Muhammad was the Prophet of Islam and a central figure of the religion. Muslims across the world consider him as the last of the prophets of God. He had an immense effect on the shape of events that followed him in the Arab world and across.
Before Muhammad, Arabs were a fractured society, divided into clans and tribes and involved in perpetual feuds and skirmishes.
Muhammad successfully united Arabia into a single polity where the Quran (the holy scripture of Muslims) and his own teachings and practices became the basis of the Islamic faith.
He had the most powerful legacy of all Middle age personalities, as the Muslim faith and existence in and around the Middle East continues to exist with varying degrees of strength. Muhammad’s efforts and leadership transformed incoherent Arab tribes into a force to reckon with.
Muhammad Facts For Kids
- Muhammad is the founder of Islam.
- He was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, around 570 AD.
- Muslims believe he received revelations from God.
- These revelations are written in the Quran.
- Muhammad’s teachings spread Islam across Arabia.
- He’s considered the last in a line of prophets.
- His life is detailed in texts called Hadiths.
- He promoted monotheism – the belief in one God.
- He led a simple life, emphasizing charity and prayer.
- He passed away in 632 AD in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
Prophet Muhammad’s Life
Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam and revered by Muslims as God’s messenger and prophet, was born in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia in 570 AD. He was named Muhammad ibn Abdullah, translating to ‘Muhammad, the son of Abdullah’. He faced the harsh realities of life early on when he became an orphan following the deaths of his father before his birth and his mother when he was only six.
Despite these adversities, Muhammad grew to become a well-respected and prosperous merchant. In his forties, he experienced religious visions and revelations that would later serve as the foundation of the Quran, Islam’s holy scripture.
His teachings, encapsulated in the Quran, stress the importance of peace, equality, and respect for all individuals, irrespective of their social standing or origin.
Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam in the 7th century AD, is a pivotal figure in this religion. Muslims believe that he began receiving revelations from Allah, or God, through the angel Gabriel when he was 40 years old.
These revelations are enshrined in the Quran, Islam’s sacred text, positioning Muhammad as the ultimate prophet in a succession of divine messengers that includes figures like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.
It’s essential for children studying Islam to understand that Muslims regard the Quran’s teachings, as revealed to Muhammad, as the conclusive and comprehensive word of God.
Prophet Muhammad, highly revered in Islam as the final messenger of God, is integral to the Muslim faith as he delivered God’s message captured in the Holy Quran. However, not many are aware of another significant Islamic literary collection known as the Hadith.
These are compilations of Prophet Muhammad’s sayings, deeds, and endorsements concerning everyday life, religious responsibilities, etiquette, and ethics. They act as a blueprint for Muslims, guiding them to lead a virtuous life akin to Prophet Muhammad’s. It’s crucial, though, to distinguish the Hadith from the Quran.
The latter is regarded by Muslims as God’s literal words, whereas the Hadith are perceived as Prophet Muhammad’s own words and actions.
Hijra (Migration to Medina)
Muhammad, embarked on a pivotal voyage known as the Hijra, translating to ‘migration’ in Arabic, in 622 AD amid intense persecution in Mecca. He, along with his followers, sought refuge in the city of Medina, marking a significant milestone that signified the commencement of the Islamic calendar.
On arrival in Medina, he was greeted warmly, allowing him to initiate a Muslim community and implement a constitution that safeguarded the rights and duties of every member, irrespective of their faith.
The Hijra, therefore, not only represents a critical turning point in Islamic history but also encapsulates the enduring lesson of persevering through adversities for one’s convictions.
Five Pillars of Islam
Muhammad, the originator of Islam, instituted the Five Pillars of Islam, constituting the essential practices that Muslims are urged to adhere to. These pillars encompass Shahada, the proclamation of faith; Salah, the necessity to pray quintuple times daily; Zakat, the duty to donate to the less fortunate; Sawm, the abstaining from food during Ramadan; and Hajj, the sacred journey to Mecca.
Muhammad’s personal adherence to these pillars set a precedent for all Islam followers, underscoring his teachings that highlighted the significance of faith, prayer, philanthropy, self-control, and dedication to God.
Battle of Badr
In 624 AD, the Battle of Badr, a pivotal event in early Islamic history, took place near the city of Badr, now part of modern-day Saudi Arabia. The founder of Islam, Muhammad, played a significant role in this battle, leading his outnumbered followers against a substantial Meccan army.
Despite the unfavorable odds, Muhammad’s strategic leadership and the unwavering faith of his followers resulted in a remarkable victory. This triumph not only established the Muslims as a powerful force but also significantly bolstered the morale of the burgeoning Islamic community.
The Battle of Badr serves as a significant lesson for children studying Muhammad’s life, highlighting his exceptional leadership skills and emphasizing the importance of faith and strategy in surmounting challenges.
The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, shares a profound correlation with the Kaaba, a revered Islamic site positioned in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. This significant structure, a large black cube, serves as the focal point of prayer for Muslims globally and is a fundamental component of their faith.
Muhammad’s birthplace, Mecca, is also where he experienced divine revelations from Allah, the Islamic term for God. These revelations form the bedrock of the Quran, Islam’s holy scripture. A pivotal moment in Muhammad’s life was the Conquest of Mecca, a historical event where he and his followers seized control over the city.
He subsequently commanded the eradication of all idols within the Kaaba, dedicating the structure exclusively to Allah. This unwavering dedication has been preserved through the ages, reinforcing the Kaaba’s status as the quintessential sacred site in Islam.
