Religion of Friday, 23 May 2014
Source: Hussein BabalWaiz
Muhammad-The Misunderstood Messenger of Mercy & Magnanimity to Mankind
"I looked into history for a human paradigm(role model) and found it in Muhammad."
---- Wolfgang Goethe, a German Poet, a Politician & Researcher in Botany
"If ever a man ruled by a right divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all powers without their supports. He cared not for the dressings of powers without their supports. He cared not for the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life."
---- Reverend Bosworth Smith, quoted in, Encyclopedia of Seerah(History)
Alas, it is unfortunate that, Muslims who take to extremism, radicalism and terrorism have no knowledge about the Islamic history and doctrine. Hence, after getting brain-whished, by some fanatics and 'lunatics', they venture into radicalism, extremism and terrorism, with their weird and wicked holier than thou attitude portraying a directly and diametrically opposed ideology of hatred and hard-heartedness, claiming that is the 'true' representation of the teaching of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, May be the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him!
They quote many verses from the Qur'an(out of context), where Allah was giving the Prophet command and control as to his rules of engagement with his enemies, when He(Allah) himself authorized him to fight them in SELF-defense. And those verse were strictly and exclusively meant for those times-when the first Muslim society was fighting TRUE jihad, and cannot be applied to this current and contemporary world of ours, since no war against non-Muslims can be justified as a jihad, or holy war. Hence they cannot justify the rationale behind their attacks on innocent people. This is not out of place, because in one of his prediction of the future of man’s inhumanity to man, he envisaged that, “(I swear)By the One who controls my soul(God), this world will not end until when a murderer(assassin, killer or terrorist) cannot figure the reasons why he murdered(his victim(s)). And the murdered (killed) person will not know why he was killed…” –Muslim
So those non-Muslims who take the claim of Al-Qaeda, Alshabab, Boko Haram and all other militant groups wide world hook, line and sinker or believe in their false narrative of fighting Jihad should have a second thought that, these terrorists, whose true commitment to Islam is highly questionable are acting contrary to the teachings of Allah and his holy Prophet Muhammad, clear and simple!
Investigations indicate that, their activities are rather politically motivated, while hiding and disguising under the banner of Islam, which would never endorse their claim. Because Allah has stated categorically in many verse condemning their activities and its eternal consequences and these are some of them:
Allah Prohibits Terrorism & Promotes Tolerance
“Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it (his or her sin) is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind." --- Qur’an [5:32]
“Do not promote disorder in the earth after peace has been established!”
--- Qur'an [7: 56]
“Thus, if they leave you alone and offer you peace, God does not allow you to harm (terrorize) them."
--- Qur’an [4:90]
“…I (Abel, son of Adam talking to his twin brother Cain, the first killer on earth) swear that even if you reach out your hand to kill me, I will not reach my hand to kill you. I fear God, the Lord of the World." --- Qur’an [5:28]
“God does not forbid you, regarding those did not fight you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes, to show kindness and deal with them justly.” --- Qur’an [60:8]
“And fight in the cause of God who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.” --- Qur’an [2:190]
“If you behave tolerantly, overlook, and forgive (their faults), then verily God is Forgiving and Merciful.” --- Qur’an [64: 14]
“My Mercy extends to all Things.” --- Qur’an [7:156]
“And if you have to respond to any wrong, respond to the extent of the wrong done to you; but if you endure patiently, this is indeed better for he who endures.” --- Qur’an [16:126]
“Tell those who believe to forgive those (non-Muslims) who do not look forward to the Days of God; in order that He may recompense each people according to what they have earned.”
“…Let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just; that is next to piety. And fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with what you do. ” --- Qur’an [5:8]
“When they (believers) meet hollow words or unseemly behavior, they pass them by with dignity.”
