Ellis-Pagoria Family History
You are currently anonymous Log In


HomeHome    SearchSearch    PrintPrint    Login - User: anonymousLogin    Add BookmarkAdd Bookmark

Matches 1 to 50 of 12020

      1 2 3 4 5 ... 241» Next»

   Notes   Linked to 
1 According to Maudie Lockenvitz, the marriage date was 3/16/1882 which is different. Not sure which is correct. Records that the Mormon Church website has indicate that the marriage of Mary and Samuel occurred on 8/22/1882 in Liberty, Cassey County, KY. Family: F27
2 According to Maudie Lockenvitz, the marriage date was 4/17/1951. Family: F94
3 Frank and Lila were married by W.T. McIntyre at the Gibson Heights United Presbyterian Church at 4514 Oakland Avenue (Phone Number FR-3513) in St. Louis, Missouri on October 9, 1943.

The Pantagraph announcement follows(10/19/1943). Chatham-Jarke Wedding Told. Miss Lila Chatham, 206 South Clinton street and Frank H. Jarke, 506 N. Roosevelt avenue, were married at St. Louis at 3 p.m. Oct. 19, 1943. The Rev. E. T. McIntyre of St. Louis officiated in the double ring ceremony. The bride wore a soldier blue wool frock, trimmed in natural lynx and a corsage of gardenias. They are making their home at 1204 West Jackson street. 
Family: F14
4 Gus and Gusty were married in Bloomington, Illinois on April 11, 1896. Witnesses listed were Heinrich Schneider and Franz Jarke. The latter was the brother of Augusta "Gusty" Jarke. Family: F162
5 Marriage was common law Family: F3798
6 At least one living individual is linked to this note - Details withheld. Family: F163
7 At least one living individual is linked to this note - Details withheld. Family: F2
8 The date of the marriage is not known for sure. The obituary of John O. King says they were married on December 23, 1919, while the obituary of Myrtle Speers says November 23, 1919. I will stick with the December date figuring the widow would remember her wedding date more accurately than her kids would when it was time for her funeral 4 years later. Family: F21
9 The Pantagraph announcement follows (10/21/1954). Obert Chatham, Estelle Steen Were Married Oct. 14. Mrs. Estelle Steen, Springfield, and Obert Chatham, Clinton were united in marriage in Bloomington, October 14. The ceremony was performed in the chapel of the First Presbyterian Church by the Rev. H. Martin, Pastor. Mr. and Mrs. John Dooley, Bloomington, brother-in-law and sister of the bridegroom, attended the couple. After the wedding the newlyweds went to Chicago where they visited over the weekend, returning to Clinton Wednesday. They will reside at 702 West Washington Street. Mr. Chatham is owner and manager of the Chatham Furniture Store. Family: F41
10 The Pantagraph announcement follows (11/29/1929). Miss Hortense Chatham Bride of John P. Dooley. Miss Hortense Elaine Chatham, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Chatham, 206 South Clinton street, became the bride of John P. Dooley, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Dooley of Downs in a ceremony at 10 a. m. Friday at the home of the bride's parents. The Rev. Chester Grubb pastor of the First Chritian Church, officiated before the immediate families of the couple. The bride wore a gown of blue chiffon with matching accessories and carried a bouquet of bridal roses and gypsophilia. Immediately after the ceremony the couple left for Chicago, where they will spend several days. After their return they will be at home in the Stratton apartments, 301 West Monroe Street.

In 1947, the Dooleys were divorced soon after the birth of their daughter, however, in 1950 they remarried and remained married until John's death from lung cancer in 1962. The announcement in the Clinton paper follows (10/9/1950). Remarried. John Dooley of Downs and Mrs. Hortense Dooley of Bloomington were married in Clinton Saturday by Rev. H. B. Wheaton of the Clinton Christian Church. This was a remarriage for the couple. They will live in Downs. 
Family: F37
11 The Pantagraph announcement follows (Sept 31, 1967). Mrs. Dooley, Mr. Dawson Say Vows. Mrs. [Hortense] Chatham Dooley of 319 E. Chestnut and Clifford W. Dawson of 308 W. Graham were united in marriage at 10 a. m. Saturday (Sept. 30, 1967) in the chapel of First Christian Church. The ceremony was performed by Dr. John D. Trefzger in the presence of the immediate families. Music was furnished by Mrs. Owen Brummet. Mrs. Dooley was attended by her daughter, Linda, and Mr. Dawson's attendant was his son, Richard, of Wichita, Kan. After a breakfast at the Illinois House, the couple left on a trip through the Ozarks. On their return they will reside at 308 W. Graham. Family: F36
12 At least one living individual is linked to this note - Details withheld. Family: F197
13 The Pantagraph announcement of 25th Anniversary follows(9/14/1971). 25th Anniversary for Paul Kings. Arrowsmith--Mr. and Mrs. Paul King of rural Arrowsmith will observe their 25th wedding anniversary Wednesday with a family dinner. The former Helen Kirkpatrick, daughter of mrs. Earl Kirkpatrick of Arrowsmith and the late Mr. Kirkpatrick, and Mr. King of Heyworth, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. J. R. King, were married Sept. 15, 1946, in Bloomington. They have two daughters, Mrs. James Williamson of Stanford and Kathleen, at home. They have farmed south of Arrowsmith since 1948 and will move to a farm southwest of Le Roy in 1972. Family: F116
14 The Pantagraph announcement of 25th wedding anniversary follows. Delmar Kings Wed 25 years. Mr. and Mrs. Delmar King of Downs are observing their 25th wedding anniversary today (Dec. 13, 1970). Mr. King and the former Shirley Snow were married in Heyworth Dec. 13, 1945, in the Methodist parsonage. They have two children, Mrs. Ronald McGuire of McLean and Pamela, at home. They are owners of Kings' Cafe in Downs. Family: F118
15 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 73rd Great Grandfather 'Abram
16 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 72nd Great Grandmother Edna bat 'Abram
17 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 35th Great Grand Aunt Aya (Adelgunde)
18 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 59th Great Grandfather Hathra (Athra)
19 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 20th Great Grandmother Eleanor (Elene)(Ellen) (Balliol de Baliol, (Balliol de Baliol
20 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 47th Great Grandfather Frithuwald (Bor)
21 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 28th Great Grandfather

Ordgar, Ealdorman of Devon (died 971) was an English West Country landowner notable as a presumed close advisor of Edgar the Peaceful, king of England, and as the father of Ælfthryth, the king's third wife and mother of Æthelred the Unready. Ordgar was created an Ealdorman by Edgar in 964.


Little is known about Ordgar; three key sources are his name as witness on charters of King Edgar between 962 and 970;[1] and digressions in William of Malmesbury's Gesta pontificum Anglorum and in Geoffrey Gaimar's L'Estoire des Engles concerned with the love affairs and marriages of his daughter Ælfthryth.[2]

According to Gaimar, Ordgar was the son of an ealdorman, and was a landowner in every village from Exeter to Frome. He married an unknown lady of royal birth, by whom he had a daughter Ælfthryth. When King Edgar sent a messenger to woo Ælfthryth, he found her and her father, whom she completely controlled, playing at chess, which they had learned from the Danes. The messenger, Æthelwald son of Æthelstan Half-King - a leading member of a very prominent Anglo-Saxon family--instead took Ælfthryth for his own, marrying her ca. 956.[3][1] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography draws a conclusion that Ordgar was "clearly a figure of some importance" to have secured such a match.[1]

Æthelwald died in 962, and some suspicion, notably on the part of Dunstan, rests on Ælfthryth for his death, together with the seduction of Edgar and later murder of his son Edward the Martyr to pave the way for her son Æthelred to ascend to the throne. Whatever the circumstances, Ælfthryth became Edgar's third wife in 964 and in the same year Ordgar was created Ealdorman. The ODNB infers that Ordgar from this point until 970 was one of Edgar's closest advisors, by virtue of his being named on virtually all charters issued by Edgar in the period.[1]

Tavistock Abbey was founded in 961 by Ordgar and completed by his son Ordulf in 981, in which year the charter of confirmation was granted by King Ethelred II. It was endowed with lands in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall, and became one of the richest abbeys in the west of England.

Ordgar died in 971 and according to Florence of Worcester was buried at Exeter.[3]


1.^ a b c d Lewis, C.P.. "Ordgar (d. 971), magnate". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
2.^ Short, Ian. "Gaimar, Geffrei (fl. 1136-1137), Anglo-Norman poet and historian". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
3.^ a b Bateson, Mary. "Ordgar or ORGAR (d 971), ealdorman of Devon". Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 13 January 2011.

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885-1900.

Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization 
Ordgar (Ealdorman)
22 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 194th Great Grandfather Prajapati (God of Nature)
23 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 195th Great Grandfather

Brahma is the Hindu god (deva) of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Siva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Manu, and from Manu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, he is often referred to as the progenitor or great grandsire of all human beings. He is not to be confused with the Supreme Cosmic Spirit in Hindu Vedanta philosophy known as Brahman, which is genderless. Brahma's wife is Saraswati. Saraswati is also known by names such as Savitri and Gayatri, and has taken different forms. Saraswati is the Vedic Goddess, revered as Vedamata, meaning Mother of the Vedas. Brahma is often identified with Prajapati, a Vedic deity.


According to the Puranas, Brahma is self-born in the lotus flower. Another legend says that Brahma was born in water. A seed that later became the golden egg. From this golden egg, Brahma the creator was born, as Hiranyagarbha. The remaining materials of this golden egg expanded into the Brahman?a or Universe. Being born in water, Brahma is also called Kanja (born in water). Brahma is said also to be the son of the Supreme Being, Brahman, and the female energy known as Prakrti.[citation needed]

The image depiction displaying the connection by lotus between Brahma and Vi?nu can also be taken as a symbolism for the primordial fetus and primordial placenta. The placenta is generated upon conception, but only the fetus continues into the world afterward. Likewise, Brahma is involved in creation, but Vi?nu continues thereafter.


At the beginning of the process of creation, Brahma creates the four Kumaras or the Catur?ana. However, they refuse his order to procreate and instead devote themselves to God and celibacy.

He then proceeds to create from his mind ten sons or Prajapatis (used in another sense), who are believed to be the fathers of the human race. The Manusmrti and Bhagavat Purana enumerate them as Marici, Atri, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Vasi?tha, Dak?a, Bhrgu, and Narada.[1] Brahma had many other offspring from various parts of his body but since all these sons were born out of his mind rather than body, they are called Manas Putras or mind-sons or spirits.

Within Vedic and Puranic scripture Brahma is described as only occasionally interfering in the affairs of the other devas (gods), and even more rarely in mortal affairs. He did force Soma to give Tara back to her husband, Brhaspati. Among the offspring from his body are Dharma and Adharma, Krodha, Lobha, and others.


He is clad in red clothes. Brahma is traditionally depicted with four heads, four faces, and four arms. With each head, He continually recites one of the four Vedas. He is often depicted with a white beard (especially in North India), indicating the nearly eternal nature of his existence. Unlike most other Hindu gods, Brahma holds no weapons. One of his hands holds a scepter. Another of his hands holds a bow. Brahma also holds a string of prayer beads called the 'ak?amala' (literally "garland of eyes"), which He uses to keep track of the Universe's time. He is also shown holding the Vedas.

There are many other stories in the Puranas about the gradual decrease in Lord Brahma's importance. Followers of Hinduism believe that Humans cannot afford to lose the blessings of Brahma and Sarasvati, without whom the populace would lack creativity, knowledge to solve mankind's woes.


The Four Faces - The four Vedas (Rk, Sama, Yajuh and Atharva).

The Four Hands - Brahma's four arms represent the four cardinal directions: east, south, west, and north. The back right hand represents mind, the back left hand represents intellect, the front right hand is ego, and the front left hand is self-confidence.

The Prayer beads - Symbolize the substances used in the process of creation.

The Book - The book symbolizes knowledge.

The Gold - Gold symbolizes activity; the golden face of Brahma indicates that He is actively involved in the process of creating the Universe.

The Swan - The swan is the symbol of grace and discernment. Brahma uses the swan as his vahana, or his carrier or vehicle.

The Crown - Lord Brahma's crown indicates His supreme authority.

The Lotus - The lotus symbolizes nature and the living essence of all things and beings in the Universe.

The Beard - Brahma's black or white beard denotes wisdom and the eternal process of creation.

The Vedas Symbolises his four faces, heads and arms

Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.
Brahma (God)
24 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 53rd Great Grandfather Hwala (Hvala, Hawala Guala)
25 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 73rd Great Grandmother Jaska (Ijoska)
26 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 58th Great Grandfather Itermon (Itormann)
27 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 30th Great Grandfather
Odoscer (Odacre)
28 Rhiwallon, son of Alan and Tittensor, went into the service of the Lord and became a monk. He held the title of Abbot of St. Florent de Saumur in the year 1082. Rhiwallon also was appointed to the lordship of Dol in Brittany. He had two sons, William, who became the Abbot of St. Florent in 1102, and John, who also became a monk at St. Florent. Rivallon (Rhiwallon)
29 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 27th Great Grandfather

Waltheof was high-reeve or ealdorman of Bamburgh (fl. 994). He was the son of Osulf I. His name is Scandinavian and implies that he had Viking ancestors. It remained in his family when Earl Siward married his great-granddaughter and named his son Waltheof. This son of Siward became Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria. Nothing is known about Waltheof's period in office.

