Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) A TO Z By Yusuf Estes, Former Christian Preacher
While others are clamoring over what to do when someone draws a cartoon or a picture of one of the prophets of Almighty God, (peace be upon them all), we decided it was time to show the "Real Picture of Mohammed" - everything we could find from A to Z. The results were far too many to list all of them. So, we took the first 26 and put them in alphabetical order, but as you read through the commentaries of others, you will be able to realize many hundreds of additional qualities of this man, Muhammad (peace be upon him).
This "A-Z" on Muhammad (peace be upon him) deals with well established facts about Muhammad (peace be upon him) but certainly does not include everything there is to know about Muhammad (peace be upon him). Volumes and encyclopedias and even libraries have been dedicated to presenting the picture of this great man.
What Did Muhammad Say?
Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught many important principles and morals, and even set forth rules for combat setting the precedent and still exceeding the rules of war set forth by the Geneva Convention.
Consider the following:
All innocent life was sacred and as such none could be harmed, except those who were engaged against them in active combat. Saving one life was as if one had saved the entire world, while taking an innocent life was as if one had taken the lives of the entire world.
There was to be no genocide of any tribes even up until some had committed genocide against some Muslims. He offered mutual protection and forgiveness to the all even after certain ones broke their covenants with him many times. He did not allow them to be attacked until it was clearly proven they were traitors during time of war and tried to bring down the prophet (peace be upon him) and the Muslims at any cost. Retaliation was only to those Jews who had turned traitor and not others.
Slaves were common in those days for all nations and tribes. It was Islam that encouraged freeing of the slaves and the great reward from Allah for those who did so. Prophet (peace be upon him) gave the example of this by freeing slaves and encouraging all of his followers to do the same. Examples include his own servant (who was actually considered like a son to him) Zaid ibn Al Haritha and Bilal the slave who was bought by Abu Bakr only for the purpose of freeing him.
While there were many attempts of assassination made on Muhammad (peace be upon him) (most famous was the night that Ali took his place in bed while he and Abu Bakr escaped to Madinah), he did not allow his companions to slaughter any of those who had been involved in these attempts. Proof for this is when they entered Makkah triumphantly and his first words were to command his followers not to harm such and such tribes and so and so families. This was one of the most famous of his acts of forgiveness and humbleness.
Military combat was forbidden for the first thirteen years of prophet hood. The desert Arabs did not need anyone to tell them how to fight or do combat. They were experts in this area and held feuds amongst tribes that lasted for decades. It was not until the proper method of warfare was instituted by Allah in the Quran, with proper rights and limitations according His Commandments, that any retaliation or combat was sanctioned. Orders from Allah made it clear who was to be attacked, how and when and to what extent fighting could take place.
Destruction of infrastructures is absolutely forbidden except when it is ordained by Allah in certain instances and then only according to His Commands.
Cursing and invoking evil actually came to the prophet (peace be upon him) from his enemies, while he would be praying for their guidance. Classic example is that of his journey to At-Taif where the leaders would not even hear him out nor offer so much as the normal courtesy called for and instead they set the children of the street against him, throwing rocks and stones at him until his body was bleeding so much, blood filled his sandals. He was offered revenge by the angel Gabriel, if he would give the command, Allah would cause the surrounding mountains to fall down upon them destroying them all. Instead of cursing them or asking for their destruction, he prayed for them to be guided to worship their Lord alone, without any partners.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) claimed every person who is born is born in a state of ISLAM (submission to God on His Terms in Peace), as a Muslim (MU-Islam means; "one who does ISLAM" i.e.; submits to God's Will and obeys His Commandments). He further stated, God has created each person in the image that is His according to His plan, and their spirit is His. Then as they grow older they begin to distort their faith according to the influence of the prevailing society and their own prejudices.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught his followers to believe in the God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus, peace be upon them all, and to believe in them as true prophets, messengers and servants of Almighty Allah. He insisted on ranking all the prophets up at the highest level without any distinction between them, and ordered his followers to say the words, "Peace be upon him" after mentioning their names.
He also taught the Torah (Old Testament), Zabur (Psalms) and Enjil (Gospel or New Testament) were originally from the very same source as the Quran, from Allah to the angel Gabriel. He asked the Jews to judge according to their own Book, and they tried to cover up some of it to hide the correct judgment, knowing he (peace be upon him) could not read.
He prophesied, predicted and foretold of events to come and they happened just as he had said they would. He mentioned so many things that people of his time could not have known, yet we have seen the evidences manifest over and over throughout the centuries in science, medicine, biology, embryology, psychology, metrology, geology and many other disciplines and even space travel and wireless communications, all of which we take for granted today. He even predicted something from the past that would come true in the future, and it has..
