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 Muhammad the Greatest

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PostSubject: Muhammad the Greatest   Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:38 am

Muhammad the Greatest
by Ahmad Deedat




"And most certainly, thou (O Muhammad) are of most sublime and exalted character."
(The Holy Qur’ân, 68:4)
How the Topic Arose

About ten years ago, a distant cousin of mine - Mr. Mohamed Mehtar Farooki gave me a typed quotation by the French historian, Lamartine. The quotation [A detailed exposition of the quotation will be found on page 38 ] purported to prove that Muhammad (pbuh), the prophet of Islam, was the greatest man that ever lived. Mr. Mehtar was in the habit of passing information on to me, believing that I might put the same to some good use at the proper time and place. Before this he had presented me with "The Call of the Minaret," an expensive book written by (Bishop Kenneth Cragg). By analysing this book I discovered the masterful deceit of the Christian Orientalists. Lamartine's tribute to our prophet inspired me and I had a great desire to share his thoughts about our Nabee with my Muslim brethren. The opportunity to do so was not long in coming.
I received a phone call from the Muslim community in Dannhauser, a small town in Northern Natal,, who were organising a birthday celebration of the Holy Prophet. They invited me to give a lecture on that auspicious occasion. So I deemed it an honour and a privilege, I readily agreed. When they inquired, in view of their advertising needs, as to the subject of my lecture, I suggested on the inspiration from Lamartine, "Muhammad (pbuh) the Greatest."
REPEATED LET-DOWNS

On my arrival in Dannhauser, I noticed a lot of posters advertising the meeting which in essence said that Deedat would be lecturing on the subject "MUHAMMAD THE GREAT." I was somewhat disheartened and, on inquiring was told that the change in the title was due to a printer's error.
Some two months later, I got another, similar invitation. This time from the Muslim community of Pretoria the administrative capital of South Africa. The subject I had mooted was the same - "Muhammad (pbuh) the Greatest." To my dismay the topic was again changed to "MUHAMMAD THE GREAT." Identical reasons and excuses were given. Both these incidences happened in South Africa, my own country. But, let me give you one more example of our inferiority complex - so much part of the sickness of the Ummah.
USA NO DIFFERENT

On my lecture tour of the mighty United States in 1977, 1 discovered that our soldiers in the New World also had feet of clay. Out of the many sad experiences I have had, I think that this one will suffice to prove the point. The Muslims of Indianapolis were advised to organise a lecture for me on the subject "What the Bible says about Muhammad (pbuh)" T'hey agreed to advertise just that, but their timidity did not permit them to do so. They thought the topic was too provocative, so they, in their wisdom (?), toned it down to "A PROPHET IN THE BIBLE." A lifeless, insipid title you will no doubt agree. Which Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Jew would be intrigued to attend? What does "A PROPHET" mean? To most A PROPHET means ANY PROPHET, and who would be interested in attending a meeting where just any prophet in the Bible was debated?
Job, Joel, Jonah, Ezra, Elisha, Ezekiel are just a few of the many mentioned in the Bible. As was to be expected the attendance left much to be desired.
INFERIORITY COMPLEX
What is the cause of this sickness? This inferiority complex? "Yes!" We are an emasculated people. Dynamism has been wringed out of us, not only by our enemies but by our own spiritless friends. We even dare not repeat Allah's Own testimony regarding his beloved -
And Most Certainly, Thou (O Muhammad) Are of most sublime And Exalted Character.
Holy Qur’ân 68:4
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL
Normally, it is quite, natural for anyone to love, praise, idolize or hero-worship ones leader, be it a guru, saint or prophet: and very often we do.
However, if I were to reproduce here what great Muslims have said or written about our illustrious prophet, it could be played down as exaggeration, fancy or idolization by the sceptics and the opponents of Islam. Therefore, allow me to quote unbiased historians, friendly critics and even avowed enemies of that mighty Messenger of God - Muhammad (pbuh). If the tributes of the non-Muslims do not touch your hearts, then you are in the wrong faith. Opt out of Islam! There is already too much deadwood on the "ship" of Islam.
In recent times, a book has been published in America titled "The 100," or the Top One hundred, or the Greatest Hundred in History. A certain Michael H. Hart, described as a historian, mathematician and astronomer has written this novel book. He has searched history, seeking for men who had the greatest influence on mankind. In this book he gives us The hundred most influential men, including Asoka, Aristotle, Buddha, Confucius, Hitler, Plato, and Zoroaster. He does not give us a mere chart of the topmost "one hundred" from the point of view of their influence on people, but he evaluates the degree of their influence and rates them in order of their excellence from No. 1, through to No. 100. He gives us his reasons for the placing of his candidates. We are not asked to agree with him, but we cannot help admire the man's research and honesty.
The most amazing thing about his selection is that he has put our Nabee-e-Kareem, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as No. 1, the first of his "100!" Thus confirming, unknowingly, God's Own testimony in His Final Revelation to the World:
MOST CERTAINLY, YOU HAVE IN THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH AN EXCELLENT PATTERN (OF BEHAVIOUR)
Holy Qur’ân 33:21
JESUS (PBUH) No. 3!
