No human has left such profound impact on his followers as Muhammad (PBUH), the final messenger of Allah. He is an excellent example for mankind. He was born in Makkah, Arabia, in the year 570 CE (Christian Era), during the period of history Europeans call the Middle Ages.
His father, 'Abdullah, died before his birth and his mother, Aminah, died when he was only six. As he grew up, Muhammad (PBUH) became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, earning the title of al-Amin, the trustworthy. He married Kahdijah, a noble lady of Makkah, when he was twenty-five.
His life as the final messenger began at the age of forty, when he received revelation from Allah through the Archangel Gabriel. This revelation continued for twenty-three years and is known as the Qur'an. The People of Makkah used to worship idols. The Prophet (PBUH) invited them to Islam. Some became Muslims, others turned against him.
Undaunted, he continued to preach the message of Allah and gradually, the number of his followers increased. He and the early Muslims underwent terrible suffering, facing stiff opposition from the idolaters.
In the twelfth year of his prophet hood, in 622 CE, Muhammad (PBUH) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, where there were already many new Muslims. The people of Madinah welcomed him as their leader and he established the first Islamic state there. The Islamic calendar begins from this migration (Hijrah).
The Prophet (PBUH) organized the early Muslims and preached the message of Allah with unmatched patience and wisdom. Soon Islam was established throughout the Arabian peninsula. Before long the message of Islam spread to most parts of the known world, making a tremendous contribution to world civilization and history. Over a billion Muslims today are testimony to the success of that message.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) (described in the Qur'an as a ‘blessing for the universe’ and an ‘excellent example to follow’) died in 632 CE at the age of 63. He left the Qur'an and his Sunnah as the source of guidance for all generations to come.
Islam, completed at the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), can solve all human problems, and bring peace to mankind for the present as well as the future. The need is to practice it faithfully.
The Sunnah is the example of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is contained in the books of Ahadith (sing. Hadith), which are collections of his sayings and actions and the actions approved by him.
It shows how to put the Guidance of the Qur'an into practice. The Ahadith were carefully recorded after the Prophet's death. Six particular collections have become prominent and are regarded as the most authentic:Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa'I and Ibn Majah.