As a muslim, belief that Muhammad ﷺ was the Messenger of God, and belief in his teachings (the Sunnah) is a crucial part of faith.
This sets muslims apart from other religions, since they are the only ones who believe that Muhammad ﷺ was the last Messenger sent by Allah, whereas Christians and Jews reject him as the Last Prophet.
Brief History of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was the last prophet sent by Allah, and was the founder of Islam.
He was born in 570 CE in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. He was orphaned at a young age and was brought up by his uncle, later worked mostly as a merchant, and was married by age 26.
Discontented with life in Mecca where idol worshipping was common, he used to retreat to caves in the surrounding mountains for meditation and reflection.It was in one of these caves that at age 40, in the month of Ramadan, he received his first revelation from Allah through the angel Jibrain (Gabriel). Three years after this event Prophet Muhammad ﷺ started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that “God is One”, that complete “surrender” to Him (lit. islām) is the only way (dīn) acceptable to God, and that he, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, was a prophet and messenger of God, in the same vein as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, and other prophets. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ gained few followers early on, and was largely met with hostility from the tribes of Mecca; he was treated harshly and so were his followers.
To escape persecution Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his followers migrated to Madinah (then known as Yathrib) in the year 622. This historic event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. In Madinah, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ managed to unite the conflicting tribes, and after eight years of fighting with the Meccan tribes, his followers, who by then had grown to ten thousand, conquered Mecca.
In 632 a few months after returning to Madinah from his Farewell pilgrimage, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ fell ill and died. By the time of his death most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam.
Quran Quotes about Prophet Muhammad
“Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.”
“I was sent to perfect good character.”
Malik Muwatta Book 47, Number 47.1.8