The Quran states pharaoh was drowned in the Red Sea while chasing after Moses and Allah said He would preserve Pharaoh as a sign for the future. Dr. Maurice Bucaille in his book, "Bible, Quran and Science" makes it clear this has happened and the very person of Pharaoh has been discovered in Egypt and is now on display for all to see.
This event took place thousands of years before Muhammad (peace be upon him) and it came true in the last few decades, many centuries after his death.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) or his followers never at any time claimed that he was a son of God or the God-incarnate or a man with divinity but he always was and is even today considered as only a Messenger chosen by God. He insisted people praise Almighty God, alone and not to celebrate him or his companions in any way. While most people do not hesitate to raise to divinity and even make 'gods' out of other individuals whose lives and missions have been lost in legend. Historically speaking, none of these legends achieved even a fraction of what Muhammad (peace be upon him) accomplished.
Uniting mankind together for the purpose of worshipping the One God of Adam and all the other prophets, peace be upon them all, was his main motivating cause and his striving was for the sole purpose having everyone to understand and follow the codes of moral excellence set forth by Allah in His Revelations.
Today after a lapse of fourteen centuries, the life and teachings of Muhammad (peace be upon him) have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. They offer the same undying hope for treating mankind's many ills, which they did when he was alive. This is not a claim of Muhammad's (peace be upon him) followers, but the inescapable conclusion forced upon by a critical and unbiased history.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) claimed to be a servant, messenger and prophet of the Almighty God; the same God of Adam, Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon and of Jesus, the Christ, son of Mary (peace be upon them all). He claimed he was receiving revelation from Almighty God (Allah) through the Arch Angel Gabriel, calling it the Recitation (Quran).
He ordered people to believe in God as One, without partners, and to follow the Commandments of Almighty God to the best of their abilities.
He forbade himself and his followers from evil practices and filthy habits, showing them the proper ways to eat, drink, use the toilet and proper behavior in all relationships. This he claimed was all from Allah.
What Did He Do?
Almost everyone on the earth today is discussing Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). People want to know, "Who was he exactly?" "What did he teach?" "Why was he loved so much by some and hated so much by others?" "Did he live up to his claims?" "Was he a holy man? "Was he a prophet of God?" "What is the truth about this man - Muhammad?"
How can we discover the truth and be totally honest in our judgment?
We will begin with the very simple historical evidences, facts as narrated by thousands of people, many of whom knew him personally. The following is based on books, manuscripts, texts and actual eyewitness accounts, too numerous list herein, yet all have been preserved in original form throughout the centuries by both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Muhammad ibn (son of) Abdullah ibn (son of) Abdul Mutalib, was born in the year 570 C.E. (Christian Era) in Makkah, Felix Arabia (today: Saudi Arabia) and he died in 633 C.E. in Yathrib (today: Madinah, Saudi Arabia).
A. His names: When he was born, his grandfather, Abdul Mutalib, gave him the name Muhammad. And it means "praised one" or "praising one." He was later called "As-Saddiq" (the Truthful) by all of those who knew of his truthful and honest nature. He always said only the truth. He was also called "Al-Amin" (the Trustworthy) due to his integrity and always upholding any trust given to him. When the tribes were battling against each other, both sides would entrust him with their possessions during the fighting, even if it might be against some of his own tribesmen, because they knew he would always uphold any trust given to him. All of his names indicated the very nature of a man who was praised for his honesty, integrity and trustworthiness. He was also well known for advocating the reconciliation of kinship and relationships. He ordered his followers to always honor the "ties of the wombs" (siblings and other close relatives).
This fits right in with the prophecy mentioned in the Bible in the Book of John in chapters 14 and 16, as the coming of a prophet known as the "Spirit of Truth" or "Comforter" or "Advocate."
B. Born as a descendent of Abraham (peace be upon him) through his first born son, Ishmael (Ismail in Arabic) (peace be upon him) to the noble tribe of the Quraish who were the leaders of Makkah in those days. Muhammad's blood line traces directly back to Abraham (peace be upon him).
This could certainly point to fulfillment of Old Testament (Torah) prophecies in Deuteronomy (chapter 18:15) of a prophet, like unto Moses from "their brethren."
C. He kept the Commandments of Almighty God, just as his great grandfathers and prophets of old had done in the past (peace be upon them). Here is a statement from Muhammad (peace be upon him) while the Quran was being revealed to him by the angel Gabriel;
"Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your PARENTS; do not kill your children because of poverty - (Allah) provide sustenance for you and for them; do not come near to Al-Fawahish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, and kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause. This He has commanded you that you may understand."
