The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) stated: ‘If one has knowledge of the life experiences of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and is fully aware what was the condition of the world at the time and upon coming what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) did, one calls out in a trance-like state ‘O Allah bless Muhammad’. I say most truthfully, it is not mere thought and imagination, the Holy Qur’an and world history fully bear testimony to what the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) did. Otherwise why would it have been stated exclusively for him: ‘Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! you also should invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace.’ (33:57). Such a call was not made for any other Prophet. The only man who came to this world with complete success and complete conciliation was him; who was called Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
It is evident from this verse that the pious practices of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) were such that Allah the Exalted did not specify any word to praise them or quantify his attributes. Words would have been found but they were not used. That is to say, praise of his pious practices was immeasurable. A verse such as this has not been stated in the glory of any other Prophet. His soul was so pure and honest and his practices were liked by God to such an extent that Allah the Exalted gave the perpetual commandment that in future people should invoke blessings on him as a mark of gratefulness.’
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said it is a believer’s task to read the teaching brought by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and to note his blessed model and when trying to put it in practice, also invoke blessings (Durud) on him in gratefulness of the tremendous favour of this benefactor of mankind. He guided us to the way that leads to God by showing us practices regarding all aspects of life. He showed us the standards of worship of God and generated the perception of service to mankind in believers. All this demands that while invoking blessings and salutations on him, we make the world aware of this teaching and this blessed model and inform them about his grace and favours. When aspects of his blessed life are put before the outsiders, those with the slightest of fairness in them, cannot help but praise in spite of holding contrary views. Today those who raise objections about him or his teachings are either devoid of fairness or do not know about his blessed life and do not try to know either. It is our task to make the world aware of the blessed life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and for this every medium/resource should be used.
There are some who are so embroiled in the world that they are more influenced by worldly people or are more influenced by their own people rather than hear about the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) from a Muslim. Therefore viewpoints of their own people, writers and scholars, regarding the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) should be taken to such people. Today Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih presented extracts from the writings of such people who were impressed by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and wrote about him. Some of them were opponents but wrote the truth.
Stanley Lane-Poole wrote that it was thus that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) entered again his native city and forgave those who were his blood-thirsty enemies. He writes that through all the annals of conquest there is no triumphant entry comparable to this one.
H. G Wells writes in his book ‘Outline of History’ that those who knew the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) believed in him first and that he was not an imposter. He also wrote: ‘there can be no denying that Islam possesses many fine and noble attributes’ and said that Islam created a: ‘society more free from widespread cruelty and social oppression than any society had ever been in the world before’.
Lieutenant Gen. Sir John Glubb wrote: ‘Whatever opinion the reader may form when he reaches the end of this book, it is difficult to deny that the call of Muhammad seems to bear a striking resemblance to innumerable other accounts of similar visions, both in the Old and New Testaments, and in the experience of Christian saints, possibly also of Hindus and devotees of other religions. Such visions, moreover, have often marked the beginnings of lives of great sanctity and of heroic virtue. To attribute such phenomena to self-delusion scarcely seems an adequate explanation, for they have been experienced by many persons divided from one another by thousands of years of time and by thousands of miles of distance, who cannot conceivably have even heard of each other. Yet the accounts which they give of their visions seem to bear an extraordinary likeness to one another. It scarcely appears reasonable to suggest that all these visionaries "imagined" such strikingly similar experiences, although they were quite ignorant of each other's existence.’
He wrote about the early Muslim migration to Abyssinia: ‘The list seems to have included very nearly all the persons who had accepted Islam and the Messenger of God must have remained with a much reduced group of adherents, among the generally hostile inhabitants of Makkah, a situation which proves him to have possessed a considerable degree of moral courage and conviction.’
