"We sent you not (O Muhammad), but as a Mercy for all creatures."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Anbiya(21):107
In order to understand the message of Islam, it is
first necessary to acquaint ourselves with the prophet of Islam.
You cannot, as the popular saying goes, separate the message from
the messenger. It is therefore only natural to wish to study the
life of Muhammad (pbuh), his manners and his morals, and to see
how Islam manifested itself in his person as a living example
for all Muslims till the end of time.
Abu Hurairah described him as follows:
"He was of medium build, closer to being
tall. His skin was extremely white, his beard was black, his mouth
was pleasant, his eyebrows were long, and his shoulders were wide"
Anas ibn Malik said:
"I never touched silk or any soft fabric
equal to the softness of his palm, and I never smelled a scent
more pleasing than his."
Hind ibn Abi Hala (the son of Muhammad's wife Kadijah) described Muhammad (pbuh) as follows:
"The Messenger of Allah was of consecutive
sorrows, continuous thought, never finding rest, long in silence.
He did not speak without cause. He spoke with his full mouth (was
not arrogant), and spoke concisely. His speech was just, with
neither excess nor deficiency. He was not pompous, nor denigrating.
He exalted all blessings no matter how small and never belittled
a single one. He would never praise his food nor criticize it.
He was never angered by matters of this life nor that which was
associated with it. However, if justice was transgressed nothing
could stand up to his anger until justice was established. He
never became angry for his own self nor sought retribution for
himself. If he gestured, he did so with his whole palm. If he
was amazed, he overturned it. If he spoke, he struck with his
right palm the inside of his left thumb. If he became angry he
turned away, and when he was happy he lowered his gaze. The majority
of his laughter was [restricted to] smiling."
Ali ibn abi Talib described Muhammad (pbuh) as follows:
"He was not vulgar nor did he condone vulgarity, and he was not one to shout in the market place. He did not reward evil with evil, rather, he would forgive and overlook. He never in his life struck anything with his hand except when he was fighting in the name of Allah. He never struck a servant nor a woman, and I never saw him taking revenge for an injustice dealt him, except if the prohibitions of Allah were transgressed. For if the prohibitions of Allah were transgressed he was among the strongest of them in anger. He was never given a choice between two matters but he chose the simplest of the two. If he entered into his home he was a man like any other; cleaning his own garment, milking his own goat, and serving himself.
He would guard his tongue from that which did not concern him. He would attract them (the people) and not repel them. He would ennoble the noble of the people and charge them with their affairs. He was wary of the people and guarded himself against them but without depriving them a warm smile or fitting conduct. He would inquire after his companions and would ask the people about their affairs. He would encourage that which was good and strengthen it, and he would discourage that which was evil and undermine it. He was balanced and consistent. He would never be neglectful that they would not learn neglect and grow indifferent. He had a provision for every occasion and he never fell short of justice nor exceeded it. The closest people to him were the best among them, and the best among them in his eyes were the most comprehensive in advice. The highest of them in stature with him was the best among them in looking after the people and assisting them. He would not rise nor sit down without praise [to God]. If he visited a gathering he would sit wherever the group ended (and not at their head) and he encouraged the same. He would give all those sitting with him their just due [to the extent that] they would each feel that none was more important to him than them. If someone were to sit with him or come in search of a favor he would be patient with them until they (the guest) would be the one to leave. Whoever came to him with a request was never turned away except with that which they had asked for or with a kind word. His cheerfulness and good manners encompassed them all such that he became a father to them and they all became equal in rights. His gatherings were those of knowledge, humbleness, patience, and integrity. In them there would be no raising of voices nor transgressions of prohibitions. They would not expose one-another's errors, but would be equal, encouraging each-other in the fear of God. In them, they would respect their elders, be merciful to their children, give preference to those in need, and protect the stranger."
He continues: "He was continually smiling, gentle in manners, soft in nature. He was not severe, harsh-hearted, loud, abusive, or miserly. He would disregard that which he disliked, and no one ever despaired of him. He never responded to disparagement or evil words. He forbade upon himself three things: Argument, arrogance, and that which did not concern him. And he relieved the people of three: He would not degrade any among them or abuse them, he would not search after their honor or private matters, and he would not speak except in matters which he hoped to be rewarded for. When he spoke his attendees would lower their heads as if birds had alighted upon them. Once he finished they would speak. They would not vie with one-another in his presence to speak, but when one would talk in his presence the rest would listen until he finished. Speech in his presence was that of the first among them. He would laugh with them, and wonder with them. He had patience with the strangers when they were gruff in speech and requests, to a degree that his companions would fetch them to him. He would say: 'If you see someone in need, fetch him to me.' He would not accept praise except from those who were balanced and not excessive. He would not interject into someone's speech unless they transgressed, in which case he would either rebuke them or else leave.
