Ibn Ishaq’s Life of Muhammad: A Biography of Muhammad in the Meccan and Medinan Periods The Prophet Muhammad’s life was one that was, in the beginning, frought with frustration and poverty, but which capitulated in triumph. Guillaume’s book “The Life of Muhammad” seeks to portray a biography of the Prophet that is both meaningful and magical, mysterious yet revealing…
One of the rulers continued in power “…until God sent Muhammad the prophet. I was told on the authority of al-Zuhri that he said Chosroes wrote to Badhan the following letter: ‘I have been told that a man of the Quraysh has come forth in Mecca asserting that he is a prophet.’”1 Muhammad grew up in the “brackish settlement” of Mecca, as Muhammad ibn Abd Allah.2 His father, allegedly, died before he was born. Then, to make matters worse, when Muhammad was only six years old, his mother died, leaving him an orphan. He became a shepherd and worked for his uncle. This left Muhammad in a difficult place until he became a camel driver for caravans up until about age 40. He also struggled with poverty for much of this time. Muhammad’s life was to end in triumph, however—even though it had begun with unusual sorrow. Muhammad received a vision from an angel giving him the dictum of Islam, and Ibn Ishaq recounts Muhammad’s feelings as he prepared to leave for what is now called Medina from his home city of Mecca (this journey would be called hijira). It was “…unusual for Ibn Ishaq to give such an intimate account of Muhammad’s state of mind [where he was praying]. ...
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