prayers. So see to it that none from amongst you damages and disfigures the face of his religion.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 82, Page 209
  • “Whenever the time of each prayer arrives, an Angel announces to the people: (O’ People!) Stand up and extinguish, with prayers, the fire which you have set alight for yourselves.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 82, Page 209
  • “The position of prayers with respect to religion is similar to that of the head with respect to the body.”
    • Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 7, Tradition 18972
  • “The example of the five (daily) prayers is like that of a clear-water river flowing in front of your houses in which a person washes himself five times a day – cleansing him from all dirt.”
    • Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 7, Tradition 18931
  • “The most beloved of deeds in the eyes of Allah are: offering prayers at the stipulated times; (then) goodness and kindness towards parents; (and then) Jihad in the way of Allah.”
    • Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 7, Tradition 18897
  • “One who considers the prayers to be insignificant and trivial is not from me. By Allah! He shall never come close to me at the pool of Kauthar.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 82, Page 224
  • “Do not destroy your prayers for verily one who destroys his prayers shall be resurrected in the company of Qarun, Haman and Fir`awn.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 82, Page 202
  • “Prayer is the pillar of your religion and one who intentionally forsakes his prayer has destroyed his religion. And one who does not guard the times of the prayers, shall be made to enter ‘Wayl’, which is a valley in Hell, as Allah, the Exalted, has said: “So woe to the praying ones, who are unmindful of their prayers.”
    • Biharul Anwar,Volume 82, Page 202
  • Do not abandon your prayers intentionally for surely the obligations of Allah and His Messenger cease to cover one who forsakes his prayers intentionally.”
    • Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 7, Tradition 19096
  • “If a person abandons his prayer such that he neither desires its rewards nor fears its chastisement, for such a person I do not care if he dies a Jew, a Christian or a Magian.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 82, Page 202
  • The good deeds of one who, without any appropriate excuse does not offer his prayer until its time passes away, are annulled.” He then said: “The divide between a believer and disbelief is the abandonment of prayers.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 82, Page 202
  • “The name of one who forsakes his prayer intentionally is written upon The door of Hell from which he shall (eventually) enter.”
    • Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 7, Tradition 19090

On Hajj

Pilgrims circumambulating the Kaaba during the Hajj
  • “A person who circumambulates this House (the Ka’bah) seven times and performs the two Rak’at Salat (of Tawaaf) in the best form possible will have his sins forgiven.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 96, Page 49
  • “Surely Allah has chosen four cities from amongst all others, just as He, the Noble and Grand has said (in the Noble Qur’an): “I swear by ‘the fig’ and ‘the olive’ and the ‘Mountain of Sinai’ and by this protected city.” ‘The fig’ is the city of Madinah; ‘The olive’ is the city of Baitul Maqdas (in Jerusalem); ‘The Mountain of Sinai’ is Kufah; and the protected city is Makkah.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 96, Page 77
  • “Perform the tawaaf of the House and rub your hand over the Corner which has the Hajr al-Aswad because this is the right hand of Allah on His Earth which He shakes with His creations.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 96, Page 202
  • “The water of Zamzam is a cure for whatever (ailment) it is taken for.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 96, Page 245
  • “The greatest sin of a person who goes to ‘Arafat and then leaves is to think that he has not been forgiven of his sins.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 96, Page 248
  • “A person seeing (visiting) my grave deserves my intercession. And a person who visits me after my death is like a person who visited me during my lifetime.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 96, Page 334
  • “Walimah is only in five occasions: in the ‘Urs, Khurs, ‘Idhar, Wikar and the Rikaz – ‘Urs is when a person gets married; and Khurs is when a child is born; and ‘Idhar is on the circumcision of a baby boy; and Wikar is when a person purchases a house; and Rikaz is when a person returns from Hajj.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 96, Page 384


  • “The person who seeks knowledge while in his youth is similar to the act of inscribing something upon a rock; while the person who seeks knowledge while he is old is similar to the act of writing something upon the water.”
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 1, Page 222
  • “A person shall arrive on the Day of Judgement and shall be in possession of good deeds in the measure of vastly accumulated clouds or towering mountains. (Witnessing them) he shall ask: ‘Oh My Lord! How can these be for me when I have not performed them?’ God shall reply: ‘This is your knowledge that you had taught and conveyed to the people, and which was acted upon after you had died.’
    • Biharul Anwar, Volume 2, Page 18

Final sermon

The Last Sermon of Muhammad delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul Hijjah 10 A.H (c. 630 AD)

  • O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I don't know whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.
  • O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have right over you. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.
  • All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
  • All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly.
  • Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another. You are brothers.
It is better for a leader to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing.