--- Qur’an [25:72]
“And the servants of (God) the All-Merciful are those who move on the Earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say: “Peace.” --- Qur’an [25:63]
“But if the (perceived) enemy inclines toward peace, do you (also) incline toward peace, and trust in God…” --- Qur’an [8:61]
“We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye nose for nose ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity it is an act of atonement." --- Qur’an [5:45]
“If it had been your Lord’s Will, they would all have believed – all who are on earth! Will you then compel mankind, against their will to believe?” --- Qur’an [10:99]
“…And those who restrain their anger (swallowing their anger as if swallowing a thorn, out of patience & tolerance) and pardon men; and God loves those who do good to others."
--- Qur’an [3:134]
“God is our Lord and your Lord. To us our works and to you your works; no argument between us and you…” --- Qur’an [42:15]
"Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant." --- Qur'an [7:199]
According to a Muslim scholar and prolific author of Indian descent, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, who wrote in his book, Islam & Peace, that; “I met a 36 year old European, Leon Zippo Hayes, who was born in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand. After having studied Islam, he has changed his religion. His Islamic name is Khalilur Rahman…During the conversation he said that in the modern times Muslims are engaged in bloody war at many places, at some places with others and at other places among themselves. This had led him (like many others) to conclude that perhaps Islam was a religion of violence. Later, he studied the Qur’an with the help of translations, and when he reached the first verse quoted above in the Qur’an: “Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (5:32), he said that he was so moved that he could not believe that it was in the Qur’an. This incident is broadly indicative of the thinking of non-Muslims; people today find it hard to believe that Islam may be a religion of Peace. But if Muslims stop engaging in violent activities and give people the opportunity to appreciate Islam in its original form, then certainly a great number of people would realize as they never had before that Islam was a peaceful religion and they would rush to it, saying that it was exactly the religion which their souls had been seeking all along.”
Prophet Muhammad's Wisdom on Tolerance as against Terrorism
“And we have not sent you except as a mercy to mankind.”
-Qur’an [21: 107]
“Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do well and not do wrong (even) if they do evil”. -Al-Tirmidhi
“Faith (imam) is to restrain oneself against all violence, let no believer commit any violence”
“No one should be subjected to chastisement by fire.”-Bukhari
Someone asked the Prophet “what fanaticism was?” and he replied: “That you help your people in wrongdoing (supporting or justifying acts of terror).” –Abu Dawud
“That one will not enter Paradise whose neighbor is not secure against his mischief (harm or terror)”.
“All creation is the family of God, and the person most beloved by God (is the one) who is kind and caring toward His family”- Agreed Upon
“I was not sent to call down curses on people, but as a mercy.”-Muslim(Jihad,104), AlBayhaqi, & Tabarani)
“Whenever a person is killed unjustly, part of the sin for that murder is credited to Cain (one of the first sons of Adam), for he was the first to open the way of unjust killing to humanity.” -Bukhari & Muslim
“God is not merciful to him who is not merciful to mankind”.-Bukhari
“Oh my slaves! I have forbidden oppression (persecution) on Myself and made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress each other.” - Muslim (Hadithul-Qudsii)
“On the day of judgment a man will come holding the hand of another man and say: O Lord! It is he who killed me. Allah will ask him: Why did you kill him? He will say: I killed him so that glory may be established for so-and-so person. Allah will say: Indeed glory is not his. So the killer will bear the sin and goes to Hell fire.” -An Nasa’i(Hadithul-Qudsii)
“…My slave hurried to bring death upon himself (through suicide). So I will not allow him to enter Paradise.” -Bukhari & Muslim(Hadithul-Qudsii)
