Quotations from non-Muslims

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

The following are some old and recent quotations from non-Muslim public figures from the eastern and western world, about Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the Messenger to entire humanity.

Al-Nadr Ibn Al-Harith’s opinion of the Prophet:

Al-Nadr Ibn Al-Harith, who was one of the Quraish elite, took the floor at one of their gatherings and addressed the present in the following way:
“People of the Quraish! You are facing a problem for which you have not been able to find a solution. When Muhammad was still a young man living among you, he won general admiration because he always spoke the truth and his honesty had never been doubted. When he had grown grey and started to preach whatever he is preaching to you, you began to allege that he was a sorcerer. However, we are familiar with magicians and their tricks. You have also accused him of being a fortune–teller. By Allah, he is not one, for we have seen fortune-tellers and how they repeat their rhyming phrases. You have also claimed that he is a poet. Again I say that, by Allah, he is not a poet, for we have seen poets and listened to all types of poetry. You have also claimed that he is a madman, but he is far from being one. We have all seen what madness does to people and how it causes them to say incoherent things. I say to you, people of the Quraish, that you should look at this issue very carefully, for you have a big problem on your hands.”
This man, considered to have been one of the most aggressive enemies of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, disclaimed nevertheless the possibility of the Prophet being a poet, a sorcerer, or a fortune-teller, or anyone of the kind.

Heraclius’ attitude to the Prophet:

It is imperative here to quote the crucial dialogue between the Byzantine emperor Heraclius and some of the most hostile Quraish antagonists of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. After he had received the letter of the Prophet inviting him to Islam, Heraclius inquired whether there were any compatriots of Muhammad in his lands, and they brought to the palace some merchants from Mekka, firm opponents of the Prophet.
Heraclius, seated amongst his principals, called for them and for his translator, and asked: “Who amongst you is the nearest relative to the man who claims to be a prophet?” As Abu Sufian replied that he was the closest kinsman of Muhammad, he was made to sit opposite the emperor, with his companions behind him. The emperor then asked his translator to tell them that he was going to question Abu Sufian about the man who claimed to be a prophet, saying that if he told a lie, his companions should immediately rectify his words. Abu Sufian said later: “By Allah! Had I not been afraid that my companions would consider me a liar, I would have told lies.”
The emperor asked him about the lineage of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Abu Sufian said, “He comes from a noble family line.” Then he asked him, “Did anyone else before him maintained the same?” To which he responded in the negative. He asked him, “Was there a king among his forefathers?” He said that there wasn’t. He asked him, “Who are his followers: the noble people or the lowly ones?” He said they were the lowly. He asked, “Are they increasing in number or decreasing?” He said that they were increasing. He asked him, “Does any of them convert out of hate to their religion?” He replied in the negative. He asked him, “Did you use to accuse him of lying?” He replied in the negative. He asked him, “Does he betray his pledges?” He said that he didn’t. He asked him, “Have you ever fought him? What was your war like?” He said, “We have fought him, and the war between us was irregular, once in our favour, and the next in theirs.” He asked, “What does he enjoin you to do?” He said, “He tells us to worship Allah and not to associate anything with Him. He forbids that which our ancestors were worshipping. He enjoins prayer, truthfulness, modesty, fulfillment of promises, and (correct) return of deposits.”
The emperor concluded from this that Muhammad was a prophet. He said to Abu Sufian, “If what you have told me is true, one day my kingdom will belong to him, and he will rule this place. I knew about his coming, but I didn’t expect him to be from your nation, and if I were to follow him, I would love to meet him, and I would wash his feet”.
These are the precise words, questions, and conclusions of Heraclius.

One of the western non-Muslim biographers of the Prophet says:

“Muhammad was a devoted worshiper, a unique leader who unified his dispersed and broken nation. He was a warrior who formed strategies and commanded armies; he was a passionate father and a husband who provided repose, affection and mercy. He was, at the same time, a faithful friend, a generous relative, a neighbor concerned about his neighbors’ problems; and so trustworthy a ruler that his nation was ready to sacrifice their lives for him. Apart from all that, he was the bearer of the greatest message known in history, which impregnated both the existence of mankind and the human soul.
When people realized that this Noble Prophet was the incarnation of all these excellent characteristics, they believed in all the principles he had brought. Since they didn’t read about them in a book, rather found them personified in a living man, their souls were moved, their hearts craved for him, and they tried to follow in his footsteps as much as they could. Thus, he came to be the most important role model for all mankind throughout history, as he guided and educated through his behavior more than through the oral instruction.”

The British researcher Carlyle says:

“It is a great shame to doubt nowadays the validity of Muhammad’s prophethood. Such opinions and meaningless statements should be confuted given that centuries after his death millions of Muslims around the world are still inspired by the guidance of his message.”

An American professor says:

“In his Islamic message Muhammad highlighted the importance of unity and the exalted position of a united society. Thus, he planted with his own hands the seeds of unification and affection in Muslims’ souls; he watered them and cared for them till they blossomed with the sweetest fruits.”

The British writer Miller says:

“Some religions concentrate on the spiritual side of human lives, lacking, however, any regulations regarding political, legal, or social issues. But Muhammed was a prophet, a trustworthy political leader, a law-giver, whose shari’a (Islamic law) contains adjudications and legislations of civilian, political, and social nature.”

The western researcher Retien says:

“The appearance of Muhammad’s message and the rise of Islam proved that this Noble Prophet’s message addresses the entire world, and this sacred religion is compatible with every era; and no nation or civilization, or mankind by and large, can do without it, as its principles are in line with the human intellect.”

