During end of 6th century after Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was born at Makka in 571 C.E (according to research by Dr.Hamidullah, the date is 17 June 569 C.E). He was chosen to be the last messenger of God for the guidance of humanity till eternity. He was not from the progeny of Israel (Jacob) but from the progeny of Ishmael, the eldest son of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him). Ishmael has been mentioned in Bible to be leader of a nation being the seed of Abraham (Genesis;13:18, 16:12, 17:20). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was chosen by God to revive the original faith of Abraham in its true form, for the humanity, which over the time had been distorted and corrupted by the decedents of Prophet Israel (Jacob) and followers of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent as the fulfillment of prayer, of Prophet Abraham and Ishmael, who while raising the foundations of House of Lord (Kabah) around 1800 B.C, had prayed: “Our Lord! send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them In Scripture and Wisdom, and sanctify them: for Thou art the Exalted In Might, the Wise.” (Qur’an;2:129).
Prophesied In Bible:
The advent of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had been foretold to the previous messengers. Allah says: “Behold! Allah took the Covenant of the prophets, saying: “I give you a Book and Wisdom; then comes to you a messenger, confirming what is with you; do ye believe In Him and render Him help.” Allah said: “Do ye agree, and take This My Covenant As binding on you?” They said: “We agree.” He said: “Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.”(Qur’an;3:81). The Old Testament as well as New Testament still contain these prophesies . Allah says: “Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom They find mentioned In their own (scriptures). In the law and the Gospel;- for He commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; He allows them As lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. so it is those who believe In him, honor him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is They who will prosper.”(Qur’an;7:157).
According to Old Testament, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was told by God:
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him”(Deuteronomy;18:18,19).
Christians relate this prophesy with Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) which is not correct as the critical analysis reveal that this prophesy is about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): Among the prophets which followed Prophet Moses, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is most like Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) where as Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) had nothing common with Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) except being a Jew and prophet, (Though among the Christians, Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is believed to be Son of God, one of the three persons of the Trinity). Prophet Muhammad and Moses (peace be upon them) had a normal birth through father and a mother, while Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was miraculously born without any male intervention.(Mathew; 1:18 and Luke; 1:35 and also Qur’an;3:42-47).
Prophet Moses Muhammad (peace be upon him) were both married, had children and died natural deaths. Muhammad (peace be upon him) is from among the brethren of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) being descendent of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) through his son Ishmael (peace be upon him), whereas Moses was descendent of Isaac (through his son Jacob) the younger brother of Ishmael. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was unlettered, hence in verbatim repeated the revelations conforming phrase; “Words in the mouth”. Prophet Moses & Muhammad (peace be upon them) brought new laws and new regulations for their people, besides, both were accepted as messengers of God by their people in their lifetime. They ruled over their communities (as kings), they could inflict capital punishment.
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said;
“My kingdom is not of this world.” (John;18:36).
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was not accepted by most of his people in his life time: “He came unto his own, but his own received him not.”(Gospel of John;1:11) and he (Jesus) did not bring any new law, Jesus said; “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. . . ;”(Mathew;5:17-18). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is mentioned by name in the Old Testament: “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely (Muhammadim). This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”(Song of Solomon;5:16): “Hikko Mamittakim we kullo Muhammadim Zehdoodeh wa Zehraee Bayna Jerusalem.” In the Hebrew language ‘im’ is added for respect. Similarly ‘im’ is added after the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to make it Muhammadim. [According to Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary of Bible: Hebrew word; makh-mawd’; means delightful; hence, a delight, i.e. object of affection or desire: beloved, desire, goodly, lovely, pleasant (thing)]. In English translation they have even translated the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as “altogether lovely”, but in the Old Testament in Hebrew, the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is present till now.
While prophesizing, about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said:
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth (referring to Muhammad) is come, he will guide you unto all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me”(John; 16:12-14)
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.”(John;14:16);“But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me;”(John;15:26)
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”(John;16:7).
Ahmed” or “Muhammad” meaning “the one who praises” or “the praised one” is almost the translation of the Greek word ‘Periclytos’. In the Gospel of John;14:16, 15:26, and 16:7, Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) actually prophesized “Ahmed” by name, word ‘Comforter’ in Greek ‘Paracletos’ or ‘Periclytos’ refers to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah says in Qur’an: “Those to whom We have given the Scripture (their scholars) recognize this (Muhammad) as they know their own sons. Those who have lost their own souls refuse therefore to believe.” (Qur’an;6:20); “And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said, ‘O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed.’ But when he came to them with clear signs, they said, ‘This is evident sorcery!”(Qur’an;61:6); “Ye People of the Book! Why do ye clothe truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while ye have knowledge?”(Qur’an;3:71).