Stenton, Sir Frank M. Anglo-Saxon England; 3rd edition. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.
Walroef (Siward)
30 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 54th Great Grandfather Taetwa (Tatwa Tecti)
31 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 32nd Great Grandfather
Thuringbert (Thurincbertus)
32 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 46th Great Grandfather Odin (Woden, Woutan)
33 Audrey Maxine Ellis'

Muhammad (c. 26 April 570 - 8 June 632;[2] also transliterated as Mohammad, Mohammed, or Muhammed; full name: Muhammad Ibn `Abd Allah Ibn `Abd al-Muttalib was the founder of the religion of Islam.[3][n 1] He is considered by Muslims and Bahá'ís to be a messenger and prophet of God, and by Muslims the last law-bearer in a series of Islamic prophets. Most Muslims consider him to be the last prophet of God as taught by the Quran.[4][n 2] Muslims thus consider him the restorer of an uncorrupted original monotheistic faith (islam) of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets.[5][6][7]

Born in 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca,[8][9] he was orphaned at an early age and brought up under the care of his uncle Abu Talib. He later worked mostly as a merchant, as well as a shepherd, and was first married by age 25.[10] Discontented with life in Mecca, he retreated to a cave in the surrounding mountains for meditation and reflection. According to Islamic beliefs it was here, at age 40,[8][11] in the month of Ramadan, where he received his first revelation from God. Three years after this event Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "surrender" to Him (lit. islam) is the only way (din)[n 3] acceptable to God, and that he himself was a prophet and messenger of God, in the same vein as other Islamic prophets.[7][12][13]

Muhammad gained few followers early on,[14] and was met with hostility from some Meccan tribes; he and his followers were treated harshly. To escape persecution, Muhammad sent some of his followers to Abyssinia[15] before he and his remaining followers in Mecca migrated to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in the year 622.[16] This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, which is also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina,.[16] After eight years of fighting with the Meccan tribes, his followers, who by then had grown to 10,000, conquered Mecca. Muhammad destroyed the symbols of paganism in Mecca[17] and then sent his followers out to destroy all of the remaining pagan temples throughout Eastern Arabia.[18][19]

In 632, a few months after returning to Medina from his Farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and died. By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam, and he had united the tribes of Arabia into a single Muslim religious polity.[20][21]

The revelations (or Ayah, lit. "Signs [of God]")-which Muhammad reported receiving until his death-form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the “Word of God” and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad’s life (sira) and traditions (sunnah) are also upheld by Muslims. They discuss Muhammad and other prophets of Islam with reverence, adding the phrase peace be upon him whenever their names are mentioned.[22] While conceptions of Muhammad in medieval Christendom and premodern times were largely negative, appraisals in modern history have been far less so.[13][23] His life and deeds have been debated and criticized by followers and opponents over the centuries.[24]

[hide] 1 Names and appellations in the Quran
2 Sources for Muhammad's life 2.1 Quran
2.2 Early biographies
2.3 Hadith
2.4 Non-Arabic sources

3 Pre-Islamic Arabia
4 Life 4.1 Life in Mecca 4.1.1 Childhood and early life

4.2 Beginnings of the Quran
4.3 Opposition
4.4 Isra and Mi'raj
4.5 Last years in Mecca before Hijra
4.6 Hijra 4.6.1 Migration to Medina
4.6.2 Establishment of a new polity
4.6.3 Beginning of armed conflict
4.6.4 Conflict with Mecca
4.6.5 Siege of Medina
4.6.6 Truce of Hudaybiyyah

4.7 Final years 4.7.1 Conquest of Mecca
4.7.2 Conquest of Arabia
4.7.3 Farewell pilgrimage
4.7.4 Death and tomb

4.8 Aftermath

5 Early reforms under Islam
6 Appearance
7 Household
8 Legacy 8.1 Muslim views 8.1.1 Islamic depictions of Muhammad

8.2 Other views 8.2.1 Non-Western views
8.2.2 European and Western views
8.2.3 Other religious traditions

8.3 Criticism

9 See also
10 Notes
11 References
12 Bibliography 12.1 Encyclopedias

13 Further reading
14 External links 14.1 Non-Muslim biographies
14.2 Muslim biographies

Names and appellations in the Quran

The name Muhammad written in Thuluth, a script variety of Islamic calligraphy.
The name Muhammad means "Praiseworthy" and occurs four times in the Quran.[25] The Quran addresses Muhammad in the second person not by his name but by the appellations prophet, messenger, servant of God ('abd), announcer (bashir)[Quran 2:119], witness (shahid),[Quran 33:45] bearer of good tidings (mubashshir), warner (nathir),[Quran 11:2] reminder (mudhakkir),[Quran 88:21] one who calls [unto God] (da‘i),[Quran 12:108] light personified (noor)[Quran 05:15], and the light-giving lamp (siraj munir)[Quran 73:1]. Muhammad is sometimes addressed by designations deriving from his state at the time of the address: thus he is referred to as the enwrapped (al-muzzammil) in Quran 73:1 and the shrouded (al-muddaththir) in Quran 74:1.[26] In the Quran, believers are not to distinguish between the messengers of God and are to believe in all of them (Sura Al-Baqara 2:285). God has caused some messengers to excel above others 2:253 and in Sura Al-Ahzab 33:40 He singles out Muhammad as the "Seal of the Prophets".[27] The Quran also refers to Muhammad as A?mad "more praiseworthy" (Arabic: ?????, Sura As-Saff 61:6).

Sources for Muhammad's life

Main articles: Historiography of early Islam and Historicity of Muhammad

Muhammad being a highly influential historical figure, his life, deeds, and thoughts have been debated by followers and opponents over the centuries, which makes a biography of him difficult to write.[13]


A folio from an early Quran, written in Kufic script (Abbasid period, 8th-9th century).
The Quran is the central religious text of Islam and Muslims believe that it represents the words of God revealed to Muhammad through the archangel Gabriel.[24][28][29] Although it mentions Muhammad directly only four times,[30] there are verses which can be interpreted as allusions to Muhammad's life.[13][n 4] The Quran however provides little assistance for a chronological biography of Muhammad, and many of the utterances recorded in it lack historical context.[31][32]

Early biographies

Main article: Prophetic biography

Next in importance are historical works by writers of the 3rd and 4th centuries of the Muslim era.[33] These include the traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad (the sira literature), which provide further information on Muhammad's life.[34]

The earliest surviving written sira (biographies of Muhammad and quotes attributed to him) is Ibn Ishaq's Life of God's Messenger written ca. 767 (150 AH). The work is lost, but was used verbatim at great length by Ibn Hisham and Al-Tabari.[35][36] Another early source is the history of Muhammad's campaigns by al-Waqidi (death 207 of Muslim era), and the work of his secretary Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi (death 230 of Muslim era).[33]

Many scholars accept the accuracy of the earliest biographies, though their accuracy is unascertainable.[35] Recent studies have led scholars to distinguish between the traditions touching legal matters and the purely historical ones. In the former sphere, traditions could have been subject to invention while in the latter sphere, aside from exceptional cases, the material may have been only subject to "tendential shaping".[37]


Main article: Hadith

In addition, the hadith collections are accounts of the verbal and physical traditions of Muhammad that date from several generations after his death.[38] Hadith compilations are records of the traditions or sayings of Muhammad. They might be defined as the biography of Muhammad perpetuated by the long memory of his community for their exemplification and obedience.[39]

Western academics view the hadith collections with caution as accurate historical sources.[38] Scholars such as Madelung do not reject the narrations which have been compiled in later periods, but judge them in the context of history and on the basis of their compatibility with the events and figures.[40] Although usually discounted by historians, oral tradition plays a major role in the Islamic understanding of Muhammad.[24]

Non-Arabic sources

The earliest documented Christian knowledge of Muhammad stems from Byzantine sources. They indicate that both Jews and Christians saw Muhammad as a "false prophet". In the Doctrina Jacobi nuper baptizati of 634, Muhammad is portrayed as being "deceiving[,] for do prophets come with sword and chariot?, [...] you will discover nothing true from the said prophet except human bloodshed."[41] Another Greek source for Muhammad is the 9th-century writer Theophanes. The earliest Syriac source is the 7th-century writer John bar Penkaye.[42]

Pre-Islamic Arabia

Main tribes and settlements of Arabia in Muhammad's lifetime
Main articles: Pre-Islamic Arabia, Jahiliyyah, and Arabian mythology

The Arabian Peninsula was largely arid and volcanic, making agriculture difficult except near oases or springs. The landscape was thus dotted with towns and cities, two prominent ones being Mecca and Medina. Medina was a large flourishing agricultural settlement, while Mecca was an important financial center for many surrounding tribes.[43] Communal life was essential for survival in the desert conditions, as people needed support against the harsh environment and lifestyle. Tribal grouping was encouraged by the need to act as a unit, this unity being based on the bond of kinship by blood.[44] Indigenous Arabs were either nomadic or sedentary, the former constantly travelling from one place to another seeking water and pasture for their flocks, while the latter settled and focused on trade and agriculture. Nomadic survival was also dependent on raiding caravans or oases, the nomads not viewing this as a crime.[45][46]

In pre-Islamic Arabia, gods or goddesses were viewed as protectors of individual tribes, their spirits being associated with sacred trees, stones, springs and wells. As well as being the site of an annual pilgrimage, the Kaaba shrine in Mecca housed 360 idol statues of tribal patron deities. Aside from these gods, the Arabs shared a common belief in a supreme deity called Allah[citation needed] (literally "the god"), who was remote from their everyday concerns and thus not the object of cult or ritual.[citation needed] Three goddesses were associated with Allah as his daughters: Allat, Manat and al-‘Uzzá. Monotheistic communities existed in Arabia, including Christians and Jews.[47] Hanifs - native pre-Islamic Arab monotheists - are also sometimes listed alongside Jews and Christians in pre-Islamic Arabia, although their historicity is disputed amongst scholars.[48][49] According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad himself was a Hanif and one of the descendants of Ishmael, son of Abraham.[50]


Life in Mecca

[show]Timeline of Muhammad in Mecca


Main article: Muhammad in Mecca

Muhammad was born and lived in Mecca for the first 52 years of his life (570-622). This period is generally divided into two phases, before and after declaring the prophecy.

Childhood and early life

See also: Mawlid and Family tree of Muhammad

Muhammad was born in the month of Rabi' al-awwal in 570. He belonged to the Banu Hashim clan, one of the prominent families of Mecca, although it seems not to have been prosperous during Muhammad's early lifetime.[13][51] The Banu Hashim clan was part of the Quraysh tribe. Tradition places the year of Muhammad's birth as corresponding with the Year of the Elephant, which is named after the failed destruction of Mecca that year by the Aksumite king Abraha who had in his army a number of elephants. 20th-century scholarship has suggested alternative dates for this event, such as 568 or 569.[52]

Miniature from Rashid-al-Din Hamadani's Jami al-Tawarikh, c.?1315, illustrating the story of Muhammad's role in re-setting the Black Stone in 605.[53]
Muhammad's father, Abdullah, died almost six months before he was born.[54] According to Islamic tradition, soon after Muhammad's birth he was sent to live with a Bedouin family in the desert, as the desert life was considered healthier for infants. Muhammad stayed with his foster-mother, Halimah bint Abi Dhuayb, and her husband until he was two years old.[10] Some western scholars of Islam have rejected the historicity of this tradition.[55][not in citation given] At the age of six, Muhammad lost his biological mother Amina to illness and he became fully orphaned.[10][56] For the next two years, he was under the guardianship of his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, of the Banu Hashim clan, but when Muhammad was eight, his grandfather also died. He then came under the care of his uncle Abu Talib, the new leader of Banu Hashim.[10][52] According to William Montgomery Watt, because of the general disregard of the guardians in taking care of weak members of the tribes in Mecca in the 6th century, "Muhammad's guardians saw that he did not starve to death, but it was hard for them to do more for him, especially as the fortunes of the clan of Hashim seem to have been declining at that time."[57]

While still in his teens, Muhammad accompanied his uncle on trading journeys to Syria gaining experience in commercial trade, the only career open to Muhammad as an orphan.[10][57] Islamic tradition states that when Muhammad was either nine or twelve while accompanying the Meccans' caravan to Syria, he met a Christian monk or hermit named Bahira who is said to have foreseen Muhammed's career as a prophet of God.[58]

Little is known of Muhammad during his later youth, and from the fragmentary information that is available, it is difficult to separate history from legend.[10][57] It is known that he became a merchant and "was involved in trade between the Indian ocean and the Mediterranean Sea."[59] Due to his upright character he acquired the nickname "al-Amin" (Arabic: ??????), meaning "faithful, trustworthy" and "al-Sadiq" meaning "truthful"[60] and was sought out as an impartial arbitrator.[9][13][61] His reputation attracted a proposal in 595 from Khadijah, a 40-year-old widow who was 15 years older than he. Muhammad consented to the marriage, which by all accounts was a happy one.[10][59]

Several years later, according to a narration collected by Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad was involved with a well-known story about setting the Black Stone in place in the wall of the Kaaba in 605 C.E. The Black Stone, a sacred object, had been removed to facilitate renovations to the Kaaba. The leaders of Mecca could not agree on which clan should have the honour of setting the Black Stone back in its place. They agreed to wait for the next man to come through the gate and ask him to choose. That man was the 35-year-old Muhammad, five years before his first revelation. He asked for a cloth and put the Black Stone in its centre. The clan leaders held the corners of the cloth and together carried the Black Stone to the right spot, then Muhammad set the stone in place, satisfying the honour of all.[62]

Beginnings of the Quran

See also: Muhammad's first revelation, History of the Quran, and Wahy

The cave Hira in the mountain Jabal al-Nour where, according to Muslim belief, Muhammad received his first revelation.
Muhammad adopted the practice of meditating alone for several weeks every year in a cave on Mount Hira near Mecca.[63][64] Islamic tradition holds that during one of his visits to Mount Hira, the angel Gabriel appeared to him in the year 610 and commanded Muhammad to recite the following verses:[65]

Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-
Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:
Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,-
He Who taught (the use of) the pen,-
Taught man that which he knew not.

