Muhammad’s Family History
Muhammad was born in Mecca (Makkah), Arabia, on Monday, 12 Rabi’ Al-Awal (2 August A.D. 570). His mother, Aminah, was the daughter of Wahb Ibn ‘Abdu Manaf of the Zahrah family. His father, Abdullah, was the son of Abdul Muttalib. His genealogy has been traced to the noble house of Ishmael, the son of Prophet Abraham in about the fortieth descent. Muhammad’s father died before his birth.
Before he was six years old his mother died, and the doubly orphaned Muhammad was put under the charge of his grandfather Abdul Muttalib who took tender care of him. But the old chief died two years afterwards. On his deathbed he confided to his son Abu Talib the charge of the little orphan.
When Muhammad was twelve years old, he accompanied his uncle Abu Talib on a mercantile journey to Syria, and they proceeded as far as Busra. The journey lasted for some months. It was at Busra that the Christian monk Bahira met Muhammad. He is related to have said to Abu Talib: “Return with this boy and guard him against the hatred of the Jews, for a great career awaits your nephew.”
Youth to Manhood
After this journey, the youth of Muhammad seems to have been passed uneventfully, but all authorities agree in ascribing to him such correctness of manners and purity of morals as were rare among the people of Mecca. The fair character and the honorable bearing of the unobtrusive youth won the approbation of the citizens of Mecca, and by common consent he received the title of “Al Ameen,” The Faithful.
In his early years, Muhammad was not free from the cares of life. He had to watch the flocks of his uncle, who, like the rest of the Barn Hashim, had lost the greater part of his wealth.
From youth to manhood he led an almost solitary life. The lawlessness rife among the Meccans, the sudden outbursts of causeless and bloody quarrels among the tribes frequenting the Fair of Okadh (the Arabian Olympia), and the immorality and skepticism of the Quraish, naturally caused feelings of pity and sorrow in the heart of the sensitive youth. Such scenes of social misery and religious degradation were characteristic of a depraved age.