By Yusuf Estes, Former Christian Preacher
Almost everyone on the earth today is discussing Prophet Muhammad r. 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 to list herein, yet all have been preserved in original form throughout the centuries by both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Muhammad (son of) ‘Abdullah (son of) Abdul Mutalib, was born in the year 571 C.E. (Christian Era) in Makkah, Felix Arabia (today: Saudi Arabia) and he died in 633 C.E. in the city of Madinah.
A2. 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 spoke the truth. He was also called "Al-Amin" (the Trustworthy) due to his integrity and always upholding 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 honour 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."
B2. Born as a descendent of Abraham u through his first born son, Ishmael (Ismail in Arabic) u to the noble tribe of the Quraysh who were the leaders of Makkah in those days. Muhammad's blood line traces directly back to Abraham u.
This could certainly point to the fulfilment of the Old Testament (Torah) prophecy in Deuteronomy (chapter 18:15) of a Prophet, like unto Moses from "their brethren."
C2. He insisted on keeping the Commandments of Almighty God, just as his great grandfathers and Prophets of old had done in the past. Here is a statement from Muhammad r while the Qur'an 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 shameful sins, 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." (chapter 6, verse 151)