-Quran, sura 96 (Al-Alaq), ayat 1-5[66]

After returning home, Muhammad was consoled and reassured by Khadijah and her Christian cousin, Waraqah ibn Nawfal. Upon receiving his first revelations, he was deeply distressed and resolved to commit suicide.[46] He also feared that others would dismiss his claims as being possessed.[46] Shi'a tradition maintains that Muhammad was neither surprised nor frightened at the appearance of Gabriel but rather welcomed him as if he had been expecting him.[67] The initial revelation was followed by a pause of three years during which Muhammad further gave himself to prayers and spiritual practices. When the revelations resumed he was reassured and commanded to begin preaching: "Thy Guardian-Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased."[68][69][70]

A depiction of Muhammad receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. From the manuscript Jami' al-tawarikh by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, 1307, Ilkhanate period.
Sahih Bukhari narrates Muhammad describing the revelations as, "Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell" and Aisha reported, "I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over)".[71] According to Welch these revelations were accompanied by mysterious seizures, and the reports are unlikely to have been forged by later Muslims.[13] Muhammad was confident that he could distinguish his own thoughts from these messages.[72] According to the Quran, one of the main roles of Muhammad is to warn the unbelievers of their eschatological punishment (Quran 38:70, Quran 6:19). Sometimes the Quran does not explicitly refer to the Judgment day but provides examples from the history of some extinct communities and warns Muhammad's contemporaries of similar calamities (Quran 41:13-16).[26] Muhammad is not only a warner to those who reject God's revelation, but also a bearer of good news for those who abandon evil, listen to the divine word and serve God.[73] Muhammad's mission also involves preaching monotheism: The Quran commands Muhammad to proclaim and praise the name of his Lord and instructs him not to worship idols or associate other deities with God.[15][26]

The key themes of the early Quranic verses included the responsibility of man towards his creator; the resurrection of dead, God's final judgment followed by vivid descriptions of the tortures in hell and pleasures in Paradise; and the signs of God in all aspects of life. Religious duties required of the believers at this time were few: belief in God, asking for forgiveness of sins, offering frequent prayers, assisting others particularly those in need, rejecting cheating and the love of wealth (considered to be significant in the commercial life of Mecca), being chaste and not to kill newborn girls.[13]


See also: Persecution of Muslims by the Meccans and Migration to Abyssinia

According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad's wife Khadija was the first to believe he was a prophet.[74] She was soon followed by Muhammad's ten-year-old cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib, close friend Abu Bakr, and adopted son Zaid.[11][74] Around 613, Muhammad began his public preaching (Quran 26:214).[75] Most Meccans ignored him and mocked him,[15] while a few others became his followers. There were three main groups of early converts to Islam: younger brothers and sons of great merchants; people who had fallen out of the first rank in their tribe or failed to attain it; and the weak, mostly unprotected foreigners.[76]

The last ayah from the sura An-Najm in the Quran: "So prostrate to Allah and worship [Him]." Muhammad's message of monotheism (one God) challenged the traditional order.
According to Ibn Sad, the opposition in Mecca started when Muhammad delivered verses that condemned idol worship and the Meccan forefathers who engaged in polytheism.[15][77] However, the Quranic exegesis maintains that it began as soon as Muhammad started public preaching.[78] As the number of followers increased, he became a threat to the local tribes and the rulers of the city, whose wealth rested upon the Kaaba, the focal point of Meccan religious life, which Muhammad threatened to overthrow. Muhammad’s denunciation of the Meccan traditional religion was especially offensive to his own tribe, the Quraysh, as they were the guardians of the Ka'aba.[76] The powerful merchants tried to convince Muhammad to abandon his preaching by offering him admission into the inner circle of merchants, and establishing his position therein by an advantageous marriage. However, he refused.[76]

Tradition records at great length the persecution and ill-treatment of Muhammad and his followers.[13][15] Sumayyah bint Khabbab, a slave of a prominent Meccan leader Abu Jahl, is famous as the first martyr of Islam, having been killed with a spear by her master when she refused to give up her faith. Bilal, another Muslim slave, was tortured by Umayyah ibn Khalaf who placed a heavy rock on his chest to force his conversion.[79][80] Apart from insults, Muhammad was protected from physical harm as he belonged to the Banu Hashim clan.[15][81][82]

In 615, some of Muhammad's followers emigrated to the Ethiopian Aksumite Empire and founded a small colony there under the protection of the Christian Ethiopian emperor A??ama ibn Abjar.[13][15]

Muhammad desperately hoping for an accommodation with his tribe, either from fear or in the hope of succeeding more readily in this way, pronounced a verse acknowledging the existence of three Meccan goddesses considered to be the daughters of Allah, and appealing for their intercession. Muhammad later retracted the verses at the behest of Gabriel, claiming that the verses were whispered by the devil himself.[15][83][n 5] This episode known as "The Story of the Cranes" (translation: ??? ????????, transliteration: Qissat al Gharaneeq) is also known as "Satanic Verses". Some scholars argued against its historicity on various grounds.[84] While this incident got widespread acceptance by early Muslims, strong objections to it were raised starting from the tenth century, on theological grounds. The objections continued to be raised to the point where the rejection of the historicity of the incident eventually became the only acceptable orthodox Muslim position.[85]

In 617, the leaders of Makhzum and Banu Abd-Shams, two important Quraysh clans, declared a public boycott against Banu Hashim, their commercial rival, to pressure it into withdrawing its protection of Muhammad. The boycott lasted three years but eventually collapsed as it failed in its objective.[86][87] During this, Muhammad was only able to preach during the holy pilgrimage months in which all hostilities between Arabs were suspended.[88]

Isra and Mi'raj

Main article: Isra and Mi'raj

The Al-Aqsa Mosque, part of the al-Haram ash-Sharif complex in Jerusalem, is believed to be the "farthest mosque" to which Muhammad travelled in his night journey. The al-Haram ash-Sharif is the third holiest place on earth for Muslims.[89]
Islamic tradition relates that in 620, Muhammad experienced the Isra and Mi'raj, a miraculous journey said to have occurred with the angel Gabriel in one night. In the first part of the journey, the Isra, he is said to have travelled from Mecca on a winged steed (Buraq) to "the farthest mosque" (in Arabic: masjid al-aqsa), which Muslims usually identify with the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. In the second part, the Mi'raj, Muhammad is said to have toured heaven and hell, and spoken with earlier prophets, such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.[88][90] Ibn Ishaq, author of the first biography of Muhammad, presents this event as a spiritual experience whereas later historians like Al-Tabari and Ibn Kathir present it as a physical journey.[90]

Quranic inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock, adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the al-Haram ash-Sharif. The Dome of the Rock marks the spot from which Muhammad is believed to have ascended to heaven.[91]
Some western scholars of Islam hold that the oldest Muslim tradition identified the journey as one traveled through the heavens from the sacred enclosure at Mecca to the celestial al-Baytu l-Ma?mur (heavenly prototype of the Kaaba); but later tradition identified Muhammad's journey as having been from Mecca to Jerusalem.[92]

Last years in Mecca before Hijra

Muhammad's wife Khadijah and his uncle Abu Talib both died in 619, the year thus being known as the "year of sorrow". With the death of Abu Talib, the leadership of the Banu Hashim clan was passed to Abu Lahab, an inveterate enemy of Muhammad. Soon afterwards, Abu Lahab withdrew the clan's protection from Muhammad. This placed Muhammad in danger of death since the withdrawal of clan protection implied that the blood revenge for his killing would not be exacted. Muhammad then visited Ta'if, another important city in Arabia, and tried to find a protector for himself there, but his effort failed and further brought him into physical danger.[13][87][88] Muhammad was forced to return to Mecca. A Meccan man named Mut'im b. Adi (and the protection of the tribe of Banu Nawfal) made it possible for him safely to re-enter his native city.[13][87][88]

Many people were visiting Mecca on business or as pilgrims to the Kaaba. Muhammad took this opportunity to look for a new home for himself and his followers. After several unsuccessful negotiations, he found hope with some men from Yathrib (later called Medina).[13] The Arab population of Yathrib were familiar with monotheism and prepared for the appearance of a prophet because a Jewish community existed there.[13][16] They also hoped by the means of Muhammad and the new faith to gain supremacy over Mecca, as they were jealous of its importance as the place of pilgrimage.[16] Converts to Islam came from nearly all Arab tribes in Medina, such that by June of the subsequent year there were seventy-five Muslims coming to Mecca for pilgrimage and to meet Muhammad. Meeting him secretly by night, the group made what was known as the "Second Pledge of al-`Aqaba", or the "Pledge of War"[16][93] Following the pledges at Aqabah, Muhammad encouraged his followers to emigrate to Yathrib. As with the migration to Abyssinia, the Quraysh attempted to stop the emigration. However, almost all Muslims managed to leave.[94]


[hide]Timeline of Muhammad in Medina

c. 622

Emigrates to Medina (Hijra)


Caravan Raids begin


Al Kudr Invasion


Battle of Badr: Muslims defeat Meccans


Battle of Sawiq, Abu Sufyan escapes capture


Expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa


Invasion of Thi Amr, Muhammed raids Ghatafan tribes


Assassination of Khaled b. Sufyan & Abu Rafi


Battle of Uhud: Meccans defeat Muslims


Tragedy of Bir Maona and Al Raji


Invasion of Hamra al-Asad, successfully terrifies enemy to cause retreat


Banu Nadir expelled after Invasion


Invasion of Nejd, Badr and Dumatul Jandal


Battle of the Trench


Invasion of Banu Qurayza, successful siege


Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, gains access to Kaaba


Conquest of the Khaybar oasis


First hajj pilgrimage


Attack on Byzantine Empire fails: Battle of Mu'tah


Bloodless conquest of Mecca


Battle of Hunayn


Siege of Ta'if


Rules most of the Arabian peninsula


Attacks the Ghassanids: Tabuk


Farewell hajj pilgrimage


Wasal (June 8): Medina

This box: view ·
talk ·

Main article: Hijra (Islam)

The Hijra is the migration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. In September 622, warned of a plot to assassinate him, Muhammad secretly slipped out of Mecca, moving with his followers to Medina,[16] 320 kilometres (200 mi) north of Mecca. The Hijra is celebrated annually on the first day of the Muslim year.

Migration to Medina

Main article: Muhammad in Medina

A delegation consisting of the representatives of the twelve important clans of Medina, invited Muhammad as a neutral outsider to Medina to serve as chief arbitrator for the entire community.[95][96] There was fighting in Yathrib mainly involving its Arab and Jewish inhabitants for around a hundred years before 620.[95] The recurring slaughters and disagreements over the resulting claims, especially after the Battle of Bu'ath in which all clans were involved, made it obvious to them that the tribal conceptions of blood-feud and an eye for an eye were no longer workable unless there was one man with authority to adjudicate in disputed cases.[95] The delegation from Medina pledged themselves and their fellow-citizens to accept Muhammad into their community and physically protect him as one of themselves.[13]

Muhammad instructed his followers to emigrate to Medina until virtually all his followers left Mecca. Being alarmed at the departure of Muslims, according to the tradition, the Meccans plotted to assassinate Muhammad. With the help of Ali, Muhammad fooled the Meccans who were watching him, and secretly slipped away from the town with Abu Bakr.[16][97] By 622, Muhammad emigrated to Medina, a large agricultural oasis. Those who migrated from Mecca along with Muhammad became known as muhajirun (emigrants).[13]

Establishment of a new polity

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Medina Charter

Main article: Constitution of Medina

There is no god but He,
the Living, the Everlasting.
Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep;
to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth.
Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave?
He knows what lies before them and what is after them,
and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge
save such as He wills.
His Throne comprises the heavens and earth;
the preserving of them oppresses Him not;
He is the All-high, the All-glorious.

-The "Throne Verse", 2:255, revealed in Medina[98]

Among the first things Muhammad did to settle down the longstanding grievances among the tribes of Medina was drafting a document known as the Constitution of Medina, "establishing a kind of alliance or federation" among the eight Medinan tribes and Muslim emigrants from Mecca, which specified the rights and duties of all citizens and the relationship of the different communities in Medina (including that of the Muslim community to other communities, specifically the Jews and other "Peoples of the Book").[95][96] The community defined in the Constitution of Medina, Ummah, had a religious outlook but was also shaped by practical considerations and substantially preserved the legal forms of the old Arab tribes.[13] It effectively established the first Islamic state.

Several ordinances were proclaimed to win over the numerous and wealthy Jewish population. But these were soon rescinded as the Jews insisted on preserving the entire Mosaic law, and did not recognize him as a prophet because he was not of the race of David.[16]

The first group of pagan converts to Islam in Medina were the clans who had not produced great leaders for themselves but had suffered from warlike leaders from other clans. This was followed by the general acceptance of Islam by the pagan population of Medina, apart from some exceptions. According to Ibn Ishaq, this was influenced by the conversion of Sa'd ibn Mu'adh (a prominent Medinan leader) to Islam.[99] Those Medinans who converted to Islam and helped the Muslim emigrants find shelter became known as the ansar (supporters).[13] Then Muhammad instituted brotherhood between the emigrants and the supporters and he chose Ali as his own brother.[100]

Beginning of armed conflict

Main articles: Military career of Muhammad, List of expeditions of Muhammad, and Battle of Badr

Following the emigration, the Meccans seized the properties of the Muslim emigrants in Mecca.[101] Economically uprooted and with no available profession, the Muslim migrants turned to raiding Meccan caravans, initiating armed conflict with Mecca.[102][103][104] Muhammad delivered Quranic verses permitting the Muslims to fight the Meccans (see sura Al-Hajj, Quran 22:39-40).[105] These attacks allowed the migrants to acquire wealth, power and prestige while working towards their ultimate goal of conquering Mecca.[106][107]

v ·
t ·

Expeditions of Muhammad

Ghazwah (expeditions where he took part)
Caravan Raids ·
Waddan ·
Buwat ·
Safwan ·
Dul Ashir ·
1st Badr ·
Kudr ·
Sawiq ·
Qaynuqa ·
Ghatafan ·
Bahran ·
Uhud ·
Al-Asad ·
Nadir ·
Invasion of Nejd ·
2nd Badr ·
1st Jandal ·
Trench ·
Qurayza ·
2nd Lahyan ·
Mustaliq ·
Hudaybiyyah ·
Khaybar ·
Conquest of Fidak ·
3rd Qura ·
Dhat al-Riqa ·
Baqra ·
Mecca ·
Hunayn ·
Autas ·
Ta'if ·

