1. THE LIFE OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
Asslamu alaykum! Welcome to ‘the introduction to the life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).’ There has never been a human being so well-respected, loved and followed as Muhammad (pbuh), the final messenger of Allah. There has never been a person who has changed world history so dramatically as Muhammad (pbuh) and his message. The Prophet (pbuh) was the single most important person in the history of the world.
The reason for Muhammad’s (pbuh) success was that he was sent with a pure message from Allah, the creator of all mankind. This message would help us understand how to live our lives. It would tell us about good and bad and about wrong and right. This message would tell us about mankind (about you and me), the universe and the rest of creation around us. This message would tell us about Allah and about our relationship with Allah. The message also told us about the Hereafter, the Day of Judgment, Heaven and Hell.
The Qu'ran is this pure message that was revealed to Muhammad 1400 years ago. These are the words of Allah that were sent to the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Allah has guarded it and kept it pure from changes and errors. The purpose or mission of the prophet (pbuh) was to deliver this message to Mankind and to follow its teachings.
There is no other message that has such an impact on mankind as the Qu’ran. There are no other revealed books that have been kept pure from changes like the Qu’ran has. The Qu’ran has changed the lives of billions of people in the world. It has helped them become better people and live according to the will of Allah.
There were many prophets that came before prophet Muhammad (pbuh) - 124,000 we are told from Hadith. The Qu’ran tells us that every nation was sent a prophet. The mission of the prophets was to tell their people about Allah and invite them to live their lives according to Allah’s command. This helped them be good and generous people who looked after and cared for each other. The good people would be rewarded with heaven and the people that rebelled and refused the prophet would be punished with hellfire.
When the prophet died, the people would forget part of the message and then add bits to the original message. Eventually, the messages became completely different and the people went astray again. Allah would send another messenger to guide them back to the right path.
This cycle of prophets coming and the people going astray continued for a long time. When Muhammad (pbuh) came, the cycle was broken. The big difference was that the message of Muhammad (pbuh) was for everyone and would never change. If the people went astray, they could turn back to the original message (the Qu’ran) and be guided again. If they did not understand things they could look into the Sunnah which is a practical guide of how the Qu'ran is followed.
Allah said that he would guard the message (the Holy Qu’ran) from any changes. We find that the Qu'ran we have today is the same Qu'ran that was revealed to Muhammad (pbuh) through Angel Jibrael. There is not a word or letter difference between the original and today’s Qu’ran. If anyone goes on the wrong path or gets mixed up, they can read the Qu’ran and receive guidance.
There are no more messengers to come after Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He was the seal of the prophets. The prophet (pbuh) told us on his last sermon – ‘I have left nothing but two things – the Qu’ran and the Sunnah – follow these and you will never go astray.’
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Makkah to Amina and Abdullah. Abdullah passed away before Muhammad (pbuh) was born and was brought up by Amina, his mother. When he was six, his mother passed away and then he was looked after by his loving grandfather Abdul Mutallib. Two years later, Abdul Mutallib also passed away and Muhammad (pbuh) was brought up by his uncle Abu Talib.
Muhammad (pbuh) lived a simple life, marrying Khadija when he was twenty five years old. At the age of forty, the first verses came from Allah in the month of Ramadan. The Angel Jibrael brought these first five verses to Muhammad (pbuh). These words were written down by the scribes and memorised by the Muslims. This message continued for twenty three years and is known as the Qu'ran – the word of Allah.
The people originally refused to follow Muhammad (pbuh) and persecuted him. There were only a handful of people who followed Muhammad (pbuh) and his teachings. The Prophet (pbuh) and his followers suffered many hardships in Makkah. After thirteen years, they left Makkah and migrated to Yathrib (Madina) where many people accepted Islam and the teachings spread very quickly.
The Makkans were not happy; they tried to attack the Muslims on many occasions. These were times of trial for the Muslims. There were times when the Muslims faced many problems and hardships but they continued to struggle on. The Muslims were eventually successful and managed to secure peace in the whole region. Many people began to accept Islam in Arabia but the Makkans continued to plot against the Muslims.
Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions returned to Makkah and the House of Allah. The Muslims then removed all the idols from the Ka'bahand Muhammad (pbuh) forgave these people who had persecuted and harmed him for so many years. There was great happiness and rejoicing in Makkah.
Islam continued to spread and reform the Arabs. After the prophet (pbuh) passed away Islam continued to spread all over the world. The rightly guided Khalifas that came after Muhammad ruled justly and cared for the people. There was justice throughout the lands as more and more people, tribes and countries accepted the teachings of Islam.
The Sahabah, the companions of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh), worked hard to practice the ideals of Islam and teach it to the people. Through the efforts of the Sahabah and the early Muslims we are Muslims today, Alhamdu-lillah.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was kind and honest. He looked after his family and friends. He had good character and respected the elders. He looked after the orphans and the poor. He was concerned for the wellbeing of all people. He never stole or swore at anyone. He was loved and respected by everyone – the Muslims and the non-Muslims.
The prophet’s character and actions are also recorded in the Hadith books which give us an insight into this great man. Many people try and follow the example of the prophet (pbuh), indeed he is a role model for all Muslims. We should also be kind and good – following the example of the prophet (pbuh) throughout our lives.
In the Seerah class, you will learn a lot about the prophet (pbuh) and about his life. The lessons are very simple and are only a small introduction to the life of our prophet Muhammad (pbuh). You should spend some of your own time and learn more about this great man.