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Muhammad

by Micha F. Lindemans
Muhammad (570-632 CE) is for the Muslims the last and most trustworthy prophet of the one God. God revealed to him the Qur'an in chapters or in strings of verses, between his fortieth and his death. The revelation happened when a voice called Muhammad to recite (Qur'an 96:1-3). Receiving these revelations left Muhammad exhausted. There are a few allusions to visions (Qur'an 17:60, 53:5, 82:23) and two allusions to the 'night journey' and the journey to heaven or ascension during which Muhammad travelled through the skies (Qur'an 17:1, 53:5-18).

Muhammad was insan al-kamil, "the perfect man", because he never lied. For if he lied just once, how could anyone believe whatever else he might have said? Also, he was perfect because he was chosen by God to be his last prophet, to whom he entrusted his definitive revelation to mankind.

An extensive biographical literature, the hadith, details every word of Muhammad that was remembered by his contemporaries. In addition there is also an extensive popular tradition relating his numerous miracles (mawlid).


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