He was affectionate and magnanimous, pious and austere in the practice of his religion, brave, zealous, and above reproach in his personal and family conduct.Palgrave, however, wisely remarks that "the ideals of Arab virtue were first conceived and then attributed to him".He took the field against his enemies, conquered several Arabian, Jewish, and Christian tribes, entered Mecca in triumph in 630, demolished the idols of the Kaaba, became master of Arabia, and finally united all the tribes under one emblem and one religion.In 632 he made his last pilgrimage to Mecca at the head of forty thousand followers, and soon after his return died of a violent fever in the sixty-third year of his age, the eleventh of the Hejira, and the year 633 of the Christian era.On his commercial journeys to Syria and Palestine he became acquainted with Jews and Christians, and acquired an imperfect knowledge of their religion and traditions. 612), he claimed to have received a call from the Angel Gabriel, and thus began his active career as the prophet of Allah and the apostle of Arabia.He was a man of retiring disposition, addicted to prayer and fasting, and was subject to epileptic fits. His converts were about forty in all, including his wife, his daughter, his father-in-law Abu Bakr, his adopted son Ali Omar, and his slave Zayd.Nevertheless, with every allowance for exaggeration, Mohammed is shown by his life and deeds to have been a man of dauntless courage, great generalship, strong patriotism, merciful by nature, and quick to forgive.
Spanheim and D'Herbelot characterize him as a "wicked impostor", and a "dastardly liar", while Prideaux stamps him as a wilful deceiver. Modern scholars, such as Sprenger, Noldeke, Weil, Muir, Koelle, Grimme, Margoliouth, give us a more correct and unbiased estimate of Mohammed's life and character, and substantially agree as to his motives, prophetic call, personal qualifications, and sincerity.
The sources of Mohammed's biography are numerous, but on the whole untrustworthy, being crowded with fictitious details, legends, and stories.
None of his biographies were compiled during his lifetime, and the earliest was written a century and a half after his death. 768), Wakidi (207=822), Ibn Hisham (213=828), Ibn Sa'd (230=845), Tirmidhi (279=892), Tabari (310-929), the "Lives of the Companions of Mohammed", the numerous Koranic commentators [especially Tabari, quoted above, Zamakhshari 538=1144), and Baidawi (691=1292)], the "Musnad", or collection of traditions of Ahmad ibn Hanbal (241=855), the collections of Bokhari (256=870), the "Isabah", or "Dictionary of Persons who knew Mohammed", by Ibn Hajar, etc.
Peter's at Rome, but were at last defeated by Charles Martel at Tours, in 732, just one hundred years from the death of Mohammed.
This defeat arrested their western conquests and saved Europe.
The Koran is perhaps the only reliable source for the leading events in his career. All these collections and biographies are based on the so-called Hadiths, or "traditions", the historical value of which is more than doubtful.