Muhammad[n 1] (Arabic: مُحمّد, pronounced [muħammad];[n 2] c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE) was the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet, sent to present and confirm the monotheistic teachings preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is viewed as the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief.[n 3] Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.
Born approximately 570 CE (Year of the Elephant) in the Arabian city of Mecca, Muhammad was orphaned at the age of six. He was raised under the care of his paternal uncle Abu Talib and Abu Talib's wife Fatimah bint Asad. In later years he would periodically seclude himself in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights of prayer. When he was 40, Muhammad reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave, and receiving his first revelation from God. Three years later, in 610, Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "submission" (islām) to God is the right course of action (dīn), and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other prophets in Islam.
The followers of Muhammad were initially few in number, and experienced hostility from Meccan polytheists. He sent some of his followers to Abyssinia in 615 to shield them from prosecution, before he and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. In December 629, after eight years of intermittent fighting with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The conquest went largely uncontested and Muhammad seized the city with little bloodshed. In 632, a few months after returning from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he fell ill and died. By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam.
The revelations (each known as Ayah, lit. "Sign [of God]"), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the verbatim "Word of God" and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad's teachings and practices (sunnah), found in the Hadith and sira (biography) literature, are also upheld and used as sources of Islamic law (see Sharia).
"Muhammad the Apostle of God"
inscribed on the gates of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina
Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh
(Arabic: مُحَمَّد بِن عَبد الله)
|Died||8 June 632 (aged c. 62)|
Medina, Hejaz, Arabia
(present-day Saudi Arabia)
583–609 CE as merchant
609–632 CE as religious leader
|Constitution of Medina|
|Successor||Succession to Muhammad|
|Parent(s)||Abdallah ibn Abd al-Muttalib (father)|
Aminah bint Wahb (mother)
|Relatives||Family tree of Muhammad, Ahl al-Bayt ("Family of the House")|
|Patronymic (Nasab)||Muḥammad ibn Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf ibn Qusai ibn Kilab|
|Teknonymic (Kunya)||Abu al-Qasim|
|Epithet (Laqab)||Khātim an-Nâbîyīn (Seal of the prophets)|
Seal of Muhammad
The name Muhammad (/mʊˈhæməd, -ˈhɑːməd/) means "praiseworthy" and appears four times in the Quran. The Quran addresses Muhammad in the second person by various appellations; prophet, messenger, servant of God ('abd), announcer (bashir),[Quran 2:119] witness (shahid),[Quran 33:45] bearer of good tidings (mubashshir), warner (nathir),[Quran 11:2] reminder (mudhakkir),[Quran 88:21] one who calls [unto God] (dā'ī),[Quran 12:108] light personified (noor),[Quran 05:15] and the light-giving lamp (siraj munir).[Quran 33:46] Muhammad is sometimes addressed by designations deriving from his state at the time of the address: thus he is referred to as the enwrapped (Al-Muzzammil) in Quran 73:1 and the shrouded (al-muddaththir) in Quran 74:1. In Sura Al-Ahzab 33:40 God singles out Muhammad as the "Seal of the prophets", or the last of the prophets. The Quran also refers to Muhammad as Aḥmad "more praiseworthy" (Arabic: أحمد, Sura As-Saff 61:6).
The Quran is the central religious text of Islam. Muslims believe it represents the words of God revealed by the archangel Gabriel to Muhammad. The Quran, however, provides minimal assistance for Muhammad's chronological biography; most Quranic verses do not provide significant historical context.
Important sources regarding Muhammad's life may be found in the historic works by writers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries of the Muslim era (AH – 8th and 9th century CE). These include traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad, which provide additional information about Muhammad's life.
The earliest surviving written sira (biographies of Muhammad and quotes attributed to him) is Ibn Ishaq's Life of God's Messenger written c. 767 CE (150 AH). Although the work was lost, this sira was used at great length by Ibn Hisham and to a lesser extent by Al-Tabari. However, Ibn Hisham admits in the preface to his biography of Muhammad that he omitted matters from Ibn Ishaq's biography that "would distress certain people". Another early history source is the history of Muhammad's campaigns by al-Waqidi (death 207 of Muslim era), and the work of his secretary Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi (death 230 of Muslim era).
Many scholars accept these early biographies as authentic, though their accuracy is unascertainable. Recent studies have led scholars to distinguish between traditions touching legal matters and purely historical events. In the legal group, traditions could have been subject to invention while historic events, aside from exceptional cases, may have been only subject to "tendential shaping".
Other important sources include the hadith collections, accounts of the verbal and physical teachings and traditions of Muhammad. Hadiths were compiled several generations after his death by followers including Muhammad al-Bukhari, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, Muhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi, Abd ar-Rahman al-Nasai, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Malik ibn Anas, al-Daraqutni.
Some Western academics cautiously view the hadith collections as accurate historical sources. Scholars such as Madelung do not reject the narrations which have been compiled in later periods, but judge them in the context of history and on the basis of their compatibility with the events and figures. Muslim scholars on the other hand typically place a greater emphasis on the hadith literature instead of the biographical literature, since hadiths maintain a verifiable chain of transmission (isnad); the lack of such a chain for the biographical literature makes it less verifiable in their eyes.
The Arabian Peninsula was, and still is, largely arid with volcanic soil, making agriculture difficult except near oases or springs. Towns and cities dotted the landscape; two of the most prominent being Mecca and Medina. Medina was a large flourishing agricultural settlement, while Mecca was an important financial center for many surrounding tribes. Communal life was essential for survival in the desert conditions, supporting indigenous tribes against the harsh environment and lifestyle. Tribal affiliation, whether based on kinship or alliances, was an important source of social cohesion. Indigenous Arabs were either nomadic or sedentary. Nomadic groups constantly traveled seeking water and pasture for their flocks, while the sedentary settled and focused on trade and agriculture. Nomadic survival also depended on raiding caravans or oases; nomads did not view this as a crime.
In pre-Islamic Arabia, gods or goddesses were viewed as protectors of individual tribes, their spirits being associated with sacred trees, stones, springs and wells. As well as being the site of an annual pilgrimage, the Kaaba shrine in Mecca housed 360 idols of tribal patron deities. Three goddesses were revered as God's daughters: Allāt, Manāt and al-'Uzzá. Monotheistic communities existed in Arabia, including Christians and Jews. Hanifs – native pre-Islamic Arabs who "professed a rigid monotheism" – are also sometimes listed alongside Jews and Christians in pre-Islamic Arabia, although their historicity is disputed among scholars. According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad himself was a Hanif and one of the descendants of Ishmael, son of Abraham.
The second half of the sixth century was a period of political disorder in Arabia and communication routes were no longer secure. Religious divisions were an important cause of the crisis. Judaism became the dominant religion in Yemen while Christianity took root in the Persian Gulf area. In line with broader trends of the ancient world, the region witnessed a decline in the practice of polytheistic cults and a growing interest in a more spiritual form of religion. While many were reluctant to convert to a foreign faith, those faiths provided intellectual and spiritual reference points.
During the early years of Muhammad's life, the Quraysh tribe he belonged to became a dominant force in western Arabia. They formed the cult association of hums, which tied members of many tribes in western Arabia to the Kaaba and reinforced the prestige of the Meccan sanctuary. To counter the effects of anarchy, Quraysh upheld the institution of sacred months during which all violence was forbidden, and it was possible to participate in pilgrimages and fairs without danger. Thus, although the association of hums was primarily religious, it also had important economic consequences for the city.
|Timeline of Muhammad's Life|
|Important dates and locations in the life of Muhammad|
|c. 569||Death of his father, Abdullah|
|c. 570||Possible date of birth: 12 or 17 Rabi al Awal: in Mecca Arabia|
|c. 577||Death of his mother, Amina|
|c. 583||His grandfather transfers him to Syria|
|c. 595||Meets and marries Khadijah|
|597||Birth of Zainab, his first daughter, followed by: Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and Fatima Zahra|
|610||Qur'anic revelation begins in the Cave of Hira on the Jabaal an Nur the "Mountain of Light" near Mecca|
|610||At age 40, Angel Jebreel (Gabriel) was said to appear to Muhammad on the mountain and call him "the Prophet of Allah"|
|610||Begins in secret to gather followers in Mecca|
|c. 613||Begins spreading message of Islam publicly to all Meccans|
|c. 614||Heavy persecution of Muslims begins|
|c. 615||Emigration of a group of Muslims to Ethiopia|
|616||Banu Hashim clan boycott begins|
|619||The year of sorrows: Khadija (his wife) and Abu Talib (his uncle) die|
|619||Banu Hashim clan boycott ends|
|c. 620||Isra and Mi'raj (reported ascension to heaven to meet God)|
|622||Hijra, emigration to Medina (called Yathrib)|
|623||Battle of Badr|
|625||Battle of Uhud|
|627||Battle of the Trench (also known as the siege of Medina)|
|628||The Meccan tribe of Quraysh and the Muslim community in Medina signed a 10-year truce called the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah|
|629||Conquest of Mecca|
|632||Farewell pilgrimage, event of Ghadir Khumm, and death, in what is now Saudi Arabia|
Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim, was born about the year 570 and his birthday is believed to be in the month of Rabi' al-awwal. He belonged to the Banu Hashim clan, part of the Quraysh tribe, and was one of Mecca's prominent families, although it appears less prosperous during Muhammad's early lifetime. Tradition places the year of Muhammad's birth as corresponding with the Year of the Elephant, which is named after the failed destruction of Mecca that year by the Abraha, Yemen's king, who supplemented his army with elephants. Alternatively some 20th century scholars have suggested different years, such as 568 or 569.
Muhammad's father, Abdullah, died almost six months before he was born. According to Islamic tradition, soon after birth he was sent to live with a Bedouin family in the desert, as desert life was considered healthier for infants; some western scholars reject this tradition's historicity. Muhammad stayed with his foster-mother, Halimah bint Abi Dhuayb, and her husband until he was two years old. At the age of six, Muhammad lost his biological mother Amina to illness and became an orphan. For the next two years, until he was eight years old, Muhammad was under the guardianship of his paternal grandfather Abdul-Muttalib, of the Banu Hashim clan until his death. He then came under the care of his uncle Abu Talib, the new leader of the Banu Hashim. According to Islamic historian William Montgomery Watt there was a general disregard by guardians in taking care of weaker members of the tribes in Mecca during the 6th century, "Muhammad's guardians saw that he did not starve to death, but it was hard for them to do more for him, especially as the fortunes of the clan of Hashim seem to have been declining at that time."
In his teens, Muhammad accompanied his uncle on Syrian trading journeys to gain experience in commercial trade. Islamic tradition states that when Muhammad was either nine or twelve while accompanying the Meccans' caravan to Syria, he met a Christian monk or hermit named Bahira who is said to have foreseen Muhammad's career as a prophet of God.
Little is known of Muhammad during his later youth, available information is fragmented, making it difficult to separate history from legend. It is known that he became a merchant and "was involved in trade between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea." Due to his upright character he acquired the nickname "al-Amin" (Arabic: الامين), meaning "faithful, trustworthy" and "al-Sadiq" meaning "truthful" and was sought out as an impartial arbitrator. His reputation attracted a proposal in 595 from Khadijah, a 40-year-old widow. Muhammad consented to the marriage, which by all accounts was a happy one.
Several years later, according to a narration collected by historian Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad was involved with a well-known story about setting the Black Stone in place in the wall of the Kaaba in 605 CE. The Black Stone, a sacred object, was removed during renovations to the Kaaba. The Meccan leaders could not agree which clan should return the Black Stone to its place. They decided to ask the next man who comes through the gate to make that decision; that man was the 35-year-old Muhammad. This event happened five years before the first revelation by Gabriel to him. He asked for a cloth and laid the Black Stone in its center. The clan leaders held the corners of the cloth and together carried the Black Stone to the right spot, then Muhammad laid the stone, satisfying the honour of all.
