In the times of the Crusades, it was all too common to see the widespread vilification of Muhammad (PBUH). The enmity of the disbelievers towards Islam knew no bounds. Moreover, their aversion to the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam was intense. Over time, however, the world progressed into the modern age. A consequence of this was that there was a general increase in the tolerance of other religions. There was more open-mindedness towards different ideologies. Therefore, the attitude of Western scholars in their analysis of the Prophet (PBUH) became fairer and more balanced.
However, the West, in general, is still far from affirming the ultimate truth regarding Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) prophethood. Despite the increasingly fair approach of a number of Western scholars with regard to their assessment of the Prophet (PBUH), they mostly continue to remain in denial when it comes to affirming the fact that he is the final Prophet (PBUH) of God.
There’s no shortage of appreciation for the noble character and principles of Muhammad (PBUH) among non-Muslim authors and academics. However, despite the West’s obsession with objectivity and reason, there remains a severe lack of sincere reflection over Muhammad’s (PBUH) claim to prophethood. Non-Muslim scholars need to reflect deeply on the Prophet’s (PBUH) life and prophethood to reach the ultimate truth.
Nevertheless, the glowing praise we see for the spotless character and unparalleled nobility of the Prophet (PBUH) from numerous non-Muslim academics is further proof of how he is an ideal example for all of mankind. Those who choose to follow the correct path and obey this exemplary role model’s teachings in all aspects of life will benefit immensely in both the worldly life and the Hereafter.
What Alphonse de Lamartine said about the Prophet (PBUH)
“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…”
As Lamartine said in Histoire de la Turquie, if the three features mentioned above are the criteria of human brilliance, no man in modern history merits comparison to Muhammad (PBUH). The most well-known men only created arms, rules, and empires. However, whatever they produced was merely material and frequently disintegrated in from of them.
Meanwhile, the Prophet (PBUH) didn’t just move armies, laws, empires, societies, and dynasties. He also moved millions of people in a third of the world at the time. Moreover, he moved the deities, faiths, thoughts, convictions, and souls. His restraint in triumph, his aspiration, which was purely for Islam, his tireless prayers, his conversation with God, his passing, and success after passing demonstrate the strong faith that empowered him in his mission.
The Prophet’s (PBUH) mission was both to inform people about what God is, as well as what God is not. Hence, he destroyed false gods and affirmed monotheism. Lamartine described the Prophet (PBUH) as a philosopher, debater, messenger, lawmaker, and warrior. He reestablished rational doctrines and founded twenty terrestrial empires, which were of one spiritual domain. According to all standards of assessing human greatness, it can be asked if there is any man superior to him.
What Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay stated about Muhammad (S)
“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 Quran…”
As Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay said in the History of the Saracen Empire, the permanent nature of Islam is what is incredible. They go on to say that Muslims have stayed united in abstaining from distorting their religion. They have resisted the impulse to ascribe human attributes to God.
Belief in one God and His final Messenger (PBUH) is the straightforward declaration of Islam (Shahada). God has not been disrespected by any idol, and the Prophet’s (PBUH) honors have not led to his deification. His living principles have kept the thankfulness of his followers within the limits of reason and faith.
What William Montgomery said about the Prophet (PBUH)
“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…”
William Montgomery highlighted the Prophet’s (PBUH) willingness to bear oppression for his religious conviction. He also noted the virtuous characters of his companions, who believed in him and turned to him for leadership. Also, Montgomery acknowledged the immense magnitude of what the Prophet (PBUH) eventually accomplished. According to him, all of these factors make a case for the Prophet’s (PBUH) uprightness.
He further argued that assuming the Prophet (PBUH) to be an imposter introduces more problems than it solves. Additionally, among eminent historical personalities, no one is as inadequately cherished in the West as Muhammad (PBUH).
What James A. Michener stated about Muhammad (S)
“Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshipped idols. Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the widow and the 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…”
James Michener spoke about the early life of the Prophet (PBUH) and his background. He mentioned the Prophet’s (PBUH) noble conduct towards the vulnerable segments of society and his aptitude as a businessman. Then, he went on to cover the Prophet’s (PBUH) marriage to Khadija (RA), who was fifteen years senior to him, after she employed him. He stayed a devoted husband until Khadija (RA) passed away.
Michener pointed out how Muhammad (PBUH) was hesitant upon receiving the initial revelation. Muhammad (PBUH) was illiterate and could not read or write, yet he recited the revelation that would bring about a massive change in a large portion of the world with its clear message of monotheism.
James Michener also focused on the incident of the Prophet’s (PBUH) son Ibrahim’s demise. When an eclipse coincided with the death of Ibrahim, people started suggesting that the two events were related. However, Muhammad (PBUH) denounced such claims and deemed them foolish. Eclipses are an occurrence in nature and cannot be attributed to things like deaths or births of people.
Furthermore, the author states how the Prophet’s (PBUH) death resulted in chaos. Abu Bakr (RA) nullified the danger of the Prophet (PBUH) being deified by giving a supremely honorable speech. He reminded the believers that if anyone worshipped Muhammad (PBUH), he has perished. However, if one worshipped God, His presence is eternal.
What Mahatma Gandhi said about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
“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…”
Gandhi was certain that the Prophet (PBUH) had not spread Islam by the sword. In fact, it was the great simplicity and humility of the Prophet (PBUH), his meticulous respect for his promises, his bravery, and his complete trust in God and his own task as a Prophet. These were the qualities that drove everything and overcame all hindrances. After finishing the second volume of the Prophet’s (PBUH) biography, Gandhi was sorry there was nothing further for him to read about the wonderful life of the Prophet (PBUH).