One day Hercules sent for the Quraishi riders that had come to perform trade in Sham to ask them about the new religion that had appeared among them and the Messenger that had been sent to them. The first thing he asked was,
“Who of you is the closest relative of this man who thinks he is a Prophet?” Abu Sufyan said, “I am his closest relative.” So he (Hercules) said, “Bring him closer to me…”
(i.e. become close)
Then he started to ask him. Abu Sufyan explained, “The first thing he asked about the Messenger of Allah was about his lineage, asking ‘What is the status of his family among you?’” Abu Sufyan replied, “He is from a noble ancestry.” And in another narration, it mentions he said, “He has a very good lineage”
The book of fulfilling others rights.
This means the best and noblest lineage. Then Hercules continued asking until he found out all he wanted to know. He said to the translators, “Tell him, ‘I asked you about his lineage and you said he is from a noble ancestry; a Messenger is always sent from a noble ancestry”
related by Al-Bukhari.
From this story it becomes clear to us that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was one of the ones from among his people who had a noble lineage or the noblest lineage. The nobility of the lineage was very important during their time, even the first question that Hercules asked was about his lineage, “What is the status of his ancestry among you?” Abu Sufyan, who was still an enemy of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) at that time, could not say anything but admit that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was from a noble lineage.
Scholars of the Messenger of Allah’s biography and lineage all agree that the Messenger of Allah’s lineage is as follows: Muhammed ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib (who was called Shaybah) ibn Haashim, (named 'Amr) ibn 'Abd Munaf (called Al-Mugheera) ibn Qusayy (also called Zayd) ibn Kilaab ibn Murrah ibn Ka'b ibn Lu'ayy ibn Ghaalib ibn Fahr (who was called Quraish and whose tribe was called after him) ibn Maalik ibn An-Nadr (also called Qays) ibn Kinaanah ibn Khuzaymah ibn Mudrikah (who was called 'Amir) ibn Elias ibn Mudar ibn Nizar ibn Ma'ad ibn Adnaan.
The Prophet’s Biography by Ibn Hesham.
The are many different opinions about the lineage earlier than this, but all scholars agreed that Adnaan’s lineage goes back to Ismael ibn Ibrahim (peace be upon them both), from whom all the Arabs come.
The Prophet’s Biography by Salaaby.
The Prophet’s names
Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) has many names. Jubayr ibn Mut’im related from his father that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
I have five names. I am Muhammed, Ahmed, and I am Al-Haashir (the gatherer) at whose feet the people will be gathered, I am Al-Maahi (the eraser) by means of whom Allah erases disbelief, and I am Al-‘Aaqib (the last Prophet) after whom there will be no other related by Al-Bukhari
And Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also said,
I am Muhammad, Ahmad, and Al-Muqaffi (the last in succession), i.e. the last Prophet after whom there will be no other, and Al-Haashir (the gatherer), the Prophet of Repentance, and the Prophet of Mercy related by Muslim.
His names are of two types. Firstly, what is just for him as no other Messenger is called by them; these include the previous five names, like Muhammed, that were just mentioned. Secondly, descriptions that are also used to call other Messengers. They refer to the Prophet and previous Messengers. These include the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), Ash-Shaahid (the witness), An-Nadhir (the warner), and the Prophet of Mercy.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is known most of all by the name Muhammed, which entails praise for the praised one, love and exalting him, and raising his rank. Muhammed is the one who is praised much by those who praise him, over and over again; he is the one who deserves to be praised over and over again. These two points contained in this proper name and description are appropriate for the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), although many other people also deserve to be praised
[taken from Nadra An-Naeem (The Beeming Brightness of Bliss), the noble manners of the Messenger (1/194)].
Why did Hercules start by asking about the lineage, making it his first question about the Prophet (peace be upon him)?
How can we conciliate between Allah’s saying:
The noblest among you in Allah´s sight is the one who is the most God-fearing Surah Al-Hujurat: 13.
And the Prophet’s words,
I am the master of the children of Adam, and this is no boast… related by Ibn Majah