The non-Muslim verdict on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

K.S Ramakrishna Rao, an Indian Professor of Philosophy in his book Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam calls him the Perfect model for human life:

The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it can I catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes! There is Muhammad, the Prophet. There is Muhammad, the Warrior, Muhammad, the Businessman; Muhammad, the Statesman; Muhammad, the Orator; Muhammad, the Reformer; Muhammad, the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad, the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad, the Judge; Muhammad, the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is like a hero.

Michael Hart in The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in the History, New York, 1978, p. 33:

My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in the history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level. It is probable that the relative influence of Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. It is this unparalleled combination of the secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered to be the most influential single figure in human history.

Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in Young India, 1924:

I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind……….I became more than ever 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 pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and his mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was no more for me to read of that great life.

Thomas Carlyle in his Heroes and Hero Worship, was simply amazed as to:

How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades.

George Bernard Shaw in The Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936:

  1. I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion, which appears to me to possess that assimilation capacity to the changing phase of existence, which can make itself appeal in every age. I have studied him (Muhammad ) – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the savior of humanity.
  2. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much-needed peace and happiness: I have prophesized about the faith in Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe today.
  3. He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings, and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.

Edward Gibbon and Simon Ockley speaking on Islam in History Of The Saracen Empires, London, 1870, p. 54:

‘I believe in one god, and Mahomet, an apostle of god’ is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honor of the Prophet has never transgressed the measure of human virtues; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.
Alfonso De Lamartine, Histoire De La Turquie, Paris, 1854, Vol.II, pp 276-277:

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 ) has in conception as well as in 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, Abyssina, all the known parts of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul.

If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws, and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislation, empires, peoples and 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 souls….his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, 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 two-fold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with the words.

Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all the standards by which Human Greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?

Dr. Gustav Well in History of Islamic Peoples:

 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 slave which he could do for himself. He was acceptable to all and 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.


J.W.H. Stab in Islam and its founder:

 Judged by the smallness of means at his disposal, and the extent and permanence of the work he accomplished, his name in world’s history shines with a more specious lustre than that of the Prophet of Makkah. To the impulse which he gave numberless dynasties have owed their existence, fair cities and stately places and temples have arisen, and wide provinces became obedient to the faith. And beyond all this, his words have governed the belief of generations, been accepted as their rule of life, and their certain guide to the world to come. At thousand shrines the voices of the faithful invoke blessings on him, whom they esteem the very Prophet of God, the seal of the Apostles… Judged by the standards to human renown, the glory of what mortal can compare with this?

Edward Montet in La propagnde Chretienne et ses Adversaries Musulmans, Paris 1890:

 Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the wildest sense of this term considered etymologically and historically…the teaching of the Prophet, the Quran has invariably kept its place as the fundamental starting point, and the dogma of unity of God has always been proclaimed therein with a grandeur of majesty, and invariable purity and with note of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam…A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and consequently so accessible to the ordinary outstanding might be expected to posses and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the consciences of men…

Arthur Glyn Leonard in Islam, her Moral and Spiritual values:

It was a genius of Muhammad, the spirit that he breathed into the Arabs through the soul of Islam that exalted the. That raised them out of the lethargy and low level of tribal stagnation up to the watermark of national unity and empire. It was in the sublimity of Mohammed’s deism, the simplicity, the sobriety and purity it inculcated the fidelity of its founder to its own tenets that acted on their moral and intellectual fiber with all magnetism of inspiration.

Sarojini Naidu, Ideals Of Islam, vide Speeches & Writings, Madras, 1918, p. 169:

It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque when the call for prayer is sounded and worshipers are gathered together, democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim; God Alone is Great … I have been struck over and over again by this invisible unity of Islam that makes man instinctively a brother.

Lane Poole in ‘Speeches and Table Talk of the Prophet Muhammad’:

He was the most faithful protector, the Sweetest and most agreeable in conversation. Those who saw him were suddenly filled with reverence, those who came near him loved him; they who described him would say, I have never seen his like either before or after. He was of great taciturnity, but when he spoke it was with emphasis and deliberation, and no one could forget what he said…

Professor Jules Masserman:

People like Pasteur and Salk are leaders in the first sense. People like Gandhi and Confucius, on one hand, and Alexander, Caesar and Hitler on the other, are leaders in the second and perhaps the third sense. Jesus and Buddha belong in the third category alone. Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Mohammed, who combined all three functions. To a lesser degree, Moses did the same.

Diwan Chand Sharma in The Prophets of the East, Calcutta 1935, page 122):

Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him.

John William Draper in A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, London 1875, Vol. 1, pp. 329-330:

Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born at Mecca, in Arabia the man who, of all men exercised the greatest influence upon the human race . . . Mohammed . . .

John Austinin Muhammad the Prophet of Allah, in T.P.’s and Cassel’s Weekly for 24th September 1927:

In little more than a year he was actually the spiritual, nominal and temporal rule of Medina, with his hands on the lever that was to shake the world.

Prof. Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje:

The League of Nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show a candle to other nations. He continues: The fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what Islam has done towards the realization of the idea of the League of Nations.

Annie Besant in The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras 1932, page 4:

It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that 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 re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.

Annie Besant in Encyclopedia Britannica:

Muhammad is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities. He was a mass of detail in the early sources show that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest and upright men.

Rev. R. Bosworth-Smith in Mohammed and Mohammedanism 1946:

  1. By a fortune absolutely unique in history, Mohammed is a threefold founder of a nation, of an empire, and of a religion.
  2. Head of the State as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but, he was Pope without the Pope’s pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a police force, without a fixed revenue. If ever a man had the right to say that he ruled by a right divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all the powers without their support. He cared not for the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life.

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