What Others Say About The Holy
Prophet of Islam(S.A.W.)
quotations below, Western writers have used the word Muhammadanism for
Islam. The word Muhammadanism connotes worship of Muhammad, an absolutely
unworthy statement for any learned man to use.
Muhammad's mission was to propagate the worship of the One and Only God (in
Arabic Allah), the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. His mission was
essentially the same as that of earlier Prophets of God. In the historical
context, many such terminologies about Muhammad, Islam, and Muslims were
borrowed from earlier European writings of the Eleventh to the Nineteenth
century, a time when ignorance and prejudice prevailed. The quotations below
attest to the facts.
Carlyle in 'Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History,' 1840
lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man
(Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only."
silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle
the world, the world's Maker had ordered so."
Tritton in 'Islam,' 1951
The picture of the Muslim soldier advancing with a sword in one hand and the
Qur'an in the other is quite false.
Lacy O'Leary in 'Islam at the Crossroads,' London, 1923.
makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping
through the world and forcing Islam at the point of sword upon conquered
races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have
in 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' 1823
good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God
submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the fire; swept
the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands his shoes and
garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit, he observed without
effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab.
Gibbon and Simon Oakley in 'History of the Saracen Empire,' London, 1870
greatest success of Mohammad's life was effected by sheer moral force."
not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that deserves our
wonder, the same pure and perfect impression which he engraved at Mecca and
Medina is preserved after the revolutions of twelve centuries by the Indian,
the African and the Turkish proselytes of the Koran....The Mahometans have
uniformly withstood the temptation of reducing the object of their faith and
devotion to a level with the senses and imagination of man.
'I believe in One God and Mahomet the 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 honors of the prophet have
never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have
restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and
Lane-Poole in 'Speeches and Table Talk of the Prophet Muhammad'
the most faithful protector of those he protected, the sweetest and most
agreeable in conversation. Those who saw him were suddenly filled with
reverence; those who came near him loved him; they who described him would
say, "I have never seen his like either before or after." He was of great
taciturnity, but when he spoke it was with emphasis and deliberation, and no
one could forget what he said...
Besant in 'The Life and Teachings of Mohammad,' Madras, 1932.
impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great
Prophet of Arabia, who knew how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything
but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the
Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may
be familiar to many, yet I myself feel, whenever I reread them, a new way of
admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.
Taylor in 'The History of Muhammadanism and its Sects'
great was his liberality to the poor that he often left his household
unprovided, nor did he content himself with relieving their wants, he
entered into conversation with them, and expressed a warm sympathy for their
sufferings. He was a firm friend and a faithful ally.
Reverend Bosworth Smith in 'Muhammad and Muhammadanism,' London, 1874.
of the State as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he
was Pope without the Pope's pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of
Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a police
force, without a fixed revenue. If ever a man ruled by a right divine, it
was Muhammad, for he had all the powers without their supports. He cared not
for the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in
keeping with his public life."
Mohammadanism every thing is different here. Instead of the shadowy and the
mysterious, we have history....We know of the external history of
Muhammad....while for his internal history after his mission had been
proclaimed, we have a book absolutely unique in its origin, in its
preservation....on the Substantial authority of which no one has ever been
able to cast a serious doubt."
Montet, 'La Propagande Chretienne et ses Adversaries Musulmans,' Paris 1890.
(Also in T.W. Arnold in 'The Preaching of Islam,' London 1913.)
is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this
term considered etymologically and historically....the teachings of the
Prophet, the Qur'an has invariably kept its place as the fundamental
starting point, and the dogma of unity of God has always been proclaimed
therein with a grandeur a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of
sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of
Islam....A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and
consequently so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected
to possess and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into
the consciences of men."
Gustav Weil in 'History of the Islamic Peoples'
Muhammad was a shining example to his people. His character was pure and
stainless. His house, his dress, his food - they were characterized by a
rare simplicity. So unpretentious was he that he would receive from his
companions no special mark of reverence, nor would he accept any service
from his slave which he could do for himself. He was accessible to all and
at all times. He visited the sick and was full of sympathy for all.
Unlimited was his benevolence and generosity as also was his anxious care
for the welfare of the community.
Alphonse de LaMartaine in 'Historie de la Turquie,' Paris, 1854.
has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim,
since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions which had been
imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto
God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of
the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing.
has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means,
for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such
a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a
handful of men living in a corner of the desert.
Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in
the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam,
in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in
God's name, Persia Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt,
Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of
the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul.
greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the
three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in
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, 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 the souls.
basis of a Book, every letter which has become law, he created a spiritual
nationality which blend together peoples of every tongue and race. He has
left the indelible characteristic of this Muslim nationality the hatred of
false gods and the passion for the One and Immaterial God. This avenging
patriotism against the profanation of Heaven formed the virtue of the
followers of Muhammad; the conquest of one-third the earth to the dogma was
his miracle; or rather it was not the miracle of man but that of reason.
"The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of the
fabulous theogonies, was in itself such a miracle that upon it's utterance
from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols and set on fire
one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, his heroic revelings
against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the
furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for fifteen years in
Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a
victim of his fellow countrymen: all these and finally, his flight his
incessant preaching, his wars against odds, his faith in his success and his
superhuman security in misfortune, 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. This dogma was
twofold the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the former telling
what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false
gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.
"Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas, Restorer of
Rational beliefs.... 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
Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in 'Young India,'1924.
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 Prophet's biography), I was sorry
there was not more for me to read of that great life.
George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.
religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next
hundred years, it could be Islam."
always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its
wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess
that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make
itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my
opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of
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
the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of
Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is
beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today."
Michael Hart in 'The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons In
History,' New York, 1978.
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 secular and
religious level. ...It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad
on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St.
Paul on Christianity. ...It is this unparalleled combination of secular and
religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most
influential single figure in human history.
William Draper in 'History of Intellectual Development of Europe'
years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born in Mecca, in Arabia,
the man who, of all men, has exercised the greatest influence upon the human
race... To be the religious head of many empires, to guide the daily life of
one-third of the human race, may perhaps justify the title of a Messenger of
Stab in 'Islam and its Founder'
by the smallness of the means at his disposal, and the extent and permanence
of the work that he accomplished, his name in world's history shines with a
more specious lustre than that of the Prophet of Makkah. To the impulse
which he gave numberless dynasties have owed their existence, fair cities
and stately palaces and temples have arisen, and wide provinces became
obedient to the Faith.
beyond all this, his words have governed the belief of generations, been
accepted as their rule of life, and their certain guide to the world to
come. At a thousand shrines the voices of the faithful invoke blessings on
him, whom they esteem the very Prophet of God, the seal of the Apostles....
Judged by the standards to human renown, the glory of what mortal can
compare with his?
Washington Irving in 'Life of Muhammad,' New York, 1920.
military triumphs awakened no pride nor vain glory as they would have done
had they been effected by selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest
power he maintained the same simplicity of manner and appearance as in the
days of his adversity. So far from affecting regal state, he was displeased
if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonial of respect was shown to him.
Glyn Leonard in 'Islam, Her Moral and Spiritual Values'
the genius of Muhammad, the spirit that he breathed into the Arabs through
the soul of Islam that exalted them. That raised them out of the lethargy
and low level of tribal stagnation up to the high watermark of national
unity and empire. It was in the sublimity of Muhammad's deism, the
simplicity, the sobriety and purity it inculcated the fidelity of its
founder to his own tenets, that acted on their moral and intellectual fiber
with all the magnetism of true inspiration.
Charles Stuart Mills in 'History of Mohammadanism'
read in the volume of nature, though extremely ignorant of letters, his mind
could expand into controversy with the wisest of his enemies or contract
itself to the apprehension of meanest of his disciples. His simple eloquence
was rendered impressive by a manner of mixed dignity and elegance, by the
expression of a countenance where the awfulness of his majesty was so well
tempered by an amiable sweetness, that it exerted emotions of veneration and
love. He was gifted with that authoritative air or genius which alike
influences the learned and commands the illiterate.
K. Hitti in 'History of the Arabs'
a brief span of mortal life, Muhammad called forth of unpromising material,
a nation, never welded before; in a country that was hitherto but a
geographical expression he established a religion which in vast areas
suppressed Christianity and Judaism, and laid the basis of an empire that
was soon to embrace within its far flung boundaries the fairest provinces
the then civilized world.
