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Almost everyone on the earth today is discussing Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. People want to know, “Who was he exactly?” “What did he teach?” “Why was he loved so much by some and hated so much by others?” “Did he live up to his claims?” “Was he a holy man? “Was he a prophet of God?” “What is the truth about this man – Muhammad?”
How can we discover the truth and be totally honest in our judgment?
We will begin with the very simple historical evidences, facts as narrated by thousands of people, many of whom knew him personally. The following is based on books, manuscripts, texts and actual eyewitness accounts, too numerous list herein, yet all have been preserved in original form throughout the centuries by both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Muhammad ibn (son of) Abdullah ibn (son of) Abdul Mutalib, was born in the year 570 C.E. (Christian Era) in Makkah, Felix Arabia (today: Saudi Arabia) and he died in 633 C.E. in Yathrib (today: Madinah, Saudi Arabia).
His names: When he was born, his grandfather, Abdul Mutalib, gave him the name Muhammad. And it means “praised one” or “praising one.” He was later called “As-Saddiq” (the Truthful) by all of those who knew of his truthful and honest nature. He always said only the truth. He was also called “Al – Alamin” (the Trustworthy) due to his integrity and always upholding any trust given to him. When the tribes were battling against each other, both sides would entrust him with their possessions during the fighting, even if it might be against some of his own tribesmen, because they knew he would always uphold any trust given to him. All of his names indicated the very nature of a man who was praised for his honesty, integrity and trustworthiness. He was also well known for advocating the reconciliation of kinship and relationships. He ordered his followers to always honor the “ties of the wombs” (siblings and other close relatives).
This fits right in with the prophecy mentioned in the Bible in the Book of John in chapters 14 and 16, as the coming of a prophet known as the “Spirit of Truth” or “Comforter” or “Advocate.
Born as a descendent of Abraham, peace be upon him, through his first born son, Ishmail (Ismail in Arabic), peace be upon him, to the noble tribe of the Quraish who were the leaders of Makkah in those days. Muhammad’s blood line traces directly back to Abraham, peace be upon him.
This could certainly point to fulfillment of Old Testament (Torah) prophecies in Deuteronomy (chapter 18:15) of a prophet, like unto Moses from “their brethren.”
He insisted on keeping the Commandments of Almighty God, just as his great grandfathers and prophets of old had done in the past (peace be upon them). Here is a statement from Muhammad, peace be upon him, while the Quran was being revealed to him by the angel Gabriel;
“Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your PARENTS; do not kill your children because of poverty – (Allah) provide sustenance for you and for them; do not come near to Al-Fawahish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, and kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause. This He has commanded you that you may understand.” [Holy Quran 6:151]
Muhammad, peace be upon him, lived in total commitment to the belief that God (Allah in Arabic) was truly One God, and as such, He was to be worshipped alone, without any other “gods” beside Him. This is the very first commandment in the Old Testament (Exodus chapter 20 and Deuteronomy, chapter 5) and in the New Testament as well (Mark, chapter 12, verse 29).
Muhammad, peace be upon him, ordered his followers to obey Allah Almighty, following the true Commandments as were revealed to him by the angel Gabriel from Almighty Allah. Read below, one of many similar statements from the Quran:
Surely, Allah Commands absolute justice and steadfast commitment to performing your duties to Almighty Allah, in total sincerity and giving help to relatives: and He forbids evil, and disobedience and all that is prohibited by Allah (such as; illegal sexual acts, disobedience of PARENTS, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right, etc.), and (He Forbids) any evil (i.e. all that is prohibited by God’s Law, such as: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds, etc.), and all kinds of oppression, He admonishes you, that you may take heed. [Holy Quran 16:90]
Muhammad, peace be upon him, never fell into the common practice of his tribesmen to worship statues, idols or man-made “gods.” He forbid his followers to ever engage in worship outside of the One True God (Allah) of Adam, Abraham, Moses and all the prophets, peace be upon them all.
And the people of the Scripture Jews and Christians did not differed amongst themselves until after there came to them clear evidence. And they were commanded only to worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (no gods beside God), and perform prayers and give charity: and that is the right religion. [Holy Quran 98:4-5]
He despised false worship to any man-made gods or images or anything in creation as a god. He hated all of the complexities and degradation to which it leads.
This is in direct obedience to the second commandment in the above mentioned verses, “Thou shalt not make any graven images.”
Muhammad, peace be upon him, ordered men to “provide and protect” women, whether it was their own mother, sister, wife or daughter or even those of others, whether they were Muslims or not.
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support the women) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.). As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them, refuse to share their beds, startle them (set forth a clear example or parable for them, to make clear the point of what is going on before divorcing them) so if they return to proper obedience (to Allah and their husbands), do not annoy them any further. Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.” [Holy Quran 4:34]
Muhammad, peace be upon him, never drank alcohol or strong drink, even though it was a very normal thing for people of his time and place.
“O you believers! Intoxicating drinks, gambling, fortune telling, etc. is the hated work of the devil. So stay away from all of that horrible stuff, that you will be successful.”
“The devil only wants to create hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks, etc.) and gambling and to keep you from the remembrance of Allah and from your proper worship (prayers). So, why won’t you away from them?” [Holy Quran 5:90-91]
The Arabs, like most other cultures at his time, drank alcohol without concern for their health or for their altered behavior while intoxicated. Many of them were alcoholics.
In today’s world there is little need to present long discussions on the evil and dangers of drinking alcohol. Besides causing diseases and ruining a person’s health, alcohol is often attributed to be the cause of many traffic accidents resulting in property damage, injuries and deaths. The first order was for the followers of Muhammad, peace be upon him, to leave off drinking while engaged in worship, then came stronger orders to leave drinking all together. Thus, offering a time for the early Muslims to break off from their addiction to strong drink. Continue reading