Muhammad began to pray alone in a cave named Hira on Mount Jabal al-Nour, near Mecca for several weeks every year. Islamic tradition holds that during one of his visits to that cave, in the year 610 the angel Gabriel appeared to him and commanded Muhammad to recite verses that would be included in the Quran. Consensus exists that the first Quranic words revealed were the beginning of Surah 96:1. Muhammad was deeply distressed upon receiving his first revelations. After returning home, Muhammad was consoled and reassured by Khadijah and her Christian cousin, Waraka ibn Nawfal. He also feared that others would dismiss his claims as being possessed. Shi'a tradition states Muhammad was not surprised or frightened at Gabriel's appearance; rather he welcomed the angel, as if he was expected. The initial revelation was followed by a three-year pause (a period known as fatra) during which Muhammad felt depressed and further gave himself to prayers and spiritual practices. When the revelations resumed he was reassured and commanded to begin preaching: "Thy Guardian-Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased."
Sahih Bukhari narrates Muhammad describing his revelations as "sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell". Aisha reported, "I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over)". According to Welch these descriptions may be considered genuine, since they are unlikely to have been forged by later Muslims. Muhammad was confident that he could distinguish his own thoughts from these messages. According to the Quran, one of the main roles of Muhammad is to warn the unbelievers of their eschatological punishment (Quran 38:70, Quran 6:19). Occasionally the Quran did not explicitly refer to Judgment day but provided examples from the history of extinct communities and warns Muhammad's contemporaries of similar calamities (Quran 41:13–16). Muhammad did not only warn those who rejected God's revelation, but also dispensed good news for those who abandoned evil, listening to the divine words and serving God. Muhammad's mission also involves preaching monotheism: The Quran commands Muhammad to proclaim and praise the name of his Lord and instructs him not to worship idols or associate other deities with God.
The key themes of the early Quranic verses included the responsibility of man towards his creator; the resurrection of the dead, God's final judgment followed by vivid descriptions of the tortures in Hell and pleasures in Paradise, and the signs of God in all aspects of life. Religious duties required of the believers at this time were few: belief in God, asking for forgiveness of sins, offering frequent prayers, assisting others particularly those in need, rejecting cheating and the love of wealth (considered to be significant in the commercial life of Mecca), being chaste and not committing female infanticide.
According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad's wife Khadija was the first to believe he was a prophet. She was followed by Muhammad's ten-year-old cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib, close friend Abu Bakr, and adopted son Zaid. Around 613, Muhammad began to preach to the public (Quran 26:214). Most Meccans ignored and mocked him, though a few became his followers. There were three main groups of early converts to Islam: younger brothers and sons of great merchants; people who had fallen out of the first rank in their tribe or failed to attain it; and the weak, mostly unprotected foreigners.
According to Ibn Saad, opposition in Mecca started when Muhammad delivered verses that condemned idol worship and the polytheism practiced by the Meccan forefathers. However, the Quranic exegesis maintains that it began as Muhammad started public preaching. As his followers increased, Muhammad became a threat to the local tribes and rulers of the city, whose wealth rested upon the Ka'aba, the focal point of Meccan religious life that Muhammad threatened to overthrow. Muhammad's denunciation of the Meccan traditional religion was especially offensive to his own tribe, the Quraysh, as they were the guardians of the Ka'aba. Powerful merchants attempted to convince Muhammad to abandon his preaching; he was offered admission to the inner circle of merchants, as well as an advantageous marriage. He refused both of these offers.
Tradition records at great length the persecution and ill-treatment towards Muhammad and his followers. Sumayyah bint Khayyat, a slave of a prominent Meccan leader Abu Jahl, is famous as the first martyr of Islam; killed with a spear by her master when she refused to give up her faith. Bilal, another Muslim slave, was tortured by Umayyah ibn Khalaf who placed a heavy rock on his chest to force his conversion.
In 615, some of Muhammad's followers emigrated to the Ethiopian Kingdom of Aksum and founded a small colony under the protection of the Christian Ethiopian emperor Aṣḥama ibn Abjar. Ibn Sa'ad mentions two separate migrations. According to him, most of the Muslims returned to Mecca prior to Hijra, while a second group rejoined them in Medina. Ibn Hisham and Tabari, however, only talk about one migration to Ethiopia. These accounts agree that Meccan persecution played a major role in Muḥammad's decision to suggest that a number of his followers seek refuge among the Christians in Abyssinia. According to the famous letter of ʿUrwa preserved in al-Tabari, the majority of Muslims returned to their native town as Islam gained strength and high ranking Meccans, such as Umar and Hamzah converted.
However, there is a completely different story on the reason why the Muslims returned from Ethiopia to Mecca. According to this account—initially mentioned by Al-Waqidi then rehashed by Ibn Sa'ad and Tabari, but not by Ibn Hisham and not by Ibn Ishaq—Muhammad, desperately hoping for an accommodation with his tribe, pronounced a verse acknowledging the existence of three Meccan goddesses considered to be the daughters of Allah. Muhammad retracted the verses the next day at the behest of Gabriel, claiming that the verses were whispered by the devil himself. Instead, a ridicule of these gods was offered.[n 4][n 5] This episode, known as "The Story of the Cranes," is also known as "Satanic Verses". According to the story, this led to a general reconciliation between Muḥammad and the Meccans, and the Abyssinia Muslims began to return home. When they arrived Gabriel had informed Muḥammad the two verses were not part of the revelation, but had been inserted by Satan. Notable scholars at the time argued against the historic authenticity of these verses and the story itself on various grounds.[n 6] Al-Waqidi was severely criticized by Islamic scholars such as Malik ibn Anas, al-Shafi'i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-Nasa'i, al-Bukhari, Abu Dawood, Al-Nawawi and others as a liar and forger. Later, the incident received some acceptance among certain groups, though strong objections to it continued onwards past the tenth century. The objections continued until rejection of these verses and the story itself eventually became the only acceptable orthodox Muslim position.
In 617, the leaders of Makhzum and Banu Abd-Shams, two important Quraysh clans, declared a public boycott against Banu Hashim, their commercial rival, to pressure it into withdrawing its protection of Muhammad. The boycott lasted three years but eventually collapsed as it failed in its objective. During this time, Muhammad was only able to preach during the holy pilgrimage months in which all hostilities between Arabs was suspended.
Islamic tradition states that in 620, Muhammad experienced the Isra and Mi'raj, a miraculous night-long journey said to have occurred with the angel Gabriel. At the journey's beginning, the Isra, he is said to have traveled from Mecca on a winged steed to "the farthest mosque." Later, during the Mi'raj, Muhammad is said to have toured heaven and hell, and spoke with earlier prophets, such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Ibn Ishaq, author of the first biography of Muhammad, presents the event as a spiritual experience; later historians, such as Al-Tabari and Ibn Kathir, present it as a physical journey.
Some western scholars hold that the Isra and Mi'raj journey traveled through the heavens from the sacred enclosure at Mecca to the celestial al-Baytu l-Maʿmur (heavenly prototype of the Kaaba); later traditions indicate Muhammad's journey as having been from Mecca to Jerusalem.
Muhammad's wife Khadijah and uncle Abu Talib both died in 619, the year thus being known as the "Year of Sorrow". With the death of Abu Talib, leadership of the Banu Hashim clan passed to Abu Lahab, a tenacious enemy of Muhammad. Soon afterward, Abu Lahab withdrew the clan's protection over Muhammad. This placed Muhammad in danger; the withdrawal of clan protection implied that blood revenge for his killing would not be exacted. Muhammad then visited Ta'if, another important city in Arabia, and tried to find a protector, but his effort failed and further brought him into physical danger. Muhammad was forced to return to Mecca. A Meccan man named Mut'im ibn Adi (and the protection of the tribe of Banu Nawfal) made it possible for him to safely re-enter his native city.
Many people visited Mecca on business or as pilgrims to the Kaaba. Muhammad took this opportunity to look for a new home for himself and his followers. After several unsuccessful negotiations, he found hope with some men from Yathrib (later called Medina). The Arab population of Yathrib were familiar with monotheism and were prepared for the appearance of a prophet because a Jewish community existed there. They also hoped, by the means of Muhammad and the new faith, to gain supremacy over Mecca; the Yathrib were jealous of its importance as the place of pilgrimage. Converts to Islam came from nearly all Arab tribes in Medina; by June of the subsequent year, seventy-five Muslims came to Mecca for pilgrimage and to meet Muhammad. Meeting him secretly by night, the group made what is known as the "Second Pledge of al-'Aqaba", or, in Orientalists' view, the "Pledge of War". Following the pledges at Aqabah, Muhammad encouraged his followers to emigrate to Yathrib. As with the migration to Abyssinia, the Quraysh attempted to stop the emigration. However, almost all Muslims managed to leave.
|Timeline of Muhammad in Medina|
|c. 622||Emigrates to Medina (Hijra)|
|623||Caravan Raids begin|
|624||Al Kudr Invasion|
|624||Battle of Badr: Muslims defeat Meccans|
|624||Battle of Sawiq, Abu Sufyan captured|
|624||Expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa|
|624||Invasion of Thi Amr, Muhammad raids Ghatafan tribes|
|624||Assassination of Khaled b. Sufyan & Abu Rafi|
|625||Battle of Uhud: Meccans defeat Muslims|
|625||Tragedy of Bir Maona and Al Raji|
|625||Invasion of Hamra al-Asad, successfully terrifies enemy to cause retreat|
|625||Banu Nadir expelled after Invasion|
|625||Invasion of Nejd, Badr and Dumatul Jandal|
|627||Battle of the Trench|
|627||Invasion of Banu Qurayza, successful siege|
|628||Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, gains access to Kaaba|
|628||Conquest of the Khaybar oasis|
|629||First hajj pilgrimage|
|629||Attack on Byzantine Empire fails: Battle of Mu'tah|
|629||Bloodless conquest of Mecca|
|629||Battle of Hunayn|
|630||Siege of Ta'if|
|631||Rules most of the Arabian peninsula|
|632||Attacks the Ghassanids: Tabuk|
|632||Farewell hajj pilgrimage|
|632||Death, on June 8 in Medina|
The Hijra is the migration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. In June 622, warned of a plot to assassinate him, Muhammad secretly slipped out of Mecca and moved his followers to Medina, 450 kilometres (280 miles) north of Mecca.
A delegation, consisting of the representatives of the twelve important clans of Medina, invited Muhammad to serve as chief arbitrator for the entire community; due to his status as a neutral outsider. There was fighting in Yathrib: primarily the dispute involved its Arab and Jewish inhabitants, and was estimated to have lasted for around a hundred years before 620. The recurring slaughters and disagreements over the resulting claims, especially after the Battle of Bu'ath in which all clans were involved, made it obvious to them that the tribal concept of blood-feud and an eye for an eye were no longer workable unless there was one man with authority to adjudicate in disputed cases. The delegation from Medina pledged themselves and their fellow-citizens to accept Muhammad into their community and physically protect him as one of themselves.
Muhammad instructed his followers to emigrate to Medina, until nearly all his followers left Mecca. Being alarmed at the departure, according to tradition, the Meccans plotted to assassinate Muhammad. With the help of Ali, Muhammad fooled the Meccans watching him, and secretly slipped away from the town with Abu Bakr. By 622, Muhammad emigrated to Medina, a large agricultural oasis. Those who migrated from Mecca along with Muhammad became known as muhajirun (emigrants).
Among the first things Muhammad did to ease the longstanding grievances among the tribes of Medina was to draft a document known as the Constitution of Medina, "establishing a kind of alliance or federation" among the eight Medinan tribes and Muslim emigrants from Mecca; this specified rights and duties of all citizens, and the relationship of the different communities in Medina (including the Muslim community to other communities, specifically the Jews and other "Peoples of the Book"). The community defined in the Constitution of Medina, Ummah, had a religious outlook, also shaped by practical considerations and substantially preserved the legal forms of the old Arab tribes.
The first group of converts to Islam in Medina were the clans without great leaders; these clans had been subjugated by hostile leaders from outside. This was followed by the general acceptance of Islam by the pagan population of Medina, with some exceptions. According to Ibn Ishaq, this was influenced by the conversion of Sa'd ibn Mu'adh (a prominent Medinan leader) to Islam. Medinans who converted to Islam and helped the Muslim emigrants find shelter became known as the ansar (supporters). Then Muhammad instituted brotherhood between the emigrants and the supporters and he chose Ali as his own brother.