Quotes about Muhammad

Alphabetized by author
  • Say (O Muhammad): O mankind! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah to you all - (the messenger of) Him unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no god save Him. He quickeneth and He giveth death. So believe in Allah and His messenger, the unschooled prophet, who believeth in Allah and in His Words, and follow him that haply ye may be led aright.
  • O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makka) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her;- this only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large);
  • In little more than a year he was actually the spiritual, nominal and temporal ruler of Medina, with his hands on the lever that was to shake the world.
    • John Austin, in "Muhammad the Prophet of Allah" in T.P.'s and Cassel's Weekly (24 September 1927)
  • O ye men, whoever amongst you worshipped Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad is dead, and whoever amongst you worshipped Allah, let him know that Allah is Living, there is no death for Him.
  • But do you mean to tell me that the man who in the full flush of youthful vigour, a young man of four and twenty [24], married a woman much his senior, and remained faithful to her for six and twenty years, at fifty years of age when the passions are dying married for lust and sexual passion? Not thus are men's lives to be judged. And you look at the women whom he married, you will find that by every one of them an alliance was made for his people, or something was gained for his followers, or the woman was in sore need of protection.
    • Annie Besant, The Life and Teachings of Muhammad (1932), p. 4
  • It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knew how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel, whenever I reread them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.
    • Annie Besant, in "The Life and Teachings of Mohammad (1932), p. 4
  • Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born in Mecca, in Arabia, the man Muhammad, who of all men, has exercised the greatest influence upon the human race. To be the religious head of many empires, to guide the daily life of one-third of the human race, may perhaps justify the title of a Messenger of God.
    • Dr. William Draper, M.D. L.L.D. in "History of Intellectual Development of Europe"
  • By the false prophet, is sometimes meant the Pope and his clergy; but here an eye seems to be had to Mahomet, whom his followers call the great prophet of God.
    • Jonathan Edwards, referring to the false prophet of Revelation 16:13, in The Fall of Antichrist (1829), Part VII, page 395, New York, Published by S. Converse
I wanted to know the best of one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind... ~ Mahatma Gandhi
  • I wanted to know the best of one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind ... I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life.
  • He is a prophet and not a poet and therefore his Koran is to be seen as Divine Law, and not as a book of a human being made for education or entertainment.
  • My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential person may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. Furthermore, Muhammad (unlike Jesus) was a secular as well as religious leader. In fact, as the driving force behind the Arab conquests, he may well rank as the most influential political leader of all time. It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence, which I feel, entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.
  • The league of nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations. ... the fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what Islam has done towards the realization of the idea of the League of Nations.
  • Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was super human; to subvert superstitions which had been imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he Muhammad had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God's name, Persia, Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain and part of Gaul.
    If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls. . . his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.
    Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?
He had brought a new religion which, with its monotheism and its ethical doctrines, stood on an incomparably higher level than the paganism it replaced. ~ Bernard Lewis
  • He had achieved a great deal. To the pagan peoples of western Arabia he had brought a new religion which, with its monotheism and its ethical doctrines, stood on an incomparably higher level than the paganism it replaced. He had provided that religion with a revelation which was to become in the centuries to follow the guide to thought and count of countless millions of Believers. But he had done more than that; he had established a community and a well organized and armed state, the power and prestige of which made it a dominant factor in Arabia.... The modern historian will not readily believe that so great and significant a movement was started by a self-seeking imposter. Nor will he be satisfied with a purely supernatural explanation, whether it postulates aid of divine of diabolical origin; rather, like Gibbon, will he seek 'with becoming submission, to ask not indeed what were the first, but what were the secondary causes of the rapid growth' of the new faith...
  • I regard Mohammed as a great man, who solved a political problem of appalling difficulty, — the construction of a state and an empire out of the Arab tribes. I have endeavored, in recounting the mode in which he accomplished this, to do justice to his intellectual ability and to observe towards him the respectful attitude which his greatness deserves.
  • Leaders must fulfill three functions — provide for the well-being of the led, provide a social organization in which people feel relatively secure, and provide them with one set of beliefs. People like Pasteur and Salk are leaders in the first sense. People like [[Mohandas K. Gandhi}Gandhi]] and Confucius, on one hand, and Alexander, Caesar and Hitler on the other, are leaders in the second and perhaps the third sense. Jesus and Buddha belong in the third category alone. Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Mohammed, who combined all three functions. To a lesser degree, Moses did the same.
    • Jules Masserman, as quoted in "Who Were Histories Great Leaders?" in TIME magazine (15 July 1974)
  • It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: 'God Alone is Great'... I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes man instinctively a brother.
    • Sarojini Naidu, Ideals of Islam, vide Speeches & Writings (1918), p. 169
  • "I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, AND MOHAMED, AN APOSTLE OF GOD" is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honor of the Prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtues; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.
  • The great imposter Mohammed pretended that he was taught his Koran.
    • John Owen, Communion with God, 1657; in The Works of John Owen Volume 2, 1997, Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, ISBN 0-85151-124-4, p. 391
  • The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes. There is Muhammad the Prophet. There is Muhammad the Warrior; Muhammad the Businessman; Muhammad the Statesman; Muhammad the Orator; Muhammad the Reformer; Muhammad the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad the Judge; Muhammad the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero.
  • The medieval ecclesiastics, either through ignorance or bigotry, painted Muhammadanism in the darkest colours. They were in fact trained both to hate the man Muhammad and his religion. To them Muhammad was Anti-Christ. I have studied him — the wonderful man, and in my opinion far from being an Anti-Christ he must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much-needed peace and happiness.
  • Head of the State as well as of the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without the Pope's pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar. Without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue, if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by a right Divine, it was Mohammed; for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports. He rose superior to the titles and ceremonies, the solemn trifling, and the proud humility of court etiquette. To hereditary kings, to princes born in the purple, these things are, naturally enough, as the breath of life; but those who ought to have known better, even self-made rulers, and those the foremost in the files of time — a Caesar, a Cromwell, a Napoleon — have been unable to resist their tinsel attractions. Mohammed was content with the reality, he cared not for the dressings, of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life.
    • Reginald Bosworth Smith, in "Mohammedanism and Christianity" (7 March 1874), published in Mohammed and Mohammedanism (1889), p. 289
  • Islam was founded by Mohammed, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives, and his last one was a nine-year-old girl.
  • His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement - all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.
  • The more one reflects on the history of Muhammad and of early Islam, the more one is amazed at the vastness of his achievement. Circumstances presented him with an opportunity such as few men have had, but the man was fully matched with the hour. Had it not been for his gifts as seer, statesman, and administrator and, behind these, his trust in God and firm belief that God had sent him, a notable chapter in the history of mankind would have remained unwritten.
    ...Only a profound belief in himself and his mission explains Muhammad's readiness to endure hardship and persecution during the Meccan period when from a secular point of view there was no prospect of success. Without sincerity how could he have won the allegiance and even devotion of men of strong and upright character like Abu-Bakr and 'Umar ? For the theist there is the further question how God could have allowed a great religion like Islam to develop on a basis of lies and deceit. There is thus a strong case for holding that Muhammad was sincere. If in some respects he was mistaken, his mistakes were not due to deliberate lying or imposture.
  • In Muhammad, I should hold, there was a welling up of the creative imagination, and the ideas thus produced are to a great extent true and sound. It does not follow, however, that all the Qur'anic ideas are true and sound. In particular there is at least one point at which they seem to be unsound; the idea that ' revelation ' or the product of the creative imagination is superior to normal human traditions as a source of bare historical fact. There are several verses in the Qur'an (II. 5I; 3. 39; I2. I03) to the effect that ' this is one of the reports of the unseen which We reveal to thee; thou didst not know it, thou nor thy people, before this '. One could admit a claim that the creative imagination was able to give a new and truer interpretation of a historical event, but to make it a source of bare fact is an exaggeration and false.
    This point is of special concern to Christians, since the Qur'an denies the bare fact of the death of Jesus on the cross, and Muslims still consider that this denial outweighs the contrary testimony of historical tradition. The primary intention of the Qur'an was to deny the Jews' interpretation of the crucifixion as a victory for themselves, but as normally explained it goes much farther. The same exaggeration of the role of ' revelation ' has also had other consequences. The Arab contribution to Islamic culture has been unduly magnified, and that of the civilized peoples of Egypt, Syria, 'Iraq and Persia, later converted to Islam, has been sadly belittled.
    Too much must not be made of this slight flaw. Which of us, conscious of being called by God to perform a special task, would not have been more than a little proud ? On the whole Muhammad was remarkably free from pride. Yet this slight exaggeration of his own function has had grave consequences and cannot be ignored.
  • I always took the view — contrary to most previous scholars of Islam — that the Quran was not something that Muhammad had consciously produced. For long, however, I hesitated to speak of him as a prophet, because Muslims would have taken this to mean that everything in the Quran was finally and absolutely true, which was something I did not believe. More recently, however, I have said that Muhammad is a prophet comparable to the Old Testament prophets, though with a different task, namely, to bring the knowledge of God to people without such knowledge, whereas their task was mainly to criticize the conduct of those who already believed in God.
    • William Montgomery Watt, as quoted in Muhammad : A Short Biography (1998) by Martin Forward, p. 106 ISBN 1-85168-131-0
  • I therefore do not believe that either the Bible or the Qur’an is infallibly true in the sense that all their commands are valid for all time. ... when the form of society changes in important respects some commands cease to be appropriate, though many others continue to be valid. I do, however, believe that Muhammad, like the earlier prophets, had genuine religious experiences. I believe that he really did receive something directly from God. As such, I believe that the Qur’an came from God, that it is Divinely inspired. Muhammad could not have caused the great upsurge in religion that he did without God’s blessing.
  • A raw and raging debate pervades the Qur'an. Muhammad's tribe disputed his claims and mocked him unmercifully, saying his religion was a forgery, a counterfeit. Qur'an 11:13 Or, do they say: 'He (Muhammad) has forged it (the Qur'an)'. His contemporaries knew he was a fraud. And they weren't the least bit shy about saying so.

Authors unknown:

  • Christians claimed the Antichrist was Muhammad, founder of Islam, because they consider him a false prophet who placed himself above Jesus, and whose religion conquered Jerusalem and forcibly converted Christians, Jews, and others.


  • [It is simply amazing] how one man single handedly could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades.
    • Attributed to Thomas Carlyle, this was cited as being from Heroes and Hero Worship but has not been located in that document, and this expression appears to have originally occurred as a description of Carlyle's ideas rather than a quotation of his statements in The Muslim World League Journal (1994) :"Thomas Carlyle was amazed as to how one man, single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."

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  • [[5]] Evidences for the truth of Islam.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911 Muhammad (Arabic محمد muḥammad; also Mohammed, Mohamet, and other variants[1] [2] [3]) 570-632 C.E.,[4] was an Arab religious and political leader who preached a religion he called Islam.[5] [6] He united the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula under a state governed by Islamic law with its capital in Medina. By 750, his successors had conquered Persia, the Levant, North Africa, Sicily and Iberia and introduced Islam to the newly acquired territories.

Muhammad taught his followers, Muslims, that he was the last prophet of God (Allah). According to his teachings, the true monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham and other prophets had been corrupted by man over time, and Islam was its authentic restoration.[7] [8] [9]

For the last 23 years of his life, beginning at age forty, Muhammad reported receiving revelations from God delivered through the angel Gabriel. The content of these revelations, known as the Qur'an,[10] was memorized by his followers and compiled into a single volume shortly after his death. The Qur'an, along with the details of Muhammad’s life as recounted by his biographers and his contemporaries, forms the basis of Islamic doctrine.

