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What Can We Know About The Prophet Muhammad

880 words - 4 pages

Historians can know just as much about the life of the Prophet Muhammad as any other historical figure with the aid of documents, anthropology, and oral history. The basis of history resonates from many elements of research: oral history, anthropology, visual documents, primary documents, and secondary documents. This holds true for any aspect of history be it life or otherwise. The words written in a book during someone’s lifetime can hold just as much truth, or falsehood for that matter, than that of a statement or document made or written after one’s lifetime. The general way historians gain insight on their subjects is to analyze available documents and information in order to find some common thread and assess what seems likely to hold true and what is dismissible. The analysis is not going to be the same for each historian but in the end, the receivers of the information get to know about a historical person in a broad sense.
General information is available about the Prophet Muhammad’s childhood and family life through secondary sources. Many believe he was born in 570, which is the year of the elephant (Goldschmidt and Davidson 2010). The Prophet Muhammad was from the clan of Hashim, a poor tribe that branched from the ruling Quarysh tribe. Muhammad was orphaned at an early age and raised by his uncle Abu-Talib. The Prophet was a keen merchant who caught the eye of a wealthy older woman he worked for named Khadija. Khadija proposed to Muhammad and they later married and had six children together. Khadija and Abu-Talib died in 619 and went on to marry several other women (Goldschmidt and Davidson 2010). Muhammad died June 8, 632 in Medina (Goldschmidt and Davidson 2010). The Prophet Muhammad’s child and family life is disputed by many historians; however, the aforementioned information is agreed to be the general story of the Prophet Muhammad.
Secondary resources, specifically the Hadith and documentation of oral history, give birth to information regarding the Prophet Muhammad’s character and personal ways of life. The Qur’an, which is a primary source also gives light into Muhammad’s principles. The Prophet Muhammad believed in giving to the needy, as is evidenced by the Qur’an. The Qur’an also provides primary information about historical events incurred by Muhammad regarding his claim as a prophet and what he stated was commandeered of him to share with the Arab people, which gave basis to Muslim teachings. Muhammad claimed an angel visited him named Gabriel who informed Muhammad that he was a messenger of God. Khadija held to Muhammad’s belief and supported him as he spread his beliefs. The Qur’an is a collection of the Prophet Muhammad’s words...

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