Many western scholars and writers have praised the Prophet as the greatest man in history, but still the western society won’t pay heed
Allah (swt) has been very clear in the Quran about the status of the Prophet (pbuh). Not only that, Allah (swt) has cursed those who tried to hurt the Prophet (pbuh) physically or emotionally and spoke ill of him. Once Abu Lahab used offensive language against the Prophet (pbuh), to which Allah (swt) replied through the Quran: “May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined and ruined be he” (111: 1). Walid ibn Mughaira was an enemy who would speak ill about the Prophet (pbuh). Allah (swt) responded by mentioning his ten flaws in Surah Qalam (68:10-13) and ended by saying that Walid ibn Mughaira was born out of wedlock. For any Muslim, these verses of the holy book are enough to understand how dear the Prophet (pbuh) is to the creator, Allah. Further, these verses are sufficient to conclude that the Prophet is the best of all creations. His slighting is intolerable even to the Almighty.
However, it is not necessary that non-Muslims will ponder over these verses and will take them seriously. Plus, we cannot coerce any non-Muslim to believe these verses. However, there are many other sources to learn about the best of humankind – the Prophet (pbuh). Christians can find his name in the Bible (revealed to Jesus Christ), Jews in the Torah (revealed to Moses), and Hindus in their scriptures. The atheists who have no interest in religion can also get to know about the Messenger of Allah without touching any religious scripture. They can get a fair perspective about almost all aspects of Muhammad (pbuh) by reading eminent non-Muslim scholars. Many non-Muslims have commented on the different qualities, talents, and temperamental genius of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Let us have a glance at the views of some of them.
French historian Alphonse de Lamartine held the view that ‘no man is greater than Muhammad’. The historian wrote about the achievements of the Prophet (pbuh), such as subverting superstitions, restoring the rational and sacred idea of divinity, and declared that no other could do so in history. ‘Never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world,’ he wrote. Furthermore, he called Muhammad as philosopher, orator, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, founder of twenty terrestrial empires and a spiritual empire. ‘As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he’ (Histoire de la Turquie).
Michael Hart, an American author, in his book ‘The Hundreds’ calls Muhammad the ‘most influential person in History’. Hart writes, ‘He (Muhammad) was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels’.
George Bernard Shaw, the famous British playwright, wrote that if a man like Muhammad were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in resolving its problems in a way which would usher/herald much-needed peace and happiness (The Genuine Islam).
Thomas Carlyle, political philosopher and historian of England, after commenting on various attributes of Muhammad in his famous book ‘On Heroes, Hero-worship, and the Heroic in History’ asserts: ‘Yes, the world today is in dire need of a man like Muhammad to solve its complex problems. Muhammad in truth is the Prophet of sublime morals.’
German philosopher Johann Goethe while glorifying the Prophet described him as the hero of humanity.
Several other notable scholars and thinkers took a keen interest in reading and researching about the Prophet (pbuh). Interestingly, almost everyone declared Muhammad as the greatest person in the history of mankind. After going through their writings it becomes evident that none of them disagrees with the faith of Muslims that ‘No one is like Muhammad (pbuh) and no one can be like Him’.
However, some people in contemporary times are not willing to accept the opinion of these men of letters even though they belong to their own race and religion. They deliberately pay no attention to the views of these historical personalities. They neither give any thought to their ideas and message, nor do they carry out independent research of their own. If they happen to read about the Prophet (pbuh) they take biased, prejudiced, and impartial writers into consideration, which is unjust. They do the reverse of what these thinkers stood for – to call the spade the spade. They waste their energies to malign Islam and its founder. They say whatever comes to their mind and call it ‘freedom of speech’. Under the garb of this freedom, they sadistically create caricatures to insult Muhammad (pbuh) and his billions of followers, thereby inciting violence. To be frank, nothing good could be expected from those infected with Islamophobia – which seems to have no cure. They may not shun this derogatory approach but the ideology and works of their scholars will always serve as proof that ‘Muhammad (pbuh) is superior to all’.
Also, Muslims need to steady their nerves and promote, propagate, and practise Islamic teachings and proudly highlight the opinion of influential literary figures of the world. This is the best answer that could be given to Islamophobes.