Muhammad: Muhammad, Prophet of Islam and proclaimer of the Quran.
Zayd was a young boy who had grown up in the household of the Prophet as a slave, and remained with the household, almost as an adopted son, even after he was freed. He was amongst the first four people to adopt Islam. Indeed when Zayd's father (a wealthy nobleman) tracked his son down and offered to buy his freedom from Muhammad, Muhammad told Zayd that he was free to go with his father with no money changing hands, and to his father's astonishment Zayd chose to stay with Muhammad.
Answering Christianity : Prophet Muhammad in Islam …
In the course of the history of the textual traditions of the Shia – Tafsir, Hadith, Kalam, Hikmat, Irfan – there is a movement towards idealization: the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) is understood as the climaxing personification of the theory of prophethood as elaborated over the course of the centuries. This is not to deny the historical person or to oppose the historical person to the idealization, for there is a single person who appears in history who was orphaned and raised by an uncle and experienced all the details of the life of the famous religious leader of Arabia some six hundred years after Christ (peace be upon him), but at the same time is one who was appointed by God and given a mission of warning and bearing the glad tidings of divine mercy and sovereignty, and again, is the same person who is the pure light of God’s first creation and for the sake of whom the entire world has been created. In Shia thought, these are not to be understood as opposing paradigms, but as different hierarchically ordered aspects of a single reality. The lowest level of such aspects is that of the Arabian man’s physical history, his movements, and what he ate. At a higher level, there is the person Muhammad as prophet and apostle of God, the recipient of divine revelation, and divine guide. Finally, there is Muhammad as the light of the intellect, pure illumination and virtue, a cosmic reality totally annihilated in divinity. This division is reflected in Haydar Amuli’s division of Shari’at, Tariqat, and Haqiqat, and in Mulla Sadra’s division of the sensory, imaginal, and intellectual worlds.
In summary, we recognize that religions have elements which are both prophetic and transformative as well as conservative and constraining. These elements are continually in tension, a condition which creates the great variety of thought and interpretation within religious traditions. To recognize these various tensions and limits, however, is not to lessen the urgency of the overall goals of this project. Rather, it is to circumscribe our efforts with healthy skepticism, cautious optimism, and modest ambitions. It is to suggest that this is a beginning in a new field of study which will affect both religion and ecology. On the one hand, this process of reflection will inevitably change how religions conceive of their own roles, missions, and identities, for such reflections demand a new sense of the sacred as not divorced from the earth itself. On the other hand, environmental studies can recognize that religions have helped to shape attitudes toward nature. Thus, as religions themselves evolve they may be indispensable in fostering a more expansive appreciation for the complexity and beauty of the natural world. At the same time as religions foster awe and reverence for nature, they may provide the transforming energies for ethical practices to protect endangered ecosystems, threatened species, and diminishing resources.