The contemporary Swiss writer Jean says:

“If we examine the lifestyle of Muhammad and his morals, we shall be in a position to comprehend the essence of the relationship that attracts millions of people around the world to this great man, though fourteen centuries have passed since his sojourn here. We shall also be able to understand why they struggle in the cause of exalted Islamic principles with their lives and wealth, whether big o small.”

Tolstoy said:

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, the Russian philosopher and novelist, who was deeply impressed by the personality of our Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the fact reflected in his work, wrote in a brief biography entitled “Who is Muhammad?”:
“There is no doubt that Prophet Muhammad is one of the greatest reformers at the service of social improvement. Suffice it to say that he led a whole nation to the enlightenment of truth and made it more inclined towards tranquility, peace and modesty, prevented it from shedding blood and offering human sacrifices (though this had never been proved as regards pre-Islamic Arabs), opening wide for them, thus, the gates of development and civilization. This is a great task that can be carried out only by an exceptionally strong man and such a man deserves to be regarded with respect and admiration.”

An atheist thinker says:

“The plain truth is that Muhammad conveyed a message hard to deny, it is the epitome of all previous messages. More than that, it excels them all. Bearing this in mind, his message is considered as an invariable constitution for the entire world, as his sayings fall in line with mankind’s taste and comprehension in this era.”

The Italian scientist Wakiston said:

“If someone asked me ‘Who is this Muhammad whom you praise so much?’, I would say to him with all due respect and politeness: This famous man, this unique leader, and this Messenger of Allah, was actually the head of the Islamic government, which was the asylum and the refuge of the weak and of all Muslims, and which defended their social interests. Hence, Muhammad, considered to be the founder of this government, was a political leader in the full sense of the word.”

The French writer Corsieh says:

“Both before and after his message, Muhammad was a brave, gallant young man, high above his society’s standards. Thanks to his excellent characteristics, he managed to guide the bigoted, idol-worshipping Arabs to the worship of the One Allah. And under the umbrella of his united democratic ruling, he managed to overcome all instances of chaos, all sorts of conflicts and fighting so widespread all over the Arabian Peninsula. He taught his compatriots the best conduct and the loftiest ideas, leading thus the Arab society from darkness to civilization.

A European historian says:

In an essay about the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, entitled “The phenomenal character” he says:
“With his remarkable character, Muhammad completely changed the Arabian Peninsula and the entire east as well, for he knocked down the idols with his own hands and established the eternal religion of Islam that asks people to worship One God (Allah).”

The French philosopher Cardivo says:

“Muhammad is the inspired faithful prophet. No one could ever cast doubt on the lofty position he had. The awareness of equality and brotherhood that he established among the members of the Islamic community was in practice applicable to the Prophet himself.”

The British philosopher Thomas Carlyle says:

In one of the chapters of his book, entitled “A Hero as a Prophet”, Carlyle declared Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as one of the seven greatest figures in history, and he refuted the claims of bigots, saying:
“Bigots claim that Muhammad sought personal fame, prestige and rule. No! The son of desert, the man with the greatest of souls, the merciful, the passionate, the revered, and the wise, he had a great heart, void of worldly aspirations; he had excellent intentions, and was not seeking the upper hand; with his silent soul, he was one of those men who can’t be but faithful and serious.”

The author of “The 100 Most Influential Persons in History” says:

After extensive reading about the greatest figures of the eastern and western world, Michael H. Hart chose from among them the one hundred greatest. He entitled his book: “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History” and Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was on top of the “one hundred” list. Hart said:
“He was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.”
In his ranking, Hart took into consideration effectiveness, quality, and expansion.

One side of the Prophet’s character as describe by an Islamic historian:

I conclude this lecture by quoting one of the Islamic historians, and it is the only Islamic text that describes the Prophet’s character in terms of dealing with others. He says:
“The Prophet was down-to-earth and very corteous. He always greeted people with “Salam”; he used to face and listen carefully to the person he was speaking with, whether young or old; he would always be the last to withdraw his hand after shaking hands; he put sadaqah in the poor people’s hands with his own noble hand; he sat wherever room was available; he never stretched out his legs in front of anyone; never complained about the state of his or other people’s affairs; he used to go to the market and carry his things by himself; he was at everybody’s disposal, whether free, slave or poor; he used to accept apology; he used to clean his cloths himself as well as take care of his shoes; he would also serve himself, take care of his camel, broom his house and eat together with his servants; he used to walk humbly, lowering his gaze; he spent a lot of time reflecting and talked only when necessary; he tended to be silent and when he did talk, he was eloquent; he was gentle; he treasured gifts no matter how insignificant and never criticised them; he never complained about the food; he never got angry on account of worldly matters nor on his own account. When he was angry with something, he would just turn away (his face), and when he was pleased with something, he would lower his gaze. He used to bring people together not pull them apart and to attract people not to brush them off; he used to dignify every honorable person in his community and put them in charge (of it); he used to check on his companions’ needs and people’s needs in general; he used to approve what is right and disapprove what is wrong and put it down; he was never negligent of a right nor did he ever trample on a right. Anyone who sat with him would think that he was the most beloved by him; he never let down a person in need, and either satisfied this need or said nice comforting words. He was pleasing, well-mannered, lenient, never rude, harsh, or foul-mouthed; he used to turn a blind eye to the things he longed for; he never disappointed anyone; he never disparaged or degraded anyone; he never pointed to people’s blemishes; he always said what was useful to others; he used to laugh at whatever his companions would laugh and wonder at whatever his companions wondered at; he was patient with strangers and tolerant of their harshness in asking, and he never interrupted a person who was talking till he finished.”

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds

Translation : Noora Al Sharabi
Auditing : Najat Rozko




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