Stanley Lane-Poole in 'Studies in a Mosque'
one of those happy few who have attained the supreme joy of making one great
truth their very life spring. He was the messenger of One God, and never to
his life's end did he forget who he was or the message which was the marrow
of his being. He brought his tidings to his people with a grand dignity
sprung from the consciousness of his high office, together with a most sweet
in the Preface to his translation of the Holy Qur'an
Mohammad's career is a wonderful instance of the force and life that resides
in him who possesses an intense faith in God and in the unseen world. He
will always be regarded as one of those who have had that influence over the
faith, morals and whole earthly life of their fellow men, which none but a
really great man ever did, or can exercise; and whose efforts to propagate a
great verity will prosper.
Montgomery Watt in 'Muhammad at Mecca,' Oxford, 1953.
readiness to undergo persecution for his beliefs, the high moral character
of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as a leader, and the
greatness of his ultimate achievement - all argue his fundamental integrity.
To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems that it solves.
Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in
the West as Muhammad.... Thus, not merely must we credit Muhammad with
essential honesty and integrity of purpose, if we are to understand him at
all; if we are to correct the errors we have inherited from the past, we
must not forget the conclusive proof is a much stricter requirement than a
show of plausibility, and in a matter such as this only to be attained with
Hogarth in 'Arabia'
or trivial, his daily behavior has instituted a canon which millions observe
this day with conscious memory. No one regarded by any section of the human
race as Perfect Man has ever been imitated so minutely. The conduct of the
founder of Christianity has not governed the ordinary life of his followers.
Moreover, no founder of a religion has left on so solitary an eminence as
the Muslim apostle.
Washington Irving 'Mahomet and His Successors'
sober and abstemious in his diet and a rigorous observer of fasts. He
indulged in no magnificence of apparel, the ostentation of a petty mind;
neither was his simplicity in dress affected but a result of real disregard
for distinction from so trivial a source.
private dealings he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and
poor, the powerful and weak, with equity, and was beloved by the common
people for the affability with which he received them, and listened to their
military triumphs awakened no pride nor vain glory, as they would have done
had they been effected for selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest
power he maintained the same simplicity of manners and appearance as in the
days of his adversity. So far from affecting a regal state, he was
displeased if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonials of respect were
shown to him. If he aimed at a universal dominion, it was the dominion of
faith; as to the temporal rule which grew up in his hands, as he used it
without ostentation, so he took no step to perpetuate it in his family.
Michener in 'Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,' Reader's Digest, May 1955,
other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam. The West has widely
believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the sword. But no
modern scholar accepts this idea, and the Qur'an is explicit in the support
of the freedom of conscience."
"Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D. 570 into
an Arabian tribe that worshiped idols. Orphaned at birth, he was always
particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan, the
slave and the downtrodden. At twenty he was already a successful
businessman, and soon became director of camel caravans for a wealthy widow.
When he reached twenty-five his employer recognizing his merit, proposed
marriage. Even though she was fifteen years older, he married her and as
long as she lived remained a devoted husband."
almost every major prophet before him, Muhammad fought shy of serving as the
transmitter of God's word sensing his own inadequacy. But the Angel
commanded 'Read'. So far as we know, Muhammad was unable to read or write,
but he began to dictate those inspired words which would soon revolutionize
a large segment of the earth: "There is one God"."
things Muhammad was profoundly practical. When his beloved son Ibrahim died,
an eclipse occurred and rumors of God 's personal condolence quickly arose.
Whereupon Muhammad is said to have announced, 'An eclipse is a phenomenon of
nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a
Muhammad's own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man who was
to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria with one of the
noblest speeches in religious history: 'If there are any among you who
worshiped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you Worshiped, He lives for
Lawrence E. Browne in 'The Prospects of Islam,' 1944
Incidentally these well-established facts dispose of the idea so widely
fostered in Christian writings that the Muslims, wherever they went, forced
people to accept Islam at the point of the sword.
Ramakrishna Rao in 'Mohammed: The Prophet of Islam,' 1989
problem to write this monograph is easier, because we are not generally fed
now on that (distorted) kind of history and much time need not be spent on
pointing out our misrepresentations of Islam. The theory of Islam and sword,
for instance, is not heard now in any quarter worth the name. The principle
of Islam that "there is no compulsion in religion" is well known.
Masserman in 'Who Were Histories Great Leaders?' in TIME Magazine, July 15,
the greatest leader of all times was Mohammad, who combined all the three
functions. To a lesser degree Moses did the same.