The Meccan life of Holy prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon him Essay - 5454 Words

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The Meccan life of Holy prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon him)

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Prophet Muhammad was born and lived in Mecca for the first 52 years of his life (570–622). Orphaned early in life, he became known as a prominent merchant, and as an impartial and trustworthy arbiter of disputes. He married his first wife, the 40-year-old widow Khadijah bint Khuwaylid at age 25. He would not take other wives during her lifetime. According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad began receiving revelations at the age of 40. The key themes of his messages in Mecca were the oneness of God and the rejection of polytheism, generosity towards the poor and the needy, kind treatment and emancipation of slaves, and the equality between men and women before God. Some of his peers respected his words and became his followers. Many others, including tribal leaders, opposed, ridiculed and eventually boycotted his clan, and Muhammad and his followers were harassed, assaulted, tortured and forced into exile. Several attempts were made on his life. When his uncle and chief protector, Abu Talib, who was the head of the clan of Banu Hashim died, Muhammad migrated to Medina in 622, where he had many followers who agreed to help and assist him. Muslims celebrate the birth of Muhammad, and Islamic tradition relates many events during this period that foreshadow his prophethood. They also believe he made the night journey to Jerusalem and the heavens while still living in Mecca. Sources for Muhammad's life in Mecca

Muhammad is the first founder of a major world religion, according to western scholars, who had biographies written by contemporaries, and about whom there are numerous records in historical texts, although like other premodern historical figures not every detail of his life is known. For the Muslims, Muhammad is just the last prophet of the unique religion preached by the other prophets before him. Academic perspective

The Qur'an is considered to be the most credible primary source for the life of Muhammad in Mecca. Next in importance are the historical works survived from the writers of 3rd and 4th century of the Muslim era. The text of the Qur'an is generally considered by academic scholars to record the words spoken by Muhammad as the search for variants in Western academia has not yielded any differences of great significance. The Qur'an however mainly records the ideological and spiritual considerations of Muhammad, and only fragmentary references to the details of Muhammad's life in Mecca, which makes it difficult to reconstruct the chronological order of the incidents in his or his followers' life in Mecca. Modern biographers of Muhammad try to reconstruct the economical, political and social aspects of Mecca and read the ideological aspects of the Qur'an in that context. The historical works by later Muslim writers include the traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad and quotes attributed to him (the sira and hadith literature), which provide further information on his life. The earliest surviving written sira (biographies of Muhammad and quotes attributed to him) is Sirah Rasul Allah (Life of God's Messenger) by Ibn Ishaq(died 761 or 767 CE). Although the original work is lost, portions of it survive in the recensions of Ibn Hisham(died 833 CE) and Al-Tabari(died 923 CE). Many, but not all, scholars accept the accuracy of these biographies, though their accuracy is unascertainable. Henri Lammens rejected all the accounts of Muhammad's life in Mecca but later scholars generally agree that Lammens went too far. Studies by J. Schacht and Goldziher has led scholars to distinguish between the traditions touching legal matters and the purely historical ones. According to William Montgomery Watt, in the legal sphere it would seem that sheer invention could have very well happened. In the historical sphere however, aside from exceptional cases, the material may have been subject to "tendential shaping" rather than being made out of whole cloth. Hadith compilations are records of the traditions or... Show More

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