What was the belief of prophet Mohammad before he became a prophet?

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه

All praises belong to Allah Ta'ala. Peace and blessings be upon His final Prophet Muhammad, His family and companions.

Unfortunately, a misconception has arose that the Noble Prophet Muhammad صلى الله وعليه وسلم was unaware of Tawheed before receiving revelation, and that He followed the religion of His people.

This notion is very far from the truth and needs to be rectified.

There are many Ahadith which prove that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was divinely protected by Allah Ta'ala before receiving revelation and that He never engaged in the practices of the people of Jahiliyyah.

Imam Ibn Sa'd in his Tabaqaat, Abu Nu'aym in his Dala'il an-Nubuwwah, Imam Ibn Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq, Imam Ibn al-Jawzi in Al-Wafa and Imam Suyuti in al-Khasa'is al-Kubra all narrate on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنهما that Umm Ayman رضي الله عنها said:

"Bawwanah was an idol which the Quraish would visit and venerate once a year. Abu Talib would attend with his people, and he tried to persuade Muhammad to join them. But Muhammad would refuse, until Abu Talib became angry, as did His aunts. That day they were so angry and said: 'Oh Muhammd! What is wrong with you that you keep avoiding our gods?' They continued to pressure Him until He left them. He later returned frightened and shaken. His aunts asked what happened. He replied: 'I fear I may become insane.' His aunts reassured Him that Allah Ta'ala would not harm Him through shaytan as He only possessed praiseworthy qualities. They asked: 'what did you see?' He صلى الله عليه وسلم replied: 'whenever I draw close to an idol, a man appears wearing white and exclaims 'Oh Muhammad! Turn around and do not touch it!" After that day He never approached an idol."

(Dala'il an-Nubuwwah: 1:108, Maktaba al-Asriyyah; Al-Wafa bi Ahwalil Mustafa: 1:113, Maktaba al-Asriyyah; Al-Khasa'is al-Kubra: 1:206, Maktaba al-Qayyimah)

This narration proves that He صلى الله عليه وسلم was divinely protected by Allah Ta'ala even before receiving revelation.

Let alone idol-worship, Allah Ta'ala even protected Him from exposing his knees, which is against Haya, or modesty, a great branch of Iman

Imam Hakim narrates in his Mustadrak with a Sahih chain, Imam Bayhaqi and Imam Abu Nu'aym in Dala'il an-Nubuwwah narrate from Abu Tufail رضي الله عنه that when the Quraish were building the Ka'bah, they carried stones from a mountain in Makkah Mukarramah. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was assisting them, when suddenly His knee was exposed. At that moment He heard a voice saying: 'Oh Muhammad! Your 'Awrah!' That was the first and last time His صلى الله عليه وسلم 'Awrah was shown.

Imam Bukhari and Muslim narrate similar reports on the authority of Jabir رضي الله عنه

(al-Khasa'is al-Kubra: 1:205, Maktaba al-Qayyimah)

There are countless other narrations which attest to the fact that He صلى الله عليه وسلم was protected by Allah Ta'ala even before receiving revelation and that He never engaged in acts of Jahiliyyah.

Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal رضي الله عنه says:

"Whoever says that the Prophet صلى الله وسلم followed the religion of His people, has uttered a detestable statement! Did He not abstain from from eating that which was slaughtered in other than the name of Allah?!"

(Al-Wafa: 1:113, Maktaba al-Asriyyah)

May Allah Ta'ala grant us the true understanding of His Beloved صلى الله عليه وسلم

And Allah Ta'ala knows best.

Abu Zahra