Text – Muhammad

“Islam means peace by submission and obedience to the Will and Commandments of God and those who accept Islam are called Muslims, meaning those who have accepted the message of peace by submission to God.

In the first three years of Muhammad’s mission forty people (men and women) accepted Islam. The Prophet acted directed by a recent revelation by Archangel Gabriel to start preaching Islam. He then began to recite revelations to people in public and invite them to Islam. The Quraish, leaders of Mecca, took his preaching with hostility.

The Quraish began to persecute Muslims by beating, torture and boycott of their businesses. In spite of great hardships and no apparent support, the message of Islam kept all Muslims firm in their belief. The Prophet was asked by God to be patient and to preach the message of the Koran.

In 622, the leaders of the Quraish decided to kill the Prophet and they developed a plan in which one man was chosen from each of the Quraish tribes and they were to attack the Prophet simultaneously. Gabriel informed the Prophet of the plan and instructed him to leave Mecca immediately. They travelled north to Yathrib (Medina), and thanks to the protection of Allah the Prophet arrived safely in a suburb of Medina. This event is known as the ‘Hijra’ (Hegira, migration) and the Islamic calendar begins with this event.

Many delegations from all regions of Arabia came to the Prophet to investigate the teachings of Islam, and a large number of people accepted Islam. The Prophet sent many of his companions to new communities to instruct them about the practice of Islam.

Some years after, in 630, he Prophet marched to Mecca with an army consisting of three thousand Muslims of Medina and Muslims from other Arab communities that joined him on the way. The army entered Mecca without fighting and the Prophet went directly to the Kaaba. The Prophet pointed at each idol with a stick he had in his hand and said: “truth has come and falsehood will neither start nor will it reappear”. The Kaaba was then cleansed by the removal of all idols, and it was restored to its pristine status for the worship of One True God.

The people of Mecca then accepted Islam including the staunch enemies of the Prophet. Within a year almost all Arabia had accepted Islam. The great change in Arabia alarmed the two superpowers, Byzantines and Persians. Their Governors, particularly the Byzantines, reacted with threats to attack Medina. Instead of waiting, the prophet sent a small army to defend the northern border of Arabia. In the remaining life of the Prophet, all of the major battles were fought on the northern front.

The Prophet performed his first and last pilgrimage in 632, and he received the last revelation during this pilgrimage. Two months later, Prophet Muhammad fell ill and after several days died, the eleventh year after Hijra (June 8, 632) in Medina.”

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