Happy Mawlid/Happy Birthday Prophet Muhammad, Sunni Muslims!

A Peice of Muslim Symbolism often assosiated with Muhhammad.
A Peice of Muslim Symbolism often assosiated with Muhhammad.

Today is the Day Ibadi and Sunni Muslims celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.  12 Rabi’ al-awwal is the date on the Muslim Calendar, which in 2019 is the equivalent to November 10 (Muslim Calendar is different than Gregorian Calendar,  and is a little shorter). This can be considered a tiny bit like Christmas for Muslims. Muhammad was a huge historical figure to the opinion of most people who study history, and to some the most important religious figure. I am going to try to make a secular article explaining who the Prophet Muhammad is. I will also make an article on 17 Rabi’ al-awwal, which is when the Shia Muslims celebrate it. And to my comrades from the US, no, he is not all bad.

Disclaimer: THESE ARE NOT MY RELIGIOUS VIEWS, I AM JUST EXPLAINING WHO MUHAMMAD IS AND WHAT PEOPLE THINK, THESE ARE NOT MOSTLY MY IDEAS, I AM JUST EXPLAINING THE HOLIDAY AND PERSON.

Who was the Prophet Muhammad?

Islam Under Muhammad
Islam Under Muhammad

Muhammad was the founder of Islam. He was Born Around 570CE under the name Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh in the city of Mecca. His parents died when he was 6, then he was raised by paternal grandfather and then later his uncle.  When he grew up he was a merchant for a while. He was born into a clan of the Quraysh Tribe, one of the richest tribes in Arabia. He had a pretty normal life until around the age 40, he claimed being visited by Gabriel, an important religious person who gave him “his first revelation with Allah”. 3 Years later, he started spreading his words in 610CE. This was a time when his tribe was mostly polytheistic, and disagreed heavily with the things Muhammad said. When he started to get a bug following, he was expelled from Mecca, and went to a city named Medina in 622CE. This marks the beginning of the Islamic Calendar. At the time there were lots of Jews in the city, but most of the non-Jews converted to Islam pretty quick. He fought Meccan tribes occasionally until in December 629CE, he had an army of over 10 000 people who marched their and took the city with little conflict. While they were taking the city, some of the soldiers went around the Kaaba  7 times, this lead to the holiday Hajj, which is a pilgrimage to the Kaaba that all Muslims must take if they are able to. After the conquest, Muhammad went into the Kaaba, which is a building where they stored religious idols, and was disgusted, he hated how there were multiple gods, and thought that there was only 1 god, Allah, who could not be idolised. So he and some of his soldiers destroyed all of the statues of the other gods. After Mecca fell, the Muslims  sent an ultimatum to all the other Arabic tribes, saying to either join, or that they would fight, most joined. Muhammad left Mecca 632CE, and died a few Months Later. There are no reliable depictions of him, as Islam is against idolisation. By the time he had died most of the Arabia was part of his empire. He then had 3 successors and it became known as the Rashidun.

 

Legacy

Spread of Islam
Spread of Islam, and all the Muslim Caliphates

The Rashidun would eventually after a power struggle become the Umayyad Caliphate, which would end up taking all of Persia, Arabia, The Middle East, Egypt, Northern Africa, and Most of Iberia. The biggest achievements was how easily they defeated the Persian and Roman Empires. The Roman Empire Still existed, but was severely weakened, while the Persian Empire was completely invaded. The Umayyads had significant scientific advances and were ahead of their time in many ways. After a civil war, the Abbasid Caliphate, and many smaller Muslim states arose (The Umayyads still remained in Iberia). This empire lasted a long time until Mongol Conquest , but was revived in Egypt after the Mongols declined and lasted until the 1500’s CE. The Seljuk Turks were another Muslim Empire, while not a caliphate, that played a big role. They were able to conquer much of Anatolia from the Romans. After the Seljuk Turks were conquered by the Mongols, they split up, and one of the states that came out of the Split up would eventually become known as the Ottoman Empire.  The Ottoman Empire is considered a Caliphate as well, and they played a big role as they were able to finally conquer the Roman Empire.  The Ottoman Empire was eventually after Centuries of Decline, broken up after the end of the Great War and became the Republic of Turkey, which still exists today, although the term Caliphate is no longer used by them. They were a big part of the trading that happened from Asia to Europe. The Islamic State also claims to be a Caliphate, though this is heavily debated and hardly recognised by anyone outside of the Islamic State. Today Over 1,9 Billion people are Muslim, and they are expected to Beat Christianity as the largest religion by 2100CE. The Muslims for almost a Millennium were some of the most scientific and advanced, and Islam brought together many tribes of people.

 

Ignorance and Later Hate from the West

Anti-Muslim Protest from Australia
Anti-Muslim Protest from Australia

As Muslim states started to decline, they were not quite as relevant and not talked about or taught about in schools. Most people in the west had little idea what Muslims were until 911. After 911 and the eventual war on terror, many people had a negative view on Islam. Islam started to be associated with terrorism rather than a religion like it really is. Islam is not a hateful religion, there are just people who do violent acts under the name of Islam, people did things the same under Christianity. Christianity is no better than Islam in that it is not a violent religion. Muslims are just like any other people, they just like to worship their religion like any other people, but some people take it to the extreme and do violent stuff that they do not need to do to spread their religion.