“There is no man who kills a sparrow, (not even a man) or any other living creatures (even it may be more despicable than a little sparrow) without its deserving it, but God will ask him about it (on the Last Day)”. -An-Nasa’i
“The Prophet was asked to curse the infidels. He said, ‘I have not been sent to curse people but as mercy to all mankind.” - Muslim
“He who wrongs (terrorize) a Jew or a Christian will have myself as his accuser on the Day of Judgment.” -Bukhari
“He who killed a Zimmiyan (Jew or Christian), will not be granted the privilege to drink from Al-Kauthar (A fountain in Paradise), [by implication he will not enter Paradise, because, having the opportunity to enter Paradise means, one will enjoy every luxury in it].”-Al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Hiban
In one of his prediction of the future of man’s inhumanity to man, he envisaged that, “(I swear)By the One who controls my soul(God), this world will not end until when a murderer(assassin, killer or terrorist) cannot figure the reasons why he murdered(his victim(s)). And the murdered (killed) person will not know why he was killed…” –Muslim
Test Cases of Tolerance, Forgiveness & Mercy of the Prophet
“You have indeed in the Apostle (Messenger) of God (Muhammad) a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in God and the Final Day and who engages much in the praise of God.” - Qur’an [33:21]
When the Prophet and his sahabah (companions) wanted to make lesser Hajj(Ummrah) in the sixth year of Hijrah, (migration to Medina) the Muslim, he was prevented by the Quraysh (non-Muslims), who bent on waging a war with him and his companions if he insists on going to Kaaba, which was in their possession. They had expelled him and his companions from their hometown. They had taken possession of Muslims’ homes and other properties, and spared no effort in disseminating negative propaganda against Islam. They drafted a four point treaty to the Prophet to sign on their own terms at a place called HUDAIBIYAH, a suburb between Mecca & Medina, referred to as, SULHUL HUDAIBIYAH, or the TREATY OF HUDAIBIYAH. One of the bizarre and weird proposals in the pact, which no civilization or society on earth will ever agree upon was that; “When a person from Mecca (their kith & kin) comes to the Prophet in Medina and converted, they would send their two people to come and get him? But however when a Muslim leaves Medina and goes to Mecca, the Prophet has no right to send people to come and get him.” This draconian rule was incredibly agreed and signed by the prophet in the interest of peace, tolerance & tranquility. Umar the second Caliph was so furious at the decision of the Prophet to sign it and nearly rebel against him.
However within a short while, this incident rather than a curse, became a blessing in disguise to the Prophet and the entire Ummah, when the Prophet looking radiant announced that, ‘A surah (chapter) has descended on me (in the Qur’an), which is dearer to me than anything under the sun.’ This surah was the surah of Victory (al-Fat’h) Qur’an chapter 48. This revealed the full significance and success of the events of Hudaibiyah. And this event became a turning point in the history of Islam and it is popularly known as, “Fathan Mubeenan”, a “Manifest Victory”. Commenting on the “Manifest Victory” of Hudaibiyah, Ibn Ishaq, a famous Muslim historian wrote in his, The Life of Muhammad: “No previous victory in Islam was greater than this (Hudaibiyah). There was nothing but battle when men met; but when there was an armistice (ceasefire) and war was abolished and men met in safety and consulted together none talked about Islam intelligently without entering it. In these two years [628-630] (the rate at which people converted to Islam) double as many or more than double as many entered Islam as ever before (Hudaibiyah).
This difficult compromise the Prophet made at HUDAIBIYAH reminds me of the words of Karen Armstrong, who by virtue of her writings about Islam & its Prophet, through the lens of objectivity, is being sarcastically and satirically called by her western contemporaries the ‘Fifth Khalif of Islam’ (after Abubakar, Umar, Osman & Ali). She wrote regarding Muhammad; “…A passionate man who sometimes did things that it is difficult for us to accept…” in her, Muhammad- A Biography of the Prophet.