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has also been prophesized in the Zoroaster, Buddhist and Hindu Scriptures: ‘Bhavishya Purana in the Prati Sarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 5 to 8’; Bhavishya Purana in the Pratisarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 10 to 27; Bhavishya Purana, Parv – III Khand 1 Adhay 3 Shloka 21-23; and Samveda Book II Hymn 6 verse 8..
Early life, Prophethood 10 years at Makkah:
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (571-632 C.E) was born as orphan in the ruling tribe (Quraysh), descendent of Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him) at Makka Arabia. This tribe was the custodian of Ka’ba, the house of worship of Allah, originally rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ishmael but, during 7th century C.E, it was packed with idols. He was initially brought up by his grandfather and later by his uncle Abu Talib. He was illiterate but extremely honest and trustworthy. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was one of few among pagan Arabs known as hanafi who, did not worship idols and believed in only one God. At the age of forty he started meditation in cave Hira where in 610 C.E he was visited by the angel Gabriel, to deliver the first revelation from God. He continued to receive the Revelations during next 23 yeas (till his death) which were promptly and accurately recorded by scribes, which is known as Qur’an, the basis of Islam. The mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was striking, Allah says: “It is He who hath sent His Messenger with guidance and the way of life (Din) of truth, to proclaim it over all (false) way of life (Din), however much the idolaters may be averse. They desire to extinguish the light of God with their mouths but God will not allow it to happen, for He seeks to perfect His light even though the disbelievers may dislike it. (Qur’an;9:32-33, similarly at 61:8-9 & 48:28 ).
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) began to preach publicly in 613 C.E. He was urging the rich to give to the poor and calling to worship and obey Allah (one God, the God of their ancestors Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and all) instead of idols. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not invent any new religion but was sent to revive Islam (surrender to the will of One God) the original faith of Adam, Noah, Abraham (the common ancestor of Israelites, Christians and Arabs) Moses and all other messengers up to Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon them all). The restrictions imposed upon Children of Israel due to their hardness of heart and rebelliousness were to be relaxed, as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the last messenger of God for all the humanity till eternity. Allah says: “We have not sent you (O’ Muhammad) but as a universal (Messenger) to the entire mankind giving them glad tidings and warning them (against sin) but most men understand not.” (Qur’an;37:28). “O mankind! there hath come to you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts and for those who believe a Guidance and a Mercy.”(Qur’an;10:57). Hence being a messenger of God for the mankind, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached to all without discriminating to any race, group or clan. Hence among his first ‘companions’ and converts, beside the Arabs can be counted Bilal the Abyssinian, Salman the Persian and Abdullah Bin-Salaam the Jew.
Migration to Medina & Establishment if First Heterogeneous Multi-Religious State at Medina:
He gained disciples who suffered worst oppression, from Quraysh, his kinsmen. They planed to murder him, consequently he had to migrate from Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E, where a warm welcome awaited. This migration is known as the Hijrah, which marks the beginning of the Islamic era. He established the first ever Islamic State at Medina, having first ever written constitution, conceding equal rights to all the people including Jews and Christians. Muslims thwart an offensive by forces of polytheists and idolaters of Mecca in 624 C.E at Badar; they suffered partial reverses in 625 C.E at Uhad but repelled a Meccan siege of Medina in 627 C.E in the Battle of Trench. The ‘Truce of Hudabia’ in 628 C.E, with polytheists of Makka provided peace and expansion of Islam among many Arabian tribes.
Expansion of Islam in Arabia and Around:
Ultimately Mecca peacefully fell to Muslims in 630 C.E and by 631 C.E Muslims were in control of almost all of Arabia (estimated total area of about three million square kilometers) at the total loss of 240 enemies, the Muslim losses were even lesser. People started embracing Islam in large numbers. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) continued to stay at Medina, he made his last journey to Mecca in 632 C.E, establishing the rites of the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca as tradition of Abraham) and purged it of pagan rituals. The Messenger (peace be upon him) completed his mission; he was commanded to deliver the complete message of guidance, in unambiguous terms. Allah says: “O Messenger! Deliver the message which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you are not doing justice to your mission. Allah will protect you from the mischief of the people. Rest assured that Allah will not let the unbelievers succeed against you”(Qur’an;5:67). Any laxity in conveyance of message by hiding or concealing result in curse of God: “Those who conceal the clear proofs and the guidance, after We have made it clear in the Book for mankind, will have Allah’s curse and that of those who are entitled to curse;”(Qur’an;2:159).
