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What Historians Have Said About The Life Of The Prophet Muhammad (Essay Sample)


The task required me to analyze and compare what three or more historians have said about the life of the prophet Muhammad. I was expected to identify and read at least one book and two published articles on the topic and submit a six-page essay.

HISTORICAL WRITING ON THE LIFE OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD Student Name Course Tutor Submission Date Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was the last Prophet and one of the most prominent religious leaders that ever lived. Born in 570 CE in Mecca sometimes referred to as Bakka or Baca, Muhammad had a rather miserable life until he hit 12 years old. Mecca is a historical site that marks the foundation of Islam, one of the most significant religions in the world. During this time, Arab had no particular order and law. Regarding religion, the natives here adhered to the ancient Arab religion. This made the Saudi society to be infused with ill traditions, superstitions, and customs, thus making them an extremely backward nation whose tribes were diabolically divided, leading their lives as shepherds. In fact, Saudi was characterized by the worship of about 360 competing idols, female infanticide, animistic practices, and exclusive tribal codes. This essay, therefore, is going to discuss the earlier life of Muhammad, his venture into the business world, marriage to Khadija, his meditation and subsequent encounter with Allah's archangel Jibril, the confirmation that Muhammad was indeed God's prophet, his public humiliation and finally, the ultimate recognition and acceptance of Islam in Mecca. Although he came from an affluent family, Muhammad's father succumbed to death in Yathrib, Madinah, only three weeks prior to Muhammad's birthday. Mohammed's mother, being a Quarish, as it was the norm, gave her child to one of the Bedioun women to raise him in the desert to protect him from the disease in the towns. Gade agrees that it was a typical practice for Quarish women to entrust the wandering tribes' women with their children to raise at that time. Accordingly, Muhammad was given to a woman called Halimah. She took care of him until he attained the age of six years then returned him to his mother. In a dramatic twist of events, Mohammed's mother too died later in the year that Muhammed was brought him. This fateful incident compelled Muhammad to go and live with Abl-al-Muttalib, his then 80-year-old paternal grandfather. Abl-al-Muttalib, Muhamed's custodian, too died two years later. muhammed, disoriented, had to move into his wealthy merchant paternal uncle, Abu Talib who had authenticated himself as a prominent leader of the ‘Quraish’ Arab tribe Makkah. Abu Talib was in charge of taking care of ‘Ka’bah’ the Holy sanctuary.[. Gade, Anna M. "Religious biography of the Prophet Muḥammad in twenty-first-century Indonesia." The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad 3, no. 1 (2014), 251-273.] [. Gruber, Christiane, and Avinoam Shalem. "Introduction: Images of the Prophet Muhammad in a Global Context." The Image of the Prophet between Ideal and Ideology 6, no. 1 (2015):35] According to Rogerson, initially, Muhammed was tasked with the responsibility of sheep herding. When his uncle discovered that the young boy was not only hardworking but trustworthy as well, he started tagging him along when he went on his business trips. This was a revered virtue and thus it earned Muhammed the nickname 'Al-Amin¡. Haykal & Al-Faruqi agree with Rogerson that Al-Amin¡ simply implies the trustworthy, honesty and most reliable one. These impressive credentials signified an extraordinary standard of both public and moral life. In fact, Muslims to date consider Muhammad's trust and impeachable character as the top of his most valuable qualities that helped him to gather numerous followers as an Islamic leader.