What do they say about Prophet Muhammad?

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Muhammad, the prophet of Arabia, has fulfilled for his people a role that combines the functions – of a distinguished prophet, statesman, author, and reformer. He has earned for himself as a consequence the respect and reverence of countless people, Muslim and non-Muslim everywhere.

While our knowledge of men who filled similar roles from Moses to Zoroaster to Jesus is shrouded with legend, often incomplete and frequently colored, and while the accounts of Muhammad’s life and deeds contain their share of incompleteness and coloring, the fact remains that he was the first to live and preach in the full light of history.

Islam: Beliefs and Observances by Caesar E. Farah


Historian, John William Draper in his well known work, “A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe”, observes:

“Four years after the death of Justinian, 569 A.D., was born at Makkah, in Arabia, the man who, of all men, has exercised the greatest influence upon the human race,” 

The well known British historian, Sir William Muir, in his “Life of Mohammed” adds:

“Our authorities, all agree in ascribing to the youth of Mohammad a modesty of deportment and purity of manners rare among the people of Makkah… The fair character and honorable bearing of the unobtrusive youth won the approbation of his fellow-citizens; and he received the title, by common consent, of Al-Ameen, the Trustworthy.” 


James Michener in his well known work, “Islam, The Misunderstood Religion” writes:

“Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and the needy, the widow and the orphan, the slave and the downtrodden. At twenty he was already a successful business man, 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 the older, he married her, and as long as she lived remained a devoted husband.” 


The celebrated British writer, Thomas Carlyle, in his book On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History-, observes:

"Ah on: this deep-hearted son of the wilderness with his beaming black eyes and open social deep soul, had other thoughts than ambition. A silent great man; he was one of those who cannot but be in earnest; whom Nature herself has appointed to be sincere. While others walk in formulas and hearsays, contented enough to dwell there, this man could not screen himself in formulas; he was alone with his own soul and the reality of things. The great mystery of Existence, as I said, glared in upon him, with its terrors, with its splendors; no hearsays could hide that unspeakable fact. ‘Here am I’; such Sincerity as we name it, has in very truth something of divine. The work of such a man is a voice direct from Nature’s own Heart. Men do and must listen to that as to nothing else; all else is wind in comparison.” 


Dr. Marcus Dods, in his work, “Mohammad, Buddah and Christ” writes:

“Certainly he had two of the most important characteristics of the prophetic order. He saw truth about God which his fellowmen did not see, and he had an irresistible inward impulse to publicize this truth.”

John Davenport in his well known work, “An Apology for Mohammad and the Koran”, admits the honesty and sincerity behind Mohammad’s claim of being an apostle of God, when he says:

"It is strongly corroborative of Mohammad’s sincerity that the earliest converts of Islam were his bosom friends and the people of his household, who all intimately acquainted with his private life, could not fail to have detected those discrepancies which more or less invariably exist between the pretentions of the hypocritical deceiver and his actions at home.” 


W. Montgomery Watt writes in his “Mohammad at Makkah” : 

“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 leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement – all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad as imposter 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 …” 


A well known writer, Bosworth Smith, in his well known book “Mohammad and Mohammadanism”, adds:

“Head of the State as well as of the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope’s pretensions, Caesar without the legion of Caesar. Without a standing army, without a body-guard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue, if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammad, for he had all the power without its instructions and without its supports.” 


James A. Michener, in his invaluable work, “Islam: The Misunderstood Religion”, observes:

“…Forced now to fight in defense of the freedom of conscience which he preached, he became an accomplished military leader, Although he repeatedly went into battle outnumbered and out speared as much as five to one, he won some spectacular victories.”

Stanley Lane-Poole, in his work, “The Speeches and Table Talk of the Prophet Mohammad” adds:

"The day of Mohammad’s greatest triumph over his enemies was also the day of his grandest victory over himself. He freely forgave the Koraysh all the years of sorrow and cruel scorn in which they had afflicted him and gave an amnesty to the whole population of Makkah. Four criminals whom justice condemned made up Mohammad’s proscription list, when he entered as a conqueror to the city of his bitterest enemies. The army followed his example, and entered quietly and peacefully; no house was robbed, no women insulted. One thing alone suffered destruction. Going to the Kaaba, Mohammad stood before each of the three hundred and sixty idols, and pointed to it with his staff, saying, ‘Truth has come and falsehood has fled away!’ and at these words his attendants hewed them down, and all the idols and household gods of Makkah and round about were destroyed. It was thus Mohammad entered again his native city, Through all the annals of conquest there is no triumphant entry comparable to this one.” 