Hart placing the Prophet of Islam as No. 1, has naturally pleased the Muslims. But his choice as shocked the Non-Muslims, more specially the Jews and the Christians, who consider this as an affront. What? Jesus (pbuh) No. 3 and Moses (pbuh) No. 40! This is for them very difficult to stomach, but what says Hart? Let us hear his arguments –
SINCE THERE ARE ROUGHLY TWICE [The latest estimate is that there are one thousand million Muslims in the world andone thousand two hundred million Christians] AS MANY CHRISTIANS 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 EVELOPMENT 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 ISLAM.
Michael H. Hart in his book - "THE 100"-pages 38/39
PAUL THE FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY
According to Hart, the honor for founding Christianity is to be shared between Jesus (pbuh) and St. Paul. The latter he believes to be the real founder of Christianity.
I cannot help agreeing with Hart. Out of the total of 27 Books of the New Testament, more than half is authored by Paul. As opposed to Paul, the Master has not written a single word of the twenty-seven books. If you can lay your hands on what is called "'A Red Letter Bible," you will find every word alleged to have been uttered by Jesus (pbuh) - in red ink and the rest in normal black ink. Don't be shocked to find that in this so called "Injeel," the Gospel of Jesus, over ninety percent of the 27 Books of the New Testament is printed in black ink!
This is the candid Christian confession on what they call the "Injeel." In actual any confrontation with Christian missionaries, you will find them quoting one hundred percent from Paul.
NO ONE FOLLOWS JESUS (PBUH) Jesus (pbuh) said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)
He said further, Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven . . ." (Matthew 5:19)
Every Christian controversialist you question, "Do youkeep the laws and the commandments?" will answer, "No!"If you ask further, "Why don't you?" He will if he is a Bible-thumper, invariably reply, "The law is nailed to the cross!"Meaning the law is done away with. "We are now livingunder grace!"
Every time you prod him with what his Lord and Master(pbuh) had said, he will confront you with something fromCornithians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, etc. If you ask,"Who are they?" You will hear, 'Paul, Paul, Paul!" "Who isyour master?" you question, and he will say, "Jesus!" But hewill ever and anon contradict his own Jesus (pbuh) by hisPaul!
No learned Christian will ever dispute the fact that thereal founder of Christianity is St. Paul. Therefore, Michael H. Hart to be fair, had to place Jesus (pbuh), in slot number three.WHY PROVOKE YOUR CUSTOMER?This placing of Christ in the number three spot byMichael H. Hart poses a very serious question for us. Whywould an American publish a book of 572 pages in Americaand selling in America for $15 each, go out of his way toprovoke his potential readers?Who will buy his books? Surely, not the Pakistanis andthe Bangladeshis, neither the Arabs nor the Turks! Except fora few copies here and there, the overwhelming number of his customers will be from the 250 million Christians and the 6 million Jews of America. Then why did he provoke his customers? Did he not hear the dictum - "the customer is always right!" Of course he did. Then why his daring choice. But before I close this episode of Hart, I will allow him to make his one last apology for his "temerity."
"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." Michael H. Hart "The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History", New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc., 1978, p.33.
WHO WERE HISTORY'S GREAT LEADERS
TIME, JULY 15, 1974
The world famous "Time" carried the above rubic on its front cover. Inside the magazine were numerous essays as to 'What makes a great leader?' 'Throughout history, who qualifies?' TIME asked a variety of historians, writers, military men, businessmen and others for their selections. Each gave his candidate according to his "light" as objectively as is humanly possible, depending on one's own awareness and prejudice.
WHO KNOWS DR. SALAZAR?
It is my habit and pleasurable duty to take non-Muslims on a guided tour of the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere - "The Jumma Masjid" Durban.
On one occasion I was hosting a Portuguese couple, a husband and wife team. At some stage during the discussion the Portuguese gentleman said that "Dr. Salazar was the greatest man in the world!" I did not debate the point with him as I personally knew little about Dr. Salazar except that he was a one time dictator of Portugal albeit to many a great benefactor to his nation. My poor visitor was, however, speaking according to his own knowledge, point of view and prejudice.
MUHAMMAD (PBUH) AN NOT BE IGNORED!
Among the contributors to the "Time," it seems that none could ignore Muhammad (pbuh).
WILLIAM McNEILL, a United States historian, of the University of Chicago, records:
"IF YOU MEASURE LEADERSHIP BY IMPACT, THEN YOU WOULD HAVE TO NAME JESUS, BUDDHA, MOHAMMED, CONFUCIUS, THE GREAT PROPHETS OF THE WORLD ..."
McNeill does not go into details, nor does he give us any explanation as to why he placed Jesus (pbuh) first and Muhammad (pbuh) number three. Perhaps it was by force of habit. It is very likely that McNeill is a Christian. However, we will not argue with him. Then comes -
JAMES GAVIN, described as a United States army man, a retired lieutenant general. He says - "AMONG LEADERS WHO HAVE MADE THE GREATEST IMPACT THROUGH AGES, I WOULD CONSIDER MOHAMMED, JESUS CHRIST, MAYBE LENIN, POSSIBLY MAO. AS FOR A LEADER WHOSE QUALITIES WE COULD MOST USE NOW, I WOULD CHOOSE JOHN F. KENNEDY."
The General does not say much more, yet we have to salute him. It calls for tremendous fortitude to pen the name Muhammad before that of Christ (peace be upon them both). It surely, was no slip of the pen.