[Noble Quran 6:151]
D. Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived in total commitment to his Belief in One God, and as such, He was to be worshipped alone, without any other "gods" beside Him. This is the very first commandment in the Old Testament (Exodus chapter 20 and Deuteronomy, chapter 5) and in the New Testament as well (Mark, chapter 12, verse 29).
E. Muhammad (peace be upon him) ordered his followers to obey Allah Almighty. He ordered following the Commandments as were revealed to him by the angel Gabriel from Almighty Allah. Read below, one of many similar statements from the Quran:
Surely, Allah Commands absolute justice and steadfast commitment to performing your duties to Almighty Allah, in total sincerity and giving help to relatives: and He forbids evil, and disobedience and all that is prohibited by Allah (such as; illegal sexual acts, disobedience of PARENTS, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right, etc.), and (He Forbids) any evil (i.e. all that is prohibited by God's Law, such as: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds, etc.), and all kinds of oppression, He admonishes you, that you may take heed.
[Noble Quran 16:90]
F. Muhammad (peace be upon him) never fell into the common practice of his tribesmen to worship statues, idols or man-made "gods." He forbid his followers to ever engage in worship outside of the One True God (Allah) of Adam, Abraham, Moses and all the prophets, peace be upon them all.
And the people of the Scripture Jews and Christians did not differed amongst themselves until after there came to them clear evidence.
And they were commanded only to worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (no gods beside God), and perform prayers and give charity: and that is the right religion.
[Noble Quran 98:4-5]
He despised false worship to any man-made gods or images or anything in creation as a god. He hated all of the complexities and degradation to which it leads.
This is in direct obedience to the second commandment in the above mentioned verses, "Thou shalt not make any graven images."
G. Muhammad (peace be upon him) always held the Name of God (Allah) in the highest of reverence and never took God's Name in vain or for any vainglorious purpose.
He forbid his followers for ever doing anything like this and encouraged them to use names such as "Servant of Almighty God" (Abdullah).
H. Muhammad (peace be upon him) upheld the proper worship and ceremonies of his grandfathers, Abraham and Ishmael, peace be upon them. Here is something from the second chapter of the Quran. Read closely;
"Recall when Abraham's Lord (Allah) tested him with Commands, that he fulfilled. Allah said, "Surely, I am going to make you a leader (prophet) of mankind. (Abraham said) "And my offspring, too." (Allah) said, "My Covenant (prophethood, etc.) does not include wrong-doers (thalimun).
"And recall when (Allah) made the House (ka'bah in Bakkah, which later was called "Makkah") a place of resort for mankind and a place of safety. And it is your place of prayer, and (Allah) commanded Abraham and Ishmael to purify (God's House at Makkah) for those who are circling it, or staying there or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in worship).
"And when Abraham said, 'My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, for them that believe in Allah Almighty and the Last Day.' (Allah) answered, "As for him who doesn't believe, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him t the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!"
"And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the Sacred House (Ka'bah in Makkah), saying, 'Our Lord! Accept from us. Certainly! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.'"
"Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manasik (all the ceremonies of pilgrimage - Hajj and 'Umrah, etc.), and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.
"Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own (and indeed Allah answered by sending Muhammad Peace be upon him ), who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (this Quran) and full knowledge of (Allah's) Laws and jurisprudence, and sanctify them. Verily! You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise."
And who turns away from the religion of Abraham (Monotheism) except him who fools himself? Truly, (Allah) chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous.
When his Lord said to him, "Submit ("Islam" means "submission")!" He said, "I have submitted myself ("Muslim" means "one who submits") to the Lord of all that exists."
And this (submission to Allah) was ordered by Abraham upon his sons and by Jacob; saying, "O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion; then die not except in the Faith of Submission (like those in true submission to God's Will)."
[Noble Quran 2:124-132]
I. Muhammad (peace be upon him) performed these same ceremonies in worship to what we find the prophets doing before him, bowing to toward the ground and prostrating (falling on the face) while praying and worshipping. He would face Jerusalem for his devotionals and commanded his followers to do the same (until Allah sent down the angel Gabriel with revelation to change the direction (qibal) mentioned in Quran).
J. Muhammad (peace be upon him) advocated rights for all members of the family and especially ties to the parents, both mother and father, also rights for infant girls, orphaned girls and certainly for wives, as well.
