As far as it is
known, there are no ancient non-Muslim sources on the life
of Muhammad, Islam's prophet and founder. There are two main sources for
a history of Muhammad's life, both of which are Islamic. While the Quran is not a biographical work, it does also provide
information as to the life and mind of the founder of Islam.
The two ancient biographies of Muhammad are the Life History
of Muhammad, by Ibn-Ishaq (A.D. 768), edited by Ibn-Hisham
(A.D. 833); and The Expeditions of Muhammad, by Al-Waqidi
(A.D. 822). The evidences from these sources provide a
picture of the life and history of Muhammad .
Muhammad was born
at Mecca in 570 in a Quraish tribe that ruled over the city
and the surrounding area. His father died on a trading
trip at Yathrib just before Muhammad's birth and his mother
was left to raise him. Mothers
in Quraish tribes traditionally handed their infants over to
a nurse from a Bedouin tribe believing that the air of the
desert was healthier. Muhammad was given to Halima,
who nursed him for 2 years before returning the boy to his mother.
Muhammad's mother feared for his health in the air of Mecca
and instructed the nurse to take him back to the desert for
two more years. When Halima returned a second time she
reported that Muhammad had been having fits and she feared
that he may be demon possessed. She was once again
persuaded to return Muhammad to the desert. However, after
an increasing number of epileptic seizures, she returned him
to his mother at the age of five. Shortly thereafter,
while returning from a trip to Yathrib, Muhammad's mother
died leaving him to the care of his grandfather.
grandfather's death 2 years later, Muhammad's uncle Abu
Talib raised him. At age 12, Muhammad began
accompanying his uncle on mercantile trips to Damascus and
other cities. He spent his youth tending the sheep and
goats in the valleys of Mecca. Later in life he would
recall his childhood saying, "Even such as I used to
gather, feeding the flocks in the valley of Mecca: and truly
no prophet hath been raised up but first he hath done the
work of a shepherd."
When Muhammad was
25, while working for a wealthy widow merchant of Mecca, he
accompanied her trading caravan to Syria. The widow,
Khadija, was impressed with him and on their return trip
offered to marry him. Although she was nearly twice
his age, he agreed to the marriage. She bore him 4
daughters and 2 sons, the sons dieing in infancy, before her
Very much in the
same way that Mormonism began in the United States by a self
proclaimed prophet named Joseph Smith, Muhammad found
himself at age 40 disturbed by the idolatry and moral
debasement of the people of Mecca. He was troubled by
what might be the one true religion, and began meditating in
the caves around Mecca in hopes of finding it.
contend that Muhammad was illiterate, thus making the work
of the Quran that much more a miracle, however this is most
probably not true. As he meditated and sought
the true religion in a cave outside Mecca, it is thought
that he composed the chapters of the Quran which express the
yearning of an inquirer. No scribes accompanied
Muhammad on these trips. There are many other reasons
to doubt the illiteracy of Muhammad. There are
accounts of peace treaties signed by Muhammad, his attempt
to write the name of his successor while on his deathbed, and the
fact that he served for many years as a trading merchant who
would have certainly known reading, writing, and arithmetic
as he took his trade to Damascus and other cities.
Also, the Quran is written in 7th century Arabic, the same
language spoken by the very literate Bedouins who raised
him. Even Muslims must question this claim of
illiteracy when even Allah referred to him as "the one who
taught by the pen".
Muhammad's writing abilities, it is not disputed that he had
a proclivity toward dreams, trances, and visions and was
said to be so troubled by them at times that he sought
escape by suicide. It was during one of these suicide
attempts that Islam teaches the angel Gabriel called out to
him, "O Muhammad, thou who art the Prophet of the lord, I am
Gabriel". It is also said that when Muhammad would
have a revelation sweat would pop up on his brow and he
would drop to the ground, at which time Gabriel would again
appear to him and repeat his instruction that Muhammad was a
prophet of Allah sent to reclaim the lost people of the
land. It was these visions and Muhammad's revelations
from the Angel Gabriel that led to the religion of Islam.
When Muhammad first began having the visions, he feared that
the messages were coming from Jinn, or evil spirits.
It was his wife who convinced him that they were divinely
inspired and that Muhammad was a true prophet. Thus he
began spreading his revelations and gathering followers of
the "one true religion" of Islam.
converts grew, he began to speak out against the Meccans and
their idol worship. It was this conflict with the
Meccans that led to the first blood shed in the name of
Islam. As the opposition grew, Muhammad instructed his
followers who could not protect themselves to go into hiding
in Ethiopia. Not able to protect his remaining
followers, Muhammad compromised with the Meccans by
incorporating some of their idols into the evolving religion
of Islam. He proclaimed that Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and
Manat, three Meccan deities, were exalted goddesses and
their intercession was to be sought. This led to the
Meccans accepting Islam, but Muhammad later had to confess
that the compromise was inspired by Satan.
