Prophet Muhammad – religious leader
Muhammad was an Arabic preacher of monotheism and the prophet of Islam, the central figure of the religion. He was also a politician, founder and head of the Muslim community (ummah), which during his reign was a strong and enough big state on the Arabian Peninsula.
Muhammad was born on April 22, 571 in Mecca. His father died before Muhammad was born, and his mother died when he was 6. So, Muhammad was raised by his grandfather.
When Muhammad was about 25 years old, he married Khadija, a wealthy widow and a successful businesswoman. Working with his wife, Muhammad earned a reputation for honesty. They had six children. After Khadija’s death, Muhammad married a number of times.
When Muhammad became increasingly religious he began to meditate. In 610, he received the first message from God (Allah in Arabic) brought by the archangel Gabriel on Mount Hira. Muslims believe Muhammad was the last of God’s prophets, in a line that began with Adam and continued through Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muhammad believed that God wanted him to deliver God’s teachings to the Arab people.
The messages to Muhammad were collected in a book called the Koran, or Quran, the Muslim holy book. Muslims believe that when they die, they are judged according to their actions. A Muslim must pray five times a day. Fasting takes place during Ramadan. It is the holy month during which Muslims may not eat or drink between dawn and sunset.
His religion was called Islam, which means ‘submission to God’.
In 622 the Muslim community migrated to Medina. The Muslim lunar calendar begins with that date. Many Arabs then became Muslims, and gradually Muhammad became the leader of Arabia.
Muhammad died on June 8, 632 in Medina.
His followers could not agree on who should lead them. This led to the breakup of Islam into different branches.
Did you know that Muslims are not allowed to make images, or pictures, of Muhammad. Instead, Islamic artists write his name in beautiful script.