[. Rogerson B. The Life of Muhammad. London: (Little Brown, 2003), 44] Haykal & Al-Faruqi report that under Abu Talib, his uncle's able guardianship, Mohammed started earning a living as both a trader and businessman. The experiences he earned from accompanying his uncle alongside a merchant caravan to Bostra in Syria lay a good foundation for him in the business arena. His good character and unquestionable nature spread quickly like bush. Therefore, no surprise that when Khadijah, a super-rich merchant widow, upon hearing of his impressive credentials, trusted Muhammad with some of her merchandise to go and trade them in Syria. In Syria, he made tremendous profits, in fact, double what Khadija expected. Consequently, sometime after this trip to Syria, Khadijah, through a relative, made a marriage proposal to Muhammad. At that time, Muhammad was twenty-five years old. Muhammad, considering the fact that Khadijah was forty years old and twice widowed, accepted the proposal and became her husband. Together, they bore six children, two boys, and four girls. Muhammad first son, from whom Muhammad got the nickname Abul Qasim, died at age two while Abdullah, his second son died in infancy. The young boy was also described lovingly as ‘Tahir’ and ‘Tayyab’ a name that associates his birthday with after Muhammad’s prophethood. Khadija and Muhammad had four daughters namely, Fatimah, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and Zainab.[. Haykal, Muḥammad Ḥusayn, and Ismaʼil R. Al-Faruqi. The life of Muhammad. (Tehran: The world Forum for proximity of Islamic Schools of thought, 2007), 64.] [ Gruber and Shalem, "Introduction: Images of the Prophet Muhammad in a Global Context." .The Image of the Prophet between Ideal and Ideology 6, no. 1 (2015), 1-12] [. Muḥammad and Al-Faruqi. The life of Muhammad,35.] Although polygamy was a widely practiced custom during that time in the society, Muhammad, interestingly, remained committed to his 15 years older wife, Khadijah in a highly polygamous environment. According to Gade, however, Muhammad obtained himself 11 more wives, other than Khadija. The common understanding, however, is that Muhammad was profoundly engrossed in concerns beyond this worldly life and beyond material possessions as well. Therefore, he spent most of his life in solitude, particularly on the Mount Hira peak, which is only a few miles from Mecca. He used to frequent this cave several times. This cave, a standalone feature, separated from the rest of the world, instill a vivid image of Muhammad’s burning desires for spirituality. His primary objective was to unite and harmonize the various tribes and classes as well as institute a sovereign nation. At the peak of Mount Hira, he suffered the anguish and torture of rejecting an ancient patriarchal religion. He, however, submitted to the joy of learning Islam, a new uniting religion.[. Gade, "Religious biography of the Prophet Muḥammad in twenty-first-century Indonesia, 251-273.] [. Gade, "Religious biography of the Prophet Muḥammad in twenty-first-century Indonesia," 65] Gruber & Shalem state that when Muhammad was 40, in 610 CE, he received his first revelation from Allah's archangel Jibril, during one of his numerous retreats to privacy in Mount Hira. This was to mark a significant change in the history of Arab and their religion. All this happened in the month of Ramadan, during his meditation. On his first appearance, the angel said to him, "Iqraa," suggesting Read or Recite. In response, Muhammad, in a frenzy, retorted, "I cannot read." Mohammed had not obtained even a little formally prescribed education, therefore lacked the know- how to write, leave alone read. The archangel Jibril then hugged him tightly and Muhammad was almost chocking and giving up the ghost when the angel finally released him and demanded him to say "Iqraa." Muhammad repeated his earlier response. Jibril embraced him one more time and said, "Recite in the name of your Lord who created! He created man from that which clings. Recite, and thy Lord is most Bountiful, He who has taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not," (Quran chapter 96) as a matter of fact, these revelations mark the first five verses of Surah in the 96 chapter of the Qur’an. Thus the revelation which demanded Muhammad to read iqraa and proclaim the divine message of Allah worldwide began in the year 610 CE. The entire encounter of this vision horrified Muhammad and compelled him to retreat from the cave. In fact, Haykal& Al-Faruqi call it a harrowing experience. Once at home, tired as much as he was frightened, he narrated his experiences to his wife. After her consultation with her old saintly cousin, Waraqa, they confirmed that Muhammad's visitor at the cave was angel Gabriel, Allah’s arch messenger who had earlier on appeared to Moses. Waraqa assured Khadija that Muhammad was indeed Allah's anticipated messenger. Consequently, Khadijah believed his words, thus becoming the first in history to submit to Islam. She remained supportive of her husband througho...
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