Following the emigration, the people of Mecca seized property of Muslim emigrants to Medina. War would later break out between the people of Mecca and the Muslims. Muhammad delivered Quranic verses permitting Muslims to fight the Meccans (see sura Al-Hajj, Quran 22:39–40). According to the traditional account, on 11 February 624, while praying in the Masjid al-Qiblatayn in Medina, Muhammad received revelations from God that he should be facing Mecca rather than Jerusalem during prayer. Muhammad adjusted to the new direction, and his companions praying with him followed his lead, beginning the tradition of facing Mecca during prayer.
In March 624, Muhammad led some three hundred warriors in a raid on a Meccan merchant caravan. The Muslims set an ambush for the caravan at Badr. Aware of the plan, the Meccan caravan eluded the Muslims. A Meccan force was sent to protect the caravan and went on to confront the Muslims upon receiving word that the caravan was safe. The Battle of Badr commenced. Though outnumbered more than three to one, the Muslims won the battle, killing at least forty-five Meccans with fourteen Muslims dead. They also succeeded in killing many Meccan leaders, including Abu Jahl. Seventy prisoners had been acquired, many of whom were ransomed. Muhammad and his followers saw the victory as confirmation of their faith and Muhammad ascribed the victory as assisted from an invisible host of angels. The Quranic verses of this period, unlike the Meccan verses, dealt with practical problems of government and issues like the distribution of spoils.
The victory strengthened Muhammad's position in Medina and dispelled earlier doubts among his followers. As a result, the opposition to him became less vocal. Pagans who had not yet converted were very bitter about the advance of Islam. Two pagans, Asma bint Marwan of the Aws Manat tribe and Abu 'Afak of the 'Amr b. 'Awf tribe, had composed verses taunting and insulting the Muslims. They were killed by people belonging to their own or related clans, and Muhammad did not disapprove of the killings. This report, however, is considered by some to be a fabrication. Most members of those tribes converted to Islam, and little pagan opposition remained.
Muhammad expelled from Medina the Banu Qaynuqa, one of three main Jewish tribes, but some historians contend that the expulsion happened after Muhammad's death. According to al-Waqidi, after Abd-Allah ibn Ubaiy spoke for them, Muhammad refrained from executing them and commanded that they be exiled from Medina. Following the Battle of Badr, Muhammad also made mutual-aid alliances with a number of Bedouin tribes to protect his community from attacks from the northern part of Hejaz.
The Meccans were eager to avenge their defeat. To maintain economic prosperity, the Meccans needed to restore their prestige, which had been reduced at Badr. In the ensuing months, the Meccans sent ambush parties to Medina while Muhammad led expeditions against tribes allied with Mecca and sent raiders onto a Meccan caravan. Abu Sufyan gathered an army of 3000 men and set out for an attack on Medina.
A scout alerted Muhammad of the Meccan army's presence and numbers a day later. The next morning, at the Muslim conference of war, a dispute arose over how best to repel the Meccans. Muhammad and many senior figures suggested it would be safer to fight within Medina and take advantage of the heavily fortified strongholds. Younger Muslims argued that the Meccans were destroying crops, and huddling in the strongholds would destroy Muslim prestige. Muhammad eventually conceded to the younger Muslims and readied the Muslim force for battle. Muhammad led his force outside to the mountain of Uhud (the location of the Meccan camp) and fought the Battle of Uhud on 23 March 625. Although the Muslim army had the advantage in early encounters, lack of discipline on the part of strategically placed archers led to a Muslim defeat; 75 Muslims were killed including Hamza, Muhammad's uncle who became one of the best known martyrs in the Muslim tradition. The Meccans did not pursue the Muslims, instead, they marched back to Mecca declaring victory. The announcement is probably because Muhammad was wounded and thought dead. When they discovered that Muhammad lived, the Meccans did not return due to false information about new forces coming to his aid. The attack had failed to achieve their aim of completely destroying the Muslims. The Muslims buried the dead and returned to Medina that evening. Questions accumulated about the reasons for the loss; Muhammad delivered Quranic verses 3:152 indicating that the defeat was twofold: partly a punishment for disobedience, partly a test for steadfastness.
Abu Sufyan directed his effort towards another attack on Medina. He gained support from the nomadic tribes to the north and east of Medina; using propaganda about Muhammad's weakness, promises of booty, memories of Quraysh prestige and through bribery. Muhammad's new policy was to prevent alliances against him. Whenever alliances against Medina were formed, he sent out expeditions to break them up. Muhammad heard of men massing with hostile intentions against Medina, and reacted in a severe manner. One example is the assassination of Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf, a chieftain of the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir. Al-Ashraf went to Mecca and wrote poems that roused the Meccans' grief, anger and desire for revenge after the Battle of Badr. Around a year later, Muhammad expelled the Banu Nadir from Medina forcing their emigration to Syria; he allowed them to take some possessions, as he was unable to subdue the Banu Nadir in their strongholds. The rest of their property was claimed by Muhammad in the name of God as it was not gained with bloodshed. Muhammad surprised various Arab tribes, individually, with overwhelming force, causing his enemies to unite to annihilate him. Muhammad's attempts to prevent a confederation against him were unsuccessful, though he was able to increase his own forces and stopped many potential tribes from joining his enemies.
With the help of the exiled Banu Nadir, the Quraysh military leader Abu Sufyan mustered a force of 10,000 men. Muhammad prepared a force of about 3,000 men and adopted a form of defense unknown in Arabia at that time; the Muslims dug a trench wherever Medina lay open to cavalry attack. The idea is credited to a Persian convert to Islam, Salman the Persian. The siege of Medina began on 31 March 627 and lasted two weeks. Abu Sufyan's troops were unprepared for the fortifications, and after an ineffectual siege, the coalition decided to return home. The Quran discusses this battle in sura Al-Ahzab, in verses 33:9–27. During the battle, the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, located to the south of Medina, entered into negotiations with Meccan forces to revolt against Muhammad. Although the Meccan forces were swayed by suggestions that Muhammad was sure to be overwhelmed, they desired reassurance in case the confederacy was unable to destroy him. No agreement was reached after prolonged negotiations, partly due to sabotage attempts by Muhammad's scouts. After the coalition's retreat, the Muslims accused the Banu Qurayza of treachery and besieged them in their forts for 25 days. The Banu Qurayza eventually surrendered; according to Ibn Ishaq, all the men apart from a few converts to Islam were beheaded, while the women and children were enslaved. Walid N. Arafat and Barakat Ahmad have disputed the accuracy of Ibn Ishaq's narrative. Arafat believes that Ibn Ishaq's Jewish sources, speaking over 100 years after the event, conflated this account with memories of earlier massacres in Jewish history; he notes that Ibn Ishaq was considered an unreliable historian by his contemporary Malik ibn Anas, and a transmitter of "odd tales" by the later Ibn Hajar. Ahmad argues that only some of the tribe were killed, while some of the fighters were merely enslaved. Watt finds Arafat's arguments "not entirely convincing", while Meir J. Kister has contradicted the arguments of Arafat and Ahmad.
In the siege of Medina, the Meccans exerted the available strength to destroy the Muslim community. The failure resulted in a significant loss of prestige; their trade with Syria vanished. Following the Battle of the Trench, Muhammad made two expeditions to the north, both ended without any fighting. While returning from one of these journeys (or some years earlier according to other early accounts), an accusation of adultery was made against Aisha, Muhammad's wife. Aisha was exonerated from accusations when Muhammad announced he had received a revelation confirming Aisha's innocence and directing that charges of adultery be supported by four eyewitnesses (sura 24, An-Nur).
Although Muhammad had delivered Quranic verses commanding the Hajj, the Muslims had not performed it due to Quraysh enmity. In the month of Shawwal 628, Muhammad ordered his followers to obtain sacrificial animals and to prepare for a pilgrimage (umrah) to Mecca, saying that God had promised him the fulfillment of this goal in a vision when he was shaving his head after completion of the Hajj. Upon hearing of the approaching 1,400 Muslims, the Quraysh dispatched 200 cavalry to halt them. Muhammad evaded them by taking a more difficult route, enabling his followers to reach al-Hudaybiyya just outside Mecca. According to Watt, although Muhammad's decision to make the pilgrimage was based on his dream, he was also demonstrating to the pagan Meccans that Islam did not threaten the prestige of the sanctuaries, that Islam was an Arabian religion.
Negotiations commenced with emissaries traveling to and from Mecca. While these continued, rumors spread that one of the Muslim negotiators, Uthman bin al-Affan, had been killed by the Quraysh. Muhammad called upon the pilgrims to make a pledge not to flee (or to stick with Muhammad, whatever decision he made) if the situation descended into war with Mecca. This pledge became known as the "Pledge of Acceptance" or the "Pledge under the Tree". News of Uthman's safety allowed for negotiations to continue, and a treaty scheduled to last ten years was eventually signed between the Muslims and Quraysh. The main points of the treaty included: cessation of hostilities, the deferral of Muhammad's pilgrimage to the following year, and agreement to send back any Meccan who emigrated to Medina without permission from their protector.
Many Muslims were not satisfied with the treaty. However, the Quranic sura "Al-Fath" (The Victory) (Quran 48:1–29) assured them that the expedition must be considered a victorious one. It was later that Muhammad's followers realized the benefit behind the treaty. These benefits included the requirement of the Meccans to identify Muhammad as an equal, cessation of military activity allowing Medina to gain strength, and the admiration of Meccans who were impressed by the pilgrimage rituals.
After signing the truce, Muhammad assembled an expedition against the Jewish oasis of Khaybar, known as the Battle of Khaybar. This was possibly due to housing the Banu Nadir who were inciting hostilities against Muhammad, or to regain prestige from what appeared as the inconclusive result of the truce of Hudaybiyya. According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad also sent letters to many rulers, asking them to convert to Islam (the exact date is given variously in the sources). He sent messengers (with letters) to Heraclius of the Byzantine Empire (the eastern Roman Empire), Khosrau of Persia, the chief of Yemen and to some others. In the years following the truce of Hudaybiyya, Muhammad directed his forces against the Arabs on Transjordanian Byzantine soil in the Battle of Mu'tah.
The truce of Hudaybiyyah was enforced for two years. The tribe of Banu Khuza'a had good relations with Muhammad, whereas their enemies, the Banu Bakr, had allied with the Meccans. A clan of the Bakr made a night raid against the Khuza'a, killing a few of them. The Meccans helped the Banu Bakr with weapons and, according to some sources, a few Meccans also took part in the fighting. After this event, Muhammad sent a message to Mecca with three conditions, asking them to accept one of them. These were: either the Meccans would pay blood money for the slain among the Khuza'ah tribe, they disavow themselves of the Banu Bakr, or they should declare the truce of Hudaybiyyah null.
Muhammad began to prepare for a campaign. In 630, Muhammad marched on Mecca with 10,000 Muslim converts. With minimal casualties, Muhammad seized control of Mecca. He declared an amnesty for past offences, except for ten men and women who were "guilty of murder or other offences or had sparked off the war and disrupted the peace". Some of these were later pardoned. Most Meccans converted to Islam and Muhammad proceeded to destroy all the statues of Arabian gods in and around the Kaaba. According to reports collected by Ibn Ishaq and al-Azraqi, Muhammad personally spared paintings or frescos of Mary and Jesus, but other traditions suggest that all pictures were erased. The Quran discusses the conquest of Mecca.
Following the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad was alarmed by a military threat from the confederate tribes of Hawazin who were raising an army double the size of Muhammad's. The Banu Hawazin were old enemies of the Meccans. They were joined by the Banu Thaqif (inhabiting the city of Ta'if) who adopted an anti-Meccan policy due to the decline of the prestige of Meccans. Muhammad defeated the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes in the Battle of Hunayn.
