Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
Differences and disputes arose among the Children of Israel. They introduced alterations and changes in their beliefs and laws. Thus truth was extinguished and falsehood prevailed, oppression and evil became widespread, and people needed a religion that would establish truth, destroy evil and guide people to the straight path, therefore Allah sent Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
as Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning):
“And We have not sent down the Book (the Qur’aan) to you (O Muhammad, except that you may explain clearly unto them those things in which they differ, and (as) a guidance and a mercy for a folk who believe”
Allaah sent all the Prophets and Messengers to call for the worship of Allah alone, and to bring people from darkness to light. The first of these Messengers was Nooh and the last of them was Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
as Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning):
“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allaah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taaghoot (all false deities, i.e. do not worship Taaghoot besides Allaah)’”
The last of the Prophets and Messengers is Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), so there is no Prophet after him, as Allaah said:
“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allaah and the last (end) of the Prophets”
Every Prophet was sent exclusively to his own people, but Allaah sent His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to all of mankind
as Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah revealed to His messenger the Qur’aan by which to guide people And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a giver of glad tidings and a Warner to all mankind, but most of men know not”
Allaah sent the Qur’aan to His Messenger, to guide people and bring them forth from darkness to light by the will of their Lord.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“(This is) a Book which We have revealed unto you (O Muhammad) in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of belief in the Oneness of Allaah and Islâmic Monotheism) by their Lord’s Leave to the path of the All Mighty, the Owner of all praise”
The messenger of Allaah, Muhammad ibn Abd-Allaah ibn Abd al-Muttalib al-Haashimi al-Qurashi was born in Makkah in the year of the Elephant, the year when the companions of the Elephant came to Makkah to destroy the Ka’bah, but Allaah destroyed them. His father died before he was born, and after he was born, Haleemah al-Sa’diyyah nursed him. 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 was eight years old. Then his paternal uncle Abu Taalib became his guardian. He took care of him, treated him kindly and defended him for more than forty years, but when Abu Taalib died he had not come to believe in the religion of Muhammad lest he be reproached by Quraysh for abandoning the religion of his forefathers
When he was young, Muhammad used to tend sheep for the people of Makkah, then he traveled to Syria to do business on behalf of Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, and he made a good profit. Khadeejah was impressed with his character, and his sincerity and honesty, so he married her when he was twenty-five, and she was forty, and he did not marry any other woman until after she died.
Allaah made Muhammad grow in a good manner, and Allaah took care of him, so he was the the best of his people in physical wellbeing and in attitude, he was the most generous, the most patient, the most truthful, the most sincere and the most honest, so his people called him al-Ameen (the trustworthy) .
Then he was given an inclination towards solitude, so he used to spend many days and nights alone in the cave of Hiraa’, worshiping and praying to his Lord. He hated idols, alcohol and promiscuous conduct, so he never paid any attention to them all his life
When Muhammad reached the age of thirty-five he took part in the rebuilding of the Ka’bah, which had been destroyed by a flood. A dispute arose concerning who should put the Black Stone back in its place, and they appointed him as an arbitrator to resolve the dispute, so he called for a garment and placed the stone on it then he told the tribal chiefs to hold the garment at the edges so that all of them could lift it together, then Muhammad put it in place and put stones and mortar around it.
The people of the Jaahiliyyah used to have some good characteristics such as generosity, loyalty and courage, and they used to follow some teachings of the religion of Ibraaheem, such as venerating the Ka’bah and making Tawaaf around it, performing Hajj and ‘Umrah, and offering sacrifices. But besides that they used to have some bad habits and traditions, such as fornication, drinking alcohol, consuming ribaa (usury or interest), killing their daughters, oppression and worshiping idols.
The first one to introduce changes in the religion of Ibrahim, and to call for the worship of idols was ‘Amr ibn Luhayy al-Khuzaa’i, who brought idols to Makkah and other places, and called people to worship them. Among these idols were Wudd, Suwaa’, Yaghooth, Ya’ooq, and Nasra.
Later on, the Arabs also worshipped other idols such as the idol of Manaat in a place called Qadeed, and al-Laat in al-Taa’if, al-‘Uzza in Wadi Nakhlah, Hubal inside the Ka’bah, and other idols around the Ka’bah, and idols in their homes. People used to consult soothsayers, fortunetellers and magicians to judge between them.
