مضان‎ Ramaḍān

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ – الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ – وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ

مضان‎  RAMADAN

مضان‎ (Ramadan) -  (Turkish:Ramazan)  is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days.
It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sexual intimacy with their partners during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God.
Muslims fast for the sake of Allah (God) and to offer more prayer than usual.
Compared to the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan vary, moving backwards by about eleven days each year depending on the moon; thus, a person will have fasted every day of the calendar year in 34 years' time.
Muslims believe Ramadan to be an auspicious month for the revelations of God to humankind, being the month in which the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.


The word Ramadan is derived from an Arabic root rmḍ, as in words like "ramiḍa" or "ar-ramaḍ" denoting intense heat, scorched ground and shortness of rations.
Ramadan, as a name for the month, is of Islamic origin.
Prior to Islam and the exclusion of intercalary days from the Islamic calendar, the name of the month was Natiq and the month fell in the warm season.
The word was thus chosen as it well represented the original climate of the month and the physiological conditions precipitated from fasting.
In the Qur'an, God proclaims that "fasting has been written down (as obligatory) upon you, as it was upon those before you".
According to a hadith, this might refer to the Jewish practice of fasting on Yom Kippur.


Hilal (the crescent) is typically a day (or more) after the astronomical new moon.
Since the new moon indicates the beginning of the new month, Muslims can usually safely estimate the beginning of Ramadan.
There are many disagreements each year however, on when Ramadan starts.
This stems from the tradition to sight the moon with the naked eye and as such there are differences for countries on opposite sides of the globe.
More recently however, some Muslims are leaning towards using astronomical calculations to avoid this confusion.
For the year of 1432 Hijri, the first day of Ramadan was determined to be August 1, 2011.


صوم‎ - (Sawm) is an Arabic word for fasting regulated by Islamic jurisprudence.
In the terminology of Islamic law, Sawm means to abstain from eating, drinking (including water), having sex and anything against Islamic law (Ithm).
The observance of sawm during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, but is not confined to that month.

In the Qur'an, this practice is refered to in the following places:

يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O those who believe, the fasts have been enjoined upon you as were enjoined upon those before so that you be God-fearing.[Qur'an 2:183]

أَيَّامً۬ا مَّعۡدُودَٲتٍ۬‌ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ۬ فَعِدَّةٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ‌ۚ وَعَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ ۥ فِدۡيَةٌ۬ طَعَامُ مِسۡكِينٍ۬‌ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيۡرً۬ا فَهُوَ خَيۡرٌ۬ لَّهُ ۥ‌ۚ وَأَن تَصُومُواْ خَيۡرٌ۬ لَّڪُمۡ‌ۖ إِن كُنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَكُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.[Qur'an 2:184]

شَہۡرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ هُدً۬ى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَٱلۡفُرۡقَانِ‌ۚ فَمَن شَہِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّہۡرَ فَلۡيَصُمۡهُ‌ۖ وَمَن ڪَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ۬ فَعِدَّةٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ‌ۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِڪُمُ ٱلۡيُسۡرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِڪُمُ ٱلۡعُسۡرَ وَلِتُڪۡمِلُواْ ٱلۡعِدَّةَ وَلِتُڪَبِّرُواْ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَٮٰكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّڪُمۡ تَشۡكُرُونَ

The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you; and (He desireth) that ye should complete the period, and that ye should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that peradventure ye may be thankful.[Qur'an 2:185]

أُحِلَّ لَڪُمۡ لَيۡلَةَ ٱلصِّيَامِ ٱلرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَآٮِٕكُمۡ‌ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ۬ لَّكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لِبَاسٌ۬ لَّهُنَّ‌ۗ عَلِمَ ٱللَّهُ أَنَّڪُمۡ كُنتُمۡ تَخۡتَانُونَ أَنفُسَڪُمۡ فَتَابَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَعَفَا عَنكُمۡ‌ۖ فَٱلۡـَٔـٰنَ بَـٰشِرُوهُنَّ وَٱبۡتَغُواْ مَا ڪَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ‌ۚ وَكُلُواْ وَٱشۡرَبُواْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ ٱلۡخَيۡطُ ٱلۡأَبۡيَضُ مِنَ ٱلۡخَيۡطِ ٱلۡأَسۡوَدِ مِنَ ٱلۡفَجۡرِ‌ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّواْ ٱلصِّيَامَ إِلَى ٱلَّيۡلِ‌ۚ وَلَا تُبَـٰشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمۡ عَـٰكِفُونَ فِى ٱلۡمَسَـٰجِدِ‌ۗ تِلۡكَ حُدُودُ ٱللَّهِ فَلَا تَقۡرَبُوهَا‌ۗ كَذَٲلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ ٱللَّهُ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَّقُونَ

It is made lawful for you to go unto your wives on the night of the fast. They are raiment for you and ye are raiment for them. Allah is Aware that ye were deceiving yourselves in this respect and He hath turned in mercy toward you and relieved you. So hold intercourse with them and seek that which Allah hath ordained for you, and eat and drink until the white thread becometh distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. Then strictly observe the fast till nightfall and touch them not, but be at your devotions in the mosques. These are the limits imposed by Allah, so approach them not. Thus Allah expoundeth His revelation to mankind that they may ward off (evil).[Qur'an 2:187]


Throughout the duration of the fast itself, Muslims will abstain from certain provisions that the Qur'an has otherwise allowed; namely eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse.[Qur'an 2:187] This is in addition to the standard obligation already observed by Muslims of avoiding that which is not permissible under Qur'anic or Shari'ah law (e.g. ignorant and indecent speech, arguing and fighting, and lustful thoughts).
Without observing this standard obligation, Sawm is rendered useless, and is seen simply as an act of starvation. The fasting should be a motive to be more benevolent to the fellow-creatures. Charity to the poor and needy in this month is one of most rewardable worship.
If one is sick, nursing or traveling, one is considered exempt from fasting.
Any fasts broken or missed due to sickness, nursing or traveling must be made up whenever the person is able before the next month of Ramadan.
According to the Qur'an, for all other cases, not fasting is only permitted when the act is potentially dangerous to one's health - for example; those elderly who are too weak to fast for extended periods of time, diabetics, nursing, and pregnant women, but this must be made up by paying a fidyah which is essentially the iftaar, dinner and suhur for a fasting person who requires such financial help.
According to the clear guidance of the Qur’an and the Sunnah if someone does not afford fasting due to illness or traveling he is permitted to leave the fast and complete the left over fasts later on.
However, the question of those suffering a permanent disease has not been resolved in the sources.
One view is that they can leave the obligation if medical experts advise this.
As to the question how to compensate for the failing it is held that they can feed a poor person a meal in lieu of every fast to make up for the obligation.
Such a delinguent person should always be willing to fast when granted health.
Observing the fast is not permitted for menstruating women, however, when a woman's period has ceased, she must bathe and continue fasting.
Any fasts broken or missed due to menstruation must be made up whenever she can before the next month of Ramadan.
Women must fast at times when not menstruating, as the Qur'an indicates that all religious duties are ordained for both men and women.


In accordance with traditions handed down from Muhammad, Muslims eat a pre-dawn meal called the suhoor.
All eating and drinking must be finished before azaan-ul-Fajr, the pre-dawn call to prayer.
Unlike the Salat-ul-Zuhr and Salat-ul-Maghrib prayers, which have clear astronomical definitions (noon and sunset), there are several definitions used in practice for the timing of "true dawn" (al-fajr as-sadiq), as mentioned in the hadith.
These range from when the center of the sun is 12 to 21 degrees below the horizon which equates to about 40 to 60 minutes before civil dawn.
There are no restrictions on the morning meal other than the restrictions on Muslims diet.
After completing the suhoor, Muslims recite the fajr prayer.
No food or water is allowed to go down the throat after the suhoor.
However, water unlike food may enter the mouth, but not go down the throat during wudu.
The meal eaten to end the fast is known as al-Iftar.
Muslims, following the Sunnah of the Prophet, Muhammad, break the fast with dates and water, before praying Salat-ul-Maghrib, after which they might eat a more wholesome meal.


