Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) occupies an exalted, everlasting and the most unique position in the religious history of mankind. Of all the Founders of Religion only Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is the first and the last to claim that the Message which he brought from Allah Ta'ala to mankind is absolutely complete and final, that his dispensation shall remain in force till the end of the world, and after him no Divine Messenger will come to modify, add, subtract or abrogate any of his teachings. In him, the institution of Prophethood attained its full, final and most perfect form.
History shows that the world from the beginning has not produced any other man who can rival the Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in the field of his teachings, his actions, his deeds or practical way of life.
It was Nabi Muhammad's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) grandest contribution to the elevation of his fellow-men that he re-affirmed the sovereign principle of Monotheism and universal brotherhood of man transcending all barriers that people erect in ignorance and fear. Nabi Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) arose in the midst of a society that was cruelly barbarious, which had no culture, no manners, no society and no civilisation. Humanity was coming very close to calamity. Imagine the same society is today the noble torch-bearer of a new and excellent civilisation. This is one of the main miracles the Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) performed and world history bears testimony to this truth. In a short span of 23 years he brought under one banner a most barbarous tribe spread over 2 000 000 square miles of a very remote region of the world.
It is a universal fact that Nabi Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is the only Prophet in whose honour praises have been sung by all other religious leaders and some have rather recommended to their followers to follow the path of this great Prophet. People like Guru Nanak, the spiritual head of Sikh sect, and George Bernard Shaw, the philosopher, are such personalities.
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) accomplished what he undertook in his own short span of life with limited means and all round adversities, trials tortures and tribulations. The task that he accomplished, the work that he did, the manners and the character that he exhibited, and above all, the way in which he completed this stupendous task, is itself a clear proof of his being the last and the living Messenger of Allah whose religion is perfect, character blotless and complete, and teachings marvellous in all respects.
What he preached appealed to man's reasons and rational faculties rather than to mere sentimentalism, fanaticism, irrationality and superstition. He showed what was crystal clear.
Although he was apostle, philosopher, reformer, religious head, statesman, orator, commander, soldier, administrator, and the head of state, he never sat an inch above the place where his followers used to sit, or ate a morsel more than his Companions ate or wore what was superior than what others used to wear.He was a selfless and sincere friend, perfect guide, graceful companion, loving teacher, an impartial judge and above all a simple and straight forward person. He sat in such a simple attire and mixed up so freely and simply with all the common people that the foreign delegations visiting his capital used to inquire from others as to who the Prophet of Islam was. Can any head of the state or any religious head in any part of the world boast to possess such an amicable nature? Can any head of state be so courageous?
History has known many great and glorious civilisations. The main amongst them being the Chinese civilization, Greek civilization, Roman civilization, Marxism and the Imperialistic. None owes its origin and establishment to a single individual. Nor can it be counted as everlasting. Moreover, these civilisations of the world covered a certain field and certain part of the world. All the civilisations were basically collective efforts of many, but Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) gave Islamic civilisation single-handedly for all times to come.
Over the hills of Makkah, there was a heavenly glow. The birth of our Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was an earth-shaking event in the year 570 A.D. Born in the most backward and uncivilized city of Makkah in the Middle East, lived only 63 years in this world, remained unlettered throughout, but changed the destiny of the entire humanity. The whole culture of humanity and the existence of human race was revolutionised during these 23 years of his Prophethood and throughout the world he was the only one single person with multiple capacities who could successfully carry out this stupendous task in such a short span of time and amidst untold adversities. He was the Prophet who uprooted Polytheism once for all.
His father, Sayyiduna Abdullah (radi Allahu anhu) and mother, Bibi Aaminah (radi Allahu anhu), passed away after his birth. His grandfather, Sayyiduna Abdul Mutallib (radi Allahu anhu), who took care of him, too soon passed away. He was thus an orphan. Dai Halimah (radi Allahu anha) took care of him for full five years in the desert. But no one knew at that time that this shy, sweet and sublime orphan will grow up to be the greatest and the last Prophet of Allah and show the world the real path to salvation in the most simple and straight-forward style. They never knew that he is Mercy for them as well as for all the worlds and all the generations and all ages so long as the world lasts. Allah Ta'ala says in the Holy Quran: "We sent to you not but as a Mercy for all mankind".
The personality of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is the most perfect and profound in history. A personification of the moral code of life as enshrined in the Holy Quran, he created a moral society and a just State that blended the spiritual with the temporal in the most beautifully balanced synthesis. This was the only Prophet whose words and deeds were 100% alike. He preached what he and his Companions practised, he treated the King and commoner alike. He was sweet, simple, civil and kind to each and everyone. He never hurt the feelings of even his deadliest enemy.
