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Mohammad As A Prophet And A Statesman

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The life of Muhammad, considered as the last prophet by Muslims, has multiple dimensions. The most prominent role is that of a prophet but when we take a deeper look, we find that he was, in fact, a statesman who led his nation to a new political and social level. Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world’s great religions and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive. (Michael, 1978)

The message of Muhammad as a prophet was simple. There’s no god but Allah and he (Muhammad) is the last messenger of God. Denying the number of gods and bowing before only one was an unacceptable proposition for the majority of the tribes and they did everything to stop Muhammad, but we see that in a little period of time, particularly after migration to Madinah, the message spread and number of Muslims started to rise. This was, perhaps, achieved by the great leadership policies and statesmanship of Muhammad.

Long before he announced himself as the prophet, he was known as being a trustworthy, honest and credible person. His supreme wisdom was demonstrated when he prevented a possible war between tribes over fixing the Black Stone at its original place after the Holy Ka’bah was reconstructed. The leader of each tribe wanted to restore the stone to its place and they have made up their minds to fight one another if needed. Muhammad came up with the solution of putting Black Stone in the middle of the cloth and asked a representative of each tribe to hold one of the edges of cloth to bring it to the place and then he himself restored it to the position and prevent a deadly bloodshed.

As his message of Islam spread so did his impact as a statesman. On one hand, he led his small number of companions, with very little resources, to different successful combats and on the other hand, he wrote diplomatic letters to different states. Considering the situation of a small set of people, expelled from their land because of their new religion, the challenges were immense. Muhammad led his people with vision. Treaty of Hudaibiyah was one of his significant political decision where he entered the peace treaty with the people of Makkah. It turned out to be one of the most outstanding events of Islamic history. Some of the terms of treaty seemed against Muslims but it was Muhammad’s farsightedness and political awareness that made it possible to have peace between two cities. Once peace was established, the message of Islam started to spread in different tribes. Muhammad laid the foundation of the first Islamic state in Madinah. The people of Makkah had already recognized him as the leader of Madinah state because of Hudaibiyah treaty. Within next few years, he was able to conquer Makkah without a single drop of blood.

Before the rise of Islam, Arab was a place of lawlessness, abductions and deadly fights, lacking any sort of political system. Muhammad introduced the first society based on justice and peace. Consider, for instance, when he was asked to forgive a woman for her theft, he categorically said that if her daughter is caught doing such a deed, she would have to face the same charges. In a matter of few years, he was able to lay the foundation of a state that served as an example for the model state. He, along with strengthening the newly formed society, started diplomatic relations with other states. He sent his peace ambassadors to invite countries to join in his mission of creating a society which is based on mutual respect and human dignity. The rapid expansion of this small state to a great world empire shows his vision and wisdom. He initiated a movement so strong that it completely transformed the working of Arabs for ages to come.

Muhammad started his message with the oneness of God, in the light of Quran, giving rise to a new religion. The hardships he faced when there was no rational logic to be successful against the centuries-old system reflect his belief in his divine message. With his firm commitment and unshakable belief, he was able to redefine the lives of Arabs in the light of rules and regulation that were based on humanity and equality. As a statesman, he engaged in the political issues of the time as Michael H. Hart mentioned in his book that he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.

Muhammad would periodically visit a cave about three miles away from the city of Mecca to pray and meditate and to seek God. It is there that the angel Gabriel supposedly appeared to Muhammad in the form of a man. Gabriel commanded Muhammad to recite. Muhammad refused once, and Gabriel embraced him for quite some time and then again told him to recite. Muhammad refused again and again, Gabriel embraced him. This happened one more time and Muhammad finally gave in and recited.

Muhammad was confused as to why this happened and then he noticed that the man had turned into the cosmic form of the angel Gabriel. He was stretched out from one side of the sky to the other and he told Muhammad that he was the angel Gabriel and that Muhammad was his messenger. He then left him and Muhammad was initially concerned that he was possessed by a jinn (demon) and he hated the jinn possessed poets. This concern was alleviated for him when Gabriel reappeared to him and informed him that he was indeed a messenger of Allah and that Allah had sent Gabriel to tell him this. Even with this confirmation, Muhammad was still incredulous as to what had happened.

Muhammad was still confused when he went back to his house and informed his wife about what happened and asked her what she thought it meant. She said that she believed it was a divine appointment to a prophetic office. Muhammad readily agreed and was eager to hear his next divine word from Gabriel or from Allah. Unfortunately for him, he was not going to hear this word for another two years, two years which drove him into the pits of despair and even made him suicidal at times.

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Finally, after a two year wait for another revelation, Muhammad started to get more and more frequent revelations about what he should write down for the Koran. Sometimes he saw the angel Gabriel, sometimes he heard a bell with voices and sometimes he just heard the voice of Allah. Often times he would foam at the mouth and fall to the ground when he received his revelations. The followers of Muhammad at the time would write down what Muhammad dictated to them to write down after he had his visions. The main theme of these visions was that Allah was the only true God and the way that the Arab people lived should always point to worshipping Him and Him alone. This started a whole new way of thinking for Muhammad and he started to preach what he had learned within his visions. The initial response to his visions was less then pleasant for Muhammad. His wife, his adopted son, and a merchant named Abu Bakr were the few people that actually believed that Muhammad was a prophet of God and would be able to lead people to following who they believed was the one true God. This started the process of a long, slow, march to becoming one of the world’s most wide-spread and well known religions.

