Essay: Muhammad’s Life as a Prophet
His life as a prophet was not easy although it is difficult for Muslims of today to understand this. He had to make his new type of religion prosper. Life in the desert was governed by tribal structures and this had spread even to the Makkah settlements although it appeared urban. With the tribal afflictions, one could fairly kill anyone he wished without any form of group protection. Muhammad had to criticize all these customs, which were inhuman, and this meant that he had to greatly be opposed by the tribes including his own tribe. It also meant that he was not on the side of his tribe and thus it could not protect him from anything. This was a tough experience.
There was the jahiliyyah notion that prevailed at the time of the prophet’s birth. This notion was cruel as Armstrong puts it, “Its primary meaning is ‘irascibility’: an acute sensitivity to honour and prestige: arrogance, excess, and above all, a chronic tendency to violence and retaliation. Jahili people were too proud to make the surrender to Islam”. This notion was contrasting the teachings of Islam since Islam is surrendering to God while this notion was a hilm notion that was taught by the Quran. It meant mercy, patience and forbearance. With this notion, the people could, “control their anger and remain calm in the most difficult circumstances instead of exploding with rage; they were slow to retaliate; they did not hit back when suffered an injury”. Jahiliyyah was the main vice of kafirun, which are the people who are resistant to God’s benevolence signs and are not able to translate what they belief in to action.