Even as they(the earlier Muslims) attempt these very short-term defensive wars, the Prophet would caution them to avoid killing the elderly, women, children, animals and cutting trees, but only for food and fuel. This is manifested in one of the wars when he was quoted as saying, “…always remember that Islam is the religion of peace and love…Respect the priests and monks who live in temples and those who have given themselves to God; do not hurt them. Do not kill civilians, do not act in untoward (unpleasant) manner toward women, and so not injure the feelings of the defeated…”
The bottom line is that, “Muhammad…” as Karen Armstrong states in chapter(9) dubbed; Holy Peace, of her, Muhammad-A Biography of the Prophet, “…had always wanted to win (the heart of) the Quraysh over to his side rather than destroy(fight or terrorize) them completely,(contrary to their intention towards him) and this was essential…Even when Abdullah Ibn Sa’id…made a slight changes in the Qur’an…apostatized(reverted back to polytheism) and defected to Mecca…When he was later captured and brought to Muhammad, he asked for mercy. It was said that Muhammad was silent for a long time…and lifted the sentence of death…But Abdullah became a Muslim once more and held high office in the Islamic empire after Muhammad’s death.”
When Mecca was finally conquered towards the end of the Prophet’s life, but only after twenty-three years of trials and tribulations. His enemies, who had shown themselves obdurate and unrelenting then stood before him in a state of utter helplessness. That was the moment to crush them completely. However, this was not the way of Prophet Muhammad. What other, lesser men would do in such a situation is common knowledge, but the Prophet did not avenge himself upon them for their past offences. He quite simply asked them. “O people of the Quraysh, how do you think I shall deal with you? They replied, “You are our noble brother and son of our noble brother.” The prophet then said, “Go, you are all free.”
[This amazing incident of mercy and magnanimity of the Prophet fascinated an Orientalist], Stanley Lane-Poole, who, in his introduction to E.W. Lane’s Selection from the Qur’an elaborates upon the Prophet’s remarkable self-discipline:
“Now was the time for the Prophet to show his blood –thirsty nature. His old persecutors are at his feet. Will he not trample on them, torture them, revenge himself after his own cruel manner? Now the man will come forward in his own true colors: We may prepare our horror, and cry shame beforehand. “But what is this? Is there no blood in the streets? Where are the bodies of the thousands that have been butchered? Facts are hard things, and it is a fact that the day of Muhammad’s greatest triumph over his enemies was also the day of his grandest victory over himself. He freely forgave the Quraysh all the years of sorrow and cruel scorn they had inflicted on him: he gave an amnesty to the whole population of Mecca. Four criminals, whom justice condemned, made up Mohammad’s proscription list when he entered as a conqueror the city of his bitterest enemies. The army followed the example, and entered quietly and peaceably and no house was robbed, no woman insulted.”
Had such an example of superior conduct survived from pre-historic times, perhaps in the form of a myth, it would have been regarded as fiction, being too astonishing to be a fact. History, indeed, has no match for the magnanimity of the Prophet. Sir William Muir, speaking of the treatment meted out to the prisoners of Badr by the Muslims, gives another such shining example saying:
In pursuance of Muhammad’s commands, the citizens of Medina and such of the refugees as possessed houses, received the prisoners and treated them with much consideration. ‘Blessings are on the men of Medina!’ said these prisoners in later days. ‘They made us ride, while they themselves walked; they gave us wheat and bread to eat, when there was little of it, contenting themselves with dates!’
God says in Qur’an chapter 21 verse 106 that: “We (God) sent you not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.” This finds expression in his(prophet) admonition to Muslims in their defensive wars, not to kill older people, women, children and even animals and cut down tree(environmental protection?) except for food. If they care to know, history is replete with numerous instances where the prophet encouraged and had exhibited high sense of tolerance, forgiveness, mercy, magnanimity and leniency towards the non-Muslims who aggravated and provoked him (and his companions) physically and psychologically. He once said according to a hadith or prophetic wisdom related by AL-BUKHARI that: “He who does not have mercy upon people (not only Muslims), God will not have mercy on him.” And in another hadith by AL-TIRMIDHI, he says: “Be merciful with those on earth (not only Muslims), the one in heaven (God) will be merciful upon you.” I will mention few of these instances for the information of non-Muslims and for Muslims who do not know and as a result are brainwashed by some “holier than thou” fanatics:
There was one particular instance when a non-believer found him sitting by himself, under a tree and he drew out his sword and asked; “Man Yamnahuka Mini?”, “Who could rescue you from me?” And the prophet answered: “Allah!” or “God!” The sword fell down instantly from the hands of the man. The Prophet then picked it up and directed it on his head and asked the same question he asked him, “Man Yamahuka Mini?”, “Who could rescue you from me?” he then pleaded with the prophet to leave him alone and vowed never to fight him or any Muslim. And the prophet, full of mercy left him to leave unhurt.