He was the most generous of heart, truthful of
tongue, softest in disposition, and noble in relationship. He
who first set eyes upon him feared him, but he who associated
with him loved him. Those who described him
would say: 'I have never seen before of after him anyone similar
to him, peace be upon him' "
Whenever Muhammad (pbuh) commanded his followers
to observe a command or prohibition of God he was always found
to be the most observant of this command or prohibition. He was
the most devout in worship to God among them, and no one could
equal him in worship, and in patience in the worship of God.
Al-Mugeerah ibn Shooba narrated:
"The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to
stand in prayer until his feet became swollen
and cracked. He was then asked: 'Hasn't God forgiven you that
which is before you and that which is behind you?' He (Muhammad,
pbuh) replied: 'Should I not be a thankful servant?' " (Narrated
Aisha (pbuh) narrated:
"Allah's Messenger (pbuh) used to fast till
one would say: he never stops fasting, and he would abstain from
fasting till one would say:t he never fast."
(Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
"You would never like to see him standing
in the middle of the night in prayer but you would, and never
would you like to see him sleeping but you would"
(Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
The companions narrated that when a hardship or trial befell him he would pray. He would say
"My comfort has been placed in prayer"
(Narrated by Al-Nissai)
Muhammad (pbuh) was the most far removed among his
people from the love of money or wealth. He encouraged his followers
to be industrious, make an honest living and discouraged them
from seeking charity. He did not condemn wealth and the wealthy,
however, he feared for his followers and encouraged them to not
allow it to corrupt them or obsess them.
Muhammad (pbuh) himself could have been the most
wealthy man in the history of Arabia, however, he preferred to
live simply and use his wealth in that which pleased God. As the
leader of the Islamic nation, he received great wealth, however,
he hated for this wealth to remain in his home for more than a
day without having distributed it in charity. At times he would
distribute tens or hundreds of thousands of "dinars"
at a time as soon as he received them. He lived according to his
"O my Lord, indeed, true life is only the
afterlife" and "What have I to do with this life? The
similitude of me and this life is as a traveler who stopped to
take shelter in the shade of a tree and then arose and left it"
Urwah narrated that Aisha (the wife of Muhammad, pbuh) said to me,
"O my nephew! We used to see the crescent,
and then the crescent, and then the crescent, in this way we saw
three crescents in two months and no fire (for cooking) used to
be lit in the houses of Allah's Messenger (pbuh). I said, "O
my aunt! Then what use to sustain you?" Aisha said, "[These
two]: dates and water." (Narrated
Abu Tharr narrated that Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said,
"If I had gold equal to the mountain of Uhud,
it would not please me that any of it should remain with me after
three nights (i.e. I would spend all of it in Allah's cause) except
what I would keep for repaying debts." (Narrated
Jabir ibn Abdullah narrated:
"The messenger of Allah was never asked for
something and then he said 'no' (he never refused a request)"
(Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
"By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been stern and harsh-hearted, they would have dispersed from round about you"
The noble Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):159
Even with all of his concerns and obligations, Muhammad
(pbuh) never became unmindful of his people. He had a special
place in his heart for each one of them and he was known among
them for his soft-spokenness, his generosity, his tolerance, and
He would joke with his companions, sit and talk with
them, play with their children and sit them on his knee. He would
respond to the call of the free man or the slave, or the young
girl or the poor. He would visit the sick on the opposite end
of the city and he would attend their funerals. He would accept
the people's apologies and their excuses, and he was the most
humble among them.
Abdullah ibn Al-Haritha narrated:
"I have never seen anyone who smiled more
continuously than the Messenger of Allah (pbuh)"
(Narrated by Al-Tirmathi)
Usamah ibn Zayd narrated:
"The daughter of the Prophet (pbuh) sent
(a messenger) to the Prophet (pbuh) requesting him to come as
her child was dying. However, the Prophet (pbuh) returned the
messenger and told him to convey his greeting to her and say:
"Whatever Allah takes is for Him and whatever He gives is
for Him. Everything with Him has a limited fixed term (in this
world) and so she should be patient and hope for Allah's reward."