It is known from the Quran, Muhammad (peace be upon him) ordered his followers to be kind and respectful to their parents. They were told not to even say, "Ooh" to them while caring for them in their old age. Read from the Quran:
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. [Noble Quran 17:23]
K. Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the defender of the orphans and even the newborn children. He ordered the care of orphans and feeding of the poor as the means to enter Paradise and if anyone held back the rights of those who were destitute, they could forget about ever seeing Paradise. He also forbade the killing of new born girls, as was a custom of ignorance according to primitive Arab traditions. This is referred to in the Quran; when, on the Day of Judgment those who practiced the evil deed of terminating the life of their own infant daughters, will have it exposed, the Quran says:
"And when the female (infant) buried alive (as the pagan Arabs used to do) is going to be asked; about what sin could she (as an infant) have possibly committed." [Noble Quran 81:8]
Those who spend their wealth (in Allah's Cause) by night and day, in secret and in public, they shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. [Noble Quran 2:274]
L. Muhammad (peace be upon him) ordered men not to "inherit women against their will," and not to marry them accept by mutual consent and never to touch their wealth or inheritance in order to improve their own financial conditions.
O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good. [Noble Quran 4:19]
We also notice from this verse, He forbid the common practice of wife-beating and abuse, (his own wife said he never once hit her).
He never once engaged in sex outside of marriage, nor did he ever approve of it, even though it was very common at the time. His only relationships with women were in legitimate, contractual marriages with proper witnesses according to law. His relationship to Ayesha was only that of marriage. He did not marry her the first time her father offered her hand to him in marriage. He married her only after she reached the age of puberty and could decide for herself. Their relationship is described in every detail by Ayesha herself in the most loving and respectful manner as a match truly made in heaven. Ayesha is considered as one of the highest scholars of Islam and lived out her entire life only having been married to Muhammad (peace be upon him). She never desired any other man, nor did she ever utter a single negative statement against Muhammad (peace be upon him).
M. Muhammad (peace be upon him) ordered men to "provide and protect" women, whether it was their own mother, sister, wife or daughter or even those of others, whether they were Muslims or not.
"Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support the women) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband's property, etc.).
As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish them, refuse to share their beds, startle them (set forth a clear example or parable for them, to make clear the point of what is going on before divorcing them) so if they return to proper obedience (to Allah and their husbands), do not annoy them any further. Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great." [Noble Quran 4:34]
N. Muhammad (peace be upon him) prohibited killing of children for fear of poverty and also forbade killing any innocent people.
Say (O Muhammad Peace be upon him): "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty - We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to Al-Fawahish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, and kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Law). This He has commanded you that you may understand. [Noble Quran 6:151]
O. Muhammad (peace be upon him) never committed adultery, and he required his followers to engage only in lawful marriage relationships with women, and forbid sex outside of Almighty God's Ordinance.
Satan (the devil) threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit Fahsha (evil deeds, illegal sexual intercourse, sins etc.); whereas Allah promises you Forgiveness from Himself and Bounty, and Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower. [Noble Quran 2:268]
Say (O Muhammad SAW): "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge." [Noble Quran 7:33]
And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a Fahishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him). [Noble Quran 17:32]
The adulterer marries not but an adulteress or a Mushrikah and the adulteress none marries her except an adulterer or a Muskrik [and that means that the man who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan or idolatress) or a prostitute, then surely he is either an adulterer, or a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater, etc.) And the woman who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater) or an adulterer, then she is either a prostitute or a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan, or idolatress, etc.)]. Such a thing is forbidden to the believers (of Islamic Monotheism).
[Noble Quran 24:3]
Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you know not.
[Noble Quran 24:19]
O Prophet! When believing women come to you to give you the pledge, that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah, that they will not steal, that they will not commit illegal sexual intercourse, that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood (i.e. by making illegal children belonging to their husbands), and that they will not disobey you in any Ma'ruf (Islamic Monotheism and all that which Islam ordains) then accept their Bai'a (pledge), and ask Allah to forgive them, Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [Noble Quran 60:12]
People committed fornication and adultery in most places around the word in Muhammad's time, yet he never once did so, and he forbade all of his followers from this evil practice.
P. Muhammad (peace be upon him) forbade usury and interest on money lending, as Jesus (peace be upon him) had done centuries before him. It can be easily shown how usury eats away at wealth and destroys the economic systems throughout history. Yet, just as in the teachings of the prophets of old, Muhammad (peace be upon him) held that such practices were most evil and must be avoided in order to be at peace with the Creator (Allah).
Those who eat usury (deal in interest) will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Satan leading him to insanity. That is because they say: "Trading is only like usury," whereas Allah has permitted trading and forbidden usury. So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating usury shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge); but whoever returns to dealing in usury, such are the dwellers of the Fire - they will abide therein.
