‘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 is measured, we may ask, is there any man greater than he?’
– Lamartine, History of Turkey
It is only lately that Western scholars have embarked on serious objective study of the life of the Prophet of Islam. In studying his life, certain factors must be kept in mind: Was the world in need of a universal divine personal message? Was the life of Muhammad, before he laid claim to prophethood, of such perfect purity as would indicate that he had been chosen? Was the message that he brought illustrated in his life and conduct? The purpose of this study is to institute an appraisal of the life of Muhammad which should be fully descriptive of its diverse facets and should enable the reader to carry out his own assessment of the man as an exemplary human being and as a divine prophet.
Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, (1893-1985), a distinguished scholar in world religions, was a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a missionary branch of Islam. He became Foreign Minister of Pakistan in 1947 and for many years led the Pakistan Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations. He was President of the Seventeenth Session of the General Assembly. He also served as president of the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
First published in English by Routledge & Kegan Paul, London in 1980.