January 12, 2002
PROPHET MOHAMMAD (PEACE BE UPON HIM)
BY RAZI KHAN
In the desert of Arabia was Mohammad (PBUH) born, according to Muslim historians, on April 20, 571 AD. The name means “highly praised.” He is to every single Muslim the greatest mind among all the sons of Arabia. He means so much more than all the poets and kings that preceded him in that impenetrable desert of red sand. When he appeared Arabia was a desert, a nothing. Out of nothing a new world was fashioned by the mighty spirit of Mohammad (PBUH) -- a new life, a new culture, a new civilization, a new kingdom which extended from Morocco to the Indies and influenced the thought and life of three continents, Asia, Africa and Europe. To write about Mohammad the prophet (PBUH) is not an easy task, because it is to write about a religion. The subject of this paper is about the tenets of a religion which is historic and its prophet who is also a historic personality. Mohammed (PBUH) was the greatest man to ever walk to face of the earth. His actions and his contributions to not only the Islamic world but also to the entire world have left a legacy which will never be forgotten. To many this legacy has become their destiny, to follow the prophet’s commands and to be like him in every aspects of life. Even a hostile critic like Sir William Muir speaking about the holy Quran says that. "There is probably in the world no other book which has remained twelve centuries with so pure text" (Muir, 4, May 8, 2001, http://www. islamtoday.com). Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is also a historic personality, every event of whose life has been most carefully recorded and even the minutest details preserved intact for the posterity of the believers and the faith. His life and works are not wrapped in mystery.
The days are fast disappearing when Islam was highly misrepresented by some of its critics for reasons political and otherwise. Prof. Bevan writes in Cambridge Medieval History, "Those account of Mohammad and Islam which were published in Europe before the beginning of 19th century are now to be regarded as literary curiosities" (Bevan, ~ 10, 01/11/01, http://126.96.36.199/iSoc/whatispbuh.htm). The theory of Islam and Sword for instance is not heard now as frequently. ‘This charge based on ignorance and bigotry’, says the eminent historian, Gibbon, ‘is refuted by Quran, by history of the Musalman conquerors and by their public and legal toleration of Christian worship. ’
The great success of Mohammad's (PBUH) life had been affected by sheer moral force, without a stroke of sword. But in pure self-defense, and after repeated efforts of conciliation had utterly failed, circumstances dragged him into the battlefield. But the prophet of Islam changed the whole strategy at the battlefield. The total number of casualties in all the wars that took place during his lifetime when the whole Arabian Peninsula came under his banner did not...