The Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Life
Prophet Abraham who lived about 4000 years ago had two children.
Because his wife Sarai did not have children for many years, with her permission he married the Ethiopian slave, Haajar, whom the Pharaoh of Egypt had given to Sarai as a gift.
Ismaael, the first child of Haajar was born but would cause feelings of jealous in Sarai. With the will of Sarai and the permission of Allah, Prophet Abraham took Haajar and Ismaael with him to the Palestinian lands of Mecca today and returned leaving them there.
At that time there was no other structure in Mecca except the desert. In the middle of the desert alone with her child, Haajar started to run in between the hills searching for something to feed her child when she suddenly realized that the child’s crying stopped. Ismaael had stopped crying because of the zamzam water flowing under his feet.
Hajaar raised her child Ismaael in these lands. Prophet Ismaael was the ancestor of the Muslims who would later emerge from this region.
The tribe of Amalika was the residents of the deserted desert, Mecca back then. Then the Jurhumlus came here and Prophet Ismaael learned Arabic from them and married someone from the tribe.
Prophet Abraham would visit Prophet Ismaael from time to time. In one of these visits, they raised the walls of Kaaba together with his son. Prophet Ismaael would help his father by carrying stones during the construction. After the Kaaba was complete, Gabriel came and taught Prophet Abraham how to do the pilgrimage. Prophet Abraham invited the people to do pilgrimage and performed pilgrimage together with his son, later he left his son there and returned to Palestine, the place he lived.
Prophet Ismaael was tall, beautiful-faced, reddish-skinned, had a thick neck and wide shoulders. His hands and feet were long, and he was strong and powerful. He kept his promises and advised people to pray and give zakat. He taught the people of Hejaz how to do pilgrimage and carried out the services regarding the pilgrimage like cleaning of the Kaaba.
Prophet Ismaael had 12 sons and 1 daughter. His daughter married the twin of Prophet Jacob, Esau.
After Prophet Abraham returned to his homeland, he had a second child named Isaac from his first wife Sarai. Prophet Isaac is the ancestor of the Jews who would later live in this region.
Prophet Isaac had twins, who were named Esau and Jacob. Jacob, the youngest boy’s nickname was Israel. For this reason, Jacob, who had twelve children, were called the Israelites.
The Holy Home
Prophet Abraham raised the Kaaba walls with his son and angel Gabriel taught him all his pilgrimage prayers. The angel asked him “Did you learn” at the place which is today called Arafah. And he said, “I learned.” (Araftah) For this reason, this place was named “Arafah”.
After performing all the pilgrimage prayers, the angel asked him to invite people to pilgrimage. When Prophet Abraham asked, “O my Creator, how shall I announce myself?” the Almighty Allah answer “You call out to them, announcing belongs to me”
Mecca was filled with pilgrims as Allah had commanded. The pilgrimage taught by Prophet Abraham and Ismaael is the same as the one today, but the purity had been ruined as hundreds of years passed by. As a result, Although the people in Mecca were performing the pilgrimage before Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) taught them the right way, they were doing it totally differently.
In the same way, the monotheist belief in Mecca had also lost its purity. People migrating from places far way took stones with them from Mecca and respected these stones and the statues of their loved ones too much in the name of Kaaba. In time, these stone and sculptures, which turned into idols, began to be carried to Mecca in new visits. When idolatry started growing in Mecca, the Hanifs and the Jews descending from Prophet Isaac stopped coming to visit the Kaaba.
The pagans had faith in Allah because of the teachings of the previous prophets, but they falsely argued that the idols were mediators between people and Allah or defended that the idols were intercessors.
The Environment He was Sent
In the years of Prophet Mohammad’s birth, people lived socially as tribes. Those who had superior tribes used their superiority in society.
In terms of family life, it was possible to do almost all kinds of marriages like marriages for a limited of time, spouse swaps, offering a spouse to have a son, marrying a stepmother after own father’s death etc.
In cases where they could not decide, they went to oracles and fortunes were drawn. They would bring women, children and all their belongings to war with them and would fight with all their power so that they wouldn’t lose anything.
Each tribe had a different idol. There was idolatry, bullying, injustice, drinking, prostitution, gambling and theft. Since it was upsetting for a newborn to be a girl, they would bury them in the ground.
Life Before Prophethood
The first tribes of Mecca, the Jurhumlus, were kicked out of the area because of their disrespect and disturbances towards Kaaba. Before they left the area, they filled the Zamzam well with soil and covered it up, making it impossible for anyone to find it. It was Prophet Mohammad’s grandfather Abd al-Muttalib who found the well 400 years later after seeing a dream.
Abd al-Muttalib swore to sacrifice a son if he had 10 sons one day. When he had 10 sons, the person who came out of the draw to be sacrificed was the Prophet’s (PBUH) father, Abdullah. But each time, instead of Abdullah, the number of camels sacrificed added up to 100 with each time 10 more camels being added to this number.
The same Abd al-Muttalib had asked Abraha, who had come to destroy Kaaba with his armies and elephants, a few days before to return the camels he took from him. According to Abraha, Abd al-Muttalib should have considered the Kaaba more than the camels. The following dialogue took place
– I own the camels; the Kaaba also has an owner protecting it.