In the same year, Muhammad organized an attack against northern Arabia because of their previous defeat at the Battle of Mu'tah and reports of hostility adopted against Muslims. With great difficulty he assembled 30,000 men; half of whom on the second day returned with Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy, untroubled by the damning verses which Muhammad hurled at them. Although Muhammad did not engage with hostile forces at Tabuk, he received the submission of some local chiefs of the region.
He also ordered the destruction of any remaining pagan idols in Eastern Arabia. The last city to hold out against the Muslims in Western Arabia was Taif. Muhammad refused to accept the city's surrender until they agreed to convert to Islam and allowed men to destroy the statue of their goddess Al-Lat.
A year after the Battle of Tabuk, the Banu Thaqif sent emissaries to surrender to Muhammad and adopt Islam. Many bedouins submitted to Muhammad to safeguard against his attacks and to benefit from the spoils of war. However, the bedouins were alien to the system of Islam and wanted to maintain independence: namely their code of virtue and ancestral traditions. Muhammad required a military and political agreement according to which they "acknowledge the suzerainty of Medina, to refrain from attack on the Muslims and their allies, and to pay the Zakat, the Muslim religious levy."
In 632, at the end of the tenth year after migration to Medina, Muhammad completed his first true Islamic pilgrimage, setting precedence for the annual Great Pilgrimage, known as Hajj. On the 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah Muhammad delivered his Farewell Sermon, at Mount Arafat east of Mecca. In this sermon, Muhammad advised his followers not to follow certain pre-Islamic customs. For instance, he said a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white except by piety and good action. He abolished old blood feuds and disputes based on the former tribal system and asked for old pledges to be returned as implications of the creation of the new Islamic community. Commenting on the vulnerability of women in his society, Muhammad asked his male followers to "be good to women, for they are powerless captives (awan) in your households. You took them in God's trust, and legitimated your sexual relations with the Word of God, so come to your senses people, and hear my words ..." He told them that they were entitled to discipline their wives but should do so with kindness. He addressed the issue of inheritance by forbidding false claims of paternity or of a client relationship to the deceased and forbade his followers to leave their wealth to a testamentary heir. He also upheld the sacredness of four lunar months in each year. According to Sunni tafsir, the following Quranic verse was delivered during this event: "Today I have perfected your religion, and completed my favours for you and chosen Islam as a religion for you" (Quran 5:3). According to Shia tafsir, it refers to the appointment of Ali ibn Abi Talib at the pond of Khumm as Muhammad's successor, this occurring a few days later when Muslims were returning from Mecca to Medina.
A few months after the farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and suffered for several days with fever, head pain, and weakness. He died on Monday, 8 June 632, in Medina, at the age of 62 or 63, in the house of his wife Aisha. With his head resting on Aisha's lap, he asked her to dispose of his last worldly goods (seven coins), then spoke his final words:
Academics Reşit Haylamaz and Fatih Harpci say that Ar-Rafiq Al-A'la is referring to God. He was buried where he died in Aisha's house. During the reign of the Umayyad caliph al-Walid I, al-Masjid an-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet) was expanded to include the site of Muhammad's tomb. The Green Dome above the tomb was built by the Mamluk sultan Al Mansur Qalawun in the 13th century, although the green color was added in the 16th century, under the reign of Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Among tombs adjacent to that of Muhammad are those of his companions (Sahabah), the first two Muslim caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar, and an empty one that Muslims believe awaits Jesus. When bin Saud took Medina in 1805, Muhammad's tomb was stripped of its gold and jewel ornaments. Adherents to Wahhabism, bin Saud's followers destroyed nearly every tomb dome in Medina in order to prevent their veneration, and the one of Muhammad is said to have narrowly escaped. Similar events took place in 1925 when the Saudi militias retook—and this time managed to keep—the city. In the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, burial is to take place in unmarked graves. Although frowned upon by the Saudis, many pilgrims continue to practice a ziyarat—a ritual visit—to the tomb.
The succession to Muhammad is the central issue that divided the Muslim community into several divisions in the first century of Muslim history. A few months prior to his death, Muhammad delivered a sermon at Ghadir Khumm where he announced that Ali ibn Abi Talib would be his successor. After the sermon, Muhammad ordered the Muslims to pledge allegiance to Ali. Both Shia and Sunni sources agree that Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattab, and Uthman ibn Affan were among the many who pledged allegiance to Ali at this event. However, just after Muhammad died, a group of Muslims met at Saqifa, where Umar pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr then assumed political power, and his supporters became known as the Sunnis. Despite that, a group of Muslims kept their allegiance to Ali. These people, who became known as Shias, held that while Ali's right to be the political leader may have been taken, he was still the religious and spiritual leader after Muhammad.
Eventually, after the deaths of Abu Bakr and two other Sunni leaders, Umar and Uthman, the Sunni Muslims went to Ali for political leadership. After Ali died, his son Hasan ibn Ali succeeded him, both politically and, according to Shias, religiously. However, after six months, he made a peace treaty with Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan, which stipulated that, among other conditions, Muawiya would have political power as long as he did not choose who would succeed him. Muawiya broke the treaty and made his son Yazid his successor, thus forming the Umayyad dynasty. While this was going on, Hasan and, after his death, his brother Husain ibn Ali, remained the religious leaders, at least according to the Shia. Thus, according to the Sunnis, whoever held political power was considered the successor to Muhammad, while the Shias held the twelve Imams (Ali, Hasan, Husain, and Husain's descendants) were the successors to Muhammad, even if they did not hold political power.
In addition to these two main branches, many other opinions also formed regarding succession to Muhammad.
According to William Montgomery Watt, religion for Muhammad was not a private and individual matter but "the total response of his personality to the total situation in which he found himself. He was responding [not only]... to the religious and intellectual aspects of the situation but also to the economic, social, and political pressures to which contemporary Mecca was subject." Bernard Lewis says there are two important political traditions in Islam—Muhammad as a statesman in Medina, and Muhammad as a rebel in Mecca. In his view, Islam is a great change, akin to a revolution, when introduced to new societies.
Historians generally agree that Islamic social changes in areas such as social security, family structure, slavery and the rights of women and children improved on the status quo of Arab society. For example, according to Lewis, Islam "from the first denounced aristocratic privilege, rejected hierarchy, and adopted a formula of the career open to the talents". Muhammad's message transformed society and moral orders of life in the Arabian Peninsula; society focused on the changes to perceived identity, world view, and the hierarchy of values. Economic reforms addressed the plight of the poor, which was becoming an issue in pre-Islamic Mecca. The Quran requires payment of an alms tax (zakat) for the benefit of the poor; as Muhammad's power grew he demanded that tribes who wished to ally with him implement the zakat in particular.
Allah's Messenger was neither very tall nor short, neither absolutely white nor deep brown. His hair was neither curly nor lank. Allah sent him (as an Apostle) when he was forty years old. Afterwards he resided in Mecca for ten years and in Medina for ten more years. When Allah took him unto Him, there was scarcely twenty white hairs in his head and beard.— Anas
The Prophet was of moderate height having broad shoulders (long) hair reaching his ear-lobes. Once I saw him in a red cloak and I had never seen anyone more handsome than him.— Al-Bara
Muhammad was middle-sized, did not have lank or crisp hair, was not fat, had a white circular face, wide black eyes, and long eye-lashes. When he walked, he walked as though he went down a declivity. He had the "seal of prophecy" between his shoulder blades ... He was bulky. His face shone like the moon. He was taller than middling stature but shorter than conspicuous tallness. He had thick, curly hair. The plaits of his hair were parted. His hair reached beyond the lobe of his ear. His complexion was azhar [bright, luminous]. Muhammad had a wide forehead, and fine, long, arched eyebrows which did not meet. Between his eyebrows there was a vein which distended when he was angry. The upper part of his nose was hooked; he was thick bearded, had smooth cheeks, a strong mouth, and his teeth were set apart. He had thin hair on his chest. His neck was like the neck of an ivory statue, with the purity of silver. Muhammad was proportionate, stout, firm-gripped, even of belly and chest, broad-chested and broad-shouldered.
The "seal of prophecy" between Muhammad's shoulders is generally described as having been a type of raised mole the size of a pigeon's egg. Another description of Muhammad was provided by Umm Ma'bad, a woman he met on his journey to Medina:
I saw a man, pure and clean, with a handsome face and a fine figure. He was not marred by a skinny body, nor was he overly small in the head and neck. He was graceful and elegant, with intensely black eyes and thick eyelashes. There was a huskiness in his voice, and his neck was long. His beard was thick, and his eyebrows were finely arched and joined together.
When silent, he was grave and dignified, and when he spoke, glory rose up and overcame him. He was from afar the most beautiful of men and the most glorious, and close up he was the sweetest and the loveliest. He was sweet of speech and articulate, but not petty or trifling. His speech was a string of cascading pearls, measured so that none despaired of its length, and no eye challenged him because of brevity. In company he is like a branch between two other branches, but he is the most flourishing of the three in appearance, and the loveliest in power. He has friends surrounding him, who listen to his words. If he commands, they obey implicitly, with eagerness and haste, without frown or complaint.
Muhammad's life is traditionally defined into two periods: pre-hijra (emigration) in Mecca (from 570 to 622), and post-hijra in Medina (from 622 until 632). Muhammad is said to have had thirteen wives in total (although two have ambiguous accounts, Rayhana bint Zayd and Maria al-Qibtiyya, as wife or concubine.) Eleven of the thirteen marriages occurred after the migration to Medina.
At the age of 25, Muhammad married the wealthy Khadijah bint Khuwaylid who was 40 years old. The marriage lasted for 25 years and was a happy one. Muhammad did not enter into marriage with another woman during this marriage. After Khadijah's death, Khawla bint Hakim suggested to Muhammad that he should marry Sawda bint Zama, a Muslim widow, or Aisha, daughter of Um Ruman and Abu Bakr of Mecca. Muhammad is said to have asked for arrangements to marry both. Muhammad's marriages after the death of Khadijah were contracted mostly for political or humanitarian reasons. The women were either widows of Muslims killed in battle and had been left without a protector, or belonged to important families or clans whom it was necessary to honor and strengthen alliances with.
According to traditional sources Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad, with the marriage not being consummated until she had reached puberty at the age of nine or ten years old. She was therefore a virgin at marriage. Modern Muslim authors who calculate Aisha's age based on other sources of information, such as a hadith about the age difference between Aisha and her sister Asma, estimate that she was over thirteen and perhaps in her late teens at the time of her marriage.
After migration to Medina, Muhammad, who was then in his fifties, married several more women.
Muhammad performed household chores such as preparing food, sewing clothes, and repairing shoes. He is also said to have had accustomed his wives to dialogue; he listened to their advice, and the wives debated and even argued with him.
Khadijah is said to have had four daughters with Muhammad (Ruqayyah bint Muhammad, Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad, Zainab bint Muhammad, Fatimah Zahra) and two sons (Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad and Qasim ibn Muhammad, who both died in childhood). All but one of his daughters, Fatimah, died before him. Some Shi'a scholars contend that Fatimah was Muhammad's only daughter. Maria al-Qibtiyya bore him a son named Ibrahim ibn Muhammad, but the child died when he was two years old.
Nine of Muhammad's wives survived him. Aisha, who became known as Muhammad's favourite wife in Sunni tradition, survived him by decades and was instrumental in helping assemble the scattered sayings of Muhammad that form the Hadith literature for the Sunni branch of Islam.
Muhammad's descendants through Fatimah are known as sharifs, syeds or sayyids. These are honorific titles in Arabic, sharif meaning 'noble' and sayed or sayyid meaning 'lord' or 'sir'. As Muhammad's only descendants, they are respected by both Sunni and Shi'a, though the Shi'a place much more emphasis and value on their distinction.
Zayd ibn Haritha was a slave that Muhammad bought, freed, and then adopted as his son. He also had a wetnurse. According to a BBC summary, "the Prophet Muhammad did not try to abolish slavery, and bought, sold, captured, and owned slaves himself. But he insisted that slave owners treat their slaves well and stressed the virtue of freeing slaves. Muhammad treated slaves as human beings and clearly held some in the highest esteem".