Again John Davenport, in “An Apology for Mohammad and the Koran” states:

“With all that simplicity which is so natural to a great mind, he performed the humblest offices whose homeliness it would be idle to conceal with pompous diction; even while Lord of Arabia, he mended his own shoes and coarse woolen garments. milked the ewes, swept the hearth, and kindled the fire. Dates and water were his usual fare and milk and honey his luxuries. When he traveled he divided his morsel with the servant. The sincerity of his exhortations to benevolence was justified at his death by the exhausted state of his coffers” 


Alphonse of Lamartine, in his well known work, “Histoire de la Turquie”, observes:

"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 the souls. On the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality which blended together peoples of every tongue and of every race. Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational beliefs, a founder of twenty terrestrial empires and one spiritual empire. Of all standards by which human greatness can be measured, we may well ask … is there any man greater than Mohammed?” 


K. S. Ramakrishna Rao in his book ‘Mohammed: The Prophet of Islam’ writes:

"The personality of Muhammad is most difficult to get the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of him I can catch. What dramatic succession of picturesque scenes? There is Muhammad the Prophet; there is Muhammad the General; Muhammad the King; Muhammad the Warrior; Muhammad the Businessman; Muhammad the Preacher; Muhammad the Philosopher; 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… In all these magnificent roles and in all these departments of human activities he is equally a hero.” 


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]

Michael H. Hart in his book on ratings of people who contributed towards the benefit and upliftment of mankind 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" New York, 1978, p. 33)

Dr Annie Besant  in her book "The Life and Teachings of Muhammad" Madras, 1932, p. 4. says:

“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.” 

Mahatma Gandhi, speaking on the character of Muhammad said …

“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.” [Young India]

Complied by Sa’dullah Khan. Director of Islamic Center of Irvine. He has presented lectures on Islamic Civilization at California State University at Dominguez Hills. He is a frequent lecturer for the Academy of Judaic, Christian and Islamic Studies at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). He is also an advisor to the Chancellor’s Committee on Religion Ethics and Values at UCLA and serves as Director of Muslim Affairs at USC (University of Southern California).

You can watch his lectures on Empowerment and Hadith of the Day at IslamiTV

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  1. My comment is to google “historicity of Mohammed” there you will find he was a military man, Ask yourself this question…was Abraham, Moses or Jesus?

    And yes I have read the Quran, Wht don;t you rea Surrah 9:29

  2. Salaamu alaikum,

    I would like to add that Leo Tolstoy, Russia’s greatest philosopher said: ” The religion of Muhammad (pbuh) will prevail and rule the world one day because it is in conformity with mind and wisdom”

    Fidaaka Ummee wa abee ya rasoola Allah! Sallaa alaika Allahu yaa a’alama lhuda maa dabbati nasaaemu wa maa laahat a’la l’aiki lhamaaemu!

  3. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the most humblest of all mankind and the one who love and yearn for the Creator the most… that’s what in return made him as Allah’s most beloved or Habibullah.

  4. The Prophet Muhammad was the best model ever raised for mankind by the Creator.As leader he was the best model if one is proud of his leadership as King President Prime Minister he held those positions but he could not be differentiated from his companions as our leaders could easily be distinguished from the ordinary people.Therefore he was never proud of that status which made so many arrogants.As Judge he was the Chief Justice at the same time holding the title of the Commander of the Army.Teacher of course he was the best teacher of Sahabah,student that of Jibril Alaihis Salem,neighbour the best we could find,scholar the best of all the Ulama combined and yet he was unlettered could not read and write.However as an extraordinary person he became Hafiz and became the best reciter of the Quran,husband we could not find better husband than Rasulullah,a friend he was such friend in deed and in need.In terms of Taqwa fear of Allah he was more fearful than anybody and more hopeful of His Mercy than anyone.He was so modest never arrogant or used foul language or even listened to indecent obscene talk words commonly used now adays as sign of arrogance.Though he could express himself so clearly but he hated misusing the tongue twisting it for useless talk and vanity to show how eloquent a person was.He was the best teacher Doctor husband politician statesman commander neighbour friend and whatever position you may think of.He was not greedy for Duniya but the opposite Akhirah.He was contented in terms of material possessions if he liked he could be the richest person but he chose to remain poor as a sign of modesty having something to eat for the day and the other day having nothing.He used to live on two black things for two months i.e dates and water without lighting a fire in his house.He was always conscious of the Hereafter preparing to meet the Creator teaching the Ummah to follow his simple ways of life which was acceptable to Allah in both Duniya and Akhirah.