The Messenger (peace be upon him) did not conceal any thing and completed his mission, which is further confirmed, Allah says: “..This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you as religion AL- ISLAM..”(Qur’an;5:3). He died later that year, and buried at the Prophet’s Mosque at Medina; the second holiest site along with Al-Aqsa Mosque (1st Temple at Jerusalem) after Ka’ba at Makka. He left Qur’an the living miracle full of wisdom (hikmah) and his Traditions (Sunnah) for the guidance of humanity for ever.
Islam Established as a Universal Faith:
Within few years after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), his devout followers brought major parts of neighboring empires under their influence as far as up to southern France, through Spain, central Asia, India to the Atlantic Ocean. Islamic rule and political influence continued to expand, in the intervening centuries, far beyond the borders of the original Muslim conquests. Renowned scholar Michael Hart, in his famous book, placed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) at the top of the list of hundred most influential men in history of mankind. According to him, Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached and promulgated one of the world’s great religion, and became an immensely effective political leader. Even fourteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive; there are around 1.5 Billion Muslims in the world. The majority of influential men of history had the advantage of getting born and raised in centers of civilization, highly cultured or politically pivotal nations, while Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born and raised at Mecca, the most remote and isolated corner of the world. He single-handedly accomplished the great mission with almost no means and resources. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was also an ideal leader who lead from front and left the land marks for the Muslims in all secular and spiritual spheres. He is the legislator-jurist who defined ritual observance and Islamic law in the light of Qur’an i.e. Allah repeatedly ask the believers to offer prayers (salah), but how to offer the prayers? The jurists find in the traditions (Sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Role Model as Best Human Being:
He is the ideal seeker of spiritual perfection for the mystics. Philosophers and statesman find a role model of both as conqueror of hearts and just ruler in him. The ordinary Muslims can find a model of God’s grace and salvation in him. He was an effective administrator, legislator, judge and military commander as well as teacher, preacher and prayer leader of the Muslim community. At the end of his last sermon during last Hajj (632 C.E) the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “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. O’ People, no messengers or prophet will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O’ People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray. 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. Be my witness oh Allah that I have conveyed your message to your people.” History is witness to the fact that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did convey the Message very effectively and successfully.
Before his demise Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being universal messenger of God for the humanity, extended the invitation of Islam to the neighboring Kings and rulers through epistles and emissaries. The most prominent are, Hercules the Eastern Roman Emperor (610-641 C.E), Khusro Parvaiz of Persia, Najashi, the King of Habsha (Abyssinia), rulers of Bahrain and Oman. He died in 632 C.E at Medina and was buried at the Prophet’s Mosque (Masjad-I-Nabwi).
Islam for the Humanity:
All previous messengers and scriptures were meant for the guidance of specific nations and that period, where as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Qur’an is the guide for the humanity for ever. Hence it is now mandatory for all the humanity, including the Jews and Christians to believe and follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Qur’an, to attain salvation. Allah says: “As for those who are bent on denying the truth and on barring (others) from the path of God – all their (good) deeds will He let go to waste; whereas those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds, and have come to believe in what has been bestowed from on high on Muhammad – for it is the truth from their Sustainer – (shall attain to God’s grace) He will efface their (past) bad deeds, and will set their hearts at rest”.(Qur’an;47;2-3); “If instead of this rebellious attitude the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) had believed and become God fearing, We would certainly have removed their iniquities and admitted them to the gardens of Bliss”(Qur’an;5:65).
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was the last prophet for the entire humanity born in the progeny of great Prophet and Patriarch Abraham (peace be upon him) by the end of 6th century C.E in Makkah (Arabia). Volumes have been written on his life, achievements and legacy during last fourteen centuries. No human in the history of mankind has left lasting influence like him. He is highly revered by Muslims and many learned non Muslims alike. His well recorded life has been a role model; he preached what he practiced and was supremely successful in his mission to convey the divine message to the humanity. At the time of his death (632 C.E) whole Arabia was purged of paganism blooming to expand the message of Islam [Tawheed, monotheism] to the entire world.
It is not possible to describe a person like him having immense qualities and achievements, completely in a short book or article. An endeavour has been made to introduce The Last Prophet (peace be upon him) with a glimpse in his life through following four revealing articles.
Coup D’oeil : By;Aftab Khan
Unique Person: By; Sheikh Ali Al Tantawi
Prophet of Peace: By; Waheed Dudin Khan
Views of Non Muslims; By Dr. A. Zahoor and Dr. Z. Haq
It is hoped that this brief introduction will form the basis for further study of the life of greatest man of history.
As a token of respect Muslims recite supplications for the great Messenger (pbuh), whenever his name is read. The shortened
صل عليه وسلم [peace be upon him, abbreviated as “pbuh”]. Drrod-e-Ibrahimi is recited frequently and also in each prayer: