Abdul Rasool Syed
MUHAMMAD (SAW), the last prophet of Allah is, for sure,
an unparalleled inspiration for the entire humanity. His inde
fatigable struggle, despite all trials and tribulations, to enlighten the mankind about the true faith deserves heartfelt gratitude, homage and recognition. Indubitably, He was a man of impeccable character; compassion, sympathy, philanthropy, tolerance, chivalry and forgiveness. For his unprecedented and highly praise-worthy attributes, he was not only adored and venerated by his followers but also by the people hailing from different faiths. This piece is aimed at highlighting the tributes paid by different non-Muslim scholars to Prophet Mohammad (SAW). Michael Hart, a celebrated non-Muslim author writes in his famous book “A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History,’ New York, 1978.” “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 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”.
Another noted western scholar, George Bernard Shaw, while commenting on charismatic personality of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAW) and his true faith opines in his famous work ‘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 of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capability to the changing phases of existence which can make itself appeal to everyone. I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of today. The medieval ecclesiastics either through ignorance or bigotry painted Islam in the darkest colours. They were, in fact, trained to hate the man Muhammad and his religion. To them, Muhammad was anti-Christ. I have studied him, the wonderful man, and in my opinion, far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the saviour of humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring the much needed peace and happiness. But to proceed, it was in the 19th Century that honest thinkers like Carlyle, Gibbon and Goethe perceived intrinsic worth in the religion of Muhammad, already, even, at the present time many of our people have gone to his faith, and Islamisation of Europe may be said to have begun”
Mahatma Gandhi, an illustrious personage of Indian-subcontinent states in ‘Young India,’ published in 1924, ”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”. Edward Gibbon and Simon Oakley in ‘History of the Saracen Empire, London, 1870 pay tributes to Prophet Mohammad (SAW) in following golden words, “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 Koran. The Mohammadans 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 Mohammad, 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 honours 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.”
Dr Keith L Moore Professor Emeritus, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto, Canada, a big name in biological sciences, affirms the Prophethood of Mohammad (SAW) in following historic words: “It has been a great pleasure for me to clarify statements in the Qur’an about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, because most of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God” Finally, Gibbon, a famous men of letter from the West in his popular book “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” 1823, remembers Mohammad (SAW) in following account of appreciation, “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”…
Abdul Rasool Syed