JULES MASSERMAN, United States psychoanalyst and professor of the Chicago University, gives us, unlike the other contributors, the basis for making his selection. He gives us his reason for choosing his greatest LEADER of all times. He wants us to find out, what we are really looking for in the man, the qualities that sets him apart. We may be looking for any sets of qualities. As in the case of Michael H. Hart, he was looking for a person wielding the MOST Influence.1
However, Masserman does not want us to depend on our fancies or prejudices: he wants to establish objective standards for judging, before we confer greatness upon anybody.
He says that "Leaders must fulfill three functions--"
No. 1 THE LEADER MUST PROVIDE FOR THE WELL-BEING OF THE LEAD ...
The leader, whoever he is, must be interested in your welfare. He must not be looking for milking cows for his own greed like the Rev. Jim Jones of Jonestown, Guyana, of the "Suicide Cult" fame. You will remember him as the man who committed suicide together with 910 of his followers, all at the same time EN MASSE!
The United States Government was on his trail and he was on the verge of being caught for certain felonies. But before they could apprehend him, he thought it wise to eliminate himself, together with all his followers, so that no one would be left to testify against him. He laced lemonade with cynide and inspired his devotees to drink it, and so they did and they all died in disgrace! In the meantime, it was discovered that the Rev. Jim Jones had salted away fifteen million dollars and stacked it in his own account in banks throughout the world. All his victims were his milking cows and he was exploiting them to satisfy his own lust and greed. Masserman's hero must be found to benefit his sheep, his flock, and not himself
No. 2 THE LEADER OR WOULD BE LEADER MUST PROVIDE A SOCIAL ORGANIZATION IN WHICH PEOPLE FEEL RELATIVELY SECURE ...
Unlike the Marxist, the Facist, the Nazi, the Neo-Nazi the Ashkenazi, [The Jews from Germany, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, mostly from Russia who are in unlawful occupation of Palestine. There is something prophetic in the name itself - the Jews are doing to the people of the occupied territories exactly what the Nazis did to them. What an irony!] the Zionist, and their fellow-travellers, Professor Masserman, in his brief essay in the TIME magazine, did not spell this out. But his beliefs and feelings are abundantly clear. He is in search of a Leader who will provide a social order free of self, and greed and racism: for all these "isms" carry within them the seeds of their own destruction.
There's still with us much sorrow and sin, Injustice, Oppression, wrong and hate. Still does Arrogance deaden Conscience Rob struggling souls of e'en the crumbs Of Pity, and make, of loathsome flesh And crumbling dust, fair-seeming Idols For worship. Still does Ignorance blow A mighty Horn and try to shame True Wisdom. Still do men drive Slaves,
- - Protesting smoothly the end of Slavery! Still does Greed devour the substance Of helpless ones within her power. Nay, more, - -
the fine Individual Voice Is smothered in the raucous din Of groups and Crowds that madly shout What they call Slogans New, - - Old Falsehoods long discredited ... Abdullah Yusuf Ali
No. 3 THAT THIS LEADER MUST PROVIDE HIS PEOPLE WITH ONE SET OF BELIEFS
It is easy to talk of the Fellowship of Faith and the Brotherhood of Man, but in South Africa today, there are a thousand different sects and denominations among the Whites (people of European descent) and three thousand among the Blacks (of African descent). The White Churches in my country are Spawning "Black" Bishops, fast, but in the first three hundred years of European conquest, they did not produce a single Black Bishop. Even now, the Black, the White, the Colored and the Indian cannot pray together in most of the Dutch Reformed Churches. The hatred between the Christian sects was aptly described by the Christian Emperor Julian, who said: "NO WILD BEASTS ARE SO HOSTILE TO MAN AS CHRISTIAN SECTS IN GENERAL ARE TO ONE ANOTHER." Sayed Amir Ali in his "Spirit of lslam,"- page 1 ii.
With the foregoing three standards, Masserman searches history and analyses Louis Pasteur, Salk, Gandhi, Confucius, Alexander the Great, Caesar, Hitler, Buddha, Jesus and the rest; finally coming to the conclusion that - PERHAPS THE GREATEST LEADER OF ALL TIMES WAS MUHAMMED, WHO COMBINED ALL THREE FUNCTIONS. (and) TO A LESSER DEGREE, MOSES DID THE SAME
We cannot help marveling at Masserman, that as a Jew he condescends to scrutinize even Adolf Hitler, the arch-enemy of his people. He considers Hitler to be a great leader. His race, the mighty German nation of 90 million people, was ready to march to destiny or destruction at his behest. Alas, he lead them to ruin. Hitler is not the question. The question is why would Masserman, as an American Jew, a paid servant of the Government proclaim to his countrymen of over two hundred million Jews and Christians that not Jesus, not Moses but Muhummed was "The greatest Leader of all times!" ACCOUNT FOR THAT!
WHAT SAY THE SCEPTICS?
