THE MESSENGER OF ISLAM
Muhammad (peace upon him) was the Prophet and Messenger through whom God sent the last divine revelation to humankind. Biblical prophecies on the advent of the Prophet Muhammad are numerous. (ref. Deuteronomy 18:18-19, John 1:19-21 and 16:7-14)
He was born around the year 570 C.E. in the Arabian city of Makkah. In the middle of the city stands an ancient house of worship called the Ka’bah, which is believed to exist from the time of Adam and later rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ishmael.
Muhammad, a descendant of Abraham, was orphaned at the age of six and grew up in the care of relatives. When he was 40 years old, during his seclusion in the Mountain Hira (Mountain of Light) just outside Makkah, God revealed the first five verses of the Qur’an through visitation of the Archangel Gabriel. It called him to teach people to worship the One God and revive the pure monotheistic faith of his forefather, Abraham.
But for thirteen years Muhammad, the Messenger of God, faced severe opposition and persecution from the population of Makkah, who believed in multiple pagan deities and the worship of idols.
In the early fall of 622, he and his followers emigrated from Makkah, northward to the town of Yathrib (later renamed al-Madinah). This emigration historically known as the Hijrah marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, because it was in Madinah that the followers of Muhammad developed a model society based on the spiritual teachings of the Qur’an.
In 630 Muhammad peacefully re-entered Makkah, where he forgave his enemies and cleared the sacred Ka’bah of idols. Two years later he died, on June 8, 632 C.E. peace be upon him.