Biographies of Prophet Muhammad extol his distinguished life, noting his achievements as a healer, diplomat, and general. Among these successes, it is especially as a teacher that Muhammad's exemplarity shines through. However, Muhammad's educational leadership arose not only out of his considerable capacities but also out of his limitations. Special attention is given to three aspects of Muhammad's life—his orphanhood, his illiteracy, and his residential school, the Suffah. These experiences provide a historical perspective for the use of finitude as an educational resource.