Michael H. Hart put Muhammad No. 1 on his list and his own Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (pbuh) No. 3. Why? -"He was bribed!"(?) William McNeill considers Muhammad as worthy of honour in his list of the first three names of his. Why? "He was bribed!" (?) James Gavin puts Muhammad (pbuh) before Christ (pbuh). Why? "He was bribed!" (?) James Masserman adjudges Muhammad (pbuh) No. 1 and his own hero Moses (pbuh) a close second. Why? "He was bribed!" (?) "ARE WE TO SUPPOSE THAT ALL THE GLOWING ADULATION OF MUHAMMAD (PBUH) WAS A MISERABLE PIECE OF INTELLECTUAL LEGERDEMAIN, HOCUS POCUS . . . I, FOR MY PART, CANNOT FORM ANY SUCH SUPPOSITION ... ONE WOULD BE ENTIRELY AT A LOSS WHAT TO THINK OF MANKIND AT ALL IF QUACKERY SO GREW AND FLOURISHED IN THE WORLD."1
Yet the scoffers bemoan anyone who has anything good to say about Muhammad (pbuh) or Islam AS HAVING BEEN BRIBED by the Arabs! They are giving too much credit to my brethren. I repeat: "It is possible, but it is improbable!"
During the Second World War, Norway produced only one "Quisling." He was tried for treason and executed. It is unlikely that America and the Western world have just reached puberty to spawn a breed of Quislings nurtured by hot petrodollars from the Middle East. Please do not demean your honest, courageous men, who without fear or favour are prepared to suffer obloquy for their convictions. We must all admire them! We can now justifiably conclude that the God of Mercy, Who forever recognises the sincere efforts of His servants, is only fulfilling His Promise to Muhammad (pbuh), His Chosen Messenger -
AND HAVE WE NOT RAISED HIGH THE ESTEEM (IN WHICH) THOU (ARE HELD)? Holy Qur’ân 94:4
Alternative renderings:
(a) Have We not exalted thy fame?
(b) And have We not raised thy name for thee?
(c) Have We not given you high renown?
Friends and foes alike, as if by some secret compulsion are made to pay unsolicited tributes to this mighty Messenger of God. But the Almighty commanders even the devil into His service, as He had done in the time of Jesus (pbuh), (Matthew 4:1 -11). Even the devil sometimes speaks Gospel truths. Professor K. S. Ramakrishna Rao, a Hindu philosopher in his book "MUHUMMED - The Prophet of lslam", quotes the arch-devil himself, yes, Adolf Hitler, to prove the unique greatness of Muhammad (pbuh). The Professor, like Jules Masserman who had evaluated the Prophet of Islam on three grounds (see appendix "C" on page 63) also saw in Hitler's "Mein Kamp!" a three faceted jewel, a rare commodity which he found in our hero under discussion. Quoting Hitler, he says:
"A GREAT THEORIST IS SELDOM A GREAT LEADER. AN AGITATOR IS FAR MORE LIKELY TO POSSESS THESE QUALITIES. HE WILL ALWAYS BE A BETTER LEADER. FOR, LEADERSHIP MEANS THE ABILITY TO MOVE MASSES OF MEN. THE TALENT TO PRODUCE IDEAS HAS NOTHING IN COMMON WITH THE CAPACITY FOR LEADERSHIP." HITLER CONTINUES, "THE UNION OF THE THEORIST, ORGANISER, AND LEADER IN ONE MAN IS THE RAREST PHENOMENON ON THIS EARTH; THEREIN CONSISTS GREATNESS." PROFESSOR RAO CONCLUDES, IN HIS OWN WORDS, "IN THE PERSON OF THE PROPHET OF ISLAM THE WORLD HAS SEEN THIS RAREST PHENOMENON ON EARTH, WALKING IN FLESH AND BLOOD."
SHARE THE ANGER
Before anyone assails the Professor of undue bias and "bribery," let me give them a few more names of admirers of Muhammad (pbuh).
1. "MUHUMMAD WAS THE SOUL OF KINDNESS, AND HIS INFLUENCE WAS FELT AND NEVER FORGOTTEN BY THOSE AROUND HIM." A Hindu scholar - Diwan Chand Sharma in his "The Prophets of the East," Calcutta 1935, p. 122.
2. "FOUR YEARS AFTER THE DEATH OF JUSTINIAN, A.D. 569, WAS BORN AT MAKKAH, IN ARABIA THE MAN WHO, OF ALL MEN EXERCISED THE GREATEST INFLUENCE UPON THE HUMAN RACE ... MOHAMMED ..." John William Draper, M.D., LLD., in his "A History of the lntellectual Development of Europe",- London 1875.
3. "I DOUBT WHETHER ANY MAN WHOSE EXTERNAL CONDITIONS CHANGED SO MUCH EVER CHANGED HIMSELF LESS TO MEET THEM." R. V. C. Bodley in "The Messenger,"- London 1946, p.9.
4. "I HAVE STUDIED HIM - THE WONDERFUL MAN - AND IN MY OPINION FAR FROM BEING AN ANTI-CHRIST, HE MUST BE CALLED THE SAVIOUR OF HUMANITY." George Bernard Shaw, in "The Genuine Islam,- Vol. 1, No. 81936.
5. "BY A FORTUNE ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE IN HISTORY, MOHAMMED IS A THREEFOLD FOUNDER OF A NATION, OF AN EMPIRE, AND OF A RELIGION." R. Bosworth-Smith in "Mohammed and Mohammedanism".- 1946.
6. "MOHAMMED WAS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL OF ALL RELIGIOUS PERSONALITIES." Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition




Chapter 2
FROM THE HISTORICAL PAST

It is not difficult to reproduce a further dozen or more eulogies by the admirers and critics of Muhammad (pbuh). Despite all their objectivity, jaundiced minds can always conjure up some aspersions. Let me take my readers deep down in past history.
