___ In the previous
section, we mentioned that Islam revolves around the belief in the
"There is no other than One
and Only One God (Allah), and Muhammed is His Prophet and Messenger."
and the first part about the belief in One God was
discussed. The second part of the statement declares that "Muhammed is
the Prophet and Messenger of God."
A Testimony by Non Muslims
ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA confirms:
"....a mass of detail in
the early sources show that he (Muhammed) was an honest and upright man
who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest
and upright men." (Vol. 12).
MICHAEL H. HART in his recently published book on
ratings of men who contributed towards the benefit and uplift of mankind
"My choice of Muhammed
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 religious and secular levels."
-- M.H. Hart (THE 100: A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY,
New York, 1978, p. 33).
So, Who was Muhammed ?
___ Muhammed was a descendant
of the Prophet Ishamel, son of the Prophet Abraham. As a little boy,
he was orphaned and was brought up by his own uncle. As a young man, he
was a successful businessman, known for his excellent character, truthfulness,
and kindness to the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan, the slave
and the downtrodden.
was born into the society of Mecca called Quraish, that was
strictly adherent to the worship of idols and held many skewed values.
However, he was never involved in the idolatry worship . During his life
time he was renowned for his excellence, and merited for his truthfulness,
and exemplified for his character to the point were he was nicknamed "As-sadiqul
Ameen", meaning "the most truthful and most trustworthy person". Up
to the age of forty, Muhammed was not known as a statesman, nor a preacher
and he was never an orator. He was never seen discussing the principles
of metaphysics, ethics, law, politics, economics or sociology. No doubt
he possessed an excellent character, charming manners and was highly cultured.
Yet there was nothing so deeply striking and so radically extraordinary
in him that would make men expect something great and revolutionary from
him in the future. He used to devote some of his time to the soul worship
of God away from his people in a cave called Hira'. However, this
all changed when, at the age of forty he received his first of the revelations
sent to him by God.
Muhammed the Prophet (peace
be upon him)
___ After receiving revelation,
Muhammed underwent persecutions for his beliefs, conspirations to assassinate
him, and was severely abused along with his followers. Despite that, Muhammed
remained patient until an Islamic community was found in Madina
13 years later. From there Islam spread to all of Arabia within 10 years.
His Life After Prophecy
___ So how did this Prophet
/ statesman / preacher / orator who captured the love, respect, and devotion
of the people around him, live his life after and during the spread if
Islam ? Did he live in a palace guarded and protected by hundreds, sitting
on a golden throne ? Absolutely not ! This magnificent man, that
all Arabia and the rest of the world looked up to and admired, and still
do, lived less than a simple life, in less than a simple home, eating less
than the simple man, unguarded by walls and unprotected by men and swords.
He was so far from the material world that on his death bed he remembered
that he had 7 coins in his possession and ordered that they be distributed
to the poor at once. He then passed out because of his fever and woke up
again to ask about what happened to the coins. His family who were busy
attending to his illness forgot to distribute the coins to the needy and
he ordered them one more time to spend the coins in charity before his