Almost everyone on the earth today is discussing Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. People want to know, "Who was he exactly?" "What did he teach?" "Why was he loved so much by some and hated so much by others?" "Did he live up to his claims?" "Was he a holy man?" "Was he a prophet of God?" "What is the truth about this man - Muhammad?"
How can we discover the truth and be totally honest in our judgment?
We will begin with the very simple historical evidences, facts as narrated by thousands of people, many of whom knew him personally. The following is based on books, manuscripts, texts and actual eyewitness accounts, too numerous list herein, yet all have been preserved in original form throughout the centuries by both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Muhammad ibn (son of) Abdullah ibn (son of) Abdul Mutalib, was born in the year 570 C.E. (Christian Era) in Makkah, Felix Arabia (today: Saudi Arabia) and he died in 633 C.E. in Yathrib (today: Madinah, Saudi Arabia).
A. His names: When he was born, his grandfather, Abdul Mutalib, gave him the name Muhammad. And it means "praised one" or "praising one." He was later called "As-Saddiq" (the Truthful) by all of those who knew of his truthful and honest nature. He always said only the truth. He was also called "Al-Amin" (the Trustworthy) due to his integrity and always upholding any trust given to him. When the tribes were battling against each other, both sides would entrust him with their possessions during the fighting, even if it might be against some of his own tribesmen, because they knew he would always uphold any trust given to him. All of his names indicated the very nature of a man who was praised for his honesty, integrity and trustworthiness. He was also well known for advocating the reconciliation of kinship and relationships. He ordered his followers to always honor the "ties of the wombs" (siblings and other close relatives).
This fits right in with the prophecy mentioned in the Bible in the Book of John in chapters 14 and 16, as the coming of a prophet known as the "Spirit of Truth" or "Comforter" or "Advocate."
B. Born as a descendent of Abraham, peace and blessings be upon him, through his first born son, Ishmael (Ismail in Arabic), peace and blessings be upon him, to the noble tribe of the Quraish who were the leaders of Makkah in those days. Muhammad's blood line traces directly back to Abraham, peace and blessings be upon him.
This could certainly point to fulfillment of Old Testament (Torah) prophecies in Deuteronomy (chapter 18:15) of a prophet, like unto Moses from "their brethren."
C. He kept the Commandments of Almighty God, just as his great grandfathers and prophets of old had done in the past (peace be upon them). Here is a statement from Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, while the Quran was being revealed to him by the angel Gabriel;
"Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your PARENTS; do not kill your children because of poverty - (Allah) provide sustenance for you and for them; do not come near to Al-Fawahish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, and kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause. This He has commanded you that you may understand."
[Holy Quran 6:151]
D. Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, lived in total commitment to his Belief in One God, and as such, he worshipped God alone, without any other "gods" beside Him. This is the very first commandment in the Old Testament (Exodus chapter 20 and Deuteronomy, chapter 5) and in the New Testament as well (Mark, chapter 12, verse 29).
E. Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, ordered his followers to obey Allah Almighty. He ordered following the Commandments as were revealed to him by the angel Gabriel from Almighty Allah. Read below, one of many similar statements from the Quran:
Surely, Allah Commands absolute justice and steadfast commitment to performing your duties to Almighty Allah, in total sincerity and giving help to relatives: and He forbids evil, and disobedience and all that is prohibited by Allah (such as; illegal sexual acts, disobedience of PARENTS, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right, etc.), and (He Forbids) any evil (i.e. all that is prohibited by God's Law, such as: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds, etc.), and all kinds of oppression, He admonishes you, that you may take heed.
[Holy Quran 16:90]
F. Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, never fell into the common practice of his tribesmen to worship statues, idols or man-made "gods." He forbid his followers to ever engage in worship outside of the One True God (Allah) of Adam, Abraham, Moses and all the prophets, peace be upon them all.
And the people of the Scripture Jews and Christians did not differed amongst themselves until after there came to them clear evidence.
And they were commanded only to worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (no gods beside God), and perform prayers and give charity: and that is the right religion.
[Holy Quran 98:4-5]
He despised false worship to any man-made gods or images or anything in creation as a god. He hated all of the complexities and degradation to which it leads.
This is in direct obedience to the second commandment in the above mentioned verses, "Thou shalt not make any graven images."
G. Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, always held the Name of God (Allah) in the highest of reverence and never took God's Name in vain or for any vainglorious purpose.
He forbid his followers for ever doing anything like this and encouraged them to use names such as "Servant of Almighty God" (Abdullah).
H. Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, upheld the proper worship and ceremonies of his grandfathers, Abraham and Ishmael, peace be upon them. Here is something from the second chapter of the Quran. Read closely;
"Recall when Abraham's Lord (Allah) tested him with Commands, that he fulfilled. Allah said, "Surely, I am going to make you a leader (prophet) of mankind. (Abraham said) "And my offspring, too." (Allah) said, "My Covenant (prophethood, etc.) does not include wrong-doers (thalimun).
"And recall when (Allah) made the House (ka'bah in Bakkah, which later was called "Makkah") a place of resort for mankind and a place of safety. And it is your place of prayer, and (Allah) commanded Abraham and Ishmael to purify (God's House at Makkah) for those who are circling it, or staying there or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in worship).
"And when Abraham said, 'My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, for them that believe in Allah Almighty and the Last Day.' (Allah) answered, "As for him who doesn't believe, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him t the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!"
"And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the Sacred House (Ka'bah in Makkah), saying, 'Our Lord! Accept from us. Certainly! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.'"
"Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manasik (all the ceremonies of pilgrimage - Hajj and 'Umrah, etc.), and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.
"Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own (and indeed Allah answered by sending Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him ), who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (this Quran) and full knowledge of (Allah's) Laws and jurisprudence, and sanctify them. Verily! You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise."
And who turns away from the religion of Abraham (Monotheism) except him who fools himself? Truly, (Allah) chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous.
When his Lord said to him, "Submit ("Islam" means "submission")!" He said, "I have submitted myself ("Muslim" means "one who submits") to the Lord of all that exists."
And this (submission to Allah) was ordered by Abraham upon his sons and by Jacob; saying, "O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion; then die not except in the Faith of Submission (like those in true submission to God's Will)."
[Holy Quran 2:124-132]