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Senin, 11 Januari 2010

Who Was Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam?

The Prophet of Islam was born Muhammad ibn Abdullah in Mecca in the year 570 CE. He is the messenger and prophet of Islam and according to Muslims, he is the last and final prophet that God has sent. Muhammad's role went beyond being a Prophet, he was also a politician, a legislator, a military man, and a social reformer.

Muhammad was born in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca and was orphaned at a very young age. His father, Abdullah, died several weeks before his birth and his mother died when Muhammad was 6 years old. His grandfather Abd al Muttalib and then his uncle, Abu Talib, took custody of him and raised him. When Muhammad was of age, he worked as a shepherd and a merchant and traveled to several Middle Eastern cities with the trade caravans. He got married to a rich Meccan widow by the name of Khadijah at the age of 25. At the time Khadija was twice widowed and was 40 years old. Together, Muhammad and Khadijah had 6 children, four girls and two boys.

According to Islamic history, Muhammad often retreated to a cave on the outskirts of Mecca in order to meditate and reflect on life and the bigger questions of life. He received his first revelation from God at the age of 40 and in the month of Ramadan. Three years after this even, Muhammad started preaching the message of the oneness of God and declared himself as a Prophet. Khadijan, his first wife, was the first person to accept Islam.

Muhammad had few followers early on and he was ridiculed by the Meccans who were mostly pagans. Muhammad left Mecca to the city of Medina where he established his religious base and gained more followers. Eventually Muhammad conquered all Arabian tribes and united them under Islam. He conquered the city of Mecca, his birthplace, and destroyed the Pagan gods and established Islam as the only religion of Arabia.

According to Islam, revelations were sent to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. It is these revelations that eventually were gathered and put together in a book known as the Quran. These revelations came sporadically throughout Muhammad's prophetic life. The Quran, however, is not in any chronological order, instead, the editors of the Quran decided to put the chapters by order of their size, from the longest chapter to the smallest chapter.

Muhammad died of illness on 632 CE from illness in the city of Medinah. He was buried in Medinah and currently Medinah is one of the pilgrimage destination of Muslims.

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