You could put your verification ID in a comment Or, in its own meta tag Or, as one of your keywords

Understanding Religions: Prophet Muhammad of Islam

Annie BesantThe Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras 1932, p. 4:  “It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knows 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 re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.”

Montgomery WattMohammad at Mecca, Oxford 1953, p. 52:  “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. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.”

Stanley Lane-Poole – Table Talk of the Prophet: “He was 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…”

MICHAEL H. HARTTHE 100: A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY, New York, 1978, p. 33:  “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 levels.”

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, THE GENUINE ISLAM, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936:  “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.”

He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.

He was born in Arabia in the year 570 C.E. (common era), started his mission of preaching the religion of Truth, which is Islam (submission to One God), at the age of forty and departed from this world at the age of sixty-three.

During the short period of 23 years of his prophethood, he changed the complete Arabian peninsula from paganism and idolatry to the worship of One God, from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion, from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety, from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living, from utter moral bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since – and IMAGINE all these unbelievable wonders in JUST OVER TWO DECADES.

LAMARTINE,  LAMARTINE, HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp 276-277:  “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, legislation, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he changed 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. This dogma was two-fold, 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 the words.

“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 the standards by which Human Greatness may be measured, we may well ask, IS THERE ANY MAN GREATER THAN HE?” .

The world has had its share of great personalities. But these were one-sided figures, who distinguished themselves in but one or two fields, such as religious thought or military leadership. The lives and teachings of these great personalities of the world are shrouded in the mist of time. There is so much speculation about the time and place of their birth, the mode and style of their life, the nature and detail of their teachings and the degree and measure of their success or failure that it is impossible for humanity to reconstruct accurately the lives and teachings of these men.

Not so this man. Muhammad  accomplished so much in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior in the fullest blaze of human history. Every detail of his private life and public utterances has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticity of the records so preserved are vouched for not only by the faithful followers, but even by his prejudiced critics.

Muhammad   was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father – all in one. No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these different aspects of life – but it was only for the selfless personality of Muhammad  to achieve such incredible perfections.

MAHATMA GANDHI, speaking on the character of Muhammad,   says in YOUNG INDIA: “I wanted to know the best of one who holds today’s 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 his great life.”

See Also : Mahatma Gandhi And Comparative Religion pages 38 – 42

THOMAS CALYLEHEROES AND HERO WORSHIP, : “how one man single-handedly, could wield warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades.”

DIWAN CHAND SHARMA,  THE PROPHETS OF THE EAST, Calcutta, 1935, pp. 12 : “Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him.”

EDWARD GIBBON and SIMON OCKLEY , HISTORY OF THE SARACEN EMPIRES, London, 1870, p. 54: “‘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 has 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.”

Muhammad  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 honesty and upright living based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, ‘A Servant 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 masjid, 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 the 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 PROF. 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.”

The world has not hesitated to raise to divinity, individuals whose lives and missions have been lost in legend. Historically speaking, none of these legends achieved even a fraction of what Muhammad 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  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.

K. S. RAMAKRISHNA RAO, an Indian Professor of Philosophy in his booklet, “Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam,” calls him the “PERFECT MODEL FOR HUMAN LIFE.” Prof. 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 (worshipper). All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero.”

Nepolean Bonaparte – Quoted in Christian Cherfils BONAPARTE ET ISLAM (PARIS 1914) “I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur’an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness.”

James A. Michener, ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion’ in Reader’s Digest (American Edition), May 1955, pp. 68-70: “Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshipped 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.

“Like 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.”

“In all 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 human-being.’

“At 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 worshipped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you worshipped, He lives forever.'”

References:

  1. http://www.gainpeace.com
  2. http://www.islamtomorrow.com
  3. http://www.humanjourney.us/Mohammad.html
  4. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/396226/Muhammad