It was Friday the 8th of May, 1840, that is about a hundred and fifty years ago, at a time when it was a sacrilege to say anything good about Muhammad (pbuh), and the Christian West was rained to hate the man Muhammad (pbuh) and his religion, the same way as dogs were at one stage trained in my country to hate all black people. At that time in history, Thomas Carlyle, one of the greatest thinkers of the past century delivered a series of lectures under the theme - "Heroes and Hero-worship."
DEVELOPED SICKNESS
Carlyle exposed this blind prejudice of his people at the beginning of his talk. He made reference to one of the literary giants a Dutch scholar and statesman, by the name of Hugo Grotius, [From page 57 of the book - "On Heroes Hero-worship and the Heroic in History" byThomas Carlyle, London 1959.] who had written a bitter and abusive invective against the prophet of Islam. He had falsely charged that the Holy Prophet had trained pigeons to pick out peas from his ears, so that he could by this trick bluff his people that the Holy Ghost in the shape of a dove was revealing God's Revelation to him, which he then had them recorded in his Bible the Qur’ân. Perhaps Grotius was inspired into this fairy-tale from his reading of his own Holy Scriptures: 'Then, Jesus, when he had been baptized (by John the Baptist in the Jordan River), came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God Descending Like A Dove and alighting upon him. (Emphasis added) Matthew 3:16
WHERE'S THE AUTHORITY
Pococke, another respected intellectual of the time, like "doubting Thomas" (John 20:25), wanted proof about Muhammad (pbuh), the pigeons, and the peas? Grotius answered "THAT THERE WAS NO PROOF!" He just felt like inventing this story for his audience. To him and his audience the "pigeons and peas" theory was more plausible than that of the Archangel dictating to Muhammad (pbuh). These falsities wringed the heart of Carlyle. He cried: "THE LIES, WHICH WELL-MEANING ZEAL HAS HEAPED ROUND THIS MAN, ARE DISGRACEFUL TO OURSELVES ONLY." Thomas Carlyle
THE HERO PROPHET
Carlyle was a man of genius and God gifted him with the art of articulation. In his own way, he wanted to put the records straight. He planned to deliver a lecture and he chose a very provocative topic "The hero as Prophet." and he chose this hero-prophet to be the most maligned man of his time, "MUHAMMAD (PBUH)!" Not Moses, david, Solomon, or Jesus but Muhammad! To placate his overwhelming Anglican (belonging to the Church of England) fellow countrymen, he apologised - "AS THERE IS NO DANGER OF OUR BECOMING, ANY OF US, MAHOMETANS, I MEAN TO SAY ALL THE GOOD OF HIM I JUSTLY CAN."
In other words he, as well as his elite audience were free from the fear of converting to Islam, and could take a chance in paying some compliments to Muhammad (pbuh). If he had any fears regarding the strength of their faith, he would not have taken that chance. In an era of hatred and spite towards evernhing Islamic and to an audience full of scepticism and cynicism, Carlyle unfolded many a glowing truth about his hero - Muhammad (pbuh). To the praise-worthy," indeed be praise. For that is what the very name Muhammad means - the Praised One - the Praiseworthy. There are times when Carlyle uses words and expressions, which might not be too pleasing to the believing Muslim, but one has to forgive him as he was walking a cultural tightrope, and he succeeded eminently. He Paid our hero many ardent and enthusiastic tribute, and defended him from the false charges and calumnies of his enemies, exactly as the Prophet had done in the case of Jesus (pbuh) and his mother.
HIS SINCERITY
l a. "THE GREAT MAN'S SINCERITY IS OF THE KIND HE CANNOT SPEAK OF: NAY, I SUPPOSE, HE IS CONSCIOUS RATHER OF INSINCERITY; FOR WHAT MAN CAN WALK ACCURATELY BY THE LAW OF TRUTH FOR ONE DAY? NO, THE GREAT MAN DOES NOT BOAST HIMSELF SINCERE, FAR FROM THAT; PERHAPS DOES NOT ASK HIMSELF IF HE IS SO: I WOULD SAY RATHER, HIS SINCERITY DOES NOT DEPEND ON HIMSELF: HE CANNOT HELP BEING SINCERE!" Heros and Hero-Worship, p.59
b. "A SILENT GREAT SOUL, HE WAS ONE OF THOSE WHO CANNOT BUT BE IN EARNEST, WHOM NATURE HERSELF HAS APPOINTED TO BE SINCERE. WHILE OTHERS WALK IN FORMULAS AND HEARSAYS, CONTENTED ENOUGH TO DWELL THERE, THIS MAN COULD NOT SCREEN HIMSELF IN FORMULAS; HE WAS ALONE WITH HIS OWN SOUL AND THE REALITY OF THINGS . . . SUCH SINCERITY, AS WE NAMED IT, HAS IN VERY TRUTH SOMETHING OF DIVINE. THE WORD OF SUCH A MAN IS A VOICE DIRECT FROM NATURE'S OWN HEART. MEN DO AND MUST LISTEN TO THAT AS TO NOTHING ELSE, - - - ALL ELSE IS WIND IN COMPARISON." Heros and Hero-Worship, p.71
In his lengthy speech, Carlyle did not have the opportunity to inform his audience about the sources of his inferences. I may furnish just one incident from the life of the Prophet. An incidence which reflects the highest degree of his sincerity in recording a Revelation in the Holy Qur’ân even if it seems to reprove him for some natural and human zeal.
