Who Is Muhammad? Is the founder of Islam, the last prophet sent by Allah to Earth to remind us of His message. Muslims profess love and reverence for Prophet Muhammad; whenever the prophet is mentioned, his name is accompanied by blessings.

Sufi Worship Dance
Sufi Worship Dance

For instance, the Shi’ites pronounce,

  • “May God bless him and grant him peace” (sal-la allahu ‘alaihi (wa alihi) wa sal-lam) and
  • “Peace and prayer be upon him” (alaihi as-salatu wa-s-salam).

There are devotional dances for Prophet Muhammad with music, such as those performed by devout Sufis in their traditional dance. Traditionally, the birth of Prophet Muhammad is not celebrated with festivities, except by some Muslims. Many consider such celebrations contrary to the spirit of Islam and Quranic precepts.

Images of Prophet Muhammad

Who Is Muhammad Founder of Islam ~ THE ARAB WORLD
Turkish miniature from the 16th century depicting Muhammad defended by his father-in-law Abu Bakr, showing Muhammad with his face covered.

The teachings of the Quran make it clear that images of any deity are prohibited. Written representations serve as an alternative for groups of Muslims who reject illustrations of Prophet Muhammad.

In Islam, images of any human figure cannot be created under any circumstances. Using images is seen as promoting idolatry of the image itself. Touching and worshipping the image elevate its importance beyond the concept it represents.

In Islamic art, Muhammad is often depicted with his face veiled or as a flame. The Islamic perspective varies, with some Muslims maintaining a more flexible view. Thus, we can ask, who is Muhammad for Muslims?

Who Is Muhammad in the Quran?

Who Is Muhammad Founder of Islam ~ THE ARAB WORLD
Muhammad receiving the revelation from the angel Jibreel in Arabic جبريل. Iranian miniature from the 15th century, where the prophet is depicted with his face uncovered, which is uncommon.

Islam categorically declares that the Holy Prophet of Islam is the last of the law-bearing prophets. The Quran is the final book of divine law, perfected and protected until the end of time. A perfect book protected from human interpolation justifies no change in either aspect.

The Quran clearly mentions the possibility of the continuity of prophethood subordinate to the Holy Founder of Islam and the Holy Book, the Quran. A verse from Surah Al-Nisa leaves no ambiguity about this:

“Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be with those whom Allah has blessed: the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous.” (Quran 4:70)

The Quran is the last teaching; nothing new will come after it to change the teachings of Islam. No new prophet independent of Islam will be born. Any new prophet will be completely subordinate to Prophet Muhammad.

Prophets always came to deliver a message about beliefs and practices and how to implement those beliefs in one’s life. This covers all aspects of religious laws: improving one’s relationship with God and how to behave towards others, human beings.

We cannot engage in a lengthy discussion on how this task is perfectly carried out in Islam. It might be appropriate to illustrate some important characteristics of this universally applicable teaching.

Objects Belonging to Muhammad

In the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, objects belonging to Prophet Muhammad are displayed, including the Holy Mantle, the prophet’s bow and sword, earth from Muhammad’s tomb, a framed footprint, beard hair, and a reliquary containing one of his teeth.

This sura of Prophet Muhammad, revealed after the Hegira

Can reveal who is Muhammad in the Quran: This chapter has 38 verses.

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful!