Fasting inculcates a sense of fraternity and solidarity, as Muslims can feel and experience that which needy and hungry humans feel, however even the poor, needy, and hungry participate in the fast.
Moreover, Ramadan is a month of giving charity and sharing meals to break the fast together, the latter offering more reward than if eating alone.
Most importantly, the fast is also seen as a great sign of obedience by the believer to Allah. Faithful observance of the Sawm is believed to atone for personal faults and misdeeds and to help earn a place in paradise.
As briefly mentioned earlier, fasting can also be observed voluntarily (as part of the Greater Jihad): Sawm is intended to teach believers patience and self-control in their personal conduct, to help control passions and temper, to provide time for meditation and to strengthen one's faith. Fasting also serves the purpose of cleansing the inner soul and freeing it of harm.
Some scholars, following the earliest understanding of the uses and objectives of the ritual of fasting strongly object to identifying mundane objectives of the ritual such as physical and psychological well being.
To them the ritual of fasting is purely a worship and should not be treated as an exercise mixed with worship.
The objectives of the fast is to inculcate taqwa (God-consciousness) in a believer.


In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Qur'an. Some Muslims perform the recitation of the entire Qur'an by means of special prayers, called Tarawih, which are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Qur'an (Juz', which is 1/30 of the Qur'an) is recited. Therefore the entire Qur'an would be completed at the end of the month.
Ramadan is also a time when Muslims are to slow down from worldly affairs and focus on self-reformation, spiritual cleansing and enlightenment; this is to establish a link between themselves and God through prayer, supplication, charity, good deeds, kindness and helping others.
Since it is a festival of giving and sharing, Muslims prepare special foods and buy gifts for their family and friends and for giving to the poor and needy who cannot afford it; this can involve buying new clothes, shoes and other items of need.
There is also a social aspect involving the preparation of special foods and inviting people for Iftar.


Muslims all around the world will abstain from food and drink, through fasting, from dawn to sunset.
At sunset, the family will gather the fast-breaking meal known as Iftar.
The meal starts with the eating of three dates — just as Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) used to do.
Then it's time for the Maghrib prayer, which is the fourth of the five daily prayers, after which the main meal is served.
Over time, Iftar has grown into banquet festivals.

Village Family Iftar in Egypt

This is a time of fellowship with families, friends and surrounding communities, but may also occupy larger spaces at mosques or banquet halls, where a hundred or more may gather at a time.
Most markets close down during evening prayers and the Iftar meal, but then re-open and stay open for a good part of the night.
Muslims can be seen shopping, the evening hours.
In many Muslim countries, this can last late into the evening, to early morning, however, if they try to attend to business as usual, it can become a time of personal trials, fasting without coffee or water.


Charity is very important in Islam, and even more so during Ramadan.
According to tradition, Ramadan is a particularly blessed time to give in charity, as the reward is 70 times greater than any other time of the year.
For that reason, Muslims will spend more in charity (sadaqa), and many will pay their zakat during Ramadan, to receive the blessings (reward).
In many Muslim countries, it is not uncommon to see people giving food to the poor and the homeless, and to even see large public areas for the poor to come and break their fast.
It is said that if a person helps a fasting person to break their fast, then they receive a reward for that fast, without diminishing the reward that the fasting person got for their fast.

لیلة القدر‎  LAYLAT AL QADR

لیلة القدر‎  - Laylat al-Qadr (also known as Shab-e-Qadr), the Night of Destiny, Night of Power, is the anniversary of two very important dates in Islam that occurred in the month of Ramadan.
It is the anniversary of the night Muslims believe the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

 Laylat al-Qadr at al Azhar - Cairo - Egypt

Laylat Al-Qadr is the anniversary of the night that the Qur'an was revealed. Muslims believe that revelation of the Qur'an occurred in two phases, with the first phase being the revelation in its entirety on Laylat Al-Qadr to Gabriel in the lowest heaven, and then the subsequent verse-by-verse revelation to Muhammad by the angel Jibril (Gabriel).
Muslims often pray extra prayers on this day, particularly the night prayer.
They awake, pray, and hope God will give them anything they may desire on this night. Mostly, they perform tilawat (reading the Qur'an).
Those who can afford to devote their time in the remembrance of God stay in the mosque for the final ten days of Ramadan. This worship is called Iʿtikāf (retreat).
They observe fast during the day and occupy themselves with the remembrance of God, performing voluntary prayers and studying the Qur'an, day and night, apart from the obligatory prayers which they perform with the congregation.
Food and other necessities of life are provided for them during their stay in the mosque. Devoting time to remember God, Muslims also hope to receive divine favors and blessings connected with the blessed night.

'We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:
And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand:Peace!...This until the rise of morn !'

—Sura 97 (Al-Qadr), āyāt 1-5

The verses above regard the Night as better than one thousand months.
The whole month of Ramadan is a period of spiritual training wherein believers devote much of their time to fasting, praying, reciting the Qur'an, remembering God, and giving charity.
However because of the revealed importance of this night, Muslims strive harder in the last ten days of Ramadan since the Laylat al-Qadr could be one of the odd-numbered days in these last ten (the first, third, fifth, seventh or ninth).
Normally, some Muslims from each community would perform an Iʿtikāf in the mosque: they remain in the mosque for the last ten days of the month for prayers and recitation.

‎عيد الفطر EID UL FITR

‎عيد الفطر Eid ul-Fitr (Īdu l-Fiṭr), often abbreviated to Eid, is a three-dayMuslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm).
Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "original nature," implying the restoration of one's best human composition.
The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the thirty days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.
The first day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month Shawwal.
Eid-ul-Fitr Salat is a Wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandoob (preferable) – depending on which juristic opinion is followed – Islamic prayer consisting of two raka'ah, which is generally offered in an open field or large hall called an Eed-gah.
This salaat can only be performed with Jama’at, and has an additional extra six Takbirs, three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah and three of them just before ruku' in the second raka'ah in the Hanafi school.
Eid ul-Fitr is sometimes also known as ‎العيد الصغير - al-‘īdu ṣ-ṣaghīr - (the Smaller Eid) as compared to the Eid al-Adha, which lasts four days following the Hajj and is casually referred to as ‎العيد الكبير - al-‘īdu l-kabīr (the Greater Eid).

When the Prophet arrived in Madinah, he found people celebrating two specific days in which they used to entertain themselves by playing and merriment.
He asked them about the nature of these festivities at which they replied that these days were occasions of fun and recreation of the days of jahilliyah.
At this, the Prophet remarked that the Almighty has fixed two days [of festivity] instead of these for you which are better than these: ‘id al-fitr and ‘id al-adha.
For Muslims, both these festivals of ‘id al-fitr and ‘id al-adha are occasions of showing gratitude to God, remembering him and are a means of entertainment.
‘A’ishah narrates that when on an ‘id day her father Abu Bakr stopped young girls from singing, the Prophet said: Abu Bakr! [Let them sing]; every nation has an ‘id and [this day] is our ‘id.

Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated for three days.
Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting ‘Eid Mubarak ("Blessed Eid") or ‘Eid Sa‘eed ("Happy Eid").
Typically, Muslims wake up relatively early in the morning—always before sunrise— offer Salatul Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer), and in keeping with the Sunnah (traditions and actions of the Prophet Muhammad), clean one's teeth with a Miswaak or toothbrush, take a shower (Ghusul) before Fajr prayers, put on new clothes (or the best available), and apply perfume.
It is haraam to fast on the Day of Eid.
That is why it is recommended to have a small breakfast (as a sign of not being on a fast on that day) of sweet dish, preferably the date fruit, before attending the special Eid prayer (salah).
It is a Sunnah that the Sadaqat-ul-fitr, an obligatory charity, is paid to the poor and the needy before performing the ‘Eid prayer by all those adult Muslims who are required to pay Zakat. Muslims recite the following Takbir (incantation) in the low voice while going to the Eid prayer: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Laa ilaaha ilal-lahu wal-Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa-lilla hil hamd.
Another Sunnah of Muhammad Muslims are recommended to use two separate routes to and from the prayer grounds.
Eid prayer is performed in congregation in open areas like fields, community centers, etc. or at mosques.
No adhan or iqama is to be pronounced for this Eid prayer, and it consists of only two raka, with an additional six Takbirs.
The Eid prayer is followed by the khutbah and then a supplication (dua) asking for God's forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world.
The khutbah also instructs Muslims as to the performance of rituals of Eid, such as the zakat.
Listening to the khutbah (sermon) of Eid is a necessary requirement (wajib) i.e. while the khutbah is being delivered; it is haraam to talk, walk about or offer prayer while the sermon is being delivered.
After the prayers, Muslims visit their relatives, friends and acquaintances or hold large communal celebrations in homes, community centers or rented halls.
Eid gifts are frequently given to children and immediate relatives; it is also common in some cultures for children to be given small sums of money by adult relatives or friends

.Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
This has to do with the communal aspects of the fast, which expresses many of the basic values of the Muslim community; i.e., empathy for the poor, charity, worship, steadfastness, patience etc.
Fasting is also believed by some scholars to extol fundamental distinctions, lauding the power of the spiritual realm, while acknowledging the subordination of the physical realm.
It also teaches a Muslim to stay away from wordly desires and to focus entirely on the Lord and thank him for his blessings.
It is a rejuvenation of the religion and it creates a stronger bond between the Muslim and his Lord.

Muhammad محمد‎

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ – الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ – وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ

Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf ibn Qusai ibn Kilab Muhammad, or simply Muhammad (also spelled Muhammed, Mohammad or Mohammed) - (ca. 1 May 570 – 8 June 632) (Monday, 12th Rabi' al-Awwal, Year 11 A.H.), was the founder of the religion known as Islam, and is considered by Muslims to be a messenger and prophet of God, the last law-bearer in a series of Islamic prophets, and, by most Muslims, the last prophet of God as taught by the Quran.
Muslims thus consider him the restorer of an uncorrupted original monotheistic faith (islam) of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets.
He was also active as a social reformer, diplomat, merchant, philosopher, orator, legislator, military leader, humanitarian, philanthropist, and, according to Muslim belief, an agent of divine action.

Born in 570 in the Arabian city of Mecca, he was orphaned at an early age and brought up under the care of his uncle Abu Talib.
He later worked mostly as a merchant, as well as a shepherd, and was first married by age 25.
Discontented with life in Mecca, he retreated to a cave in the surrounding mountains for meditation and reflection.
According to Islamic beliefs it was here, at age 40, in the month of Ramadan, where he received his first revelation from God.
Three years after this event Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "surrender" to Him (lit. islam) is the only way acceptable to God, and that he himself was a prophet and messenger of God, in the same vein as other Islamic prophets.
Muhammad gained few followers early on, and was met with hostility from some Meccan tribes; he and his followers were treated harshly.
To escape persecution, Muhammad sent some of his followers to Abyssinia before he and his remaining followers in Mecca migrated to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in the year 622.
This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, which is also known as the Hijri Calendar.
In Medina, Muhammad united the conflicting tribes, and after eight years of fighting with the Meccan tribes, his followers, who by then had grown to 10,000, conquered Mecca.
In 632, a few months after returning to Medina from his Farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and died.
By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam, and he had united the tribes of Arabia into a single Muslim religious polity.
The revelations (or Ayah, lit. "Signs of God")–which Muhammad reported receiving until his death–form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the “Word of God” and around which the religion is based.
Besides the Qur'an, Muhammad’s life (sira) and traditions (sunnah) are also upheld by Muslims. They discuss Muhammad and other prophets of Islam with reverence, adding the phrase peace be upon him whenever their names are mentioned.
While conceptions of Muhammad in medieval Christendom and premodern times were largely negative, appraisals in modern history have been far less so.
His life and deeds have been debated and criticized by followers and opponents over the centuries.


Muhammad was born in the month of Rabi' al-awwal in 570.
He belonged to the Banu Hashim, one of the prominent families of Mecca, although it seems not to have been prosperous during Muhammad's early lifetime.
Tradition places the year of Muhammad's birth as corresponding with the Year of the Elephant, which is named after the failed destruction of Mecca that year by the Aksumite king Abraha who had in his army a number of elephants.
Recent scholarship has suggested alternative dates for this event, such as 568 or 569.
Muhammad's father, Abdullah, died almost six months before he was born.
According to the tradition, soon after Muhammad's birth he was sent to live with a Bedouin family in the desert, as the desert-life was considered healthier for infants.
Muhammad stayed with his foster-mother, Halimah bint Abi Dhuayb, and her husband until he was two years old.
Some western scholars of Islam have rejected the historicity of this tradition.
At the age of six Muhammad lost his mother Amina to illness and he became fully orphaned.
He was subsequently brought up for two years under the guardianship of his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, of the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe.
When Muhammad was eight, his grandfather also died.
He now came under the care of his uncle Abu Talib, the new leader of Banu Hashim.
Because of the general disregard of the guardians in taking care of weak members of the tribes in Mecca in the 6th century, "Muhammad's guardians saw that he did not starve to death, but it was hard for them to do more for him, especially as the fortunes of the clan of Hashim seem to have been declining at that time."
While still in his teens, Muhammad accompanied his uncle on trading journeys to Syria gaining experience in the commercial trade, the only career open to Muhammad as an orphan.
According to tradition, when Muhammad was either nine or twelve while accompanying the Meccans' caravan to Syria, he met a Christian monk or hermit named Bahira who is said to have foreseen Muhammed's career as a prophet of God.
Little is known of Muhammad during his later youth, and from the fragmentary information that is available, it is hard to separate history from legend.
It is known that he became a merchant and "was involved in trade between the Indian ocean and the Mediterranean Sea."
Due to his upright character he acquired the nickname الامين - (al-Amin - meaning 'faithful, trustworthy') and was sought out as an impartial arbitrator.
His reputation attracted a proposal from Khadijah, a forty-year-old widow in 595.
Muhammad consented to the marriage, which by all accounts was a happy one.


At some point Muhammad adopted the practice of meditating alone for several weeks every year in a cave on Mount Hira near Mecca.[50][51] Islamic tradition holds that during one of his visits to Mount Hira, the angel Gabriel appeared to him in the year 610 and commanded Muhammad to recite the following verses:

'Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-
Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:
Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,-
He Who taught (the use of) the pen,-
Taught man that which he knew not.'

Qur'an, sura 96 (Al-Alaq), ayat 1-5

According to some traditions, upon receiving his first revelations Muhammad was deeply distressed.
After returning home, Muhammad was consoled and reassured by Khadijah and her Christian cousin, Waraqah ibn Nawfal.
(Shi'a tradition maintains that Muhammad was neither surprised nor frightened at the appearance of Gabriel but rather welcomed him as if he had been expecting him.)
The initial revelation was followed by a pause of three years during which Muhammad further gave himself to prayers and spiritual practices.
When the revelations resumed he was reassured and commanded to begin preaching:

"Thy Guardian-Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased.".

It has been reported that these revelations were accompanied by mysterious seizures, and the reports are unlikely to have been forged by later Muslims.
Muhammad was confident that he could distinguish his own thoughts from these messages.
According to the Qur'an, one of the main roles of Muhammad is to warn the unbelievers of their eschatological punishment (Qur'an 38:70, Qur'an 6:19).
Sometimes the Qur'an does not explicitly refer to the Judgment day but provides examples from the history of some extinct communities and warns Muhammad's contemporaries of similar calamities (Qur'an 41:13–16).
Muhammad is not only a warner to those who reject God's revelation, but also a bearer of good news for those who abandon evil, listen to the divine word and serve God.
Muhammad's mission also involves preaching monotheism: The Qur'an demands Muhammad to proclaim and praise the name of his Lord and instructs him not to worship idols or associate other deities with God.
The key themes of the early Qur'anic verses included the responsibility of man towards his creator; the resurrection of dead, God's final judgment followed by vivid descriptions of the tortures in hell and pleasures in Paradise; and the signs of God in all aspects of life. Religious duties required of the believers at this time were few: belief in God, asking for forgiveness of sins, offering frequent prayers, assisting others particularly those in need, rejecting cheating and the love of wealth (considered to be significant in the commercial life of Mecca), being chaste and not to kill newborn girls.