ADMONITION AS REVEALED
It was in the early days of his mission in Makkah. Muhammad (pbuh) was deeply engrossed in trying to wean the leaders of the pagan Quraish to his teachings. Apparently one of them was giving him an attentive hearing when a poor blind man by the name Of Abdullah lbn Umm-1- Maktum tried to barge in into the discussion and wanting to draw attention to himself. The blessed Prophet said nothing, but a thought went through his mind (why don't you have a little patience, can't you see (sense) that because of your impatience I might lose these customers). I believe that lesser men, sinners and saints, will not be questioned for such lapses, but not so for Muhammad (pbuh). Did not God choose him and honour him with that lofty status as recorded? And Most CertainlyThou (O Muhammad)Are of Most sublimeAnd Exalted Character.
Holy Qur’ân 68:4
HE FROWNED
Whilst in the midst of the conversation with his pagan fellow tribesmen, God Almighty sends Gabriel, the Angel of Revelation, with this admonition:
(THE PROPHET) FROWNED AND TURNED AWAY, BECAUSE THERE CAME TO HIM HE BLIND MAN (INTERRUPTING). BUT WHAT COULD TELL THEE THAT PERCHANCE HE MIGHT GROW (IN SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING)? OR THAT HE MIGHT RECEIVE ADMONITION, AND THE TEACHING MIGHT PRORT HIM? Holy Qur’ân 80:1-4
The holy Prophet (pbuh) had naturally disliked the interruption. Perhaps the poor man's feelings were hurt. But he whose gentle heart ever sympathised with the poor and the afflicted, got new Light (Revelation) from his Lord, and without the least hesitation, he immediately published it for all eternity! Subsequently, every time he met this blind man, he received him graciously and thanked him that on his account the Lord had remembered him. During Muhammad's (pbuh) absences from Madinah, the blind man was made the Governor of the City twice. Such was the sincerity and gratitude of Carlyle's Hero Prophet.
HIS FIDELITY
2. "IT IS A BOUNDLESS FAVOUR.HE NEVER FORGOT THIS GOOD KADIJAH. LONG AFTERWARDS, AYESHA HIS YOUNG FAVOURITE WIFE, A WOMAN WHO INDEED DISTINGUISHED HERSELF AMONG THE MOSLEMS, BY ALL MANNER OF QUALITIES, THROUGH HER WHOLE LONG LIFE; THIS YOUNG BRILLIANT AYESHA WAS, ONE DAY, QUESTIONING HIM.'NOW AM NOT I BETTER THAN KADIJAH? SHE WAS A WIDOW; OLD, AND HAD LOST HER LOOKS: YOU LOVE ME BETTER THAN YOU DID HER?' 'NO, BY ALLAH!' ANSWERED MAHOMET: 'NO, BY ALLAH! SHE BELIEVED IN ME WHEN NONE ELSE WOULD BELIEVE. IN THE WHOLE WORLD I HAD BUT ONE FRIEND, AND SHE WAS THAT!... Heros and Hero-Worship, p. 76 It would have been easier to repel the temptation of the devil than to succumb to the ego of a young, loving, brilliant and beautiful wife like lady Ayesha Siddiqa. Why not let her hear the soft soothing balm of flattery-, it will not harm anyone. Even the soul of Bibi Khadija, the mother of the Faithful, would look light-heartedly at the ruse. There is no shamming, no innocent "white lies" with Muhammad (pbuh). Traits of this kind show us the genuine man, brother of us all, brought visible through fourteen centuries, - - - the veritable son of our common mother.
'AL AMEEN. THE FAITHFUL'
3 a. "A MAN OF TRUTH AND FIDELITY; TRUE IN WHAT HE DID, IN WHAT HE SPAKE AND THOUGHT. THEY NOTED THAT HE ALWAYS MEANT SOMETHING. A MAN RATHER TACITURN IN SPEECH; SILENT WHEN THERE WAS NOTHING TO BE SAID; BUT PERTINENT WISE, SINCERE, WHEN HE DID SPEAK; ALWAYS THROWING LIGHT ON THE MATTER. THIS IS THE ONLY SORT OF SPEECH WORTH SPEAKING!" Heros and Hero-Worship, p. 69
b. "MAHOMET NATURALLY GAVE OFFENCE TO THE KOREISH, KEEPERS OF THE KAABAH, SUPERINTENDENTS OF THE IDOLS. ONE OR TWO MEN OF INFLUENCE HAD JOINED HIM:
1. “THE THING SPREAD SLOWLY, BUT IT WAS SPREADING, NATURALLY HE GAVE OFFENCE
TO EVERYBODY."[The Jews hated the Prophet: the Christians hated the Prophet: the mushriks (thePolytheists) hated the Prophet, and the Munafiqeen (the hypocrites) hated theProphet. It is the nature of Falsehood to hate the Truth. Light dismisses Darkness, butdarkness does not take kindly to light. ] Heros and Hero-Worship, p. 77 c.
