Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) was the Messenger of Allah and Founder of Islam. Most of his early life was spent as a merchandiser. At age 40, he began to get revelations from Allah that became the basis for the Quran and the Basics of Islam. By the year 0630, he had united most of the Arab countries under a single religion which is Islam. According to the census of 2015, there were over 1.8 billion Muslims within the world who believe and summons that, “There is no God but Allah, and Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) is His prophet.”
Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) was born around 0570, AD in Mecca (in Saudi Arabia). His father died before he was born and he was raised first by his grandfather and then with his uncle Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s). He belonged to a not-so-rich but respectable family of the Quraish tribe in Makkah. The family was active in the Meccan trade and politics.
Many of the tribes living within the Arab Peninsula at the time were wondering, exchanging goods as they reticulate the desert. Most tribes were polytheistic, worshipping their own set of gods like fire, wood, cow, etc. The city/town of Makkah was a vital trading and religious center, there were many temples and worshipping places and where they had devoted prayers to the idols of these gods. The most famous place was the Kaaba in Saudia Arabia which means cube in Arabic. It’s believed that it was built by Abraham (Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) to Muslims) and his son Hazrat Ismail (a.s). Slowly but the people of Makkah started turning to polytheism and idolatry of other manly made gods. Of all the gods worshipped, it is believed that Allah is meant to be the greatest and the only one without an idol.
In His early ages of teen hood, Hazrat Muhammad (saww) worked in a caravan of camels, following the footsteps of many other children and people of His age, born of not so much wealth. Working and operating for His uncle, He gained expertise in business trade traveling to the Syrian State and eventually from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean. In time, Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) achieved a reputation as honest and sincere, getting the nickname or Laqab of “al-Amin” which means faithful or trustworthy.
In His early age of 20s, Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) began working for a most recognized and the richest woman of Islam named Hazrat Khadijah, 15 years senior to Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w). She soon became attracted to Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w), the most honest man, and proposed Him for a marriage. He accepted the proposal and later in few years the happy union brought many children. Not all lived to adulthood, but one, Hazrat Fatima (s.a), which later marry Hazrat Muhammad’s (s.a.w.w) cousin, Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s), whom Muslims regard as the Hazrat Muhammad’s (s.a.w.w) successor.
Muhammad was additionally extremely religious, sometimes taking journeys of devotion to sacred places close to Makkah. On one of his pilgrimages in 0610, He was meditating in a cave on Mount Jabal aI-Nour. The Angel Hazrat Jibrael (a.s) appeared and relayed the words of Allah: “Recite in the name of your Allah Who creates, creates man from a clinging substance. Recite, and your Allah is the Most Generous….” These lines became the opening ayats of chapter 96 Surah Fateha of the Holy Quran. Most Islamic historians believe that Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) was disturbed at the start by the revelations and that He didn’t reveal them publicly for few years. However, Shia believes and states that He welcomed the message from the Angel Hazrat Jibrael (a.s) and was deeply inspired to share His experience with other believers.
Islamic history tells us that the first persons to believe were His wife, Hazrat Khadija, and His close companion was Hazrat Abu Bakr (r.a) (regarded successor to Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) by Sunni Muslims). Soon, Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) started to gather a small group of people, primarily facing no opposition. Most people in Makkah (Saudia Arabia) either ignored Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) or mocked Him as just another Prophet like before in history. Although, when Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) condemned idol worshipping and polytheism, many of Makkah’s tribal superiors and leaders began to see Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) and His message as a threat to them and their own religion. Besides going against long-standing beliefs, the condemnation of idol worshipping had economic consequences for businessmen who catered to the many of the pilgrims who came to Makkah every year. This was true for members of Hazrat Muhammad’s (s.a.w.w) own tribe that the Quraysh, who were the guardians of the Kaaba. Sensing a great threat, Makkah’s businessmen and superiors offered Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) incentives and awards to stop His preaching, but He refused and keep on doing what Allah told Him to do.
Islam started Growing
Increasingly, the resistance to Hazrat Muhammed (s.a.w.w)and His followers started growing and they were eventually forced to migrate from Makkah to Madina, a city of 260 miles to the north in the year 0622. This event and time mark the start of the Muslim or Islamic calendar. There Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) was instrumental in bringing a full stop to a civil war raging amongst many of the city’s tribes. Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) settled in Medina, building his Muslim community, and slowly started gathering acceptance and more and more followers.
Between 0624 and 0628, the Muslims were involved in a series of battles for their own survival and supporting Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w). In the final major confrontation, The Battle of the Trench (Gazwa e Khandaq) and Siege of Medina, Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) and His followers prevailed and a treaty was signed to keep peace among every tribe. The treaty was broken by the Makkan allies a year later. By now, Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) had plenty of forces and a lot of power had shifted away from the Makkan leaders to Him. In the year 0630, the Muslim army marched into Makkah, taking the city/town with minimum casualties. Muhammad gave amnesty to a lot of the Makkan superiors who had opposed Him and forgave many others. Most of the Makkan population converted to Islam after this. Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.w) and His companions later proceeded to destroy and finish all of the statues of worldly gods in and around the Kaaba.