Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born in Mecca located in the Arabian Peninsula in the year 570 A.D.. Since his father died before his birth and his mother died shortly thereafter, he was raised by his uncle who was from the respected tribe of Quraysh. He was raised illiterate, unable to read or write, and remained so up until his death. As he grew up, he became known as truthful, trustworthy, generous, and sincere. He was so trustworthy that he was addressed as such, Al-Ameen (Trustworthy).
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was very contemplative and he had long detested the decadence and idolatry of his society. At the age of forty, Muhammad (peace be upon him) received his first revelation from Allah through the Angel Jibril (Gabriel). The revelations continued for twenty-three years, and they are collectively known as the Qur'an.
Hadith, being the speech of Muhammad (peace be upon him) are also considered a second type of revelation, however these statements are not considered the direct wording of Allah. As soon as he began to recite the Qur'an and preach the truth which Allah had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered persecution from unbelievers. The persecution grew so fierce that in the year 622 A.D., Allah gave them the command to emigrate. This emigration from Mecca to the city of Medina, some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
After several years, Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers were able to return to Makkah where they forgave their enemies. Before Muhammad (peace be upon him) died at the age of sixty-three, the greater part of the Arabian Peninsula had become Muslim and within a century of his death, Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China.
Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the truth and clarity of its doctrine. Islam calls for the faith in only One God, Who is the only one worthy of worship.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a perfect example of an honest, just, merciful, compassionate, truthful, and brave human being. He was far removed from all evil characteristics and strove solely for the sake of Allah and His reward in the Hereafter. In all his actions and dealings, he was ever mindful of Allah.
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