She again sent for him, swearing that he should come. The Prophet
(pbuh) stood up, and so did Sa'id ibn Ubadah, Mu'ath ibn Jabal,
Ubay ibn Ka'ab , Zayd ibn Thabit and some other men. [When he
arrived,] the child was brought to Allah's Apostle (pbuh), his
chest heaving. On that the eyes of the Prophet (pbuh) began shedding
tears. Sa'd said, "O Allah's Apostle! What is this?"
He replied, "It is mercy which Allah has lodged in the hearts
of His slaves, and Allah is merciful only to those of His slaves
who are merciful (to others)." (Narrated
Anas ibn Malik narrated that
"the Prophet (pbuh) used to mix with us (the
children) to the extent that he would say to a younger brother
of mine, 'O abu-Umayr! What did the Nughayr (a kind of bird) do?'
" (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
Abu Dawood narrated that the Messenger of Allah would say:
"Let none of you transmit to me [evil news]
about my companions, for I like to meet with you with a pure heart"
Ibn Masood narrated that Muhammad (pbuh) said to a group he sent to teach and advise:
"Be lenient and do not make [this religion]
difficult. Bring glad tidings and do not repel"
AbuMalik al-Ash'ari said:
"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: 'Cleanliness
is half of faith, and [saying] 'Praise be to God' fills the scale,
and [saying] 'Glory be to God' and 'Praise be to God' fill up
what is between the heavens and the earth, and prayer is a light,
and charity is proof [of one's faith], and patience is a brightness,
and the Qur'an is a proof for or against you. All men go out early
in the morning and sell themselves, some setting themselves free
and others destroying themselves.' "
(Narrated by Muslim)
With His Family and Children:
Aisha, the wife of Muhammad (pbuh) said:
"Allah's Messenger (pbuh) used to patch his
sandals, sew his garment and conduct himself at home as anyone
of you does in his house. He was a human being, searching his
garment for lice, milking his sheep, and doing his own chores."
(Narrated by al-Tirmathi).
She also said:
"He would patch his garments and sole his
sandals" She was once asked: "How
was he with his family?", she responded: "He
was in the service of his family until it was time for prayer,
at which time he would go and pray"
"I never saw anyone more merciful with children
than the Messenger of Allah (pbuh)"
(Narrated by Muslim)
Abu Hurairah narrated that:
"The Messenger of Allah never denigrated
any type of food; if he liked it he ate it, and if he disliked
it he left it alone" (Narrated by
Bukhari and Muslim)
Generosity, Clemency and Conduct:
Abdullah ibn Amr narrated:
"Allah's Messenger (pbuh) neither spoke in
an insulting manner nor did he ever speak evil intentionally.
He used to say, 'The most beloved to me among you is the one who
has the best character and manners.'"
(Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
AbuHurayrah narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
"The most Perfect believer in respect of
faith is he who is best of them in manners."
(Narrated by Abu-Dawood)
Qatadah ibn Malik narrated that Zayd ibn Ilaqah related on the authority of his uncle, Qatadah ibn Malik, that the Prophet (pbuh) would supplicate:
"O Allah, I seek Your protection against
undesirable manners, acts, and desires."
(Transmitted by Al-Tirmithi.)
Anas ibn Malik narrated:
"I was walking with the messenger of Allah
(pbuh) and he was wearing a mantle of Najran with a thick border.
A Bedouin met him and pulled the mantle so violently that I saw
this violent pulling had left marks from it's border on the skin
of the neck of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). And he (the Bedouin)
said: Muhammad!, command that I should be given out of the wealth
of Allah which is at your disposal. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh)
turned to him and smiled, and then he ordered for him a provision."
"Eighty men from the men of Makkah descended
upon the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) from the mountain of Al-Taneem,
in [full] armor, with the intent of doing battle with him. He
(Muhammad, pbuh) captured them peaceably and then did not kill
them" (Narrated by Muslim)
A pagan by the name of Zaid ibn Sa'ana came to the
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in order to collect a debt. When he
drew near Muhammad (pbuh) he wrenched him by his clothes violently,
exposing his shoulder, and spoke rudely at him. Finally, he said:
"You sons of AbdulMuttalib are all a procrastinating lot."
Immediately, Umar ibn Al-Khattab leapt at him chastising and rebuking
him harshly, all the while the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) looked
on smiling. Then the Prophet (pbuh) said to Umar: "He
and I were in need of other than this O Umar; You should have
commanded me to excel in my repayment, and have commanded him
to excel in his request for repayment." He (Muhammad, pbuh)
said: "There [still] remains in his term three [days]"
He (Muhammad, pbuh) then commanded Umar to see to his recompensation
and to increase him twenty 'saa' (weights) as compensation for
the terrorization he had endured (from Umar). This man later became
a Muslim" (Narrated by Al-Bayhaqi, ibn Habban, and Al-Tabarani)
Anas ibn Malik said:
"Allah's Messenger (pbuh) had the best disposition
amongst people. He sent me (when I was a child) on an errand one
day, and I said: By Allah, I would not go. I had, however, this
idea in my mind that I would do as Allah's Apostle (pbuh) had
commanded me to do. I went out until I happened to come across
children who had been playing in the street. In the meanwhile,
Allah's Messenger (pbuh) came there and he caught me by the back
of my neck from behind me. As I looked towards him I found him
smiling and he said: Unays, did you go where I told you to go?
I said: Allah's Messenger, yes, I am going. Anas further said:
I served him for nine years but I know not that he ever chastised
me about a thing which I had done why I did that, or about a thing
I had left as to why I had not done that."
(Narrated by Muslim)
In another narration, he said:
"I served the Prophet (pbuh) at Madinah for
ten years. I was a boy. Every work that I did was not according
to the desire of my master, but he never said to me: Fie!, nor
did he say to me: Why did you do this? or Why did you not do this?"
(Narrated by Abu-Dawood)
Anas also said:
"No one was more beloved to us than the Messenger
of Allah (pbuh), [however], if we saw him we would not stand up
for him for we knew how much he disliked [for us to do so]. And
on one occasion someone called to him saying: 'O best of mankind
...' He replied: 'That is Abraham, peace be upon him' "
(Narrated by Muslim)
Adi ibn Hatim al-Ta'ee came to the Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh) to ask about Islam, so Muhammad (pbuh) invited him to his
home. When they sat down, a small girl brought a pillow to the
Messenger of Allah (pbuh), however, he placed it between him and
Adi and sat on the ground. Adi later said: "[When I saw
that] I knew that he was not a king"
It was also narrated that Muhammad (pbuh) once said:
"I am but a servant, I eat as the servant
eats, and I sit as the servant sits"
Muhammad (pbuh) would tie his own camel, feed his
own animal, eat with the servants, knead dough with them, and
carry his own groceries from the market.
AbuHurayrah narrated that a man came to Allah's Messenger
(pbuh) and said, "O Allah's Messenger! Who is the most deserving
person of my good companionship?" The Prophet (pbuh) said,
"Your mother." The man said, "Who is next?"
The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Your mother." The man said,
"Who is next?" The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Your mother."
The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?" The
Prophet (pbuh) said, "Your father." (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
A man came to AbudDarda and said, "I have a
wife whom my mother commands me to divorce," he replied to
him that he had heard Allah's Messenger (pbuh) say, "A parent
is the best of the gates of Paradise; so if you wish, keep to
the gate, or lose it." (Narrated in Mishkat Al-Masabih, Tirmidhi
and Ibn Majah transmitted it.)
AbuBakrah said: The Prophet (pbuh) said thrice, "Should
I inform you about the greatest of the great sins?" They
said, `Yes, O Allah's Messenger!" He said, "To join
others in worship with Allah and to be undutiful to one's parents."
The Prophet (pbuh) then sat up after he had been reclining (on
a pillow) and said, "And I warn you against giving a false
witness," and he kept on repeating that warning till we thought
he would not stop." (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
Anas ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said,
"The worst of Kaba'ir (the greatest sins) are: to join others
as partners in worship with Allah, to murder a human being, to
be undutiful to one's parents and to make a false statement,"
or said, "to bear false witness." (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
Defense of the Boundaries of the Religion:
The day Ibraheem (the son of Muhammad, pbuh) died,
there was an eclipse of the sun. The people began
to say: "The sun has eclipsed for the death of Ibraheem",
whereupon the messenger of Allah (pbuh) became angry and chastised
"Verily, the sun and the moon are two signs
of the signs of Allah, they do not eclipse for the death of anyone
nor for his birth, so if you see that (an eclipse) then supplicate
to God, reverence His name, pray and give charity"
(Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
On another occasion, a man said: "God and You (O Muhammad) have willed this" regarding a certain matter. The Messenger of Allah then rebuked him saying:
"Have you made me equal to God?"
(Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
For the same reason, another time, a man was delivering
a speech and said: "He who obeys God and His messenger
is indeed wise, and he who disobeys Allah and his messenger has
lost." Upon hearing this, the Messenger of Allah said:
"You are the most evil of speakers" (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Note: Muhammad (pbuh) did not want those listening
to the speech to think that God and His messengers are in any
Muhammad (pbuh) also used to say:
"Do not over-praise me as the Christians
over-praised [Jesus] the son of Mary. For I am only His servant,
so say: 'Allah's servant and messenger' "
(Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
His Bravery and Bashfulness:
Many people believe bravery and bashfulness to be
self-contradictory opposites of one-another, however, in Muhammad
(pbuh) we were given the example of a true balance between these
two attributes. It was narrated that Muhammad (pbuh) was the most
bashful of all mankind, and if he disliked a matter we (the companions)
would know that from his face (his expression). Aisha (pbuh) narrated
that whenever he was informed of an error committed by someone
he would never say: "Why did 'such' the son of 'such'
do such-and-such", rather, he would say:
"Why do some people do (or say) such-and-such?"
In this manner he would caution them, but he would not mention the man by name. (Narrated by Abu-Dawood)
Regarding his bravery Ali ibn Abi-Talib, one of the
bravest young men in the Islamic nation said:
"In the heat of battle, [when the passions
burned strongest,] we would seek shelter behind the Messenger
of Allah (pbuh), for there was none closer to the enemy than him,
and you had seen me on the day of Badr,
battle of we were taking shelter behind the Prophet of Allah
(pbuh) and he was the closest among us to the enemy"
(Narrated by Abu-Dawood)
Al-Bukhari narrated upon the authority of Anas:
"The Messenger of Allah was the best of mankind,
and the most generous among mankind, and the bravest among mankind.
The citizens of Al-Madinah awoke in a panic one night [to a sound],
so they rode out towards the sound. On their way they met the
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) returning, having beat them to the sound,
saying: 'Do not worry, do not worry' and he was riding a horse
of Abi-Talha with no saddle (in his hurry to reach that sound),
around his neck hung his sword."
During the first hours of the battle of Hunain, when
many of the Muslims forsook Muhammad (pbuh) and fled the battle
field, Muhammad (pbuh) stood firm in the field of battle as if
nothing had happened saying:
"I am the Messenger, I lie not!. I am the
son of Abdul-Muttalib."
Ibn Abbas narrated:
"A man had laid down his sheep (in preparation
to slaughter it) and then he went about sharpening his knife.
Upon seeing this, the Messenger of Allah rebuked him saying: 'Do
you want to kill it twice? Wouldn't it have been better for you
to sharpen your knife before laying it down (so as not to terrorize
it)?' " (Narrated by Al-Tabarani
Shaddad ibn Aws said:
"Two are the things which I remember Allah's
Messenger (pbuh) having said: 'Verily Allah has enjoined goodness
to everything; so when you kill, kill in a good way and when you
slaughter, slaughter in a good way. Every one of you should sharpen
his knife, and let the slaughtered animal die comfortably.' "
(Narrated by Muslim)
Muhammad (pbuh) also used to command mercy for all
animals such that they are fed well, watered well, not forced
to carry too heavy a burden, and not tortured or maimed for one's
"The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless
him and grant him peace, said, 'While a man was walking on a road
he became very thirsty. He found a well, went into it, drank,
and came out. [Upon exiting he met] a dog panting and eating the
dirt out of thirst. The man said: 'This dog has become stricken
with the same degree of thirst which had stricken me.' He went
down into the well and filled his shoe and then held it in his
mouth until he climbed out and gave the dog water to drink. Allah
thanked him (for his good deed) and forgave him.' They said, 'O
Messenger of Allah, are we rewarded for taking care of beasts?'
He said, 'There is a reward [for you] in every creature with a
moist liver.'"(Narrated by Al-Bukhari,
Muslim, and Malik)
"Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: 'A woman
was punished because of a cat. She neither provided it with food
nor drink, nor set it free so that it might eat the insects of
the earth.' " (Narrated by Muslim
Sahl ibn Amr said:
"The Messenger of Allah passed by a camel
who's stomach quite touched it's back (from lack of food). Upon
seeing this he said: 'Fear God in these unspeaking animals! Ride
them [while they are] in good health, and eat them [while they
are] in good health' " (Narrated
Regarding slaves, when Muhammad (pbuh) became the
messenger of Allah the people of his land had become accustomed
to having countless slaves and usually treated them quite harshly.
