Prophet Site > Perceptions of the Prophet > Non-Muslims > Non-Muslims fair statements >

Do You Know This Personality?

Wednesday 07/07/2010

 

Quotations from Non-Muslim sources about Prophet Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )
 
Prophet Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was a mercy to all human beings, regardless of their religious background. We, as his followers, must live and spread this message today at a time when hatefulness and ugliness towards each other has become the norm.
 
What follows are statements of the world renowned personalities about the Prophet Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), like Sir George Bernard Shaw, Michael H. Hart, the Encyclopedia Britannica, Thomas Carlyle, Mahatma Gandhi, Lamar Tine and Prof. Rama Krishna Rao etc.
 
ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA confirms:
".... A mass of detail in the early sources show that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest and upright men." (Vol. 12)
 
Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.
 
"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."
 
"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."
 
"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 the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today." 
 
He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.
 
His name was Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and he was born in Arabia in the year 570 CE. (Christian era), began his mission of preaching the religion of Truth, Islam – the submission to the One God at the age of forty and departed from this world at the age of sixty-three.
 
During this short period of 23 years of his Prophethood, he changed the complete Arabian peninsula from paganism and idolatry to worship of the One God, from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion, from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety, from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living, from utter bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since - and imagine all these unbelievable wonders in just over two decades!
 
MICHAEL H. HART, in his book on the ratings of men 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." (M.H. Hart, THE 100: A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY, New York, 1978, p. 33)
 
Lamar Tine, the renowned historian speaking on the essentials of human greatness wonders:
 
"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, legislation, 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 souls.... his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was two-fold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with the words.”
 
"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 then he?"
(Lamar tine, HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp 276-277)
 
The world has had its share of great personalities. But these were one-sided figures who distinguished themselves in but one or two fields, such as religious thought or military leadership. The lives and teachings of these great personalities of the world are shrouded in the mist of time. There is so much speculation about the time and place of their birth, the mode and style of their life, the nature and detail of their teachings and the degree and measure of their success or failure that it is impossible for humanity to reconstruct accurately the lives and teachings of these men.
 
Not so this man. Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), accomplished so much in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior in the fullest blaze of human history. Every detail of his private life and public utterances has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticities of the record so preserved are vouched for not only by the faithful followers but also even by his prejudiced critics.
 
Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father - all in one. No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these different aspects of life - but it was only for the selfless personality of Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), to achieve such incredible perfections.
 
Mahatma Gandhi speaking on the character of Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), says in Young India:
 
"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."
 
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…"
 
"The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) 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."
 
Diwan Chand Sharma wrote:
"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)
 
Edward Gibbon and Simon Ockley speaking on the profession of Islam write:
 
"’I believe in one god and Mahomet, an 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 honor of the Prophet has 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)
 
Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was nothing more or less than a human being. But he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of the one and only God and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, 'A Servant and Messenger of God,' and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.
 
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)
 
In the words of Prof. 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."
 
The world has not hesitated to raise to divinity, individuals whose lives and missions have been lost in legend. Historically speaking, none of these legends achieved even a fraction of what Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), accomplished. And all his striving was for the sole purpose of uniting mankind for the worship of the One God on the codes of moral excellence. Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), or his followers never at any time claimed that he was a son of God or the God-incarnate or a man with divinity - but he always was and is even today considered as only a Messenger chosen by God.
 
K. S. Ramakrishna Rao, an Indian Professor of Philosophy in his booklet, "Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam," calls him the "Perfect model for human life."
The Professor explains his point by saying:
"The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes! There is Muhammad, the Prophet. There is Muhammad, the Warrior; Muhammad, the Businessman; 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. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero."
 
Today after a lapse of fourteen centuries, the life and teachings of Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. They offer the same undying hope for treating mankind's many ills, which they did when he was alive. This is not a claim of Muhammad's followers but also the inescapable conclusion forced upon by a critical and unbiased history.
 
The least you could do, as Muslims or non-Muslims, as thinking and concerned human beings, is to stop for a moment and ask yourself: These statements/comments sounding so extraordinary and revolutionary come from renowned and intellectually honest and internationally recognized persons of their times who were not Muslim. Isn't it time for all Muslims and non Muslims to respond to this tremendous challenge and put in some effort to know him, follow him and emulate him in our day to day life? It will cost us nothing, but it may prove to be the beginning of a completely new era in our lives.
 
 
 
Non –Muslim Western Scholars Quotes on the Prophet
 
In the quotations below, Western writers have used the word Muhammadanism for Islam. The word Muhammadanism connotes worship of Muhammad, an absolutely unworthy statement for any learned man to use. Prophet Muhammad's mission was to propagate the worship of the One and Only God (in Arabic Allah), the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. His mission was essentially the same as that of earlier Prophets of God In the historical context, many such terminologies about Muhammad, Islam, and Muslims were borrowed from earlier European writings of the Eleventh to the Nineteenth century, a time when ignorance and prejudice prevailed. The quotations below attest to the facts.