Sariyyah (expeditions which he ordered)
Nakhla ·
Nejd ·
1st Asad ·
1st Lahyan ·
Al Raji ·
Umayyah ·
Bir Maona ·
Assassination of Abu Rafi ·
Maslamah ·
2nd Asad ·
1st Thalabah ·
2nd Thalabah ·
Dhu Qarad ·
Jumum ·
Al-Is ·
3rd Thalabah ·
Hisma ·
1st Qura ·
2nd Jandal ·
1st Ali ·
2nd Qura ·
Uraynah ·
Rawaha ·
Umar ·
Abu Bakr ·
Murrah ·
Uwal ·
3rd Fadak ·
Yemen ·
Sulaym ·
Kadid ·
Banu Layth ·
Amir ·
Dhat Atlah ·
Mu'tah ·
Amr ·
Abu Ubaidah ·
Abi Hadrad ·
Edam ·
Khadirah ·
1st Khalid ibn Walid ·
Demolition of Suwa ·
Demolition of Manat ·
2nd Khalid ibn Walid ·
Demolition of Yaghuth ·
1st Autas ·
2nd Autas ·
Banu Tamim ·
Banu Khatham ·
Banu Kilab ·
Jeddah ·
3rd Ali ·
Udhrah ·
3rd Khalid ibn Walid ·
4th Khalid ibn Walid ·
Abu Sufyan ·
Jurash ·
5th Khalid ibn Walid ·
2nd Ali ·
3rd Ali ·
Dhul Khalasa ·
Army of Usama (Final Expedition)

The Masjid al-Qiblatain, where Muhammad established the new Qibla, or direction of prayer
On 11 February 624 according to the traditional account, while praying in the Masjid al-Qiblatain in Medina, Muhammad received a revelation from God that he should be facing Mecca rather than Jerusalem during prayer. As he adjusted himself, so did his companions praying with him, beginning the tradition of facing Mecca during prayer.[108] According to Watt, the change may have been less sudden and definite than the story suggests - the related Quranic verses (2:136-2:147) appear to have been revealed at different times - and correlates with changes in Muhammad's political support base, symbolizing his turning away from Jews and adopting a more Arabian outlook.[108]

In March 624, Muhammad led some three hundred warriors in a raid on a Meccan merchant caravan. The Muslims set an ambush for them at Badr.[109] Aware of the plan, the Meccan caravan eluded the Muslims.[104] Meanwhile, a force from Mecca was sent to protect the caravan, continuing forward to confront the Muslims upon hearing that the caravan was safe. The Battle of Badr began in March 624.[110] Though outnumbered more than three to one, the Muslims won the battle, killing at least forty-five Meccans with only fourteen Muslims dead. They also succeeded in killing many Meccan leaders, including Abu Jahl.[111] Seventy prisoners had been acquired, many of whom were soon ransomed in return for wealth or freed.[102][104][112][113] Muhammad and his followers saw in the victory a confirmation of their faith[13] as Muhammad ascribed the victory to the assistance of an invisible host of angels.[114] The Quranic verses of this period, unlike the Meccan ones, dealt with practical problems of government and issues like the distribution of spoils.[115][116]

The victory strengthened Muhammad's position in Medina and dispelled earlier doubts among his followers.[117] As a result the opposition to him became less vocal. Pagans who had not yet converted were very bitter about the advance of Islam. Two pagans, Asma bint Marwan and Abu 'Afak, had composed verses taunting and insulting the Muslims. They were killed by people belonging to their own or related clans, and no blood-feud followed.[118]

Muhammad expelled from Medina the Banu Qaynuqa, one of three main Jewish tribes.[13] Although Muhammad wanted them executed, Abd-Allah ibn Ubaiy chief of the Khazraj tribe did not agree and they were expelled to Syria but without their property.[116] Following the Battle of Badr, Muhammad also made mutual-aid alliances with a number of Bedouin tribes to protect his community from attacks from the northern part of Hijaz.[13]

Conflict with Mecca

The Kaaba in Mecca long held a major economic and religious role for the area. Seventeen months after Muhammad's arrival in Medina, it became the Muslim Qibla, or direction for prayer (Salah). The Kaaba has been rebuilt several times; the present structure, built in 1629, is a reconstruction of an earlier building dating to 683.[119]
Main article: Battle of Uhud

The Meccans were now anxious to avenge their defeat. To maintain their economic prosperity, the Meccans needed to restore their prestige, which had been lost at Badr.[120] In the ensuing months, the Meccans sent ambush parties on Medina while Muhammad led expeditions on tribes allied with Mecca and sent out a raid on a Meccan caravan.[121] Abu Sufyan subsequently gathered an army of three thousand men and set out for an attack on Medina.[116][122]

A scout alerted Muhammad of the Meccan army's presence and numbers a day later. The next morning, at the Muslim conference of war, there was dispute over how best to repel the Meccans. Muhammad and many senior figures suggested that it would be safer to fight within Medina and take advantage of its heavily fortified strongholds. Younger Muslims argued that the Meccans were destroying their crops, and that huddling in the strongholds would destroy Muslim prestige. Muhammad eventually conceded to the wishes of the latter, and readied the Muslim force for battle.[116] Thus, Muhammad led his force outside to the mountain of Uhud (where the Meccans had camped) and fought the Battle of Uhud on March 23.[123][124] Although the Muslim army had the best of the early encounters, indiscipline on the part of strategically placed archers led to a Muslim defeat, with 75 Muslims killed including Hamza, Muhammad's uncle and one of the best known martyrs in the Muslim tradition. The Meccans did not pursue the Muslims further, but marched back to Mecca declaring victory. This is probably because Muhammad was wounded and thought to be dead. When they knew this on their way back, they did not return back because of false information about new forces coming to his aid.[116] They were not entirely successful, however, as they had failed to achieve their aim of completely destroying the Muslims.[125][126] The Muslims buried the dead, and returned to Medina that evening. Questions accumulated as to the reasons for the loss, and Muhammad subsequently delivered Quranic verses 3:152 which indicated that their defeat was partly a punishment for disobedience and partly a test for steadfastness.[127]

Abu Sufyan now directed his efforts towards another attack on Medina. He attracted the support of nomadic tribes to the north and east of Medina, using propaganda about Muhammad's weakness, promises of booty, memories of the prestige of the Quraysh and use of bribes.[128] Muhammad's policy was now to prevent alliances against him as much as he could. Whenever alliances of tribesmen against Medina were formed, he sent out an expedition to break them up.[128] When Muhammad heard of men massing with hostile intentions against Medina, he reacted with severity.[129] One example is the assassination of Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf, a chieftain of the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir who had gone to Mecca and written poems that helped rouse the Meccans' grief, anger and desire for revenge after the Battle of Badr.[130][131] Around a year later, Muhammad expelled the Banu Nadir from Medina[132] to Syria allowing them to take some of their possessions because he was unable to subdue them in their strongholds. The rest of their property was claimed by Muhammad in the name of God because it was not gained with bloodshed. Muhammad surprised various Arab tribes, one by one, with overwhelming force which caused his enemies to unite to annihilate him.[133] Muhammad's attempts to prevent formation of a confederation against him were unsuccessful, though he was able to increase his own forces and stop many potential tribes from joining his enemies.[134]

Siege of Medina

Main article: Battle of the Trench

Allah is the Light
of the heavens and the earth.
The Parable of His Light is
as if there were a Niche
and within it a Lamp:
the Lamp enclosed in Glass:
the glass as it were a brilliant star:
Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive,
neither of the east nor of the west,
whose oil is well-nigh luminous,
though fire scarce touched it:
Light upon Light!
Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light:
Allah doth set forth Parables for men:
and Allah doth know all things.

-The famous "Light Verse", part of the sura An-Nur, 24:35

With the help of the exiled Banu Nadir, the Quraysh military leader Abu Sufyan had mustered a force of 10,000 men. Muhammad prepared a force of about 3,000 men and adopted a new form of defense unknown in Arabia at that time: the Muslims dug a trench[133] wherever Medina lay open to cavalry attack. The idea is credited to a Persian convert to Islam, Salman the Persian. The siege of Medina began on March 31 627[133] and lasted for two weeks.[135] Abu Sufyan's troops were unprepared for the fortifications they were confronted with, and after an ineffectual siege lasting several weeks, the coalition decided to go home.[133][136] The Quran discusses this battle in sura Al-Ahzab, ayat (verses) 9-27, 33:9-27.[78] During the battle, the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, located at the south of Medina, had entered into negotiations with Meccan forces to revolt against Muhammad. Although they were swayed by suggestions that Muhammad was sure to be overwhelmed, they desired reassurance in case the confederacy was unable to destroy him. No agreement was reached after the prolonged negotiations, in part due to sabotage attempts by Muhammad's scouts.[137] After the coalition's retreat, the Muslims accused the Banu Qurayza of treachery and besieged them in their forts for 25 days. The Banu Qurayza eventually surrendered; according to Ibn Ishaq, all the men apart from a few who converted to Islam were beheaded, while the women and children were enslaved.[133][138][139] Walid N. Arafat and Barakat Ahmad have disputed the accuracy of Ibn Ishaq"s narrative, however.[140] Arafat believes that Ibn Ishaq's Jewish sources, speaking over 100 years after the event, conflated their account with memories of earlier massacres in Jewish history; he notes that Ibn Ishaq was considered an unreliable historian by his contemporary Malik ibn Anas, and a transmitter of "odd tales" by the later Ibn Hajar.[141] Ahmad argues that only some of the tribe were killed, while some of the fighters were merely enslaved.[142][143] Watt finds Arafat's arguments "not entirely convincing", while Meir J. Kister has contradicted[clarification needed] the arguments of Arafat and Ahmad.[144]

In the siege of Medina, the Meccans exerted their utmost strength towards the destruction of the Muslim community. Their failure resulted in a significant loss of prestige; their trade with Syria was gone.[145] Following the Battle of the Trench, he made two expeditions to the north which ended without any fighting.[13][133] While returning from one of these (or some years earlier according to other early accounts), an accusation of adultery was made against Aisha, Muhammad's wife. Aisha was exonerated from the accusations when Muhammad announced that he had received a revelation confirming Aisha's innocence and directing that charges of adultery be supported by four eyewitnesses (sura 24, An-Nur).[146]

Truce of Hudaybiyyah

Main article: Treaty of Hudaybiyyah

Although Muhammad had already delivered Quranic verses commanding the Hajj,[147] the Muslims had not performed it due to the enmity of the Quraysh. In the month of Shawwal 628,[133] Muhammad ordered his followers to obtain sacrificial animals and to make preparations for a pilgrimage (umrah) to Mecca, saying that God had promised him the fulfillment of this goal in a vision where he was shaving his head after the completion of the Hajj.[148] Upon hearing of the approaching 1,400 Muslims, the Quraysh sent out a force of 200 cavalry to halt them. Muhammad evaded them by taking a more difficult route, thereby reaching al-Hudaybiyya, just outside of Mecca.[149] According to Watt, although Muhammad's decision to make the pilgrimage was based on his dream, he was at the same time demonstrating to the pagan Meccans that Islam does not threaten the prestige of their sanctuary, and that Islam was an Arabian religion.[149]

Imprint of Muhammad's seal, used in letters sent to other heads of state.
Negotiations commenced with emissaries going to and from Mecca. While these continued, rumors spread that one of the Muslim negotiators, Uthman bin al-Affan, had been killed by the Quraysh. Muhammad responded by calling upon the pilgrims to make a pledge not to flee (or to stick with Muhammad, whatever decision he made) if the situation descended into war with Mecca. This pledge became known as the "Pledge of Acceptance" (Arabic: ???? ??????? , bay'at al-ridhwan?) or the "Pledge under the Tree". News of Uthman's safety, however, allowed for negotiations to continue, and a treaty scheduled to last ten years was eventually signed between the Muslims and Quraysh.[149][150] The main points of the treaty included the cessation of hostilities; the deferral of Muhammad's pilgrimage to the following year;[151] and an agreement to send back any Meccan who had gone to Medina without the permission of their protector.[149]

Many Muslims were not satisfied with the terms of the treaty. However, the Quranic sura "Al-Fath" (The Victory) (Quran 48:1-29) assured the Muslims that the expedition from which they were now returning must be considered a victorious one.[152] It was only later that Muhammad's followers would realise the benefit behind this treaty. These benefits included the inducing of the Meccans to recognise Muhammad as an equal;[151] a cessation of military activity posing well for the future; and gaining the admiration of Meccans who were impressed by the incorporation of the pilgrimage rituals.[13]

After signing the truce, Muhammad made an expedition against the Jewish oasis of Khaybar,[151] known as the Battle of Khaybar. This was possibly due to it housing the Banu Nadir, who were inciting hostilities against Muhammad, or to regain some prestige to deflect from what appeared to some Muslims as the inconclusive result of the truce of Hudaybiyya.[122][153] According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad also sent letters to many rulers of the world, asking them to convert to Islam (the exact date is given variously in the sources).[13][154][155][156] Hence he sent messengers (with letters) to Heraclius of the Byzantine Empire (the eastern Roman Empire), Khosrau of Persia, the chief of Yemen and to some others.[154][155][156] In the years following the truce of Hudaybiyya, Muhammad sent his forces against the Arabs on Transjordanian Byzantine soil in the Battle of Mu'tah, in which the Muslims were defeated.[156][157]

Final years

Conquest of Mecca

Main articles: Conquest of Mecca and Muhammad after the conquest of Mecca

A depiction of Muhammad (with veiled face) advancing on Mecca from Siyer-i Nebi, a 16th-century Ottoman manuscript. The angels Gabriel, Michael, Israfil and Azrail, are also shown.
The truce of Hudaybiyyah had been enforced for two years.[158][159] The tribe of Banu Khuza'a had good relations with Muhammad, whereas their enemies, the Banu Bakr, had an alliance with the Meccans.[158][159] A clan of the Bakr made a night raid against the Khuza'a, killing a few of them.[158][159] The Meccans helped the Banu Bakr with weapons and, according to some sources, a few Meccans also took part in the fighting.[156][158] After this event, Muhammad sent a message to Mecca with three conditions, asking them to accept one of them. These were that either the Meccans paid blood money for those slain among the Khuza'ah tribe; or, that they should disavow themselves of the Banu Bakr; or, that they should declare the truce of Hudaybiyyah null.[160]