– It can’t be protected from me.
– We’ll see this, you give me back my camels.
Abraha gave back Abd al-Muttalib’s camels. When Abd al-Muttalib returned to the city, he prayed at the door of the Kaaba. He advised the people of the region to withdraw to the hills. The next morning everyone was waiting in the hills of Mecca to see what was going to happen. Abraha ordered his armies to move, but the elephant all the way at the front did not even take a step. While everyone was dealing with the elephant, the sky suddenly darkened. It was a swarm of birds, carrying one stone in their mouths and two stones with their feet. The birds left these stones on Abraha’s army, and whomever the stone hit, died. The reputation of the people of Quraysh and Mecca increased after this event.
His Mother and Father
During this incident, the Prophet (PBUH) ‘s father had gone to Syria with a caravan for trade, but he got sick on the way back home and died in Medina. The Prophet was born into this world without a father. He lost his mother at the age of 6 and his grandfather at the age of 8. For many years, his uncle Abu Talib looked after him.
When the Prophet Mohammad was twelve (some sources say nine) he had joined a trade caravan along with his uncle Abu Talib going to Syria. A priest called Bahira realized that a cloud was constantly shadowing someone in the caravan, and he invited the caravan members to dinner. He carefully examined Prophet Mohammad and asked some questions to his uncle Abu Talib. He then told him he was the Prophet that the Bible mentions would be sent, and he told his uncle to protect him well. After this, Abu Talib changed his mind about going to Damascus and returned to Mecca.
His Wife Khadija, Children and Life
The Prophet married Khadija at the age of 25 and had a total of 6 children, which 4 were girls and 2 were boys. While the boys passed away when they were babies, three of the girls died while their father was alive and one of them died six months after her father’s death.
Prophet Mohammad stayed with his grandfather until he was eight and with this uncle until he got married at the age of 25. During this period, he lived a relatively poor life.
Because there was no school in Mecca, the literacy rate was very low. Prophet Mohammad was illiterate, so he could not have read the sacred books that had been sent before.
When Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was at the age of 35, the tribes of Mecca were having a disagreement on who would place the sacred black stone al-Hajarul al-Aswad while renovating the Kaaba’s wall. As a result of long arguments, they agreed that the first person to enter from the door would place the stone. Everyone was happy when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) who had the nickname of “al-Amin” entered.
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) placed a cloth and put the stone in the middle. One person from each tribe held the corner of the cloth and moved the stone and it was carried this way until to place it was to be relocated. With his own hands he put the stone in its place.
After this event which occurred at the age of 35, he retreated into the Hira cave every year during Ramadan until the age of 40, when the first verse was revealed to him. It is known that a few people from the Hanifs used to withdraw into solitude in the same cave.
The First Revelation and Prophethood
Again, in the month of Ramadan when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was 40 years old, Gabriel (revelation angel) came to him for the first time and said “Read”.
Prophet Mohammad answered, “I don’t know how to read”, and the angel squeezed him tightly then let him go. Then he said “read” again.
When Prophet Mohammad said, “I do not know how to read” again, Gabriel squeezed him one more time and let go. After receiving the same answer for the third time, Gabriel squeezed and let go of him and said, “Read: In the Name of your Lord who created. Created man from a clot. Read: And your Lord is the Most Generous. He who taught by the pen. Taught man what he never knew. (Chapter 96 – Al Alaq (The Clot), Verses 1-5) and then left.
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) who was terrified returned home to his wife, Khadija and said “Cover me with something” and after resting a bit explained what had taken place to his wife. They went to see Khadija’s uncle’s son, Waraka ibn Nawfal.
It is said that Waraka who knew how to read and write and had read the holy books was a Christian. Waraka told Prophet Mohammad: “Who you saw was Gabriel (Namus), which Allah also had sent to Moses” I wish I could have been there on your days of invitation! I wish I was alive on the days your tribe will kick you out of your lands” “Will they kick me out of here?” asked Prophet Mohmmad. He replied “Yes, because everyone who has brought what you bring has been greeted with hostility” If I am alive on those days, I will definitely help you” (Bukhari,1,2)
After seeing Gabriel shortly again Prophet Mohammad knew that the prophetic life had begun and that he would invite people to the path of Allah as a messenger.
The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), explained the orders and prohibitions of Allah for 3 years face to face or secretly in Mecca, where drinking, theft, gambling, immorality, ignorance and idolatry were common. During this period his family and his friends immediately accepted Islam.
After some time, due to a revelation, Allah’s messenger organized invitations and meetings in order to openly communicate the message of Islam starting with his closest relatives.
Shortly thereafter, after explaining to the whole city of Mecca and surrounding lands, about the beauty of Islam, that idolatry was bad, and the idolaters were going to be sent to hell, he won the hostility of crowded communities.
During these years when the idolaters were reminded of monotheism and that Allah’s religion had been reborn once again after Prophet Jesus, they reacted with physical and verbal abuse against both Allah’s messenger and the Muslims. However, they stood up to all of them and never took a step back.