Let us see how some great men, who were not Muslims, but fascinated by Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), have described him before the World:-
1. Lord Hadly, Sir Charles Archibald, Thomas Carlyle, H.G. Wells, Gibbon, George Bernard Shaw, Guru Nanak, Napoleon Bonaparte, Mahatma Gandhi, Bertland Russel, Dozy, Michael H. Hart and a countless number of historians, philosophers, authors, statesmen and orators have painted a marvellous picture of the Prophet's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) personality and echoed to salute him, his preaching and his practices.
2. In a number of religious books of other religions, extraordinary record of the doings of the Holy Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and prophecies about his birth can clearly be seen. For instance, in Sanskrit religious books the following description is vividly written: "O People! Listen to this sympathetically, the man of praise (Muhammad) will be raised amongst the people whose loftiness of position touch the Heaven and lowers it". (Sanskrit Holy book)
3. Socrates, the Greek philosopher, told his followers that a man will come from Arabian land, introduce a new religion of purity and peace. He will come earlier and bring prosperity to each and every one.
4. In the book "Prophet of East", the famous writer of Asia, Diwan Chand Sharma, writes that Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was the soul of kindness and his influence was never at all forgotten.
5. British Prime Minister, Mr James Callaghan, said on the 5th of February 1979 in a programme "World this Week" on 1978 and events in 1979 in a television interview with B.B.C. that, "traditions, faith and belief of Prophet Muhammad's religion, Islam commands great support and are indeed very worthy beliefs".
6. In the famous book, "The 100 Great", Sayyiduna Rasoolullah's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) name has been selected to be first of all others. The writer, Mr Michael H. Hart, writes that he is the only one in the world who is the greatest in the worldly affairs as well as in the ecclesiastical affairs alike.
7. There are thousands of the authors of the world, including Russians, who have placed Sayyiduna Rasoolullah's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) name on the top of the Law Givers of the World.
8. Prof. Muir writes: "All agree in ascribing to the youth of Muhammad (peace be on him) a modesty of truth and purity of manners rare amongst the people. Endowed with refined mind and delicate taste, reserved and humble, he lived much within himself. The fair character and honourable bearing of unobtrusive youth was the approbation of his fellow citizens and by common consent received the title of 'Al Amin' - The Trustworthy. Even those who opposed him agreed to this title".
9. Mr Marcus Dods writes in his book, "Muhammad, Buddha and Christ": "Certainly Muhammad had most important characteristics of the Prophetic order. He saw truth about God which fellow men did not see, and he had an irresistible inward impulse to publicise this truth. In respect of this latter qualification, Muhammad may stand first in comparison to most courageous of the heroic Prophets of Israel. For truths sake he risked his life, he suffered daily persecution for years and eventually banishment, the loss of the property, separation of his fellow citizens and of his friends, he suffered in short as much as any man can suffer short of death. No bribe, threat or inducement could silence him".
10. Arthur Gilman, in his famous book, "Saracens", writes: "The day Muhammad's (peace be on him) greatest triumph over his events was also the day of his grandest victory over himself. He freely forgave the Koraysh. Muhammad's victory was in very truth one of religions and not of politics, he rejected every token of personal homage and declined all legal authority and when the naughty chiefs appeared before him he asked, 'what you can expect at my hands? ' 'Mercy O generous brother.' 'Be it so. You are free', he exclaimed".
11. In the book, "The History of Intellectual Development", Mr John William Draper, says: "A Prophet was born at Mecca in Arabia, the man who of all men has exercised the greatest influence upon human race".
12. Sir Charles Edward Archibald was a Lieutenant in the British Royal Defence Corpse. He was also the President of the Royal Selsy Conservative Society of Britain. He was so much influenced by the life and works of Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the Prophet, that he embraced Islam on 20th December 1923. Abdullah was his new name. He was a popular writer, thinker, statesman and was familiarly known as Sir Abdullah Hamilton. He has written volumes on Islam, and in praise of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
13. John Davenport says: "There is no doubt that amongst all Lawgivers and Conquerors, there is not a single one whose life story is found in more details and authenticity than that of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)".
14. Dr A.K. Germanus, a well-known historian and author of Hungary, who was also for a few years in association with Rabindranath Tagore, embraced Islam and his new name was Abdul Karrim. This was all due to the influence of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) teaching and his practical life which he studied thoroughly.
15. A number of other non-Muslim authors of Europe, Asia and Africa have also written volumes on the Prophet of Islam. Only a cursory glance at these books will show as to how minutely they have studied the life of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and reached at a definite conclusion that he was the greatest of all. Some of them have declared the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) as the President of all the Prophets of Allah.
16. Dr Johnson paid his tribute to Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in the following words: "His purely historical character, his simple humanity, claiming only to be a man among men, his intense realism, avoiding all mystical remoteness; his rejection of miracle; the thoroughly democratic and universal form under which his idea of the Divine monarchy led him to conceive the relations of men; the force of his ethical appeal; ... all affiliate Muhammad (peace be upon him) with the modern world".
