Happy Birthday To Islam’s Founder
My calendar tells me that today is the birthday of Mohammad, the founder of Islam, and I thought I’d mark this on my blog. Why? Because the main character of my science fiction novel Reborn City, Zahara Bakur, is a Muslim teenager, and one of the thintgs I do with her is try to show a side of Muslims not always portrayed in the media.
Muhammad lived in the 6th and 7th centuries in the Arabian peninsula. Around the year 610, he recieved revelations from the Archangel Gabriel, and began preaching in Mecca, stressing the importance of monotheism and lessening the divide between the very rich and the very poor in Mecca. This and a bunch of other events led to Islam, which means “submission to the will of Allah”, spreading across the Middle East and eventually around the world. Today, there are 1.57 billion people who identify themselves as Muslims, and they all look to Muhammad’s example and preachings in order to live life they believe Allah wants them too.
But what I like most about Muhammad is that while I know he felt obligated to carry out the Divine Will, he was mainly motivated by a desire to help others. In fact, before he saw Gabriel, Muhammad was looking into many spiritual practices and ways in order to better himself and those around him. In fact, the reason he went to the cave he met Gabriel in was because of this desire, though he had no idea he’d recieve a revelation there.
In a way, Zahara is very similar in this desire: although she follows many of the edicts of her faith because she believes it is Allah’s Will for her, she also does it because she feels it makes her a better person. Consequently her view of life, molded partially by her faith, allows her to exact a positive change over some of the other characters over time. Of course, she has to get herself about neck deep into trouble to accomplish this, but it’s a science fiction story, so what do you expect?
The point is though, Muhammad tried to help others in ancient Arabia, Zahara tries to help others in a fictional dystopic world, and billions of Muslims across the globe try and help people just by following their faith and being kind to others, as opposed to the images we are sometimes bombarded with depicting Muslims as dangerous. And it is the factual image stated above that I want to remind people of as Muslims everywhere observe the Prophet’s birthday.
Aasalam Ailakum, and thanks for reading.