According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad's wife Khadija was the first to believe he was a prophet.
She was soon followed by Muhammad's ten-year-old cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib, close friend Abu Bakr, and adopted son Zaid.
Around 613, Muhammad began his public preaching (Qur'an 26:214).
Most Meccans ignored him and mocked him, while a few others became his followers.
There were three main groups of early converts to Islam: younger brothers and sons of great merchants; people who had fallen out of the first rank in their tribe or failed to attain it; and the weak, mostly unprotected foreigners.
The opposition in Mecca started when Muhammad delivered verses that condemned idol worship and the Meccan forefathers who engaged in polytheism.
However, the Qur'anic exegesis maintains that it began as soon as Muhammad started public preaching.
As the number of followers increased, he became a threat to the local tribes and the rulers of the city, whose wealth rested upon the Kaaba, the focal point of Meccan religious life, which Muhammad threatened to overthrow.
Muhammad’s denunciation of the Meccan traditional religion was especially offensive to his own tribe, the Quraysh, as they were the guardians of the Ka'aba.
The powerful merchants tried to convince Muhammad to abandon his preaching by offering him admission into the inner circle of merchants, and establishing his position therein by an advantageous marriage. However, he refused.
Tradition records at great length the persecution and ill-treatment of Muhammad and his followers.
Sumayyah bint Khabbab, a slave of a prominent Meccan leader Abu Jahl, is famous as the first martyr of Islam, having been killed with a spear by her master when she refused to give up her faith.
Bilal, another Muslim slave, was tortured by Umayyah ibn Khalaf who placed a heavy rock on his chest to force his conversion.
Apart from insults, Muhammad was protected from physical harm as he belonged to the Banu Hashim clan.
After being persecuted by the Meccans, some of the early converts to Islam sought refuge in the Aksumite Empire.
In 615, some of Muhammad's followers emigrated to the Ethiopian Aksumite Empire and founded a small colony there under the protection of the Christian Ethiopian emperor.
An early hadith known as "The Story of the Cranes" was propagated by two Islamic scholars, Ibn Kathir al Dimashqi and Ibn Hijir al Masri, where the former has strengthened it and the latter called it fabricated. The hadith describes Muhammad's involvement at the time of migration in an episode which historian William Muir called the "Satanic Verses".
The account holds that Muhammad pronounced a verse acknowledging the existence of three Meccan goddesses considered to be the daughters of Allah, praising them, and appealing for their intercession.
According to this account, Muhammad later retracted the verses at the behest of Gabriel.
Islamic scholars have weakened the hadith and have denied the historicity of the incident as early as the tenth century.
In any event, relations between the Muslims and their pagan fellow-tribesmen were already deteriorated and worsening.
In 617, the leaders of Makhzum and Banu Abd-Shams, two important Quraysh clans, declared a public boycott against Banu Hashim, their commercial rival, to pressurize it into withdrawing its protection of Muhammad.
The boycott lasted three years but eventually collapsed as it failed in its objective.


Islamic tradition relates that in 620, Muhammad experienced the Isra and Mi'raj, a miraculous journey said to have occurred with the angel Gabriel in one night.
In the first part of the journey, the Isra, he is said to have travelled from Mecca on a winged horse to "the farthest mosque" (in Arabic: masjid al-aqsa), which Muslims usually identify with the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (see right).
In the second part, the Mi'raj, Muhammad is said to have toured heaven and hell, and spoken with earlier prophets, such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.
Ibn Ishaq, author of the first biography of Muhammad, presents this event as a spiritual experience whereas later historians like Al-Tabari and Ibn Kathir present it as a physical journey.
When he was transported to Heaven, he reported seeing an angel with "70,000 heads, each head having 70,000 mouths, each mouth having 70,000 tongues, each tongue speaking 70,000 languages; and every one involved in singing God's (Allah's) praises."
After calculation this would mean the angel spoke 24 quintillion (2.401 × 1019) languages for the praise of Allah. This description is similar word for word to the description of an angel seen by Moses in "The Revelation of Moses".
Some western scholars of Islam hold that the oldest Muslim tradition identified the journey as one traveled through the heavens from the sacred enclosure at Mecca to the celestial al-Baytu l-Ma'mur (heavenly prototype of the Kaaba); but later tradition identified Muhammad's journey from Mecca to Jerusalem.


Muhammad's wife Khadijah and his uncle Abu Talib both died in 619, the year thus being known as the "year of sorrow".
With the death of Abu Talib, the leadership of the Banu Hashim clan was passed to Abu Lahab, an inveterate enemy of Muhammad.
Soon afterwards, Abu Lahab withdrew the clan's protection from Muhammad.
This placed Muhammad in danger of death since the withdrawal of clan protection implied that the blood revenge for his killing would not be exacted.
Muhammad then visited Ta'if, another important city in Arabia, and tried to find a protector for himself there, but his effort failed and further brought him into physical danger.
Muhammad was forced to return to Mecca.
A Meccan man named Mut'im b. Adi (and the protection of the tribe of Banu Nawfal) made it possible for him safely to re-enter his native city.
Many people were visiting Mecca on business or as pilgrims to the Kaaba.
Muhammad took this opportunity to look for a new home for himself and his followers.
After several unsuccessful negotiations, he found hope with some men from Yathrib (later called Medina).
The Arab population of Yathrib were familiar with monotheism because a Jewish community existed there.
Converts to Islam came from nearly all Arab tribes in Medina, such that by June of the subsequent year there were seventy-five Muslims coming to Mecca for pilgrimage and to meet Muhammad.
Meeting him secretly by night, the group made what was known as the "Second Pledge of al-`Aqaba", or the "Pledge of War"
Following the pledges at Aqabah, Muhammad encouraged his followers to emigrate to Yathrib. As with the migration to Abyssinia, the Quraysh attempted to stop the emigration, however, almost all Muslims managed to leave.


A delegation consisting of the representatives of the twelve important clans of Medina, invited Muhammad as a neutral outsider to Medina to serve as chief arbitrator for the entire community.
There was fighting in Yathrib mainly involving its Arab and Jewish inhabitants for around a hundred years before 620.
The recurring slaughters and disagreements over the resulting claims, especially after the Battle of Bu'ath in which all clans were involved, made it obvious to them that the tribal conceptions of blood-feud and an eye for an eye were no longer workable unless there was one man with authority to adjudicate in disputed cases.
The delegation from Medina pledged themselves and their fellow-citizens to accept Muhammad into their community and physically protect him as one of themselves.
Muhammad instructed his followers to emigrate to Medina until virtually all his followers left Mecca.
Being alarmed at the departure of Muslims, according to the tradition, the Meccans plotted to assassinate Muhammad.
With the help of Ali, Muhammad fooled the Meccans who were watching him, and secretly slipped away from the town with Abu Bakr.
By 622, Muhammad emigrated to Medina, a large agricultural oasis.
Those who migrated from Mecca along with Muhammad became known as muhajirun (emigrants).