In another Instance, one of his enemies left Medina on his camel with his sword with an intention to go to Mecca and kill him. Upon entering the premises of Ka’aba, his second khalifah or successor Umar Bun Khatab saw him and predicted that; this guy came here with a bad intention towards the prophet. Umar, by virtue of his physical prowess went closer to him with a robe, snatched his sword and tied him by a tree. He sent someone to call the prophet to come and witness, as he points the sword on the neck of the enemy about to kill him. However, the prophet upon arrival told Umar to drop the sword and untie him. When he did that, the prophet unbelievably asked someone to go and fetch him (the enemy) some water and get him some food. This further aggravated Umar and the rest of the companions, who were wondering and asked him why should he not let them, killed someone who came with an intention to kill him but rather being generous to him? The prophet asked him: “Tell me why you left Medina with an intention to come and kill me?” He wanted to deny it, but the prophet told him that; God sent down Angel Gabriel to inform him about his meeting with another enemy to come and kill him. The enemy was amazed by this information, a secret, he thought only him and his friend knew about. Moreover, he could not help but to embrace Islam, by virtue of the lenient, humane and benevolent mannerism of the prophet towards him.
There was a time a non-believer entered the mosque and the prophet was sitting with his (sahabah) companions, he move to a corner and begins to urinate. The companions became aggravated and they decided to attack and beat him up, as he was running from one point to another, spilling his urine all over the mosque. [Moreover, everyone knows how the house of God needs to be revered, especially in Islam] But the prophet rather told them to leave him alone to urinate at one spot, since he (naturally) cannot hold it, and they could pour water on the urine, which would clean the mosque from impurity.
In yet another instance, he went to preach at Taif (a suburb of Mecca) and the non-believers authorized their children to throw stones at him, which caused him severe injuries on his legs and body.
He sat by a tree, praying with blood oozing from his body and tears flowing from his eyes, “Oh God, please consider my weakness, my shortage of means, and the little esteem that people have of me. Oh, most Merciful God, You are the Lord of the oppressed, and you are my Lord. To whom would you leave my fate? To a stranger who insults me? Or to an enemy who dominates me? Would I that you have no wrath against me! Your pleasure alone is my objective. Under the light of your faith which illuminates all darkness and on which this world and the other depend, I take my refuge. I pray that I may not become the object of your wrath and anger…” Upon this prayer, God, in a blink of an eye sent down Angel Gabriel to ask him if he wants Him (God) to send down the Angels who wield control over the mountains to destroy them instantly. But the prophet rather said amazingly that, “Oh God! Guide this people, for they do not know!” He added that he hopes that their progeny will one day hold the banner of Islam and hence there is no need to call for their destruction.
