Who is Muhammad (peace be upon him)?

who_is_muhammadMuhammad (peace be upon him) is the last of Allah’s Messengers and Prophets. He was born in Makkah in 571 C.E. His name is Muhammad, son of ‘Abdullah, son of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the son of Hashim. His lineage traces back through 21 generations to ‘Adnan who was from the offspring of Isma’eel, the son of Abraham (peace be upon them). His mother Aaminah’s genealogy traces back to that of her husband ‘Abdullah at the fifth ancestor, Kilab Ibn Murrah. Hence, the Prophetic genealogy traces back to Abraham (peace be upon him) through both routes and is an indication of the nobility of his lineage.

He is mentioned in the Hebrew Torah as Muhammad and in the Aramaic (Syriac) Gospel as Ahmad. Allah says in the Qur’aan:

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ ۖ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognize him as they recognize their sons. But verily, a party of them conceal the truth while they know it.

Due to their firm knowledge of the scripture, many of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), were anticipating a prophet and moved to the areas surrounding Yathrib. This place later became known as al-Madeenah al-Nabawiyyah (the City of the Prophet) when Muhammad (peace be upon him) emigrated there after being forced to flee from the persecution of the polytheists of Makkah.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was described by his Companions as being the most handsome of people in appearance, the best of them in manners, neither exceedingly tall nor exceedingly short and in his complexion he was neither very white, nor very dark nor brown, but illuminous. He was of medium build with broad shoulders and his hair was neither too straight nor too curly, and it would curl to his earlobes or reach his shoulders. When he smiled, his face radiated as if it was a piece of the moon. His truthfulness and trustworthiness was known and famous with the tribe of Quraysh who knew him as al-Saadiq (the truthful) and al-Ameen (the trustworthy). Anas bin Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) who served the Prophet (peace be upon him) for ten years said that he had not touched silk or velvet smoother than the palm of the Prophet’s hand, nor a fragrance more pleasant than his fragrance. He (Anas) also said that in those ten years, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never once scolded him nor once said, “Why did you do this?” or “Why didn’t you do this?” He was excessively generous, gentle and forbearing, never used any crude or foul language, and would always take the easier and least burdensome of two options, never placing any burdens or hardships on anyone.

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) mentioned that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was extremely modest and shy, more so than a bashful virgin. He was the bravest of people, was deeply pious, and displayed awe of his Lord, placing his utmost trust in Allah.

He commanded people – as did all the Prophets before him – to shun the worship of idols, statues, stones, trees, the elements, the forces, prophets, angels, jinn, the righteous people, whether living or dead. Thereafter, he commanded benevolence to parents, lowering the wing of humility to them, kindness to the orphan and widow, and frequent giving of charity. He was the most merciful and kind of people to his family and dependents. He would say, “Allah will not be merciful to the one who is not merciful to the people.” [Bukhari and Muslim] He declared cleanliness to be one half of faith and purity of the heart to be the foundation of outward deeds. He forbade lying, breaking covenants, and treachery. He also forbade usury, intoxicants, gambling, murder, killing innocents, embezzling wealth, and falsely accusing chaste women (of adultery).

Despite thirteen years of sustained abuse, mockery, physical harm and the torture and killing of his Companions, he never initiated violence and was prohibited to do so. Forced to leave Makkah because of rising hostility and repeated assassination attempts, he endured another ten years of schemes, intrigues and war against him and his companions. He was commanded in the Qur’aan to be patient and to endure harm. Allah (The Most High) stated:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا ﴿٤٥ وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّـهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيرًا ﴿٤٦ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُم مِّنَ اللَّـهِ فَضْلًا كَبِيرًا  وَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ وَدَعْ أَذَاهُمْ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّـهِ وَكِيلًا
O Prophet (Muhammad)! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner. And as one who invites to Allah by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light (through your instructions from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah). And announce to the believers the glad tidings, that they will have from Allah a Great Bounty. And obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites, but do not harm them. And put your trust in Allah, and Sufficient is Allah as a Wakil (Trustee, or Disposer of affairs). (Soorah Al-Ahzab: 45-48)

Only after exhausting the avenues of peaceful resolution through mutual understandings, truces and treaties, he was first granted permission and then obligated to defend himself against his enemies. And when they proved to be treacherous and did not honor their treaties and covenants, he was commanded to pursue them to put an end to their mischief and tribulation on the land. At the end of his call, he (peace be upon him) marched into Makkah in total peace (not war), victorious, having shown mercy and compassion to his enemies of old and having granted them free passage. Many of them were left dumbfounded and awestruck at the kindness, clemency and grandeur of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and hastily accepted Islam. This is the noble Prophet of Islam and his lofty character.

Source: Muhammad, Between The Kharijite Terrorist Savages And Existentialist Nihilist Haters, pp. 26 – 29 (excerpted) (Buy Book)