Who are the Muslims? The answer I attempted last week and this week I will go a step further and ask, “Who is Muhammad”?
Many believe that Muslims worship Muhammad –– but this is absolutely not true!
Last week, right on Church Street, one of my friends from high school told me, in no uncertain terms, that I worship Muhammad.
However, after our conversation, she knew unequivocally who I worship as all Muslims do and that is the one, unique, incomparable, merciful God, the Sole Creator and Sustainer of the Universe –– Allah, Lord of all the worlds.
Muslims love and honour Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the Seal of the Prophets. Muhammad was born in Makkah in the year 570, during the period of history Europeans call the Middle Ages.
As he grew up, Muhammad became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so much so that the elders of the community called him “Al-Amin”, which means the “trustworthy one”.
Muhammad despised the ungodliness and disregard for respect that was top of the day during those times, I imagine much like the times we are living in now.
He often would retreat alone and meditate. During one of these retreats, at the age of 40, Muhammad (pbuh) received his first revelation from Allah through the Archangel Gabriel.
This revelation continued for 23 years and is known as the Qur’an, the final word of God. This is the noble book of the Muslims and for those who seek truth.
Muhammad (pbuh) began to recite the words he was given by the angel Gabriel and to preach the truth that God had revealed to him. The people of Makkah were steeped, as I mentioned before, in ignorance and wickedness; however, they opposed Muhammad’s teachings and his very small group of followers were bitterly mistreated and suffered atrocious persecution.
The persecutions were such that in the year 620, God gave the command for them to emigrate to Medina. Now, Medina is approximately 260 miles away from Makkah, so I can only imagine that this was a great move. During that time, travel was by foot and/or camel. Also, the terrain was steep, mountainous and difficult.
Indeed, this move was no easy task, however the Muslims obeyed God’s command and began their migration.
This event of migration is called the “hijrah” and marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
Medina proved to be a safe and nurturing haven for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his small band of followers. There, Islam grew into what it is today. Alhamdulilah! After several years, Prophet Muhammad and his followers returned to Makkah where they forgave their enemies and established Islam successfully.
Truly we have a lot to be thankful for and this evening Muslims will gather to Dhikr, which is to remember Allah, the God that we worship; the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Allah says, “Only in remembrance of Allah (swt) will your heart find peace.” (Surah 13: Verse 28)
Inshallah, join us in Dhikr this evening, where you will find peace in the true worship of the one God, Allah the Sublime.
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