Jesus and Mohammed 1
The Historical Lives of Jesus and Mohammed
Audrey V Freeman McAphee
Axia College of University of Phoenix
Jesus and Mohammed 2
Jesus (also called Christ which means king or Messiah) was born in Israel 2000 years
ago. Modern civilization marks his birth by dividing time B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (Anno
Domini-or the year of our Lord). For his firs 30 years, Jesus lived a traditional Jewish life,
working as a carpenter. During this time, all of Israel was under Caesar’s Roman dictatorship,
including Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, and Nazareth, where he was raised.
During this time, all of Israel was under Caesar’s Roman dictatorship. In his thirties,
Jesus began his public teaching and display of recorded miracles, yet still never more than two
hundred miles from his birthplace. Over a three year period, despite his efforts to keep a low
profile, he was a itinerant preacher. He wrote no books. He held no office. He never owned a
home. He was never in a big city. He never did any of the things that usually accompany
greatness, and yet his reputation still spread nation wide.
The Roman governors and rulers of Israel’s provinces and the leaders of the Jewish
people (the religious counsels) took note of him. Although Jesus was only telling messages of
loving and divine words such as, God loves you and is with you, telling man woman and child to
love one another, to have immense value of each person in their lives as well as people they
come across, God forgives those who ask Him for forgiveness, and letting them know they will
be judged by no one other than God when it comes to heaven or hell, and last but not least telling
the people to prepare for the coming of God to earth.
These are the same messages today as they were back in his earlier time, and like his
earlier times, people are persecuting others, not loving one another, not valuing each other and
not believing the time is coming, and they will be judged by how they lived their lives. His
message can only be relayed to the people, it is the choice of the people to live by what is in his
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messages. His most controversial act was that he repeatedly claimed to be God, (I disagree with
this one) which was a direct violation of the Jewish law. Therefore the religious leaders asked the
Roman government to execute him. In each trial the Romans found that he was guilty of nothing,
not breaking any Jewish laws. Even the Jewish leaders recognized that other than Jesus’ claiming
to be God (again I disagree) Jesus followed the Jewish law perfectly. Still the religious leaders
using the argument of political disfavor persuaded Pilate, a Roman governor of the Southern
province of Israel, to authorize an execution.
The impact of his death was devastating to many but I think it was his rising the impacted
the people more. When Jesus rose three days later his followers increased dramatically. Only a
few months later in that same city of Jerusalem some three thousand new followers were added
in a single day. The religious leaders tried to stomp out the people but they were willing to die
rather than deny their belief in Jesus.
Within one hundred years, people throughout the Roman empire (Asia, Minor, Europe)
became followers of Jesus. In 325 AD, the following of Jesus, Christianity, became the official
religion of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Within 500 years, even Greece’s temples of Greek
gods were transformed into churches for followers of Jesus. Although some of Jesus’ messages
and teachings were diluted or miscommunicated through the expansion of a religious institution,
Jesus’ original words and life still speak loudly for themselves.
Jesus and Mohammed 4
Muhammad was born in the year 570 in the town of Mecca, a mountain town in the high
desert plateau of western Arabia. His name derives from the Arabic verb hamada, meaning “to
praise, to glorify.” He was the first and only son of Abd Allah bin Al-Muttalib and Amina bint
Wahb. Abd Allah died before Muhammad’s birth and Muhammad was raised by his mother
Amina, who in keeping Meccan tradition entrusted her son at an early age to a wet nurse named
Halima from the nomadic tribe of the Banu Saad. He grew up in the hill country of the Banu
Saad people, learning their pure Arabic.
When Muhammad was five or six his mother took him to Yathrib, an oasis town a few
hundred miles north of Mecca, to stay with relatives and visit his father’s grave there. On the
return journey, Amina fell ill and died. She was buried in the village of Abwa on the Mecca-
Medina Road. Halima returned to Mecca with the orphaned boy and placed him under the
protection of his paternal grandfather, Abd Al-Muttalib, who was head of Muhammad’s clan at
the time. In the old man’s care Muhammad learned the rudiments of statecraft, for Mecca was
Arabia’s most important pilgrimage center and Abd Al-Muttalib controlled important pilgrimage
concessions and frequently presised over Mecca’s Council of Elders.
