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Summary of Muhammad's Life Prior to Islam

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Following is a summary of Prophet Muhammad’s life prior to Islam.

Muhammad  lived for forty years before the very first revelation, and 23 years after: Before Muhammad  was born on the year 570 AD, an invasion was staged by king Abraha of Yemen, to destroy Ka’ba, the holy house of Mecca, and to draw Araba pagans to his recently built house for pilgrimage. He managed to reach and surround Mecca, but his campaign failed in a long story, which was narrated in history and biography books. On that year Muhammad  was born in Mecca as an orphan (his father Abdullah died during pregnancy.) He was breastfed for two years by Halima Al Sa’diya, wife of a poor bedouin family living in the desert.

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At age six while he and his mother Amena Bint Wahab, were on the way back from visiting relatives in Yathrib (later Meddinah) she fell ill and died. He was sponsored by his grandfather Abdul Mutalib.

At age 8 his grandfather died. Young Muhammad  was then sponsored by his uncle Abu Talib (his father’s brother.) He was poor but felt very blessed to sponsor Muhammad. Abu Talib supported Muhammad till his last breath on his deathbed, though he himself didn’t embrace Islam (which helped keeping Meccan pagan tribes from getting to Muhammad ).

On his early teens his uncle took him on a trade caravan to the Levant. Along the way near Jordanian desert, they met with a Christian monk called “Bouhaira.” The monk invited the caravan for dinner, he noticed certain signs on Muhammad , then asked his uncle to take Muhammad ﷺ back home and to safeguard and protect him, the Uncle finished his business quickly and went back to Mecca.While young he used to herd sheeps around nearby mountains.

At his early twenties he tried twice to join his peers in some nightlife fun, in both cases he didn’t make it, passed out along the way till sunrise, and never tried to do the same afterwards. Like handful of some men during his time, Muhammad  never prayed to idols, nor drank wine, and refrained from eating meat slaughtered in honor of pagan idols.

He was known among his community for being trustworthy and honest, not telling lies, not fornicating, nor committing any felony, hence gaining the nickname of the Al-Ameen (Honest Man) and As-Sa’diq (Truthful). A socially high ranking widow came to know of his qualities, and entrusted him for her trade cravan, which her good profits out of his deals. After experiencing much of his good manners and qualities, she proposed to marry him.

At age 25 and with agreement of his uncle, he married Khadijah Bint Khuwaild. She was 40 and became his first and most loved wife.

He had 7 kids from Khadijah 4 girls and 3 boys. The boys died at infancy or young age, all girls lived to follow Islam afterwards. Three of his daughters got Married before Islam in Mecca. His eldest Zainab had a very touching love story with her cousin husband Abu Alas (The fourth Fatima married Ali in Madinah after migrating from Mecca.)

At age 35 during the rebuilding of the Ka’ba, different Meccan tribes quarrelled over who would get the honor of laying the black stone back in it’s place. After many fights they agreed to accept Muhammad  judgement (for his honesty) he proposed to put the stone on his gown, and that all tribe heads carry the gown to Ka’aba, then Muhammad took the black stone and fixed in its place.

In his late 30’s he started to meditate for days on intermittent trips to a far mountain that overlooks Mecca, staying in small cave Hira on the mountain top.

At age 40 he received his first revelation from Archangel Gabriel, the very first word was “Read” he denied his ability to read, as he was unlettered.

His wife Khadija after comforting him for the strange revelation, told him that you are good to your family and relatives, you don’t lie, you help the poor, the needy, and treat well your guests. She believed in his mission and became the first Muslim ever to follow him. Khadija fully supported Muhammad ﷺ till her death at age 65 with everything she could.

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