Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, whose full name was Muhammad ibn Abdullah was born in the month of Rabi’-ul-Awwal in 570 CE, on the Arabian Peninsula. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was orphaned at an early age because his father, Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib, has passed away before his birth.
At age six, Prophet Muhammad’s mother, Aminah bint Wahb, passed away. He then grew up among relatives and was raised under the care of his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, and after his death, by his uncle Abu Talib.
Born in a merchant family, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ spends much of his childhood among nomads, accompanying the caravans on Arabia’s main trade route through Mecca. In 582 CE, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ travelled to Syria with his uncle, Abu Thalib. He met Bahira the monk who found the signs of young Muhammad would be a great prophet one day.
Few years later in his teens, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ became a merchant himself and people called him al-Amin, meaning “the trusted one” for his honesty. In his early twenties, he worked as a caravan merchant for a widow named Khadija who was fifteen years older than him. When Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was 25 years old, Khadija proposed him to marry. The two were wed in 595 CE, then Khadija and Muhammad lived the life of a prosperous merchant and wealthy.
As a sucessful merchant, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has a unique habit. From time to time he withdraw into the mountains to meditate and pray for guidance in religious matters. One night in the year 610 CE, when he was lying in a cave of Hira in a mountain near Mecca, archangel Gabriel appeared to him. He heard a voice that commanded him to recite verses that would later be included in the Quran:
“Recite in the name of thy Lord Who created: Created man from a clot of blood. Recite! Thy Lord is the Most Beneficent, Who taught man by the pen, taught him what he knew not.” (Al-’Alaq 96:1-5)
Upon receiving his first revelations, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was distressed. He hurriedly left the cave, returned home to Khadija to tell her about it. He became perplexed and terrified because he knew it was a huge responsibility. He was not sure that he could carry out, but Khadijah consoled and reassured him. This first revelation marked the beginning of his prophethood and Khadijah became the first convert to Prophet Muhammad’s new religion, which was called Islam.
Started to Preach
In the beginning about 613 CE, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ began to preach his beliefs and to recite verses from his revelations. He started to preach Islam privately for three years, then began to preach publicly in Mecca. At first, Prophet Muhammad’s teachings were ridiculed and ignored. He was confronted with growing opposition, especially as his teachings went against the prevalent tradition of idol worship.
However, as his influence began to grow, over time he attracted a small but growing number of followers. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his followers experienced heavy persecution. The Meccan even tortured and killed his followers and successfully exiled him from Mecca. Six years since his first preach, his beloved wife Khadijah passed away.
Hijrah and the Battles
At 622 CE, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his followers left Mecca and migrated to Yathrib to escape persecution from pagans and idolatrous. It’s called hijrah and marked as the beginning of the Islamic calendar (Hijri), while Yathrib would later become called Medina. As he established his Islamic community in and around Yathrib, the Meccans did not take Prophet’s new success lightly. It led to three major battles in the next three years; the first was Battle of Badr, and then Battle of Uhud, and the third was Battle of the Trench (Khandaq).
After the last battle was over, as more and more people converted, Islam grew rapidly. In 628 CE, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ met the Meccan leaders and negotiated a treaty. This agreement, known as the Truce of Hudaybiyyah, was made to bring an end to the hostilities and allowed Medinan Muslims to complete the obligation of hajj in Mecca.
However, two years later, Mecca violated the treaty. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ then marched on the city with ten thousand men. They entered and conquered Mecca without bloodshed and the Meccans were pardoned by him.
After the conquest of Mecca, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ united Arabia into an Islamic state in a few years. The Kaaba was turned into a place of Islamic worship. It remains a central part of Islam that all Muslims are expected to make a hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.
In 632 CE Prophet Muhammad ﷺ performed a pilgrimage to Mecca one last time and then returned to Medina. Three months later, on 8th of June, he passed away there after a brief illness. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was buried at al-Masjid an-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet) one of the first mosques built by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in Medina.