Among the first things Muhammad did in order to settle down the longstanding grievances among the tribes of Medina was drafting a document known as the Constitution of Medina, "establishing a kind of alliance or federation" among the eight Medinan tribes and Muslim emigrants from Mecca, which specified the rights and duties of all citizens and the relationship of the different communities in Medina (including that of the Muslim community to other communities, specifically the Jews and other "Peoples of the Book").
The community defined in the Constitution of Medina, Ummah, had a religious outlook but was also shaped by practical considerations and substantially preserved the legal forms of the old Arab tribes.
It effectively established the first Islamic state.
The first group of pagan converts to Islam in Medina were the clans who had not produced great leaders for themselves but had suffered from warlike leaders from other clans.
This was followed by the general acceptance of Islam by the pagan population of Medina, apart from some exceptions.
According to Ibn Ishaq, this was influenced by the conversion of Sa'd ibn Mu'adh (a prominent Medinan leader) to Islam.
Those Medinans who converted to Islam and helped the Muslim emigrants find shelter became known as the ansar (supporters).
Then Muhammad instituted brotherhood between the emigrants and the supporters and he chose Ali as his own brother.


Following the emigration, the Meccans seized the properties of the Muslim emigrants in Mecca.
Economically uprooted and with no available profession, the Muslim migrants turned to raiding Meccan caravans as an act of war, deliberately initiating armed conflict between the Muslims and Mecca.
Muhammad delivered Qur'anic verses permitting the Muslims to fight the Meccans (see sura Al-Hajj, Qur'an 22:39–40).
These attacks pressured Mecca by interfering with trade, and allowed the Muslims to acquire wealth, power and prestige while working towards their ultimate goal of inducing Mecca's submission to the new faith.
In March of 624, Muhammad led some three hundred warriors in a raid on a Meccan merchant caravan.
The Muslims set an ambush for them at Badr.
Aware of the plan, the Meccan caravan eluded the Muslims.
Meanwhile, a force from Mecca was sent to protect the caravan, continuing forward to confront the Muslims upon hearing that the caravan was safe.
The Battle of Badr began in March of 624.
Though outnumbered more than three to one, the Muslims won the battle, killing at least forty-five Meccans with only fourteen Muslims dead.
They also succeeded in killing many Meccan leaders, including Abu Jahl.
Seventy prisoners had been acquired, many of whom were soon ransomed in return for wealth or freed.
Muhammad and his followers saw in the victory a confirmation of their faith.
The Qur'anic verses of this period, unlike the Meccan ones, dealt with practical problems of government and issues like the distribution of spoils.
The victory strengthened Muhammad's position in Medina and dispelled earlier doubts among his followers.
As a result the opposition to him became less vocal.
Pagans who had not yet converted were very bitter about the advance of Islam.
Two pagans, Asma bint Marwan and Abu 'Afak, had composed verses taunting and insulting the Muslims.
They were killed by people belonging to their own or related clans, and no blood-feud followed.
Muhammad expelled from Medina the Banu Qaynuqa, one of three main Jewish tribes. Following the Battle of Badr, Muhammad also made mutual-aid alliances with a number of Bedouin tribes to protect his community from attacks from the northern part of Hijaz.


The attack at Badr committed Muhammad to total war with Meccans, who were now anxious to avenge their defeat.
To maintain their economic prosperity, the Meccans needed to restore their prestige, which had been lost at Badr.
In the ensuing months, Muhammad led expeditions on tribes allied with Mecca and sent out a raid on a Meccan caravan.
Abu Sufyan subsequently gathered an army of three thousand men and set out for an attack on Medina.
Mount Uhud, in north of Medina, was the site of the second battle between Muslim and Meccan forces.
A scout alerted Muhammad of the Meccan army's presence and numbers a day later.
The next morning, at the Muslim conference of war, there was dispute over how best to repel the Meccans.
Muhammad and many senior figures suggested that it would be safer to fight within Medina and take advantage of its heavily fortified strongholds.
Younger Muslims argued that the Meccans were destroying their crops, and that huddling in the strongholds would destroy Muslim prestige.
Muhammad eventually conceded to the wishes of the latter, and readied the Muslim force for battle.
Thus, Muhammad led his force outside to the mountain of Uhud (where the Meccans had camped) and fought the Battle of Uhud on March 23.
Although the Muslim army had the best of the early encounters, indiscipline on the part of strategically placed archers led to a Muslim defeat, with 75 Muslims killed including Hamza, Muhammad's uncle and one of the best known martyrs in the Muslim tradition.
The Meccans did not pursue the Muslims further, but marched back to Mecca declaring victory. They were not entirely successful, however, as they had failed to achieve their aim of completely destroying the Muslims.
The Muslims buried the dead, and returned to Medina that evening.
Questions accumulated as to the reasons for the loss, and Muhammad subsequently delivered Qur'anic verses 3:152 which indicated that their defeat was partly a punishment for disobedience and partly a test for steadfastness.
Abu Sufyan now directed his efforts towards another attack on Medina.
He attracted the support of nomadic tribes to the north and east of Medina, using propaganda about Muhammad's weakness, promises of booty, memories of the prestige of the Quraysh and use of bribes.
Muhammad's policy was now to prevent alliances against him as much as he could.
Whenever alliances of tribesmen against Medina were formed, he sent out an expedition to break them up.
When Muhammad heard of men massing with hostile intentions against Medina, he reacted with severity.
One example is the assassination of Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf, a chieftain of the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir who had gone to Mecca and written poems that helped rouse the Meccans' grief, anger and desire for revenge after the Battle of Badr.
Around a year later, Muhammad expelled the Banu Nadir from Medina.
Muhammad's attempts to prevent formation of a confederation against him were unsuccessful, though he was able to increase his own forces and stop many potential tribes from joining his enemies.


With the help of the exiled Banu Nadir, the Quraysh military leader Abu Sufyan had mustered a force of 10,000 men.
Muhammad prepared a force of about 3000 men and adopted a new form of defense unknown in Arabia at that time: the Muslims dug a trench wherever Medina lay open to cavalry attack.
The idea is credited to a Persian convert to Islam, Salman the Persian.
The siege of Medina began on March 31 627 and lasted for two weeks.
Abu Sufyan's troops were unprepared for the fortifications they were confronted with, and after an ineffectual siege lasting several weeks, the coalition decided to go home.
The Qur'an discusses this battle in sura Al-Ahzab, ayat (verses) 9-27, 33:9–27.
During the battle, the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, located at the south of Medina, had entered into negotiations with Meccan forces to revolt against Muhammad.
Although they were swayed by suggestions that Muhammad was sure to be overwhelmed, they desired reassurance in case the confederacy was unable to destroy him.
No agreement was reached after the prolonged negotiations, in part due to sabotage attempts by Muhammad's scouts.
After the coalition's retreat, the Muslims accused the Banu Qurayza of treachery and besieged them in their forts for 25 days.
The Banu Qurayza eventually surrendered and all the men, apart from a few who converted to Islam, were beheaded, while the women and children were enslaved.
In the siege of Medina, the Meccans exerted their utmost strength towards the destruction of the Muslim community.
Their failure resulted in a significant loss of prestige; their trade with Syria was gone.
Following the Battle of the Trench, Muhammad made two expeditions to the north which ended without any fighting.
While returning from one of these (or some years earlier according to other early accounts), an accusation of adultery was made against Aisha, Muhammad's wife. Aisha was exonerated from the accusations when Muhammad announced that he had received a revelation confirming Aisha's innocence and directing that charges of adultery be supported by four eyewitnesses.