Most of the tortured ones were slaves and ones who could not defend themselves. The tortures were even at a point where children had to witness their parents being killed or beat until to the point of fainting.
Due to the problems they experienced, two migrations took place to Ethiopia, which was under Christian rule.
Visit to the Sakif Tribe
During the revelation of Islam, Allah’s messenger was subject to bad treatment during a visit to the Sakif tibe in the city of Ta-if with Zayd ibn Haritha, (Zeyd son of Haritha). The Sakif tribe did not only accept this monotheist religion but also attacked Prophet Mohammad and forced him and Zayd to walk through a crowd stoning them. When Prophet Mohammad was in so much pain from the stones that he had to sit on the floor, they forced him to get up and continued to stone him and laugh.
Isra and Mi’raj
Pledges of al-‘Aqaba
Even though the style of worship was distorted over time, pilgrimage was still being performed since Prophet Abraham. The Prophet would explain Islam to Arabic tribes who came to join fairs near the pilgrimage area and Mecca. He explained Islam to 6 people who came from Yathrib (Medina) in the Aqaba district. These six people who accepted Islam promised to meet in the same place a year later. One year later, they came again, this time twelve people and they pledged to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Prophet sent one person with hem to explain the Qur’an and Islam. The Yathribis came back as 75 people one year later to invite the Prophet (PBUH) to Medina. The Prophet made them make promises about some issues and allowed the Muslims being tortured in Mecca to migrate to Yathrib. He also migrated to Medina after 3 months.
Almost all of the Muslims migrated to Yathrib (Medina) and the only ones left behind in Mecca were Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Abu Bakr, their families, Ali and a few Muslims who did not have the power to migrate.
The pagans of Mecca were discussing what to do in their meetings and finally planned to kill the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
When Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) found out their plan to kill him, he decided to migrate also. Reporting this situation to Abu Bakr, he left Ali in his place and left Mecca during the night. Knowing that they would block the way to Medina, the messenger of Allah, traveled towards the south which was the opposite direction and stayed in the Sevr cave for three nights. With Allah’s help, the Prophet (PBUH) escaped from the pagans who came right in front of the cave and then he migrated to Yathrib.
The Messenger of Allah, who stayed in Quba on the way to migration, built a small mosque here and the first Friday prayer was held here. When he arrived in Yathrib, everyone welcomed him with demonstrations of love and everyone was inviting him to their homes. In this case, the messenger of Allah let his camel free and said his home and a mosque shall be built wherever the camel kneels.
Wars with the Pagans
When the Prophet first announced Islam in Mecca, he had advised everyone around him to be patient despite all the torture and humiliations they faced. Muslims were exposed to all kinds of bad conditions, but they did not react. In Medina (Yathrib), instead of submitting to this situation, resistance was allowed and in fact war was ordered.
There were wars in the Badr and Uhud region during this period. The Jewish tribes who had lived in Medina a very long and were considered as part of the population were removed from the region because they had disobeyed the agreement with the Muslims and had entered a cooperation with the Meccan pagans.
Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
At the end of difficult struggles, in the year 628 (the 6th year of Hejira) the Prophet saw himself circumambulating the Kaaba in his dream. Upon this he decided to perform an Umrah and about 1500 of his companions followed him. They took their sacrifices and only their swords as their weapons with them. After a long journey, they lodged in the Hudaybiyya water wells, an area 17 km away from Mecca. The Prophet told the Meccans who came next to them that they only came for the purpose of Umrah. Many ambassadors were sent to Mecca, but the Meccans treated them so bad that war was inevitable.
The Prophet (PBUH) had not initially set out for war but asked for a pledge of allegiance from the ones around him.
The news that Muslims were devoted to the Prophet (PBUH) and that they were even ready for death reached Mecca. The Meccans were so worried when they heard this that they sent an ambassador to Hudaybiyya and asked to make a peace treatment.
The Conquest of Mecca
The peace treaty was broken by the Meccan pagans two years later.
On top of this, the Prophet (PBUH) decided on the conquest of Mecca and ordered for the preparations to begin. In order to prevent the leakage of news to Mecca, officials were sent off to all the roads leading to Mecca.
Unfortunately, a person named Khatib attempted to send a letter to Mecca with a woman to inform them of these preparations. The Prophet (PBUH) became aware of this letter through Gabriel and captured the woman before she could inform the Meccans. The interrogated Khatib confessed his guilt and asked for forgiveness, and the Prophet (PBUH) forgave him.
It was evening when the Prophet along with ten thousand people settled somewhere near Mecca. In order to show the power of the Islamic army to the people of Mecca and to renounce them from the war, he demanded each soldier to light one fire amounting to ten thousand fires.
Just as he predicted, when the Islamic army entered Mecca from all sides, they did not face any serious resistance. The Prophet (PBUH) conveyed the message that everyone was safe. Thereupon the Meccans went to their homes and threw their armors on the streets.
The idols in and around Kaaba were broken and people were asked to destroy the idols in their homes.
After that, Islam was spreading rapidly all over the world and inviting people to believe in the one and only Allah for the last time.