Table of Contents
This chapter talks about the life of Prophet Muhammad. It talks about his birth and early years, and then goes on to tell us how he founded the religion of Islam after the angel Gabriel appeared in front of him.
Ahmed, Kamal, Solomon, Shabnam– children who are listening to a bedtime story
Nany- the children’s grandmother
Prophet Muhammad– the founder of Islam
Aamina and Abdullah– Muhammad’s parents
Abdul Mutalib– Muhammad’s grandfather
Abu Talib– Muhammad’s uncle
Khadija– Muhammad’s wife
Prophet Muhammad’s Birth and Childhood
Ahmed, Kamal, Solomon and Shabnam are sitting around their grandmother at bedtime to listen to a story. The grandmother, whom they call ‘Nany’, has promised them that she would tell them a true story. Nany says she will tell them the story of Muhammad (PBUH). He was born in 571 A D in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The Arabs lived in tribes and did all kinds of evil deeds back then.
Muhammad was born to Aamina and Abdullah. Abdullah had died before Muhammad was born, so his grandfather, Abdul Mutalib, looked after him. His mother died when he was six years old. When he was eight, his grandfather also died. He left his grandson in the custody of his elder son, Abu Talib.
Abu Talib had his own children, but he loved Muhammad too. He took a twelve-year-old Muhammad with him on his trade journey to Syria. There they met a Christian monk who said that Muhammad had all the characteristics of the last prophet that the Bible talks about.
Muhammad also became a trader. He went to different places and always earned a good profit. Everyone appreciated his honesty, truthfulness and straightforwardness. A rich widow, Khadija (RA), sent him with her merchandise to Syria with her servant. On their way, the caravan stopped near a church. There, a priest said that Muhammad was going to be the last Prophet mentioned in the Bible. Khadija’s servant praised Muhammad’s honest dealings after they returned. Because of his honesty, truthfulness and good dealing, Muhammad came to be known as ‘Ameen’ (the custodian).
Khadija was so impressed that she decided to marry him. She was 40 and Muhammad was only 25. After marriage, the couple gave most of their wealth to the poor and lived a hard life for themselves. They had two sons and four daughters. The sons died young while the girls were all married and had children.
Later Years and Islam
When Muhammad was 32 or 33, he started thinking about the universe and its creator. He would spend days meditating in the cave called Hira. One day, at the age of 40, while meditating, an angel appeared before him and asked him to read. Muhammad said he couldn’t read. The angel hugged him and repeated the same word thrice. The third time the angel said, ‘Read in the name of thy Lord’.
Muhammad was scared and went home. He told the incident to his wife who took him to her nephew, Warqa, who was a Christian scholar. Warqa told him that he was going to be the last prophet and the angel he had seen was none other than Gabriel (AS). What the angel had asked him to read were the first verses of the holy Qur’an, the last book of Allah.
So, Muhammad became the last messenger of Allah. He preached Allah’s commandments and his prophethood and began to invite people to Islam. He told people to worship Allah alone and accept Kalima (the oneness of Allah), offer prayers, called nimaaz, observe Ramadan (fast), give Zakat (the share of the poor in the wealth of the rich) and perform Hajj (pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah). He also asked people to purify their lives by following the principles of truth, honesty and justice.
Arabs were pagans and so many opposed Muhammad. His wife, Khadija was the first woman to accept Islam. Later on, Abu Bakr, Umar-bin-Khataab, Uthman-bin-Afaan and his cousin, Ali became his companions in spreading Islam. The Arabs ultimately forced him to leave his birthplace, Makkah. Muhammad migrated to Yathrib, about four hundred kms from Makkah, which was afterwards named Madinah. This is popularly known as hijrat (migration) and from here, the Muslim calendar starts. Muhammad spent the rest of his life there.
The pagans of Makkah did not allow him and his companions to live in peace in Madinah and forced battles on them. Muhammad emerged victorious against all the odds. He established a very strong Islamic state whose headquarters were in Madinah. He passed away at the age of 63 in Madinah. Millions of Muslims visit his resting place every year, especially during Hajj. Nany finishes the story with this and then wishes the children good night and asks them to go to sleep.
This chapter tells us about the life of a great man who founded one of the biggest religions of the world. We learn about the entire journey of his life, from his birth to his death, and all the great deeds that he committed in between. The prophet’s life teaches us to be honest and just.