Although Muhammad had already delivered Qur'anic verses commanding the Hajj, the Muslims had not performed it due to the enmity of the Quraysh.
In the month of Shawwal 628, Muhammad ordered his followers to obtain sacrificial animals and to make preparations for a pilgrimage (umrah) to Mecca, saying that God had promised him the fulfillment of this goal in a vision where he was shaving his head after the completion of the Hajj.
Upon hearing of the approaching 1,400 Muslims, the Quraysh sent out a force of 200 cavalry to halt them.
Muhammad evaded them by taking a more difficult route, thereby reaching al-Hudaybiyya, just outside of Mecca.
Although Muhammad's decision to make the pilgrimage was based on his dream, he was at the same time demonstrating to the pagan Meccans that Islam does not threaten the prestige of their sanctuary, and that Islam was an Arabian (?) religion.
Negotiations commenced with emissaries going to and from Mecca.
While these continued, rumors spread that one of the Muslim negotiators, Uthman bin al-Affan, had been killed by the Quraysh. Muhammad responded by calling upon the pilgrims to make a pledge not to flee (or to stick with Muhammad, whatever decision he made) if the situation descended into war with Mecca.
This pledge became known as the بيعة الرضوان - bay'at al-ridhwān‎ - (Pledge of Acceptance) or the "Pledge under the Tree".
News of Uthman's safety, however, allowed for negotiations to continue, and a treaty scheduled to last ten years was eventually signed between the Muslims and Quraysh.
The main points of the treaty included the cessation of hostilities; the deferral of Muhammad's pilgrimage to the following year; and an agreement to send back any Meccan who had gone to Medina without the permission of their protector.
Many Muslims were not satisfied with the terms of the treaty, however, the Qur'anic sura "Al-Fath" (The Victory) (Qur'an 48:1–29) assured the Muslims that the expedition from which they were now returning must be considered a victorious one.
It was only later that Muhammad's followers would realise the benefit behind this treaty. According to Welch, these benefits included the inducing of the Meccans to recognise Muhammad as an equal; a cessation of military activity posing well for the future; and gaining the admiration of Meccans who were impressed by the incorporation of the pilgrimage rituals.
After signing the truce, Muhammad made an expedition against the Jewish oasis of Khaybar, known as the Battle of Khaybar.
This was possibly due to it housing the Banu Nadir, who were inciting hostilities against Muhammad, or to regain some prestige to deflect from what appeared to some Muslims as the inconclusive result of the truce of Hudaybiyya.
According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad also sent letters to many rulers of the world, asking them to convert to Islam (the exact date is given variously in the sources).
Hence he sent messengers (with letters) to Heraclius of the Byzantine Empire (the eastern Roman Empire), Khosrau of Persia, the chief of Yemen and to some others.
In the years following the truce of Hudaybiyya, Muhammad sent his forces against the Arabs on Transjordanian Byzantine soil in the Battle of Mu'tah, in which the Muslims were defeated.


The truce of Hudaybiyyah had been enforced for two years.
The tribe of Banu Khuza'a had good relations with Muhammad, whereas their enemies, the Banu Bakr, had an alliance with the Meccans.
A clan of the Bakr made a night raid against the Khuza'a, killing a few of them.
The Meccans helped the Banu Bakr with weapons and, according to some sources, a few Meccans also took part in the fighting.
After this event, Muhammad sent a message to Mecca with three conditions, asking them to accept one of them.
These were that either the Meccans paid blood money for those slain among the Khuza'ah tribe; or, that they should disavow themselves of the Banu Bakr; or, that they should declare the truce of Hudaybiyyah null.
The Meccans replied that they would accept only the last condition, however, soon they realized their mistake and sent Abu Sufyan to renew the Hudaybiyyah treaty, but now his request was declined by Muhammad.
Muhammad began to prepare for a campaign.
In 630, Muhammad marched on Mecca with an enormous force, said to number more than ten thousand men.
With minimal casualties, Muhammad took control of Mecca.
He declared an amnesty for past offences, except for ten men and women who had mocked and ridiculed him in songs and verses.
Some of these were later pardoned.
Most Meccans converted to Islam and Muhammad subsequently destroyed all the statues of Arabian gods in and around the Kaaba.


Soon after the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad was alarmed by a military threat from the confederate tribes of Hawazin who were collecting an army twice the size of Muhammad's.
The Banu Hawazin were old enemies of the Meccans.
They were joined by the Banu Thaqif (inhabiting the city of Ta'if) who adopted an anti-Meccan policy due to the decline of the prestige of Meccans.
Muhammad defeated the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes in the Battle of Hunayn.
In the same year, Muhammad made the expedition of Tabuk against northern Arabia because of their previous defeat at the Battle of Mu'tah as well as reports of the hostile attitude adopted against Muslims.
Although Muhammad did not make contact with hostile forces at Tabuk, he received the submission of some local chiefs of the region.
A year after the Battle of Tabuk, the Banu Thaqif sent emissaries to Medina to surrender to Muhammad and adopt Islam.
Many bedouins submitted to Muhammad in order to be safe against his attacks and to benefit from the booties of the wars.
However, the bedouins were alien to the system of Islam and wanted to maintain their independence, their established code of virtue and their ancestral traditions.
Muhammad thus required of them a military and political agreement according to which they "acknowledge the suzerainty of Medina, to refrain from attack on the Muslims and their allies, and to pay the Zakat, the Muslim religious levy."


At the end of the tenth year after the migration to Medina, Muhammad carried through his first truly Islamic pilgrimage, thereby teaching his followers the rites of the annual Hajj.
After completing the pilgrimage, Muhammad delivered a famous speech known as The Farewell Sermon.
In this sermon, Muhammad advised his followers not to follow certain pre-Islamic customs such as adding intercalary months to align the lunar calendar with the solar calendar.
Muhammad abolished all old blood feuds and disputes based on the former tribal system and asked for all old pledges to be returned as implications of the creation of the new Islamic community.
Commenting on the vulnerability of women in his society, Muhammed asked his male followers to “Be good to women; for they are powerless captives (awan) in your households.
You took them in God’s trust, and legitimated your sexual relations with the Word of God, so come to your senses people, and hear my words ...”.
He also told them that they were entitled to discipline their wives but should do so with kindness. Muhammad also addressed the issue of inheritance by forbidding false claims of paternity or of a client relationship to the deceased and also forbidding his followers to leave their wealth to a testamentary heir.
He also upheld the sacredness of four lunar months in each year.
According to Sunni tafsir, the following Qur'anic verse was delivered in this incident: “Today I have perfected your religion, and completed my favours for you and chosen Islam as a religion for you.”(Qur'an 5:3)
A few months after the farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and suffered for several days with a fever, head pain and weakness.
He died on Monday, June 8, 632, in Medina, at the age of 63.
With his head resting on Aisha's lap he murmured his final words soon after asking her to dispose of his last worldly goods, which were seven coins:

Rather, God on High and paradise.

He is buried where he died, which was in Aisha's house and is now housed within the Mosque of the Prophet in the city of Medina.
Next to Muhammad's tomb, there is another empty tomb that Muslims believe awaits Jesus.

Tomb of the Prophet - Medina - المدينة المنورة‎
(Masjid e Nabi-i - المسجد النبوي‎)

The Mosque of the Tomb of the Prophet - Medina - المدينة المنورة‎
(Masjid e Nabi-i - المسجد النبوي‎)

Muhammad united the tribes of Arabia into a single Arab Muslim religious polity in the last years of his life.
With Muhammad's death, disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community.
Umar ibn al-Khattab, a prominent companion of Muhammad, nominated Abu Bakr, Muhammad's friend and collaborator.
Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph.
This choice was disputed by some of Muhammad's companions, who held that Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, had been designated the successor by Muhammad at Ghadir Khumm.
Abu Bakr's immediate task was to make an expedition against the Byzantine (or Eastern Roman Empire) forces because of the previous defeat, although he first had to put down a rebellion by Arab tribes in an episode referred to by later Muslim historians as the Ridda wars, or "Wars of Apostasy".
The pre-Islamic Middle East was dominated by the Byzantine and Sassanian empires.
The Roman-Persian Wars between the two had devastated the inhabitants, making the empires unpopular amongst local tribes.
Furthermore, most Christian Churches in the lands to be conquered by Muslims such as Nestorians, Monophysites, Jacobites and Copts were under pressure from the Christian Orthodoxy who deemed them heretics.
Within only a decade, Muslims conquered Mesopotamia and Persia, Roman Syria and Roman Egypt and established the Rashidun empire.