In an article written in the January-February edition of The Message International, entitled, “The Truth About the Marriages of Prophet Muhammad”, by Dr. Jamal Badawi, “Professor Emeritus” at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, and a member of Fiqh (Jurisprudence) Council of North America, he stated that, “Even the Prophet went the extra mile to marry from a tribe whose people were party to the assassination and cold-blooded murder of seventy of the Qur’anic memorizers who were in Najd region on a peaceful mission. Instead of revenge, retribution and retaliation, the Prophet married Maymounah Al-Hilaaliyyah, their kin, who needed care. And because of this kindness, in the face of this criminal act of murder of the most priceless companions (memorizers of the Qur’an) on earth, her people put down their weapons against Muslims and some of them embraced Islam. Also in a bid to reconcile the hearts of those who fought against him and to give a good example of dealing with war captives, the Prophet himself freed three women captives and offered to marry them. This act of magnanimity helped to blunt the hatred and enmity of their clans. The offer to be wives of the Prophet and become revered “Mothers of the believers” was no small overtures and quite an honor for the women and their clans. It was also a remarkable goodwill gesture by the Prophet toward those who had unfairly showed enmity to him and spared no effort in undermining his mission. Juwairiyah, Safiyah and Rihaanah fall into this category. In the case of Juwairiyah, the example of the Prophet freeing her resulted in an immediate action by the Muslims who freed all their captives from her tribe. Juwairiyah’s father, Al-Harith, ceased hostilities against Muslims and later embraced Islam. This illustrates one of the measures used to free those in captivity and gradually and smoothly ended all existing forms of slavery, drying up even the last source of captivity-war captives.”
There was this woman who use to throw thorns on his path way. The Prophet would step on them and would always get hurt. However, one day when he noticed the absence of these thorns, he asked about her and was told she was sick and the Prophet amazingly, asked his companions to go and visit her. This woman was shock by their visit on the authority of the very person she harms, and out of guilty consciousness, which was overtaken by his rather tender heartedness, she reverted to Islam.
Hibar ibn Aswad was yet another enemy of Islam. During the migration of the Prophet's daughter Zainab from Mecca to Medina, he intentionally kicked her while she was riding a camel and caused her to fall to the ground. She was pregnant at the time. She was heavily injured and lost the baby. Habir ibn Aswad committed many other crimes like that. After Mecca was conquered he wanted to escape but could not. He accepted Islam and came to the presence of the Prophet(peace be upon him), who then forgave him. Part of his bountiful clemency to the enemies is his agreement to pray for rainfall upon the request of his enemy Abu Sufyan, when a severe famine struck Makkah, until the starving lot was compelled to eat carrion and bones. He prevented Thamamah Bun Athal from stopping his supply of food to the non-believers of Makkah, after he accepted Islam. A Bedouin Arab came and jerked his sheet so violently that its thick border injured his neck, leaving a red mark. He said, “Muhammad, this bounty of God that is with you is neither yours nor your father’s, so give me a camel load of it”. The Prophet said, “These goods certainly belong to God and I am his servants.” Then he ordered that he should be given a camel load of barely.”
In his last sermon during the end of the last pilgrimage, he had declared to the largest ever gathering that; “I declare all those issues causing bloodshed among tribes as null and void and as the starting point, I take back the claim to avenge a murder in my own family and the interest due on the loans by my uncle Abbas”. When Hamza heard that Abu Jahl had attacked the Prophet, he also attacked Abu Jahl, and said to the Prophet, "O Muhammad! Be happy! I took your revenge from Abu Jahl...The Prophet said to him: "I have nothing to do with revenge! I will be happy if you accept Islam." Hamza realized the wisdom in the answer and embraced Islam."
According to Dr. Aslam Abdullah, in an article dubbed, “Did Prophet Muhammad spread Islam with a Sword?” in the January-February 2013 edition of The Message International magazine, entitled, “Clearing the Air & Knowing Muhammad”, that, “The best and most direct evidence for the way Islam was propagated are the words of Prophet Muhammad to St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai, during a time in history when no one was talking about freedom of religion, cultural pluralism and tolerance, or protection of human life. Prophet Muhammad wrote to the monks the following:
“This is a message from Muhammad bin Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily, the servants, the helpers, my followers, and I defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them... No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they [the Christians] are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the Ummah [Muslim nation] is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day [end of the world]”
The above quote by Dr. Aslam clearly crystalizes yet another statement by the Prophet, discouraging and despising an act of violence, radicalism, extremism and terrorism against non-Muslims. It rather advises and advocates mutual co-operation, religious tolerance and social shielding towards the non-Muslims.