Allah will destroy Riba (usury) and will give increase for charity, alms, etc. And Allah likes not the disbelievers, sinners. Truly those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and perform Salat, and give Zakat, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
You who believe! Be afraid of Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from usury, if you are believers.
And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger but if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly. [Noble Quran 2:275-279]
Q. Muhammad (peace be upon him) never gambled and did not allow it. Like usury, gambling takes away wealth but at an even faster pace.
"People ask you (Muhammad) about alcohol and gambling. Say, 'There is great sin in both of them and (some benefit) for humans, but the sin is greater than any benefit from them.' And they ask you what they should spend (for charity, etc.). Say, 'Whatever is above your basic needs.' So, Allah makes it clear to you His Laws in order for you to give thought."
[Noble Quran 2:219]
Gambling had not been viewed as so evil until the time of Muhammad, peace be upon. Today, it is well established the damage gambling causes to families and even mental health. The idea of getting something for nothing is not the proper way of life prescribed by the teachings of Muhammad (peace be upon him).
R. Muhammad (peace be upon him) never drank alcohol or strong drink, even though it was a very normal thing for people of his time and place.
"O you believers! Intoxicating drinks, gambling, fortune telling, etc. is the hated work of the devil. So stay away from all of that horrible stuff, that you will be successful."
"The devil only wants to create hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks, etc.) and gambling and to keep you from the remembrance of Allah and from your proper worship (prayers). So, why won't you away from them?"
[Noble Quran 5:90-91]
The Arabs, like most other cultures at his time, drank alcohol without concern for their health or for their altered behavior while intoxicated. Many of them were alcoholics.
In today's world there is little need to present long discussions on the evil and dangers of drinking alcohol. Besides causing diseases and ruining a person's health, alcohol is often attributed to be the cause of many traffic accidents resulting in property damage, injuries and deaths. The first order was for the followers of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to leave off drinking while engaged in worship, then came stronger orders to leave drinking all together. Thus, offering a time for the early Muslims to break off from their addiction to strong drink.
S. Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not engage in gossip or backbiting and he always turned away from hearing anything related to it.
O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done.
[Noble Quran 49:6]
O you who believe! Do not allow one group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one's brother after having Faith? And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed wrong-doers.
O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.
[Noble Quran 49:11-12]
Certainly, these teachings would be well appreciated in today's world where we find almost everyone engaging in the worst of gossiping and insulting of others, even the closest of relatives and loved ones.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded the payment of charity to the poor and he was the defender and protector of widows, orphans and the wayfarers.
"Therefore, do not oppress the orphan, nor repulse the beggar." [Noble Quran 93:9-10]
Charity is for the poor, who in Allah's Cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land (for trade or work). The one who knows them not, thinks that they are rich because of their modesty. You may know them by their mark, they do not beg of people at all. And whatever you spend in good, surely Allah knows it well. [Noble Quran 2:273]
T. Muhammad (peace be upon him) was most generous and encouraged others to be the same way in their dealings with others. He even asked them to forgive the debts of others with hope of receiving a better reward with their Lord (Allah).
And if the debtor is in a hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay, but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know.
And be afraid of the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.
[Noble Quran 2:280-281]
U. Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught people how to deal with the most extreme difficulties and tests that occur to us throughout our lives. He held that only through patience and a humble attitude would we find true resolution and understanding of life's complications and disappointments. He the most patient of all and was exemplary in his own humbleness. All who knew him had to admit to these virtues.
O you who believe! Seek help in patience and the prayer. Truly! Allah is with the patient ones. [Noble Quran 2:153]
He explained this life was a test from Allah:
And certainly, Allah shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient ones. [Noble Quran 2:155]
Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: "Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return." [Noble Quran 2:156]
V. Muhammad (peace be upon him) fasted for days at a time to be closer to Almighty God and away from the narrowness of worldly attractions.
O you who believe! Observing the fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become pious. [Noble Quran 2:183]
W. Muhammad (peace be upon him) called for an end to racism and tribalism from the beginning to the end of his mission. He was truly the peacemaker for all times and all people.
O mankind! (Allah) has created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who is one of the pious. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware [Noble Quran 49:13]
And in another verse of the Quran:
O mankind! Have piety and be most dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All Watcher over you. [Noble Quran 4:1]
X. Regarding keeping up good relationships and bringing people back together after a falling out, the Quran says:
And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both, but if one of them rebels against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which rebels till it complies with the Command of Allah; then if it complies, then make reconciliation between them justly, and be equitable. Verily! Allah loves those who are equitable.
