By Yusuf Estes, Former Christian Preacher
Before concluding our review of Muhammad, A to Z, it must be mentioned, that although Muhammad r is deeply loved, revered and emulated by Muslims as God's final messenger, he is NOT the object of worship for Muslims.
Now it is up to you. You are a rational thinking, concerned human being. As such, you should already be asking yourself:
Could these extraordinary, revolutionary and amazing statements, all about this one man, really be true? What if they are true?
You have read what famous writers, thinkers, poets, philosophers, clergy and humanitarians have said about Muhammad r. You have seen the recordings of those who knew him and knew of him and what others have said, about Prophet Muhammad r.
So, the question now is, "What do you say about Muhammad?"
Z. In the words of Professor 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."
Z-2. Edward Gibbon and Simon Ockley, on the profession of ISLAM, writes in "History of the Saracen Empires":
"I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, AND MAHOMET (Muhammad r), A MESSENGER 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 honour of the Prophet have 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. 54)
Z-3. Wolfgang Goethe, perhaps the greatest European poet ever, wrote about Prophet Muhammad r. He said:
"He is a Prophet and not a poet and therefore his Koran is to be seen as Divine Law and not as a book of a human being, made for education or entertainment."
(Noten und Abhandlungen zum Weststlichen Dvan, WA I, 7, 32)
V. What should we think about our Prophet Muhammad r when someone with the worldly status such as Mahatma Gandhi, speaking on the character of Muhammad r, says in 'YOUNG INDIA':
"I wanted to know the best of one who holds today 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 the great life."
W. English author Thomas Carlyle in his 'Heroes and Hero Worship', was simply amazed as to:
"How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."
X. And Diwan Chand Sharma wrote in "The Prophets of the East":
"Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him"
(D.C. Sharma, The Prophets of the East, Calcutta, 1935, pp. 12)
Y. 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 mosque, 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 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)
N. Muhammad r taught his followers to believe in the God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus, peace be upon them all, and to believe in them as true Prophets, messengers and servants of Almighty Allah. He insisted on ranking all the Prophets up at the highest level without any distinction between them, and ordered his followers to say the words, "Peace be upon him" (u) after mentioning their names.
O. He also taught that the Torah, Zabur (Psalms), and Injeel (Gospel) were originally from the very same source as the Qur'an, from Allah to the angel Gabriel. He asked the Jews to judge according to their own Book, and they tried to cover up some of it to hide the correct judgment, knowing he r, could not read.
P. He prophesied, predicted and foretold of events to come and they happened as he had said. He even predicted something from the past that would come true in the future, and it has.
The Qur'an states pharaoh was drowned in the Red Sea while chasing after Moses and Allah said He would preserve Pharaoh as a sign for the future. Dr. Maurice Bucaille in his book, "Bible, Qur'an and Science" makes it clear that this has happened and the very person of Pharaoh has been discovered in Egypt and is now on display for all to see.
This event took place thousands of years before Muhammad r and it came true in the last few decades, many centuries after his death.
Q. There has been more written about the Prophet Muhammad r, than any other person on earth. He has been praised very highly even by famous non-Muslims for throughout history. One of the first examples we quote from is from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, as it confirms:
(regarding Muhammad) ". . . a mass of detail in the early sources shows that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were likewise honest and upright men."
I. While there were many attempts of assassination made on Muhammad r (the most famous was the night that Ali t took his place in bed while he r and Abu Bakr t escaped to Madinah), he r did not allow his companions to slaughter any of those who had been involved in these attempts. A demonstration of this is when they entered Makkah triumphantly and his first words were to command his followers not to harm such and such tribes and so and so families. This was one of the most famous of his acts of forgiveness and humbleness.
J. Military combat was forbidden for the first thirteen years of Prophethood. The desert Arabs did not need anyone to tell them how to fight or do combat. They were experts in this area and held feuds amongst tribes that lasted for decades. It was not until the proper method of warfare was instituted by Allah in the Qur'an, with proper rights and limitations according His Commandments, that any retaliation or combat was sanctioned. Orders from Allah made it clear who was to be attacked, how and when and to what extent fighting could take place.
