Biography of Muhammad
The Prophet Muhammad, unlike most other founders of religions (Moses, Jesus, or the Buddha, for example), left a specific book of his teachings, the Koran (Qu’ran). To be more precise, and to do justice to the man, Muhammad received the Koran from God, reciting the words he heard from heaven, for the Prophet was said to be illiterate. In the Koran, the book of The House of Imran says: “Muhammad is naught but a Messenger.”
A few summary facts to include in your biography of Muhammad include:
- Full name: Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim
- Born 570 CE
- Born in Mecca, Hejaz, Arabia (Today known as Saudi Arabia)
- Buried in the Tomb under the Green Dome at Medina, Hejaz
One of the earliest biographies of the Prophet is Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), written during the Eighth century AD. It is largely known in the West through A. Guillaume’s 1955 translation. Ibn Ishaq begins his account by tracing Muhammad’s genealogy from Adam, the first man, through Abraham’s (Ibrahim) son Ishmael. While Muhammad’s mother was pregnant, his mother Amina heard a voice telling her to name the child Muhammad, and a light came from her “by which she could see the castles of Bursa in Syria”. Accordingly, the apostle was “born on Monday, 12th Rabi’u’l-awwal, in the year of the elephant”.
The Young Muhammad
When Muhammad was six, his mother died (his father having died before he was born), and the boy went to live with his grandfather, who died two years later. At this time the boy went to live with his uncle Abu Talib. While still a boy, Muhammad’s uncle took him on a caravan to Syria, where a monk named Bahira recognized the child as the apostle of God. The monk, after questioning the boy, told Abu Talib: “Take your nephew back to his country and guard him carefully against the Jews, for by Allah! if they see him and know about him what I know, they will do him evil; a great future lies before this nephew of yours, so take him home quickly”.