The believers are nothing else than brothers to each other. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.
[Noble Quran 49:9-10]
Y. Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught that Jesus (peace be upon him) was the immaculate conception and miracle birth of Mary, and that she was the best creation of Almighty God. He insisted even to the Jews of Madinah, that Jesus (peace be upon him) was the Messiah, the Christ, the one predicted to come in their Torah (Old Testament). He also taught that Jesus (peace be upon him) did many miracles by the permission of Almighty God, curing the lepers, restoring sight to the blind and even bringing a dead man back to life, and he was not dead, rather Almighty God had raised him up. He also predicted Jesus (peace be upon him) is going to return again in the Last Days to lead the true believers in a victory over the evil and unrighteous people, and he will destroy the Anti-Christ.
Z. Muhammad (peace be upon him) forbade any killing, even when his followers were being killed, until the orders for retaliation came from Allah. Even then the limits were clearly spelled out and only those engaged in active combat against the Muslims or Islam were to be fought in combat. And even then, only according to very strict rules from Allah.
What Did His Followers Say?
"His name was Muhammad" (peace be upon him)
To begin: You may be a Christian Protestant, Catholic, Jew, an atheist or an agnostic; or you may belong to any of many different religious denominations existing in today's world. You might even be a communist or believe in man's democracy as the rule on earth. Whoever you are and whatever ideological or political beliefs, social habits you may hold, there is no doubt - you should understand what others have to say about this man.
The world has had its share of great personalities. But these were one sided figures who distinguished themselves in but one or two fields, such as religious thought or military leadership. The lives and teachings of these great personalities of the earth are shrouded in the mist of time. There is so much speculation about the time and place their birth, the mode and style of their life, the nature and detail of their teachings and the degree and measure of their success or failure that is impossible for humanity to reconstruct, accurately the lives and teachings of these men and women.
But this is not the case of this man, Muhammad (peace be upon him) who accomplished so much in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior in the fullest blaze of human history. Every detail of his private life and public utterances has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved up until our day. The authenticity of the records so preserved is vouched for not only by the faithful followers but even by his prejudiced critics.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father - all in one. No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these different aspects of life - but it was only for the selfless personality of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to achieve such incredible perfection.
He was by far, the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born in what was then known as Felix Arabia, fourteen hundred years ago. He started his mission of preaching a religion of monotheism; a Way of Life based on the surrender, submission and obedience to the Commandments of Almighty God, in sincerity and peace.
The word "Islam" in Arabic means "the submission to God, in peace."
Muhammad's (peace be upon him) mission began at the age of forty and departed from this world at the age of sixty-three. During this short period of 23 years of his prophethood, he changed the complete Arabian Peninsula from paganism and idolatry to worship of One God, from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion, from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety, from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living, from utter bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence.
Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since - and IMAGINE all these unbelievable wonders in JUST OVER TWO DECADES.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was nothing more or less than a human being. but he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE and ONLY ONE GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living, based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, 'A Servant and Messenger of God' and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.
Today after a lapse of fourteen centuries, the life and teachings of Muhammad (peace be upon him) have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. They offer the same undying hope for treating mankind's many ills, which they did when he was alive. This is not a claim of Mohammed's(Peace Be Upon Him) followers, but the inescapable conclusion forced upon by a critical and unbiased history.
The least YOU can do as a thinking and concerned human being is to stop for a moment and ask your self: Could these statements sounding so extraordinary and revolutionary really be true? And supposing they really are true and you did not know this man Muhammad (peace be upon him) or hear about him, isn't it time you responded to this tremendous challenge and put in some effort to know him?
It will cost you nothing, but it may prove to be the beginning of a completely new era in your life.
We invite you to make a discovery of this wonderful man, Muhammad (peace be upon him) the like of whom never walked on the face of this earth.
What do Others Say About Him?
Before We Begin our "A to Z of Muhammad" - Let's See What 12 Famous People Have Said About Muhammad (peace be upon him) Throughout the Centuries...
His complete biography has been authenticated and circulated amongst scholars around the world starting while he was still alive and continuing up until today. One of the first examples we quote from is from the Encyclopedia Britannica, as it confirms:
(Regarding Muhammad) "... a mass of detail in the early sources shows that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were likewise honest and upright men." [Vol. 12]
Another impressive tribute to Muhammad, peace be upon him is in the very well written work of Michael H. Hart, "The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History." He states that the most influential person in all history was Muhammad (peace be upon him) with Jesus second. Examine his actual words:
"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, New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc., 1978, page. 33.]
