Few people have been both as influenced by and as influential on Jews, Christians and Jewish Christians as the founder of Islam, nor have had more impact through their life and teachings. For Messianic Jews Mohammed’s legacy stretches long and deep, casting a shadow over the history of Judaism and Christianity that continues to this day.
Yet Jewish people have in general been treated better by Moslems than by Christians, especially in Medieval Spain and in North Africa and the Middle East. The cultures developed through living in Islamic countries, the use of Arabic, the styles of music, food and family life continues in Israeli life today.
This short post is not the place to give a full assessment of the impact, for good and ill, of the teachings of Islam, its history, theology and contemporary challenges. The world Mohammed left behind, and his ongoing impact, affect us all. Ignorance of his life, teaching and influence makes us unaware of our own history and prejudiced against others.
Lord, we pray for peace between Christians, Jews and Moslems today. Help us to understand one another and seek reconciliation, justice and peace. May your might prevail over all human powers. In the name of Yeshua, the Prince of Peace. Amen.
On Jewish-Muslim relations see here – 20 page article from Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide
Lewis, Bernard, The Jews of Islam (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984). This has become a classic survey of the intellectual and cultural relations between Muslims and Jews that counters the two competing stereotypes of the Muslim fanatical warrior or utopian pluralist.
Nettler, Ronald (ed.), Medieval and Modern Perspectives on Muslim-Jewish
Relations (Oxford: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995). This collection of essays is a foray into the scholarly literature of Muslim-Jewish relations, topics from ‘Judaizing’ tendencies among some Muslims to the use of Muslim narrative as a commentary on Jewish tradition.
570 – Born in the town of Mecca. His name (Abu al-Qasim Muḥammad ibn Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf ibn Qusai ibn Kilab) derives from the Arabic verb hamada, meaning “to praise, to glorify”.
575 – Orphaned upon the death of his mother and placed in the protection of his paternal grandfather, then his uncle.
595 – Marries Kadijah – an older, wealthy widow. They had six children.
610 – Receives first revelation from God during the month of Ramadam.
613 – Took his message public, these would later become the Koran, Islam’s sacred scripture.
622 – Emigrates with his followers from Mecca to Yathrib, soon to become known as Medina.
624 – The start of three major battles with the Meccans – the Battle of Badr (victory), 625 the Battle of Uhud (defeat), and 627 the Battle of the Trench (victory).
628 – The two sides signed a treaty recognising the Muslims as a new force in Arabia. Meccan allies breached the treaty a year later.
629 – Orders first raid into Christian lands at Muta (defeat).
630 – Conquers Mecca (along with other tribes).
631 – Consolidated most fo the Arabian Penunsula under Islam.
632 – Returned to Mecca to perform a pilgrimage.
632 – Dies in Medina after a brief illness. He is buried in the mosque of Medina.