Following the attestation to the oneness of God, the belief in Muhammad's prophethood is the main aspect of the Islamic faith. Every Muslim proclaims in Shahadah: "I testify that there is no god but God, and I testify that Muhammad is a Messenger of God." The Shahadah is the basic creed or tenet of Islam. Islamic belief is that ideally the Shahadah is the first words a newborn will hear; children are taught it immediately and it will be recited upon death. Muslims repeat the shahadah in the call to prayer (adhan) and the prayer itself. Non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam are required to recite the creed.
In Islamic belief, Muhammad is regarded as the last prophet sent by God. Quran 10:37 states that "...it (the Quran) is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book—wherein there is no doubt—from The Lord of the Worlds.". Similarly Quran 46:12 states "...And before this was the book of Moses, as a guide and a mercy. And this Book confirms (it)...", while 2:136 commands the believers of Islam to "Say: we believe in God and that which is revealed unto us, and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered."
Muslim tradition credits Muhammad with several miracles or supernatural events. For example, many Muslim commentators and some Western scholars have interpreted the Surah 54:1–2 as referring to Muhammad splitting the Moon in view of the Quraysh when they began persecuting his followers. Western historian of Islam Denis Gril believes the Quran does not overtly describe Muhammad performing miracles, and the supreme miracle of Muhammad is identified with the Quran itself.
According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad was attacked by the people of Ta'if and was badly injured. The tradition also describes an angel appearing to him and offering retribution against the assailants. It is said that Muhammad rejected the offer and prayed for the guidance of the people of Ta'if.
The Sunnah represents actions and sayings of Muhammad (preserved in reports known as Hadith), and covers a broad array of activities and beliefs ranging from religious rituals, personal hygiene, burial of the dead to the mystical questions involving the love between humans and God. The Sunnah is considered a model of emulation for pious Muslims and has to a great degree influenced the Muslim culture. The greeting that Muhammad taught Muslims to offer each other, "may peace be upon you" (Arabic: as-salamu 'alaykum) is used by Muslims throughout the world. Many details of major Islamic rituals such as daily prayers, the fasting and the annual pilgrimage are only found in the Sunnah and not the Quran.
The Sunnah contributed much to the development of Islamic law, particularly from the end of the first Islamic century. Muslim mystics, known as sufis, who were seeking for the inner meaning of the Quran and the inner nature of Muhammad, viewed the prophet of Islam not only as a prophet but also as a perfect human-being. All Sufi orders trace their chain of spiritual descent back to Muhammad.
Muslims have traditionally expressed love and veneration for Muhammad. Stories of Muhammad's life, his intercession and of his miracles (particularly "Splitting of the moon") have permeated popular Muslim thought and poetry. Among Arabic odes to Muhammad, Qasidat al-Burda ("Poem of the Mantle") by the Egyptian Sufi al-Busiri (1211–1294) is particularly well known, and widely held to possess a healing, spiritual power. The Quran refers to Muhammad as "a mercy (rahmat) to the worlds" (Quran 21:107). The association of rain with mercy in Oriental countries has led to imagining Muhammad as a rain cloud dispensing blessings and stretching over lands, reviving the dead hearts, just as rain revives the seemingly dead earth (see, for example, the Sindhi poem of Shah ʿAbd al-Latif). Muhammad's birthday is celebrated as a major feast throughout the Islamic world, excluding Wahhabi-dominated Saudi Arabia where these public celebrations are discouraged. When Muslims say or write the name of Muhammad, they usually follow it with the Arabic phrase ṣallā llahu ʿalayhi wa-sallam (may God honor him and grant him peace) or the English phrase peace be upon him. In casual writing, the abbreviations SAW (for the Arabic phrase) or PBUH (for the English phrase) are sometimes used; in printed matter, a small calligraphic rendition is commonly used (ﷺ).
In line with the hadith's prohibition against creating images of sentient living beings, which is particularly strictly observed with respect to God and Muhammad, Islamic religious art is focused on the word. Muslims generally avoid depictions of Muhammad, and mosques are decorated with calligraphy and Quranic inscriptions or geometrical designs, not images or sculptures. Today, the interdiction against images of Muhammad—designed to prevent worship of Muhammad, rather than God—is much more strictly observed in Sunni Islam (85%–90% of Muslims) and Ahmadiyya Islam (1%) than among Shias (10%–15%). While both Sunnis and Shias have created images of Muhammad in the past, Islamic depictions of Muhammad are rare. They have mostly been limited to the private and elite medium of the miniature, and since about 1500 most depictions show Muhammad with his face veiled, or symbolically represent him as a flame.
The earliest extant depictions come from 13th century Anatolian Seljuk and Ilkhanid Persian miniatures, typically in literary genres describing the life and deeds of Muhammad. During the Ilkhanid period, when Persia's Mongol rulers converted to Islam, competing Sunni and Shi'a groups used visual imagery, including images of Muhammad, to promote their particular interpretation of Islam's key events. Influenced by the Buddhist tradition of representational religious art predating the Mongol elite's conversion, this innovation was unprecedented in the Islamic world, and accompanied by a "broader shift in Islamic artistic culture away from abstraction toward representation" in "mosques, on tapestries, silks, ceramics, and in glass and metalwork" besides books. In the Persian lands, this tradition of realistic depictions lasted through the Timurid dynasty until the Safavids took power in the early 16th century. The Safavaids, who made Shi'i Islam the state religion, initiated a departure from the traditional Ilkhanid and Timurid artistic style by covering Muhammad's face with a veil to obscure his features and at the same time represent his luminous essence. Concomitantly, some of the unveiled images from earlier periods were defaced. Later images were produced in Ottoman Turkey and elsewhere, but mosques were never decorated with images of Muhammad. Illustrated accounts of the night journey (mi'raj) were particularly popular from the Ilkhanid period through the Safavid era. During the 19th century, Iran saw a boom of printed and illustrated mi'raj books, with Muhammad's face veiled, aimed in particular at illiterates and children in the manner of graphic novels. Reproduced through lithography, these were essentially "printed manuscripts". Today, millions of historical reproductions and modern images are available in some Muslim-majority countries, especially Turkey and Iran, on posters, postcards, and even in coffee-table books, but are unknown in most other parts of the Islamic world, and when encountered by Muslims from other countries, they can cause considerable consternation and offense.
The earliest documented Christian knowledge of Muhammad stems from Byzantine sources. They indicate that both Jews and Christians saw Muhammad as a false prophet. Another Greek source for Muhammad is Theophanes the Confessor, a 9th-century writer. The earliest Syriac source is the 7th-century writer John bar Penkaye.
According to Hossein Nasr, the earliest European literature often refers to Muhammad unfavorably. A few learned circles of Middle Ages Europe – primarily Latin-literate scholars – had access to fairly extensive biographical material about Muhammad. They interpreted the biography through a Christian religious filter; one that viewed Muhammad as a person who seduced the Saracens into his submission under religious guise. Popular European literature of the time portrayed Muhammad as though he were worshipped by Muslims, similar to an idol or a heathen god.
In later ages, Muhammad came to be seen as a schismatic: Brunetto Latini's 13th century Li livres dou tresor represents him as a former monk and cardinal, and Dante's Divine Comedy (Inferno, Canto 28), written in the early 1300s, puts Muhammad and his son-in-law, Ali, in Hell "among the sowers of discord and the schismatics, being lacerated by devils again and again."
After the Reformation, Muhammad was often portrayed in a similar way. Guillaume Postel was among the first to present a more positive view of Muhammad when he argued that Muhammad should be esteemed by Christians as a valid prophet. Gottfried Leibniz praised Muhammad because "he did not deviate from the natural religion". Henri de Boulainvilliers, in his Vie de Mahomed which was published posthumously in 1730, described Muhammad as a gifted political leader and a just lawmaker. He presents him as a divinely inspired messenger whom God employed to confound the bickering Oriental Christians, to liberate the Orient from the despotic rule of the Romans and Persians, and to spread the knowledge of the unity of God from India to Spain. Voltaire had a somewhat mixed opinion on Muhammad: in his play Le fanatisme, ou Mahomet le Prophète he vilifies Muhammad as a symbol of fanaticism, and in a published essay in 1748 he calls him "a sublime and hearty charlatan", but in his historical survey Essai sur les mœurs, he presents him as legislator and a conqueror and calls him an "enthusiast." Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in his Social Contract (1762), "brushing aside hostile legends of Muhammad as a trickster and impostor, presents him as a sage legislator who wisely fused religious and political powers." Emmanuel Pastoret published in 1787 his Zoroaster, Confucius and Muhammad, in which he presents the lives of these three "great men", "the greatest legislators of the universe", and compares their careers as religious reformers and lawgivers. He rejects the common view that Muhammad is an impostor and argues that the Quran proffers "the most sublime truths of cult and morals"; it defines the unity of God with an "admirable concision." Pastoret writes that the common accusations of his immorality are unfounded: on the contrary, his law enjoins sobriety, generosity, and compassion on his followers: the "legislator of Arabia" was "a great man." Napoleon Bonaparte admired Muhammad and Islam, and described him as a model lawmaker and a great man. Thomas Carlyle in his book Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History (1840) describes Muhammad as "[a] silent great soul; [...] one of those who cannot but be in earnest". Carlyle's interpretation has been widely cited by Muslim scholars as a demonstration that Western scholarship validates Muhammad's status as a great man in history.
Ian Almond says that German Romantic writers generally held positive views of Muhammad: "Goethe’s “extraordinary” poet-prophet, Herder’s nation builder (...) Schlegel’s admiration for Islam as an aesthetic product, enviably authentic, radiantly holistic, played such a central role in his view of Mohammed as an exemplary world-fashioner that he even used it as a scale of judgement for the classical (the dithyramb, we are told, has to radiate pure beauty if it is to resemble “a Koran of poetry”.)" After quoting Heinrich Heine, who said in a letter to some friend that "I must admit that you, great prophet of Mecca, are the greatest poet and that your Quran... will not easily escape my memory", John Tolan goes on to show how Jews in Europe in particular held more nuanced views about Muhammad and Islam, being an ethnoreligious minority feeling discriminated, they specifically lauded Al-Andalus, and thus, "writing about Islam was for Jews a way of indulging in a fantasy world, far from the persecution and pogroms of nineteenth-century Europe, where Jews could live in harmony with their non-Jewish neighbors."
Recent writers such as William Montgomery Watt and Richard Bell dismiss the idea that Muhammad deliberately deceived his followers, arguing that Muhammad "was absolutely sincere and acted in complete good faith" and Muhammad's readiness to endure hardship for his cause, with what seemed to be no rational basis for hope, shows his sincerity. Watt, however, says that sincerity does not directly imply correctness: In contemporary terms, Muhammad might have mistaken his subconscious for divine revelation. Watt and Bernard Lewis argue that viewing Muhammad as a self-seeking impostor makes it impossible to understand Islam's development. Alford T. Welch holds that Muhammad was able to be so influential and successful because of his firm belief in his vocation.
Bahá'ís venerate Muhammad as one of a number of prophets or "Manifestations of God". He is thought to be the final manifestation, or seal of the Adamic cycle, but consider his teachings to have been superseded by those of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahai faith, and the first of Manifestation of the current cycle.
Criticism of Muhammad has existed since the 7th century, when Muhammad was decried by his non-Muslim Arab contemporaries for preaching monotheism, and by the Jewish tribes of Arabia for his unwarranted appropriation of Biblical narratives and figures, vituperation of the Jewish faith, and proclaiming himself as "the last prophet" without performing any miracle nor showing any personal requirement demanded in the Hebrew Bible to distinguish a true prophet chosen by the God of Israel from a false claimant; for these reasons, they gave him the derogatory nickname ha-Meshuggah (Hebrew: מְשֻׁגָּע, "the Madman" or "the Possessed"). During the Middle Ages various Western and Byzantine Christian thinkers considered Muhammad to be a perverted, deplorable man, a false prophet, and even the Antichrist, as he was frequently seen in Christendom as a heretic or possessed by the demons. Some of them, like Thomas Aquinas, criticised Muhammad's promises of carnal pleasure in the afterlife.