According to the Quran, Prophet Muhammad was the most excellent example for all of humanity. Even non-Muslim historians recognize him to be one of the most successful personalities in history. Read what the Reverend R. Bosworth-Smith wrote in "Mohammed & Mohammedanism" in 1946:
"Head of the state as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but, he was pope without the pope's claims, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue. If ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by a Right Divine, it was Mohammad, for he had all the power without instruments and without its support. He cared not for dressing of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life."
While we are reviewing statements from famous non-Muslims about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) consider this:
"Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?"
[Lamartine, HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp. 276-277.]
And then we read what George Bernard Shaw, a famous writer and non-Muslim says:
"He must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man like 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 Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936]
Then we found that K. S. Ramakrishna Rao, an Indian (Hindu) professor of Philosophy, in his booklet "Muhammad the Prophet of Islam" calls him the "perfect model for human life." Professor Ramakrishna Rao explains his point by saying:
"The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes. There is Muhammad the Prophet. There is Muhammad the Warrior; Muhammad the Businessman; Muhammad the Statesman; Muhammad the Orator; Muhammad the Reformer; Muhammad the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad the Judge; Muhammad the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero."
What should we think about our prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) when someone with the worldly status such as Mahatma Gandhi, speaking on the character of Muhammad (peace be upon him) says in 'Young India':
"I wanted to know the best of one who holds today 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."
English author Thomas Carlyle in his 'Heroes and Hero Worship', was simply amazed:
"How one man single handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."
And Diwan Chand Sharma wrote in "The Prophets of the East":
"Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him"
[D.C. Sharma, The Prophets of the East, Calcutta, 1935, pp. 12]
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was nothing more or less than a human being, but he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE and ONLY ONE GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, 'A Servant and Messenger of God' and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.
Speaking on the aspect of equality before God in Islam, the famous poetess of India, Sarojini Naidu says:
"It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: 'God Alone is Great'... I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes man instinctively a brother."
[S. Naidu, Ideals of Islam, vide Speeches & Writings, Madras, 1918, p. 169]
In the words of Professor Hurgronje:
"The league of nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations." He continues, "the fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what Islam has done towards the realization of the idea of the League of Nations."
Edward Gibbon and Simon Ockley, on the profession of ISLAM, writes in "History of the Saracen Empires":
"I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, AND MAHOMET, AN APOSTLE OF GOD' is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honor of the Prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtues; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion."
[History of the Saracen Empires, London, 1870, p. 54]
Wolfgang Goethe, perhaps the greatest European poet ever, wrote about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He said:
"He is a prophet and not a poet and therefore his Koran is to be seen as Divine Law and not as a book of a human being, made for education or entertainment."
[Noten und Abhandlungen zum Weststlichen Dvan, WA I, 7, 32]
What do Muslims Say?
Considering the qualities and teachings of Muhammad (peace be upon him) testified to by some many people throughout history and even testified to by Allah Himself, we conclude the following to be only a partial list of the qualities, morals and virtues of Muhammad (peace be upon him).
A. Articulate - Muhammad (peace be upon him) although unable to read or write throughout his entire life, was able to express himself in clear and decisive terms and in the best of classical Arabic language.
B. Brave - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was praised for his courage and bravery during and after his life by his followers and opponents alike. He has always been an inspiration to Muslims and even non-Muslims throughout the centuries.
C. Courteous - Muhammad (peace be upon him) always put other people's feelings ahead of his own and was the most courteous of hosts and the best of guests wherever he went.
D. Dedicated - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was determined to carry out his mission and present the message with which he had been sent, to the entire world.
E. Eloquent - Muhammad (peace be upon him) claimed he was not a poet, yet he could express himself in the most concise manner, using the least amount of words in a most classic manner. His words are still quoted by millions of Muslims and non-Muslims today everywhere.
F. Friendly - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was noted for being the most friendly and considerate of all who knew him.
G. Generous - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was most generous with his possessions and never wanted to keep anything if there was anyone who was in need. This was true of gold, silver, animals and even food and drink.
H. Hospitable - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was indeed, noted to be the most gracious of hosts and taught his companions and followers to be the best of hosts to all their guests as a part of their religion.
I. Intelligent - Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been proclaimed by many commentators who have studied his life and actions, to be of the most intelligent of all men who ever lived.
J. Just - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was most fair and just in all of his dealings. Whether in business or in giving judgment in any matter, he practiced justice on all levels.
K. Kindness - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was kind and considerate to everyone he met. He tired his best to present the message of worship of the Creator instead of the creations to all he met in the kindest fashion and most considerate manner.
