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Early Life of a Prophet

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Text Preview Early Life of the Prophet Muhammad (whose name means "highly praised") was born 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 mostly by his uncle, as a young man, Muhammad worked as a camel driver between Syria and Arabia. Soon he established a career managing caravans for merchants. Through his travel first with his uncle and later in his career, Muhammad came into contact with people of many nationalities and faiths, including Jews, Christians and pagans. At age 25, Muhammad was employed by Khadija, a wealthy Meccan widow 15 years his senior. The two were married, and by all accounts enjoyed a loving and happy marriage. Early records report that "God comforted 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 her death 24 years later. Revelation In his late 30s Muhammad took to regularly visiting a cave in Mount Hira, on the outskirts of Mecca, to seek solitude and contemplation. In 610, at the age of 40, Muhammad returned from one such visit telling his wife he had either gone mad or become a prophet, for he had been visited by an angel. The initially startled Khadija became his first convert. Muhammad reported that while in a trance-like state, the Angel Gabriel appeared to him and said "Proclaim!" But like Moses, Muhammad was a reluctant prophet. He replied, "I am not a proclaimer." The angel persisted, and the Prophet repeatedly resisted, until the angel finally overwhelmed Muhammad and commanded him: After receiving Khadija support, and additional angelic visits, Muhammad became confident he had indeed been chosen as the messenger of God and began to proclaim as he had been commanded. Muhammad’s message to his countrymen was to convert from pagan polytheism, immorality and materialism, repent from evil and worship Allah. He was always careful to clarify his role in God's... Show More

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