17. George Bernard Shaw opines: "I believe that if a man like Muhammad (peace be upon him) were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness".
The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) shed a brilliant light on all problems with which humanity has had to tackle and grapple. His sayings deserve to be studied by all those who want justice, equality and brotherhood established upon earth.
Let us inform our western world that their Prophet Jesus (I'sa alaihis salaam) declared in the most explicable terms to his followers, thus, "O Children of Israel, surely I am the Messenger of Allah to you verifying that which is before me of the Torah and giving the good news of a Messenger of Allah who will come after me his name being Ahmad (Muhammad)".
The historians of the world have whole-heartedly admitted that Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is that supreme model of human conduct and behaviour that we are enjoined to emulate and imitate. "As regards all standards by which human greatness is measured, we may ask, is there any one greater than Prophet Muhammad?" (Lamartine)
He lived 13 years at Makkah and 10 years in Madina Shareef. He lived the most simple life, he kept all his Companions close to him and all the 23 years were his years of hard toil and continuous exertion. He fought battles and wards, won them, managed the affairs of the State and gave justice to friend and the foe alike, and his words had a magical impact upon life action and behaviour of all humanity.
In only 10 years that he lived in Madina Shareef, he destroyed idolatry, uprooted all evils from the society, raised woman from the status of a chattel to a complete legal equality with man, eradicated drinking and immorality which had till then disgraced the human race, made men in love with faith sincerity and absolutely honest dealings, transformed tribes who had been for centuries content with all kinds of ignorance into a people with ever increasing thirst for knowledge, and for the first time in human history made universal human brotherhood a fact and principle of common law. The life of the Holy Prophet of Islam infact was a miracle in itself judging the above facts.
Writing on the personality of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), Sir Stanley Lane-Poole says: "In his habits he was extremely simple, although he bestowed great care on his person. His eating and drinking, his dress and his furniture retained, even when he had reached the fullness of power, their almost primitive nature. The only luxuries he indulged in were arms, which he highly prized, and a pair of yellow boots, a present from the Negus of Abyssinia. Perfumes, however, he loved passionately, being most sensitive to smells. Strong drinks he abhorred. "He was gifted with mighty powers of imagination, elevation of mind, delicacy and refinement of feeling. He is more modest than a virgin behind her curtain, it was said of him. He was most indulgent to his inferiors, and would never allow his little page to be scolded whatever he did. Ten years, said Anas, his servant, I was about the prophet, and he never said as much as 'uff' to me.
"He was very affectionate towards his family. One of the boys died on his breast in the smoky house of the nurse, a blacksmith's wife. He was very fond of children; he would stop them in the streets and pat their little heads. He never struck anyone in his life. The worst expression he ever made use of in conversion was 'What has come to him? May his forehead become darkened with mud!' When asked to curse someone he replied, 'I have not been sent to curse, but to be a mercy to mankind'.
"He visited the sick, followed any bier he met, accepted the invitation of a slave to dinner, mended his own clothes, milked the goats, and waited upon himself, relates summarily another tradition. He never first withdrew his hand out of another man's palm, and turned not before the other had turned.
"He was the most faithfully protector of those he protected, the sweetest and most agreeable in conversation. Those who saw him were suddenly filled with reverence. Those who came near loved him; they who described him would say, 'I have never seen his like either before or after'. He was of great reservedness, but when he spoke, it was with emphasis and deliberation, and no one could forget what he did".
Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France says: "Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a prince; he rallied his compatriots around him. In a few years, the Muslims conquered half of the world. They snatched away more souls from false gods, pulled down more idols, demolished more pagan temples in fifteen years than the followers of Moses and Jesus did in fifteen centuries. Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a great man. He might have been, in fact, a god, if the revolution which he was instrumental in bringing about had not been prepared by circumstances. When he appeared, the Arabs had been, since many years, afflicted with civil wars. All those nations that have achieved great things have done them when they came out of such ordeals that renewed equally their souls and their bodies. If the battles of Kadesia and (gap in the original MSS) which enabled the intrepid Muslims to plant the standard of the Prophet on the banks of the Oxus and on the frontiers of China; if those of Ajnadin and Yarmuk, which caused Syria and Egypt to fall under their dominion, were turned against them; if the Khalids, the Zerars and the Amrs had been defeated and repelled to the vast deserts, the Arabs would have gone back to their wandering life; they would have lived like their forefathers, poor and miserable; the names of Muhammad, Ali, and Omar would have remained unknown to the World".
The Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) attained eminence due to his excellence. He dispelled the darkness with his radiance. Very splendid are his qualities and on him and his family. May Allah Ta'ala shower His blessings in countless number. If we recite Durood in abundance, we are sure to enter Paradise safe and sound.