What religion did Muhammed follow before founding Islam?

Muhammad is a prophet who founded the religion Islam. Islam is one of the three Abrahamic religions, and the second most populous behind Christianity :yeah_me: .

Now, what religion did Muhammad and his family follow before this? Were they Jewish? Samaritan? Non-Abrahamic Pagans?

I don’t remember where I heard it (probably on Catholic Radio, I’m not sure), but I seem to recall hearing that Mohammed was taught by a Docetic leader (Docetism was an early Christian heresy). This would make some sense, actually, as Docetism taught that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross - that He simply appeared to. Docetism also taught that Jesus, though He was the Messiah, was actually a created being by God, thus denying the Trinity. It’s quite possible that the “visions” that Mohammed had were actually dreams that he had when he was reflecting on the Docetic teachings that he had learned.

Ironically Muhammad’s father was a pagan and his name was Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib.

Abdullah means “Slave of God.”

I feel he probably was exposed to judaism and christianity and other beliefs. By the time Mohammed was born he probably would have come into contact with christians and jews at some point and took an interest in their beliefs. He might also have come in contact with hindus and buddhists. I am sure he heard many discussions about these religions. He probably wondered where the arabs belonged.
He declared himself a prophet and supposedly had the encounter with
Gabriel and the rest is history. Islam definitely united the arab culture and peoples. And the persians.

We can’t possibly know by the sources we have.

If we judge by the sources we have he was apparently a monotheist.

From what I learned in World Religions class 5 years ago, Arabs say Mohammed was born a pagan among pagans. The Ka’aba - the big box in Mecca that Moslems circle around and adorn with a big cloth - was a shrine.

But Mohammed was also a merchant by trade (I forget how he came into it). It is likely he met Christians, possibly heretics. It is not impossible one day a demon followed him home and demanded to keep Mohammed forever (i.e, the purported angel).

Paganism was rampant in that area. He probably was pagan until he meet Jews and Christians. He evolved his views. Read the satanic verses in which Muhammad allowed his followers to worship Allah alongside idolaters. In the OT Jews who did that we’re put to death.

Shaikh Inayatullah: “Judging by the evidence furnished by the pre‑Islamic poets, polemical pas*sages in the Qur’an and the later Islamic literature, idolatry based on polytheism prevailed throughout ancient Arabia.”

He was a pagan with a specific devotion to Allah, the creator/supreme deity in the local paganism.

I have heard that there were Hanifs (a group that followed the one true God, rejected idolatry, but were not Christian or Jewish) in his vicinity. I have heard that Muhammed was a pagan of some sort before he founded Islam, but may have been influenced by Hanifs. It is pretty difficult to find much info on the Hanifs, and what influence they may have had on Muhammed.

The accusations that he was pagan are entirely without merit; no meaningful historian could even begin to substantiate that. They’ve never read Seerah literature, like Martin Lings’ book or the Sealed Nectar, which are actually based on islamic sources. Seerah books and authentic ahadith indicate that he [peace be upon him] was a monotheist that didn’t follow any religion. He would often spend time meditating and making dhikr on Mount Hira, which is a mountain in Mecca (where Muhammad was from). He knew of monotheistic faiths, though.

His best friend, Abu Bakr [may Allah be pleased with him], likewise, was a monotheist who didn’t follow any religion (prior to Muhammad’s first revelation). You can read more about him in Dr. Muhammad as-Salabee’s book.

What was his father?

A man from the Quraishi tribe. His name was Abdullah. He was a pagan, like most of the Quraish.

So his father had no influence on him at any time ever back in the early 7th century?

No, because Abdullah died before Muhammad was born. You can find this in ‘Muhammad: His life based on the earliest sources’ by Martin Lings, page 20-21 (I just looked it up :p). It’s a good source-- I highly reccomend it. Muhammad [peace be upon him] was an orphan for most of his life. He never knew his father and his mother died when he was six.

Thanks for answering my question. I was curious because I know both Islam and Christianity are abrahamic in origin, but there were probably not many Jews where Muhammad lived: that is how my question arose.

I do have another question. If his parents died in his infancy, than who raised Muhammed? Was the person who raised him a pagan like his father, or a non-religious monotheist?

The answers to your questions depend on who you ask. The person who gave you the previous answers was a Sunni Muslim. The Shia perspective is different:

According to Shia Islam, Prophet Muhammad’s father was a monotheist follower of Abraham’s religion which is sometimes referred to as the Hanif religion.

After the death of his parents, Muhammad was first raised by his paternal grandfather Abdu’l-Muttalib and after him by his paternal uncle Abu-Talib. Both these figures were followers of the Hanif religion too.

Your question? did you just shapeshift into another user? Whoooooaaa! :hypno:

Anyways, Muhammad’s mother, Amina, died when Muhammad was six, so he was, obviously, not an infant at that time. After his mother died, Muhammad [peace be upon him] was raised by his grandfather, Abdul-Muttalib, and his uncle, Abu Talib, respectively. Abdul-Muttalib called Muhammad his son as a sign of affection, even though Muhammad was actually his grandson. Abdul-Muttalib died two years after Amina, so Muhammad would’ve been eight at the time Abu Talib stepped up as his father-figure.

I don’t know what religion Abdul-Muttalib was, but given that his name, Abdul-Muttalib, containts an insinuation of shirk [idolatry], I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a pagan (I don know, though). Abu Talib was an outright pagan, though, and this is well known.

There was pressure that Abu Talib put on Muhammad so as to abandon his preaching because Muhammad’s message which one of Tawheed and Monotheism, which the Quraish resented because it repudiated the idol worship that Mecca was famous for. Abu Talib was one of the leaders of the Quraish…the other leaders of the Quraish wanted to kill Muhammad, but they knew they couldn’t because of Abu Talib’s influence?

What did they do, then? they would often storm up to Abu Talib, demanding that his nephew, Muhammad, would stop his preaching. He never did, though-- and when Abu Talib confronted Muhammad about this, Muhammad’s reply was legendary: “I swear by God, if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left on condition that I abandon this course before He hath made it victorious, or I have perished therein, I would not abandon it”. (you can find that on page 58 of Martin Lings’ book and in Ibn Ishaq’s ‘Sirat Rasul-Allah’, page 168)

There was no influence that Abu Talib had upon Muhammad as far as religiousity is concerned. Believe you me, if there was, Muhammad’s message would not have been so controversial, the Quraish would have welcomed it rather than resenting it and Muhammad’s early followers would not have been stoned, whipped, prohibited from buying food in marketplaces and even murdered, in the case of Sumayyah bint Khayyat, who was the first person to be martyred.

Woops! looks like they’re a stray question mark in paragraph 3. “…they couldn’t becauseof Abu Talib’s influence”-- that part. There’s a limit on this forum as to how long you can take before you can no longer edit something. It prevents people from trolling and then conveniently editing it, but it’s hard on people like me because when I get really excited, I make stupid grammatical errors and stuff.

Some get their adrenaline rushes by going on roller coasters or rock climbing. I get the biggest adrenaline rush by discussing comparitive religion :yup:.

…and yeah, peace_at_last is right-- I was giving the sunni perspective. I don’t know much about the shias and their understanding of islamic history, so I rarely mention their beliefs.

Nope. That is strange, but that person is not me at all. Lol.

Perhaps the user had the same question and it’s now been answered.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.