What Great People said about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)?

Posted: June 15, 2013 in Islam, Prophet
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Some of the famous people in history who read the biography of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, could not help but admit that he was a master with excellent manners and an honorable character, and the following are some of their sayings:

Michael Hart , author of ‘The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History’ said:
“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.”

George Bernard Shaw, the British playwright said:
“The world is in dire need of a man with the mind of Muhammad; religious people in the Middle Ages, due to their ignorance and prejudice, had pictured him in a very dark way as they used to consider him the enemy of Christianity. But after looking into the story of this man I found it to be an amazing and a miraculous one, and I came to the conclusion that he was never an enemy of Christianity, and must be called instead the savior of humanity. In my opinion, if he was to be given control over the world today, he would solve our problems and secure the peace and happiness which the world is longing for.”

Annie Besant, wrote in ‘The Life and Teachings of Muhammad’ :
“It is impossible for anyone who studies the personality of the great Prophet of the Arabs, and come to know how this prophet he used to live, and how he taught the people, but to feel respect towards this honorable prophet; one of the great messengers whom Allaah sent”

Alphonse de La Martaine wrote in ‘Historie de la Turquie’:
“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. 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?”

J.W.H. Stab wrote in ‘Islam and its Founder ’ :
“ Judged by the smallness of the means at his disposal, and the extent and permanence of the work that he accomplished, no name in world’s history shines with a more specious luster 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?”

Dr. Gustav Weil writes in ‘History of the Islamic Peoples ’:
“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.”

The British philosopher, Thomas Carlyle, who won the Nobel Prize for his book ‘The Heroes’ wrote:
“It is a great shame for any one to listen to the accusation that Islaam is a lie and that Muhammad was a fabricator and a deceiver. We saw that he remained steadfast upon his principles, with firm determination; kind and generous, compassionate, pious, virtuous, with real manhood, hardworking and sincere. Besides all these qualities, he was lenient with others, tolerant, kind, cheerful and praiseworthy and perhaps he would joke and tease his companions. He was just, truthful, smart, pure, magnanimous and present-minded; his face was radiant as if he had lights within him to illuminate the darkest of nights; he was a great man by nature who was not educated in a school nor nurtured by a teacher as he was not in need of any of this.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the German writer said:
“Us, Europeans, with all our concepts could not reach what Muhammad has reached, and no one will be able to precede him. I have looked in the history of humanity for an example and found that it was Muhammad, as the truth must be revealed. Indeed, Muhammad succeeded to subdue the entire world to monotheism”.

Annie Besant, The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras 1932, p. 4:
“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.”

James A. Michener, ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion’ in Reader’s Digest (American Edition), May 1955, pp. 68-70:
“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. 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 worshipped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you worshipped, He lives forever.'”

Thomas Caryle – Heros and Heros Worship
“…The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammed) are disgraceful to ourselves only…How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades….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.”

Stanley Lane-Poole – Table Talk of the Prophet
“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…”

George Bernard Shaw – The Genuine Islam Vol.No.8, 1936.
“I believe 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 much needed peace and happiness.
I have studied him – the man and in my opinion is far from being an anti–Christ. He must be called the Savior of Humanity.
I have prophesied about the faith of Mohammad that it would be acceptable the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”

Stanley Lane-Poole, in his work, “The Speeches and Table Talk of the Prophet Mohammad” adds:
“The day of Mohammad’s greatest triumph over his enemies was also the day of his grandest victory over himself. He freely forgave the Koraysh all the years of sorrow and cruel scorn in which they had afflicted him and gave an amnesty to the whole population of Makkah. Four criminals whom justice condemned made up Mohammad’s proscription list, when he entered as a conqueror to the city of his bitterest enemies. The army followed his example, and entered quietly and peacefully; no house was robbed, no women insulted. One thing alone suffered destruction. Going to the Kaaba, Mohammad stood before each of the three hundred and sixty idols, and pointed to it with his staff, saying, ‘Truth has come and falsehood has fled away!’ and at these words his attendants hewed them down, and all the idols and household gods of Makkah and round about were destroyed. It was thus Mohammad entered again his native city, Through all the annals of conquest there is no triumphant entry comparable to this one.”

John Davenport, in “An Apology for Mohammad and the Koran” states:
“With all that simplicity which is so natural to a great mind, he performed the humblest offices whose homeliness it would be idle to conceal with pompous diction; even while Lord of Arabia, he mended his own shoes and coarse woolen garments. milked the ewes, swept the hearth, and kindled the fire. Dates and water were his usual fare and milk and honey his luxuries. When he traveled he divided his morsel with the servant. The sincerity of his exhortations to benevolence was justified at his death by the exhausted state of his coffers”

K. S. Ramakrishna Rao in his book ‘Mohammed: The Prophet of Islam’ writes:
“The personality of Muhammad is most difficult to get the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of him I can catch. What dramatic succession of picturesque scenes? There is Muhammad the Prophet; there is Muhammad the General; Muhammad the King; Muhammad the Warrior; Muhammad the Businessman; Muhammad the Preacher; Muhammad the Philosopher; 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… In all these magnificent roles and in all these departments of human activities he is equally a hero.”

Mahatma Gandhi, speaking on the character of Muhammad said …
“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.” [Young India]

Sources:

  • http://www.online-literature.com
  • http://www.islamicity.com
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