The earliest biographers of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)

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December 18, 2012 by theislampost

Ibn Ishaq, one of the earliest biographers of the Prophet, says it was at about this time that Muhammad sent letters to the rulers of the earth – the King of Persia, the Emperor of Byzantium, the Negus of Abyssinia, and the Governor of Egypt among others – inviting them to submit to Islam.

Nothing more fully illustrates the confidence of the small community, as its military power, despite the battle of the Trench, was still negligible. But its confidence was not misplaced. Muhammad so effectively built up a series of alliances among the tribes his early years with the Bedouins must have stood him in good stead here- that by 628 he and fifteen hundred followers were able to demand access to the Ka’bah during negotiations with the Makkans. This was a milestone in the history of the Muslims.

Just a short time before, Muhammad had to leave the city of his birth in fear of his life. Now his former enemies were treating him as a leader in his own right.

In 629, he reentered and, in effect, conquered Mecca without bloodshed and in a spirit of tolerance, which established an ideal for future conquests. He also destroyed the idols in the Ka’bah, to put an end forever to pagan practices there.

At the same time Muhammad won the allegiance of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, the future conqueror of Egypt, and Khalid ibn al-Walid, the future “Sword of God,” both of who embraced Islam and joined Muhammad. Their conversion was especially noteworthy because these men had been among Muhammad’s bitterest opponents only a short time before.

In one sense Muhammad’s return to Mecca was the climax of his mission. In 632, just three years later, he was suddenly taken ill and on June 8 of that year, with his third wife ‘Aishah in attendance, the Messenger of God “died with the heat of noon.”

The death of Muhammad was a profound loss. To his followers this simple man from Mecca was far more than a beloved friend, far more than a gifted administrator, far more than the revered leader who had forged a new state from clusters of warring tribes.

Muhammad was also the exemplar of the teachings he had brought them from God: the teachings of the Quran, which, for centuries, have guided the thought and action, the faith and conduct, of innumerable men and women, and which ushered in a distinctive era in the history of mankind. His death, nevertheless, had little effect on the dynamic society he had created in Arabia, and no effect at all on his central mission to transmit the Quran to the world.

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