John Draper wrote: ‘Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born at Mecca, in Arabia, the man who, of all men has exercised the greatest influence upon the human race Mohammed, by Europeans surnamed “the Impostor." He raised his own nation from Fetichism, the adoration of a meteoric stone, and from the basest idol worship ; he preached a monotheism which quickly scattered to the winds the empty disputes of the Arians and Catholics, and irrevocably wrenched from Christianity more than half, and that by far the best half of her possessions, since it included the Holy Land, the birthplace of our faith, and Africa, which had imparted to it its Latin form. That continent, and a very large part of Asia, after the lapse of more than a thousand years, still remain permanently attached to the Arabian doctrine. With the utmost difficulty, and as if by miracle, Europe itself escaped.
Mohammed possessed that combination of qualities which more than once has decided the fate of empires. A preaching soldier, he was eloquent in the pulpit, & valiant in the field. His theology was simple : " There is but one God." The effeminate Syrian, lost in Monothelite and Monophysite mysteries; the Athanasian and Arian, destined to disappear before his breath, might readily anticipate what he meant. Asserting that everlasting truth, he did not engage in vain metaphysics, but applied himself to improving the social condition of his people by regulations respecting personal cleanliness, sobriety, fasting, prayer. Above all other works he esteemed almsgiving and charity.’(John William Draper, A History of the Intellectual development of Europe’, pp. 329 – 330)
William Montgomery wrote in his book ‘Muhammad at Medina’: ‘The more one reflects on the history of Muhammad and of early Islam, the more one is amazed at the vastness of his achievement. Circumstances presented him with an opportunity such as few men have had, but the man was fully matched with the hour. Had it not been for his gifts as a seer, statesman, and administrator and, behind these, his trust in God and firm belief that God had sent him, a notable chapter in the history of mankind would have remained unwritten. It is my hope that this study of his life may contribute to a fresh appraisal and appreciation of one of the greatest of the sons of Adam.’
Reverent Bosworth Smith wrote: ‘Head of the State as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without the Popes pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a police force, without a fixed revenue. If ever a man ruled by a right divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all the powers without their supports.’ (R. Bosworth Smith ‘Muhammad and Muhammadanism’. Page 262)
“Those who knew him best – his wife, his eccentric slave, his cousin, his earliest friend, he who, as Mohammed said, alone of his converts, “turned not back, neither was perplexed” – were the first to recognize his mission… (R. Bosworth Smith ‘Muhammad and Muhammadanism’. Page 106)
He also wrote: ‘On the whole, the wonder is not how much but how little, under different circumstances, Muhammad differed from himself. In the shepherd of the desert, in the Syrian trader, in the solitary of Mount Hira, in the reformer in the minority of one, in the exile of Madinah, in the acknowledged conqueror, in the equal of the Persian Chosroes and the Greek Heraclius, we can still trace substantial unity. I doubt whether any other man whose external conditions changed so much, ever himself changed less to meet them.’ (R. Bosworth Smith ‘Muhammad and Muhammadanism’. Page 141)
Washington Irving wrote: ‘His military triumphs awakened no pride nor vainglory, as they would have done had they been effected for selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power, he maintained the same simplicity of manners and appearance.’ (Washington Irving, The Life of Mahomet, page 272)
Sir William Muir wrote:
‘Thorough and complete in all his actions, he took in hand His habits no work without bringing it to a close. The same habit pervaded his manner in social intercourse. If he turned in conversation towards a friend, he turned not partially, but with his full face and his whole body. ' In shaking hands, he was not the first to withdraw his own ; nor was he the first to break off in converse with a stranger, nor to turn away his ear.'
