“Mercy For The Worlds”
They Talk About Muhammad (s.a.w.)
(M. Javed Naseem)
Allah, the Almighty, declared in the Holy Quran that He sent the Messenger Muhammad (s.a.w.) as a ‘mercy for the worlds’, in other words as a mercy not only for the mankind but also for all the creatures of the entire universe.
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلاَّ رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
“We sent you not, but as a Mercy
“We sent you not, but as a Mercy
for the worlds (all creatures)”.
He was a model for the mankind in every respect without parallel. We Muslims should consider ourselves lucky to be educated, led and guided by such a magnificent personality – one of a kind in the history of mankind. It is sad to note that Muslims don’t respect him as much as he deserves (by following his teachings and emulating his conduct). On the other hand, the educated non-Muslims really appreciate Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).
The world today is suffering from injustice, bloodshed, unjust wars, misery and destruction of humanity due to man-made laws enforced by selfish and corrupt rulers to safeguard their vested interests. This sad state of affairs exists in most countries and threatens human survival.
More than ever, the greatness and perfection of the Holy Prophet
(Muhammad, s.a.w.), the greatest benefactor of mankind, is deeply felt and acknowledged even by the non-Muslim world, with sentiments of admiration and appreciation.
Muhammad (s.a.w.) had a unique personality. He established forever the supremacy of justice, law, and piety of action. He was indeed the ideal Prophet – the symbol of modesty, truthfulness and true devotion to Allah in seeking His pleasure, and thereby setting the highest standards of human excellence.
In this chapter, I have put together the impressions (the opinions and quotes) from the famous personalities of the non-Muslim world. It is really comforting to read what they think of the last Prophet of God. But first, let us see what Allah says:
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن
كَانَ يَرْجُو ٱللَّهَ وَٱلْيَوْمَ ٱلآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيراً
“You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah
“You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah
a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one
whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and
who engages much in the Praise of Allah.”
“Muhammad has always been standing higher than the Christianity. He does not consider God as a human being and never makes himself equal to God. Muslims worship nothing except God and Muhammad is his Messenger. There is not any mystery and secret in it.”
Alphonse de Lamartine:
“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?”
Alphonse de Lamartine:
“If 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?”
(On Heroes, Hero Worship and The Heroic in History)
“The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only.”
William Montgomery Watt:
“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”.
(Muhammad at Mecca, Oxford, 1953).
“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 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 difficulty”.
(First female ‘Doctor of Theology’, 1931)
“Muhammad introduced the concept of such Glorious and Omnipotent God in Whose eyes all worldly systems are pieces of straw. Islamic equality of mankind is no fiction as it is in Christianity. No human mind has ever thought of such total freedom as established by Muhammad.”
George Bernard Shaw:
(The Genuine Islam, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936)
“I have 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 far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."
George Bernard Shaw:
“I believe that if today an autocrat of Mohammed’s caliber assumes world leadership, he could solve all problems of humanity splendidly. The world will become an abode of peace and happiness. I predict that tomorrow’s
will embrace Islam."
(The 100 Most Influential Persons In History, New York, 1978)
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 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
(The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1823)
“The greatest crimes, the greatest “sin” of Mohammed in the eyes of Christian West is that he did not allow himself to be slaughtered, to be “crucified” by his enemies. He only defended himself, his family and his followers; and finally vanquished his enemies. Mohammed’s success is the Christians’ gall of disappointment… He did not believe in any vicarious sacrifices for the sins of others …”
“The 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.”
Edward Gibbon & Simon Oakley:
(History of the Saracen Empire, London, 1870).
“The greatest success of Mohammad’s life was effected by sheer moral force.”
“It is 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 religion.”
(Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History, 1840)
“The lies which we [Christians] have heaped round this man (Mohammed), are disgraceful to ourselves only.”
“A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world, the world’s Maker had ordered so.”
Encyclopedia Britannica, 4th & 11th editions:
“Muhammed was the most successful of all religious personalities.”
(Speeches By a U.S. Army General)
“Among leaders who have made the greatest impact through the ages, I would consider Muhammed before Jesus Christ”.
(The Awakening of
"Mohammed never assigned himself a status more than a common man and a messenger of God. People had faith in him when he was surrounded by poverty and adversity and trusted him while he was the ruler of a great Empire. A man of spotless character who always had a confidence in himself and in God’s help. No aspect of his life remained hidden nor was his death a mysterious event."
Sir William Muir:
(Life of Mohammed)
“Mohammed brought an end to idol worship. He preached monotheism and infinite Mercy of God, human brotherhood, care of orphan, emancipation of slaves, forbidding of wine - No religion achieved as much success as Islam did."
Philip K. Hitti:
(History of the Arabs)
“Within 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”.
“I 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.”
(Preface to ‘The Sayings of Muhammed’)
“The sayings of Muhammed are a treasure of wisdom not only for Muslims but for all of mankind.”
(‘Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah’, T.P.'s &
Weekly for 24th September 1927).
“In little more than a year, he was actually the spiritual, nominal and temporal rule of
Medina, with his hands on
the lever that was to shake the world.”
John William Draper, M.D., L.L.D:
(‘A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe’,
1875, Vol.1, pp.329-330)
“Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born at
in Arabia the man who, of all men 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”.
Arthur Glynn Leonard:
(Islam, Her Moral and Spiritual Values)
“It was 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”.
(Islam: The Misunderstood Religion, Reader’s Digest, May 1955, pp. 68-70).
“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 worshiped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you worshiped, He lives forever'.”
(The Life and Teachings of Mohammad, Madras, 1932)
“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 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 History of Muhammadanism and its Sects)
“So 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”.
Rev. Bosworth Smith:
(Muhammad and Muhammadanism,
“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 …”
“In Mohammadanism everything 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”.
Dr. Gustav Weil:
(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”.
Charles Stuart Mills:
(History of Mohammadanism)
“Deeply 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”.
(Studies in a Mosque)
“He was 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 humility …”
“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...” ('Speeches and Table Talk of the Prophet Muhammad)
(Preface to his translation of the Holy Quran)
“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”.
D. G. Hogarth:
“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”.
(Mahomet and His Successors)
“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 equity, 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 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”.
(Life of Muhammad, New York, 1920).