I have seen the English version of Muhammad’s name spelled with consonants dropped or added and using a variety of vowels. This however is the proper English spelling according to most sources. Philip Schaaf used an “o” in place of the “u” as did most writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Modern writers and historians now typically use Mohamed conserving a consonant. His full name according to Wikipedia (and which I suspect includes some later accolades and titles, and in which the accents and diphthongs do not appear here), was Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim. Muhammad means worthy of praise. It is the most common name on the planet.
Muhammad was born in 570 in the city of Mecca in what is now Saudi Arabia. At that time the Arabian Peninsula was split between tribes of Yemenis, those loyal to Byzantium, remnants of the clans of Persia and Bedouin. Muhammad had been born into a prosperous family of the Banu Hashim as is indicated by his formal name – they were the largest of the ruling groups. Orphaned as a small child, he endured periods of foster care under strangers and some near relatives; and the care of orphans was easily as poor as it was for widows and single women.
Little is known of his early life. While a teen Muhammad became a merchant under the tutelage of an uncle and was said to have excelled at it. He was considered honest and humble according to the very sparse historical accounts, acquiring the appellation Al-Amin: trustworthy.
Muhammad stated that the angel Gabriel first began to appear to him in 609. It was in response to this that he began recording the Koran or Quran: “the recitation.” It is in the Quran that Muhammad is called “The Prophet.” The appearances and attendant revelations were soon accompanied by seizures, all of which, it was reported, continued up to his death. Some stated that he was prone to fits.
His first wife, Khadija, became his first disciple as the legend goes. As with all religions, excepting biblical Christianity, the first adherents to what became Islam (“submission to Allah”) were family and the disenfranchised: those with no strong ties to either clans or with means.
Muhammad would claim Allah as the only god of the Ka’aba, a small temple that had been around for centuries and that had housed a collection of idols from the various regions. Muhammad also taught that Islam was not new but was a rebirth or re-ordering of the religion of Abraham. In reality, you will not find the precepts of Islam anywhere in the OT. And there is no mention of the word Islam in any of its various renderings in the OT which predates the Quran by millennia.
Simply put, there was not a Muslim (“those in submission to Allah”) anywhere on the face of the earth, and there was no mention of Islam anywhere, prior to 610. You might note that I will later employ a variation of that thought concerning all of the Christian denominations.
As I pointed out in the preceding post, Muhammad soon turned to conquering his nonaligned neighbors, and in time turned to overrunning the believers too. He migrated again to Medina and then began his turn at empire building. War became a staple. To make things short and to remind you that reading will make you knowledgeable – he soon turned his attention to seizing Mecca and then the entire Arabian Peninsula, though while he lived, the area remained mostly peaceful after its immediate alignment under Islam.
His heirs have taken care of the rest. Time soon gave the first Caliphs and Mullahs and the good they may have accomplished over to history; and has placed the leaders of today and in the recent past squarely on the world’s very long list of despots. It is perhaps useful to note that virtually every Muslim nation had aligned itself with the Axis powers of the last century and the Second World War.
Muhammad died of a fever in 632, and contrary to Islamic teaching (claiming his resurrection), his body was entombed within a green domed shrine at Medina. A simple inspection of the contents of the tomb would of course clear up any such claims. That will never happen.
Within these sparse notes you should find enough to pose a question or two on the verity of the religion of Muhammad. And with this I will leave the religions of the East to concentrate again on the denominational religions that so plague the West. Though with millions of adherents, both Buddhism (where someone once posed that the adherents worship one form of mold who had died while ingesting another), and Zoroaster based Hinduism (a form of ancestor and animal worship), are mere intellectual distractions as are all other lesser known man-made religions.
Chances are you will remain in any religion that you learn from your youth or within your close family. Truth has little to do with such things. You can only find that if you look for it.
The Apostle Paul wrote that it made no difference whether an apostle, prophet or even an angel should come and teach a different gospel. He assured all that, whoever spoke and whatever might be said would not be from God and the bearer would be accursed. How simple is that?
And it all makes me wonder.
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who disturb you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should come to you and preach a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is accursed. As we said before, so I say again now, if any man preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is accursed.
For do I now seek the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
(Galatians 1:6 – 10)