K. Destruction of infrastructures is absolutely forbidden except when it is ordained by Allah in certain instances and then only according to His Commands.
L. The Prophet r was abused and attacked by his enemies, while he would be praying for their guidance. A classic example of this is his journey to At-Taif where the leaders would not even hear him out nor offer so much as the normal courtesy called for and instead they set the mob of the street against him, throwing rocks and stones at him until his body was bleeding so much, blood filled his sandals. He was offered revenge by the angel Gabriel, if he would give the command, Allah would cause the surrounding mountains to fall down upon them destroying them all. Instead of cursing them or asking for their destruction, he prayed for them to be guided to worship their Lord alone, without any partners.
M. Prophet Muhammad r claimed every person who is born, is born in a state of ISLAM (submission to God on His Terms in Peace), as a Muslim (MU-Islam means; "one who does ISLAM" i.e.; submits to God's Will and obeys His Commandments).
The following is based on books, manuscripts, texts and actual eyewitness accounts, too numerous to mention herein, preserved in original form throughout the centuries by both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Many people today are discussing Prophet Muhammad r. Who was he exactly? What did he teach? Why was he loved so much by some and hated so much by others? Did he live up to his claims? Was he a Prophet of God? What is the truth about this man?
You be the judge.
First before listing the A-Z (+2) Facts about Muhammad r let us begin with the very simple historical evidences. Here are the facts as narrated by thousands of people, many of whom knew him personally.
· Muhammad r was born from the lineage of Abraham's eldest son, Ishmael (Ismail in Arabic), to the noble tribe of the Quraysh who were the leaders of Makkah in those days.
· He never fell into the common practice of his tribesmen to worship statues, idols or man-made "gods."
· He believed that God was truly One God, and as such, He was to be worshipped alone, without any other "gods" beside Him.
· He held the Name of God in the highest of reverence and never took God's Name in vain or for any vainglorious purpose.
· He despised false worship and all of the complexities and degradation to which it leads.
· He insisted on keeping the Commandments of Almighty God, just as Prophets of old had done in the past.
· He never committed adultery, and he forbid others from doing it.
· He forbade usury and interest on money lending, as Jesus u, had done centuries before him.
· He never gambled and did not allow it.
· He never drank alcohol or strong drink, even though it was a very normal thing for people of his time and place.
· He did not engage in gossip and used to turn away from hearing anything related to it.
· He offered prayers in the manner and direction (toward Jerusalem, until Allah ordered the change towards Makkah) as was prescribed of Prophets in the Bible, standing, bowing, kneeling and prostrating as they had done before him.
· He fasted for days at a time to be closer to Almighty God and away from the narrowness of worldly attractions.
· He taught that Jesus u, was the immaculate conception and miracle birth of Mary, and that she was one of the best creation of Almighty God.
· He insisted even to the Jews of Madinah, that Jesus u, was the Messiah, the Christ.
· He said Jesus r, did many miracles by the permission of Almighty God, curing the lepers, restoring sight to the blind and even bringing a dead man back to life.
· He stated clearly that Jesus u, was not dead, rather Almighty God had raised him up.
· He predicted Jesus u, is going to return again in the Last Days to lead the true believers in a victory over the evil and unrighteous people, and he will destroy the Anti-Christ.
· He commanded the payment of charity to the poor and he was the defender and protector of widows, orphans and the wayfarers.
· He ordered people to unite with their families and honour the ties of kinship and he restored relationships between family members.
· He required his followers to engage only in lawful marriage relationships with women, and forbade sex outside of Almighty God's Ordinance.
· He insisted on giving women their proper rights, dowries, inheritance and property.
· His patience and humble attitude were exemplary and all who knew him had to admit to these virtues.