The Prophet was the first person to ever established inter-faith relationship toward the rest of the two Abrahamic faiths (Jews and Christians). He used to allowed Jews and Christians to pray their own form of prayer in his mosque. There was an instance when the Christians left their cross (symbol of Christ crucifixion) in front of the Kiblah (direction Muslims face for prayer) and when it was time for prayer, and the companions were worried about praying in front of the cross and wanted to move it away from the kiblah, the prophet ordered for a blanket and covered the cross and assured them that they could still pray in front of it since their intention is not to worship the cross. The Prophet did that out of caution in order not to allow them to touch the cross of Christians without their approval.
Jabir ibn Abdallah narrated, "One day, people were carrying a corpse. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stood up. We also did so. Later, we said:
"O Messenger of Allah! It was the corpse of a Jew!" He responded: "Is he not also a human?"
He(Muhammad) had a divine mercy, a manifestation of the divine name al-Rahman, who embraced the whole world. His life was an embodiment of the principle "love creatures for the sake of the Creator."
Views of Western Intellectuals About the Mercy, Tolerance & Greatness of the Prophet
"I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today."
--- Napoleon Bonaparte in his, "The Genuine Islam", (1935-1936)
In fact, Napoleon Bonaparte appears to have been vindicated by this powerful statement over eight decades ago, in the sense that, currently(not only in Europe), Islam is the fastest growing religion in the all the continent of the world at large. It has been estimated that, 68000 people are becoming Muslims every 24 hours, making the religion fast soaring and surging with a whopping(over) 1.5 billion of the world population currently. It has been discovered that, Muslims are found in 204 out 238 countries in the world. And 1 out of every 5 people on earth is a Muslim. According to a Chicago University study, around to 300 to 400 people convert to Islam every day in the US. Over the last few years, Muslim population had increase 235% in Europe. How come so many people(especially in the western world) convert to Islam when it is perceived as an 'extremist' ideology?…And out of the people who convert to Islam in the US, 70% are women, and mostly single women, and some as young as 27 and below. Why do 'independent' women belonging to most 'democratic' and 'free' society where women are the most liberated in the World, convert to a religion that is perceived to be suppressing women and not offering then any rights.
In the United Kingdom and France, about 100, 000 people converted in the last decade in each country Germany (usually 4000 a year) and many other places around the world. And interestingly the name Muhammad is the most popular name in London.
…According to the Guinness Books of the World Records, Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion by number of conversion each year: "Although the religion began in Arabia, by 2002, 80% of all believers in Islam lived outside the Arab world. In the period 1990-2000, approximately 12.5 million more people converted to Islam than to Christianity…According to the New York Times, 25% of Americans are coverts to Islam. And another report indicates that there are 1209 mosques and Islamic centers throughout the United States. In Britain, around 10,000-2000 people convert to Islam per year…Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, reported that, "For the first time in history, we(Catholics) are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us."…The church of England was reported to have said that, Christianity is declining 50% faster than it is previously thought. In Russia, Islam is the second largest faith and fastest growing, it has more than ten million followers. In China, Muslims are estimated to be around 100 to 200 million and growing fast.
Having read and reviewed his biography, many western orientalists like Napolean appeared to have written about him a lot more than the Muslims did. These are some among numerous commendable comments they wrote about him:
"Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world's greatest religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive." --- Michael Hart, "The 100- A Ranking of the most Influential Persons in History"
"Muhammad scrupulously helped with the chores, mended his own clothes and sought out the companionship of his wives. He would consult with them, seek their advice on matters pertaining to the community, and take their words seriously." --- Karen Armstrong, Muhammad-A Biography of the Prophet
"It is clear to me that these statements(the Qur'an) must have come to Muhammad from God, or Allah, because most of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God, or Allah…I have no difficulty in my mind reconciling that this is a divine inspiration or revelation , which lead him to these statement."