Modern religious and secular criticism of Islam has concerned Muhammad's sincerity in claiming to be a prophet, his morality, his ownership of slaves, his treatment of enemies, his marriages, his treatment of doctrinal matters, and his psychological condition. Muhammad has been accused of sadism and mercilessness—including the invasion of the Banu Qurayza tribe in Medina—sexual relationships with slaves, and his marriage to Aisha when she was six years old, which according to most estimates was consummated when she was nine.
The Prophet of Islam was a religious, political, and social reformer who gave rise to one of the great civilizations of the world. From a modern, historical perspective, Muḥammad was the founder of Islam. From the perspective of the Islamic faith, he was God's Messenger (rasūl Allāh), called to be a "warner," first to the Arabs and then to all humankind.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
A second important aspect of the meaning of the term emerges in Meccan revelations concerning the practice of the Prophet Abraham. Here it stands for the straight path (al-dīn al-ḥanīf) toward which Abraham and other messengers called the people [...] The Qurʿān asserts that this was the path or practice followed by Abraham [...] In the final analysis, dīn encompasses social and spiritual, as well the legal and political behaviour of the believers as a comprehensive way of life, a connotation wider than the word "religion."
We can discern three strata of the Sunni ḥadīth canon. The perennial core has been the Ṣaḥīḥayn. Beyond these two foundational classics, some fourth-/tenth-century scholars refer to a four-book selection that adds the two Sunans of Abū Dāwūd (d. 275/889) and al-Nāsaʾī (d. 303/915). The Five Book canon, which is first noted in the sixth/twelfth century, incorporates the Jāmiʿ of al-Tirmidhī (d. 279/892). Finally, the Six Book canon, which hails from the same period, adds either the Sunan of Ibn Mājah (d. 273/887), the Sunan of al-Dāraquṭnī (d. 385/995) or the Muwaṭṭaʾ of Mālik b. Anas (d. 179/796). Later ḥadīth compendia often included other collections as well. None of these books, however, has enjoyed the esteem of al-Bukhārīʼs and Muslimʼs works.
Quraysh had put pictures in the Ka'ba including two of Jesus son of Mary and Mary (on both of whom be peace!). ... The apostle ordered that the pictures should be erased except those of Jesus and Mary.
Then Mumammad suddenly fell ill, presumably of the ordinary Medina fever (al-Farazdak, ix, 13); but this was dangerous to a man physically and mentally overwrought.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
Evidence that the Prophet waited for Aisha to reach physical maturity before consummation comes from al-Ṭabarī, who says she was too young for intercourse at the time of the marriage contract;
On the other hand, however, Muslims who calculate 'Ayesha's age based on details of her sister Asma's age, about whom more is known, as well as on details of the Hijra (the Prophet's migration from Mecca to Madina), maintain that she was over thirteen and perhaps between seventeen and nineteen when she got married. Such views cohere with those Ahadith that claim that at her marriage Ayesha had "good knowledge of Ancient Arabic poetry and genealogy" and "pronounced the fundamental rules of Arabic Islamic ethics.
Indeed, [Postel's] greater tolerance for other religions was much in evidence in Παvθεvωδια: compostio omnium dissidiorum, where, astonishingly for the sixteenth century, he argued that Muhammad ought to be esteemed even in Christendom as a genuine prophet.
They [the Jews killed] numbered 600 or 700—the largest estimate says they were between 800 and 900.
Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar ابو الفتح جلال الدين محمد اكبر (15 October 1542– 27 October 1605), popularly known as Akbar I (IPA: [əkbər]), also as Akbar the Great (Akbar-i-azam اکبر اعظم), was the third Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1556 to 1605. Akbar succeeded his father, Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India. A strong personality and a successful general, Akbar gradually enlarged the Mughal Empire to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent north of the Godavari river. His power and influence, however, extended over the entire country because of Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance. To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar established a centralised system of administration throughout his empire and adopted a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy. To preserve peace and order in a religiously and culturally diverse empire, he adopted policies that won him the support of his non-Muslim subjects. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic state identity, Akbar strove to unite far-flung lands of his realm through loyalty, expressed through an Indo-Persian culture, to himself as an emperor who had near-divine status.
Mughal India developed a strong and stable economy, leading to commercial expansion and greater patronage of culture. Akbar himself was a patron of art and culture. He was fond of literature, and created a library of over 24,000 volumes written in Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian, Greek, Latin, Arabic and Kashmiri, staffed by many scholars, translators, artists, calligraphers, scribes, bookbinders and readers. He did much of the cataloging himself through three main groupings. Akbar also established the library of Fatehpur Sikri exclusively for women, and he decreed that schools for the education of both Muslims and Hindus should be established throughout the realm. He also encouraged bookbinding to become a high art. Holy men of many faiths, poets, architects, and artisans adorned his court from all over the world for study and discussion. Akbar's courts at Delhi, Agra, and Fatehpur Sikri became centres of the arts, letters, and learning. Perso-Islamic culture began to merge and blend with indigenous Indian elements, and a distinct Indo-Persian culture emerged characterized by Mughal style arts, painting, and architecture. Disillusioned with orthodox Islam and perhaps hoping to bring about religious unity within his empire, Akbar promulgated Din-i-Ilahi, a syncretic creed derived mainly from Islam and Hinduism as well as some parts of Zoroastrianism and Christianity. A simple, monotheistic cult, tolerant in outlook, it centered on Akbar as a prophet, for which he drew the ire of the ulema and orthodox Muslims. Many of his courtiers followed Din-i-Ilahi as their religion as well, as many believed that Akbar was a prophet. One famous courtier who followed this blended religion was Birbal.Akbar's reign significantly influenced the course of Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal empire tripled in size and wealth. He created a powerful military system and instituted effective political and social reforms. By abolishing the sectarian tax on non-Muslims and appointing them to high civil and military posts, he was the first Mughal ruler to win the trust and loyalty of the native subjects. He had Sanskrit literature translated, participated in native festivals, realising that a stable empire depended on the co-operation and good-will of his subjects. Thus, the foundations for a multicultural empire under Mughal rule were laid during his reign. Akbar was succeeded as emperor by his son, Prince Salim, later known as Jahangir.Ali
Ali ( ; 15 September 601 – 29 January 661) was the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, the last prophet of Islam. He ruled as the fourth caliph from 656 to 661, but is regarded as the rightful immediate successor to Muhammad as an Imam by Shia Muslims.
Born to Abu Talib and Fatimah bint Asad, Ali is born inside the sacred sanctuary of the Kaaba in Mecca, the holiest place in Islam. Ali was the first male who accepted Islam, and, according to some authors, the first Muslim. Ali protected Muhammad from an early age and took part in almost all the battles fought by the nascent Muslim community. After migrating to Medina, he married Muhammad's daughter Fatimah. He was appointed caliph by Muhammad's companions in 656, after Caliph Uthman ibn Affan was assassinated. Ali's reign saw civil wars and in 661, he was attacked and assassinated by a Kharijite while praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa, being martyred two days later.Ali is important to both Shias and Sunnis, politically and spiritually. The numerous biographical sources about Ali are often biased according to sectarian lines, but they agree that he was a pious Muslim, devoted to the cause of Islam and a just ruler in accordance with the Qur'an and the Sunnah. While Sunnis consider Ali the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided) caliphs, Shia Muslims regard Ali as the first Imam after Muhammad due to their interpretation of the events at Ghadir Khumm. Shia Muslims also believe that Ali and the other Shia Imams (all of whom are of Ahl al-Bayt, People of the Household (of Muhammad)) are the rightful successors to Muhammad. It was this disagreement that split the ummah into the Shia and Sunni branches.Aurangzeb
Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad (Persian: محي الدين محمد) (3 November 1618 – 3 March 1707), commonly known by the sobriquet Aurangzeb (Persian: اورنگزیب "Ornament of the Throne") or by his regnal title Alamgir (Persian: عالمگير "Conqueror of the World"), was the sixth Mughal emperor, who reigned for a period of 49 years from 1658 until his death in 1707. He is widely considered to be the last effective Mughal emperor.
Aurangzeb has been described by historian Lisa Balabanlilar as a military paragon. He was a notable expansionist; during his reign, the Mughal Empire reached its greatest extent, ruling over nearly all of the Indian subcontinent. During his lifetime, victories in the south expanded the Mughal Empire to 4 million square kilometres, and he ruled over a population estimated to be over 158 million subjects, with an annual yearly revenue of $450 million (more than ten times that of his contemporary Louis XIV of France), or £38,624,680 (2,879,469,894 rupees) in 1690. Under his reign, the Mughal Empire surpassed China to become the world's largest economy, worth over $90 billion, nearly a quarter of world GDP in 1700.Aurangzeb has been subject to controversy and criticism for his policies that abandoned his predecessors' legacy of pluralism and religious tolerance, citing his introduction of the Jizya tax, destruction of Hindu temples, and the executions of Maratha Kingdom ruler Sambhaji and the ninth Sikh guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur. Various historians question the historicity of the claims of his critics, arguing that his destruction of temples has been exaggerated, and noting that he also built temples, paid for the maintenance of temples, employed significantly more Hindus in his imperial bureaucracy than his predecessors did, and opposed bigotry against Hindus and Shia Muslims.The downfall of the Mughal Empire began near the end of his reign due to his political and religious intolerance.Babur
Babur (Persian: بابر, translit. Bābur, lit. 'tiger'; 14 February 1483 – 26 December 1530), born Zahīr ud-Dīn Muhammad, was the founder and first Emperor of the Mughal dynasty in India. He was a direct descendant of Emperor Timur (Tamerlane) from what is now Uzbekistan.Babur was born in Andijan, in the Fergana Valley, in modern Uzbekistan. He was the eldest son of Umar Sheikh Mirza, governor of Fergana and great grandson of Timur the Great. He ascended the throne of Fergana in its capital Akhsikent in 1494 at the age of twelve and faced rebellion. He conquered Samarkand two years later, only to lose Fergana soon after. In his attempt to reconquer Fergana, he lost control of Samarkand. In 1501, his attempt to recapture both the regions went in vain as he was defeated by Muhammad Shaybani Khan. In 1504, he conquered Kabul, which was under the rule of the infant heir of Ulugh Begh. Babur formed a partnership with Safavid ruler Ismail I and reconquered parts of Turkistan, including Samarkand, only to again lose it and the other newly conquered lands to the Sheybanids.
After losing Samarkand for the third time, Babur turned his attention to India. At that time, the Indo-Gangetic Plain of northern India was ruled by Ibrahim Lodi of the Afghan Lodi dynasty, whereas Rajputana was ruled by a Hindu Rajput Confederacy, led by Rana Sanga of Mewar. Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526 CE and founded the Mughal empire. He faced opposition from Rana Sanga of Mewar, and Medini Rai, another rajput ruler in the battle of Chanderi who considered Babur a foreigner. The Rana was defeated in the Battle of Khanwa.
Babur married several times. Notable among his sons are Humayun, Kamran Mirza and Hindal Mirza. Babur died in 1530 in Agra and was succeeded by Humayun. He was first buried in Agra but, as per his wishes, his mortal remains were moved to Kabul reburied. Being a patrilineal descendant of Timur, Babur considered himself a Timurid and Chagatai Turkic. He is considered a national hero in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Many of his poems also have become popular folk songs. He wrote Baburnama in Chaghatai Turkic and this was translated into Persian during Akbar's reign.Elijah Muhammad
Elijah Muhammad (born Elijah Robert Poole; October 7, 1897 – February 25, 1975) was a religious leader, who led the Nation of Islam (NOI) from 1934 until his death in 1975. He was a mentor to Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan and Muhammad Ali, as well as his own son, Warith Deen Mohammed.Fatimah
Fatimah bint Muhammad (; Arabic: فاطمة Fāṭimah; born 615 AD, 5 BH – died 28 August 632 [disputed]) was the youngest daughter and, according to Shia Muslims, the only child of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and Khadijah who lived to adulthood, and therefore part of Muhammad's household. Her husband was Ali, the last of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and her children include Hasan and Husayn, the second and third Shia Imams, respectively. She is the object of love and respect of Muslims, as she was the child closest to her father and supported him in his difficulties, was the supporter and loving caretaker of her own husband and children, and was the only child of Muhammad to have male children live beyond childhood, whose descendants are spread throughout the Islamic world and are known as Sayyids.'Fatimah' is one of the most popular girl's names throughout the Muslim world.Fatimah is a vital character in the religion of Islam. Although there is controversy between different sects of Islam regarding her political role, she is the daughter of Muhammad and is revered by Muslims.Islam
Islam () is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God (Allah), and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, unique and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran (written in Classical Arabic), viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative example (called the sunnah, composed of accounts called hadith) of Muhammad (c. 570 – 8 June 632 CE).
Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran to be the unaltered and final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam also teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law (sharia), which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment. The cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam.Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is historically believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, and by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east. The Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the historically Muslim world was experiencing a scientific, economic and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates such as the Ottoman Empire, traders and conversion to Islam by missionary activities (dawah).Most Muslims are of one of two denominations; Sunni (85–90%) or Shia (10–15%). About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority country, 31% of Muslims live in South Asia, the largest population of Muslims in the world, 20% in the Middle East–North Africa, where it is the dominant religion, and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sizeable Muslim communities are also found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world.Malcolm X
was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist. Some saw him as a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; others accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.
His father was killed when he was six and his mother was placed in a mental hospital when he was thirteen, after which he lived in a series of foster homes. In 1946, at age 20, he went to prison for larceny and breaking and entering. While in prison, he became a member of the Nation of Islam (NOI), changing his birth name Malcolm Little to Malcolm X because, he later wrote, Little was the name that "the white slavemaster ... had imposed upon [his] paternal forebears". After his parole in 1952, he quickly rose to become one of the organization's most influential leaders, serving as the public face of the controversial group for a dozen years. In his autobiography, Malcolm X wrote proudly of some of the social achievements the Nation made while he was a member, particularly its free drug rehabilitation program. The Nation promoted black supremacy, advocated the separation of black and white Americans, and rejected the civil rights movement for its emphasis on integration.
By March 1964, Malcolm X had grown disillusioned with the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad. Expressing many regrets about his time with them, which he had come to regard as largely wasted, he embraced Sunni Islam. After a period of travel in Africa and the Middle East, which included completing the Hajj, he also became known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. He repudiated the Nation of Islam, disavowed racism and founded Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. He continued to emphasize Pan-Africanism, black self-determination, and black self-defense.
On February 21, 1965, he was assassinated by three members of the Nation of Islam.Muammar Gaddafi
Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi (; c. 1942 – 20 October 2011), commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi, was a Libyan revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He governed Libya as Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977, and then as the "Brotherly Leader" of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011. He was initially ideologically committed to Arab nationalism and Arab socialism but later ruled according to his own Third International Theory.
Born near Sirte, Italian Libya to a poor Bedouin family, Gaddafi became an Arab nationalist while at school in Sabha, later enrolling in the Royal Military Academy, Benghazi. Within the military, he founded a revolutionary cell which deposed the Western-backed Senussi monarchy of Idris in a 1969 coup. Having taken power, Gaddafi converted Libya into a republic governed by his Revolutionary Command Council. Ruling by decree, he ejected both the Italian population and Western military bases from Libya while strengthening ties to Arab nationalist governments—particularly Gamal Abdel Nasser's Egypt—and unsuccessfully advocating Pan-Arab political union. An Islamic modernist, he introduced sharia as the basis for the legal system and promoted "Islamic socialism". He nationalized the oil industry and used the increasing state revenues to bolster the military, fund foreign revolutionaries, and implement social programs emphasizing house-building, healthcare and education projects. In 1973, he initiated a "Popular Revolution" with the formation of Basic People's Congresses, presented as a system of direct democracy, but retained personal control over major decisions. He outlined his Third International Theory that year, publishing these ideas in The Green Book.
Gaddafi transformed Libya into a new socialist state called a Jamahiriya ("state of the masses") in 1977. He officially adopted a symbolic role in governance but remained head of both the military and the Revolutionary Committees responsible for policing and suppressing dissent. During the 1970s and 1980s, Libya's unsuccessful border conflicts with Egypt and Chad, support for foreign militants, and alleged responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing in Scotland left it increasingly isolated on the world stage. A particularly hostile relationship developed with the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel, resulting in the 1986 U.S. bombing of Libya and United Nations-imposed economic sanctions. From 1999, Gaddafi shunned Arab socialism and encouraged economic privatization, rapprochement with Western nations, and Pan-Africanism; he was Chairperson of the African Union from 2009 to 2010. Amid the 2011 Arab Spring, protests against widespread corruption and unemployment broke out in eastern Libya. The situation descended into civil war, in which NATO intervened militarily on the side of the anti-Gaddafist National Transitional Council (NTC). The government was overthrown, and Gaddafi retreated to Sirte, only to be captured and killed by NTC militants.
A highly divisive figure, Gaddafi dominated Libya's politics for four decades and was the subject of a pervasive cult of personality. He was decorated with various awards and praised for his anti-imperialist stance, support for Arab—and then African—unity, and for significant improvements that his government brought to the Libyan people's quality of life. Conversely, Islamic fundamentalists strongly opposed his social and economic reforms, and he was posthumously accused of sexual abuse. He was condemned by many as a dictator whose authoritarian administration violated human rights and financed global terrorism.Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali (; born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. Nicknamed "The Greatest", he is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century, and as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Clay began training as an amateur boxer at age 12. At age 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics, and turned professional later that year. He converted to Islam after 1961, and eventually took the name Muhammad Ali. At age 22, in 1964, he won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset.
In 1966, Ali antagonized the white establishment by refusing to be drafted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs, and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He was arrested, found guilty of draft evasion charges, and stripped of his boxing titles. He successfully appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971, by which time he had not fought for nearly four years and thereby lost a period of peak performance as an athlete. Ali's actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation, and he was a high-profile figure of racial pride for African Americans during the civil rights movement.Ali was one of the leading heavyweight boxers of the 20th century, and remains the only three-time lineal champion of that division. His records of beating 21 boxers for the world heavyweight title and winning 14 unified title bouts were unbeaten for 35 years. At a time when most fighters let their managers do the talking, Ali thrived in and indeed craved the spotlight, where he was often provocative and outlandish. He was known for trash-talking, and often freestyled with rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry, both for his trash-talking in boxing and as political poetry for his activism, anticipating elements of rap and hip hop music.Ali is the only boxer to be named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year six times. Due to his involvement in several historic boxing matches and feuds, and his boxing records, he has been ranked the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, and as the greatest athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated, the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC, and the third greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN SportsCentury.Outside the ring, Ali attained success as a musician, where he received two Grammy nominations. He also featured as an actor and writer, releasing two autobiographies. After retiring from boxing in 1981, Ali focused on religion and charity. In 1984, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's syndrome, which some reports attribute to boxing-related injuries, though Ali and his physician disputed this. As his condition worsened, Ali made limited public appearances, and was cared for by his family until his death on June 3, 2016.Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Urdu: محمد علی جناح ALA-LC: Muḥammad ʿAlī Jināḥ, born Mahomedali Jinnahbhai; 25 December 1876 – 11 September 1948) was a lawyer, politician, and the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah served as the leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan's independence on 14 August 1947, and then as Pakistan's first Governor-General until his death. He is revered in Pakistan as Quaid-i-Azam (Urdu: قائد اعظم, "Great Leader") and Baba-i-Qaum (بابائے قوم, "Father of the Nation"). His birthday is considered a national holiday in Pakistan.Born at Wazir Mansion in Karachi, Jinnah was trained as a barrister at Lincoln's Inn in London. Upon his return to British India, he enrolled at the Bombay High Court, and took an interest in national politics, which eventually replaced his legal practice. Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress in the first two decades of the 20th century. In these early years of his political career, Jinnah advocated Hindu–Muslim unity, helping to shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Congress and the All-India Muslim League, in which Jinnah had also become prominent. Jinnah became a key leader in the All India Home Rule League, and proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims. In 1920, however, Jinnah resigned from the Congress when it agreed to follow a campaign of satyagraha, which he regarded as political anarchy.
By 1940, Jinnah had come to believe that Muslims of the Indian subcontinent should have their own state. In that year, the Muslim League, led by Jinnah, passed the Lahore Resolution, demanding a separate nation. During the Second World War, the League gained strength while leaders of the Congress were imprisoned, and in the elections held shortly after the war, it won most of the seats reserved for Muslims. Ultimately, the Congress and the Muslim League could not reach a power-sharing formula for the subcontinent to be united as a single state, leading all parties to agree to the independence of a predominantly Hindu India, and for a Muslim-majority state of Pakistan.
As the first Governor-General of Pakistan, Jinnah worked to establish the new nation's government and policies, and to aid the millions of Muslim migrants who had emigrated from the new nation of India to Pakistan after independence, personally supervising the establishment of refugee camps. Jinnah died at age 71 in September 1948, just over a year after Pakistan gained independence from the United Kingdom. He left a deep and respected legacy in Pakistan. Innumerable streets, roads and localities in the world are named after Jinnah. Several universities and public buildings in Pakistan bear Jinnah's name. According to his biographer, Stanley Wolpert, he remains Pakistan's greatest leader.Muhammad Iqbal
Sir Muhammad Iqbal (; Urdu: محمد اِقبال; 9 November 1877 – 21 April 1938), widely known as Allama Iqbal, was a poet, philosopher and politician, as well as an academic, barrister and scholar in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement. He is called the "Spiritual Father of Pakistan." He is considered one of the most important figures in Urdu literature, with literary work in both Urdu and Persian.Iqbal is admired as a prominent poet by Indians, Pakistanis, Iranians and other international scholars of literature. Though Iqbal is best known as an eminent poet, he is also a highly acclaimed "Muslim philosophical thinker of modern times". His first poetry book, The Secrets of the Self, appeared in the Persian language in 1915, and other books of poetry include The Secrets of Selflessness, Message from the East and Persian Psalms. Amongst these, his best known Urdu works are The Call of the Marching Bell, Gabriel's Wing, The Rod of Moses and a part of Gift from Hijaz. Along with his Urdu and Persian poetry, his Urdu and English lectures and letters have been very influential in cultural, social, religious and political disputes.In the 1923 New Years Honours he was made a Knight Bachelor by King George V, While studying law and philosophy in England, Iqbal became a member of the London branch of the All-India Muslim League. Later, during the League's December 1930 session, he delivered his most famous presidential speech known as the Allahabad Address in which he pushed for the creation of a Muslim state in north-west India.In much of South Asia and the Urdu-speaking world, Iqbal is regarded as the Shair-e-Mashriq (Urdu: شاعر مشرق, "Poet of the East"). He is also called Mufakkir-e-Pakistan (Urdu: مفکر پاکستان, "The Thinker of Pakistan"), Musawar-e-Pakistan (Urdu: مصور پاکستان, "Artist of Pakistan") and Hakeem-ul-Ummat (Urdu: حکیم الامت, "The Sage of the Ummah"). The Pakistan government officially named him "National Poet of Pakistan". His birthday Yōm-e Welādat-e Muḥammad Iqbāl (Urdu: یوم ولادت محمد اقبال), or Iqbal Day, is a public holiday in Pakistan.Iqbal's house is still located in Sialkot and is recognized as Iqbal's Manzil and is open for visitors. His other house where he lived most of his life and died is in Lahore, named as Javed Manzil. The museum is located on Allama Iqbal Road near Lahore Railway Station, Punjab, Pakistan. It was protected under the Punjab Antiquities Act of 1975, and declared a Pakistani national monument in 1977.Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi
Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī (Persian: محمد بن موسى خوارزمی; c. 780 – c. 850), formerly Latinized as Algorithmi, was a Persian scholar who produced works in mathematics, astronomy, and geography under the patronage of the Caliph Al-Ma'mun of the Abbasid Caliphate. Around 820 AD he was appointed as the astronomer and head of the library of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad.Al-Khwarizmi's popularizing treatise on algebra (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing, c. 813–833 CE) presented the first systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations. One of his principal achievements in algebra was his demonstration of how to solve quadratic equations by completing the square, for which he provided geometric justifications. Because he was the first to treat algebra as an independent discipline and introduced the methods of "reduction" and "balancing" (the transposition of subtracted terms to the other side of an equation, that is, the cancellation of like terms on opposite sides of the equation), he has been described as the father or founder of algebra. The term algebra itself comes from the title of his book (specifically the word al-jabr meaning "completion" or "rejoining"). His name gave rise to the terms algorism and algorithm. His name is also the origin of (Spanish) guarismo and of (Portuguese) algarismo, both meaning digit.
