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Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)

Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم - Allah's Blessings and Peace be Upon him) is the last Prophet and Messenger of God (Allah) and is referred to as the Seal of Prophesy (Khatim in-Nabeeyeen), being the last prophet sent by Allah to mankind. 

His name is Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Muhammad son of Abdullah) and he was born in Makkah, in the Arabian Peninsula, in the year 570 CE and died at the age of 63 in the year 632CE.  He was the first person to bear the name Muhammad. The name Muhammad is derived from the arabic word Hamd meaning Praise, and Muhammad means "One who is Praised" or "the Praiseworthy". Throughout this and other articles the following nomenclature will be used interchangeably when referring Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم): The Prophet, the Prophet of Allah, the Apostle of Allah, the Messenger of Allah. The arabic phrase: (صلى الله عليه و سلم) means Allah's Blessings and Peace be Upon him and is used to denote respect and invoke blessing and peace upon him.

lineage of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)

The lineage of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) through his father Abdullah is as follows:

Muhammad ibn Abdullah, ibn Abdul-Muttalib (whose name was Shayba), ibn Hashim (whose name was 'Amr), ibn Abd Manaf (whose name was al-Mughira), ibn Qusayy (whose name was Zayd), ibn Kilab, ibn Murra, ibn Ka'b, ibn Lu'ay, ibn Ghalib, ibn Fihr, ibn Malik, ibn al-Nadr, ibn Kinana, ibn Khuzayma, ibn Mudrika (whose name was 'Amir), ibn Ilyas, ibn Mudar, ibn Nizar, ibn Ma'ad, ibn Adnan, ibn Udd (or Udad), ibn Ya'rub, ibn Yashjub, ibn Nabit, ibn Isma'il, ibn Ibrahim.

He is thus a descendant of the biblical prophet Abraham (Ibraheem (عليه السلام)) through his elder son Ishmael (Isma'eel (عليه السلام)).

Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was born into the Banu Hashim clan, which is a clan within the Quraysh tribe. The House of Abdul-Muttalib, the paternal grandfather of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم), of Banu Hashim comprised nobility in pre-Islamic Mecca. This was based on their hereditary duty to act as stewards of the kaaba and caretakers of the pilgrims coming to Makkah to worship at the Kaaba, the sacred house of worship built by prophet Ibraheem (عليه السلام) and his first-born son Ismaeel (عليه السلام). The Kaaba was originally built as a place of monotheistic worship, however, with time, the Kaaba became occupied with hundreds of idols and had become a place of idolatry in pre-islamic Arabia. Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) eventually destroyed these idols at the conquest of Makkah and returned the Kaaba to its original pure state as a place of monotheistic worship of the one true God, known in arabic as Allah.

Brief Early Biography

Prophet Muhammad's (صلى الله عليه و سلم) father Abdullah died before he was born. During most of his infancy he was looked after by his wet nurse Haleemah al-Sa’diyyah (رضی اللہ عنھا). When he was six years old, he visited his maternal uncles in Madeenah with his mother Aaminah bint Wahb. On the way back to Makkah, his mother died in al-Abwaa’. Then his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib became his guardian. But ‘Abd al-Muttalib died when Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was eight years old. His paternal uncle Abu Taalib then became his guardian. He took care of him, treated him kindly and defended him for more than forty years of his life.

Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was an orphan, his father dying before he was born, his mother when he was six years old. Even during the hard circumstances of his upbringing, he was modest and pious in character and wise beyond his years. At around the age of twelve, Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) accompanied his uncle Abu Talib in a mercantile journey to Syria and gained experience in commercial enterprise. On this journey Muhammad was recognized by a Christian monk, Bahira, who prophesied about Muhammad's (صلى الله عليه و سلم) future prophethood. This prophesy was fulfilled when Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) became a prophet at the age of 40.

Like the prophets before him, Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was among other things a shepherd, looking after animals for others. He was also a merchant. Through is honest dealings and integrity he became well known among his people as Al Ameen (the trustworthy) and Al Sadiq (the truthful), so much so that Khateejah bint Khuwaylid (رضی اللہ عنھا - Khateejah daughter of Khuwaylid), a very wealthy merchant in her own right requested him through her kinsman Khazimah ibn Hakim to take her caravans to Syria for trade offering to pay double her usual commission. Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) returned with double the expected profit.

Having seen his honesty, integrity and character through his dealings with her, in working for her, she decided to marry him, so, she sent her sister to him, who asked him, “Why are you not married, yet?”

“For lack of means,” he replied.

“What if I could offer you a wife of nobility, beauty, and wealth? Would you be interested?” she told him.

He said he would, but when she mentioned her sister, he was surprised. “How could I marry her? She has turned down the most noble men in the city, much wealthier and prominent than me, a poor shepherd,” he asked her.

“Don’t worry,” the sister replied, “I’ll take care of it.” Soon Khateejah (رضی اللہ عنھا) and Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) were married. At the time of marriage, Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was 25 and Khateejah (رضی اللہ عنھا) was 40. This marriage, his first, was both happy and monogamous; Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) relied on Khateejah (رضی اللہ عنھا) and she was a source of immense love, strength, and comfort for him until her death 25 years later. It was only after her death, that he remarried. His wives, including Khateejah (رضی اللہ عنھا), were all widows or divorcees with the exception of Aishah bint Abu Bakr.

As a sign of his wisdom, when Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was 35, the various clan leaders gathered to rebuild the Kaaba, in Makkah, which had fallen into disrepair. Disagreement arose concerning the setting of the sacred Black stone on the wall of the Kaaba; the clan leaders could not decide as to which clan should have the honor of doing that, each clan wanting to claim that honor.

When the disagreement grew tense, and bloodshed became likely, the clan leaders agreed to wait for the next man to come through the gate of the Kaaba and ask him to choose. Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) entered through the gate first and when informed of the situation asked for a mantle which he spread on the ground, and placed the stone at its center. Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) had the clans’ leaders lift a corner of it until the mantle reached the appropriate height, and then himself placed the stone in the proper place. Thus, certain, ensuing bloodshed was averted.