MOHAMMED, known as the Prophet of Islam, was born in Mecca on the 20th of April. The Islamic Prophet led a life of simplicity and poverty. His house, built of mud walls and thatched with date-palm leaves
Mohammed's father was Abdullah. He died while returning from a journey to Medina. His mother died six years later, leaving Mohammed in the care of his uncle, Abu Talib. His mother's name was Amna.
Mohammed was illiterate but from an early age he showed a remarkable aptitude for concentration. He was a serious child and never took part in pranks or frolic and was honest that he became known as Al-Amin.
When Mohammed was twenty-five years old he married Khadija, a rich widow of Mecca, then forty years of age. She was a gentle woman of spotless character.
THE BIRTH OF ISLAM
Mohammed frequently went to a cave in the desert three miles from Mecca, where he would spend months in prayer and meditation. One morning, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and said: "Rise, for thou art the Prophet of God. Go forth and preach in the name of thy Lord. Your God is merciful." A voice was heard - the voice of the Lord - addressed to the Prophet. It was recorded and became the text of the holy Koran. The Koran is not a literary work of Mohammed; it is a direct revelation of the Lord.
he returned from the cave, filled with divine majesty and informed his wife and she became his disciple and the first follower of Islam.
He silently converted people to his faith through his strong personality, charming demeanor and force of divine virtues and pacience without challenging anyone to controversies.
THE SPREAD OF ISLAM
Islam spreaded from Mecca to Medina in 622 A.D. The people of Medina accepted Mohammed's faith readily because it was plain, simple and direct. They helped the prophet to return to Mecca.
COMPASSION IN ACTION
Mohammed had great compassion and love. He served the widows and orphans, the poor, sick, aged and homeless. Once, he met an old, impoverished widow. Mohammed said to his wife, "My beloved, give food to this old woman first and then you may eat."
When the Prophet saw a blind woman stumbling in the street in Mecca, he led her gently home and thereafter took meals to her daily.
One day, he saw a woman with a heavy load on her head. At once he relieved her of her burden and carried it on his own head to her house.
Mohammed was humble and simple. Although he was a Prophet with a large following he worked along with others like an ordinary labourer during the construction of the first mosque at Medina. He mended his own shoes, milked the cows, swept the house, purchased provisions, tethered and fed the camels. He never laughed loudly but simply smiled. He had an attractive face and a charming smile. He respected the poor and restored freedom to many slaves.
TENETS OF ISLAM
Islam, meaning "resignation to the Will of God", bears marked similarity to the Semitic religion of Judaism. It emphasizes the principle of brotherhood and equality of man, and is based on austere, simple living.
The main injunctions of Islam are fasting, prayer, pilgrimage, charity and firm belief in the oneness of God and His prophets, particularly Mohammed. The holy Koran, divided into more than one hundred chapters, opens and ends with the subject of the unity of God. The religion of Islam is essentially a religion of peace, for Mohammed was a lover of peace and non-violence. Selflessness and service to suffering humanity are the watchwords of Islam.
Islam came as the defender of the weaker sex and entitled women to share the inheritance of their parents. It gave women, centuries ago right of owning property, yet it was only 12 centuries later , in 1881, that England, supposed to be the cradle of democracy adopted this institution of Islam and the act was called "the married woman act", but centuries earlier, the Prophet of Islam had proclaimed that "Woman are twin halves of men. The rights of women are sacred. See that women maintained rights granted to them."
Regarding the position of man in relation to the Universe, the Quran says:
"God has made subservient to you whatever is on the earth or in universe. You are destined to rule over the Universe."
But in relation to God, the Quran says:
"O man God has bestowed on you excellent faculties and has created life and death to put you to test in order to see whose actions are good and who has deviated from the right path."
He turned the attention of his followers towards the study of nature and its laws, to understand them and appreciate the Glory of God. The Quran says,
"God did not create the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in play. He did not create them all but with the truth. But most men do not know."
The western nations are only trying to become the master of the Universe. But their souls have not found peace and rest.
I took this from both references :
1. Re-printed from "Islam and Modern age", Hydrabad, March 1978. Mohammed The Prophet
By Prof. K. S. Ramakrishna Rao, Head of the Department of Philosophy,
Government College for Women University of Mysore, Mandya-571401 (Karnatika).
2. PROPHET MOHAMMED BY SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA