What is this personage, who is Muhammad?
Muhammad belonged to an illustrious family in Makkah from the tribe of Quraish, from the branch of Bani Hâshim. That family was famous more for religious piety than political power. Tradition considers him a descendant of Ishmael, son of Abraham, by several generations, about the number and names of which we are sure only of twenty-one until ‘Adnan.
According to unanimous opinions of biographers, Muhammad was born on Monday from the second week of lunar month Rabi’I, in the year so-called of the Elephant. That is to say, from the date of the unsuccessful invasion of Hegaz by Abraha, Viceroy of Yemen, under the Byzantine dominion, with an army in which the greatest elephant in the Abyssinia kingdom took part. The most accredited scholars mention that this date corresponds to the 53rd year before Hejira, that is to say, the year 571 A.D.
Muhammad was born an orphan, “Did He not find you (O Muhammad) an orphan and gave you a refuge?” (XCIII, 6). His father, Abdullah, had died seven months before his birth. Following a consecrated custom of the nobles of Makkah who used to send their newborn infants to be educated in the healthy air of the open desert, he was entrusted to a Bedouin wet nurse, Halima, from the tribe of Bani Sa’d, until the age of four. Then, his mother, Âmna, with the aid of an Abyssinian governess, Omm Aiman, took charge of his education. Unluckily, he did not enjoy that maternal tenderness for long. Having lost his mother at the age of six, he was received by his grandfather, ‘Abdel-Mottalib, who showed him a very particular affection and predicted a great destiny for him. He was barely eight years old when he lost his grandfather too. He, henceforth, received the protection of his uncle ‘Abd-Manaf, surnamed Abu-Talib, who reserved for him a sincere paternal love although he was not in an easy situation because of his numerous children. Eventually, we see Muhammad (at the age of twelve) accompanying his uncle in his voyage to Syria on 582 for his commercial business.
 In his “Memory on the Arab Calendar Before Islam”, (p.38) Muhammad pasha Al-Falaki, the Egyptian astronomer, situates the date of the Prophet's birth precisely on 9th Rabi’ I which corresponds to April 20th 571 A.D. In accordance in that with Silvestre de Sacy.
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human