The Meccans replied that they would accept only the last condition.[160] However, soon they realized their mistake and sent Abu Sufyan to renew the Hudaybiyyah treaty, but now his request was declined by Muhammad.[156]

Muhammad began to prepare for a campaign.[161] In 630, Muhammad marched on Mecca with an enormous force, said to number more than ten thousand men. With minimal casualties, Muhammad took control of Mecca.[162][163] He declared an amnesty for past offences, except for ten men and women who had mocked and ridiculed him in songs and verses. Some of these were later pardoned.[163][164] Most Meccans converted to Islam and Muhammad subsequently had destroyed all the statues of Arabian gods in and around the Kaaba.[163][165][166] According to reports collected by Ibn Ishaq and al-Azraqi, Muhammad personally spared paintings or frescos of Mary and Jesus, but other traditions suggest that all pictures were erased.[167] The Quran discusses the conquest of Mecca.[78][168]

Conquest of Arabia

Main articles: Battle of Hunayn and Battle of Tabouk

Soon after the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad was alarmed by a military threat from the confederate tribes of Hawazin who were collecting an army twice the size of Muhammad's. The Banu Hawazin were old enemies of the Meccans. They were joined by the Banu Thaqif (inhabiting the city of Ta'if) who adopted an anti-Meccan policy due to the decline of the prestige of Meccans.[169] Muhammad defeated the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes in the Battle of Hunayn.[13][170]

In the same year, Muhammad made the expedition of Tabuk against northern Arabia because of their previous defeat at the Battle of Mu'tah as well as reports of the hostile attitude adopted against Muslims. With the greatest difficulty he collected thirty thousand men, half of whom, however, on the second day after their departure from Mecca, returned with Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy, untroubled by the damning verses which Muhammad hurled at them.[171] Although Muhammad did not make contact with hostile forces at Tabuk, he received the submission of some local chiefs of the region.[13][172]

He also ordered the destruction of remaining pagan idols in Eastern Arabia. The last city to hold out against the Muslims in Eastern Arabia was Taif. Muhammad refused to accept the surrender of the city until they agreed to convert to Islam and let his men destroy their statue of their goddess Allat.[173][174][175]

A year after the Battle of Tabuk, the Banu Thaqif sent emissaries to Medina to surrender to Muhammad and adopt Islam. Many bedouins submitted to Muhammad to be safe against his attacks and to benefit from the booties of the wars.[13][171] However, the bedouins were alien to the system of Islam and wanted to maintain their independence, their established code of virtue and their ancestral traditions. Muhammad thus required of them a military and political agreement according to which they "acknowledge the suzerainty of Medina, to refrain from attack on the Muslims and their allies, and to pay the Zakat, the Muslim religious levy."[171][176]

Farewell pilgrimage

An anonymous artist's illustration of al-Biruni's The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries, depicting Muhammad prohibiting intercalary months during the Farewell Pilgrimage, found in a 17th-century Ottoman copy of a 14th-century (Ilkhanate) manuscript (Edinburgh codex).
Main article: The Farewell Pilgrimage

In 632, at the end of the tenth year after the migration to Medina, Muhammad carried through his first truly Islamic pilgrimage, thereby teaching his followers the rites of the annual Great Pilgrimage (Hajj).[13] After completing the pilgrimage, Muhammad delivered a famous speech known as The Farewell Sermon, at Mount Arafat east of Mecca. In this sermon, Muhammad advised his followers not to follow certain pre-Islamic customs. He declared that an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.[177] He abolished all old blood feuds and disputes based on the former tribal system and asked for all old pledges to be returned as implications of the creation of the new Islamic community. Commenting on the vulnerability of women in his society, Muhammed asked his male followers to “Be good to women; for they are powerless captives (awan) in your households. You took them in God’s trust, and legitimated your sexual relations with the Word of God, so come to your senses people, and hear my words ...” He told them that they were entitled to discipline their wives but should do so with kindness. He addressed the issue of inheritance by forbidding false claims of paternity or of a client relationship to the deceased, and forbade his followers to leave their wealth to a testamentary heir. He also upheld the sacredness of four lunar months in each year.[178][179][180] According to Sunni tafsir, the following Quranic verse was delivered during this event: “Today I have perfected your religion, and completed my favours for you and chosen Islam as a religion for you.”(Quran 5:3)[13][181] According to Shia tafsir, it refers to the appointment of Ali ibn Abi Talib at the pond of Khumm as Muhammad's successor, this occurring a few days later when Muslims were returning from Mecca to Medina.[182]

Death and tomb

A few months after the farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and suffered for several days with a fever, head pain, and weakness.[181] He died on Monday, June 8, 632, in Medina, at the age of 63, in the house of his wife Aisha.[183] With his head resting on Aisha's lap he murmured his final words soon after asking her to dispose of his last worldly goods, which were seven coins:

Rather, God on High and paradise.[183]


Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet) in Medina, Saudi Arabia, with the Green Dome built over Muhammad's tomb in the center.
He was buried where he died, in Aisha's house.[13][184][185][186] During the reign of the Umayyad caliph al-Walid I, the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet) was expanded to include the site of Muhammad's tomb.[187] The Green Dome above the tomb was built by the Mamluk sultan Al Mansur Qalawun in the 13th century, although the green color was added in the 16th century, under the reign of Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.[188] When bin Saud took Medina in 1805, Muhammad's tomb was stripped of its gold and jewel ornaments.[189] Adherents to Wahhabism, bin Sauds' followers destroyed nearly every tomb dome in Medina in order to prevent their veneration,[189] and the one of Muhammad is said to have narrowly escaped.[190] Similar events took place in 1925 when the Saudi militias retook-and this time managed to keep-the city.[191][192][193] In the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, burial is to take place in unmarked graves.[190] Although frowned upon by the Saudis, many pilgrims continue to practice a ziyarat-a ritual visit-to the tomb.[194][195]

Among tombs adjacent to Muhammad's are those of his companions (Sahabah)-the first two Muslim Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar-, and an empty one that Muslims believe awaits Jesus.[185][196][197]


See also: Rashidun, Muslim conquest, and Succession to Muhammad

Conquests of Muhammad and the Rashidun.
Muhammad united the tribes of Arabia into a single Arab Muslim religious polity in the last years of his life. With Muhammad's death, disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community.[21] Umar ibn al-Khattab, a prominent companion of Muhammad, nominated Abu Bakr, Muhammad's friend and collaborator. Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph.[186] This choice was disputed by some of Muhammad's companions, who held that Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, had been designated the successor by Muhammad at Ghadir Khumm. Abu Bakr's immediate task was to make an expedition against the Byzantine (or Eastern Roman Empire) forces because of the previous defeat, although he first had to put down a rebellion by Arab tribes in an episode referred to by later Muslim historians as the Ridda wars, or "Wars of Apostasy".[198]

The pre-Islamic Middle East was dominated by the Byzantine and Sassanian empires. The Roman-Persian Wars between the two had devastated the region, making the empires unpopular amongst local tribes. Furthermore, in the lands that would be conquered by Muslims many Christians (Nestorians, Monophysites, Jacobites and Copts) were disaffected from the Christian Orthodoxy which deemed them heretics. Within only a decade, Muslims conquered Mesopotamia and Persia, Byzantine Syria and Byzantine Egypt.[199] and established the Rashidun empire.

Early reforms under Islam

Main article: Early reforms under Islam

According to William Montgomery Watt, for Muhammad, religion was not a private and individual matter but rather “the total response of his personality to the total situation in which he found himself. He was responding [not only]… to the religious and intellectual aspects of the situation but also to the economic, social, and political pressures to which contemporary Mecca was subject."[200] Bernard Lewis says that there are two important political traditions in Islam - one that views Muhammad as a statesman in Medina, and another that views him as a rebel in Mecca. He sees Islam itself as a type of revolution that greatly changed the societies into which the new religion was brought.[201]

Historians generally agree that Islamic social reforms in areas such as social security, family structure, slavery and the rights of women and children improved on the status quo of Arab society.[201][202] For example, according to Lewis, Islam "from the first denounced aristocratic privilege, rejected hierarchy, and adopted a formula of the career open to the talents".[201] Muhammad's message transformed the society and moral order of life in the Arabian Peninsula through reorientation of society as regards to identity, world view, and the hierarchy of values.[203] Economic reforms addressed the plight of the poor, which was becoming an issue in pre-Islamic Mecca.[204] The Quran requires payment of an alms tax (zakat) for the benefit of the poor, and as Muhammad's position grew in power he demanded that those tribes who wanted to ally with him implement the zakat in particular.[205][206]


A hilya containing a description of Muhammad, by Hâfiz Osman (1642-1698)
Ali gave the following description of Muhammad's physical appearance:[207]

Muhammad was middle-sized, did not have lank or crisp hair, was not fat, had a white circular face, wide black eyes, and long eye-lashes. When he walked, he walked as though he went down a declivity. He had the "seal of prophecy" between his shoulder blades ... He was bulky. His face shone like the moon. He was taller than middling stature but shorter than conspicuous tallness. He had thick, curly hair. The plaits of his hair were parted. His hair reached beyond the lobe of his ear. His complexion was azhar [bright, luminous]. Muhammad had a wide forehead, and fine, long, arched eyebrows which did not meet. Between his eyebrows there was a vein which distended when he was angry. The upper part of his nose was hooked; he was thick bearded, had smooth cheeks, a strong mouth, and his teeth were set apart. He had thin hair on his chest. His neck was like the neck of an ivory statue, with the purity of silver. Muhammad was proportionate, stout, firm-gripped, even of belly and chest, broad-chested and broad-shouldered.

The "seal of prophecy" between the Prophet's shoulders is generally described as having been a type of raised mole the size of a pigeon's egg.[208] Another description of Muhammad was provided by Umm Ma'bad, a woman he met on his journey to Medina:[209]

I saw a man, pure and clean, with a handsome face and a fine figure. He was not marred by a skinny body, nor was he overly small in the head and neck. He was graceful and elegant, with intensely black eyes and thick eyelashes. There was a huskiness in his voice, and his neck was long. His beard was thick, and his eyebrows were finely arched and joined together.

When silent, he was grave and dignified, and when he spoke, glory rose up and overcame him. He was from afar the most beautiful of men and the most glorious, and close up he was the sweetest and the loveliest. He was sweet of speech and articulate, but not petty or trifling. His speech was a string of cascading pearls, measured so that none despaired of its length, and no eye challenged him because of brevity.

Descriptions like these were often reproduced in calligraphic panels (hilya or, in Turkish, hilye), which in the 17th century developed into an art form of their own in the Ottoman Empire.[209]


Main articles: Muhammad's wives and Ahl al-Bayt

The tomb of Muhammad is located in the quarters of his third wife, Aisha. (Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, Medina)
Muhammad's life is traditionally defined into two periods: pre-hijra (emigration) in Mecca (from 570 to 622), and post-hijra in Medina (from 622 until 632). Muhammad is said to have had thirteen wives or concubines. (There are differing accounts on the status of some of them as wife or concubine.[210])[211] All but two of his marriages were contracted after the migration to Medina.

At the age of 25, Muhammad married the wealthy Khadijah bint Khuwaylid who was 40 years old at that time.[212] The marriage lasted for 25 years and was a happy one.[213] Muhammad relied upon Khadija in many ways and did not enter into marriage with another woman during this marriage.[214][215] After the death of Khadija, it was suggested to Muhammad by Khawla bint Hakim that he should marry Sawda bint Zama, a Muslim widow, or Aisha, daughter of Um Ruman and Abu Bakr of Mecca. Muhammad is said to have asked her to arrange for him to marry both.[146]

Traditional sources dictate that Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad,[146][216][217] but the marriage was not consummated until she was nine or ten years old.[146][216][218][219][220] While the majority of traditional sources indicate Aisha was 9 (and therefore a virgin) at the time of marriage, a small number of more recent writers have variously estimated her age at 15 to 24.[221][222][223][224][225]

After migration to Medina, Muhammad (who was now in his fifties) married several women. These marriages were contracted mostly for political or humanitarian reasons. The women were either widows of Muslims who had been killed in battle and had been left without a protector, or belonging to important families or clans whom it was necessary to honor and strengthen alliances with.[226]

Muhammad did his own household chores and helped with housework, such as preparing food, sewing clothes and repairing shoes. He is also said to have had accustomed his wives to dialogue; he listened to their advice, and the wives debated and even argued with him.[227][228][229]

Khadijah is said to have had four daughters with Muhammad-(Ruqayyah bint Muhammad, Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad, Zainab bint Muhammad, Fatimah Zahra)-and two sons-(Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad and Qasim ibn Muhammad)-who both died in childhood. All except two of his daughters, Fatimah and Zainab, died before him.[230] Some Shi'a scholars contend that Fatimah was Muhammad's only daughter.[231] Maria al-Qibtiyya bore him a son named Ibrahim ibn Muhammad, but the child died when he was two years old.[230]

Nine of Muhammad's wives survived him.[211] Aisha, who became known as Muhammad's favourite wife in Sunni tradition, survived him by many decades and was instrumental in helping bring together the scattered sayings of Muhammad that would form the Hadith literature for the Sunni branch of Islam.[146]

Muhammad's descendants through Fatimah are known as sharifs, syeds or sayyids. These are honorific titles in Arabic, sharif meaning 'noble' and sayed or sayyid meaning 'lord' or 'sir'. As Muhammad's only descendants, they are respected by both Sunni and Shi'a, though the Shi'a place much more emphasis and value on their distinction.[232]

Zayd ibn Harith was a slave that Muhammad bought, freed, and then adopted as his son. He also had a wetnurse.[233] Muhammad owned other slaves as well, whom he bought usually to free.[234]


Muslim views

Main article: Islamic views of Muhammad

The Muslim profession of faith, the Shahadah, illustrates the Muslim conception of the role of Muhammad - "There is no god except the God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God." (Topkapi Palace)
Following the attestation to the oneness of God, the belief in Muhammad's prophethood is the main aspect of the Islamic faith. Every Muslim proclaims in the Shahadah that "I testify that there is none worthy of worship except God, and I testify that Muhammad is a Messenger of God". The Shahadah is the basic creed or tenet of Islam. Ideally, it is the first words a newborn will hear, and children are taught as soon as they are able to understand it and it will be recited when they die. Muslims must repeat the shahadah in the call to prayer (adhan) and the prayer itself. Non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam are required to recite the creed.[235]
Muhammed ibn Abdullah
34 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 71st Great Grandfather

Abraham (Hebrew: ????????? (help·info), Modern: Avraham, Tiberian: 'A?raham, Ashkenazi: Avrohom or Avruhom, Arabic: ???????? Ibrahim) was Israel's founding patriarch (founding father); his story is told in chapters 11-25 of the Book of Genesis, and he plays a prominent role in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.[1]

Narrative in Genesis

The life of Abraham is related in Genesis 11:26-25:10 of the Hebrew Bible.