Contents [hide] 1 Etymology 2 Historical view of Muhammad 3 Overview 4 Sources for Muhammad's life 5 Life based on Islamic traditions 5.1 Before Medina 5.1.1 Genealogy 5.1.2 Childhood 5.1.3 Middle years 5.1.4 The first reported revelations 5.1.5 Rejection 5.1.6 Isra and Miraj 5.2 In Medina 5.2.1 Hijra 5.2.2 War 5.2.3 Rule consolidated 5.2.4 Continued warfare 5.2.5 The truce of Hudaybiyya 5.2.6 Muhammad's letters to the Heads of State 5.3 After the conquest 5.3.1 The conquest of Mecca 5.3.2 Unification of Arabia 5.3.3 Death 5.4 Muhammad as a military leader 5.5 Family life 5.6 Companions 6 Muhammad the reformer 6.1 Social security and family structure 6.2 Slavery 6.3 Women's rights 6.4 Other reforms 7 Miracles in the Muslim biographies 8 Legacy 8.1 Historical impact 8.2 Descendants 8.3 Views on Muhammad 8.3.1 Seal of the Prophets 8.3.2 Islamic view More traditions Depictions of Muhammad Muslim veneration of Muhammad 8.3.3 Muhammad in other religious traditions 9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 Bibliography 12.1 Additional Reading 13 External links

[edit] Etymology

Prophet "Muhammad" in Arabic calligraphy.The name Muhammad etymologically means "the praised one" in Arabic.[11] Within Islam, Muhammad is known as "The Prophet" and "The Messenger". Although the Qur'an sometimes declines to make distinction among prophets, in verse 33:40 it singles out Muhammad as the "Seal of the Prophets" (33:40) [12]. The Qur'an also refers to Muhammad as "Ahmad" (61:6) (Arabic :احمد), Arabic for "more praiseworthy".

[edit] Historical view of Muhammad See also: Non-Muslim view of Muhammad See also: Historical Muhammad

11th century Persian Qur'an folio page in kufic scriptThe major source of information on Muhammad's life is the Qur'an. In addition the traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad and quotes attributed to him (the sira and hadith literature) provide further information on Muhammad's life. [13] The surviving sources are part of the oral traditions, the compilation of the Qur'an was completed early after the death of Muhammad while the earliest surviving written sira dates to 150 years after Muhammad, and the compilation and analysis of the hadith literature took place even later. Thus, historians as well as Islamic scholars (Ulema) have attached varying degrees of skepticism to these accounts. [14]

Most historians agree that Muhammad lived during the 7th century and adopted various monotheistic traditions in an effort to replace the common polytheistic religions of the Arabian Peninsula, eventually gaining wide acceptance as a prophet. Modern historians do not readily accept the medieval western conception of Muhammad that "so great and significant a movement was started by a self-seeking impostor." [15] Academic scholars such as Montgomery Watt, Sprenger, Noldeke, Weil, Muir, Koelle, Grimme and Margoliouth agree that Muhammad was sincere and had a profound belief in himself and his mission as nothing else could explain "Muhammad's readiness to endure hardship and persecution during the Meccan period when from the secular point of view there was no prospect of success." [16] [17] [8] However, there are differing views as to whether he remained sincere later in the Medinian period. [18]

Several scholars hold that Muhammad’s ideas developed gradually: Some traditions were taken from the Bible (some apocryphal) and included in the Qur’an in order to win over followers from Christianity and Judaism. [8] Welch states that it is difficult to determine that to what extent Muhammad was influenced by various monotheistic ideas and movements existed in Arabia at that time and presents views of different scholars, however he asserts that one thing is certain: "that something happened that transformed his whole consciousness and filled him with a spiritual strength that decided the whole course of his life. He felt himself compelled to proclaim the revelations that were communicated to him in a mysterious way."[8]

Muhammad's phenomenal success in attracting followers and establishing a community state that dominated Arabia was because of his shrewd military strategies, unusual steadfastness and loyalty despite persecution and oppression, and being found by his followers as a righteous, trustworthy, pious, compassionate and honest man. [19] To people around Muhammad, the most convincing evidence for the superhuman origin of Muhammad's inspirations must have been his mysterious seizures at the moments of inspiration. Welch states that graphic descriptions of Muhammad's condition at these moments may be regarded as genuine, since they are unlikely to have been invented by later Muslims. Muhammad's enemies however accused him as one possessed, a soothsayer, or a magician since these experiences made an impression similar to those soothsayer figures well known in ancient Arabia. Welch states it remains uncertain whether Muhammad had such experiences before he began to see himself as a prophet and if so how long did he have such experiences. [8]

[edit] Overview

Persian illustration showing Muhammad.[20] From a manuscript in the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (Manuscrits Arabe 1489 fol. 5v)Born to ‘Abdu’llah ibn ‘Abdu’l-Muttalib, Muhammad initially adopted the occupation of a merchant. The Islamic sources indicate that he was a charismatic person known for his integrity. [21] The sources frequently say that he, in his youth, was called with the nickname "Al-Amin" (Arabic: الامين ), a common Arab name, meaning "faithful, trustworthy" and even was sought out as an impartial arbitrator. [8] [21] [22]. Muhammad often retreated to a cave on a mountain outside Mecca called Hira for contemplation. In the year 610, when Muhammad was about forty, he said he had been been visited in the cave by the Angel Gabriel who commanded him to recite verses sent by God. These revelations purportedly continued for the next twenty-three years, until his death. The collection of these verses is known as the Qur'an.

He expanded his mission as a prophet, publicly preaching strict monotheism and warning of a Day of Judgment when all humans shall be held responsible for their deeds. He did not wholly reject Judaism and Christianity, two other monotheistic faiths known to the Arabs, but said that he had been sent by God in order to complete and perfect those teachings.

Many in Mecca resented his preaching and persecuted him and his followers. Eventually, in 622, he was forced to move out of Mecca in a journey known to Muslims as the Hijra (the Migration). He settled in the area of Yathrib (now known as Medina) with his followers, where he was the leader of the first avowedly Muslim community.

The Meccans started attacking Medina. Even though the attacking armies were several times stronger in numbers and in weaponry, Muslims defeated these invaders every time they attacked.[citation needed] After eight years of exile, Muslims marched on Mecca and took control of the city. Not a single drop of blood was shed in the process of taking over Mecca.[citation needed] The Muslims subsequently removed all pre-Muslim religious objects, which they considered idols, from the Kaaba. Most of the townspeople accepted Islam. Deputations began to come in from other Arabian tribes. The conditions for their adherence were: the acceptance of Islam, the destruction of all idols[8], and the payment of the 'zakat' (tax) for the support of the poor community. In March 632, Muhammad led the pilgrimage known as the Hajj. On returning to Medina he fell ill and died after a few days, on June 8.

Under the caliphs who assumed authority after his death, the Islamic empire expanded into Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, North Africa, much of the Iberian Peninsula, and Anatolia. Later conquests, commercial contact between Muslims and non-Muslims, and missionary activity spread Islam over much of the Eastern Hemisphere, including China and Southeast Asia.

[edit] Sources for Muhammad's life Main article: Historiography of early Islam

The Tomb of Imam Bukhari, who compiled Sahih Bukhari, the most authoritative source for Sunni Muslims concerning the life of MuhammadFollowing the death of Muhammad, verses of Qur'an were collected by the first Caliph Abu Bakr into a book form. The Qur'an which literally translates as "Recitation", was also originally maintained by the "Hafiz", people who memorised the entire document. Similarly, for some time, the immediate or contemporary biographical records of Muhammad, his "Sunnah", were passed on orally.

The earliest surviving biographical sources of Muhammad's life were written by Muslims and were recorded within a century of his death. Only fragmentary references in non-Muslim historical records from the seventh century are available, and few inscriptions or archaeological remains survive from that time.

One of very few known non-Islamic contemporary accounts of this time and place is the Doctrina Iacobi. It records a Prophet, presumed by most scholars to be Muhammad, as a Judeo-Arab preacher proclaiming the advent of a Jewish Messiah, and states that the Jews and Arabs were allies against the Byzantines.[23] Musailama al-Kazzab and Aswad Ansi also proclaimed their Prophethood in the Mideastern world at the time of Muhammad and led ultimately unsuccessful military campaigns, it is possible that the unnamed Messiah figure in the Doctrina Iacobi relates to one of these.