L. Loving - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most loving toward Allah and to his family members, friends, companions and even those who did not accept his message but remained peaceful to him and his followers.
M. Messenger of Mercy - Muhammad (peace be upon him) is proclaimed in the Quran by Allah, as being sent to the entire world as the "Mercy to all mankind and jinn."
N. Noble - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most noble and distinguished of all men. Everyone knew of his fine character and honorable background.
O. "Oneness" - Muhammad (peace be upon him) is most famous for his proclamation of the "Oneness of Allah" or monotheism (called "Tawhid" in Arabic).
P. Patient - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most steadfast and forbearing in all of the trials and tests he lived through.
Q. Quiet - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was often very quiet and never was heard to be boastful, loud or obnoxious on any occasion.
R. Resourceful - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was most clever and resourceful in handling even the most serious of difficulties and problems confronting him and his companions.
S. Straightforward - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known by all to speak directly to a subject and not twist things around in his speech. He also used a minimal amount of verbiage and considered excessive talk to be vain and unproductive.
T. Tactful - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most delicate and tactful in his dealings with the people. He never scratched the dignity of someone, even though unbelievers often insulted him and maligned him.
U. Unmatched - Muhammad (peace be upon him) is known throughout the world today as the man who most influenced the lives of so many people during his own time and for all times to come.
V. Valiant - Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave new meaning to the word valiant and he was always most honorable in all of his affairs, whether defending the rights of orphans or preserving the honor of widows or fighting for those in distress. He was not intimidated when outnumbered in battle, nor did he turn away from his duties in protecting and defending the truth and freedom.
W. Wali - The Arabic word, wali (plural is owliya) is a bit difficult to bring into English without some explanation. For this reason I decided to leave it in Arabic and offer from my humble understanding one of the most important aspects of the character and personality of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Some say the word means; protectors and others have said darlings or those in whom you put full trust and confide everything like the Catholics might do with their priests. While still others simply offered the word friends. While discussing this subject with one of my beloved teachers, Salim Morgan, he mentioned to me the meaning might be closer to the English word, ally. This is perhaps, a lot closer in meaning because when a person gives their pledge of allegiance to someone he or she is taking that person as a wally and this is called giving bayah in Arabic. Allah tells us the Quran not to take the Jews and Christians as owliya in place of Allah. While we understand the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) are the closest to us in faith, at the same time we are instructed here not to take anyone as our confessor or intimate ally or one to whom we give our pledge of allegiance in place of Allah or His messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him). The prophet (peace be upon him) was the living example of the most trustworthy and loyal of all human beings who ever lived on this earth. Anything mentioned to him in confidence would never be divulged nor shared with others. And when he was put in place of authority or wali over the people, they found him to be the best of those to be trusted.
X. "X" - Muhammad (peace be upon him) could neither read nor write, not even his own name. In today's world he would have to use an "X" to "sign" a document. He used a signet ring worn on the little finger of his right hand to seal any documents or letters sent to the leaders of other lands.
Y. Yielding - Muhammad (peace be upon him) would yield his own desires and forego his own ideas in favor of whatever Allah directed him to do. While considering opinions from his followers, he often accepted their ideas over his own, preferring to yield in favor of others as much as possible.
Z. Zealous - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most zealous of all the prophets of Allah, in carrying out his mission of "Peace through the submission to the Will of God." He truly was the most enthusiastic in regard to delivering the message with which he had been entrusted by Allah; the message of "Laa elaha illa-allah, Muhammadar-Rasululah" (There is none worthy of worship, except Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah).
Alief. "AJEEB" (AMAZING) - We couldn't resist the chance for one more letter - even if it is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet ("|" alief).
Muhammad was truly amazing in every respect. He delivered a message of a complete and total way of life, encompassing everything from the time a person wakes up until time to sleep and from the cradle to the grave. And if someone were to follow this Way of Life ("deen" in Arabic), they would achieve the greatest success here in this life and the greatest success in the Next Life as well.
Before concluding our review of Muhammad, A to Z, it must be mentioned, that although Muhammad is deeply loved, revered and emulated by Muslims as God's final messenger, he is NOT the object of worship for Muslims.
Now it is up to you. You are a rational thinking, concerned human being. As such, you should already be asking yourself:
Could these extraordinary, revolutionary and amazing statements, all about this one man, really be true? What if this is true?
You have read what famous writers, thinkers, poets, philosophers, clergy and humanitarians have said about Muhammad. You have seen the recordings of those who knew him and knew of him and what others have said, about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
So, the question now is, "What do you say about Muhammad?"
You be the judge.