Non-muslims often ask about the evidence for God (if they are atheists/agnostics) or reject the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (if they are Jews, Christians and other beliefs) and of course many various muslims from the Prophet ﷺ himself and notable scholars like Imam Ghazali and Imam Hanafi right up to modern times have shown at length in their books and lives about the truth of Islam and provided guidance for muslims.
So one day I’m sitting with my friend helping him learn some Arabic and we are reading the Quran. We happen to be reading and I saw this sura called Al-bayyinah (The Clear Evidence). I was thinking “oh, this is basically Allah now informing us of the clear evidence of the Truth” and when I read it quickly it struck me how short it was (eight verses) but very powerful. If anyone wanted to know the truth of islam and the message the Prophet ﷺ was preaching then you only have to look at the Prophet ﷺ himself and the Quran. Essentially the Prophet Muhammd’s ﷺ life, qualities and personality prove the validaty of his message, and his honesty and uprightness give validity to the Quran which in turn gives validity to Islam. I’ll quote the relevant verses here from Al-Bayyinah, chapter 98:
- Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, were not going to depart (from their ways) until there should come to them Clear Evidence,-
- An Apostle from Allah, rehearsing scriptures kept pure and Holy.
Basically, before the coming of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ the Jews were waiting for the new Prophet to bring them guidance and the Christians were waiting the foretold “Comforter”. They were expecting the Prophet ﷺ but when he came they rejected him partly because they wanted to follow their own ways, and partly because the Prophet ﷺ was arab. And the rest just wanted to continue following their own ways and desires.
The realisation that hit me was that if anyone wanted to know the truth about Islam they really have no choice but to study the Prophet’s ﷺ life which is amazingly well-documented and also to study the Quran. If people don’t do this then they only have a distorted view of Islam from the media and other naysayers. If you are a follower of truth then you would seek it, otherwise you will be comfortable right where you are.
There are many reasons why I personally love the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and follow him but to list a few I am drawn to his magnanimity and kindness, his shyness and softness, and his pure honesty. Nowadays essentially everyone has told lies in their lives from simple fibs to outright deception. The amazing thing about the Prophet ﷺ was that he never once uttered a lie, and even on the rare occasions when he would joke, he told a truth through the joke. His reputation for honesty was well known amongst the people and his own tribe knew that very well. He was known as Al-Ameen, the trustworthy one. Below I’ll list testimonials by non-muslim historians as a bit of evidence to back up my statement. Credit for these quotes goes to womeninislam786 blog which collected these quotes.
The British Historian Sir William Muir, who was a hostile critic of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had this to say about him in his book “Life of Muhammad”:
“Our authorities, all agree in ascribing to the youth of Mohammad a modesty of deportment and purity of manners rare among the people of Makkah. The fair character and honorable bearing of the unobtrusive youth won the approbation of his fellow-citizens; and he received the title, by common consent, of Al-Ameen, the Trustworthy.”
James Michener in his book “Islam, the misunderstood religion” writes:
“Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and the needy, the widow and the orphan, the slave and the downtrodden. At twenty he was already a successful business man, and soon became director of camel caravans for a wealthy widow. When he reached twenty-five his employer, recognizing his merit, proposed marriage. Even though she was fifteen years older, he married her, and as long as she lived remained a devoted husband.”
John Davenport, an English Puritan clergyman, in his book “An apology for Mohammad and the Koran” recognises the honesty of the Prophet ﷺ when he says:
“It is strongly corroborative of Mohammad’s sincerity that the earliest converts of Islam were his bosom friends and the people of his household, who all intimately acquainted with his private life, could not fail to have detected those discrepancies which more or less invariably exist between the pretensions of the hypocritical deceiver and his actions at home.”
Also from Davenport:
“With all that simplicity which is so natural to a great mind, he performed the humblest offices whose homeliness it would be idle to conceal with pompous diction; even while Lord of Arabia, he mended his own shoes and coarse woolen garments, milked the ewes, swept the hearth, and kindled the fire. Dates and water were his usual fare and milk and honey his luxuries. When he traveled he divided his morsel with the servant. The sincerity of his exhortations to benevolence was justified at his death by the exhausted state of his coffers.”
Essentially, even towards the end of his life when he had total control over Arabia and access to wealth he still lived an extremely simple life, and his family would often starve because there was no food in the house and when he died, the clothes he wore had patches on it, and the house was because there was no oil to burn in a lamp. The health and vigor of a tree is shown by its fruits, and the Prophet ﷺ showed that his drive for his mission did not come from ambitions of power or wealth or status. These points are undeniable when one genuinely studies the life of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
Just to finish off with a final quote by Mahatma Ghandi:
“I wanted to know the best of one who holds today’s undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind. I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life.” [Young India, 1924]
Please leave a like if you enjoyed and as a final note, I would suggest that you read this article here of a short essay by a non-muslim historian of his opinion of the Prophet ﷺ. The ﷺ epithet I include after each mention of the Prophet ﷺ is a concise way of writing the arabic salawat “sallallahu aleihi wa sallam” which means “Prayer of God on him and peace”.