He was not only illiterate when he was young, but he also never learned to read or write.
Prior to his prophetic mission, his people lacked scientific knowledge and most of them were uneducated.
He developed a reputation for being sincere, true, trustworthy, kind, and giving as he grew older.
They dubbed him The Trustworthy because he was so reliable.
Who is the Prophet Muhammad
Following in the footsteps of many other young people his age who were born into modest affluence, prophet Muhammad worked in a camel caravan in his early teens.
Working for his uncle, he traveled to Syria and finally from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean to obtain expertise in commercial commerce.
Prophet Muhammad eventually developed a reputation for being true and truthful, earning him the moniker “al-Amin,” which translates to “loyal or trustworthy.”
Early in his twenties, Muhammad started working for a rich businesswoman named Khadijah who was 15 years his senior.
She quickly developed feelings for this young, talented man and made a marriage proposal. He agreed, and the joyful coupling produced a number of kids over time.
Though not all survived to maturity, one, Fatima, would wed Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad’s cousin, whom Shia Muslims consider to be his successor.
The Divine Revelations of Prophet Muhammad
Prophet Muhammad was a devoutly religious man who periodically traveled to holy locations close to Mecca. He was meditating in a cave on Mount Jabal aI-Nour in 610 while on one of his pilgrimages.
Recite in the name of your Lord who creates, and produces man from a clot! The angel Gabriel arrived and spoke for God. For your lord is most gracious, recite.
These phrases eventually became the first verses of chapter 96 of the Qur’an. Most Islamic historians concur that Muhammad delayed making the revelations public for a number of years because he was originally upset by them.
However, according to Shi’a tradition, he embraced the word of the Angel Gabriel and was much moved to tell other potential believers about his experience.
According to Islamic history, his wife Khadija and his close companion Abu Bakr were the first people to believe (regarded as the successor to Muhammad Sunni Muslims).
Prophet Muhammad soon started to amass a tiny following and at first, faced little pushback. He was mostly disregarded or scorned at Mecca by locals who saw him as simply another prophet.
However, many of Mecca’s tribal elders started to view Muhammad and his message as a danger when it denounced idolatry and polytheism.
Along with going against long-held beliefs, the condemnation of idolatry had financial repercussions for businesses that served the tens of thousands of pilgrims who visited Mecca annually.
This was especially true for the Quraysh, Muhammad’s own clan, who served as the Kaaba’s watchmen.
Mecca’s officials and businesspeople gave Muhammad incentives to stop preaching when they sensed a threat, but he refused.
The opposition to prophet Muhammad and his adherents intensified, and in 622 they were finally compelled to leave Mecca for Medina, a city 260 miles to the north.
The only option left for Muhammad and his followers to survive was emigration. They traveled to Medina, another oasis town, in 622 because they had been guaranteed the right to practice their religion openly there.
The hijra, or exodus, from Mecca to Medina signifies the beginning of the Islamic, or hijri, calendar and the year 1.
Muhammad played a key role in putting a stop to a civil war that was raging between many of the city’s tribes there.
Prophet Muhammad settled in Medina, where he established the Muslim community and over time gained recognition and more adherents.
The Muslims fought a number of wars for their lives between 624 and 628. Muhammad and his supporters won the final significant battle, The Battle of the Trench and Siege of Medina, and a treaty was struck.
A year later, the Meccan allies violated the pact. Prophet Muhammad now possessed a sizable force, tipping the scales of power from the Meccan authorities to him.
The Muslim army entered Mecca in 630 and took it with little fatalities. Muhammad pardoned several Meccan leaders who had resisted him and granted amnesty to many more.
The majority of people in Mecca converted to Islam. The statues of pagans in and around the Kaaba were then destroyed by Muhammad and his companions.
Prophet Muhammad’s Death
Prophet Muhammad made his first authentic Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca following the resolution of the dispute with that city, and in March of 632, he gave his final sermon at Mount Arafat.
After arriving to his wife’s house in Medina, he became unwell for a few days.
He passed away on June 8, 632, at the age of 62, and was buried in al-Masjid an-Nabawi, one of the earliest mosques that Muhammad had constructed in Medina.
The Emergence of the Shia and Sunni sects of Islam following the death of the Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad had not designated a successor when he passed away in 632. One group, the Shia, held that only those descended directly from the Prophet could properly lead the Muslim community.
They believed that the next leader should be Ali, the last living blood relative of Muhammad (caliph). The Rightly Guided Caliphs, also known as Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman, were three of the Prophet’s most dependable companions who were consecutively elected as the leaders of the Muslim community by the Sunni sect. ‘Ali then replaced them as the fourth caliph.
Also Read: Beliefs of Sunni Muslims
Shia and Sunni Differences
The shia and sunni sects of Islam continue to exist today. Shia considers Ali to be the first spiritual leader, whereas Sunnis respect all four caliphs.
Differences in worship practices as well as political and theological viewpoints are the outcome of the division between these two camps.
Most of the Muslim world is populated by Sunnis, who make up the majority, whereas Shia communities are mostly found in Iran and iraq.