The hadith are the written collection of the Arab oral traditions concerning Muhammad. The dates often given for Muhammad's life are 570-632 CE. The most authoritative hadiths in Sunni Islam are compiled in the "Sahih Bukhari" or "Sahih Muslim", while in Shia'ism more emphasis is placed on the "Usul al-Kafi".

The earliest known biography of Muhammad is a collection of "hadith" called the Sirah Rasul Allah or, the Life of the Apostle of God, by Ibn Ishaq who was born in approximately 717 and died in 767. He thus wrote his biography well over one hundred years after Muhammad died and would not have been able to speak to any eyewitnesses but does reference other biographies of which no texts have survived. Ibn Ishaq's work is contained in fragments quoted in a compilation of anecdotes and traditions composed by Islamic historian Ibn Hisham (d. 834) and al-Tabari (838-923).

Other sources for biographies of Muhammad are:

the military chronicles of Waqidi (745-822) the biographies of Ibn Sa'd (783-845), a student of Waqidi later histories Qur'anic commentaries collections of Prophetic hadith These texts were recorded more than a century, and often several centuries, after the death of Muhammad. Some passages in the Qur'an are believed to shed some light on Muhammad's biography; however, they require a great deal of interpretation to be useful.

Bernard Lewis states that "the collection and scrutiny of Hadiths didn't take place until several generations" after Muhammad's death and that "during that period the opportunities and motives for falsification were almost unlimited." In addition to the problem of oral transmission for over a hundred years, there existed motives for deliberate distortion. The Muslims themselves at an early date realized that many Hadiths were fabricated and thus developed a whole science of criticism to distinguish between genuine Hadiths and pious or impious frauds. However modern critics have pointed out many defects in their approach. [24] Some skeptical scholars (Wansbrough, Cook, Crone, and others) have raised doubts about the reliability of the Islamic sources, especially the hadith collections. They note for instance that the earliest biography of Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq does not contain any dates or explicit details; yet, later Islamic narratives have progressively more dates, with minute details of Muhammad's life being inserted into their accounts as successive generations of scholars relay the story, such that by the time we arrive at contemporary renditions of Muhammad's story, dates and details have exploded exponentially without explanation. These skeptics believe that many hadith and other traditions were manufactured, or doctored, to support one or another of the many political or doctrinal factions that had developed within Islam in its first century or later. The life of Muhammad was believed to be the exemplar for all Muslims; hence the importance of showing that Muhammad said or did something proving that a particular faction was right. If the skeptics are right, and if much of the early material cannot really be trusted, then all that is factually known is what is contained in the summary above. Patricia Crone has since revised her position and accepts that while there exists a difficulty in the handling of the hadith because of their "amorphous nature" and purpose as documentary evidence for deriving religious law rather than as historical narrative, Muslim historical accounts cannot be totally discounted and are in her judgement "more or less correct".[1][2]

Other academic scholars, such as Montgomery Watt and Wilferd Madelung, have been much more willing to trust the Islamic sources. Their accounts of the life of Muhammad are similar to those held by most believing Muslims. These historical "traditionalists," both Muslim and non-Muslim, present a much more detailed picture of Muhammad's life.

There is a great deal of possibly unreliable material available on the life of Muhammad, but very little that is accepted by all academics. In a 2003 article, Gregor Schoeler summarizes it thus:

   The current research on the life of Muhammad is characterized by the fact that two groups of researchers stand directly opposed to one another: The one group advocates, somewhat aggressively, the conviction that all transmitted traditions, in part because of great inner contradictions, legendary forms, and so forth, are to be rejected. The other group is opposed to that view. According to these researchers, the Islamic transmission, despite all these defects, has at least a genuine core, which can be recognized using the appropriate source-critical methods. The difficulty certainly consists of finding criteria by which the genuine is to be differentiated from spurious.[25]     

This second group of academics is more willing to accept the traditional Muslim accounts, shorn of hagiography and supernatural traditions, and based on the earliest accounts rather than later traditions.

Muslims had developed an extensive science of critical analysis of these sources that developed into schools of thought (mathaheb) and have accepted fuller accounts of Muhammad's life including traditions not credited by non-Muslim scholars. However, Muslims are not united on the subject; some accept "naturalistic" versions pared of most supernatural elements; some Muslims believe in versions of Muhammad's life full of miracles. There are versions of Muhammad's life favoring different traditions within Islam. There are also significant differences between Sunni versions of Muhammad's life and Shi'a versions. It is impossible to present one Muslim version. However, a few of the most common traditions which are not accepted by academics but widely believed by Muslims are covered below.

[edit] Life based on Islamic traditions Part of a series of articles on


History of Islam

Beliefs and practices Oneness of God Profession of Faith Prayer • Fasting Charity • Pilgrimage

Major figures Muhammad Abu Bakr • Ali Household of Muhammad Companions of Muhammad Prophets of Islam

Texts & Laws Qur'an • Sunnah • Hadith Jurisprudence • Theology Biographies of Muhammad Sharia

Branches of Islam Sunni • Shi'a • Kharijite

Societal aspects Academics • History Philosophy • Science Art • Architecture • Cities Calendar • Holidays Women • … in the Qu'ran Leaders • Politics • Islamism Salafism • Sufism

See also Vocabulary of Islam

This box: view • talk • edit Most Muslims, and Western academics who trust Islamic traditions, accept a much more detailed version of Muhammad's life.

[edit] Before Medina Main article: Muhammad before Medina [edit] Genealogy Muhammad traced his genealogy as follows:

Muhammad was born into the Quresh tribe. He is the son of Abd Allah, who is son of Abd al-Muttalib (Shaiba) son of Hashim (Amr) ibn Abd Manaf (al-Mughira) son of Qusai (Zaid) ibn Kilab ibn Murra son of Ka`b ibn Lu'ay son of Ghalib ibn Fahr (Quraish) son of Malik ibn an-Nadr (Qais) the son of Kinana son of Khuzaimah son of Mudrikah (Amir) son of Ilyas son of Mudar son of Nizar son of Ma`ad ibn Adnan, whom the northern Arabs believed to be their common ancestor. Adnan in turn is said to have been a descendant of Ishmael, son of Abraham, though the exact genealogy is disputed. (ibn means "son of" in Arabic; alternate names of people with two names are given in parentheses.) [26]

He was also called Abu-Qaasim (meaning "father of Qaasim") by some, after his short-lived first son.

[edit] Childhood Muhammad was born into a well-to-do family settled in the northern Arabian town of Mecca. Some calculate his birthdate as having been 20 April 570, while Shi'a Muslims believe it to have been 26 April 570. Other sources calculate the year of his birth to have been 571; tradition places it in the Year of the Elephant. Muhammad's father, Abdullah, had died almost six months before he was born and the young boy was brought up by his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, of the Banu Hashim clan of the Quresh (Quraish) tribe. At the age of six, Muhammad lost his mother Amina. When he was eight years of age, his grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, who had become his guardian, also died. Muhammad now came under the care of his uncle Abu Talib, the new leader of the Hashim clan of the Quraish tribe, the most powerful in Mecca.

Mecca was a thriving commercial centre, due in great part to a stone shrine (now called the Kaaba) that housed statues of many Arabian gods. Merchants from various tribes would visit Mecca during the pilgrimage season, when all inter-tribal warfare was forbidden and they could trade in safety. While still in his teens, Muhammad began accompanying his uncle on trading journeys to Syria. He thus became well-travelled and knowledgeable about foreign ways.

[edit] Middle years Muhammad became a merchant. One of his employers was Khadijah, a forty-year-old widow. She was impressed with Muhammad's character and intelligence and proposed to him in the year 595. Muhammad consented to the marriage, which by all accounts was a happy one.

Ibn Ishaq records that Khadijah bore Muhammad six children: two sons named Al Qasem and Abdullah (who is also called Al Tayeb and Al Taher) and four daughters. All of Khadija's children were born before Muhammad received his first revelation. His son Qasim died at the age of two. The four daughters are said to be Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and Fatima.

The Shi'a say that Muhammad had only the one daughter, Fatima, and that the other daughters were either children of Khadijah by her previous marriage, or children of her sister.