  1. To those who disbelieve and turn others away from the path of Allah, He will nullify their deeds.
  2. In contrast, He will erase the evil deeds and improve the condition of those who have believed, acted righteously, and believed in the revelation sent to Muhammad, which is the Truth from their Lord.
  3. And this is because the disbelievers follow falsehood, while the believers follow the Truth from their Lord. Thus, Allah sets them as an example for mankind.
  4. When you encounter disbelievers, strike their necks until you subdue them. Then bind them firmly. Afterwards, release them as a favor or for ransom, so that the war may cease. This is how you should act. If Allah willed, He could defend Himself against them, but He wants to test some through others. He will not let the deeds of those who fall for Allah go to waste.
  5. He will guide them, improve their condition, and admit them to the Garden, which He has already made known to them.
  6. Believers, if you assist Allah, He will assist you and make your steps firm.
  7. Woe to those who disbelieve! Their deeds will be invalidated.
  8. This is because they detested Allah’s revelation and made their deeds fruitless.
  9. Have they not traveled through the land and observed how their predecessors ended? Allah destroyed them, and the disbelievers will have a similar fate.
  10. This is because Allah is the Protector of the believers, while the disbelievers have no protector.
  11. Allah will admit those who have believed and done righteous deeds to gardens beneath which rivers flow. As for the disbelievers, they will enjoy briefly and eat as cattle eat. The Fire will be their dwelling place.
  12. How many cities, stronger than your city that expelled you, have We destroyed, and there was none to aid them?
  13. Can one who relies on a clear proof from his Lord be compared to those whose evil deeds seem pleasing to them, and they follow their desires?
  14. An image of the promised Garden for those who fear Allah: there will be rivers of incorruptible water, rivers of milk of unchanging taste, rivers of wine, a delight for the drinkers, and rivers of purified honey. They will have all kinds of fruits and forgiveness from their Lord. Will they be like those in the Fire for eternity, to whom scalding water is given to drink that tears apart their intestines?
  15. Some of them listen to you, but We have sealed their hearts, and they follow their desires.
  16. To those who follow guidance, Allah will increase their guidance and grant them righteousness.
  17. What can they expect but the Hour to come suddenly? Its signs have already appeared. But what good will their reminder be when it comes to them?
  18. Know that there is no god but Allah, so seek forgiveness for your sins and for the sins of the believing men and women. Allah knows your movements and your dwellings.
  19. Believers say: “Why is no surah sent down?” But when a decisive surah mentioning battle is revealed, you see those with sickness in their hearts looking at you as if death had already come to them.
  20. Obedience and upright speech would have been better for them. Once the decision is made, it is better for them to be true to Allah.
  21. If you turn away, you expose the land to corruption and sever your ties of kinship.
  22. Allah curses such people, making them deaf and blind.
  23. Do they not reflect on the Quran, or are their hearts locked up?
  24. Those who turn back after guidance has been clearly revealed to them have been seduced by Satan, but he has granted them a respite.
  25. This is because they said to those who detest what Allah has revealed: “We will obey you in some matters.” Allah knows what they hide.
  26. What will happen when the angels take their souls, striking their faces and backs?
  27. This is because they follow what angers Allah and detest what pleases Him. Therefore, He has made their deeds fruitless.
  28. Do the sick at heart think that Allah will not expose their malice?
  29. If We wanted, We could show them to you, and you would recognize them by their features.
  30. But you will recognize them by the tone of their speech. Allah knows what you do. We will test you to see who strives and perseveres and to test your affairs.
  31. Those who disbelieve and turn others away from the path of Allah after guidance has been clearly revealed to them will not harm Allah. He will make their deeds fruitless.
  32. Believers, obey Allah and obey the Messenger. Do not invalidate your deeds.
  33. Allah will not forgive those who disbelieve after guidance has been clearly revealed to them, and they die while still disbelievers.
  34. Do not be weak, calling for peace while you have the upper hand. Allah is with you and will not deprive you of your deeds.
  35. The life of this world is but play and amusement, but if you believe and fear Allah, He will reward you without asking for your wealth.
  36. If He asked for it and pressured you, you would be miserly, and He would expose your hatred.
  37. You are invited to spend for the cause of Allah, but among you are those who are miserly. Whoever is miserly is miserly to his detriment.
  38. Allah is self-sufficient, while you are the needy. If you turn away, He will replace you with another people who will not be like you.

In conclusion:

These are the words from the Quran that Allah places in your heart: “Earn the divine reward through your deeds.” Only the faithful will earn paradise; the rest will show a covetous heart to Allah, and He will reject them. “Believers, obey Allah and the Messenger,” in these words, you discover who Muhammad is and the importance of following the prophet’s teachings. Islam is declared in the Quran as the last perfected religion for the benefit of humanity.

Learn more about Arab culture here.

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