Abram's origins and calling

Terah, the tenth in descent from Noah, fathered Abram, Nahor and Haran, and Haran fathered Lot. Haran died in his native Ur of the Chaldees, and Abram married Sarai, who was barren. Terah, with Abram, Sarai and Lot, then departed for Canaan, but settled in a place named Haran, where Terah died at the age of 205. (Genesis 11:27-11:32)

God appeared to Abram and told him to depart. After settling in Haran, where his father Terah died, God then told Abram to leave his country and his father's house for a land that He would show him, promising to make of him a great nation, bless him, make his name great, bless those who blessed him, and curse those who cursed him. (Genesis 12:1-3) Following God's command, at age 75, Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and the wealth and persons that they had acquired, and traveled to Shechem in Canaan.

Abram and Sarai

There was a severe famine in the land of Canaan, so that Abram and Lot and their households, travelled south to Egypt. En route, Abram told his wife Sarai, to only say that she was his sister, so that the Egyptians would not kill him. (Genesis 12:10-13) When they entered Egypt, the princes of Pharaoh praised Sarai's beauty to the Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace, and Abram was given provisions: "oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels". However, God afflicted the Pharaoh and his household with great plagues, (Genesis 12:14-17) and after discovering that Sarai was also Abram's wife, the Pharaoh wanted nothing to do with them. He demanded that he and his household leave immediately, along with all their goods. (Genesis 12:18-20)

Abram and Lot separate

When they came back to the Bethel and Hai area, Abram's and Lot's sizeable numbers of livestock occupied the same pastures ("and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.") This became a problem for the herdsmen who were assigned to each family's cattle. The conflicts between herdsmen had become so troublesome that Abram graciously suggested that Lot choose a separate area, either on the left hand or on the right hand, that there be no conflict amongst "brethren". But Lot chose to go east to the plain of Jordan where the land was well watered everywhere as far as Zoar, and he dwelled in the cities of the plain toward Sodom. Abram went south to Hebron and settled in the plain of Mamre, where he built another altar to worship God. (Genesis 13:1-18)

Abram and Chedorlaomer

During the rebellion of the Jordan River cities against Elam, (Genesis 14:1-9) Abram's nephew, Lot, was taken prisoner along with his entire household by the invading Elamite forces. The Elamite army came to collect booty from the spoils of war, after having just defeated the King of Sodom's armies. (Genesis 14:8-12) Lot and his family, at the time, were settled on the outskirts of the Kingdom of Sodom which made them a visible target. (Genesis 13:12)

One person that escaped capture came and told Abram what happened. Once Abram received this news, he immediately assembled 318 trained servants. Abram's elite force headed north in pursuit of the Elamite army, who were already worn down from the Battle of Siddim. When they caught up with them at Dan, Abram devised a battle strategy plan by splitting his group into more than one unit, and launched a night raid. Not only were they able to free the captives, Abram's unit chased and slaughtered the Elamite King Chedorlaomer at Hobah, just north of Damascus. They freed Lot, his household, possessions, and recovered all of the goods from Sodom that were taken. (Genesis 14:13-16)

Upon Abram's return, Sodom's King (whom we do not know since the previous king Bera of Sodom perished in Gen14:10) came out to meet with him in the Valley of Shaveh, the "king's dale". Also, Melchizedek king of Salem (Jerusalem), a priest of God Most High, brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram and God. Abram then gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom then offered to let Abram keep all the possessions if he would merely return his people. Though he released the captives, Abram refused any reward from the King of Sodom, other than the share his allies were entitled to. (Genesis 14:17-24)

Abrahamic covenant

The word of God came to Abram in a vision and repeated the promise of the land and descendants as numerous as the stars. Abram and God made a covenant ceremony, and God told of the future bondage of Israel in Egypt. God described to Abram the land that his offspring would claim: "the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” (Genesis 15)

Abram and Hagar

Abram and Sarai were trying to make sense of how he would become a progenitor of nations since it had already been 10 years of living in Canaan, and still no child had been born from Abram's seed. Sarai then offered her Egyptian handmaid, Hagar, for Abram to consort with so that she may have a child by her, as a wife. Abram consented and had sexual intercourse with Hagar. The result of these actions created a fiery relationship between Hagar and Sarai. (Genesis 16:1-6)

After a harsh encounter with Sarai, Hagar fled toward Shur. En route, an angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar at the well of a spring. He instructed her to return to Sarai for she will bear a son who “shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” She was told to call her son: Ishmael. Hagar then referred to God as “El-roi”, meaning that she had gone on seeing after God saw her. From that day, the well was called Beer-lahai-roi. She then did as she was instructed by returning to Abram in order to have her child. Abram was eighty-six years of age when Ishmael was born. (Genesis 16:7-16)

Abraham and Sarah

Genesis 17 records the inauguration of Abram into God's covenant that was initiated thirteen years ago, as was stated in Genesis 15. Abram is now ninety-nine when God declares Abram's new name: “Abraham, a father of many nations.” Abram then received the instructions for the inauguration rite into God's covenant because the time was approaching for him to have a son by his wife, Sarai. The initiation rite was that in order to be part of this “great nation”, whether by bloodline or inducted, every male must be circumcised otherwise it was a breach of contract. Then God declared Sarai's new name: “Sarah” and blessed her. Immediately after Abram's encounter with his God, he had his entire household of men, including himself and Ishmael, circumcised. (Genesis 17:1-27)

Abraham's three visitors

Not long afterward, during the heat of the day, Abraham had been sitting at the entrance of his tent by the terebinths of Mamre. He looked up and saw three men in the presence of God. Then he ran and bowed to the ground to welcome them. Abraham then offered to wash their feet and fetch them a morsel of bread of which they assented. Abraham rushed to Sarah's tent to order cakes made from choice flour, then he ordered a servant-boy to prepare a choice calf. When all was prepared, he set curds, milk and the calf before them waiting on them, under a tree, as they ate. (Genesis 18:1-8)

One of the visitors told Abraham that upon his return next year, Sarah would have a son. While at the tent entrance, Sarah overheard what was said and she laughed to herself about the prospect of having a child at their ages. The visitor inquired to Abraham why Sarah laughed at bearing a child for her age as nothing is too hard for God. Frightened, Sarah denied laughing.

Abraham's plea

After eating, Abraham and the three visitors got up. They walked over to the peak that overlooked the Cities of the Plain to discuss the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah for their detestable sins that were so great, it moved God to action. Because Abraham's nephew was living in Sodom, God revealed plans to confirm and judge these cities. At this point, the two other visitors leave for Sodom. Then Abraham turned to the Lord and pleaded incrementally with Him (from fifty persons to less) that 'if there were at least ten righteous men found in the city, would not God spare the city?' For the sake of ten righteous people, God declared that he would not destroy the city. (Genesis 18:17-33)

When the two visitors got to Sodom to conduct their report, they planned on staying in the city square. However, Abraham's nephew, Lot, met with them and strongly insisted that these two “men” stay at his house for the night. A rally of men stood outside of Lot's home and demanded that they bring out his guests so that they may “know” them. However, Lot objected and offered his virgin daughters to the rally of men instead. They rejected that notion and sought to break Lot's doors down to get to his male guests,[2] thus confirming the “outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah” and sealing their doom. (Genesis 19:12-13)

Early the next morning, Abraham awoke and went to the elevation that looked over the River Jordan plain, at the very spot where he stood before God, the day prior. From his vantage point, he saw what became of the cities of the plain as “dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.” (Genesis 19:27-29) This meant that there was not even ten righteous people in any of those cities. (Genesis 18:32)

Abraham and Abimelech

Abraham settled between Kadesh and Shur in the land of the Philistines. While he was living in Gerar, Abraham openly claimed that Sarah was his sister. Upon discovering this news, King Abimelech had her brought to him. Later, God came to Abimelech in a dream and declared that taking her would result in death because she was a married woman. Abimelech had not laid hands on her, so he inquired if he would also slay a righteous nation, especially since Abraham had claimed that he and Sarah were siblings. In response, God told Abimelech that he did indeed have a blameless heart and that is why he continued to exist. However, should he not return the wife of Abraham back to him, God would surely destroy Abimelech and his entire household. Abimelech was informed that Abraham was a prophet who would pray for him.(Genesis 20:1-7)

Early next morning, Abimelech informed his servants of his dream and approached Abraham inquiring as to why he had brought such great guilt upon his kingdom. Abraham stated that he thought there was no fear of God in that place, and that they might kill him for his wife. Then Abraham defended what he had said as not being a lie at all: "And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife." (Genesis 20:12) Abimelech returned Sarah to Abraham, and gave him gifts of sheep, oxen, and servants; and invited him to settle wherever he pleased in Abimelech's lands. Further, Abimelech gave Abraham a thousand pieces of silver to serve as Sarah's vindication before all. Abraham then prayed for Abimelech and his household, since the LORD had stricken the women with infertility because of the taking of Sarah. (Genesis 20:8-18)

After living for some time in the land of the Philistines, Abimelech and Phicol, the chief of his troops, approached Abraham because of a dispute that resulted in a violent confrontation at a well. Abraham then reproached Abimelech due to his Philistine servant's aggressive attacks and the seizing of Abraham's well. Abimelech claimed ignorance of the incident. Then Abraham offered a pact by providing sheep and oxen to Abimelech. Further, to attest that Abraham was the one who dug the well, he also gave Abimelech seven ewes for proof. Because of this sworn oath, they called the place of this well: Beersheba. After Abimelech and Phicol headed back to Philistia, Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba and called upon "the name of the LORD, the everlasting God." (Genesis 21:22-34)

Birth of Isaac

As had been prophesied in Mamre the previous year (Genesis 18:14), Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham, at the very time which had been spoken. The patriarch, now a hundred years old, named the child "Isaac" (Hewbrew yitschaq, laughter) and circumcised him when he was eight days old. (Genesis 21:4) In doing so, the second son of Abraham became the first to undergo the covenant-sign of circumcision at the age God had commanded. (Genesis 17:12) For Sarah, the thought of giving birth and nursing a child, at such an old age, also brought her much laughter, as she declared, "God hath made me to laugh. Every one that heareth will laugh with me." (Genesis 21:6-7)

Isaac continued to grow and on the day he was weaned, Abraham held a great feast to honor the occasion. During the celebration, however, Sarah found Ishmael mocking; an observation that would begin to clarify the birthright of Isaac. (Genesis 21:8-9) [3]

Abraham and Ishmael

Abraham was fond of his son Ishmael who had grown up to be fourteen years old when his son Isaac was born. However, with Sarah, things were never the same with Ishmael's mother Hagar, back in her life. Now that Sarah had finally borne her own child, she could no longer stand the sight of either Hagar or Ishmael. When the teenager was jesting around, Sarah told Abraham to send the two of them away. She declared that Ishmael would not share in Isaac's inheritance. Abraham was greatly distressed by his wife's words and sought the advice of his God. The Lord told Abraham not to be distressed but to do as his wife commanded. God reassured Abraham that "in Isaac shall seed be called to thee." (Genesis 21:12) He also said that Ishmael would make a nation, "because he is thy seed", too. (Genesis 21:9-13)

Early the next morning, Abraham brought Hagar and Ishmael out together. He gave her bread and water and sent them away. The two wandered the wilderness of Beersheba until her bottle of water was completely consumed. In a moment of despair, she burst in tears. The boy then called to God and upon hearing him, an angel of God confirmed to Hagar that he would become a great nation. A well of water then appeared so that it saved their lives. As the boy grew, he became a skilled archer living in the wilderness of Paran. Eventually his mother found a wife for Ishmael from her native country, the land of Egypt. (Genesis 21:14-21)

Abraham and Isaac

At some point in Isaac's youth, Abraham was commanded by God to offer his son up as a sacrifice in the land of Moriah. The patriarch traveled three days until he came to the mount that God told him of. He commanded the servants to remain while he and Isaac proceeded alone into the mount. Isaac carried the wood upon which he would be sacrificed. Along the way, Isaac asked his father where the animal for the burnt offering was, to which Abraham replied "God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering". Just as Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, he was interrupted by "the angel of the LORD", and he saw behind him a ram "caught in a thicket by his horns", which he sacrificed instead of his son. For his obedience he received another promise of numerous descendants and abundant prosperity. After this event, Abraham went to Beersheba. (Genesis 22:1-19)

Later years

Sarah, the only woman in the Hebrew scriptures whose age is stated,[4] was 127 years old when she died. Abraham buried her in the Cave of the Patriarchs (also called the Cave of Machpelah), near Hebron which he had purchased, along with the adjoining field, from Ephron the Hittite and laid her to rest in the cave. (Genesis 23:1-20)

After the death of Sarah, Abraham took another wife, a concubine named Keturah, who bore him six sons: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. (Genesis 25:1-6)

Abraham lived 175 years, and "died in a good old age". The Bible says he was buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael in the cave of Machpelah. (Genesis 25:7-10)

Abraham in religious traditions

It is currently widely believed by Christians, Jews, and other scholars that Abraham was a true historical figure.[citation needed] For example, the Catholic church takes the stance that Abraham was more than a mere myth, and that archaeology supports this position.[citation needed]

In Islamic and Jewish traditions, Abraham is referred to as "our Father" (Hebrew: Avraham Avinu, Arabic: abeena Ibraheem[5]).

