Many years ago, I read a brief note in a newspaper on Arnold Toynbee’s A Study of History. The note commented that the famous British historian had presented a unique philosophy of history based on the analysis of the development and decline of many civilizations of the world. Toynbee’s critical and philosophical Study, a voluminous work, also contained his understanding of the historical role of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (May peace and blessing of God be on him). Toynbee asserted that the Prophet of Islam discharged his sublime and purely prophetic duties in Makkah but after Hijra he abandoned his prophetic mission in Madinahh and his spirit succumbed to secular temptation of becoming a political monarch, being an Arabian Caesar. That note pertaining to Toynbee’s unfounded and utterly false allegations against the noble person of the Holy Prophet of Islam got stuck in my mind and I decided to refute it whenever God granted me an opportunity.
Over the years I remained busy in preaching and administrative activities Of the Jamaat, but Toynbee’s criticism did not leave my mind, and my determination to write a convincing rebuttal did not diminish – rather it continued to gain strength. For the last four or five years, after retirement from Jamaat’s active duties I remained engaged in several religious assignments of my own: A translation in Sawahili of the voluminous book Riyadh as-Salihin of Imam Nawawi was done, and its publication completed. Moreover, Words of Wisdom and Purification – a 200 page book containing basic knowledge of Islam was also translated in Swahili. Similarly, several miscellaneous tasks were assigned to me by the Jamaat and I took them as God’s favor to me and completed them in a spirit of gratitude. Then God the Exalted granted me the needed time, to fulfill my old desire to write a satisfactory response to Toynbee’s critical, exaggerated and unrealistic account of the Holy Prophet in the light of historical facts and findings of other eminent scholars and orientalists. All praise is due to Allah.
This book was originally written in Urdu and published in the weekly, “Lahore”, in four installments. For its English rendering, review and editing I would like to express my sincere thanks to a few friends. I am grateful to Mubasher Ahmad, M.A., LL.B., Regional missionary of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in the United States, for his review of the original manuscript in Urdu, its English translation and discussing with me some aspects of the subject. I owe a special debt to Dr. Waseem Ahmad Sayed for the English translation and to Sister Shakoora Nooria for editing the English draft. Above all, I am very grateful to Sahibzada Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad Sahib, the Amir of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, U.S.A. for his careful review of this book, wards of encouragement valuable suggestions and agreeing to write the foreword for this book. May Allah reward them all abundantly for their sincere help. May Allah accept my humble effort and establish the dignity, grandeur and understanding of the true exalted status of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be on him)
Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad
Jan. 30, 1996
Ramazan-ul-Mubarik 8, 1416.