Greatness of Prophet Muhammad

IN the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Almighty Allah says in Holy Qur’an, Muhammad, 47:2: “But those who believe and work deeds of righteousness and believe in the (Revelation) sent down to Muhammad, for it is the truth from their Lord, He will remove from them their ills and improve their condition.”

One of the greatness of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the fact of being the only one sent to all creatures in the world, out of all the 124,000 Prophets and Messengers sent by God in history (Qur’an 33:40; 21:107; 34:28).

The Holy Qur’an, Anbiyaa, 21:106-107, says: “Verily in the (Qur’an) is a Message for people who would (truly) worship God.  We sent thee not but as a mercy for all creatures.”

Islam, as an Arabic word, derived from an attribute of Allah, ‘As-Salam’, means peace (Qur’an 59:23).

Just like previous Prophets and Messengers, Islam is the religion preached by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as both a religion and a way of life. As a religion, it means total submission to the will of Allah. As a way of life, Islam has its own distinct culture that has its own language of worship, Arabic; unique dressing i.e., women to cover all their parts excepts face and men to cover the body, especially from the navel to the feet; great arts and craft, architecture, literature; folklores and folktales, acceptable (halaal) foods and drinks, sports, marriage and divorce, law (sharia), festivals and celebrations. And Al-Qur’an remains the holy uncorrupted Book till eternity (Q. 41:42).

Adherents of Islam are called Muslims, i.e., those who submit to the unity and indivisibility of Allah (iman, faith), the worship of Allah five times daily at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and at night (salat), pay the annual poor rate from income and property (zakat), fasting in the month of Ramadan (sawm) and perform holy pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina at least once in a lifetime for those who are adult, sane, healthy and wealthy to do so (hajj). Apart from preaching Islam with the revelation of the Holy Qur’an for 23 years, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) practised the religion to demonstrate the actual way to practice it.

Besides, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) came with the only religion named by Allah (Q. 22:78). It is the only religion not named after any individual, race, stock, philosophy or concept as in the cases of Christianity, Buddhism, Marxism and others (Abdalati, 2008).

Islam is not Muhammadanism and the believers are not Muhammedans as erroneously and mischievously expressed by the Orientalists. It is not the invented religion of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who came as the last Prophet to practise the religion to us. And Prophet Muhammad (570- 632 A.D) remains the best exemplar to mankind in terms of piety, leadership, perfection, character, behaviour, attitude and disposition (Qur’an 68:42; 20:1; 21:102).

In fact; Michael H. Hart (1978), an American Christian lawyer, astronomer, mathematician, Chess master and scientist, attests that Prophet Muhammad ranks the best among the most influential leaders, inventors, writers, philosophers, scientists and artists in world history. According to him, “from this research which included the ranking of 100 illustrious personalities such as Jesus Christ, Moses, Caesar, the Wright Brothers, the French Napoleon Bonaparte, the German Adolf Hitler, Williams Shakespeare, Columbus and Michelangelo, Muhammad of Saudi Arabia has the unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles him to be considered as the most influential single figure in human history.”

Michael Hart declares in ‘The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History,’ New York, 1978: “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 secular and religious level. It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. 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 the 1992 review edition of the book, Michael H. Hart still ranks Prophet Muhammad (SAW) (570-632 A.D.) as the greatest in human history in all ramifications. Hart was given meritorious state award in 1988 by President Hosni Mubarak for ranking Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as the greatest in his scientific rankings of 100 great men in history. Muhammad (SAW), the spiritual and political leader, was the seal of Prophets and he was sent to entire humanity.

The second on the ranking by Hart is Isaac Newton (1643-1727), English scientist, physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian. His law of universal gravitation and three laws of motion laid the groundwork for classical mechanics.

The third in the rankings is the spiritual leader of the Christians, Jesus Christ (4 B.C – 33 A.D.). Jesus is the central figure of Christianity, revered by Christians as the Son of God and the incarnation of God. He is also regarded as a major Prophet in Islam.

The fourth in the ranking is Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) (563-483 B.C.), a spiritual leader, spiritual teacher, and philosopher from ancient India born in Nepal, and founder of Buddhism, popularly known as the Light of Asia.

The fifth in the rankings by Hart is Confucius (551-479 B.C.), Chinese thinker and social philosopher, founder of Confucianism, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Indonesian thought and life.

The sixth in the rankings is Paul of Tarsus (5-67 A.D.), Christian Apostle, and one of the most notable of early Christian missionaries, credited with proselytizing and spreading Christianity outside of Palestine (mainly to the Romans) and author of numerous letters of the New Testament of the Bible.

The seventh of the rankings is Cai Lun (50-121 A.D.), Political Official in imperial China, widely regarded as the inventor of paper and the papermaking process. Similarly, the inventor of the European printing press, German printer, Johannes Gutenberg (1398-1468 A.D.) is ranked as the eighth among the 100 greatest men in human history.

The ninth is the Italian navigator, coloniser and explorer whose voyages led to general European awareness of the American continents, Christopher Columbus (1451-1506 A.D.). And Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the German-born theoretical physicist, best known for his theory of relativity and specifically mass-energy equivalence, expressed by the equation E = mc2, is ranked as the 10th in the rankings.

In the 572-page book of Michael H. Hart, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the most influential personality and greatest in the list of personalities which includes 37 scientists and inventors, 11 religious leaders, six artists and literary figures, 71 Europeans, 18 Asians and only one woman, Queen Elizabeth I, from where the 100 men were chosen. Incredibly, Prophet Musa (AS) is ranked as the 40th on the list.

The great Irish prolific writer, playwright, novelist, journalist, critic, satirist, dramatist and philosopher, George Barnard Shaw (1856-1950), agrees with Hart. According to Sir George Bernard Shaw in ‘The Genuine Islam,’ Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936, “If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe, within the next hundred years, it could be Islam. I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capability to the changing phases of existence which can make itself appeal to everyone. I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of today. The medieval ecclesiastics either through ignorance or bigotry painted Islam in the darkest colors. They were, in fact, trained to hate the man Muhammad and his religion. To them, Muhammad was anti – Christ. I have studied him -the wonderful man, and in my opinion, far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the savior of humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring the much-needed peace and happiness.”

Sir G.B. Shaw further says on Prophet Muhammad (SAW): “The world is in dire need of a man with the mind of Muhammad. Religious people in the Middle-Ages, due to their ignorance and prejudice, had pictured him in a very dark way as they used to consider him the enemy of Christianity. But after looking into the story of this man, I found it to be an amazing and a miraculous one and I came to the conclusion that he was never an enemy of Christianity, and must be called instead the savior of humanity. In my opinion, if he was to be given control over the world today, he would solve our problems and secure the peace and happiness which the world is longing for.”

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