In Jewish and Christian tradition, Abraham is the father of the Israelites through his son Isaac, whose mother was Sarah. His oldest son is Ishmael, whose mother is Hagar, Sarah's Egyptian handmaiden.

In Islamic tradition, Abraham is considered a prophet of Islam, the ancestor of Muhammad, through his son Ishmael, whose mother is Hagar (????).


Abraham's life can be read in the weekly Torah reading portions, predominantly in the parashot: Lech-Lecha ( ????-???? ), Vayeira ( ???????? ), Chayei Sarah ( ?????? ?????? ), and Toledot ( ????????? )

Rabbinic Judaism faced a seeming contradiction with Abraham, in that he lived before the laws of the Torah had been revealed to Moses. Therefore, Abraham would not have been knowledgeable of all of the Torah's commandments, besides the instruction of practicing circumcision. The rabbis (traditional teachers and interpreters of the Torah), however, interpreted the narratives of the Torah in Genesis to say that Abraham had in fact known and practiced the Law in its entirety, although there are different interpretations as to how exactly Abraham practiced different aspects of the law.

11th and 12th century Rabbis Rashi and Abraham ibn Ezra agree that Abram's native homeland was Ur Kasdim, better known as Ur of the Chaldees, a Mesopotamian location settled by the descendants of Ham.[6] Some modern Jewish studies identify this location to be the same as the Sumerian city-state of Ur.[7][8] However, this Persian Gulf city in Iraq is only a candidate among others to be the actual Ur Kasdim, as well as the most popularly debated one since 1927.[9] The city of Urfa (classical Urha
Rabbi Nahmanides, known as the Ramban, was a medieval Jewish scholar of the 13th century who disagreed with Rashi and Ibn Ezra concerning Abram's birthplace. The Ramban states that because Ur Kasdim was settled by Ham's descendants, this could not be Abram's birthplace as he was a descendant of Shem. However, everyone does agree that Abram's family under the headship of his father, Terach, had all lived in Ur Kasdim before being called to move to Canaan.[6]

The three Rabbis also agree that Terach's native homeland was Charan, the biblical place known as Haran in Genesis 11:31,32, where the House of Terach was located.[Gen.12:1][6] Since this settlement was established by Shem's descendants, only Ramban assumed that Charan had to be Abram's birthplace. He further concluded that Terach and his three sons eventually moved from Charan to Ur Kasdim, and then later by God's command, they headed to Canaan. Of course, they stopped back at Terach's hometown of Charan, where the father stayed there rather than going to Canaan after all.[6]


The Abraham stained glass window at St. Matthew's German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina
In the New Testament Abraham is mentioned prominently as a man of faith (see e.g. Hebrews 11), and the apostle Paul uses him as an example of salvation by faith, as the progenitor of the Christ (or Messiah) (see Galatians 3:16).

The New Testament also sees Abraham as an obedient man of God, and Abraham's interrupted attempt to offer up Isaac is seen as the supreme act of perfect faith in God. "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, 'In Isaac your seed shall be called', concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense." (Hebrews 11:17-19) The imagery of a father sacrificing his son is seen as a type of God the Father offering his Son on Golgotha.

The traditional view in Christianity is that the chief promise made to Abraham in Genesis 12 is that through Abraham's seed all the people of earth would be blessed. Notwithstanding this, John the Baptist specifically taught that merely being of Abraham's seed was no guarantee of salvation.[10] The promise in Genesis is considered to have been fulfilled through Abraham's seed, Jesus. It is also a consequence of this promise that Christianity is open to people of all races and not limited to Jews.[citation needed]

The Roman Catholic Church calls Abraham "our father in Faith", in the Eucharistic prayer of the Roman Canon, recited during the Mass (see Abraham in the Catholic liturgy). He is also commemorated in the calendars of saints of several denominations: on 20 August by the Maronite Church, 28 August in the Coptic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East (with the full office for the latter), and on 9 October by the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. He is also regarded as the patron saint of those in the hospitality industry.[11]

The Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates him as the "Righteous Forefather Abraham", with two feast days in its liturgical calendar. The first time is on 9 October (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 9 October falls on 22 October of the modern Gregorian Calendar), where he is commemorated together with his nephew "Righteous Lot". The other is on the "Sunday of the Forefathers" (two Sundays before Christmas), when he is commemorated together with other ancestors of Jesus. Abraham is also mentioned in the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, just before the Anaphora. Abraham and Sarah are invoked in the prayers said by the priest over a newly married couple at the Sacred Mystery of Crowning (i.e., the Sacrament of Marriage).


Abraham ("Ibrahim") is an important figure in the Quran, mentioned in 25 chapters, briefly or in detail.[12] Muslims regard him as a prophet and patriarch, the archetype of the perfect Muslim, and the revered reformer of the Kaaba in Mecca.[13]

Islamic traditions consider Abraham the father of Islam (which is also called millat Ibrahim, the "religion of Abraham"), and that his purpose and mission throughout his life was to proclaim the Oneness of God. When Ibrahim (Abraham) was asked for sacrifice and took Ismael to the place when he was about to use the knife, God placed a sheep under his hand. From that day onward, every Eid (Eid Al Adha) once a year Muslims around the world slaughter a sheep to follow the path of Ibrahim that is called Qurbani sacrifice.


Bahá'u'lláh, the prophet of the Baha'i Faith, affirms the highest religious station for Abraham and generally for prophets mentioned among the other Abrahamic religions,[14] and has claimed a lineage of descent from Abraham through Keturah and Sarah.[15][16][17] Additionally Bahá'u'lláh actually did lose a son, Mírzá Mihdí.[18] Bahá'u'lláh, then in prison, eulogized his son and connected the subsequent easing of restrictions to his dying prayer and also compared it to the intended sacrifice of Abraham's son.[19]

Scholarly criticism

Origins and composition

Scholarship for more than two centuries have agreed that the Torah, in which the Patriarchal stories are found, was drawn together from different literary sources. However, any particular identification or dating of the textual sources have been strongly debated.[20]

It is widely held by modern biblical scholarship that the Patriarchs, including Abraham, are not clearly and unambiguously attested in the Hebrew Bible earlier than the Babylonian exile. This has led modern scholars to propose that the entire Torah, which include the stories of Abraham, all originated from literary circles either during the Persian period of the late 6th century BCE, to the 5th century Babylonian rule,[21] or as late as Hellenistic times.[20] Under these dominions, the Patriarchal stories are seen as hope for the Jewish people when Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Davidic kingship were all but destroyed. YHWH's dealings with their ancestors provided hope for a future in which an ancestral foundation could be built.[22] Thus, Abraham served as a model for those who would return to Judah.[21]

There are however, modern supporters for an earlier dating. Robert Alter interjects that the Hebrew language evolved over nine centuries of biblical literary activity, from the First Commonwealth (1000 BCE to 586 BCE) to the late Persian/Hellenistic periods.[20] Both Alter and Ronald Hendel argue that there is very little Hebrew in the Torah that could bare a late dating to the 6th-4th century BCE eras, due to their linguistic differences.[23]


Abraham first appears as Abram, until he is renamed by God in Genesis 17:5. Both names are West Semitic, and similar and even identical names have been found in texts dating from the 14th century BCE to the 7th. The text of Genesis suggests that the new name means "father of multitudes", which indicates the significance Abraham had for the authors, but in fact the meaning is unknown.[24]

There is basic agreement that Abraham's connection with Haran, Shechem and Bethel is secondary and originated when he became identified as the father of Jacob and ancestor of the northern tribes; his association with Mamre and Hebron, on the other hand (in the south, in the territory of Jerusalem and Judah), suggest that this region was the original home of his religion.[25]

The standard text of the Hebrew Bible places Abraham's birth 1,948 years after the Creation, or 1948 AM (Anno Mundi, "Year of the World"). The two other major textual traditions have different dates, the translated Greek Septuagint putting it at 3312 AM and the Samaritan version of the Torah at 2247 AM. All three agree that he died at the age of 175.[26] There have been over two hundred attempts to match the biblical chronology to dates in history, two of the more influential being the traditional Jewish dates (Abraham lived 1812 BCE to 1637 BCE), and those of the 17th century Archbishop James Ussher (Abraham lived 1976 BCE to 1801 BCE); but the most that can be said with some degree of certainty is that the standard Hebrew text of Genesis places Abraham in the earlier part of the second millennium BCE.[27]


Since the 1970s, efforts to reconstruct a patriarchal age for Israel's past have come to an end as most historians of ancient Israel have abandoned the conclusions of earlier scholarship,[28] as there is nothing specific in the Genesis stories that can be definitively linked to known history in or around Canaan in the early second millennium BCE. There is no solid evidence for any date during that period, as none of the kings mentioned are known, neither the anonymous Pharaoh who enlists Joseph into his services. Some scholars argue that historical inaccuracies exist, such as: the reference to Abimelech "King of the Philistines", when the Phlistines had not settled in Palestine until the later end of the millennium. Abraham coming from "Ur of the Chaldeans", when the Babylonians were not known as Chaldeans until a much later time. Laban identified as an Aramean, when Arameans did not become a known political entity before the 12th century BCE.[29]

Abraham in the arts


Paintings on the life of Abraham tend to focus on only a few incidents: The sacrifice of Isaac; Meeting Melchizedek; Entertaining the three angels; Hagar in the desert; and a few others.[30] Many artists have been inspired by the life of Abraham: Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Caravaggio (1573-1610), Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669) created at least seven works on Abraham, Petrus-Paulus Rubens (1577-1640) did several, Donatello, Raphael, Philip van Dyck (Dutch painter, 1680-1753), Marc Chagall did at least five on Abraham, Gustave Doré (French illustrator, 1832-1883) did six, Claude Lorrain (French painter, 1600-1682), James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French painter and illustrator, 1836-1902) did over twenty works on the subject.[30]


The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus depicts a set of biblical stories, including Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac. These sculpted scenes are on the outside of a marble Early Christian sarcophagus used for the burial of Junius Bassus. He died in 359. This sarcophagus has been described as "probably the single most famous piece of early Christian relief sculpture."[31] The sarcophagus was originally placed in or under Old St. Peter's Basilica, was rediscovered in 1597,[32] and is now below the modern basilica in the Museo Storico del Tesoro della Basilica di San Pietro (Museum of Saint Peter's Basilica) in the Vatican. The base is approximately 4 × 8 × 4 feet. The Old Testament scenes depicted were chosen as precursors of Christ's sacrifice in the New Testament, in an early form of typology. Just to the right of the middle is Daniel in the lion's den and on the left is Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac.

Abraham's Farewell to Ishmael by George Segal. The artist created figural sculptures by molding plastered gauze strips over live models. The human condition was central to his concerns. On several occasions, Segal turned to the Old Testament as a source for his imagery. This sculpture depicts the dilemma faced by Abraham when Sarah demanded that he expel Hagar and Ishmael. In the sculpture, the father's tenderness, Sarah's rage, and Hagar's resigned acceptance portray a range of human emotions. The sculpture was donated to the Miami Art Museum after the artist's death in 2000. This footnote provides a link to a picture of the sculpture.[33]


Fear and Trembling (original Danish title: Frygt og Bæven) is an influential philosophical work by Søren Kierkegaard, published in 1843 under the pseudonym Johannes de silentio (John the Silent). Kierkegaard wanted to understand the anxiety[34] that must have been present in Abraham when God asked him to sacrifice his son.[35]


In 1994, Steve Reich released an opera named "The Cave". The title refers to The Cave of the Patriarchs. The narrative of the opera is based on the story of Abraham and his immediate family as it is recounted in the various religious texts, and as it is understood by individual people from different cultures and religious traditions.

Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited"[36] is the title track for his 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song as number 364 in there 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[37] The song has five stanzas. In each stanza, someone describes an unusual problem that is ultimately resolved on Highway 61. In Stanza 1, God tells Abraham to "kill me a son". God wants the killing done on Highway 61. Abram, the original name of the biblical Abraham, is also the name of Dylan's own father.


