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The Man Who Changed Our World

3425 words - 14 pages

The Man Who Changed Our WorldWhen Muhammad was visited by the Archangel Gabriel in 610 C.E., this event would set in motion an idea which would grow to have a dominating affect on nearly one-third of the world's future population, affecting how they live, marry, eat, and their proclivity for war. It is very rare that a single individual would put forth an idea so foundational to the very life of the world that grew in its and his wake, and an idea whose impact would be felt in world affairs for centuries to follow. Arguably, it has happened only once before, and that was 600 years before the time of Muhammad, which is the time of the preachings of a man called Jesus Christ.Muhammad was born around 570 C.E. His father died before Muhammad was born. His mother died when he was six years old, so the young orphan was raised by an uncle who was the influential leader of one of the powerful clans in the city of Mecca (Wilkinson 8). Muhammad accompanied his uncle on trading journeys which took him to Syria, where he had his first experience with his future career, commercial trading. On one journey, Muhammad encountered a Christian monk who, according to legend, foretold that Muhammad would become a prophet of God. Muhammad later married a 40-year-old widow, while he himself was only 25 ("Muhammad").Muhammad did not belong to any established religion, but he would regularly go to a cave in the mountains for several days and nights to pray and be alone. It is here where Muhammad reported receiving his first revelation from the Archangel Gabriel, who came to him as a messenger form God when Muhammad was 40 years old. Muhammad began his preachings about what God had revealed to him three years after receiving this first revelation from the angel. His wife was the first to begin following him.Both Muhammad's wife and uncle are said to have died in the same year, which is known as the "year of sorrow." When Muhammad's uncle died, the leadership of the clan was passed down to Abu Lahab, who strongly disliked Muhammad. He took away Muhammad's protection by the clan, and Muhammad temporarily fled the city (Armstrong 22).Muhammad and his followers once again fled the city of Mecca after hearing word of an assassination attempt that was to be made on Muhammad's life. They migrated almost 300 miles to a city called Medina. When Muhammad got to Medina, he set up rules known as the Constitution of Medina (Gordon 13). In this constitution, the rights and duties of the citizens of Medina were set up. Some of the first people of Medina to be converted to Islam were the pagans, who had been under the rule of other clan leaders.The Muslims began to become a fighting society, attacking caravans from Mecca and initiating other armed conflict. Muhammad used verses from the Qur'an to justify fighting the Meccans. While praying one day, Muhammad received a message from God himself telling Muhammad to fight the Meccans instead of Jerusalem ("Muhammad").The first of the major...

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