  5. This is a great article. I went through the testimonies reverently because the statements are not the outcome of hot head zealots (modern muslims desiring to eradicate Jews and Christians on the earth) but of cool heart lots who might make better muslims without professing to belong there.

    As mentioned elsewhere in some other posts, I mention here again that nobody can talk bad about good or cover the bad to give good look. The bad are condemned by their badness and the good are defended by their goodness. The testimonies of men do not avail to influence the righteous judgment of God.

    May the truth prevail over falsehood, may there be no cloud between the light of God and the eyes of men in any form, by any name.

  6. Allah(swt) plan was to save the best for last & bring the purest of messenger Muhammad(sa)peace be upon him to deliver his divine message to all of his servents as was reported in earlier revelations. The true light of Allah(swt) will always defeat evil & keep the believers praising the One True God. Allah(swt).

  7. excellent article …

    We need such articles about prophet Muhammad(pbuh) and Islam for non-muslims and even for Muslims.It is time for us to show what is real Islam and tell them the true facts about our prophets. It is not too late.

    All Muslims and Muslim countries especially rich like Saudi, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq etc. must:

    1)contribute financially in publishing such articles, Books/pamphlets and make it available throughout the world, free or for nominal price.

    2)Form committees for tableeq, dawah, message,& establish muslim missionaries and white crescent(=to red cross)and send help to the countries and people in need.

    3)Form committees of Haafez-Quran, religious scholars & Professionals with Bachelors to Ph.D.degrees in comparitive religion study to go around the world and hold conferences – open discusssions.

    It is our duty to spread the facts of Islam, ONE GOD & prophets of Islam to non-muslim neigbors/countries, friends & outside of our families.Remember, Allah will ask us about this.

    I like to see an article on JESUS-“WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT JESUS” in the light of ISLAM Quran, Hadith, Islamic history, with quotes & references.

    There can be similar articles on this site in future on “History of JEWS, CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS” to bring peace among us and to show we all believe in the same ONE GOD(ALLAH), & we all are the descendents and followers of the prophets ADAM, & ABRAHAM who prayed & worshipped the same ONE GOD-ALLAH.

    May GOD(ALLAH) bless us all.

  8. Salaamu

    Re; Letter of Iori.

    Indeed here in lies the difference. Any other article would be pounded upon by the non-Muslims – trying to find any slight mistake! But I am sure reading this article they are ‘wrentching their fingures’. These are comments by their own – famous non-Muslims.

    Since the sad event of 9-11 hundreds of thousands have converted to our faith. Why? They read about it. They educated themselves about Islam. They discovered the truth. They accepted the truth. Praise be to Him and peace upon our beloved prophet!

    And peace to mankind.

  9. Any non-Muslim upon reading these statements will I am sure want to read more about the most beautiful of humanity and I am sure will also understand the rage shown by Muslims for the cartoons by the mischief-makers.

    As taught by my prophet(pbuh) I wish peace for man-kind!

  10. Fa mablaghul elmi fihi annahu basharun,

    Wa annahu khairi khalqillaahi kullihimi


    “The best one can say about him is that he was

    but a mortal being and that he is the BEST of

    all that Allah has created.”

    He was and remains forever the sun the has dimmed the light of all stars.If the kuffar and munafiqs try then to abuse him, remember O Believers, even the lion may be barked at by dogs. Al- Mustapha (SAW) remains forever pure and clean purified by One, Pure and Clean.

    May the Most Merciful, Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa include us amongst his successful lot on the Day of Judgement – Sallal Laahu Alaihi wa Sallam.

  11. Esselam Alejkum to all muslims.

    I’m so sorry for every thing that is against our beutiful religion “Islam” and the muslims.

    According to Kur’an we have to respect the other religions, but why the others don’t respect us as we do ?

    I hope that everything will be ok, because God will protect Islam and muslims too.

  12. Salaamu alaikum,

    “Shahidal anaamu bi kamaalihi hatta l’idaa

    walhaquo maa shahidat bihil a’adau”

    My translation:

    The world has witnessed Muhammad’s (pbuh) perfect conduct and the best truth is that which comes from those who are supposed to be his ennemies

    Arab poem

    “Madahtu lmaadiheena fazidtuhum quadran

    wa lamma madahtuka zaada quadri”

    Poem by Umar Alkhayaam

    My translation:

    I have praised the praiseworthy and they have gained some merit and when I praised you I have gained lots of merit.