The following is based on books, manuscripts, texts and actual eyewitness accounts, too numerous to mention herein, preserved in original form throughout the centuries by both muslims and non-muslims.
many people today are discussing prophet muhammad, may allah exalt his mention. who was he exactly? what did he teach? why was he loved so much by some and hated so much by others? did he live up to his claims? was he a holy man? was he a prophet of god? what is the truth about this man? you be the judge.
here are the facts as narrated by thousands of people, many of whom knew him personally.
§ he was born to a noble tribe to the lineage of the leaders of makkah.
§ his name comes from the arabic root “hamd ” and literally means “praised one.” people at his time and until this very moment, praise him many times per day, may allah exalt his mention.
§ he never fell into the common practice of his tribesmen to worship statues, idols or man-made “gods.”
§ he believed that god was truly one god, and as such, he was to be worshipped alone, without any other “gods” beside him.
§ he held the name of god in the highest of reverence and never took god’s name in vain or for any vain glorious purpose.
§ he despised false worship and all of the complexities and degradation to which it leads.
§ he adhered to the commandments of almighty god, just as prophets of old had done in the past.
§ he never committed adultery, and he forbade others from doing it.
§ he forbade usury and interest on money lending, as jesus, may allah exalt his mention, had done centuries before him.
§ he never gambled and did not allow it.
§ he never drank alcohol or strong drink; even though it was a very normal thing for people of his time and place.
§ he did not engage in gossip and used to turn away from hearing anything related to it.
§ he fasted for days at a time to be closer to almighty god and away from the narrowness of worldly attractions.
§ he taught that jesus, may allah exalt his mention, was the immaculate conception and miracle birth of mary, and that she was among the best creation of almighty god.
§ he insisted even to the jews of medina, that jesus, may allah exalt his mention, was the messiah, the christ, the one predicted to come in their torah (old testament).
§ he said jesus, may allah exalt his mention, did many miracles by the permission of almighty god, curing the lepers, restoring sight to the blind and even bringing a dead man back to life.
§ he stated clearly that jesus, may allah exalt his mention, was not dead, rather almighty god had raised him up.
§ he foretold that jesus, may allah exalt his mention, is going to return again in the last days to lead the true believers in a victory over the evil and unrighteous people, and he will destroy the anti-christ.
§ he commanded the payment of charity to the poor and he was the defender and protector of widows, orphans and the wayfarers.
§ he ordered people to unite with their families and honor the ties of kinship and he restored relationships between family members.
§ he required his followers to engage only in lawful marriage relationships with women, and forbade sex outside of almighty god’s ordinance.
§ he insisted on giving women their proper rights, dowries, inheritance and property.
§ his patience and humble attitude were exemplary and all who knew him had to admit to these virtues.
a. he never lied, never broke a trust never bore false witness, and he was famous with all the tribes in makkah and was known as: “the truthful” (al-ameen).
b. he never once engaged in sex outside of marriage, nor did he ever approve of it, even though it was very common at the time.
c. his only relationships with women were in legitimate, contractual marriages with proper witnesses according to law.
d. his relationship to ayesha was only that of marriage. their relationship is described in every detail by ayesha herself in the most loving and respectful manner as a match truly made in heaven. ayesha is considered as one of the highest scholars of islam and lived out her entire life only having been married to muhammad, may allah exalt his mention. she never desired any other man, nor did she ever utter a single negative statement against muhammad, may allah exalt his mention.
e. he forbade any killing until the orders came from allah. even then the limits were clearly spelled out and only those engaged in active combat against the muslims or islam were to be fought in combat. and even then, only according to very strict rules from allah.
f. killing any innocent life was forbidden.
g. there was no genocide of jews. he offered mutual protection and forgiveness to the jews even after they broke their covenants with him many times. they were not attacked until it was clearly proven they were traitors during time of war and tried to bring down the prophet, may allah exalt his mention, and the muslims at any cost. retaliation was only to those jews who had turned traitor and not others.
h. slaves were common in those days for all nations and tribes. it was islam that encouraged freeing of the slaves and the great reward from allah for those who did so. prophet, may allah exalt his mention, gave the example of this by freeing slaves and encouraging all of his followers to do the same. examples include his own servant (who was actually considered like a son to him) zaid ibn al haritha and bilal the slave who was bought by abu bakr only for the purpose of freeing him.
i. while there were many attempts of assassination made on muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, (most famous was the night that ali took his place in bed while he and abu bakr escaped to madinah), he did not allow his companions to slaughter any of those who had been involved in these attempts. proof for this is when they entered makkah triumphantly and his first words were to command his followers not to harm such and such tribes and so and so families. this was one of the most famous of his acts of forgiveness and humbleness.
j. military combat was forbidden for the first thirteen years of prophethood. the desert arabs did not need anyone to tell them how to fight or do combat. they were experts in this area and held feuds amongst tribes that lasted for decades. it was not until the proper method of warfare was instituted by allah in the quran, with proper rights and limitations according his commandments, that any retaliation or combat was sanctioned. orders from allah made it clear who was to be attacked, how and when and to what extent fighting could take place.
k. destruction of infrastructures is absolutely forbidden except when it is ordained by allah in certain instances and then only according to his commands.
l. cursing and invoking evil actually came to the prophet, may allah exalt his mention, from his enemies, while he would be praying for their guidance. classic example is that of his journey to at-taif where the leaders would not even hear him out nor offer so much as the normal courtesy called for and instead they set the children of the street against him, throwing rocks and stones at him until his body was bleeding so much, blood filled his sandals. he was offered revenge by the angel gabriel, if he would give the command, allah would cause the surrounding mountains to fall down upon them destroying them all. instead of cursing them or asking for their destruction, he prayed for them to be guided to worship their lord alone, without any partners.