"NOT A MEALYMOUTHED MAN! A CANDID FEROCITY, IF THE CASE CALLS FOR IT, IS IN HIM; HE DOES NOT MINCE MATRERS! THE WAR OF TABUC IS A THING HE OFTEN SPEAKS OF:HIS MEN REFUSED, MANY OF THEM, TO MARCH ON THAT OCCASION; PLEADED THE HEAT OF THE WEATHER, THE HARVEST, AND SO FORTH; HE CAN NEVER FORGET THAT. YOUR HARVEST? IT LASTS FOR A DAY. WHAT WILL BECOME OF YOUR HARVEST THROUGH ALL ETERNITY? HOT WEATHER? YES, IT WAS HOT; 'BUT HELL WILL BE HOTER!' SOMETIMES A ROUGH SARCASM TURNS UP: HE SAYS TO THE UNBELIEVERS, YE SHALL NOT HAVE SHORT WEIGHT!" Heros and Hero-Worship, p. 95/6.
Remember, Thomas Carlyle uttered these words, and many more to a shocked and bewildered Christian audience in England, a hundred and fifty years ago. History did not record for us the lively arguments and debates which his lecture must naturally have caused. He kept to his promise: "I mean to say all the good of him (his Hero Prophet) I justly can'" and he went on in his talk to I defend Muhammad (pbuh) against the false charges, slander and calumnies of his enemies:
CHARGE OF FALSITY
4a. "A FALSE MAN FOUND A RELIGION? WHY, A FALSE MAN CANNOT BUILD A BRICK HOUSE! IF HE DOES NOT KNOW AND FOLLOW TRULY THE PROPERTIES OF MORTAR, BURNT CLAY AND WHAT ELSE HE WORKS IN, IT IS NO HOUSE THAT HE MAKES, BUT A RUBBISH HEAP. IT WILL NOT STAND FOR TWELVE CENTURIES,[Now, fourteen centuries] TO LODGE A HUNDRED-AND EIGHTY MILLIONS; [A thousand million today.] IT WILL FALL STRAIGHTAWAY . SPECIOSITIES ARE SPECIOUS [Specious: Having the ring of truth or plausibility but actually false.]. . . IT IS LIKE A FORGED BANK NOTE; THEY GET IT PASSED OUT OF THEIR WORTHLESS HANDS: OTHERS, NOT THEY, HAVE TO SMART FOR IT. NATURE BURSTS-UP IN FIRE-FLAMES, FRENCH REVOLUTIONS AND SUCH-LIKE, PROCLAIMING WITH THE TERRIBLE VERACITY THAT FORGED NOTES ARE FORGED." Heros and Hero-Worship ), p.58
b."IT GOES GREATLY AGAINST THE IMPOSTER THEORY, THE FACT THAT HE LIVED IN THIS ENTIRELY UNEXCEPTIONABLE, ENTIRELY QUIET AND COMMON PLACE WAY, TILL THE HEAT OF HIS YEARS WAS DONE. HE WAS FORTY BEFORE HE TALKED OF ANY MISSION FROM HEAVEN . . ALL HIS 'AMBITION,' SEEMINGLY, HAD BEEN, HITHERTO, TO LIVE AN HONEST LIFE; HIS 'FAME,' THE MERE GOOD OPINION OF NEIGHBOURS THAT KNEW HIM..." Heros and Hero-Worship, p. 70
"AMBITION? WHAT COULD ALL ARABIA DO FOR THIS MAN; WITH THE CROWN OF GREEK HERACLIUS, OF PERSIAN CHOSROES, AND ALL THE CROWNS IN EARTH; - WHAT COULD THEY ALL DO FOR HIM? IT WAS NOT OF THE HEAVEN ABOVE AND OF THE HELL BENEATH. ALL CROWNS AND SOVEREIGNTIES WHAT- SOEVER, WHERE WOULD THEY IN A FEW BRIEF YEARS BE? TO BE SHEIK OF MAKKAH OR ARABIA, AND HAVE A BIT OF GILT WOOD PUT INTO YOUR HAND, - - - WILL THAT BE ONES SALVATION? I DECIDEDLY THINK, NOT, WE WILL LEAVE IT ALTOGETHER, THIS IMPOSTER HYPOTHESIS, AS NOT CREDIT- ABLE: NOT VERY TOLERABLE EVEN, WORTHY CHIEFLY OF DISMISSAL BY US." Heros and Hero-Worship, p. 72/3
CHARGE OF SINNING
5. "FAULTS? THE GREATEST OF FAULTS, I SHOULD SAY, IS TO BE CONSCIOUS OF NONE. READERS OF THE BIBLE ABOVE ALL, ONE WOULD THINK, MIGHT KNOW BETTER. WHO IS CALLED THERE 'THE MAN ACCORDING TO GOD'S OWN HEART'? DAVID, THE HEBREW KING HAD FALLEN INTO SINS ENOUGH; BLACKEST CRIMES; THERE WAS NO WANT OF SINS.[This is the Jewish and Christian concept of God's prophets. They charge their prophetswith incest, adultery and even murder. They impure horrendous crimes to them on theauthority of the Holy Bible.] AND THEREUPON THE UNBELIEVERS SNEER AND ASK, IS THIS YOUR MAN ACCORDING TO GOD'S HEART? THE SNEER, I MUST SAY, SEEMS TO ME BUT A SHALLOW ONE. WHAT ARE FAULTS, WHAT ARE THE OUTWARD DETAILS OF A LIFE; IF THE INNER SECRET OF IT, THE REMORSE, TEMPTATIONS, TRUE, OFTEN-BAFFLED, NEVER ENDED STRUGGLE OF IT BE FORGOTTEN? 'IT IS NOT IN MAN THAT WALKETH TO DIRECT HIS STEPS.' OF ALL ACTS, IS NOT, FOR A MAN, REPENTANCE THE MOST DIVINE? THE DEADLIEST SIN, I SAY, WERE THE SAME SUPERCILIOUS CONSCIOUSNESS OF NO SIN; THAT IS DEATH; THE HEART SO CONSCIOUS IS DIVORCED FROM SINCERITY, HUMILITY, AND FACT; IS DEAD: IT IS 'PURE' AS DEAD DRY SAND IS PURE." Heros and Hero-Worship. p. 61
CHARGE OF "THE SWORD"