[edit] The first reported revelations

The mountain of Hira, where Muhammad said he had his first revelations.According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad would spend many nights in a cave (Hira) near Mecca in meditation and reflection. Around the year 610, Muhammad was then visited by the Angel Gabriel while meditating.

His wife Khadijah and her Christian cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal were the first to believe that Muhammad was a prophet. They were soon followed by Muhammad's ten-year-old cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib, close friend Abu Bakr and adopted son Zaid bin Haarith.

Until his death, Muhammad said he received frequent revelations, although there was a relatively long gap after the first revelation.

Around 613, Muhammad began to spread his message amongst the people. Most of those who heard his message ignored it. A few mocked him. Others believed and joined him.

[edit] Rejection

The neutrality of this section is disputed.

Please see the discussion on the talk page.

As the ranks of Muhammad's followers swelled, he became a threat to the local tribes and the rulers of the city. Their wealth, after all, rested on the Kaaba, the focal point of Meccan religious life. If they were to throw out statues of their gods who reperesented the tribes the pilgrims belonged to, due to the preachings of Muhammad, the tribal and city leaders feared, there would be no more pilgrims, no more trade, and no more wealth.[citation needed] Muhammad’s denunciation of the Meccan traditional religion was especially offensive to his own tribe, the Quraysh, as they were the guardians of the Ka'aba. Muhammad and his followers were persecuted. Some of them fled to the Ethiopian Kingdom of Aksum and founded a small colony there under the protection of the Christian Ethiopian king (called Al-Negashi, or "The King").

Several suras and parts of suras are said to date from this time, and reflect its circumstances: see for example al-Masadd, al-Humaza, parts of Maryam and al-Anbiya, al-Kafirun, and Abasa.

In 619, both Muhammad's wife Khadijah and his uncle Abu Talib died; it was known as aamul hazn ("the year of sorrows.") Muhammad's own clan withdrew their protection of him. Muslims patiently endured persecution: ostracism, an economic embargo and consequent poverty and hunger, even beatings and death threats.

[edit] Isra and Miraj

A 16th century Persian miniature painting celebrating Muhammad's ascent into the Heavens, a journey known as the Miraj. Muhammad's face is veiled, a common practice in Islamic art.Some time in 620, Muhammad told his followers that he had experienced the Isra and Miraj, a miraculous journey said to have been accomplished in one night along with Angel Gabriel. In the first part of the journey, the Isra, he is said to have travelled from Mecca to the furthest mosque, in Jerusalem, presently known as Masjid al Aqsa. In the second part, the Miraj, Muhammad is said to have toured Heaven and Hell, and spoken with earlier prophets, such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.

Muslims believe that the Dome of the Rock is the site from which Muhammad ascended to Heaven.

Timeline of Muhammad Important dates and locations in the life of Muhammad c. 569 Death of his father, `Abd Allah c. 570 Possible date of birth, April 20: Mecca 570 Legendary unsuccessful Ethiopian attack on Mecca 576 Death of Mother 578 Death of Grandfather c. 583 Takes trading journeys to Syria c. 595 Meets and marries Khadijah 610 First reports of Qur'anic revelation: Mecca c. 610 Appears as Prophet of Islam: Mecca c. 613 Begins spreading message of Islam publicly: Mecca c. 614 Begins to gather following: Mecca c. 615 Emigration of Muslims to Ethiopia 616 Banu Hashim clan boycott begins c. 618 Medinan Civil War: Medina 619 Banu Hashim clan boycott ends 619 The year of sorrows: Khadijah and Abu Talib dies c. 620 Isra and Miraj 622 Emigrates to Medina (Hijra) 624 Battle of Badr Muslims defeat Meccans 624 Expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa 625 Battle of Uhud Meccans battle Muslims 625 Expulsion of Banu Nadir 626 Attack on Dumat al-Jandal: Syria 627 Battle of the Trench 627 Destruction of Banu Qurayza 627 Bani Kalb subjugation: Dumat al-Jandal 628 Treaty of Hudaybiyya c. 628 Gains access to Mecca shrine Kaaba 628 Conquest of the Khaybar oasis 629 First hajj pilgrimage 629 Attack on Byzantine empire fails: Battle of Mu'tah 630 Attacks and bloodlessly captures Mecca c. 630 Battle of Hunayn c. 630 Siege of Taif 630 Establishes theocracy: Conquest of Mecca c. 631 Rules most of the Arabian peninsula c. 632 Attacks the Ghassanids: Tabuk 632 Farewell hajj pilgrimage 632 Death (June 8): Medina [edit] In Medina Main article: Muhammad in Medina [edit] Hijra By 622, life in the small Muslim community of Mecca was becoming not only difficult, but dangerous. Muslim traditions say that there were several attempts to assassinate Muhammad. Muhammad then resolved to emigrate to Medina, then known as Yathrib, a large agricultural oasis where there were a number of Muslim converts. By breaking the link with his own tribe, Muhammad demonstrated that tribal and family loyalties were insignificant compared to the bonds of Islam, a revolutionary idea in the tribal society of Arabia. This Hijra or emigration (traditionally translated into English as "flight") marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. The Muslim calendar counts dates from the Hijra, which is why Muslim dates have the suffix AH (After Hijra).

Muhammad came to Medina as a mediator, invited to resolve the feud between the Arab factions of Aws and Khazraj. He ultimately did so by absorbing both factions into his Muslim community, forbidding bloodshed among Muslims. However, Medina was also home to a number of Jewish tribes (whether they were ethnically as well as religiously Jewish is an open question, as is the depth of their "Jewishness"). Islamic tradition refers to the conversion to Islam of one of the leaders of the Jews named Ibn Salam. Muhammad had hoped that his conversion would be emulated by the other Jews, and that those others would also recognize him as a prophet, but they did not do so.

Some academic historians attribute the change of qibla, the Muslim direction of prayer, from the site of the former Temple in Jerusalem to the Kaaba in Mecca, which occurred during this period, to Muhammad's abandonment of hope of recruiting Jews as allies or followers. According to Muslims, the change of qibla was seen as a command from God both reflecting the independence of the Muslims as well as a test to discern those who truly followed the revelation and those who were simply opportunistic.

Muhammad and his followers are said to have negotiated an agreement with the other Medinans, a document now known as the Constitution of Medina (date debated), which laid out the terms on which the different factions, specifically the Jews and other "Peoples of the Book" could exist within the new Islamic State.

[edit] War Relations between Mecca and Medina rapidly worsened (see surat al-Baqara). Meccans confiscated all the property that the Muslims had left in Mecca.[citation needed] In Medina, Muhammad signed treaties of alliance and mutual help with neighboring tribes.

Muhammad turned to raiding caravans bound for Mecca. Caravan-raiding was an old Arabian tradition and according to Watt was "a kind of sport rather than war" and that the object of the raids was to take animals and other goods but killing was carefully avoided.[27] By engaging in this old Arabian tradition, Muhammad was deliberately challenging and provoking the Meccans.[28]. Muslims justified the raids by the Meccans' confiscation of the property they had left at Mecca and the state of war deemed to exist between the Meccans and the Muslims.[citation needed]

In March of 624, Muhammad led some three hundred warriors in a raid on a Meccan merchant caravan. The Meccans successfully defended the caravan and then decided to teach the Medinans a lesson.[citation needed] They sent a small army against Medina. On March 15, 624 near a place called Badr, the Meccans and the Muslims clashed. Though outnumbered more than three times (one thousand to three hundred) in the battle, the Muslims met with success, killing at least forty-five Meccans and taking seventy prisoners for ransom; only fourteen Muslims died. This marked the real beginning of Muslim military achievement. John Esposito writes that Muhammad's use of warfare in general was alien neither to Arab custom nor to that of the Hebrew prophets, as both believed that God had sanctioned battle with the enemies of the Lord.[29]

[edit] Rule consolidated To his followers, the victory in Badr apparently seemed a divine authentication of Muhammad's prophethood. Following this victory, the victors expelled a local Jewish clan, the Banu Qainuqa, whom they accused of having broken a treaty by conspiring with the attacking Meccan forces. Muhammad and his followers were now a dominant force in the oasis of Yathrib (Medina).

After Khadija's death, Muhammad had married Aisha, the daughter of his friend Abu Bakr (who would later emerge as the first leader of the Muslims after Muhammad's death). In Medina, he married Hafsah, daughter of Umar (who would eventually become Abu Bakr's successor).