--- Professor Keith Moore, "The Developing Human"
"It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knew how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for the 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 reread them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher." --- Annie Besant, English Theosophist & Philosopher,
"Life & Teaching of Muhammad"
"Muhammad was a shining example to his people. His character was pure and stainless. His house, his dress, his food-They were characterized by a rare simplicity. So unpretentious was he that, he would receive from his companions no special mark of reverence, nor would he accept any service from his slaves which he could do himself. He was accessible to all at all times. He visited the sick and was full of sympathy for all. Unlimited was his benevolence and generosity as also was his anxious care for the welfare of the community." --- Dr. Gustav Weil, "History of the Islamic People"
“I wanted to know the best of the one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind…I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle.”--- Mahatma Gandhi, a famous freedom fighter of India
"Muhammad was a Prophet not a theologian, a fact so evident that one id loath to state it. The men who surrounded him and constituted the influence elite of the primate Muslim community, contended themselves with obeying the law that he had proclaimed in the name of Allah and with following his teaching and example." --- Maurice Gaudefroy, was quoted in the Encyclopedia of Seerah(History)
"His readiness to undergo persecution for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believe in him and looked up to him as a leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement-all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an imposter raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad…Thus, not merely must we credit Muhammad with essential honesty and integrity of purpose, if we are to understand him at all; if we are to correct the errors we have inherited from the past, we must not forget the conclusive proof is a much stricter requirement than a show of plausibility, and in a matter such as this only to be attained with difficulty." --- W. Montgomery Watt
"But, from an early age, he had been remarked as a thoughtful man. His companions named him, "Al-Amin, the Trustworthy" A man of truth and fidelity; true in what he did, in what he spoke 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! Through life we find him to have been regarded as an altogether solid, brotherly, genuine man A serious, sincere character; yet amiable, cordial, companionable, jocose even-a good laugh in him withal...a spontaneous, passionate, yet just, true-meaning man! Full of wild faculty, fire and light; of wild worth, all uncultured; working out of his life-takes in depth of the Desert there." --- Thomas Carlyle, "Heroes, Hero-Worship & the Heroic in History"
"Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions which had been imposed between man and his Creator. To render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God's name, Persia Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul. "If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astonishing results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws, and empires only. They founded, it anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls. "On the basis of a Book, every letter which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality which blends together peoples of every tongue and race. He has left an indelible characteristic of this Muslim nationality the hatred of false gods and the passion for the One and Immaterial God. This avenging patriotism against the profanation of Heaven formed the virtue of the followers of Muhammad; the conquest of the one-third the earth to the dogma was his miracle; or rather it was not the miracle of man but that of reason. "The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of the fabulous theogonies, was in itself such a miracle that upon it's utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols and set on fire one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, heroic reveling against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for fifteen years in Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen: all these and finally, his flight, his incessant preaching, his wars against odds, his faith in his success and his superhuman security misfortune, his forbearance in victory , his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the former telling what God is, the later telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words. "Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas, Restorer of Rational beliefs…The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire that is Muhammad. As regards all standard by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?” --- Alphonse de LaMartaine, "Historie de Turquie" .
In fact, there are numerous orientalists who wrote copiously and voluminously expressing the greatness and nobility of Prophet Muhammad, we only hope that, these few quotations above from non-Muslims will help erase negative perception and misconception people have about Prophet Muhammad, who was sent as a mercy to mankind and he indeed exhibited and advocated for this mercy throughout life!
Husseini Yushau BabalWaiz, Research & Outreach Coordinator, Center for Media & Peace Initiatives Inc, New York, Author of, Islam Promotes Tolerance & Prohibits Terrorism(Forthcoming)& Tutor in Arabic & Islamic Studies in New York.
FB: Prophet Muhammad-The last & Greatest of all Prophets[a youtube video]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_con...