Muhammad as a Prophet Term Paper

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Sources: 6
  • Subject: Mythology - Religion
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #52608564

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Muhammad as a Prophet

According to Shepard (2005) in Islam, there is something like more than one hundred and twenty four thousand prophets who were supposed to have been taught by God to teach men. Shepard makes the point that every prophet came on the scene with his own rules and regulations but shadowed the rules which had been put together by the prophets that had come before him. Shepard goes on to mention that the first prophet, in most religions is believed to be Adam, was the first human to ever walk the earth. The most important prophet, and the last, in Islam, is believed to be Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) (Shepard 2005). This man was supposed to be the last prophet that came from God and according to the Muslims; there will never be another one. The life of this famous prophet comprises of a lot of examples and features. This man lived his life as a prophet in the two most vital cities such as Madinah and Makkah. This essay in regards to the Prophet will explore the many things from his life as a prophet. This essay will go into detail talking about his pre-prophet hood life, the Makkan life which was established after turning into a prophet, and eventually to his life in Madinah.

Muhammad (and his name basically means "highly acclaimed") came to the earth in Mecca in 570 AD. His father died shortly before his birth, and he lost his mother at the age of six. The young orphan was then raised primarily by his uncle, for whom he worked as a shepherd. At age 9 (some sources say 12), he joined his uncle on a caravan to Syria.

As a young man, Muhammad worked as a camel driver between Syria and Arabia. Soon he established a career managing caravans on behalf of merchants. Through his travel with his uncle and later in his career, Muhammad came into contact with people of many backgrounds and nationalities and faiths, which also included the Jews, pagans and Christians people and pagans.

According to Shepard (2005), he mentions that by the times he was 25 years old, Muhammad was taken in and then put to work or most would say was employed by Khadija, a happened to be a wealthy Meccan widow. By the way, she was 15 years older than him. Both of them got married and by every account according to Alah (2000) had a happy and loving marriage. Early documents show that "God consoled him through her, for she made his burden light." Although polygamy was common practice at the time, Muhammad took no other wife than Khadija until she died some 24 years later (Haleem 2005).

Sometime throughout, the late 30s Muhammad took to often visiting a cave that was located in Mount Hira, on the borders of Mecca, to search for isolation and observation (Ernest 2005). During the year of 610, when Prophet Muhammad had turned 40 years old, documents show that he had come back returned from a visit telling his wife he was either losing his mind of turning into what he considered to be a prophet for the reason that he had this belief that an angel came to visit him. The originally frightened Khadija so she turned out to be the first person that was a convert.

According to Shepard in his document, Muhammad gave the account that although in a trance-like type of condition, the Angel Gabriel came to him and mentioned "Proclaim!" Nonetheless like Moses, Muhammed was an unwilling prophet. He spoke back to the angel, "I am not a prophet." The angel continued to push him about him being a prophet. Prophet recurrently fought, until the angel lastly overcome Muhammad and ordered him:

"Proclaim in the name of your Lord who created!

Created man from a clot of blood.

Proclaim: Your Lord is the Most Generous,

Who teaches by the pen;

Teaches man what he knew not. (Qur'an 96:1-3)"

When the prophet find out that his wife was there to support him, there were still other angelic visitations, Muhammad then all of a sudden became confident that he was to live the rest of his life as prophet. Now, he was sure without a doubt that he had been selected to become the messenger of God and then started to announce as he had been ordered to go to the world and start a religion. Later on, Muhammad's message to his compatriots was to change from pagan polytheism, wickedness and greediness, worship Allah and repent from evil the lone true God. According to Sells (2007) Muhammad as prophet was always cautious to explain his part in the work of God - he was merely a prophet. According to Ahmad (2006) Muhammad was not an angel, he did not recognize the cognizance of God, and he did not work any miracles. Ahmad goes on to explain that he basically addressed what he had expected.

During the course of the first three years of his ministry, Muhammad picked up just 40 followers. Also, as his teachings begin becoming more threatening to the Meccan way of life, each financially and moral he and his followers started going persecution that was gaining momentum every day. They were getting weighty persecution (Shepard 2005). It first took the method of ridicule, nonetheless later on down the road would turn into vicious violence. Shepard in his book makes the point that the members of the small movement were being stoned to death. Other persecutions showed that a lot of the followers of the prophet were put in a ditch of dirt and the covered all the way up to their heads. As they were covered in dirt they still prayed as they met their deaths. As a prophet, Muhammad saw how his followers were going through the horrible deaths but he saw this as them being martyrs. The prophet watched as they were praying, they were being beat with sticks, put into prison and then a lot of them were refused service by wholesalers.

Persecution then started to go up for Muhammad but he was starting to be received by some people. As a prophet, he was feared by some and loved by others especially when he started getting some followers that came from the city of Yathrib, 300 miles north of Mecca (Alah 2000). Actually, here in this city, they were welcomed to Muhammad because they were looking for a prophet. The city was in need of a strong leader, and a delegation from Yathrib proposed that Muhammad take the job. In return, they pledged to worship Allah only, obey Muhammad and defend him and his followers to the death. Allah revealed to Muhammed his approval of this arrangement, and Muhammad made plans to escape to Yathrib.

The leaders in Mecca heard of the planned escape, and attempted to prevent it. But Muhammad and his close friend Abu Bakr managed to make a narrow escape north out of the city, escaping a Meccan search party and coming in safely in Yathrib. According this event is celebrated by Muslims as the Hijira. The year in which it occurred, 622, is the date at which the Muslim calendar begins. Yathrib was renamed Medinat al-Nabi, "the City of the Prophet," and is now known simply as Medina, "the City."

In Medina, Muhammad proved himself an able politician and statesman as well as a prophet.

Exercising superb statecraft, he welded the five heterogeneous and conflicting tribes of the city, three of which were Jewish, into an orderly confederation.... His reputation spread and people began to flock from every part of Arabia to see the man who had wrought this 'miracle.' (Smith, 230).

Persecution continued to increase until Muhammad received some welcome news: he had gained…

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