In the next few articles, by way of example, we will highlight just a few quotations from some of the prominent non-Muslim authors and scholars of recent time (nineteenth and twentieth century), in order to provoke thought and to encourage further reading.
Acknowledgements by Lamartine, of Paris, France, as early as 1854 AD
“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, legislations, 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, 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 standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”
Lamartine, Histoire de la Turquire, Vol. II, pp276-77, Paris 1854
Bosworth Smith (1874 AD) on Muhammed (peace be upon him)
“He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope’s pretentions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue; if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammad, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports.”
Bosworth Smith, Mohammad and Mohammadanism, p.92, London, 1874 .
Reverence for Muhammad (peace be upon him) – Annie Besant 1932 AD
“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 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 re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.”
Annie Besant, The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, p.4, Madras 1932
For further information on Islam or a free copy of the Holy Qur’aan, please contact:
Majlisul Ulama Zimbabwe, Council of Islamic Scholars
P.O. Box W93, Waterfalls, Harare
Tel: 04-614078 / 614004, Fax : 04-614003
e-mail: [email protected]
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