Muhammad: Prophet of God? – Stewart Schnur

Muhammad is an influential figure in our world, having started a religion which has over 1.5 billion followers. It is appropriate for us to learn some things about this man as most of us have had little education of him in our formal schooling. Muslims believe he is the most important person who has ever lived, the best example of a human being. Muslims do not believe he wrote the Quran but he is the human vessel who received that message. His life is viewed as an example of how one should properly submit to Allah.

3 Other Views of Muhammad

  1. The past view of the Roman Catholic Church is that he is a tool of Satan. This view resulted in the un-Christian Crusades which licensed the killing of Muslims in the name of Jesus.
  2. Our view might be that he was sincere but wrong in thinking he had a special revelation and was not a prophet.
  3. The liberal might say he misunderstood the Gospel and in some sense may be a prophet who restored monotheism to a pagan culture and brought some order to the Arab world.

25 Key Points in Muhammad’s Life

  1. A.D. 570: Born in Mecca.
  2. 576: His mother and father die.
  3. 578: Grandfather cares for him until he dies, then uncle cares for him in his teen years.
  4. 595: He will marry Khadijah, an older woman who was a merchant.
  5. 610: He allegedly has first of annual, life-long revelations from Allah through the angel Gabriel in a cave.
  6. 613: He begins to teach his monotheistic message to Arabs around Mecca, receiving intense opposition from Arabs who believe in Arabian gods.
  7. 613: He receives alleged revelation that it’s okay to worship three idols; later claims it was actually a revelation from Satan.
  8. 619: Khadijah dies. He marries Sawdah, the first of his polygamous wives.
  9. 620: He claims Gabriel took him by a heavenly steed called Buruq at night to Jerusalem where he met Moses, Abraham, and Jesus and allegedly ascended a ladder through seven heavens.
  10. 622: After seven years opposition, he and his followers moved to Medina, about 250 miles north of Mecca. The Muslim calendar begins with this date.
  11. March, 623: First raid on Meccan caravan using military/political power for his spiritual domination.
  12. April, 623: He marries Aisha, who is very young (some say nine). She will ultimately become his favorite wife.
  13. Feb/Mar, 624: He commands his followers to face Mecca when praying and that a month of fasting should begin.
  14. March 15, 624: Muslims under him defeat Meccan enemies in battle of Badr, the most significant military victory of his life.
  15. March 23, 625: Muslims barely survive battle of Uhud. The victory of the Meccans affected the spiritual confidence of some of his followers.
  16. May, 626: A chief of a Jewish clan was assassinated by Muslims. Tensions increase between Jews and Muslims. Opposition to him has consequences.
  17. 627: He marries his cousin Zaynab, who had been married to his adopted son. This caused turmoil among his followers since he was breaking traditional Arab customs.
  18. March, 627: Meccans fight against Medina (a Muslim stronghold), but lose.
  19. 627: He raided the Jewish clan of Qurayzah for their help in a prior raid on Medina. All 700 Jewish men were beheaded. One woman was put to death and the rest of the women and children were sold into slavery.
  20. 628: He signed a treaty with key Meccan leaders which signaled his opposition had weakened.
  21. 629: He and 2600 followers traveled to Mecca and worshiped where Muslims believe Abraham and Ishmael built the first temple to God.
  22. January, 730: Conquered Mecca with army of 10,000. The Ka’aba was cleansed of idols and pagan shrines were destroyed.
  23. January 31, 630: He had a military victory over Arabic tribes at Hunayan. Later that year he led 30,000 men in raids on northern Arabia.
  24. 630: Had trouble of jealousy and bitterness with his wives and threatened to divorce them all.
  25. 632: Made final pilgrimage to Mecca and dies in Medina on June 8, 632.
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