He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
without Pope’s pretensions, Caesar without the legions
of Caesar: without a standing army, without a
“...Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of
bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue;
if ever any man had the right to say that
rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and
he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammad,
of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which
for he had all the power without its instruments
human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”
and without its supports.”
Lamartine, Histoire de la Turquie, Paris 1854
Bosworth Smifu, Mohammad and
During the centuries of the crusades, all sorts of
seen discussing the principles of metaphysics, ethics,
Mohammadanism, London 1874, p. 92.
slanders were invented against the Prophet
law, politics, economics or sociology. No doubt he
Muhammad (p)1. However, with the birth of the
possessed an excellent character and charming
modern age, marked with religious tolerance and
manners and was known to be highly cultured. Yet
freedom of thought, there has been a great change in
there was nothing so deeply striking and so radically
the approach of Western authors in their delineation of
extraordinary in him that would make men expect
his life and character.
something great and revolutionary from him in the
future. But when he came out of the Cave of Hira, with
The West, however, has yet to go a step forward to
a new message, he was completely transformed. “Is it
discover the greatest reality about Muhammad (p);
possible for a person known to possess an upright and
that is his being the true and the last Prophet of God
unblemished character, to suddenly turn ‘an impostor’
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for all humanity.
and claim to be the Prophet of God?”. It is well known
that his claim invited the rage of his people, and
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Muhammad Despite all its objectivity and enlightenment,there has marked the beginning of a long,arduous struggle.
been no sincere and objective attempt by the West to
understand the Prophethood of Muhammad (p). It is
One might ask: “for what reason did he suffer all those
so strange that very glowing tributes are paid to him
hardships?” His people offered to accept him as their
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peace be upon him
for his integrity and achievement but his claim of being
King and to lay all the riches of the land at his feet if
the Prophet of God is rejected explicitly or implicitly.
only he would leave the preaching of his message. But
It is here that a searching of the heart is required, and
he turned down their alluring offers and continued to
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a review of the so-called objectivity is needed. The
preach in the face of insults, social boycott and even
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following glaring facts from the life of Muhammad (p)
physical assault. Furthermore, had he come with a
1 . 8 7 7 . W H Y. I S L A M
have been furnished to facilitate an unbiased, logical
design of rivalry with the Christians and the Jews, why
w w w. w h y i s l a m . o r g
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and objective decision regarding his Prophethood.
should he have believed in Jesus Christ and Moses and
other Prophets of God (peace be upon them), which is
Up to the age of forty, Muhammad (p) was not known
a basic requirement of faith without which no one
A N I C N A P R O J E C T
as a statesman, a preacher or an orator. He was never
could be a Muslim?
born about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that
Muhammad: the final Prophet for Mankind
“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and
worshiped idols. Orphaned at birth, he was always
astounding results are the three criteria of human
particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the
genius, who could dare to compare any great man in
It is well known that Muhammad (p) was unlettered and had led a very uneventful life before he announced his
widow and the orphan, the slave and the downtrodden.
modern history with Muhammad? The most famous
mission to the world at the age of forty. Is it not an incontrovertible proof of his Prophethood, that despite being
At twenty he was already a successful businessman, and
men created arms, laws and empires only.They found-
unlettered, all of Arabia stood in awe and wonder when he began preaching his message, and was bewitched by the
soon became director of camel caravans for a wealthy
ed, if anything at all, no more than material powers
wonderful eloquence of his message?
widow. When he reached twenty-five his employer,
which often crumbled away before their eyes.This man
recognizing his merit, proposed marriage. Even though
moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples
The whole legion of Arab poets, preachers and orators of the highest caliber failed to bring forth the equivalent of the
she was fifteen years older, he married her, and as long
and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the
Qur’an, which remains inimitable to this day. And above all, how could he then pronounce truths of scientific
as she lived remained a devoted husband.
then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved
nature contained in the Qur’an that no human being could possibly have discovered at that time?
the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs
Like almost every major prophet before him,
and souls... His forbearance in victory, his ambition,
Last, but not the least, why did he lead a hard life even after gaining power and authority? The words he uttered
Muhammad fought shy of serving as the transmitter of
which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no man-
while dying were: “We the community of the Prophets are not inherited. Whatever we leave is for charity.” As a
God’s word, sensing his own inadequacy. But the angel
ner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mys-
commanded ‘Read’. So far as we know, Muhammad
matter of fact, Muhammad (p), is the last link of Prophets sent in different lands and times since the beginning of
tic conversations with God, his death and his triumph
was unable to read or write, but he began to dictate
after death; all these attest not to an impostor but to a
the human life on earth.
those inspired words which would soon revolutionize a
firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a
large segment of the earth; “There is one God”.
dogma.This dogma was twofold, the unity of God and
Medina is preserved, after the revolutions of twelve centuries
may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read
the immateriality of God; the former telling what God
by the Indian, the African and the Turkish proselytes of the
them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for
In all things Muhammad was profoundly practical.
is, the latter telling what God is not; the one over-
Koran... The Mahometans have uniformly withstood the
that mighty Arabian teacher. ”
When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse
throwing false gods with the sword, the other starting
temptation of reducing the object of their faith and devotion
occurred, and rumors of God’s personal condolence
an idea with the words.
to a level with the senses and imagination of man.‘I believe in
Annie Besant,The Life and
quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad is said to have
One God and Mahomet the Apostle of God’, is the simple and
Teachings of Muhammad, Madras 1932, p.4.
announced,‘An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is
Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, con-
invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the
foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of
queror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult
Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honors
a human being’.
without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial
of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human
“His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the
empires and of one spiritual empire, that is
virtue; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of
high moral character of the men who believed in him and
At Muhammad’s own death an attempt was made to
Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human
his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion. ”
looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate
deify him, but the man who was to become his admin-
greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there
achievement all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose
istrative successor killed the hysteria with one of the
any man greater than he? ”
Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay, History
Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves.
noblest speeches in religious history: ‘If there are any
of the Saracen Empire, London 1870, p. 54.
Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly
among you who worshiped Muhammad, he is dead.
Lamartine, Histoire de la Turquie,
appreciated in the West as Muhammad.”
But if it is God you worshiped, He lives forever’.
Paris 1854,Vol. II, pp. 276-77.
“It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and
James A. Michener, ‘Islam The Misunderstood
character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he
Mohammad at Mecca, Oxford, 1953, p. 52.
Religion’, In the Reader’s Digest (American
“It is not the propagation but the permanency of his
taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that
Edition) for May 1955, pp. 68-70.
religion that deserves our wonder; the same pure and
mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme.
perfect impression that he engraved at Mecca and
And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which
“Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was
1. (p) here stands for “peace be upon him”