Muhammad's daughter Fatima married Ali, Muhammad's cousin. According to the Sunni, another daughter, Umm Kulthum, married Uthman. Each of these men, in later years, would emerge as successors to Muhammad and political leaders of the Muslims. Thus, all four caliphs were linked to Muhammad by marriage. Sunni Muslims regard these caliphs as the Rashidun, or Rightly Guided. (See Succession to Muhammad for more information on the controversy on the succession to the caliphate).

[edit] Continued warfare

Muhammad's swordIn 625 the Meccan general Abu Sufyan marched on Medina with three thousand men. The ensuing Battle of Uhud took place on March 23 and ended in a stalemate. The Meccans claimed victory, but they had lost too many men to pursue the Muslims into Medina.

In April 627, Abu Sufyan led another strong force against Medina. But Muhammad had dug a trench around Medina and successfully defended the city in the Battle of the Trench.

Many of the Muslims believed that Abu Sufyan had been aided by sympathizers among the Medinans, being the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, with whom the Muslims had a treaty. They attacked and defeated the Banu Qurayza, and subsequently executed hundreds of the adult men of the tribe, after trying them for treason.[citation needed]This execution has been the subject of some controversy.[citation needed]

Following the Muslims' victory at the Battle of the Trench, the Muslims were able, through conversion and conquest, to extend their rule to many of the neighboring cities and tribes.[citation needed]

[edit] The truce of Hudaybiyya Main article: Treaty of Hudaybiyya Although verses (2:196-2:210) about the performing of Hajj had already come,, Muhammad and Muslims did not perform it due to the enmity of the Quraish. It was the month of Shawwal 6 A.H. when Muhammad saw in a vision that he was shaving his head after the Hajj. [30][31] Muhammad therefore decided to perform the Haj in the following month. Hence around the 13th of March, 628 with 1400 Companions he went towards Mecca without the least intention of giving a battle.[32] But the Quraish were determined to offer resistance to Muslims and they posted themselves outside Mecca, closing all access to the city. [32]. In order to settle the dispute peacefully Muhammad halted at a place called Hudaybiyya. Hence after series of talks a treaty was signed. The main points of treaty were the following.

They have agreed to lay down the burden of war for ten years [33][34] Muhammad, should not perform Hajj this year [33] [35] They may come next year to perform Haj (unarmed) but shall not stay in Mecca for more than three days [33] [35] Any Muslim living in Mecca cannot settle in Medina but Medina Muslim may come and join Meccans (and will not be returned). [36] Many of Muslims were not satisfied with the terms of the treaty. However, on the way to Medina, God revealed the Prophet a new chapter of Qur'an named "Al-Fath" (The victory) 48:1-48:29. The new Revelation left no doubt in Muslims' minds that the expedition from which they were now returning must be considered a victorious one. [37][38]. With the passage of time it became more and more apparent why the Qur'an had declared the truce a victory. The men of Mecca and Medina could now meet in peace and discuss Islam hence during the following two years the community of Islam was more than doubled.[39] [40] [41]

[edit] Muhammad's letters to the Heads of State

"Muhammad Original Letter to Heraclius".After the truce signed by the Hudaybiyya, Muhammad decided to send letters to many rulers of the world, inviting them to Islam. [42] [43][44] Hence he sent messengers (with letters) to Heraclius of the Byzantine Empire (The eastern Roman Empire), Chosroes of Persia, the chief of Yemen and to some others. [42] [43]

[edit] After the conquest Main article: Muhammad after the conquest of Mecca [edit] The conquest of Mecca

The Kabaa im Mecca held a major economic and religious role for the area, it became the Muslim Qibla, or direction for SalatMain article: Conquest of Mecca The truce of Hudaybiyya had been in force since two years. [45][46]. The tribe of Khuz'aah was in friendly relationship with Muhammad, while on the other hand their enemies, Banu Bakr had aliance with Meccans.[45][47] A clan of Bakr made a night raid against Khuz'aah, killing few of them [45][47]. Meccans helped their allies (i.e. Banu Bakr) with weapons and according to some sources few Meccans also took part in the fighting [45]. After the fighting Muhammad offered Meccans following three conditions[48].

The Meccans were to pay blood-money for those slain among Khuza'ah tribe. Or They should have nothing to do with Banu Bakr. Or They should declare the truce of Hudaybiyya null. The Meccans replied that they would accept only the third condition[48]. However, soon they realized their mistake and sent Abu Safyan to renew the Hudaybiyya treaty, but now his request was declined by Muhammad. Muhammad began to prepare for a campaign. [49].

In 630, Muhammad marched on Mecca with an enormous force, said to number more than ten thousand men. After some scattered skirmishes, in which only twenty-four Meccans were killed,[citation needed] the Muslims seized Mecca. Muhammad promised a general amnesty to all but a few of the Meccans. Most Meccans converted to Islam, and Muhammad subsequently destroyed all of the statues of Arabian gods in and around the Kaaba. Henceforth the pilgrimage would be a Muslim pilgrimage and the shrine was converted to a Muslim shrine.

[edit] Unification of Arabia The capitulation of Mecca and the defeat of an alliance of enemy tribes at Hunayn effectively brought the greater part of the Arabian peninsula under Muhammad's authority. However, this authority was not enforced by a regular government, as Muhammad chose instead to rule through personal relationships and tribal treaties. The Muslims were clearly the dominant force in Arabia, and most of the remaining tribes and states hastened to convert to Islam.

[edit] Death

The Al-Masjid al-Nabawi is Islams second most sacred site, and the Green dome to the background indicates the burial tomb of MuhammadOne day, upon returning from a visit to a cemetery, Muhammad became very ill. He suffered for several days with head pain and weakness. According to hadith mentioned in Sahih Bukhari 5.59.713 possible cause of death could be poisoning of the food he tasted more than three years ago after Khayber war, though muslims believe that death comes from Allah, irrespective of what we think as a possible cause. Muhammad finally succumbed to his malady around noon on Monday, June 8, 632, in the city of Madina, at the age of sixty-three. He is buried in the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina.

According to Shi'a Islam, Muhammad had appointed his son-in-law Ali as his successor in a public sermon at Ghadir Khumm. Shi'a believe that Muhammad's companions Abu Bakr and Umar conspired to oust Ali and make Abu Bakr the leader or caliph. Sunni Muslims dispute this, and say that the leaders of the community conferred and freely chose Abu Bakr, who was among the followers of Muhammad. The matter is further discussed in the article Succession to Muhammad.

[edit] Muhammad as a military leader Main article: Muhammad as a general For most of the sixty-three years of his life, Muhammad was a merchant, then a religious leader. He took up the sword late in his life. He was an active military leader for ten years.

This section is a stub. You can help by adding to it. [edit] Family life Main article: Muhammad's marriages From 595 to 619, Muhammad had only one wife, Khadijah. After her death, it was suggested to Muhammad by Khawla bint Hakim, that he should marry Sawda bint Zama, a Muslim widow, or Aisha. 'Muhammad said to have asked her to arrange for him to marry both. It had already been agreed that Aisha should marry another man, whose father, though still pagan, was friendly to the Muslims. By common consent, however, this agreement was set aside and Aisha was betrothed to Muhammad.' [50] Later Muhammad married more wives, to make for a total of eleven, of whom nine or ten were living at the time of his death. The status of Maria al-Qibtiyya is disputed; she may have been a slave, a freed slave, or a wife. Watt in Encyclopedia of Islam states that 'Muhammad had a political aim in nearly all his marriages' and for example Muhammad in his marriage to Aisha 'must have seen ... a means of strengthening the ties between himself and Abu Bakr, his chief follower.' Watt believes Aisha 'cannot have been more than ten years old when marriage was consummated, while Spellberg writes that Aisha's youth might have been deliberately emphasized by scholars during the Abbasid caliphate to reject Shi'a political claims for the descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib.[51]

Muhammad had children by only two of these unions. Khadijah is said to have borne him four daughters and a son; only one daughter, Fatima, survived her father. Shi'a Muslims dispute the number of Muhammad's children, stating that he had only one daughter, and that the other "daughters" were step-daughters. Maria al-Qibtiyya bore him a son, but the child died when he was ten months old.

