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What Western Scholars Say about the Prophet -II

Wednesday 04/01/2012

Mentioning these accounts has several benefits:


First: These scholars hold a high position in their society, and their opinions carry considerable weight among their people. Hence, these words may lead many of their own people to Islam, because people in the West may have psychological barriers preventing them from reading translations of the Quran or interpretations of its meanings, as they may shun or turn away from hearing even a word from Islamic sources. However, if they hear the words of these eminent scholars, they might listen to them carefully, open their hearts to what they have to say, remove the psychological barriers they have, and start looking objectively at Islamic sources including the Quran, the Sunnah (Prophetic tradition), the translation of both, and the sayings of Muslim scholars. Thus, it is clear, that such testimonials are a great benefit for Da'wah (Islamic call) as we surely want people in the West to learn about our religion and give it unbiased consideration, so that "the one who perishes might perish by a clear proof and he who survives might survive by a clear proof". We are interested in guiding them in keeping with the recommendation of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), in his Hadeeth (narration): "If Allah guides one person through you is better for you than possessing the best (i.e. most valuable) types of camels".


Second: The people issuing these testimonials are truthful, and as such, should be made public whether they are Muslim or a non-Muslim.


Third: These accounts of Western scholars carry a response to those who cherish the West from our co-religionists, who speak our language but have Westernized hearts and minds. Observe these people when they read these testimonials from the Western scholars and how responsive they become. The return of these people to their true religion and innate sound nature is no doubt so important to us that we publicize these testimonials and publish them.


Fourth: If people listen to what Muslims say about their religion and their Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), they might think that such testimonials are caused by their love for their religion. However, when the testimonials of Western scholars come to them, perhaps they would concede to the truth.


Fifth: The discourse of these Western scholars encompasses some good ideas, particularly since they are well-versed with their own problems and the problems of  modern culture. They are constantly searching, through the biography and personality of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), to find  solutions to these problems. Thus, we can find in their writings some good statements clarifying the fact that the religion of Islam is the only appropriate solution for such cultural dilemmas.


They are also fully aware of the state of ignorance to which they belong. This awareness leads them to compare, in their discourse, between the culture, beliefs, and problems of their society, and what has been brought by the religion of Allah The Almighty and the words, actions and attitudes of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). In most cases, Western scholars are knowledgeable of the Christian and the Jewish faiths, and perhaps even some other religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. This knowledge makes them compare these religions with Islam, and they realize the reality of these religions and the human intervention and distortion within it. In short, Western scholars focus more on the doctrinal, ethical and cultural aspects of Islam in addition to comparative religion, and all these issues highlight the impressive aspects of the true religion.


Let us take a look at what Sir George Bernard Shaw, a great English writer, said about Prophet Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )


 I believe that if a man like him were to rule the modern world, he would succeed in solving the problems in a way that would bring the much needed peace and happiness.  Europe is beginning to be enamored of the creed of Muhammad. In the next century it may go further in recognizing the utility of that creed in solving its problems.


Sixth: The testimonials of these Western scholars, and their love for the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), may spark protective zeal in the hearts of the lethargic Muslims who profess helplessness in defending their religion and Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and it may awaken their pride and love for him. By publicizing the words of these scholars, we want to implicitly say to the Muslims, "O you, the followers of this religion: where are your speeches, defence, and love for your religion, in comparison to what the non-Muslims have said or how the disbelievers defended it? Where are the Muslims? Where are the believers?"


Seventh: By spreading the words of these scholars to the public, we encourage them and others to show the good aspects they have discovered in Islam. Moreover, if they find that Muslims do not pay the slightest attention to their words, it will probably be frustrating and dispiriting for them, especially since they are severely blamed by their own people. So, at the very least, we should reward them by publishing and highlighting their words, remembering the commandment of Allah The Almighty (which means): {"And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression."} [Quran, 5: 2]


Before mentioning their words, we would like to draw the reader's attention to the possibility of finding some phrases in their discourse which are unacceptable in Islam. However, they are expressed due to their inadequate understanding of Islam. Besides, their statements may also be characterized by a lack of accuracy, especially when they talk about Allah The Almighty, or the master of the sons of Adam,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). For instance, it may happen that some of them praise the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), claiming – or mistakenly thinking -- that he is the author of the Quran or the legislator of Islamic laws. Thus, stating such words does not indicate, by any means, that we accept them in entirety, but we agree upon what corresponds with our doctrine, and deny what contradicts it. We might comment on some of these mistakes, or we might mention a comment by some other Muslim scholars.However, this does not mean that we will track all their writings word by word, as it will be difficult to do so. Moreover, there words are generally true, and this is enough, as the main aim is to extract the testimonials of those scholars about the authenticity and truthfulness of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and his Message.


What Western Scholars Say about the Prophet -I


What Western Scholars Say about the Prophet -III

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