GETTING TO KNOW THE PROPHET MOHAMMAD, PEACE BE UPON HIM
GETTING TO KNOW THE PROPHET MOHAMMAD, PEACE BE UPON HIM
From a lecture by: Shaykh Salman Al’Oudah
The Prophet Mohammad was the son of Abdullah, son of Abd AlMuttalib, son of Hashim from the Arabic tribe of Qureish, from Makkah. The Arabs are the offspring of Ismail, son of the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon them. The prophet was born in Makkah. His father died before he was born. His mother died when he was still a little child, so his grandfather took care of him. After his grandfather died, his uncle, Abu Talib took care of him.
From an early age, the Prophet was a good person, generous to everybody, eager to help all people. He did not participate with most people in their acts of ignorance, like dancing, singing, drinking wine, corruption, etc… Instead, he used to go to a mountain not far from Makkah to contemplate the universe and its Creator. One night, while he was there, an angel from Allah came to him unexpectedly. The Prophet was surprised by the angel who told him, “Recite”. The Prophet did not read or write, for a reason that Allah knows. He said, “I don’t know how to read”. The angel pressed him against him, then let him go and said, “Recite”. He repeated, “I don’t know how to read”. The angel pressed him strongly for the third time and said, “Recite in the name of your Lord who created, created man from a clinging substance. Recite and your Lord is the most Generous. He taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not” (Al’Alaq, 1-5)
The Prophet returned with these verses to his wife, Khadija, shivering out of fear, saying to her: “Cover me, cover me!” Khadija hugged him and said, “Be happy. I swear by Allah, He will never give up on you. You visit your relatives, welcome your guests, support the truth, and you help the poor. Then she took him to a Christian man in Makkah named Waraqa, the son of Nawfal. He told him what had happened to him and what he had seen. Waraqa said, “This is the revelation that was revealed to Moses. This is Jibril and you are a prophet. I wish I were alive when your people force you out so that I could help you”. The Prophet said, “Will my people force me to leave my country?” Waraqa said, “Yes. Anyone who comes with what you have been revealed is disliked and attacked. If I were alive at that time, I would support you strongly’’.
From that time on, the Prophet received revelations regularly. He stayed in Makkah thirteen years preaching to his people. They were rude to him. They mocked him and accused him of being a liar. They were so arrogant to the point that one of them put a heavy sack of camel intestines on his back while he was prostrating, another one spit in his face, another put some dust on his head, and others caused a lot of suffering to him and his companions. The Prophet was patient with all of this for 13 years until Allah allowed him to migrate to a place called Yathrib.
The people there welcomed him and believed in his message. He lived there for ten years preaching for Allah, the Exalted. The name of the city was changed to the City of Prophethood, or, AlMadinah. All it’s inhabitants believed in him except for most of the Jews and all of the hypocrites. Islam started to spread all over the Arabian Peninsula. Eventually, the Prophet declared was against the unbelievers and polytheists who had mistreated him and declared war against him so that people would have a chance to distinguish between the truth and falsehood, and no one would be prevented from converting to Islam or forced to leave it. He fought his enemies in many battles. The biggest battles were: The battle of Badr, Uhud, The Battle of the Trench, and the Conquest of Makkah. He was the winner in all of his battles except the Battle of Uhud, because some of his companions didn’t hold their positions as commanded, so Allah made them lose it to teach them to obey Allah and His messenger .
Before his death , almost all of the people of the Arabian Peninsula had embraced Islam. Islam even started to spread outside the lands of the Arabs. His companions continued the mission and conquest until most of the known world at that time became Muslim.
It is important to note that the Prophet did not ask anything for himself. He was a modest man, far from selfishness. He was easy going and easy to approach. Abdullah the son of Salaam, a Jewish scholar, said, “When I saw him, I knew that his face was not the face of a liar”. One day, a nomad man saw him and shivered out of awe, but the Prophet said, “Take it easy - I am only the son of a woman who used to eat dried meat in Makkah”.
He used to enjoy his time with his friends and chat with them. He hated all sorts of pride and arrogance. He never pretended to have anything that was not his. Allah told him in the Holy Qur’an to “Say, I do not tell you that I have the treasures of Allah nor that I know the unknown, nor do I tell you that I am an angel” (Al An’am, 50) and to “Say, I am only a man like you, and I have received revelation. (Al Kahf, 110). This Messenger was a human messenger. He invited people to their Lord. He used to give to people, not to take from them. One time, he gave a hundred sheep to a person as a donation. Another time, he gave a big amount of gold or of silver. When he died , his shield was held as collateral for a debt by a Jewish man.
This messenger that Allah has chosen was a messenger, not only to the Arabs, but to all of humanity until the Final Hour. No one who understands his message to be true can enter Paradise except that they believe in him.