Muhammad's marriages have been the subject of some criticism. Some consider it wrong that he had more wives than the four generally allowed by the Qur'an (although one Qur'anic verse makes an exception for Muhammad).[citation needed] They question the circumstances of some of his marriages, such as those to Zaynab bint Jahsh, his adopted son's ex-wife, and to Aisha, who according to Hadith was nine years old when the marriage was consummated. [52] (though there is reason to believe that she was in fact older and that the hadiths that state she was nine are weak). [51]

Muhammad's household included not only his wives and children but also several slaves that Muhammad owned according to numerous hadiths. Muhammad owned both white and black, male and female slaves. His wives owned several slaves as well.[53]

[edit] Companions Main articles: Sahaba and Salaf .

Abu Bakr Umar ibn al-Khattab Uthman ibn Affan Ali ibn Abi Talib The term Sahaba (companion) refers to anyone who met three criteria. First, he must have been a contemporary of Muhammad. Second, he must have seen or heard Muhammad speak on at least one occasion. Third, he must have converted to Islam. Companions are considered the ultimate sources for the oral traditions, or hadith, on which much of Muslim law and practice are based. There were many other companions in addition to the ones listed here.

List in alphabetic order:

Abdullah ibn Abbas Abu Bakr Abu Dharr Ali ibn Abi Talib Ammar


Hamza Al-Miqdad Sa'd Zayd

Salman the Persian 

Talha Umar Uthman Zubair

[edit] Muhammad the reformer The Islamic law transformed the nature of society and family. [54] Bernard Lewis, a distinguished Islamic historian, believes the advent of Islam in a sense was a revolution which only partially succeeded after long struggles due to tensions between the new religion and very old societies in the countries that the Muslims conquered. He thinks that one such area of tension was a consequence of what he sees as the egalitarian nature of Islamic doctrine. Lewis believes that "the equality of Islam is limited to free adult male Muslims," but according to him "even this represented a very considerable advance on the practice of both the Greco-Roman and the ancient Iranian world. Islam from the first denounced aristocratic privilege, rejected hierarchy, and adopted a formula of the career open to the talents."[55]

John Esposito, professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, sees Muhammad as a reformer who did away with many of the terrible practices of the pagan Arabs. He states that Muhammad's "insistence that each person was personally accountable not to tribal customary law but to an overriding divine law shook the very foundations of Arabian society... Muhammad proclaimed a sweeping program of religious and social reform that affected religious belief and practices, business contracts and practices, male-female and family relations."[56]. Esposito holds that the Qur'an's reforms consists of 'regulations or moral guidance that limit or redefine rather than prohibit or replace existing practices.' He cites slavery and women's status as two examples.

[edit] Social security and family structure William Montgomery Watt, an eminent scholar of Islamic studies, states that Muhammad was both a social and moral reformer in his day and generation. He asserts that Muhammad created a "new system of social security and a new family structure, both of which were a vast improvement on what went before. By taking what was best in the morality of the nomad and adapting it for settled communities, he established a religious and social framework for the life of many races of men."[57]

[edit] Slavery Main article: Islam and Slavery The Qur'an makes numerous references to slavery, regulates it and thus implicitly accepts it (2:178, 16:75, 30:28). Bernard Lewis states, "Slavery existed in all the ancient civilizations of Asia, Africa, Europe, and pre-Columbian America and had been accepted and even endorsed by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as other religions of the world." Lewis, however, states that Islam brought two major changes to ancient slavery which were to have far-reaching consequences. "One of these was the presumption of freedom; the other, the ban on the enslavement of free persons except in strictly defined circumstances," Lewis continues. The position of the Arabian slave was "enormously improved": The Arabian slave "was now no longer merely a chattel but was also a human being with a certain religious and hence a social status and with certain quasi-legal rights." [58]

In Muslim lands, in contrast to the ancient and colonial systems, slaves had certain legal status and had obligations as well as rights to the slave owner, Bernard Lewis states. Lewis speculates that it was for this reason that "the position of the domestic slave in Muslim society was in most respects better than in either classical antiquity or the nineteenth-century Americas." [59] The pressure from the European opponents of slavery on the Ottoman empire to abolish slavery was not because of the sitution of slaves in Muslim lands (as it was no worse than, and even in some cases better than that of the free poors) but because the processes of acquisition and transportation of slaves to Muslim lands often imposed appalling hardships although "once the slaves were settled in Islamic culture they had genuine opportunities to realize their potential. Many of them became merchants in Mecca, Jedda, and elsewhere." [59] Lewis states that the practice of slavery in the Islamic empire represented a "vast improvement on that inherited from antiquity, from Rome, and from Byzantium."[58] Although slavery was not abolished, Annemarie Schimmel asserts that as the reforms seriously limited the supply of new slaves, slavery would be theoretically abolished with the expansion of Islam.[60]

[edit] Women's rights Under the Arabian pre-Islamic law of status, women had virtually no rights. Islamic law, however, provided women with a number of rights. [61] John Esposito, professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, states that the reforms affected marriage, divorce, and inheritance. [62] Under the Arabian pre-Islamic law, no limitations were set on men's rights to marry or to obtain a divorce. [61] Islamic law however restricted the polygamy (4:3)[62] 'Women were given inheritance rights in a patriarchal society that had previously restricted inheritance to male relatives.' [62] The Quran and Muhammad's example were more favorable to the security and status of women than the history and later Muslim practice might suggest. For example the Quran doesn't require women to wear veils but rather, it was a social habits picked up with the expansion of Islam. In fact, since it was impractical for working women to wear veils, "A veiled woman silently announced that her husband was rich enough to keep her idle." [63]

The institution of marriage, characterized by unquestioned male superiority in the pre-Islamic law of status, was redefined and changed into one in which the woman was somewhat of an interested partner. 'For example, the dowry, previously regarded as a bride-price paid to the father, became a nuptial gift retained by the wife as part of her personal property' [61] [62] Under the Islamic law, the marriage was no longer viewed as a "status" but rather as a "contract". The essential elements of the marriage contract were now an offer by the man, an acceptance by the woman, and the performance of such conditions as the payment of dowry. The woman's consent was imperative. Furthermore, the offer and acceptance must be made in the presence of at least two witnesses. [61][62]

Watt believes that Islam is still, in many ways, a man’s religion. However, he states that Muhammad, in the historical context of his time, can be seen as a figure who testified on behalf of women’s rights and improved things considerably. Watt explains the historical context surrounding women's rights at the time of Muhammad: "it appears that in some parts of Arabia, notably in Mecca, a matrilineal system was in the process of being replaced by a patrilineal one at the time of Muhammad. Growing prosperity caused by a shifting of trade routes was accompanied by a growth in individualism. Men were amassing considerable personal wealth and wanted to be sure that this would be inherited by their own actual sons, and not simply by an extended family of their sisters’ sons. This led to a deterioration in the rights of women. At the time Islam began, the conditions of women were terrible - they had no right to own property, were supposed to be the property of the man, and if the man died everything went to his sons." Muhammad, however, by "instituting rights of property ownership, inheritance, education and divorce, gave women certain basic safeguards." [64]

Haddad and Esposito state that 'although Islam is often criticized for the low status it has ascribed to women, many scholars believe that it was primarily the interpretation of jurists, local traditions, and social trends which brought about a decline in the status of Muslim women. In this view Muhammad granted women rights and privileges in the sphere of family life, marriage, education, and economic endeavors, rights that help improve women's status in society.' However, 'the Arab Bedouins were dedicated to custom and tradition and resisted changes brought by the new religion.' Haddad and Esposito state that in this view 'The inequality of Muslim women happened because of the preexisting habits of the people among whom Islam took root. The economics of these early Muslim societies were not favorable to comfortable life for women. More important, during Islam's second and third centuries the interpretation of the Qur'an was in the hands of deeply conservative scholars, whose decisions are not easy to challenge today. The Qur'an is more favorable to women than is generally realized. In principle, except for a verse or two, the Qur'an grants women equality. For example, Eve was not the delayed product of Adam’s rib (as in the tradition for Christians and Jews); the two were born from a single soul. It was Adam, not Eve, who let the devil convince them to eat the forbidden fruit. Muslim women are instructed to be modest in their dress, but only in general terms. Men are also told to be modest. Many Muslims believe the veiling and seclusion are later male inventions, social habits picked up with the conquest of the Byzantine and Persian Empires.' [65]