Muhammad, the originator of Islam, is celebrated not only for his contribution to the Quran but also for his Sunnah, encompassing his teachings, sayings, and actions. They collectively serve as a pivotal source of Islamic law, second in significance only to the Quran.
To make it comprehensible for children, the Sunnah can be likened to a guidebook or a collection of examples set by Muhammad to illustrate how to lead a wholesome and satisfying life. It embodies aspects such as his prayer rituals, his treatment of others, and his daily practices.
In emulation of Muhammad, Muslims endeavor to incorporate these examples into their everyday life, as a means of venerating his teachings.
Seal of the Prophets
Muhammad, also known as the ‘Seal of the Prophets,’ holds a pivotal role in the Islamic faith, symbolizing the final prophet appointed by God to communicate his divine message. His birth in the city of Mecca, now modern-day Saudi Arabia, dates back to approximately 570.
At the age of 40, Muhammad began to receive divine revelations, which were subsequently assembled into the Islamic sacred scripture, the Quran. His teachings, which underscored kindness, honesty, and universal respect, have been revered by Muslims as the epitome of ethical behavior and an all-encompassing guide in life’s every facet.
Born in 570 A.D. into the esteemed Quraysh tribe of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Muhammad, often referred to as Al-Hashimi due to his affiliation with the Hashemite clan within the tribe, was orphaned at a young age.
His father, Abdullah, had passed away before his birth, and his mother, Amina, died when he was six. Consequently, his upbringing was shouldered first by his grandfather and then by his uncle. Muhammad, later in his life, fathered several children with his first wife, Khadijah, including Fatimah, Ruqayyah, Zainab, Umm Kulthum, and Qasim. Notably, their youngest daughter, Fatimah, gained particular prominence as she married Muhammad’s cousin, Ali.
Their offspring, Hasan and Husayn, are revered as the Prophet’s direct descendants.
Muhammad was born in 570 AD in the city of Mecca. He belonged to the Banu Hashim clan of the powerful Quraysh tribe. His family was one of the most noble and prominent families in Mecca. Tragedy struck Muhammed even before he was born as his father Abdullah died six months before his birth.
Immediately after birth, he was sent to live with a Bedouin family in Mecca as per the custom of the time, where he lived till the age of two. Muhammad was six years old when he lost his mother as well. For the next two years, he was under the care of his grandfather, Abdul Mutalib.
When Muhammad was eight years old, his grandfather also died and he came under the care of his doting uncle, Abu Talib, who was also the leader of Banu Hashim. Muhammad participated in trade with his uncle during his teen years and embarked on several trading trips to Syria with him.
He had earned the respect of his peers for his honesty and truthfulness. In 595, impressed with his reputation, a wealthy widow of Mecca, Khadija proposed marriage to Muhammad which he accepted despite the age difference.
Conversion to Christianity and Life as a Preacher
According to historians, Muhammad began to pray alone in cave Hira on Mount Jabal Al Noor near Mecca for weeks every year. During one such night, in 610 Archangel Gabriel appeared to Muhammad in the cave and asked him to recite certain verses. These verses became part of the Quran as well.
This was the beginning of a series of divine revelations that followed later. As per the traditions, three years after the first revelation, Muhammad was instructed by God to start preaching the Islamic faith to others.
Preaching and Opposition in Mecca: Muhammad’s wife, Khadija was the first one to believe his claim of being a prophet. She was followed by Muhammad’s ten-year-old cousin Ali, close friend Abu Bakr and adopted son, Zaid. Other than his close associates, Muhammad met stiff resistance from his clan and the people of Mecca. His sermons condemned idol worshipping and polytheism.
It is reported that Muhammad and his followers were harshly treated and persecuted for their beliefs by the Meccans. In 615, Muslims migrated to Ethiopia for a small period to escape persecution but later returned to Mecca.
Banu Hashim protected Muhammad and his followers against further persecution but when Khadija and Abu Talib died in 619, the leadership of Banu Hashim fell in the hands of Abu Lahab, a sworn enemy of Muhammad. As a result, even Banu Hashim ceased to provide any protection to Muslims.
Muhammad found refuge for his followers in the city of Medina where people were welcoming and receptive to his teachings. In 622, warned of a murder plot against him, Muhammad and his followers secretly slipped out of Mecca and migrated to Medina. In Medina, Muhammad established a new polity and strengthened the relations between immigrants and the people of Medina through the landmark Treaty of Medina.
Muslims then engaged in wars against the pagans of Mecca and fought several battles against them. The two sides later agreed on a truce and signed the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. Two years after the truce, Meccans violated the conditions and as a result, the truce was declared null and void. In 630, Muhammad ordered a campaign to conquer Mecca along with 10,000 followers. Muslims conquered the city with minimal bloodshed and Muhammad announced amnesty for all except a few.
Later Life and Death
In 632, Muhammad joined the farewell pilgrimage of Mecca. This was his first Islamic pilgrimage (Hajj) and he taught his followers the rituals of Hajj. A few months after the pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill with a high fever and severe weakness.
A few days later, he eventually met his maker at the age of sixty-three in Medina and was buried in the Mosque of the Prophet. He was succeeded by his close friend Abu Bakr. Muslim caliphate later made important inroads into the Byzantine and Sassanid empires and expanded Muslim influence across the region.