Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) is the last of Allah’s Messengers and Prophets. His name is Muhammad, the son of Abdullah. He was born in Makkah in the year 570 A.D., at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraish. As he grew up, he enjoyed a fine reputation among his people, they nicknamed him “The Trustworthy”, for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity.
His people were worshipping idols, but he never prostrated to an idol before being appointed as a messenger. He was of a deeply religious nature and it became his habit to meditate from time to time in the cave of Hiraa’ in the mountain An-Nur near Makkah. At the age of 40, he was endowed with the prophethood when Allah the Exalted revealed to him, through the Angel Gabriel, the first Qur’anic verses (first revelation). Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) was asked to preach the belief in the Oneness of Allah and warn people against polytheism (Shirk) [i.e. joining others in worship along with Allah as the Arab pagans were worshipping idols, the Christians worshipping Jesus besides Allah, the Jews worshipping Uzair etc.].
This revelation, which continued for 23 years, is known as the Qur’an. As soon as he began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and preach the truth which God had revealed to him, the Makkan polytheists opposed him and his few followers harshly by torturing them and killing them, but that did not shake his faith nor waiver his steadfastness, nor did it stop more people from responding to his preaching. Among them were the people of Al-Madinah which is 260 miles to the north of Makkah.
Finally, when the majority of the people of Al-Madinah had embraced Islam, the Makkan Muslims emigrated to Al-Madinah and later on, in the year 622 A.D., Allah gave the order to His Messenger to emigrate to Al-Madinah himself. This event, the migration (Al-Hijra) marks the beginning of the Muslim Calendar. In Al-Madinah the Prophet (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) established the Islamic State. A few years later, in the year 8 A.H., the Prophet May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him and his followers were able to conquer Makkah without fighting and established Islam there.
Before the Prophet (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) died in 632 A.D. at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and some thirty years after his death Islam had already spread throughout the world sweeping the two greatest empires in existence, the Persian and the Roman, and within a century of his death Islam had spread to Spain in the west and as far as east as China.
When the Prophet (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) was sent as a Prophet, he was illiterate and even after he was appointed to prophet hood, he never read nor wrote anything. Therefore, if an illiterate would bring you a book filled with knowledge, science, rules, and legislation etc., you would know for sure that this is not from himself but was given to him by the All-Knower, Well-Acquainted, the One Greater than him, and you would have no doubt that Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) was just a Messenger.
THE SHAHADAH - The Confession Of Belief Of A Muslim
La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasool-Allah
(None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah)
The meaning of “La ilaha illa Allah” (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) has been previously explained. In this article, we explain the meaning of “Muhammad Rasool-Allah” – (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).
As Muslims we testify that Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) is Allah’s Messenger, i.e. none has the right to be followed in worshipping Allah, but Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him), as he is the Last of His Messengers.
As Allah, The Most High says:
“Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) is not the father of any man among you but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets and Allah is Ever All-aware of everything.” (Surat Al-Ahzab 33:40)
“And whatsoever the Messenger Muhammad May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him gives you, take it and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it.” (Surat Al-Hashr 59:7)
And also Allah said: “Say (O Muhammad to mankind): if you (really) love Allah, then follow me.” (Surat Al-Imran 3:31)
As for those other than Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him), their statements are to be taken or rejected depending on whether these are in accordance with Allah’s Book (i.e. the Qur’an) or with the Sunnah (legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) of the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) or not.
Adding a new element to the Islamic Law is called an innovation (Bida’a). The Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If anybody introduces some innovation or practice, which is not authenticated by me, it is to be rejected (and that person is condemned).”
Also he (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Beware of innovations in religious matters as every innovation in religion is heresy and every heresy is in fire.”
Therefore the second Sacred Source besides the Qur’an is the Sunnah, the practice and example of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu 'alayhi wa sallam). A Hadith (narration) is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet r said, did or approved. Belief in the Sunnah is a fundamental part of the Islamic faith.
Some examples of the Prophet’s sayings:-
“God has no Mercy on one who has no mercy for others.”
“None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he
wishes for himself.”
“He who eats his fill while his neighbour is hungry is not a true
“The powerful person is not who knocks the other down, but he
who controls himself in a fit of anger.”
“God does not judge according to your bodies and appearances
but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds.”
The Divine Inspiration has stopped with the death of the Prophet Muhammed (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) and it will not resume except at the time of the Descent of Jesus, Son of Mary, who will rule with justice according to the Islamic Law during the last days of the world, as mentioned in an authentic Hadith (i.e. narration) of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him). (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.3, Hadith No. 425).
Thus we have explained the first fundamental principle of Islam i.e. “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasoolullah.”