When shirk and corruption became so widespread, Allaah sent Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when he was forty years old, to call the people to worship Allaah Alone and to give up idol-worship. Quraysh denounced him for that and said:
“Has he made the aalihah (gods) (all) into One Ilaah (God — Allaah). Verily, this is a curious thing!”
[Saad 38:5 – interpretation of the meaning]
These idols continued to be worshipped instead of Allaah until Allaah sent His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with the Message of Tawheed (Oneness of Allaah). So he and his Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) broke them and destroyed them, truth prevailed and falsehood was vanquished:
“And say: ‘Truth (i.e. Islamic Monotheism or this Qur’aan or Jihaad against polytheists) has come and Baatil (falsehood, i.e. Satan or polytheism) has vanished. Surely, Baatil is ever bound to vanish’”
[al-Israa’ 17:81 – interpretation of the meaning]
The first revelation that was sent down to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was in the cave of Hiraa’ where he used to go to worship, when Jibreel came to him and commanded him to read. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “I am not a reader.” This happened again, and on the third time, he said to him:
“Read! In the **** of your Lord Who has created (all that exists).
He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).
Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous
[al-‘Alaq 96:1-3 – interpretation of the meaning]
The Messenger went back home, his heart pounding. He entered upon his wife Khadeejah and told her what had happened, saying “I feared for myself.” She calmed him down and said, “By Allaah, Allaah will never forsake you, for you uphold the ties of kinship, help the weak, honour your guests, give in charity and help when some one is stricken with calamity.” Then she went with him to her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal, who had become a Christian. When he told him what had happened, he gave him glad tidings and told him, this is the Naamoos whom Allaah sent to Moosa. He encouraged him to be patient if his people persecuted him and expelled him. Then the wahy stopped for a while, and the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was saddened by that. Then whilst he was walking one day, he saw the angel again, between the heavens and the earth. He went back to his house and wrapped himself in his blanket.
Then Allaah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you (Muhammad) enveloped in garments! Arise and warn!”
After that, revelations came one after another to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
The Prophet stayed in Makkah for thirteen years, calling for the worship of Allaah alone, in secret then openly, when Allaah commanded him to proclaim the truth. So he called them in a gentle and kind manner, without fighting. He called his clan and closest relatives, then he warned his people and those around them, then he warned all the Arabs, then he warned all of mankind.
Then Allaah said:
“Therefore proclaim openly (Allaah’s Message Islamic Monotheism) that which you are commanded, and turn away from Al Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters, and disbelievers)”
A few people, rich people, nobles, the weak and poor, men and women, believed in the Messenger. All of them were persecuted for their faith. Some were tortured and some were killed. Some of them migrated to Abyssinia, fleeing from the persecution of Quraysh, and some of them were persecuted with the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), until Allaah caused His religion to prevail.
When the Messenger reached the age of fifty and ten years of his mission had passed, his uncle Abu Taalib, who had protected him from the persecution of Quraysh, died. Then his wife Khadeejah, who had been his consolation, also died, and the persecution of his people intensified. They harrassed him and persecuted him with all kinds of torments, and he bore it with patience, seeking the reward of Allaah. May the blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him.
When the persecution of Quraysh became too intense, he went out to al-Taa’if and called its people to Islam but they did not respond; instead they insulted him and threw stones at him, until his heels started to bleed. He went back to Makkah and continued to call his people to Islam during Hajj and at other times.
Then Allaah took His Messenger on the Night Journey from al-Masjid al-Haraam in Makkah to al-Masjid al-Aqsaa (in Jerusalem), riding on al-Buraaq, accompanied by Jibreel. He stopped and led the Prophets in prayer, then he was taken up into the lowest heaven, where he saw Adam, with the souls of the blessed to his right and the souls of the doomed to his left. Then he was taken up to the second heaven where he saw ‘Eesa and Yahyaa; then to the third heaven where he saw Yoosuf; then to the fourth heaven where he saw Idrees; then to the fifth heaven where he saw Haroon; then to the sixth heaven where he saw Moosa; then to the seventh heaven where he saw Ibraaheem.