Thursday, October 05, 2006

Who was Muhammad?

Prophet "Muhammad" in Arabic calligraphy

According to the teachings of Islam, Muhammad was born in the year 570. As a young adult, Muhammad worked as a merchant, enjoying a reputation as a charismatic person and a man of integrity.

Most historians agree that Muhammad:

  1. Lived between the 6th and 7th centuries

  2. Adopted various monotheistic traditions intended to replace popular polytheistic religions of the Arabian Peninsula

  3. Gained wide acceptance as a prophet before his death in 632 AD.

Note: The main sources of information on Muhammad's life are the Qur'an, the traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad, and quotes attributed to him (the sira and hadith literature).

The compilation of the Qur'an was completed soon after the death of Muhammad. While the earliest surviving written sira dates to 150 years after Muhammad. The compilation and analysis of the hadith literature took place even later.

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