Discover in a free daily email today's famous history and birthdays Enjoy the Famous Daily. Search the whole site. A child, Muhammad, is born in a merchant family in Mecca. His clan is prosperous and influential, but his father dies before he is born and his mother dies when the boy is only six. Entrusted to a Bedouin nurse, Muhammad spends much of his childhood among nomads, accompanying the caravans on Arabia's main trade route through Mecca.
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Muhammad is traditionally said to have been born in in Mecca and to have died in in Medina , where he had been forced to emigrate to with his adherents in He spent his entire life in what is now the country of Saudi Arabia , from his birth about CE in Mecca to his death in in Medina. According to Islamic tradition, his father died before Muhammad was born, and his mother died when he was a young child. He is usually said to have had 14 wives or concubines during his lifetime.
In he experienced a vision of the archangel Gabriel. His public preaching aroused opposition from other clans of his tribe. After his clan withdrew its protection, he fled to Medina in and repulsed two attacks by Meccan forces in and He concluded a truce with Mecca in but later forced it to submit. He led the Farewell Pilgrimage to Mecca, the precedent for the hajj , in , the year of his death. Those reports are not consistent, however, and some include miraculous elements or stories obviously adapted from the Bible.
By carefully comparing accounts, scholars have identified common elements that were in circulation by the late 7th century, and some rudimentary details are confirmed by non-Islamic sources e. Many though not all Muslims reject visual representations e. The principle of aniconism opposition to the use of icons or religious idols was an early feature of Islam , though under some historical dynasties or in some regions the prohibition was only partially or selectively enforced—e.
These are sometimes linked with place-names, such as the passing reference to a victory at a place called Badr at Nonetheless, some accretion of popular legend around a figure as seminal as Muhammad would be entirely expected. Moreover, some of the narratives in question are patently adaptations of biblical motifs designed to present Muhammad as equal or superior to earlier prophetic figures such as Moses and Jesus. Such evidence provides sufficient confirmation of the historical existence of an Arab prophet by the name of Muhammad.
For example, some of the non-Islamic sources present Muhammad as having still been alive when the Arab conquerors invaded Palestine — , in contrast to the Islamic view that the Prophet had already passed away at this point. Thus, statements of the sort that on March 21 of the year , Meccan forces entered the oasis of Medina are inherently problematic.
This digest does not aim to separate historical fact from later legend. For instance, unlike many earlier Western accounts, no attempt will be made to remove supernatural elements from the narrative in the interest of transforming it into an account that appears plausible by modern historiographical standards.
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Prophet Muhammad (570-632)
It began with exquisite miniatures from the 13th century, scholars say. Intended as private aids to devotion and prayer, these detailed scenes were made for both Sunni and Shia worshippers, and surviving examples can be found in dozens of major museum and library collections. This position is rarely challenged, perhaps because the existence of images of Muhammad is little known and almost never discussed outside communities that create, study or buy them. Safi does not tell all his Muslim visitors who the painting depicts, though: he sometimes refers to him only as a holy man, because many Islamic theologians would reject it as blasphemous. Arab Muslim countries have shunned all depictions of the human form ever since Islam swept across the region, with early leaders anxious to make a sharp break with the pagan beliefs and idols it displaced. But the same was not true for Persian and Turkish areas where Islam took root, according to Professor Christiane Gruber of the University of Michigan, an expert in depictions of the prophet in Islamic art. The first surviving pictures from these regions date back to the midth century and were not restricted to any one sect.
Drawing the prophet: Islam’s hidden history of Muhammad images
When he was 40, Muhammad reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave   and receiving his first revelation from God. The followers of Muhammad were initially few in number, and experienced hostility from Meccan polytheists. He sent some of his followers to Abyssinia in to shield them from prosecution, before he and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina then known as Yathrib in This event, the Hijra , marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar , also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. In December , after eight years of intermittent fighting with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10, Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The conquest went largely uncontested and Muhammad seized the city with little bloodshed.
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Muslims believe that the final and complete revelation of their faith was made through the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe that Islam is a faith that has always existed and that it was gradually revealed to humanity by a number of prophets, but the final and complete revelation of the faith was made through the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century CE. The traditional story of the Qur'an tells how one night in he was meditating in a cave on the mountain when he was visited by the angel Jibreel who ordered him to recite.