Prophet Muhammad, the last prophet and founder of Islam, was born in 570 CE (Common Era) and believed to have died on June 8, 632 AD (after Jesus’s birth).
The above dates are according to the Julian and Gregorian calendars followed in those times.
It is widely believed that Allah had revealed the verses of the Quran in the holy month of Ramadan for the first time to Prophet Muhammad on Laylat al-Qadr (The Night of Power).
Birth and birthplace
It is widely believed that Muhammad was born in Mecca and lived there roughly for the first 52 years of his life, most likely from 570 CE-622 AD.
Prophet Muhammad’s father Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib died before his birth, and his mother, Aminah, is believed to have died when he was just 6 years old.
His paternal uncle Abu Talib later took care of him.
Tryst with trading
In the initial years of his life, Muhammad used to accompany his uncle on trading journeys to gain experience in commercial trade.
Muhammad later became a merchant and was allegedly involved in trade between the Indian ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
The several names of Muhammad
It was his trustworthy character that acquired him the nickname al-Amin meaning ‘faithful, trustworthy’ and al-Sadiq meaning ‘truthful’.
Based on his personality, here are some names that he is known and worshipped by:
Al-Kareem, meaning the noble and generous one
Al-Mustafa, meaning the chosen one
Al-Shahid, meaning the witness
Al-Aqib, meaning the last one
Rasul, meaning the messenger
Al-Nabi, meaning the prophet
Tayyib, meaning good.
He is known to have set the Black Stone in place inside the holy shrine Kaaba in 605 AD.
The Kaaba in Mecca has long held a major economic and religious role for the area and believers.
It is believed that 17 months after Muhammad’s arrival in Medina, the Kaaba became the Muslim Qibla, or direction for prayer (salat).
The Kaaba has been rebuilt several times; the present structure, built in 1629, is a reconstruction of an earlier building dating to 683.
Muhammad used to pray alone in a cave named Hira on Mount Jabal al-Nour, where he also received his first revelation.
As per beliefs, during one of his visits to the cave, angel Gabriel appeared before him and asked him to recite the verses that would be included in the Quran.
These were the words of God (Allah) and were first preached by Muhammad to his family, then to a few friends, and then to the public at large.
The methods practiced by the Prophet are known as Sunnat, and are followed largely by Muslims around the globe.
It is believed that the Prophet never ate alone. He used to always invite others to eat with him.
As a mark of respect, Muhammad used to greet people before asking their permission to enter their house, and also encouraged others to do the same.
His lifestyle practices:
Entering a house with placing the right foot first.
Putting the right hand and leg first while wearing clothes, and vice versa while removing them
Entering the toilet with the head covered.
Washing both hands up till the wrist before eating.
Eating with the right hand, and sitting on the floor and eating
Always sitting and drinking, not standing; drinking in 3 breaths (sips), removing the utensil from the mouth after each sip. Sleeping on the right side with the right palm under the right cheek, keeping the knees slightly bent.
The Death of Muhammad
After the conquest of Mecca, Prophet Muhammad did not harm or punish the Meccans who threw him out initially, he made peace with them and took his first true Islamic pilgrimage to that city. In March, 632, he delivered his last sermon at Mount Arafat. Upon his return to Medina to his wife’s home, he fell ill for several days. He died on June 8, 632, at the age of 62, and was buried at al-Masjid an-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet) one of the first mosques built by Muhammad in Medina.