Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, suffered by calling people to follow the way of their creator. He glorified every prophet who came before him from Adam to Jesus and carried the legacy of his fathers, Abraham and Ishmael, peace be upon them all. Muhammad was, and will forever be, an excellent inspiration as a merchant, a husband, a father, a friend, a neighbor, a leader and a prophet. He was given the very words of God, the Quran, which Allah promised to preserve. Today the Quran that every Muslim in the world reads is the same one that was revealed to Muhammad more than 1,400 years ago, “We have without doubt sent down the message; and we will assuredly guard it,” Quran 15,9. Muhammad's status as a prophet was not exaggerated. He made sure that his followers did not make statues and pictorial representations of him and focus only on his teachings to worship God alone. Muhammad's legacy has been passed down from generation to generation for over 14 centuries. I intend, Insha'Allah (God willing), to talk more about Prophet Muhammad in my upcoming articles. There are many aspects of his life that I would like to share with readers of this blog. Unfortunately, many non-Muslims have come to know Muhammad through some disgraceful cartoons or hateful insults based on lies. But many non-Muslims have also said great things about him and I am happy to share some of those statements:
- “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls… his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma,” wrote Alphonse de Lamartine in “Histoire de la Turquie.”
- “He must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness,” said George Bernard Shaw in “The Genuine Islam.”
- “It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that deserves our wonder; the same pure and perfect impression that he engraved at Mecca and Medina is preserved, after the revolutions of 12 centuries by the Indian, the African and the Turkish proselytes of the Koran,” wrote Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay in “History of the Saracen Empire.”
- “His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement all argue his fundamental integrity,” wrote W. Montgomery in “Mohammad at Mecca.”
- “I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the rophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life,” Mahatma Gandhi said in 1924.
The story of his life is recorded in “Islam, The Misunderstood Religion,” by James A. Michener. And I also recommend watching this PBS documentary called “Muhammad – Legacy of a Prophet,” (link here). [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVD0bpCNwT4] If you want more information on Muhammad, I suggest the following:
- “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History” by Michael H. Hart
- “Mohammed & Mohammedanism” by Bosworth Smith
- “The Life and Teachings of Muhammad” by Annie Besant
Stay tuned for more about Muhammad, the worthy of praise, the trustworthy.