Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshiped idols. Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the widow and 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 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 .......... him, but the man who was to become his administrative successor stopped 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".
(James A. Michener, "Islam: The Misunderstood Religion", in the Reader's Digest (American Edition) for May 1955, pp. 68-7
What history said about Mohammed
He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was without Pope's pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue ; if ever any men had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammad, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports. (Bosworth Smith; Mohammad and Mohammadanism, Londong 1874, p.92)
The remarkable character of Prophet Mohammed
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.
(Annie Besand, The Life and Teachings of Muhammad)
The influence of Mohammad upon history
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 a leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement all argue his fundamental intergrity. 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. (W. Montgomery, Mohammad at Mecca, Oxford, 1953, p.52)