Muslims consider Muhammad to be the final prophet,
& the messenger of God's final revelation - the Holy Qur'an. 

see also 

Adventures in Egypt

Islam in Egypt

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ – الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ – وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ


The Arms of the Arab Republic of Egypt
(Ǧumhūriyyat Miṣr al-ʿArabiyyah)
جمهورية مصر العربية

The republic of Egypt has recognized Islam as the state religion since 1980.
Egypt is predominantly Muslim, with Muslims comprising about 90% of a population of around 80 million Egyptians.
Almost the entirety of Egypt's Muslims are Sunnis.
Most of the non-Muslims in Egypt are Christians, though estimates vary.
Prior to Napoleon's invasion, almost all of Egypt's educational, legal, public health, and social welfare issues were in the hands of religious functionaries.
Ottoman rule reinforced the public and political roles of the ulama (religious scholars) because Islam was the state religion and because political divisions in the country were based on religious divisions.

For more information about Ottoman rule in Egypt see


During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, successive governments made extensive efforts to limit the role of the ulama in public life and to bring religious institutions under closer state control.
The secular transformation of public life in Egypt depended on the development of a civil bureaucracy that would absorb many of the ulama's responsibilities in the country.
After the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, the government assumed responsibility for appointing officials to mosques and religious schools.
The government mandated reform of Al-Azhar University beginning in 1961.
These reforms permitted department heads to be drawn from outside the ranks of the traditionally trained orthodox ulama.

for more information about Egypt see


The Mosques of Cairo

As of 1917, Egyptian Islam was a complex and diverse religion.
Although Muslims agreed on the faith's basic tenets, the country's various social groups and classes applied Islam differently in their daily lives.
The literate theologians of Al-Azhar University generally rejected the version of Islam practiced by illiterate religious preachers and peasants in the countryside.
Most upper- and middle-class Muslims believed either that religious expression was a private matter for each individual or that Islam should play a more dominant role in public life.
Islamic religious revival movements, whose appeal cut across class lines, were present in most cities and in many villages.
Today devout Muslims believe that Islam defines one's relationship to God, to other Muslims, and to non-Muslims.
They also believe that there can be no dichotomy between the sacred and the secular.
Many Muslims say that Egypt's governments have been secularist and even anti-religious since the early 1920s.
Politically organized Muslims who seek to purge the country of its secular policies are referred to as "Islamists."

Egypt's largely uneducated urban and rural lower classes are intensely devoted to Islam, but they lack a thorough knowledge of the religion.
Even village religious leaders have only a rudimentary knowledge of Islam.
The typical village imam or prayer leader has at most a few years of schooling; his scholarly work is limited to reading prayers and sermons prepared by others and to learning passages from the Qur'an.
Popular religion includes a variety of unorthodox practices, such as veneration of saints, recourse to charms and amulets, and belief in the influence of evil spirits.
Popular Islam is based mostly on oral tradition.
Imams with virtually no formal education commonly memorize the entire Qur'an and recite appropriate verses on religious occasions.
They also tell religious stories at village festivals and commemorations marking an individual's rites of passage.
Predestination plays an important role in popular Islam.
This concept includes the belief that everything that happens in life is the will of God and the belief that trying to avoid misfortune is useless and invites worse affliction.
Monotheism merges with a belief in angels, spirits (called Jinns), and Revelations from God in the form of Books.
Popular Islam ranges from informal prayer sessions or Qur'an study to organized cults or orders. Because of the pervasive sexual segregation of Egypt's Islamic society, men and women often practice their religion in different ways.

A specifically female religious custom is the zar, a ceremony for helping women placate spirits who are believed to have possessed them.
Women specially trained by their mothers or other women in zar lore organize the ceremonies. A zar organizer holds weekly meetings and employs music and dance to induce ecstatic trances in possessed women.
Wealthy women sometimes pay to have private zars conducted in their homes; these zars are more elaborate than public ones, last for several days, and sometimes involve efforts to exorcise spirits.

A primarily male spiritual manifestation is Sufism, an Islamic mystical tradition.
Sufism has existed since the early days of Islam, some odd years after the prophet Muhammad died. and is found in many Islamic countries.
The name derives from the Arabic word suf (wool), referring to the rough garb of the early mystics.

Sufism exists in a number of forms, most of which represent an original tarika developed by an inspired founder, or shaykh.
These shaykhs gradually gathered about themselves murids, or disciples, whom they initiated into the tarika.
Gradually the murids formed orders, also known as turuq, which were loyal to the shaykh or his successors.

The devotions of many Sufi orders center on various forms of the dhikr, a ceremony at which music, body movements, and chants induce a state of ecstatic trance in the disciples.
Since the early 1970s, there has been a revival of interest in Sufism.

جامعة الأزهر الشريف‎
Game'at Al-Azhar al-Šarif - Al-Azhar University

القاهرة‎  Cairo - Egypt

Al-Azhar University is an educational institute in Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 970~972 as a madrasa, it is the chief centre of Arabic literature and Sunni Islamic learning in the world.
It is the oldest degree-granting university in Egypt after Cairo University.
In 1961 non-religious subjects were added to its curriculum.
Al-Azhar is one of the main sources of fatwas in the world.
It is associated with Al-Azhar Mosque in Islamic Cairo.
The university's mission includes the propagation of Islamic religion and culture. To this end, its Islamic scholars (ulamas) render edicts (fatwas) on disputes submitted to them from all over the Sunni Islamic world regarding proper conduct for Muslim individuals and societies.
Al-Azhar also trains Egyptian government appointed preachers in proselytization (da'wa).
Its library is considered second in importance in Egypt only to the Egyptian National Library and Archives.
In May 2005, Al-Azhar in partnership with a Dubai information technology enterprise, ITEP launched the H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Project to Preserve Al Azhar Scripts and Publish Them Online (the "Al-Azhar Online Project") with the mission of eventually providing online access to the library's entire rare manuscripts collection (comprising about seven million pages).

جامعة الأزهر الشريف‎
Game'at Al-Azhar al-Šarif - Al-Azhar University
The Ghuri Minaret 

القاهرة‎  Cairo - Egypt

The double finial minaret was built in 1509 by Qansah al-Ghuri.
Sitting on a square base, the first shaft is octagonal, and four sides have a decorative keel arch, separated from the adjacent sides with two columns.
The second shaft, separated from the first by a fretted balconies supported by muqarnas, is also octagonal and decorated with blue faience.
A balcony separates the third level from the second shaft.
The third level is made up of two rectangular shafts with horseshoe arches on each side of both shafts.
Atop each of these two shafts rests a finial, with a balcony separating the finials from the shafts.

 جامع الأزهر‎
Gama` al-Azhar - The Mosque of the Most Resplendent
القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

Al-Azhar Mosque is a mosque in Islamic Cairo in Egypt.
Al-Mu‘izz li-Din Allah of the Fatimid Caliphate commissioned its construction for the newly-established capital city in 970.
Its name is usually thought to allude to the Islamic prophet Muhammad's daughter Fatimah, a revered figure in Islam who was given the title az-Zahra' ("the shining one").
It was the first mosque established in Cairo, a city that has since gained the nickname "the city of a thousand minarets."

 جامع الأزهر‎
Gama` al-Azhar - The Mosque of the Most Resplendent
Courtyard  Wall

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

After its dedication in 972, and with the hiring by mosque authorities of 35 scholars in 989, the mosque slowly developed into what is today the second oldest continuously run university in the world after Al Karaouine.

Al-Azhar University has long been regarded as the foremost institution in the Islamic world for the study of Sunni theology and sharia, or Islamic law.

 جامع الأزهر‎
Gama` al-Azhar - The Mosque of the Most Resplendent

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

The university, integrated within the mosque as part of a mosque school since its inception, was nationalized and officially designated an independent university in 1961, following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.
Over the course of its over a millennium-long history, the mosque has been alternately neglected and highly regarded.
Because it was founded as an Ismaili institution, Saladin and the Sunni Ayyubid dynasty that he founded shunned al-Azhar, removing its status as a congregational mosque and denying stipends to students and teachers at its school.
These moves were reversed under the Mamluk Sultanate, under whose rule numerous expansions and renovations took place.
Later rulers of Egypt showed differing degrees of deference to the mosque and provided widely varying levels of financial assistance, both to the school and to the upkeep of the mosque.
Today, al-Azhar remains a deeply influential institution in Egyptian society and a symbol of Islamic Egypt.

