What they said about Muhammad
(May Allah exalt his Mention)
Encyclopedia Britannica confirms: "...a mass of detail in the early sources shows 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)
George Bernard Shaw said about him: "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 much needed peace and happiness". (The Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol.1, No.8, 1936)
Lamartine, 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 THAN HE?"
(Lamartine, Historire de la Turquie, Paris, 1854, Vol. II pp. 276-277)
Mahatma Gandhi, speaking on the character of Muhammad (PBUH) says in 'YOUNG INDIA': "I wanted to know the best of one who holds today 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 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 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
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, 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 have 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)
Speaking on the aspect of equality before God in Islam, 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 Professor 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 (PBUH) accomplished. And all his striving was for the sole purpose of uniting mankind for the worship of One God on the codes of moral excellence. Muhammad (PBUH) 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.
Michael H. Hart, in his book on 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)
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." Professor Ramakrishna Rao 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."