In the 12th century, Latin translations of his textbook on arithmetic (Algorithmo de Numero Indorum) which codified the various Indian numerals, introduced the decimal positional number system to the Western world. The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing, translated into Latin by Robert of Chester in 1145, was used until the sixteenth century as the principal mathematical text-book of European universities.In addition to his best-known works, he revised Ptolemy's Geography, listing the longitudes and latitudes of various cities and localities. He further produced a set of astronomical tables and wrote about calendaric works, as well as the astrolabe and the sundial.Muhammad in Islam
Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbdul-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim (Arabic: مُحَمَّد ابْن عَبْد الله ابْن عَبْد الْمُطَّلِب ابْن هَاشِم) (c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE), in short form Muhammad, is the last Messenger and Prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam. Muslims also believe that the Quran, which is the central religious text of Islam, was revealed to Muhammad by God, and that Muhammad was sent to restore Islam, which they believe to be the unaltered original monotheistic faith of Adam, Ibrahim, Musa, 'Isa, and other Prophets. The religious, social, and political tenets that Muhammad established with the Quran became the foundation of Islam and the Muslim world.Muslims often refer to Muhammad as Prophet Muhammad, or just The Prophet or The Messenger, and regard him as the greatest of all Prophets. He is seen by the Muslims as a possessor of all virtues. As an act of respect, most Muslims follow the name of Muhammad by the Arabic benediction sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, (meaning Peace be upon him), sometimes abbreviated as SAW or PBUH.
The deeds and sayings in the life of Muhammad – known as Sunnah – are considered a model of the life-style that Muslims are obliged to follow. Recognizing Muhammad as God's final messenger is one of the central requirements in Islam which is clearly laid down in the second part of the Shahada (شَهادة, "Testimony" or proclamation of faith): Lā ilāha illā l-Lāh, Muhammadun Rasūlu l-Lāh (لا إله إلّا الله، محمّدٌ رّسول الله, "There is no god but God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God"). The Quran, in passages such as 3:132, 48:29 and 66:1, often uses the words "messenger" and "prophet" (such as ar-Rasūl (الرَّسول, "The Messenger") or Rasūl Allāh (رَسول الله, "Messenger of God") for Muhammad, and asks people to follow him, so as to become successful in this hayāt (حَياة, 'life') and al-Ākhirah (الآخرة, the Afterlife).
Born about 570 into a respected Qurayshi family of Mecca, Muhammad earned the title "al-Amin" (الامين, meaning "the Trustworthy"). At the age of 40 in 610 CE, Muhammad is said to have received his first verbal revelation in the cave called Hira, which was the beginning of the descent of the Quran that continued up to the end of his life; and Muslims hold that Muhammad was asked by God to preach the oneness of God in order to stamp out idolatry, a practice overtly present in pre-Islamic Arabia. Because of persecution of the newly converted Muslims, upon the invitation of a delegation from Medina (then known as Yathrib), Muhammad and his followers migrated to Medina in 622 CE, an event known as the Hijrah. A turning point in Muhammad's life, this Hegira also marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. In Medina, Muhammad sketched out the Constitution of Medina specifying the rights of and relations among the various existing communities there, formed an independent community, and managed to establish the first Islamic state. Despite the ongoing hostility of the Meccans, Muhammad, along with his followers, took control of Mecca in 630 CE, and ordered the destruction of all pagan idols. In later years in Medina, Muhammad unified the different tribes of Arabia under Islam, carried out social and religious reforms. By the time he died in 632, almost all the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam.Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam, abbreviated as NOI, is an African American political and religious movement, founded in Detroit, Michigan, United States, by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad on July 4, 1930. Its stated goals are to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African Americans in the United States and all of humanity. Critics have described the organization as being black supremacist and antisemitic. The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks the NOI as a hate group. Its official newspaper is The Final Call. In 2007, the core membership was estimated to be between 20,000 and 50,000.Fard disappeared in June 1934. His successor Elijah Muhammad established places of worship (called temples or mosques), a school named Muhammad University of Islam, farms, and real estate holdings in the United States and abroad. The Nation has long been a strong advocate of African-American businesses.There were a number of splits and splinter groups during Elijah Muhammad's leadership, most notably the departure of senior leader Malcolm X to become a Sunni Muslim. After Elijah Muhammad's death in 1975, his son, Warith Deen Mohammed, changed the name of the organization to "World Community of Islam in the West" (and twice more after that), and attempted to convert it to a mainstream Sunni Muslim ideology.In 1977, Louis Farrakhan rejected Warith Deen Mohammed's leadership and re-established the Nation of Islam on the original model. He took over the Nation of Islam's headquarters temple, Mosque Maryam (Mosque #2) in Chicago, Illinois. Since 2010, under Farrakhan, members have been strongly encouraged to study Dianetics, and the Nation claims it has trained 1,055 auditors.Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (Arabic: أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن, Usāmah bin Muḥammad bin ʿAwaḍ bin Lādin; March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011), also rendered Usama bin Ladin, was a founder of the pan-Islamic militant organization al-Qaeda. He was a Saudi Arabian until 1994 (stateless thereafter), a member of the wealthy bin Laden family, and an ethnic Yemeni Kindite.Bin Laden's father was Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a Saudi millionaire from Hadhramaut, Yemen and the founder of the construction company, Saudi Binladin Group. His mother, Alia Ghanem, was from a secular middle-class family based in Latakia, Syria. He was born in Saudi Arabia and studied at university in the country until 1979, when he joined Mujahideen forces in Pakistan fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. He helped to fund the Mujahideen by funneling arms, money and fighters from the Arab world into Afghanistan, and gained popularity among many Arabs. In 1988, he formed al-Qaeda. He was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1992, and shifted his base to Sudan, until U.S. pressure forced him to leave Sudan in 1996. After establishing a new base in Afghanistan, he declared a war against the United States, initiating a series of bombings and related attacks. Bin Laden was on the American Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and Most Wanted Terrorists for his involvement in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.From 2001 to 2011, bin Laden was a major target of the United States, as the FBI offered a $25 million bounty in their search for him. On May 2, 2011, bin Laden was shot and killed by United States Navy SEALs inside a private residential compound in Abbottabad, where he lived with a local family from Waziristan, during a covert operation conducted by members of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group and Central Intelligence Agency SAD/SOG operators on the orders of U.S. President Barack Obama.One of the most highly controversial, influential figures in the 20th and 21st centuries, Bin Laden was described as a spiritual leader for al-Qaeda organization. He became one of the most symbolic figures in the Arab world following the Soviet withdrawal. Under his leadership, the al-Qaeda organization was responsible for the mass murder of 2,977 victims of the September 11 attacks in the United States and many other mass-casualty attacks worldwide.Rumi
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Persian: جلالالدین محمد رومی), also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (جلالالدین محمد بلخى), Mevlânâ/Mawlānā (مولانا, "our master"), Mevlevî/Mawlawī (مولوی, "my master"), and more popularly simply as Rumi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic originally from Greater Khorasan. Rumi's influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and transposed into various formats. Rumi has been described as the "most popular poet" and the "best selling poet" in the United States.Rumi's works are written mostly in Persian, but occasionally he also used Turkish, Arabic, and Greek in his verse. His Masnavi (Mathnawi), composed in Konya, is considered one of the greatest poems of the Persian language. His works are widely read today in their original language across Greater Iran and the Persian-speaking world. Translations of his works are very popular, most notably in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the United States, and South Asia. His poetry has influenced not only Persian literature, but also Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, Azerbaijani, as well as the literature of some other Turkic, Iranian, and Indo-Aryan languages including Chagatai, Urdu and Pashto.Shia Islam
Shia (; Arabic: شيعة Shīʿah, from Shīʿatu ʿAlī, "adherent of Ali"), also transliterated Shiah and Shiʿah, is a branch of Islam which holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam (leader) after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from the caliphate as a result of the incident at Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr, who they claim was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. community consensus in Saqifa, to be the first rightful Caliph after the Prophet.Unlike the first three Rashidun caliphs, Ali was from the same clan as Muhammad, Banu Hashim as well as being the prophet's cousin and being the first male to become Muslim.Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shias of Ali, Shias or the Shi'a as a collective or Shi'i or Shi'ite individually. Shia Islam is the second largest branch of Islam: as of the late 2000s, Shia Muslims constituted 10-15%. Twelver Shia (Ithnā'ashariyyah) is the largest branch of Shia Islam, with 2012 estimates saying that 85% of Shias were Twelvers.
Shia Islam is based on the Quran and the message of Muhammad attested in hadith, and on hadith taught by their Imams. Shia consider Ali to have been divinely appointed as the successor to Muhammad, and as the first Imam. The Shia also extend this Imammah doctrine to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt ("the people/family of the House"), and some individuals among his descendants, known as Imams, who they believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the community, infallibility and other divinely ordained traits. Although there are many Shia subsects, modern Shia Islam has been divided into three main groupings: Twelvers, Ismailis and Zaidis, with Twelver Shia being the largest and most influential group among Shia.Sufism
Sufism, or Taṣawwuf (Arabic: الْتَّصَوُّف; personal noun: صُوفِيّ ṣūfiyy / ṣūfī, مُتَصَوِّف mutaṣawwif), variously defined as "Islamic mysticism", "the inward dimension of Islam" or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam", is mysticism in Islam, "characterized ... [by particular] values, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions" which began very early in Islamic history and represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis" (Arabic plurals: صُوفِيَّة ṣūfiyyah; صُوفِيُّون ṣūfiyyūn; مُتَصَوُّفََة mutaṣawwifah; مُتَصَوُّفُون mutaṣawwifūn).Historically, Sufis have often belonged to different ṭuruq, or "orders" – congregations formed around a grand master referred to as a wali who traces a direct chain of successive teachers back to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. These orders meet for spiritual sessions (majalis) in meeting places known as zawiyas, khanqahs or tekke. They strive for ihsan (perfection of worship), as detailed in a hadith: "Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him; if you can't see Him, surely He sees you." Sufis regard Muhammad as al-Insān al-Kāmil, the primary perfect man who exemplifies the morality of God, and see him as their leader and prime spiritual guide.
All Sufi orders trace most of their original precepts from Muhammad through his cousin and son-in-law Ali, with the notable exception of one.
Although the overwhelming majority of Sufis, both pre-modern and modern, were and are adherents of Sunni Islam, there also developed certain strands of Sufi practice within the ambit of Shia Islam during the late medieval period. Although Sufis were opposed to dry legalism, they strictly observed Islamic law and belonged to various schools of Islamic jurisprudence and theology.Sufis have been characterized by their asceticism, especially by their attachment to dhikr, the practice of remembrance of God, often performed after prayers. They gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate (661–750)
and have spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium, initially expressing their beliefs in Arabic and later expanding into Persian, Turkish, and Urdu, among others. Sufis played an important role in the formation of Muslim societies through their missionary and educational activities. According to William Chittick, "In a broad sense, Sufism can be described as the interiorization, and intensification of Islamic faith and practice."Despite a relative decline of Sufi orders in the modern era and criticism of some aspects of Sufism by modernist thinkers and conservative Salafists, Sufism has continued to play an important role in the Islamic world, and has also influenced various forms of spirituality in the West.