The Life of the Prophet Muhammad. Periodization of the Prophet’s Life. Preparation for Prophecy: Childhood: preparation for prophecy Merchant career and marriage: Meccan Revelations and Persecution: Early revelations in Mecca Building up early network of followers Persecution by Meccans
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Born around 570CE in the prominent clan of Banu Hashim of the Quraysh tribe – soon he is orphaned.
He is raised by foster parents in the desert as a shepherd, where his heart is cleansed by angels
Adopted into the home of his uncle Abu Talib, he becomes known as al-Amin – the trustworthy one
With his uncle, he goes on merchant caravans north to Syria – where he is recognized by the Christian monk Buhayra
At 25, the 40-year-old widow Khadija offers him marriage and control of her business – they have 4 daughters (one is Fatema)
As a manager, he has more time and begins meditating in the desert and the mountain cave of Hira
And in 610 CE….
At first, preaches to family and friends: Khadija, Abu Bakr and ‘Ali immediately believe
Slowly begins preaching to the Quraysh, who meet him with serious opposition and mockery
Soon his preaching threatens the tranquility of the annual hajj, and Muhammad is smeared as a “sorcerer who splits people from their families.”
Torture, killing of Muhammad’s followers – psychological torture of Muhammad
Flight of some followers to Ethiopia for refuge with the Christian king
Boycott of Banu Hashim: no intermarriage or trade for two years
Conversion of ‘Umar – newfound strength
Year of Sadness 9/619: new protector? Abu Talib dies, Khadija dies, Abu Lahab new head of Quraysh
Prophet seeks protection in Ta’if – when he fails, Mut’im b. ‘Adi protects him.
The Night Journey and Ascension: Muhammad finds his place among prophets, Jerusalem is direction of prayer
2. To the Polytheist Arabs:
Prominent Meccan Opponents of Islam:
Abu Lahab (Muhammad’s uncle), Abu Jahl, Abu Sufyan (father of Mu’awiya, first Umayyad Caliph)
Deal worked out with Yathrib, and many Muslims emigrate – eventually only Muhammad, Abu Bakr and ‘Ali remain
When Mut’im dies, Muhammad’s murder is planned…
622, the tenth year of revelation, Muhammad and Abu Bakr move to Yathrib… the City of the Messenger of God
The Jewish Tribes of Medina:
Marriage: the Prophet marries 11 women after Khadija, mostly daughters of close Companions or of prominent tribes
‘The Year of Delegations’ 631/10: the Prophet accepts loyalty of Arab tribes