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Muhammad the Prophet - MUHAMMAD CONQUERS MECCA

This Ottoman miniature painting, circa 1595, is from the Siyer-i Nebi. It is an artist’s conception of the death of the Prophet Mohammed. Note that we do not see Muhammad’s face. The original source material is maintained at the Topkapi Sarayı Müzesi, in Istanbul (where it is referenced as Hazine 1222, folio 414a). Image online via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Initially, Ubu'l Kassim (now called Mustafa [Muhammad] and/or The Prophet), faced great resistance in Mecca. People of Yathrib, a town 250 miles north, invited him to live there.

Both Jews and Arabs lived in the town. Many of the Arabs in Yathrib quickly accepted Muhammad's teachings. Because the town began to reflect Islamic ideals of community and religion, Muhammad changed its name to al-Medinah (The City). Today it is known as Medina, the second holiest place in Islam.

But it was in Mecca where Muhammad built his first mosque and fought (in 624 C.E.) his first battles. The city's inhabitants were unpersuaded by Muhammad's claims and teachings. (The entire Koran was not in written book form at this time. That came later.)

People of the new faith were persecuted in Mecca. By 628, however, Muhammad's peace initiatives resulted in a dramatic turn of events. He had united Mecca and Medina with an unprecedented treaty.

When Mecca broke the treaty two years later, Muhammad amassed a huge army of Muslims and their tribal allies. Mecca gave up without a fight.

Returning to Medina, where he preached and prayed in the Mosque (today known as the Mosque of the Prophet), Muhammad did not appoint a successor. (That decision caused a rift between Muslims that continues to this day.)

Believing he was about to die, he preached his last sermon, urging his followers to be faithful to God and to the Islamic teachings. He returned to his home, across the street from the mosque, and died in the arms of his favorite wife, Aisha. (His first wife, Khadija, had died about ten years earlier.) The year was 632. The exact date - it is believed - was June 8th.

Muhammad was buried in his beautiful Mosque where we can still see the protective enclosure that guards his tomb. The road to the city of Medina has been traveled by many Muslims who have made pilgrimages to this second most-holy Islamic site. The green dome, on the Mosque of the Prophet, is a distinctive city landmark.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Jun 19, 2019


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