‘A patriarchal simplicity pervaded his life. His custom was to do everything for himself. If he gave an alms he would place it with his own hand in that of the petitioner. He aided his wives in their household duties…’ He was to all easy of access—' even as the river's bank to him that draweth water from it,…
Embassies and deputations were received with the utmost courtesy and consideration. In the issue of rescripts bearing on their representations, or in other matters of State, Mohammad displayed all the qualifications of an able and experienced ruler… And what renders this the more strange is that he was never known himself to write’
‘A remarkable feature was the urbanity and consideration with which Mohammad treated even the most insignificant of his followers. Modesty and kindliness, patience, self-denial, and generosity, pervaded his conduct, and riveted the affections of all around him. He disliked to say No. If unable to answer a petitioner in the affirmative, he preferred silence… He was not known ever to refuse an invitation to the house even of the meanest, nor to decline a proffered present however small… He possessed the rare faculty of making each individual in a company think that he was the favoured guest. If he met anyone rejoicing at success he would seize him eagerly and cordially by the hand. With the bereaved and afflicted he sympathised tenderly. Gentle and unbending towards little children, he would not disdain to accost a group of them at play, with the salutation of peace. He shared his food, even in times of scarcity, with others; and was sedulously solicitous for the personal comfort of every one about him. A kindly and benevolent disposition pervades all these illustrations of his character.
Mohammad was also a faithful friend. He loved Abu Bekr with the close affection of a brother; 'Ali with the fond partiality of a father. Zeid, the Christian slave of Khadija, was so strongly attached by the kindness of the Prophet, that he preferred to remain at Mecca rather than return home with his own father : ' I will not leave thee,' he said, clinging to his patron, ' for thou hast been a father and a mother to me.' The friendship of Mohammad survived the death of Zeid, and his son Osama was treated by him with distinguished favour for the father's sake. 'Othman and 'Omar were also the objects of a special attachment; and the enthusiasm with which, at Al-Hodeibiya, the Prophet entered into ' the Pledge of the Tree ' and swore that he would defend his beleaguered son-in-law even to the death, was a signal proof of faithful friendship. Numerous other instances of Mohammad's ardent and unwavering regard might be adduced. And his affections were in no instance misplaced; they were ever reciprocated by a warm and self-sacrificing love.
In the exercise of a power absolutely dictatorial, Mohammad was just and temperate. Nor was he wanting in moderation towards his enemies, when once they had cheerfully submitted to his claims. The long and obstinate struggle against his pretensions maintained by the inhabitants of Mecca might have induced its conqueror to mark his indignation in indelible traces of fire and blood. But Mohammad, excepting a few criminals, granted a universal pardon; and, nobly casting into oblivion the memory of the past, with all its mockery, its affronts and persecution, he treated even the foremost of his opponents with a gracious and even friendly consideration. Not less marked was the forbearance shown to 'Abdallah and the Disaffected citizens of Medina, who for so many years persistently thwarted his designs and resisted his authority, nor the clemency with which he received the submissive advances of tribes that before had been the most hostile, even in the hour of victory.’ (Sir William Muir, ‘The Life of Muhammad’ pp. 511 – 513)
‘It is strongly corroborative of Mohammad's sincerity that the earliest converts to Islam were not only of upright character, but his own bosom friends and people of his household; who, intimately acquainted with his private life, could not fail otherwise to have detected those discrepancies which ever mere or less exist between the professions of the hypocritical deceiver abroad and his actions at home.’ (Sir William Muir, ‘The Life of Muhammad’ p. 55)
Thomas Carlyle wrote: ‘One other circumstance we must not forget: that he had no school learning; of the thing we call school-learning none at all. The art of writing was but just introduced into Arabia; it seems to be the true opinion that Muhammad never could write! Life in the Desert, with its experiences, was all his education. What of this infinite Universe he, from his dim place, with his own eyes and thoughts, could take in, so much and no more of it was he to know. Curious, if we will reflect on it, this of having no books. Except by what he could see for himself, or hear of by uncertain rumour of speech in the obscure Arabian Desert, he could know nothing. The wisdom that had been before him or at a distance from him in the world, was in a manner as good as not there for him. Of the great brother souls, flame beacons through so many lands and times, no one directly communicates with this great soul. He is alone there, deep down in the bosom of the Wilderness; has to grow up so, -- alone with Nature and his own Thoughts.’