1.^ Andrews 1990, p. 5.
2.^ (Genesis 19:1-9)
3.^ "www.Bibler.org - Dictionary - Isaac". 2012-08-01.
4.^ The ages of some other women can be deduced or approximated. Eve was created the same day as Adam, so when Seth was born when Adam had lived 130 years, Eve had lived as long also, short a number of hours.
5.^ Qu'ran 22:78
6.^ a b c d Singer, Binyamin. "Ramban: Bereishis & Shemos", Vol. 1: Ramban: Classic Themes in Nachmanides' Chumash Commentary, 2005 (ISBN 1568713428, ISBN 978-1-56871-342-7), p. 89-91
7.^ Keene, Michael. This is Judaism, 1996, p. 8
8.^ Scharfstein, Sol. Jewish History and You, 2002, p. 10
9.^ Dundes, Alan. The Flood Myth, 1988, p. 89
10.^ Matthew 3:1-9
11.^ *Holweck, F. G., A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co. 1924.
12.^ Encyclopedia of Islam, Ibrahim
13.^ Mecca, Martin Lings, c. 2004
14.^ May, Dann J (December 1993). "Web Published". The Bahá'í Principle of Religious Unity and the Challenge of Radical Pluralism. University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. p. 102. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
15.^ Hatcher, W.S.; Martin, J.D. (1998). The Bahá'í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion. Wilmette, IL: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0-87743-264-3.
16.^ "Abrahamic Religion". Christianity: Details about…. Christianity Guide. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
17.^ Flow, Christian B.; Nolan, Rachel B. (16 November 2006). "Go Forth From Your Country". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
18.^ Ma'ani, Baharieh Rouhani (2008). Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. p. 150. ISBN 0-85398-533-2.
19.^ Taherzadeh, A. (1984). "The Death of The Purest Branch". The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 3: `Akka, The Early Years 1868-77. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. pp. 204-220. ISBN 0-85398-144-2.
20.^ a b c Alter 2008, p. x.
21.^ a b Blenkinsopp 2009, p. 38-39.
22.^ Albertz, R, "Israel in exile: the history and literature of the sixth century B.C.E." (Society of Biblical Literature, 2003) p.246
23.^ Alter 2008, p. xi.
24.^ Thompson 2002, p. 22-36.
25.^ "Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible", K. van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter Willem van der Horst (eds) (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing), pp.3-4
26.^ "G.F. Hasel, "Chronogenealogies in the Biblical History of Beginnings"". Grisda.org. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
27.^ ""Biblical Chronology", Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)". Newadvent.org. 1 November 1908. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
28.^ Moore & Kelle 2011, p. 57.
29.^ McNutt 1999, p. 41.
30.^ a b For a very thorough online collection of links to artwork about Abraham see: Artwork Depicting Scenes from Abraham's Life Accessed 25 March 2011
31.^ Journal of Early Christian Studies, Leonard Victor Rutgers, The Iconography of the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus (review of Malbon book), Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 1993, pp. 94-96; for Janson it is also the "finest Early Christian sarcophagus".
32.^ or 1595, see Elsner, p. 86n.
33.^ Abraham's Farewell to Ishmael. George Segal. Miami Art Museum. Collections: Recent Acquisitions. Accessed 10 April 2011.
34.^ "Whoever has learned to be anxious in the right way has learned the ultimate. … Anxiety is freedom's possibility, and only such anxiety is through faith absolutely educative, because it consumes all finite ends and discovers all there deceptiveness. And no Grand Inquisitor has such dreadful torments in readiness as anxiety has, and no secret agent knows as cunningly as anxiety to attack his suspect in his weakest moment or to make alluring the trap in which he will be caught, and no discerning judge understands how to interrogate and examine the accused as does anxiety, which never lets the accused escape, neither through amusement, nor by noise, nor during work, neither by day nor by night."-Vigilius Haufniensis (Pseudonym), The Concept of Anxiety by Soren Kierkegaard p. 155-156, Reidar Thomte, 1980
35.^ Gen 22: 1-2
36.^ Highway 61 Revisited Accessed 25 March 2011
37.^ "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2008.


Alter, Robert; a translation with commentary (2008). The five books of Moses (Paperback ed. ed.). New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 9780393333930. Andrews, Stephen J. (1990). "Abraham". In Mills, Watson E.; Bullard, Roger A.. Mercer Dictionary of the Bible. Mercer University Press. McNutt, Paula (1999). Reconstructing the Society of Ancient Israel. Westminster John Knox Press. Moore, Megan Bishop; Kelle, Brad E. (2011). Biblical History and Israel's Past. Eerdmans. Alexander, David; Pat Alexander (1973). Eerdmans' Handbook to the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-3436-1. Blenkinsopp, Joseph (2009). Judaism, the First Phase: The Place of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Origins of Judaism. Eerdmans. Boadt, Lawrence (1984). Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction. New York: Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-2631-1. Ginzberg, Louis (2003). Harriet Szold tr. ed. Legends of the Jews, Volume 1. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. ISBN 0-8276-0709-1. Harrison, R. K. (1969). An Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-87784-881-5. Kidner, Derek (1967). Genesis. Downers Grover, IL: Inter-Varsity Press. Kitchen, K.A. (1966). Ancient Orient and Old Testament. Chicago: Inter-Varsity Press. Levenson, Jon D. (2004). "The Conversion of Abraham to Judaism, Christianity and Islam". In Hindy Najman, Judith Newman (eds). The Idea of Biblical Interpretation: Essays in Honor of James L. Kugel. Leiden: Koningklijke Brill. ISBN 90-04-13630-4. Rosenberg, David M. (2006). Abraham: the first historical biography. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-07094-9. Schultz, Samuel J. (1990). The Old Testament Speaks (4th ed.). San Francisco: Harper. ISBN 0-06-250767-2. Silberman, Neil Asher; Finkelstein, Israel (2001). The Bible unearthed: archaeology's new vision of ancient Israel and the origin of its sacred texts. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-684-86912-8. Thompson, J.A. (1986). Handbook to Life in Bible Times. Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press. ISBN 0-87784-949-8. Thompson, Thomas (2002). The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham. Valley Forge, Pa: Trinity Press International. ISBN 1-56338-389-6. Van Seters, John (1975). Abraham in history and tradition. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-01792-8. Vermes, Geza (1973). Scripture and tradition in Judaism. Haggadic studies. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 90-04-07096-6. Whybray, Roger Norman (1987). The making of the Pentateuch: a methodological study. Sheffield: JSOT Press. ISBN 1-85075-063-7.

Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.
35 aka Ishaq; poss. aka Mempsasthenoth; poss. related to Isis; Heir of the Covenant
Born: 1922 BC Died: 1742 BC
Isaac ibn Abraham
36 At least one living individual is linked to this note - Details withheld. Sue Ann Abshire
37 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 24th Great Grandfather

916-919 95. Terda-Gabaz; estimate 95th in descent from Moses; aka Morari Takle-Haymanot, Governor of Lasta [the Zagwe ancestral-estate], at Bugna, [then] the provincial-capital, usurper to Ethiopian throne, 1st Zagwe Emperor, dates vary; moved capital-city to Adafa, then, to Roha

= Masoba-Warq, dau of Del-Naad, the Ethiopian Emperor [Solomonic Dynasty], whom the Zagwe Queen Gudite had overthrown and slain

begot 3 sons:

(a) Totadem [Pantadem] 2nd Zagwe Emperor 919-959;

(b) Zan-Seyum, 3rd Zagwe Emperor 959-999; &

(c) Germa-Seyum, 4th Zagwe Emperor 999-1039.

The Zagwe Dynasty long held to its descent from Moses. The descendants of Moses continued to flourish on their ancestral-estate in Ethiopia, in the province called "Lasta", where the family had earlier been settled by their Ethiopian captors in AD 339 following the destruction of their kingdom, Sudan [Nubia], which once held sway over the whole of Central Africa "from sea to sea". Mara Takle Haymanot, founder of the Zagwe dynasty, married Masoba-Warq, a daughter of the last Aksumite king, that is, the Ethiopian Emperor Delnaad, whom Mara Takle-Haymanot had overthrown. The phrase, "[...] rise of Zagwe as result of marriage between an Aksumite princess called Mesoba Warq [ëBasket of Goldí] and the Zagwe prince, called Terda Gabaz in king-lists"; there were eleven Zagwe emperors; their heirs bore the title "Wagshum" from 1270 to the Revolution of 1974. The Abdication Settlement grants them the right to sit on a throne, to have the great "negarit" drum beaten for them in salute on certain occasions, and were allowed to maintain their own militia. They were granted the privilege of being seated in the imperial presence, so long as the Ethiopian Emperor was also seated. The Solomonic Emperors honored this treaty until the fall of the Ethiopian Monrachy eight centuries later in Year 1974.

959-999 96. (2) Zan-Seyum, 3rd Zagwe Emperor; & [his bro] (3) Germa-Seyum, 4th Zagwe Emperor 999-1039 [father of Yemrehana Krestos, 5th Zagwe Emperor 1039-1079]

X(1000)X 97. Mairari, Prince, son of Zan-Seyum, 3rd Zagwe Emperor (above); was the father of two sons & a daughter, who were (1) Kedus Herbe [Harbre I], 6th Zagwe Emperor 1079-1119 [father of Naakweto Laab, 8th Zagew Emperor 1159-1207]; (2) Lalibela, 7th Zagwe Emperor 1119-1159 [father of Yetbarak, 9th Zagwe Emperor]; and, their sister, (3) Qirwerne (below)

1119-1159 98. Lalibela, 7th Zawge Emperor, whose sister, Qirwerne, was an ancestress of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, through a female-link in Queen Elizabeth's pedigree

The most famous Zagwe Emperor of Ethiopia was Lalibela. The "History of the Patriarchs", which usually just refers to the kings anonymously, calls him, "Lalibala son of Shanuda ["the Lion"], of the race of al-Nakba". Other sources add his throne-name, Gabra Masqal, and an epithet, '_be'esi `azzal_', `the strong man'.

There is a story that the Ethiopian Emperor Lalibela, who, accompanied by his "troublesome" sister, Qirwerne, traveled to the Holy Land and visited the Byzantine Emperor at Constantinople. There at the imperial court he and his sister appear to have met Izyaslav II of Kiev/Russia who was there visiting the emperor during the time of their visit. There are also undocumented legends about Lalibela and his sister that probably are based on actual events. Qirwerne remained at the imperial court at Constantinople after Lalibela returned to Ethiopia. Meantime, the Ethiopian Princess married twice: once [in 1153] to Izyaslav II of Kiev/Russia (d1154), and, upon returning to Constantinople after her first husband's death, Qirwerne married secondly [in 1158] to Andronikos Dukas Kamateros, a Byzantine prince (d1176), by whom she was the mother of Euphrosyne (d1211), wife/empress of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius III (d1210), which gives a "gateway" from Africa to Europe (see below). The story about the involvement of an un-named widow of an un-named king and Andronikos Kamateros [reminds one of the story of the sister of England's King Henry VIII, namely, Princess/Queen Mary, widow of King Louis XII of France, and her subsequent involvement and marriage to Charles Brandon, an English squire] is the basis for the identification of the second husband of the Ethiopian princess, for circumstantial evidence clearly identifies this un-named widow to have been Lalibela's "troublesome" sister, Qirwerne, and the un-named king to have been Izyaslav II, her first husband [his 3rd marriage] who died shortly after their marriage.

"Descents From Antiquity": gateway from Africa to Europe
Mairari Prince of Abyssinia
38 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 23rd Great Grandmother

There is a story that the Ethiopian Emperor Lalibela, who, accompanied by his "troublesome" sister, Qirwerne, traveled to the Holy Land and visited the Byzantine Emperor at Constantinople. There at the imperial court he and his sister appear to have met Izyaslav II of Kiev/Russia who was there visiting the emperor during the time of their visit. There are also undocumented legends about Lalibela and his sister that probably are based on actual events. Qirwerne remained at the imperial court at Constantinople after Lalibela returned to Ethiopia. Meantime, the Ethiopian Princess married twice: once [in 1153] to Izyaslav II of Kiev/Russia (d1154), and, upon returning to Constantinople after her first husband's death, Qirwerne married secondly [in 1158] to Andronikos Dukas Kamateros, a Byzantine prince (d1176), by whom she was the mother of Euphrosyne (d1211), wife/empress of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius III (d1210), which gives a "gateway" from Africa to Europe (see below). The story about the involvement of an un-named widow of an un-named king and Andronikos Kamateros [reminds one of the story of the sister of England's King Henry VIII, namely, Princess/Queen Mary, widow of King Louis XII of France, and her subsequent involvement and marriage to Charles Brandon, an English squire] is the basis for the identification of the second husband of the Ethiopian princess, for circumstantial evidence clearly identifies this un-named widow to have been Lalibela's "troublesome" sister, Qirwerne, and the un-named king to have been Izyaslav II, her first husband [his 3rd marriage] who died shortly after their marriage.

"Descents From Antiquity": gateway from Africa to Europe
Qirwerne (Qirwerneje) of Abyssinia
39 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 69th Great Grandmother

The name Astyoche or Astyocheia was the daughter of the river god Simoeis, mother of Tros by Erichthonius.[1][2]


1. Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 3. 12. 2
2. Tzetzes on Lycophron, 29

Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.
Astoyche of Acadia
40 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 68th Great Grandfather

King of TROY
Born: abt. 1337 BC Died: abt. 1330 BC

In Greek mythology, Tros was a ruler of Troy and the son of Erichthonius by Astyoche (daughter of the river god Simoeis) or of Ilus I, from whom he inherited the throne.[1][2] Tros was the father of three sons: Ilus, Assaracus, and Ganymedes.[3] He is the eponym of Troy, also named Ilion for his son Ilus. Tros's wife was said to be Callirrhoe, daughter of the River God Scamander[3], or Acallaris, daughter of Eumedes.[4]

When Zeus abducted Ganymedes, Tros grieved for his son. Sympathetic, Zeus sent Hermes with two horses so swift they could run over water. Hermes also assured Tros that Ganymede was immortal and would be the cupbearer of the gods, a position of great distinction.[5][6]

In variant versions Ganymede is son of Laomedon son of Ilus son of Tros;[7] yet others call him son of Ilus[8], Erichthonius or Assaracus.[9]

It was from Tros that the Dardanians were called Trojans and the land named the Troad.


1. Homer, Iliad, 20. 230
2. Tzetzes on Lycophron, 29
3. Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 3. 12. 2
4. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, 1.62
5. Homer, Iliad, 5. 265 & 20. 231
6. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5. 24. 5 with a reference to Homer
7. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 1. 29
8. Tzetzes on Lycophron, 34
9. Hyginus, Fabulae, 224, 271

Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.
Tros (Trois) of Acadia King of Troy
41 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 44th Great Grandmother Flavia Actia
42 Audrey Maxine Ellis' Half 5th Cousin 4 x Removed Aaron Adams
43 Audrey Maxine Ellis' Half 5th Cousin 4 x Removed Abel Adams
44 Audrey Maxine Ellis' Half 5th Cousin 4 x Removed
Amasa Adams
45 Audrey Maxine Ellis' Half 5th Cousin 4 x Removed Asa Adams
46 Audrey Maxine Ellis' Half 5th Cousin 4 x Removed Azubah Adams
47 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 7th Cousin 1 x Removed Belle E. Adams
48 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 7th Cousin 1 x Removed Birdie Adams
49 Audrey Maxine Ellis' Half 5th Cousin 4 x Removed Deborah Adams
50 Audrey Maxine Ellis' 7th Cousin 1 x Removed Flora Adams

      1 2 3 4 5 ... 241» Next»