Our Prophet According To The Westerners (Part 1)
Let us repeat once again that the entire world respects the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ‘alaihi wa sallam’ and no one, with the exception of a few bigoted priests, has ever criticized him. Let us read together an article about Muhammad ‘sall-Allâhu ‘alaihi wa sallam’ and Islam, which appeared in an encyclopaedia entitled Kurschner, published in Stutgart, Germany, in 1305 [1888 C.E.].
We have chosen that encyclopaedia as the source of our citation because books in that category have to abide by the truth as long as it is possible. What concerns us in this connection is its comments on the moral quality and the virtues of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ‘alaihi wa sallam’. Since it reflects the opinions which the Christian scientists of the previous century entertained concerning the Islamic religion, we have paraphrased the following passage in its entirety: “Muhammad’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ registered name is Abul-qâsim bin Abdullah. He is the founder of the Islamic religion.
He was born in the city of Mecca in 571, on the twentieth of April. From his childhood, he engaged in trade, made numerous journeys(!), established contacts with people, and evinced an omnifarious interest in learning. He married Khadîja, the young widow of a deceased wealthy merchant, who had hired him for the management of the business she had inherited from her husband. In 610 he came up with the conviction that he was a prophet receiving messages from Allah, and embarked on an assiduous activity to communicate to the idolatrous Arabs the CONCEPT of ONE ALLAH.
Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ believed with all his heart that Allâhu ta’âlâ had given him this duty. Although the majority of Meccans were against him, rejected his ideas vehemently, and even tried to kill him, he would not give up his struggle, and went on with his activity. Eventually, when the oppressions of his adversaries were too heavy for him to bear, he left the city of Mecca, and migrated to Yathrib [Medina]. Muslims call his migration Hijrat (Hegira] and accept the date as the beginning of their calendar.
Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ found many supporters in Medina. What he wanted to do was to correct the Arabs’ religion, idolatry, and to prove to them the unity of Allah. According to Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’, the religious essentials communicated by the Prophets Ibrâhîm (Abraham), Mûsâ (Moses), and Îsâ (Jesus) ‘alaihim-us-salâm’ were the same, and the religions taught by these Prophets were true. Later, however, the last two religions were interpolated and turned into Judaism and Christianity with the wrong tenets and heresies inserted into them in the course of time. Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ was telling everybody that all those former religions were the continuations of one another and that Islam was the most consummate and the purest form of all those religions.