Thomas Carlyle in 'Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History,' 1840

 

 
"The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) 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."
 

 

 

 
“The picture of the Muslim soldier advancing with a sword in one hand and the Quran in the other is quite false.”
 

 

 

 
“History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
"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 Quran....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.”
 

 

 

 
“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...”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
"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.”
 

 

 

 
“Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this term considered etymologically and historically….the teachings of the Prophet, the Qur’an has invariably kept its place as the fundamental starting point, and the dogma of unity of God has always been proclaimed therein with a grandeur a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam….A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and consequently so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the consciences of men.”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
"Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions which had been imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God's name, Persia Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul.”
 
"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? 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, 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 which has become law, he created aspiritual nationality which blend together peoples of every tongue and race. He has left the indelible characteristic of this Muslim nationality the hatred of false gods and the passion for the One and Immaterial God. This avenging patriotism against the profanation of Heaven formed the virtue of the followers of Muhammad; the conquest of one-third the earth to the dogma was his miracle; or rather it was not the miracle of man but that of reason.”
 
"The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of the fabulous theogonies, was in itself such a miracle that upon it's utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols and set on fire one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, his heroic revelings against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for fifteen years in Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen: all these and finally, his flight his incessant preaching, his wars against odds, his faith in his success and his superhuman security in misfortune, his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.”
 
"Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas, Restorer of Rational beliefs.... The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?"
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."
 
“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 for from being an anti-Christ, 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 the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”
 

 

 

 
“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 history."
 

 

 

 
“Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born in Mecca, in Arabia, the man who, of all men, has 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.”
 

 

 

 
“Judged by the smallness of the means at his disposal, and the extent and permanence of the work that he accomplished, his name in world's history shines with a more specious lustre than that of the Prophet of Makkah. To the impulse which he gave numberless dynasties have owed their existence, fair cities and stately palaces and temples have arisen, and wide provinces became obedient to the Faith. And beyond all this, his words have governed the belief of generations, been accepted as their rule of life, and their certain guide to the world to come. At a thousand shrines the voices of the faithful invoke blessings on him, whom they esteem the very Prophet of God, the seal of the Apostles.... Judged by the standards to human renown, the glory of what mortal can compare with his?”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
“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.”
 

 

 

 
“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 for selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power he maintained the same simplicity of manners and appearance as in the days of his adversity. So far from affecting a regal state, he was displeased if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonials of respect were shown to him. If he aimed at a universal dominion, it was the dominion of faith; as to the temporal rule which grew up in his hands, as he used it without ostentation, so he took no step to perpetuate it in his family.”
 

 

 

 
"No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam. The West has widely believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts this idea, and the Quran is explicit in the support of the freedom of conscience."
 
"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 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. 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 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 for ever.'”
 

 

 

 
“Incidentally these well-established facts dispose of the idea so widely fostered in Christian writings that the Muslims, wherever they went, forced people to accept Islam at the point of the sword.”
 

 

 

 
“My problem to write this monograph is easier, because we are not generally fed now on that (distorted) kind of history and much time need not be spent on pointing out our misrepresentations of Islam. The theory of Islam and sword, for instance, is not heard now in any quarter worth the name. The principle of Islam that “there is no compulsion in religion” is well known.”
 

 

 

 
“Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Mohammad, who combined all the three functions. To a lesser degree Moses did the same.”
 
 
-H. E. E. Hayes “Mohammed, The Prophet of Islam”
“The general who is able to persuade his forces that there is victory, even where there seems to be defeat, is one who will inspire them to fight against apparently impossible odds. They will, indeed, never suffer defeat, but will fight on until annihilated by capture or death. The secret of success even in the more pacific engagements of life lies in this principle—to be undaunted in ardour, in spite of failure; to recognise in failure a step towards ultimate success. Let a man be possessed with these, and victory is within his grasp, whether he recognises it or not.
 
QUOTATIONS THE PROPHET BY THE NON-MUSLIMS
 
"Muhammed is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities."  Encyclopedia Britannica
 
"The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammed. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?"Lamartine, Historie de la Turquie, Paris 1854, Vol. 11 pp. 276-277
 
"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 for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour 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 the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today."

George Bernard Shaw, The genuine Islam. 
 
"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 level." 
Michael H. Hart, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons In History, New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc., 1978, p. 33.
 
"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 Austin, Muhammad the Prophet of Allahin T.P.'s and Cassel's Weekly for 24th September 1927.
 
"Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born at Mecca, in Arabia the man who, of all men exercised the greatest influence upon the human race... Mohammed" John William Draper, M.D., L.L.D., A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, London 1875, Vol.1, pp.329-330.
 
"Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him." Diwan Chand Sharma, The Prophets of the East, Calcutta 1935, p. l 22.
 
"People like Pasteur and Salk are leaders in the first sense. People like Gandhi and Confucius, on one hand, and Alexander, Caesar and Hitler on the other, are leaders in the second and perhaps the third sense.
Jesus and Buddha belong in the third category alone. Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Mohammed, who combined all three functions. To a lesser degree, Moses did the same."
 Professor Jules Masserman
 
"He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope's pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, 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 Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports." Bosworth Smith, Mohammad and Mohammadanism, London, 1874, p. 92.
 
"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 Besant, THE
LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF MUHAMMAD, Madras, 1932, p. 4.
 
SOME MORE QUOTATIONS
 
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.”
Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in 'Young India,'1924:
 
“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...”
Lane-Poole in 'Speeches and Table Talk of the Prophet Muhammad':
 
“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.”
 Washington Irving in 'Life of Muhammad,' New York, 1920:
 
“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 for ever'.”
James Michener in ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,’ Reader’s Digest, May 1955, pp. 68-70:
 
“Incidentally these well-established facts dispose of the idea so widely
fostered in Christian writings that the Muslims, wherever they went, forced people to accept Islam at the point of the sword.”
Lawrence E. Browne in ‘The Prospects of Islam,’ 1944:
 
"During all the first part of the Middle Ages, no other people made as important a contribution to human progress as did the Arabs, if we take this term to mean all those whose mother-tongue was Arabic, and not merely those living in the Arabian peninsula. For centuries, Arabic was the language of learning, culture and intellectual progress for the whole of the civilized world with the exception of the Far East. From the IXth to the XIIth century there were more philosophical, medical, historical, religiuos, astronomical and geographical works written in Arabic than in any other human tongue."
Phillip Hitti in 'Short History of the Arabs:
 
"Despite the growth of antagonism, Moslem (Muslim) rulers seldom made their Christian subjects suffer for the Crusades. When the Saracens finally resumed the full control of Palestine the Christians were given their former status as dhimmis. The Coptic Church, too had little cause for complaint under Saladin's (Salahuddin) strong government, and during the time of the earlier Mameluke sultans who succeeded him the Copts experienced more enlightened justice than they had hitherto known. The only effect of the Crusaders upon Egyptian Christians was to keep them for a while from pilgrimage to Jerusalem, for as long as the Frank were in charge heretics were forbidden access to the shrines. Not until the Moslem victories could they enjoy their rights as Christians."
James Addison in 'The Christian Approach to the Moslem,' p. 35.

 


Jules Masserman in 'Who Were Histories Great Leaders?' in TIME Magazine, July 15, 1974

 


K. S. Ramakrishna Rao in 'Mohammed: The Prophet of Islam,' 1989

 


Lawrence E. Browne in ‘The Prospects of Islam,’ 1944

 


James Michener in ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,’ Reader’s Digest, May 1955, pp. 68-70.

 


Washington Irving 'Mahomet and His Successors'

 


D. G. Hogarth in 'Arabia'

 


W. Montgomery Watt in 'Muhammad at Mecca,' Oxford, 1953.

 


Rodwell in the Preface to his translation of the Holy Quran

 


Stanley Lane-Poole in 'Studies in a Mosque'

 


Philip K. Hitti in 'History of the Arabs'

 


Charles Stuart Mills in 'History of Mohammadanism'

 


Arthur Glyn Leonard in 'Islam, Her Moral and Spiritual Values'

 


Washington Irving in 'Life of Muhammad,' New York, 1920.

 


J.W.H. Stab in 'Islam and its Founder'

 


Dr. William Draper in 'History of Intellectual Development of Europe'

 


Michael Hart in 'The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons In History,' New York, 1978.

 


Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.

 


Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in 'Young India,'1924.

 


Alphonse de LaMartaine in 'Historie de la Turquie,' Paris, 1854.

 


Dr. Gustav Weil in ‘History of the Islamic Peoples’

 


Edward Montet, ‘La Propagande Chretienne et ses Adversaries Musulmans,’ Paris 1890. (Also in T.W. Arnold in ‘The Preaching of Islam,’ London 1913.)

 


Reverend Bosworth Smith in 'Muhammad and Muhammadanism,' London, 1874.

 


W.C. Taylor in 'The History of Muhammadanism and its Sects'

 


Annie Besant in 'The Life and Teachings of Mohammad,' Madras, 1932.

 


Lane-Poole in 'Speeches and Table Talk of the Prophet Muhammad'

 


Edward Gibbon and Simon Oakley in ‘History of the Saracen Empire,’ London, 1870

 


Gibbon in 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' 1823

 


De Lacy O'Leary in 'Islam at the Crossroads,' London, 1923.

 


A. S. Tritton in 'Islam,' 1951

 

Related Articles

All rights reserved to IslamWeb. © 2011