He also wrote: ‘How he was placed with Kadijah, a rich Widow, as her steward, and travelled in her business, again to the Fairs of Syria; how he managed all, as one can well understand, with fidelity and adroitness; how her gratitude, her regard for him grew: the story of their marriage is altogether a graceful intelligible one, as told us by the Arab authors. He was twenty five; she forty, though still beautiful. He seems to have lived in a most affectionate, peaceable, wholesome way with this wedded benefactress; loving her truly, and her alone. It goes greatly against the impostor theory, the fact that he lived in this entirely unexceptionable, entirely quiet and commonplace way, till the heat of his years was done.’
Carlyle wrote: ‘Our current hypothesis about Muhammad, that he was a scheming Impostor, a Falsehood incarnate, that his religion is a mere mass of quackery and fatuity, begins really to be now untenable to anyone. The lies, which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man, are disgraceful to ourselves only... It is really time to dismiss all that. The word this man spoke has been the life-guidance now of a hundred and eighty millions of men these twelve hundred years. These hundred and eighty millions were made by God as well as we. A greater number of God's creatures believe in Muhammad’s word at this hour, than in any other word whatever. Are we to suppose that it was a miserable piece of spiritual legerdemain, this which so many creatures of the Almighty have lived by and died by?’
A French philosopher Lamartime writes in his book ‘History of Turkey’: ‘If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and outstanding 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, and empires only. They founded, if any at all, no more than material power which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man merged not only armies, legislation, empires, peoples and dynasties but millions of men in one third of the inhabited world, and more than that, moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls on the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law. He created a spiritual nationality of every tongue and of every race.’
He also wrote: ‘Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, 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 ask, is there any man greater than he?’
John Devonport wrote: ‘Is it possible to conceive, we may ask, that the man who effected such great and lasting reforms in his own country by substituting the worship of the one only true God for the gross and debasing idolatry in which his countrymen had been plunged for age’[who brought about great, enduring reformations] ‘to have been a mere impostor, or that his whole career was one of sheer hypocrisy? Can we imagine that his divine mission was a mere invention of his own of whose falsehood he was conscious throughout ? No, surely, nothing but a consciousness of really righteous intentions could have carried Mohammed so steadily and constantly without ever flinching or wavering, without ever betraying himself to his most intimate connections and companions, from his first revelation to… to his last…’
He also wrote: ‘So much so that it may be affirmed with certain truth, that if the Western princes had been lords of Asia instead of the Saracens and Turks, they would not have tolerated Muhammadanism as Muhammadans have tolerated Christianity, since they persecuted, with the most relentless cruelty, those of their own faith whom they deemed heterodox.’
In his book The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History Michael Hart wrote: ‘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.
How, then, is one to assess the overall impact of Muhammad on human history? Like all religions, Islam exerts an enormous influence upon the lives of its followers. It is for this reason that the founders of the world's great religions all figure prominently in this book. Since there are roughly twice as many Christians as Muslims in the world, it may initially seem strange that Muhammad has been ranked higher than Jesus. There are two principal reasons for that decision. First, Muhammad played a far more important role in the development of Islam than Jesus did in the development of Christianity. Although Jesus was responsible for the main ethical and moral precepts of Christianity (insofar as these differed from Judaism), St. Paul was the main developer of Christian theology, its principal proselytizer, and the author of a large portion of the New Testament.
Muhammad, however, was responsible for both the theology of Islam and its main ethical and moral principles. In addition, he played the key role in proselytizing the new faith, and in establishing the religious practices of lslam. Moreover, he is the author of the Muslim holy scriptures, the Quran, (however, the Muslims believe and try to prove that it is the literal word of God), a collection of certain of Muhammad's insights that he believed had been directly revealed to him by Allah. Most of these utterances were copied more or less faithfully during Muhammad's lifetime and were collected together in authoritative form not long after his death. The Quran, therefore, closely represents Muhammad's ideas and teachings and to a considerable extent his exact words. No such detailed compilation of the teachings of Christ has survived. Since the Quran is at least as important to Muslims as the Bible is to Christians, the influence of Muhammad through the medium of the Quran has been enormous. It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. On the purely religious level, then, it seems likely that Muhammad has been as influential in human history as Jesus.’