Muhammad was not exactly the most popular individual with his new belief system. There were many people within the Arab culture that called him names like: majnun (possessed), kahin (soothsayer), or magician (sahir). Later down the road, some scholars would speculate that Muhammad could have been epileptic and having seizures during the time that he was receiving his visions. This view has not been taken up by many people though, due to the valid point made that epileptic seizures have not commonly resulted in the foundation of major world religions. The visions that Muhammad had were dictated to some of his early followers and copied down on whatever they could find that could be written on. The writings were kept for future reference so they could help to dictate what would later become the Qur’an.

The themes of the first revelations that Muhammad received were easily recorded. Some of these themes included the following:

The benevolence and omnipotence of God, especially as it is manifest especially as it is manifest in nature; the proper human response to God’s goodness, which is gratitude, submissive worship, and generosity to the poor, the widow, and the orphan; the imminence of the last judgment, both personal and cosmic; the rewards of paradise; the terrors and agonies of hell; and the prophetic call of Muhammad himself. The earth and the heavens will pass away. The sky will be torn, the mountains will be moved, the moon and the stars will be extinguished. The dead will be raised, gathered, judged, and sent to either paradise or flames.

It was writings like these that started intense and heated opposition. One of the main enemies of Muhammad at this time was a man by the name of Abu Jahl, who is described as being a small, red-haired, strong, brutal, despotic and cunning. Abu Jahl knew that if a man like Muhammad had the type of influence he could potentially have, he could potentially ruin the life that Abu Jahl knew, a life that involved quite a large sum of money and power for Abu Jahl himself. Abu Jahl dedicated himself to making sure that the prophet Muhammad would be opposed at all costs. He did not want the prophet to gain a following that would end up changing the world as they knew it at the time. Abu Jahl’s followers joined him in persecuting the followers of Muhammad. Muhammad ended up having to use the greater part of his wealth in order to ransom those of his followers who were under their power. The only group of people that protected the Muslims at that time was the Hashimites. The rest of the people that were in the near vicinity of area of Mecca were hostile towards the followers of Muhammad. Muhammad was surprised to find out that when he was facing quite a lot of adversity in the initial stages of trying to spread the religion that he believed to be the one true religion. If it was not for the protection of Abu Talib, his uncle, who was the leader of the Hashimites, Muhammad may not have been able to spread Islam in the manner that he did.

Muhammad’s first wife Kahdija was a confidant, mentor, and huge supporter of the Islamic movement. Due to the fact that Kahdija was fifteen years Muhammad’s senior, she ended up dying before he did. When she did, Muhammad decided that it was a good time to branch out and get more wives. He ended up having at least four more wives and most of them were much younger than he was. However, he decided that it made sense, because a man of his stature and giftedness should not have to abide by the rules and guidelines set by mere men. This was something that would be used for guidelines for the Islamic faith for years to come after this.

Shortly after the death of Khadija, Muhammad ended up moving to Medina with his followers. There were plenty of things that Muhammad could do in order to help bring the religion of Islam to the area. One of the changes that Muhammad made to Medina when he arrived there was he made sure that the people stopped quarreling about who got the best plot of land. He made the decisions within the land based upon religious laws, not by any tribal means. The people of Medina viewed him as a wise counselor and excellent judge. During his time at in Medinah, Muhammad not only counseled the tribal people in the land and was their judge; he also set up what is called the ummah (brotherhood of Muslims) as well as wrote a Constitution for the city of Medina. He was knowledgeable in how to make an impact in many different ways within a community, including religious, political, and social.

Shortly after the constitution was written and Muhammad had seen a change in the mentality of the people in Medina, and they were abiding the law closer than before, he decided that it was time to make a pilgrimage back to Mecca, which is where he believed the main focus of Islam should be. He spent quite a lot of time strategizing on how to attack Mecca in order to have the city for Muslims. He then decided to pursue attacking Mecca with a large army in order to conquer it. After he got tired of trying to fight the Meccan people, he decided to make a pact with them in order to have peace. It ended up being a ten-year long peace pact that was broken about a year later when Muhammad and some of his followers tried to peacefully enter the city and look around. The Meccan people attacked some of the Muslims and Muhammad declared war on them for breaking the pact. He brought enough soldiers this time to take over the city of Mecca and forever turn it into a Muslim city that would be important to the Muslims for years to come.

Shortly after Muhammad led his people into the city of Mecca, he ended up becoming seriously ill He spent about three months in the city of Mecca ridding the Ka’aba of the false idols and teaching his followers what they should do as a result. He also appointed Abu Bakr to be the leader of worship when he was too ill to do so. This move made people believe that Abu Bakr should be his successor when he died.

After Muhammad died, it was imperative for the Islamic community to have a successor to Muhammad for the strict purpose of leading the faith. Abu Bakr was the man chosen for this position. Abu Bakr was one of Muhammad’s first converts and he ended up being one of Muhammad’s biggest supporters. He was not officially appointed by Muhammad before his death, but it was assumed by the majority of Muslims that he would be the best candidate for the job. A large council met after Muhammad died (which conveniently met without Muhammad’s cousin Ali) and named Abu Bakr his successor. He was a natural replacement for Muhammad in leading what was becoming one of the most controversial and quickest growing religions. Even though he was the natural replacement for the prophet Muhammad, the choice of selecting him was not made without much deliberation and controversy.

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Mohammad As A Prophet And A Statesman. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from
“Mohammad As A Prophet And A Statesman.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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