The greatest crime, the greatest "sin" of Muhammad (pbuh} in the eyes of the Christian West is that he did not allow himself to be slaughtered, to be "crucified" by his enemies. He ably defended himself, his family and his followers; and finally vanquished his enemies. Muhammad's (pbuh} success is the Christians' gall of disappointment: he did not believe in any vicarious sacrifice for the sins of others. He believed and behaved naturally.IN THE STATE OF NATURE, EVERY ONE HAS A RIGHT TO DEFEND HIS PERSON AND POSSESSIONS, AND EXTEND HIS HOSTILITIES TO A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF SATISFACTION AND RETALIATION," says Gibbon, the master historian in his "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." His struggle and victory over the forces of unbelief and evil made the editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica to exclaim, Muhammad (pbuh} to be - - - "THE MOST SUCCESSFUL OF ALL RELIGIOUS PERSONALITIES."
How can the enemies of Islam account for Muhammad's phenomenal achievements except to decry that he spread his religion at the point of the sword? He forced Islam down peoples' throats!?

6a. "HISTORY MAKES IT CLEAR HOWEVER, THAT THE LEGEND OF FANATICAL MUSLIMS SWEEP- ING THROUGH THE WORLD AND FORCING ISLAM AT THE POINT OF THE SWORD UPON CONQUERED RACES IS ONE OF THE MOST FANTASTICALLY ABSURD MYTHS THAT HISTORIANS HAVE EVER REPEATED." De Lacy O'Leary in "Islam at the Crossroads'' London, 1923, p.8 You do not have to be a historian like O'Leary to know that the Muslims ruled Spain for 736 years. The longest the Christians ever ruled over Muslims was 500 years in Mozambique, a territory captured from an Arab governor by the name of Musa-bin-baique, a name they could not properly pronounce, hence the name Mozambique. Even today, after five centuries of Christian overlordship the country is still 60 percent Muslim.
However, after eight centuries in Spain the Muslims were totally eliminated from that country so that not even one man was left to give the Azan {the Muslim call to prayer}. If the Muslims had used force, military or economic there would not have been any Christian left in Spain to have kicked the Muslims out. One can blame the Muslims for exploitation if you like but one cannot charge them with using the sword to convert Spaniards to the Islamic religion.Today, Islam is still spreading all over the world and Muslims have NO sword!! The Muslims were also the masters of India for a thousand years, but eventually when the sub-continent received independence in 1947, the Hindus obtained three quarters of the country and the Muslims the balance of the one-quarter. Why? Because the Muslims did not force Islam down the Hindus' throats! In Spain and in India, the Muslims were no paragons of virtue, yet they obeyed the Qur'anic injunction to the letter
LET THERE BE NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION: FOR TRUTH STANDS OUT DISTINCT FROM ERROR. Holy Quran 2:256
The Muslim conquerors understood from this command that "compulsion" was incompatible with true religion:
because
(a} Religion depends on faith and will, and these would be meaningless if induced by force. Force can conquer but cannot convert.
(b) Truth and Error have been so clearly shown up by the Mercy of God that there should be no doubt in the minds of any person of goodwill as to the fundamentals of faith.
(c) God's protection is continuous and His Plan is always to lead us from the depths of darkness into the clearest light.[(a), (b} and (c) are Yusuf Ali's comments on verse 256. Obtain his translation with over 6000 explanatory footnotes from the IPCI. ]Except for some eccentrics here and there, the Muslims as a whole adhered to the commandment of God in the lands over which they held sway. But what can the enemy say about countries where no single Muslim soldier had set foot?
(i) INDONESIA: It is a fact that over a hundred million Indonesians are Muslim, yet no conquering Muslim army ever landed on any of its over two thousand islands.
(ii} MALAYSIA: The overwhelming number of its people in this country are Muslims yet no Muslim soldier had landed there either.
(iii} AFRICA: The majority of the people on the East coast of Africa as far down as Mozambique, as well as the bulk of the inhabitants on the West coast of the continent are Muslims, but history does not record any invading hoards of Muslims from anywhere. What sword? Where was the sword? The Muslim trader did the job. His good conduct and moral rectitude achieved the miracle of conversion. "All what you say seems incontrovertible, Mr. Deedat," says the Christian controversialist, "but we are talking about Islam at its very beginning, the way in which your prophet converted the pagans to his faith! How did he do it if not with the sword?"

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