Al Fazl (Khatam-un-Nabiyyin Number), 31 May 1929
Reverend Ghulam Masih
Former Editor of Nur Afshan
Bearing in mind the current conduct of the Christians [upon this topic] and that I myself am a Christian, it cannot be considered that I, in any aspect, would exaggerate in portraying the noble character of Prophet Muhammadsa; or that I would add anything new to the high status of Prophet Muhammad which the knowledgeable Companions themselves did not know. Having said that, an unbiased opinion can only be given by a Christian who has broadly studied Islamic literature.
From Start to End
The Prophet was brought up in the land of Arabia as an orphan and faced a great deal of poverty. Though he belonged to a sincere family of the Quraish, yet, in comparison to the honourable families, he was among the less privileged.
Prophet Muhammad did not inherit any property from his family, nor did he leave behind any worldly wealth for his progeny. This is a very strange reality that he came into the world in a poor family and as an orphan, in his 23 years of prophethood his followers became the custodians of Arabia, but he did not bequeath so much as a penny for his progeny. I shall now move on to state below some examples of the noble character of the Prophet Muhammad found between the start and end of his life.
The character of the Prophet can be seen in the names and titles given to him. The most eminent names are Muhammad [praised], Shahid [witness], Nazir [warner], Bashir [conveyer of good news] and Muhammad Rasulullah [Muhammad, the messenger of Allah]. It is astonishing, and one can only wonder, that the titles, Leader, Leader of the Quraish, Leader of Arabia, Conqueror of Arabia, King of Arabia etc. are not found.
There is no doubt that the history of Islam has recorded the Prophet’s life, life services, victories, battles, bravery and courage in great detail, and it is evident that before his demise, he became the leader of the whole of Arabia. Be that as it may, in the history of Islam, we do not find any mention of him ascending to a throne, wearing extravagant clothes, any coronation event, or that the Prophet advised his followers to build a grand palace in his name. Only on one occasion, in the entire history of Islam, do we find a mention of a building being constructed in his life, and that too a house of God – Masjid al-Nabawi. After reading this all, does this not greatly astonish one?
During the time of the Prophet, historians have painted a dark picture regarding the propensities, traditions, customs and beliefs of the leaders of Arabia. They have mentioned in extensive detail the consumption of alcohol, gambling, taking pride in family lineage, their disastrous selfish behaviour, their cruelty and evil towards slaves, their brutality towards widows, orphans and the poor, and being engrossed in dancing and hypocrisy. But what is most extraordinary is that even in times of joy, freedom from worries, triumph and prosperity, history never mentions the Prophet indulging in the vain customs of the Arabs. On the contrary, it describes him as being opposed to such abominations that were adornments and beautiful concepts among the influential people of the area.
Steadfastness in Times of Difficulty
History tells us that the Prophet came with the message of one God. He [God] alone was proof of his truthfulness and the means of his strength. His people, who were idol worshipers, formed an iron-clad wall in defence of their own religion. For almost 13 years the people of Mecca inflicted harm and pain upon the Prophet, but his belief never wavered; his persistence saw no weakness; his passion never diminished, and his steadfastness never fluttered. Eventually, the entire Arabia learnt the reality of the Prophet’s steadfastness and patience, and from all sides, people felt compelled to believe in his message. Thus, after reading about his steadfastness, passion and service for Islam, can one question his nobility and piety?
Worship and Piety
His worship and piety bear great significance in his life. On taking a glance at the Prophet’s life, we can clearly see that the victory he attained was not due to his Companions, but was a result of his prayers and supplications. It is evident from his example of praying five times (sometimes seven times [including Tahajud and Ishraq prayers]) daily that he had firm faith in God, through which he attained the strength which was necessary. This is something that no just person can deny.
His Support for the Helpless
The Prophet was a father figure for the helpless. Mercy and compassion flowed from his character. He would generally help the oppressed and underprivileged, and he would especially support the slaves. He was a guardian and protector for them. He would always be ready to cripple the efforts of those who caused them distress. In short, the Prophet strived to do the deeds he knew to be good for himself and his followers, and refrained from what he felt was bad.
Truth Remained Victorious
The Prophet’s character was completely pure. This was so that the worship and glorification of the One God be established in the world, proving true in the 23-year period of his religious duties. His conduct had such an impact on the people of Arabia, which, to date, has affected 240 million people [in 1929]. He had the power and capability of eliminating the hypocrisy and infidelity among the Arabs and including them in the brotherhood of Islam. It is no exaggeration on my part to say that the entire nation of Arabia was not able, nor did they have the strength to compete against the effect of the Prophet’s pure character. All the opponents tried, but the final victory belonged to the Prophet.
The Power of Truth
Prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus and the prophets of Bani Israil all achieved success by remaining truthful and honest. Likewise, the Prophet Muhammad, also attained victory, as stated above, by following the same principles. After all the prophets, the Prophet Muhammad, who was from among the progeny of Prophet Abraham, proved through his character that the principle “might is right” is completely false and the principle of honesty and truth is right. Can we Christians and Muslims uphold the same values? If only we too could follow this!
(Translated by Jalees Ahmad)