Are yours the
males and His the females? That indeed was an unfair
division! They are but names which ye have named, ye
and your fathers, for which Allah hath revealed no warrant
Ten years after
he introduced Islam to the world, Muhammad's wife died.
Two months later he married a widow and then a
seven-year-old girl. He would eventually be married to
15 women. In fact, he married someone new every year
following his first wife's death, many of them as a result
of war and plunder. Women left alive after a war with
rival tribes would be taken as Muhammad's wives. Other
wives were taken for political gain because of their
importance or relation to local government officials.
Islam taught that men were only allowed four wives.
Muhammad made an exception for himself, however, in Surat
O Prophet! Lo!
We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast
paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth
of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war, and a
believing woman if she give herself unto the Prophet and the
Prophet desire to ask her in marriage - a privilege for thee
only, not for the rest of believers.
rapidly in Yathrib, now Medina, and Muhammad took his
followers there to settle and build a great Mosque.
After settling the area for his followers and another
marriage to a 10-year-old girl, a long list of "holy
wars" began. Those people who were conquered in
these battles were given three choices: accept Islam,
pay tribute, or die by the sword (see the Repentance Surat,
verse29). As a result of this method of forced
conversion, many Christian churches were turned into mosques
to please the conquering Muslims, while many other
Christians not willing to take the easy way out were killed. After
the Battle of Badr, he proclaimed the ordinance "Know that
whatsoever thing ye plunder, verily one-fifth thereof is for
God and for the Prophet." The remaining spoils, after
Muhammad received one-fifth, were divided among the
warriors. This began the teachings of Jihad, and fighting
for the cause of Islam. Muhammad taught that to die
for the cause of Islam was the highest honor and would lead
to eternity in Paradise surrounded by virgins.
4:74 Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the
life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in
the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We
shall bestow a vast reward.
5:33 The only reward of those who make war upon Allah
and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land
will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their
hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be
expelled out of the land. Such will be their
degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will
be an awful doom.
In the Battle
with the Quraiza Jews, over two thousand Jews were
slaughtered by Muhammad and his warriors. In the
bloodbath, Zainab, his adopted son's ex-wife, Muhammad's
fifth wife, and a Jewiss taken in battle, lost her husband,
father, and brother. Seeking revenge, Zainab poisoned
Muhammad's dinner. Muhammad spit out the food before
it could kill him, but it's effects on him combined with
pneumonia in the eleventh year of the Hijra, led to his
death at age 64.
History tells us
that the twelve months following Muhammad's death were spent
in bitter, bloody battles to subdue the Arab tribes who
became apostate. However, Islam continued
to grow after Muhammad's death, led by four Khalifs elected
by the closest followers of the prophet. Jihad also
continued in much the same way it had under their prophet.
In 634 the Islamic military force advanced on Palestine and
Syria, and defeated the Byzantine armies at Yarmouk River in
636. Forty thousand more Muslims marched to conquer
North Africa, followed by the surrender of Jerusalem to the
Over one million
Armenian Christians were savagely slaughtered by the Turkish
Muslims at the beginning of the twentieth century.
According to a report by Khartoum University professors
Ushari Mahmud and Suleyman Ali Blado, more than one thousand
Dinka citizens were massacred in the Western Sudan town of
Diem in 1987. The Baptist Record newspaper of November
5, 1987, added that dozens of pastors have been killed and
many churches destroyed since Islamic law was imposed in
1983, when Sudan was officially declared an Islamic
republic. The Baptist World Alliance newsletter of
September, 1987, tells of 130 church buildings and pastor's
homes, all of Christian denominations in Kadona State in
Nigeria, being destroyed by Muslim rioters. Where does
this rampant slaughter in the name of religion come from.
It is taught in the Quran as revealed by the prophet
(Repentance) 9:29 Fight against such of those who have
been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the
Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by
His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until
they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
More recently, in
a December 8, 2001 Worldnet Daily article by Art Moore, it
was reported that more than 50,000 Christians in the Central
Sulawesi province town of Tentena were in imminent danger of
attack by a paramilitary group called Laskar Jihad, a group
whose goal is the total elimination of Christians from the
region. According to Voice of the Martyrs, an
organization that reports on Christian persecution, At least
600 homes and six churches in Tentena were burned during
attacks in November of 2001, and 15,000 Christians were
forced to flee.
Laskar Jihad waged a violent campaign against Christians in
neighboring Maluku province where at least 9,000 Christians
have been killed since 1999. This religious cleansing
can be found in all areas of the world where Islam has
rooted itself. The quest for an Islamic world, taken
by force if need be, still continues today, all in the name
of Allah, and as taught and practiced by the prophet Muhammad.
to pray for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who
are giving their lives for their faith, and for those
Muslims who have been deceived by a false prophet, and are
in desperate need of the saving grace of Christ.
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