Muslims believe in the existence of and revere the same Prophets mentioned in the Jewish and Christian traditions, including Prophet Noah, Moses, Abraham and Prophet Jesus. They were sent to deliver the same general message: to worship God alone, without partners, sons or daughters, and to follow God’s commandments. Before Prophet Muhammad, Prophets were sent to minister only to particular people in particular places and periods. However, Prophet Muhammad is the last and final Prophet who is meant to speak to and for all humankind until the end of time.
Prophet Muhammad was born about 570 years following the birth of Prophet Jesus. He was born in Mecca, in the Arabian Peninsula. The people of Mecca were devoted idol-worshippers, and the area and period at the time brimmed over with the characteristics of ignorance, foolishness, and misguidance. At the age of forty, Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation in a cave from God via the Angel Gabriel.
He then spent the remaining portion of his life explaining and living the teachings of the Quran and Islam, the religion that God revealed to him. Although he was known among his community as ‘the truthful, the trustworthy,’ the majority of his people did not believe him or his Message.
Soon after, a massive campaign launched to persecute those who believed in the Message. After thirteen years of preaching in the city of Mecca, Prophet Muhammad migrated to the city of Medina with a number of devoted followers. The followers appointed him the leader of the city. The disbelievers of Mecca plotted against and attempted to attack the message of faith sent from God. However, what was originally a small group of Muslims grew in number, and they were able to withstand the attack of the disbelievers. Within ten years, the Prophet himself led an army back to Mecca and conquered his enemies in a bloodless victory. Thus, the faith of Islam reigned victorious in Arabia and spread throughout the world.
Prophet Muhammad died in 632. God states in the Quran that He sent his Prophet as a mercy for mankind.
The Prophet was sent to guide humanity. Prophet Muhammad understood the Quran, he loved the Quran, and he lived his life based on the principles of the Quran and its standards. He is the World’s best role model for all humankind. He is the Prophet who always displayed outstanding virtues and characteristics. He was an astonishing husband, father, grandfather, leader, teacher, judge, and statesman. He preached justice, fairness, peace, and love.
Muslims attempt to emulate the Prophet Muhammad’s faith, behavior, attitude, patience, charity, compassion, righteousness, and piety. The act of emulating the Prophet is called ‘Sunnah.’ The term ‘sunna’ is a concept that means “the way,” or “practice of.” The meaning of Sunnah is generally translated as, thru act of doing whatever the Prophet said, did, or approve. Sunnah is the way or the practice of the Prophet Muhammad.
Muslims emulate the manner in which the Prophet ate, drank, the position he slept in, the way he behaved and interacted with others, etc. Following the Sunnah (the way of the Prophet), would make one’s life in this world and the next easier and more successful. Islam is such a natural way of life that its rules, regulations, and recommendations become easy to adopt and abide by over time. Islam is not merely a religion, it is a way of life; a holistic way designed by the Almighty to benefit the one that follows it. The comprehensiveness of Islam allows every intention, word, or action in life to be an act of worship, where one gains reward from the Almighty; from praying to God, giving charity, helping others, eating, drinking, or even sleeping.
Prophet Muhammad is certainly one of the most influential figures in history; one whose life, actions, and thoughts changed the world. When Muslims declare their faith in One God, they also declare their belief in the last and final Messenger, Muhammad. Muslims believe in Prophet Muhammad, they love him, they respect him, they obey him, and they follow him to the best of their ability. They hold him in such high regard that for many it is emotionally painful to see or hear their beloved Prophet, their beloved teacher, ridiculed, disrespected, demeaned, scorned, or mocked.Whereas Muslims look up to Prophet Muhammad, they certainly do not worship him or attribute any divine characteristics to him. Certain people mistakenly assume that Muslims worship Muhammad by formulating an incorrect analogy. Since Christians worship Jesus, they assume that Muslims worship Prophet Muhammad in a similar manner. Hence, they incorrectly refer to the followers of Islam as ‘Mohammedians’. Muslims, on the other hand, understand that Prophet Muhammad is only a man, a messenger from God. However, he is a man worthy of our utmost respect and love.
The man who will stand before God on the day of Judgement and beg God to have mercy on us. The one that will intercede for us on the day of Judgement. Muslims love and respect him because he is the slave and Messenger of God; one who was chosen to be the best and final Prophet whom the Almighty sent to humanity--one whose mission and influence will continue until the Last Day. A mercy to humankind whose gentleness and devotion to humanity is unprecedented. He is Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.