Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) continued to manage Khadijah’s business affairs, and their next years were pleasant and prosperous. Six children were born to them. Two were boys, but they both died in infancy, and four were daughters. Khadijah (may God be pleased with her) and Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) loved each other very much. They remained married for 25 years until her death.
At the time, Makkah was prospering too, becoming a well–off trading center in the hands of an elite group of leaders who were mainly successful traders. Disliking the materialism along with the idolatrous and frivolous practices of his compatriots in Makkah, Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him)often retreated to a cave in a mountain just outside of town. The cave was known as Hira. There, he fasted and meditated. On one occasion, after a number of indistinct visionary experiences, he was visited by an overpowering presence and instructed to recite words of such beauty and force. It was the angel Gabrial who was instructing him with these wonderful words. These were the words of God. This experience shook him to the core. This was his first revelation from God. At the time, he was fourty years old. After several similar experiences, he finally began to reveal the messages he was receiving to his family and tribe members. He had become a Prophet of God.
Muhammad’s (may peace and blessings be upon him) message was to instruct his people to stop the false worship of their gods and idols, and to worship the One true God alone. He was instructed to inform his people to stop unlawful killings, and to treat people in a just and fair way, without any form of discrimination. The message commanded people to look after the parents and to give rights to the women. It instructed the people to rightfully fulfill oaths and promises and to stop the widespread financial deceit that was taking place. The message included the importance of looking after the needy and the orphaned of society, along with keeping the ties of kinship. It taught people to love one another for the sake of God. These revelations continued for twenty-three years, with verses being revealed right up until he died at the age of sixty-three. These verses were later collected to form the Qur’aan, the Muslims’ holy book.
For the next decade, Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) and his followers were belittled and ridiculed for propagating this message. They were persecuted and physically attacked for departing from traditionally established Makkan tribal ways. For several years, the the Quraysh, Makkah’s dominant tribe, enforced a ban on trade with Muhammad’s (may peace and blessings be upon him) people, subjecting them to extreme famine like conditions. Toward the end of the decade, his beloved wife Khadijah (may God be pleased with her) and his dear uncle Abu Taalib both died. Finally, the leaders of Makkah attempted to assassinate him.
Many years after Khadijah’s death, Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) upon the instruction from God married a young girl called A’aisha (may God be pleased with her), the daughter of his dearest friend and companion Abu Bakr (may God be pleased with him). A’aisha (may God be pleased with her) later became an important teacher and narrator of many of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him).
Due to the constant persecution of the Muslims in Makkah, along with the repeated attempts on Muhammad’s ((may peace and blessings be upon him) life, he and his few hundred followers left Makkah and traveled to Yathrib, the oasis town where his father was buried. The leaders in Yathrib were suffering through a vicious civil war, and they had invited him as he was well known for his wisdom to act as their mediator. Yathrib soon became known as Madeenah, the City of the Prophet. He remained here, building the first Muslim community, gradually spreading God’s revelation to many, with more and more people accepting Islaam.
The people of Makkah did not take Muhammad’s (may peace and blessings be upon him) migration to Madeenah lightly. They plotted attacks against the Muslims. Whilst in Makkah, the Muslims were ordered by God to remain patient with their persecution, but this command changed when they migrated to Madeenah. Early skirmishes led to three major battles in the next three years. Of these the Muslims were victorious for the first (the Battle of Badr in 624), losing the second (the Battle of Uhud 625), and outlasting the third, (The Battle of the Trench and the Siege of Madeenah 627). In 628, a peace treaty was signed between the Muslims and the Quraysh, which recognized the Muslims, giving them freedom to move throughout Arabia without any hostility. The treaty was however breached by the Makkan allies only a year later.
By now, many people had accepted the Message of Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him), submitting to the will of God, becoming Muslim. The balance of power had started to shift away from once powerful Makkah, toward him and the Muslims. In the year 630, the Muslims peacefully marched on towards Makkah and were joined by tribe after tribe along the way. They entered the city of Makkah, the original home for many of the early Muslims without any bloodshed and the Makkans, seeing the tide had turned, and deeply affected by the mercy of Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) along with his true message from God, joined them, embracing Islaam.
Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) however returned to live in Madeenah, the City that gave him sanctuary. In the next three years, he consolidated most of the Arabian Peninsula spreading Islam to farther regions. In 632, he returned to Makkah with and tens of thousands of Muslims one last time to perform a pilgrimage to the House of God, the Ka’bah, which was built by the Prophets Abraham and his son Ishmael many centuries earlier.
After the pilgrimage, he returned to Madeenah. Three months later, after a brief illness, Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) died. He is currently buried in the apartment of his second wife A’aisha (may God be pleased with her) which is now enclosed within the mosque he and his companions built in Madeenah. May God grant him peace in his grave
Muslims follow the life example of Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him), God’s messenger, because unlike so many rulers before and after him, he meticulously observed and followed himself what he preached to others and demonstrated that Islaam, as revealed by God, is not a impractical, mythical way of life or philosophy, but a practical guidance, that can be applied to all people at all times in all areas of life. Amongst the most beautiful aspects of Muhammad’s (may peace and blessings be upon him) own life is how perfectly he managed to balance the various demands of public and private life, neglecting neither for the sake of the other. Through his personality and the magnificent guidance contained in the Qur’aan he managed to unite the quarreling tribes of the Arabia and lead them to being a major and flourishing civilization within his own lifetime, putting the then Great Persian and East Roman empires in the shade.
Within a hundred years, Muhammad’s (may peace and blessings be upon him)) teaching and way of life had spread from the remote corners of Arabia to as far east as China and as far west as Morocco, France and Spain, taking the cultural lead, benefitting science and humanity and giving birth to the European enlightenment. Like in the past, as it is today, providing a much needed spiritual, social, and philosophical ideology for over a billion people.
Article courtesy of www.ghulamespositohaydar.com