The main stages in the life of Muhammad, between history and golden legend

According to tradition, Muhammad was born in 570 or 571, in the tribe of the Qoraychites, in Mecca. The tribe itself is divided into about ten clans. That of Muhammad has the task of supplying the pilgrims of the Kaaba with water, a prestigious function. However, the power of his clan is no longer what it used to be.

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Tradition envelops the birth of Allah’s prophet in wonder. The Jews of the oasis of Yathrib (future Medina) would have been informed by the appearance of a star in the sky, and the Persian Magi would have seen the sacred fire extinguished that had been burning in their temple for a thousand years. .. Other stories tell that there was no need to cut the umbilical cord of the newborn, having already provided it by Providence, that the angels washed it and that the women found it clean as crystal.

But Muhammad is also a child like any other. Like all newborns, he has a shaved head: his hair is placed on a scale and their weight in gold is distributed to the poor.

A childhood between desert and travel

Mohammed is fatherless. The custom prescribes to send to the nurse the children of the prestigious clans of Mecque in the nomadic tribes of the desert: being there the purest air, the child will become more robust. This practice also allows you to contract alliances between tribes, becoming the adopted child brother of other Bedouins.

In Syria he meets a Christian monk who allegedly declared to him: “You are the Messenger of God”

At the age of 6 he was taken up by his mother in Yathrib. But, after his death, the boy is placed under the protection of his Meccan uncle, Abu Talib, a merchant who follows him on his travels. In Bosra, Syria, he meets a Christian monk named Bahira, who would have seen in Muhammad a future prophet and would have declared to him: “You are the Messenger of God, the Prophet announced by my Holy Book, the Bible. “

Muhammad, very poor, apparently remained celibate longer than usual. If the ideal marriage, among the Bedouins, is between cousins, it is in vain that the young man would have asked Abu Talib for his cousin’s hand.

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Muhammad is therefore the right hand of a wealthy widow, Khadija, who has already been married twice and runs her own business. She wants to marry him, much to the chagrin of her clan, which has a very weak idea of ​​their age difference (she is almost 40 and he is 25) and their economic situation. The marriage is still celebrated in 595. And if the custom allows an almost unlimited polygamy, Muhammad will remain faithful to Khadija as long as she lives, even if the children she bore him died at an early age.

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