MOHAMMAD (Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him), is a man that needs no introduction. He was a man of noble character, born into a noble family and destined for a great mission; to carry the noble message of Islam and save mankind from their own destruction. His life was no accident and his calling was to unite people through one common purpose; worship of one and only God.

Mohammad (PBUH) was not unique in this calling for he was the seal of prophets that came before him; Jesus, Mosses, Abrahim and Noah. He (PBUH) was known as the ‘Truthful’ even by his enemies and he was compassionate to the sick and destitute, and those repulsed by a society that thrived on class distinction.

In fact, the social structure was in place only to benefit the wealthy and the powerful. Consequently, tribalism ruled and the more powerful one’s tribe, the less accountable he would be. This was a common example of the privileged few being protected when the less-privileged were continuously prosecuted. When the following verse was revealed:

{As for the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands a punishment for what they have earned, and exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise} Quran: 5:38

‘The Quraish people became very worried about the Makhzumiya lady who had committed theft. They said, “Nobody can speak (in favor of the lady) to Allah’s Apostle and nobody dares do that except Usama who is the favorite of Allah’s Apostle. ” When Usama spoke to Allah’s Apostle about that matter, Allah’s Apostle said, “Do you intercede (with me) to violate one of the legal punishment of Allah?” Then he got up and addressed the people, saying, “O people! The nations before you went astray because if a noble person committed theft, they used to leave him, but if a weak person among them committed theft, they used to inflict the legal punishment on him. By Allah, if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad committed theft, Muhammad will cut off her hand.!” (Narrated by Aisha, Sahih Bukhari, Book 81)

This hadith shows us how the Quraish people wanted exceptions to be made due to the social distinction of this lady regarding a ruling that applied to all. However, the prophet (PBUH) demonstrated the justice of Islam in a world where the affluent went unpunished for their crimes.

Other pre-Islamic practises Mohammad (PBUH) didn’t approve of included drinking, gambling, adultery and other immoral behaviours. In a society dominated by men, women had no apparent status and baby girls were buried alive for they were considered a source of shame.

This was the Arabian Peninsula before Islam, and Mohammad, with his noble distinction, was chosen by God to be an ambassador for moral uprightness in a society absorbed in the darkness of its own wickedness.

With the birth and rise of Islam came accountability for not just one’s relationship with God, but also with others. Islam spread fast because those accepting it recognised its superior teachings and the integrity of its purpose. The tolerance of Islam for people of different faiths was also unheard of and Christians and Jews were equally free to practice their beliefs. And although Islam asserts itself as the true religion and invites people to it, it also states that each can have their own beliefs.

{There is no compulsion in religion} Quran: 2: 256

Mohammad (PBUH) was a prophet of God, a husband, a father, a leader and a friend to many regardless of their social class or ethnicity. He was an individual beloved by not just millions, but billions of people from the moment Islam was born and continues to be loved by those present today. The love people have for him without having ever met him exceeds all boundaries. He (PBUH) is loved and respected by the young and the old alike. His name echoes across the globe with much love and appreciation, and the noble teachings he has left behind are cherished and practised by millions on daily basis. His legacy withstands the test of time and his reputation remains unmatched.

The following statements were given by non-Muslims testifying to the distinction of the man called Mohammad, PBUH.

‘If ever a man ruled by a right of divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all the powers without their supporters. He cared not for the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life.’(Reverand Bosworth Smith – Muhammad and Muhammadanism- London, 1874)

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Dramatist, Political Activist, Philosopher, Visionary and co-founder of the London School of Economics, said the following;

He must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed solving its problems in a way that would bring it much-needed peace and happiness. I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.’ George Bernard Shaw (The Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol.1, Non.8, 1936)

Michael Hart said the following;

‘My choice of Muhammad 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 level.’ (Michael H.Hart – The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, 1978)

If our beloved prophet (PBUH) was as some claim anything less than of exalted character, he would not be honoured, respected or followed by billions as a Messenger of the Almighty God. Indeed, a liar, a madman, a sorcerer and a criminal would not be blindly followed by anyone with an ounce of intellect. Muslims and for that matter, Mohammad (PBUH), don’t need few crude and backward individuals with apparent hate for Islam to recognize his (PBUH) distinction and superiority.

In the Quran, Allah illustrates the exceptionally noble character of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) and also tells us Muslims should follow his exemplary ways:

{And most surely you are of an exalted character}Quran:68:4

{You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example} Quran:33:21

Muslims have every right to be offended by the invented lies of these barbarians. However, we should not resort to unjust violence for that will simply satisfy the desired result of those wanting to cause offence. We should defend Islam in a way that has been legislated by the Quran and Sunnah. Muslims are not reactionaries, responding only when provoked, and with violence. The lies made by others do not harm nor alter the lofty station granted to our beloved Prophet, Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him. We should represent our beautiful faith and its teachings even in times of difficulties, in an equally beautiful manner. This is Islam and although some Muslims may sometimes fall short, there are no flaws in its divine teachings.

By Bint Mohamoud