During the period of his prophethood he worked diligently to do
what he could to cut down on their numbers. Islam closed most
of the doors leading to slavery and encourages the freeing of
slaves in many ways. For those people who continued to posses
slaves they were encouraged to treat them fairly and with mercy.
"The Prophet (pbuh) said: 'Feed those of
your slaves who please you from what you yourselves eat and clothe
them with what you clothe yourselves, but sell those who do not
please you and do not punish Allah's creatures.' "
(Narrated by Abu-Dawood)
Ma'rur narrated that:
"I saw AbuDharr wearing a Burd (garment)
and his slave too was wearing a Burd, so I said (to AbuDharr),
'If you take this (Burd of your slave) and wear it (along with
yours), you will have a nice suit and you may give him another
garment.' AbuDharr said, "There [once] was a quarrel between
me and another man whose mother was a non-Arab and I called her
bad names. The man complained about me to the Prophet (pbuh).
The Prophet (pbuh) said, 'Did you abuse so-and-so?' I said, 'Yes.'
He said, 'Did you call his mother bad names?' I said, 'Yes.' He
said, 'You still have the traits of (the pre-Islamic period of)
ignorance.' I said, '(Do I still have ignorance) even now in my
old age?' He said, 'Yes, they (slaves or servants) are your brothers
and Allah has put them under your command. So the one under whose
hand Allah has put his brother, should feed him from what he eats,
and clothe him in what he wears, and should not ask him to do
anything beyond his capacity. And if ever he asks him to do a
hard task, he should help him with it.'"
(Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
Abdullah ibn Umar said:
"An A'arabi (desert Arab) came to the Prophet
of Allah (pbuh) and said: 'O Messenger of Allah, how many times
should I forgive my slave every day?' The Prophet (pbuh) replied:
'Seventy times.' " (Narrated by Al-Tirmathi
Abdullah ibn Umar also narrated:
"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: 'Pay
the worker his [due] wages before his sweat dries' "
(Narrated by ibn Majah)
The Encyclopedia Britannica states:
"....a mass of detail in the early sources
show that [Muhammad] was an honest and upright man who had gained
the respect and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest and
upright men." (Vol. 12)
George Bernard Shaw said about him:
"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)
Gandhi 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
this 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."
Edward Gibbon and Simon Ockley speaking on the declaration of Islam write:
"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."
History Of The Saracen Empires, London, 1870, p.
Michael H. Hart in his recently published book on the ranking of the 100 most influential men in history writes:
"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."
The 100: A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons
In History, M.H. Hart, New York, 1978, p. 33
Jules Masserman, an American psychoanalyst, says:
"Leaders must fulfill three functions: 1) Provide for the well being of the led, 2) Provide a social organization in which people feel relatively secure, and 3) Provide them with a set of beliefs … People like Pasteur and Salk are leaders in the first sense. People like Gandhi and Confucius, on one hand, and Alexander and Caesar on the other, are leaders in the second and perhaps the third sense. Jesus and Buddha belong in the third category alone. Perhaps the greatest leader of all time was Muhammad, who combined all three functions. To a lesser degree, Moses did the same."
Time magazine, July 15, 1974, article titled "Who
were history's greatest leaders?," this quote by Jules Masserman.
"Head 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."
Reverend Bosworth Smith, Muhammad and Muhammadanism,
"Serious 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"
Arabia, D. G. Hogarth, p. 52
"He was 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 ... In his private dealings he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and poor, the powerful and weak, with equality, and was beloved by the common people for the affability with which he received them, and listened to their complaints ... His 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 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."
Mahomet and his successors, Washington Irving, pp.
"His 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 than 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 that conclusive proof is a much stricter requirement than a show of plausibility, and in a matter such as this only to be attained with difficulty."
Muhammad at Macca, W. Montgomery Watt, Oxford press,
"It is 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 the 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."
The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Annie Besant,
"Four years after the death of Justinian, C.E. 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 God."
History of Intellectual Development of Europe, William
Draper, MD., LL.D., Vol. I, p. 329-330
For more on this topic please read the book "Prophet Muhammad and His Western Critics," by Zafar Ali Qureshi, Idara Ma'arif Islami, Mansoora, Lahore, Pakistan.
Muslim-SA@acsu.buffalo.edu Last modified: Mon Nov 18 14:08:07 EST 1996