Karen Armstrong writes in her book ‘Muhammad - A Biography of the Prophet’: ‘Muhammad had to start virtually from scratch and work his way towards the radical monotheistic spirituality of his own. When he began his mission, a dispassionate observer would not have given him a chance. The Arabs, he might have objected, were just not ready for monotheism: they were not sufficiently developed for this sophisticated vision. In fact, to attempt to introduce it on a large scale in this violent, terrifying society could be extremely dangerous and Muhammad would be lucky to escape with his life.
Indeed, Muhammad was frequently in deadly peril and his survival was a near-miracle. But he did succeed. By the end of his life he had laid an axe to the root of the chronic cycle tribal violence that afflicted the region and paganism was no longer a going concern. The Arabs were ready to embark on a new phase of their history. (Karen Armstrong, Muhammad - A Biography of the Prophet page 53-54)
Finally it was the West, not Islam, which forbade the open discussion of religious matters. At the time of the Crusades, Europe seemed obsessed by a craving for intellectual conformity and punished its deviants with a zeal that has been unique in the history of religion. The witch-hunts of the inquisitors and the persecution of Protestants by the Catholics and vice versa were inspired by abstruse theological opinions which in both Judaism and Islam were seen as private and optional matters. Neither Judaism nor Islam share the Christian conception of heresy, which raises human ideas about the divine to an unacceptably high level and almost makes them a form of idolatry.’ (Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, page 27).
Annie Besant writes in her book ‘The Life and Teachings of Muhammad’: ‘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.’
Ruth Cranston wrote: ‘Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) never instigated fighting and bloodshed. Every battle he fought was in rebuttal. He fought in order to survive…and he fought with the weapons and in fashion of his time… Certainly no ‘Christian’ nation of 140,000,000 people who today dispatch (this is a book written in 1949) 120,000 helpless civilians with a single bomb can look askance at a leader who at his worst killed a bare five or six hundred. The slayings of the Prophet of Arabia (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in the benighted and bloodthirsty age of the seventh century look positively puerile compared with our own in this ‘advanced’ and enlightened twentieth. Not to mention the mass slaughter by the Christians during the Inquisition and the Crusades – when, Christian warriors proudly recorded, they “waded ankle-deep in the gore of the Muslim infidels.’
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that may the world understand and acknowledge the station of this greatest person of the world and try and take refuge in his teaching so that it is saved from chastisement. Thus is the station of the Seal of all the Prophets which each Ahmadi has to publicise. Yesterday a Khatm e Nabuwat (Finality of Prophethood) rally took place in Rabwah in which nothing more than political matters and vulgar matters were discussed. This in a rally which they took out in the name of ardent love of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him)! May God give them sense. It is the task of the Ahmadis to present the reality of Khatm e Nabuwat.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had mentioned Ahmadi lawyers in his sermon of 21 September. They have started work in Pakistan on consideration of others’ religious sentiments and freedom of expression. They have collected some material from legal verdicts of different countries of the world and are working on it in light of international law. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih is instructing them in this task and has sent the material to lawyers around the world. He said they should reflect on it and report back to him with their views. Once views are exchanged and an outlook is formed, it may lead to practical steps. Similarly Ahmadi politicians around the world or those who are close to politicians should raise this matter on some sort of forum that freedom of expression should have some kind of limitations.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih also appealed for prayer for the Muslim Ummah. May God give sense to the Muslim leaders not to play with the blood of their citizens and may God give sense to the citizens not to become a tool in the hands of wrong leaders and kill each other. May God give sense to Muslim governments not to become tools in the hands of outsiders. These days there is tension between Turkey and Syria. The anti-Islam powers make Muslim fight Muslim and take advantage of it. May God give sense to Muslim Ummah.
Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih announced that he would lead three funeral Prayers in absentia after Friday Prayers.
Khawaja Zahoor Ahmad sahib was martyred in Pakistan yesterday,
Sahibzadi Amatul Sami sahiba, who passed away on 3 October.
Chaudhry Khalid Ahmad sahib who passed away on 1 October in Germany.