Upon Abd Al-Muttalib’s death in 578, Muhammad, then about age eight, passed into the
care of a paternal uncle, Abu Talib. He grew up in the older man’s home, and having no parents
(in a tribal culture where family meant everything), he remained under Abu Talib’s protection
for many years. Chroniclers have underscored Muhammad’s disrupted childhood, but theQur’an
emphasizes the aspect of grace that it expresses: “Did God not find you an orphan and give you
shelter and care? And He found you wandering, and gave you guidance. Ane he found you in
need, and made you independent”(XCIII, 6-8).
Jesus and Mohammed 5
As Muhammad grew up, the Meccans recognized his righteous nature and unerring
honesty, and they nicknamed him El-Amin, the honest one, the one you may trust. When a boy
he worked as a shipherd to help pay his keep, for his uncle was of modest means. In his teens he
sometimes traveled with Abu Talib, who was a merchant, accompanying caravans to trade
centers. On at least one occasion, he is said to have traveled as far north as Syria. In his early
twenties, Muhammad entered the service of a wealthy Meccan merchant, a widow named
Khadija bint Khawalayd. The two were distant cousins. Muhammad carried her goods to the
north and returned with a profit.
She was impressed with his honesty and proposed marriage they had six children, four
girls and two boys, the two boys died in infancy. Muhammad continued to handle his wife’s
business affairs and over the next few years they prospered very well. Mecca also prospered
becoming a well-off trading center in the hands of an elite group of clan leaders who were
mostly successful traders. But Mecca’s success was disturbing Muhammad, he began making
long retreats to a mountain cave outside town.
There he fasted and meditated. After a few visions, Muhammad was visited by an
overpowering presence and told to recite words of such beauty and force that he and others
gradually attributed them to God. This experience shook Muhammad to the core. It was several
years before he dared to talk about it outside his family. After a few more experiences he began
to reveal the message, which eventually became the Qur’an.
Muhammad was attacked, ridiculed for leaving the traditional Mecca ways by some, but
his loyal followers stayed with him. The Quraysh, Mecca’s dominant tribe, levied a ban on trade
with Muhammad’s people, subjecting them to near famine conditions, toward the end of the
Jesus and Mohammed 6
decade, Muhammad’s wife and uncle both died. The leaders of Mecca the tried to assassinate
Muhammad without success.
Muhammad and his followers left Mecca and traveled to Yathrib, the oasis town where
his father was buried. The leaders there were suffering through a vicious war and knowing of
Muhammad’s wisdom invited him to act as mediator. Yathrib was now known as Medina, the
city of the Prophet. A few more battles were fought and eventually all decided to join with
Now that the balance of power had shifted radically away from once-powerful Mecca,
toward Muhammad and the Muslims, they marched on Mecca without bloodshed and the
Meccans, seeing the tide had turned, joined them. Muhammad returned to live in Medina. In the
next three years, he consolidated most of the Arabian Peninsula under Islam. In March 632, he
returned to Mecca one last time to perform a pilgrimage, and tens of thousands of Muslims
After the pilgrimage, he returned to Medina. Three months later on June 8, 632 he died
there, after a brief illness. He is buried in the mosque in Medina. Within a hundred years
Muhammad’s teaching and way of life had spread from the remote corners of Arabia as far east
as Indo-China and as far west as Morocco, France and Spain.
Muhammad’s messages are being carried out today as before, but in addition because we
have to technology Muhammad’s and Jesus messages are online, radio, television, Internet,
Cd’s, cell phones you name it, it is being passed on and carried anyway on every level it can be.
Muhammad traveled a lot more than Jesus and further away from his birthplace than
Jesus. I don’t think his death had an impact on his religion per say, I believe it had an impact on
Jesus and Mohammed 7
the people. Because he did not appoint someone to replace him, there was conflict amongst the
people of who will lead them. Some thought it should be the grandson, of course other disagreed
then the death of Hussein, the grandson, the different sects which came about, the Sunni, the
Shia, and so on. His message never changed but his people did, they are kind of stuck in time.
You cannot do something from sunup to sundown when so many people live in different
Jesus and Mohammed 8
The Historical Life of Jesus. (n.d.). source, Jesus Central.com. retrieved August 8, 2008.
Legacy of a Prophet. (2006). source, United Productions Foundations. retrieved August 8, 2008.
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