Who is Muhammad?

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 Muhammed, peace be upon him, is the last Prophet of God appointed for the guidance of the whole of mankind. He is answer to the prayer of Prophets.
Abraham and Ishmael, peace be upon them:

“Our Lord, appoint from among them (residents of Makkah) a Messenger who shall recite to them Your Revelations and teach them the Book and the Wisdom, and purify them; surely, You are the All-Mighty, the Wise." Al-Qur'an 2:129

His appointment is foretold by the Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him:

“And remember when Isa (Jesus) the son of Mary said: “O children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah towards you, confirming the Torah which came before me, and giving you good news of a Messenger that will come after me whose name shall be Ahmad (another name of the Prophet Muhammad).” Al-Qur'an 61:6

He was born in 570 AD in Makkah, Arabia. As he grew up he became known for his honesty and truthfulness and people used to call him Al-Ameen (the trustworthy) and Al-Sâdiq (the truthful). He was very calm and meditative. He had no ambition for becoming a leader. He used to go away from the city crowd and meditate in a cave called Hira on a nearby barren mountain.
It was in this secluded place where God sent him the first revelation through Angel Gabriel when he was forty years old. It is important to note that he could neither read nor write.

Muhammad, peace be upon him, is a human being who was chosen by God and assigned the mission of leading humanity to righteousness, and serving as a model of moral conduct. In this role, Muhammad peace be upon him, did experience the difficulties and trials which all Prophets before him experienced

O Prophet! Surely, We have sent you as a witness, as a bearer of good news and as a Warner, and to call the people towards Allah

As soon as he began to recite the revelations he received from God, he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution. Finally in the year 622 A.D. (after 13 years of preaching), God gave him permission to immigrate from Makkah to a city over 200 miles away called Yathrib which is now known as Al-Madinah. This migration, called the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
Of all the Prophets of Allah, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the only one whose life is well documented in the historical records. Although Jesus, peace be upon him, lived only 2,000 years ago in an important part of the Roman Empire, the Empire was at its prime and had many eminent historians and writers recording every development, but no early historian mentioned the birth, the mission and the crucifixion of Jesus, peace be upon him. Only one Jewish historian, Josephus, made a casual reference, which is considered to be a later addition

It is part of human nature to look to someone higher and nobler for guidance to make him one's role model. Muhammad, peace be upon him, is an exemplar. The life of Muhammad is like an open book from cover to cover; from his posthumous birth to his childhood, to his youth, to his Prophethood, to his being the ruler of Arabia and finally right up to his death. One non-Muslim scholar, Lamartine, writes the following words about him:

“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad. The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, people and dynasties but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls. On the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality, which blended together people of every tongue and of every race. He has left for us as the indelible characteristic of this Muslim nationality, the hatred of false gods and the passion for the one and immaterial God. Philosopher, Orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured we may well ask, is there any man greater than he is?" Historledela Turquie, Paris. Vol.II, pp.276-277

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References: What is Islam? The Institute of Islamic Knowledge, al-quraan.org