m. prophet muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, claimed every person who is born is born in a state of islam (submission to god), as a muslim (mu-islam means; “one who does islam” i.e.; submits to god’s will and obeys his commandments). then as they grow older they begin to distort their faith according to the influence of the prevailing society and their own prejudices.
n. muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, taught his followers to believe in the god of adam, noah, abraham, jacob, moses, david, solomon and jesus, peace be upon them all, and to believe in them as true prophets, messengers and slaves of almighty allah. he insisted on ranking all the prophets up at the highest level without any distinction between them.
o. he also taught the torah (old testament), zaboor (psalms) and injeel (gospel or new testament) were originally from the very same source as the quran, from allah.
p. he prophesied and foretold of events to come and they happened as he had said. he even predicted something from the past that would come true in the future, and it has.
q. the quran states pharaoh was drowned in the red sea while chasing after moses and allah said he would preserve pharaoh as a sign for the future. dr. maurice bucaille in his book, “bible, quran and science ” makes it clear this has happened and the very person of pharaoh has been discovered in egypt and is now on display for all to see.
r. this event took place thousands of years before muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, and it came true in the last few decades, many centuries after his death.
there has been more written about the prophet muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, than any other person on earth. he has been praised very high even by famous non-muslims for centuries. one of the first examples we quote from is from the encyclopedia britannica , as it confirms (regarding muhammad)” “. . . a mass of detail in the early sources shows that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were likewise honest and upright men.” (vol. 12).
another impressive tribute to muhammad, may allah exalt his mention is in the very well written work of michael h. hart, “the 100: a ranking of the most influential persons in history.” he states that the most influential person in all history was muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, with jesus in the third place. examine his actual words: “my choice of muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.” michael h. hart , the 100: a ranking of the most influential persons in history, new york: hart publishing company, inc., 1978, page. 33.
while we are reviewing statements from famous non-muslims about prophet muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, consider this: “philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is muhammad. as regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he? ” lamartine , histoire de la turquie, paris, 1854, vol. ii, pp. 276-277.
george bernard shaw, a famous writer and non-muslim says: “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.” (the genuine islam, singapore, vol. 1, no. 8, 1936) .
k.s. ramakrishna rao, an indian (hindu) professor of philosophy, in his booklet “muhammad the prophet of islam” calls him the “perfect model for human life.” professor ramakrishna rao explains his point by saying: “the personality of muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. only a glimpse of it i can catch. what a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes. there is muhammad the prophet. there is muhammad the warrior; muhammad the businessman; muhammad the statesman; muhammad the orator; muhammad the reformer; muhammad the refuge of orphans; muhammad the protector of slaves; muhammad the emancipator of women; muhammad the judge; muhammad the saint. all in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero.”
mahatma gandhi, speaking on the character of muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, says in ‘young india’ : “i wanted to know the best of one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… i became more than 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 his 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 2nd volume (of the prophet’s biography), i was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life.”
thomas carlyle in his ‘heroes and hero worship’ , was simply amazed as to:
“how one man single handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades.”
diwan chand sharma wrote in “the prophets of the east “: “muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him” . (d.c. sharma, the prophets of the east, calcutta, 1935, pp. 12).
muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, was nothing more or less than a human being, but he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of one and only one god and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of god. he always described himself as, ‘a slave and messenger of god’ and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.
speaking on the aspect of equality before god in islam, the famous poetess of india, sarojini naidu says: “it was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: ‘god alone is great’… i have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of islam that makes man instinctively a brother.”
(s. naidu, ideals of islam, vide speeches & writings , madras, 1918, p. 169).
in the words of professor hurgronje: “the league of nations founded by the prophet of islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations.” he continues, “the fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what islam has done towards the realization of the idea of the league of nations.”
edward gibbon and simon ockley, on the profession of islam, writes in “history of the saracen empires” : “i believe in one god, and mahomet, an apostle of god’ is the simple and invariable profession of islam. the intellectual image of the deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honor of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtues; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.” (history of the saracen empires , london, 1870, p. 54) .
wolfgang goethe, perhaps the greatest european poet ever, wrote about prophet muhammad, may allah exalt his mention. he said:
“he is a prophet and not a poet and therefore his koran is to be seen as divine law and not as a book of a human being, made for education or entertainment.” (noten und abhandlungen zum weststlichen dvan, wa i, 7, 32).
people do not hesitate to raise to divinity and even make ‘gods’ out of other individuals whose lives and missions have been lost in legend. historically speaking, none of these legends achieved even a fraction of what muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, accomplished. and all his striving was for the sole purpose of uniting mankind for the worship of one god on the codes of moral excellence. muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, or his followers never at any time claimed that he was a son of god or the god-incarnate or a man with divinity – but he always was and is even today considered as only a messenger chosen by god.
today after a lapse of fourteen centuries, the life and teachings of muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. they offer the same undying hope for treating mankind’s many ills, which they did when he was alive. this is not a claim of muhammad’s, may allah exalt his mention, followers, but the inescapable conclusion forced upon by a critical and unbiased history.
now it is up to you.
you are a rational thinking, concerned human being. as such, you should already be asking yourself:
“could these extraordinary, revolutionary and amazing statements, all about this one man, really be true?