[edit] Other reforms Islam reduced the devastating effect of blood feuds, which was common among Arabs, by encouraging compensation in money rather than blood. In case the affrieved party insisted on blood, unlike the pre-Islamic Arab tradition in which any male relative could be slained, only the culprit himself could be slain. [66]

[edit] Miracles in the Muslim biographies Main article: Islamic view of miracles The pre-modern Muslim biographies of Muhammad envisions Muhammad as a cosmic figure, invested with superhuman qualities. Modern Muslim biographies of Muhammad however portray him as a progressive social reformer, a political leader and a model of human virtue. The view of these modern biographies is that Muhammad's real miracle, as Daniel Brown states modern historians would probably agree, 'was not a moon split or a sighing palm tree, but the transformation of the Arabs from marauding bands of nomads into world conquerors.' [67]

Carl Ernst believes that this main shift in the treatment of Muhammad has been a response to the stridently negative depictions of Muhammad created by European authors. [12] Daniel Brown adds two more reasons: First, Muslims in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were faced with social and political turmoil. The need for the restoration of the Muslim community encouraged them to view Muhammad as a model for social and political reform. And lastly, 'the ongoing challenge of reforming or reviving Islamic law perpetuated concern for the life of Muhammad as a normative model for human behavior.' [67] Ernst states that this main shift reflects the growth of bourgeois scientific rationalism in Muslim countries. [12]

This section is a stub. You can help by adding to it. [edit] Legacy [edit] Historical impact Main articles: Muslim conquests and Muslim culture After Muhammad, a rapid creation of an empire under the Umayyads established a new polity from the Atlantic to the Indus River. Within a few decades after his death, his successors had united all of Arabia under an Islamic empire, which essentially became the successor to the Sassanid, Byzantine, and ultimately Roman empires. With a historically unprecedented swiftness, they conquered present-day Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Armenia, and most of North Africa. By 750, Islam was as fully established as the two great earlier monotheistic belief systems, Judaism and Christianity, and had become the world's greatest military power. The rest of North Africa came under Muslim rule, as well as most of the Iberian Peninsula, much of Central Asia, and Sindh). As of 2006, Islam is estimated to be the religion of 1.3 billion people. [68]

[edit] Descendants Muhammad was survived by his daughter Fatima and her children. Some say that he had a daughter Zainab, who had borne a daughter, Amma or Umama, who survived him as well.

Descendants of Muhammad are known by sharifs شريف (plural: ِأشراف Ashraaf) or sayyid. Many rulers and notables in Muslim countries, past and present have professed such descent, with various degrees of credibility, such as the Fatimid dynasty of North Africa, the Idrisids, and the current royal families of Jordan and Morocco. In various Muslim countries, there are societies of varying credibility that authenticate claims of descent.[citation needed]

In the Islamic prayer, Muslims end with the second tashahhud asking God to bless Muhammad and his descendants just as Abraham and his descendants were blessed.

[edit] Views on Muhammad [edit] Seal of the Prophets

The Muslim Profession of faith, the Shahada, makes clear Muhammads importance - "There is no deity but God, and Muhammad is Gods messenger". As shown on the Flag of Saudi ArabiaThe Qur'an specifically refers to Muhammad as the "Seal of the Prophets", which is taken by most Muslims to believe him to be the last and greatest of the prophets.[69] [12] Scholars such as Welch however hold that this Muslim belief is most likely a later interpretation of the Seal of the Prophets.[8] Carl Ernst considers this phrase to mean that Muhammad's "imprint on history is as final as a wax seal on a letter". [12] Wilferd Madelung states that the meaning of this term is not certain. [70]

[edit] Islamic view Muslim beliefs concerning Muhammad upon some aspects can vary widely between the sects of Islam. This article focuses on the more common beliefs about Muhammad. For how different sects differ in their views see : Islamic views of Muhammad.

[edit] More traditions

The neutrality of this section is disputed.

Please see the discussion on the talk page.

Image made in 1315 of Pre-Prophethood Muhammad re-dedicating the Black Stone at the Kaaba. From Tabriz, Persia and can be found in Rashid al-Dins Jami' al-Tawarikh ("The Universal History" or "Compendium of Chronicles"), held in the University of Edinburgh.There are Muslim traditions that are believed by many Muslims, but may be questionable to non-Muslim academic historians. [citation needed]

Muslims believe that as an infant Muhammad was placed with a Bedouin wet nurse, Halima Sadia, as desert life was believed to be safer and healthier for children. Many stories are told of his life in the desert. After he returned to Mecca, he is said to have been beloved by all around him because he was such a polite and honest child. As a youth, he was called upon to solve a vexing political problem for his Meccan neighbors. They were rebuilding the Kaaba and feuding over which clan should have the honor of raising the Black Stone into place. Muhammad suggested that the heads of each clan raise the Black Stone on a cloth, so that all had the honor of lifting it. Muhammad then put the stone into its place. As a young man and a merchant, Muhammad was known to be trustworthy and honest. The other Meccans called him "Al-Amin", the trustworthy one or the honest one. [71] After he proclaimed his prophethood, however, his neighbors turned against him. [edit] Depictions of Muhammad Main article: Depictions of Muhammad Oral and written descriptions are readily accepted by all traditions of Islam, while Muslims differ as to whether or not visual depictions of Muhammad are permissible[citation needed]: Some Muslims believe that to prevent idolatry and shirk, or ascribing partners to Allah, visual depictions of Muhammad and other prophets of Islam should be prohibited. Other Muslims believe respectful depictions should be allowed [citation needed]. Both sides have produced Islamic art — the aniconists through calligraphy and arabesque, the pictorialists through book illustration and architectural decoration [citation needed]. Negative portrayal of Muhammad, whether spoken, written, drawn, or filmed, may be taken as a great offense by Muslims, see Muslim veneration for Muhammad.

[edit] Muslim veneration of Muhammad See also: Muslim veneration for Muhammad, Praise of Muhammad in poetry, Depiction of Muhammad, Islamic music, and Qawwali

Muhammads name, engraved in gold, adorning the walls of the Hagia Sophia in TurkeyIt is traditional for Muslims to illustrate and express love and veneration for Muhammad. This is observed in a number of different ways. Most notably, when Muslims say or write Muhammad's name, they usually follow it with Peace be upon him or its Arabic equivilent, sallalahu alayhi wasallam, and for Shias this is extended to Peace be upon him and his descendants. In English this is often abbreviated to "(pbuh)", "(saw)" and "pbuh&hd" for Shias, or even just simply as "p". His contemporaries gave him the title Apostle of God (Arabic: Rasul-Allah or Rasulallah), which is also used by Muslims today, as well as the more obvious title "Prophet". Concerts of Muslim, and especially Sufi, devotional music include songs praising Muhammad. There are Musicless songs called Nasheeds which regularly praise Muhammad.

Conversely, criticism of Muhammad is often equated with blasphemy, which is punishable by death in Pakistan.[72] The position of the four main Sunni Muslim Maddhabs is that Islam prohibits depicting the prophet Muhammad in art; some non-maddhab groups, such as the Salafi movement, take a similar line. The Shia and others have historically taken a much less restrictive view of such depictions, allowing them if they are to praise Muhammad, while a school of Sufi'ism uses calligraphy of the name of Muhammad, Ali, Hussein and other important people in Muslim History to create images of the people.

[edit] Muhammad in other religious traditions Muhammad is also a prophet in the Zikri, and the Ahmadiyya traditions. These are sects closely related to Islam, and are considered by their followers to be sects thereof, but mainstream Muslims (Shias and Sunnis) see them as separate religions[citation needed]. The Druze, who accept most but not all Qur'anic revelations, also consider him a prophet. Bahá'ís venerate Muhammad as one of a number of prophets or "Manifestations of God", but consider his teachings to have been superseded by those of Bahá'u'lláh.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun




  1. Alternative spelling of Mohammed.
  2. A male given name a male given name.


French Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia fr

Proper noun

Mahomet m.

  1. Muhammad (the Prophet)


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