 جامع الأزهر‎
Gama` al-Azhar - The Mosque of the Most Resplendent
Mustafa in the Courtyard of al-Azhar

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

 جامع الأزهر‎
Gama` al-Azhar - The Mosque of the Most Resplendent

Kohme praying at  al-Azhar Mosque

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

مسجد الإمام الحسين‎ - (جامع سيدنا الحسين)
Al-Hussein Mosque

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

Al-Hussein Mosque is a mosque built in 1154 and located in Cairo, Egypt, near the Khan El-Khalili Bazaar.

مسجد الإمام الحسين‎ - (جامع سيدنا الحسين)

Shrine of Sayyidna al Hussein Mosque
Al-Hussein Mosque

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

It is named after the grandson of Muhammad, Husayn ibn Ali, whose head is believed by some to be buried on the grounds of the mosque.
The mosque, considered to be one of the holiest Islamic sites in Cairo, was built on the cemetery of the Fatimid caliphs, a fact that was later discovered during the excavation.
The mausoleum (dating back to 1154) is the oldest part of the complex.

مسجد الإمام الحسين‎ - (جامع سيدنا الحسين)

Shrine of Sayyidna al Hussein Mosque
Al-Hussein Mosque

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

مسجد الإمام الحسين‎ - (جامع سيدنا الحسين)
Al-Hussein Mosque - Interior

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

The current building was built in the 19th century, and was influenced by Gothic Revival architecture.
The Mosque houses some very sacred items like the oldest believed complete manuscript of the Quran.

مسجد الإمام الحسين‎ - (جامع سيدنا الحسين)
Al-Hussein Mosque - Interior

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

There is a marble slab on the mosque which contains the hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad says: "Husain is from me and I am from Husain. May Allah love whoever loves Husain. Husain is a grandson (chief) from the grandsons (chieftains)."
At the bottom of the slab, it says this is a good (hasan) hadith related by Tirmidhi, and also related by Bukhari and Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

مسجد الإمام الحسين‎ - (جامع سيدنا الحسين)
Al-Hussein Mosque - Interior

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

مسجد الرفاعى‎
Al-Rifa'i Mosque

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

The Al-Rifa'i Mosque (named in English as the Royal Mosque), is located in Cairo, Egypt, in Midan al-Qal'a, adjacent to the Cairo Citadel.
The building is located opposite the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, which dates from around 1361, and was architecturally conceived as a complement to the older structure.
This was part of a vast campaign by the 19th century rulers of Egypt to both associate themselves with the perceived glory of earlier periods in Egypt's Islamic history and modernize the city.
The mosque was constructed next to two large public squares and off of several European style boulevards constructed around the same time.
The Al-Rifa'i Mosque was constructed in two phases over the period between 1869 and 1912, when it was finally completed.
It was originally commissioned by Khushyar Hanim, the mother of the 19th century Khedive Isma'il Pasha to expand and replace the preexisting zawiya (shrine) of the medieval era Islamic saint Ahmad al-Rifa'i.
The zawiya was a pilgrimage site for locals who believed that the tomb had mystical healing properties.
Khushayer envisioned a dual purpose for the new structure as a house for sufi relics and a mausoleum for the royal family of Egypt.
Over the course of its construction the architect, design, and purpose were changed.
The original architect was Husayn Fahmi Pasha al-Mi'mar, a distant cousin in the dynasty founded by Muhammad Ali in 1803.
He died during the first phase of construction, and work was halted after Khedive Isma'il Pasha abdicated in 1880.
Khushayar Hanim herself died in 1885, and work was not resumed until 1905 when the Khedive Abbas Hilmi II ordered its completion.
The building itself is a melange of styles taken primarily from the Mamluk period of Egyptian history, including its dome and minaret.
The building contains a large prayer hall as well as the shrines of al-Rifa'i and two other local saints, Ali Abi-Shubbak and Yahya al-Ansari.
The mosque is the resting place of Khushyar Hanim and her son Isma'il Pasha, as well as numerous other members of Egypt's royal family, includingKing Farouk, Egypt's last reigning king, whose body was interred here after his death in Rome in 1965.
The mosque served briefly as the resting place of Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran, who died in exile in South Africa in 1944, and was returned to Iran after World War II.
Part of the burial chamber is currently occupied by Reza Shah's son Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who died in Cairo in 1980.

مسجد الرفاعى‎

Mustafa at the Tomb of Sha Mohammed Reza Pahlavi

Al-Rifa'i Mosque
القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

مسجد الرفاعى‎

Mustafa at the Tomb of Malik Farouk

Al-Rifa'i Mosque
القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

مسجد محمد علي
Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha - (Mehmet Ali Pasa Camii)

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque is a mosque situated in the Citadel of Cairo in Egypt and commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848.
Situated on the summit of the citadel, this Ottoman mosque, the largest to be built in the first half of the 19th century, is, with its animated silhouette and twin minarets, the most visible mosque in Cairo.
The mosque was built in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali's oldest son, who died in 1816.
This mosque, along with the citadel, is one of the landmarks and tourist attractions of Cairo and is one of the first features to be seen when approaching the city from no matter which side.

مسجد محمد علي
Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha - (Mehmet Ali Pasa Camii)

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

مسجد محمد علي
Mustafa at the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha

القاهرة‎ Cairo - Egypt

Dr. Ahmed Al Tayyeb and Mustafa Abd el Nabi

Mustafa Abd el Nabi - also known as Peter Crawford - is the author of this blog

Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Tayyeb

Grand Sheikh of Al-Azar 

Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb أحمد محمد الطيب‎ (Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb Arabic: الشيخ أحمد محمد الطيب‎) is the current Imam of al-Azhar Mosque.
He was appointed by the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, following the death of Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy in 2010.
Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad al Tayeb was formerly the president of the Al Azhar for seven years and prior to that, served for two years as the sec­ond most powerful cleric in Egypt as its Grand Mufti.
Al Tayeb’s scholarly influence as a leading intellectual of Sunni Islam spans the globe. He has served as the dean of the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Aswan, and the theology faculty of the International Islamic University in Pakistan. He has also taught in universities in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh al Tayeb holds a PhD in Islamic philosophy from Sor­bonne University.
Al Tayeb has emphasised his mission to promote traditional Islam since becoming Grand Sheikh. He has since issued decisions to teach all four schools of traditional Islamic thought at Al Azhar University, while stressing the importance of teaching students about Islamic heritage - considering Al Azhar graduates as ambassadors of Islam to the world.
Sheikh al Tayeb leads the second-oldest university in the world, where teaching has con­tinued without interruption since 975 CE. Al Azhar represents the center of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. It is a key institution that issues authoritative religious rulings and has pro­vided extensive Islamic education to Egyptian and international students since its inception over a millennium ago.
This history makes Al Azhar a bastion of Sunni traditionalism.
The university is considered one of the most prominent Islamic educational institutions, and the foremost center of Sunni Muslim scholarship in the world.
Al Azhar is the second oldest, and currently the largest, university in the world, having risen from a group of three schools in the 1950s to its current state with 72 feeder schools, and close to 400,000 students studying there at any one time. Including schools that are part of Al Azhar waqf initiatives there are close to 2 million students.
This immense size and grounded respect make the head of Al Azhar an extraordinarily powerful and academically influential person. In spite of his huge workload as president, and now as Grand Sheikh, al Tayeb pub­lishes regularly in numerous academic journals, dealing particularly with the reception of Islamic culture and philosophy in the Western world.
Al Tayeb is also a member of the Egyptian Society of Philosophy, the Supreme Court of Is­lamic Affairs and is the head of the Religious Committee at the Egyptian Radio and Television Union.