What others say about the Holy Prophet

The following is an extract from my book, Islam in the Media, ISBN: 0-9585103-2-6,

Compiled by Dr Ahmed Adam
There is no copyright on my material; it can be reproduced, printed, distributed in any form whatsoever, provided that no changes are made to the content, please

In the next few pages are a few quotes from various sources from people across the academic, social, political and religious spectrums. These people have commented on Islam from an unbiased perch. There are many thousands of sources from Muslims scholars and intellectuals regarding the Religion of Islam, but I have primarily used non-Muslim sources, to lend an added air of objectivity to these quotes. Read these quotes, ponder over them, and let your open mind, heart and soul give you the answers.

Chapter 13: What others say about the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) …

The Prophet Mohamed (SAW) has been described as the ‘greatest man that ever lived.” His teachings produced an ever-growing base of loyal supporters who cherish his ideals that there is Only One God, that man has been born free, that man’s role is to serve God by serving humanity, that racism, slavery, discrimination and injustice are against human nature and that we have been created by God and we have to return to Him either in a state of purity or corruption of our soul.

The life of the Prophet Muhammad

 is a story of overpowering pathos and beauty.

It is history, tragedy, enlightenment compressed into one tale.

It is also a story virtually unknown to the West.

-Barnaby Rogerson

During the month of Ramadaan in 610 CE, an Arab businessman had an experience that changed the history of the world. Every year at this time, Muhammad ibn Abdullah used to retire to a cave on the summit of Mount Hira, where he prayed, fasted and gave alms to the poor. He had long been worried by what he perceived to be a crisis in society.

-        Karen Armstrong

(in, Islam, a short History)

Muhammad, the Prophet of God,

the last and greatest of that long line of men,

from Adam through to Abraham, Moses and Jesus,

who has struggled to bring the word of God to mankind?

Even when viewed in an entirely secular perspective,

he remains a superhero.

-Barnaby Rogerson

It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character

of the great Prophet of Arabia,

who knows how he taught and how he lived,

to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet,

one of the great messengers of the Supreme. 

And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them,

a new way of admiration,

a new sense of reverence

for that mighty Arabian teacher.

-Annie Besant

The Life & Teachings of Muhammad, Madras, 1932, p. 4.

It was the genius of Mohammad,

the spirit that he breathed into the Arabs,

through the soul of Islam that exalted them.

That raised them out of the lethargy & low level of tribal stagnation

up to the high watermark of national unity and empire.

It was in the sublimity of Mohammad’s deism,

the simplicity, the sobriety, and purity it inculcated

the fidelity of its founder to his own tenets,

that acted on their moral and intellectual fibre

with all the magnetism of true inspiration

-Arthur Glyn Leonard

(Islam: Her Moral & Spiritual values)

He was Caesar and Pope in one;

but he was Pope without Pope's pretensions,

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 the right divine,

it was Mohammed,

for he had all the power

without its instruments and without its supports." 
-Bosworth Smith

(Mohammad and Mohammedanism,

London, 1874, p. 92).


Serious or trivial, his daily behaviour has instituted a canon which millions observe this day with conscious memory.

No one, regarded by any section of the human race as Perfect Man,

has ever been imitated so minutely.

-D.G. Hogarth.

 (in “Arabia”)

Muhammad had in fact finally achieved victory

by an ingenious policy of non-violence;

the Qur’an adamantly opposes

force and coercion in religious matters,

and its vision

– far from preaching exclusion and separation-

is tolerant and inclusive.

-        Karen Armstrong

(in, Islam, a short History)

Undoubtedly, Mohammed is one of the greatest Muslim religious leaders.

-Dr. Zuwaimer

(In his book entitled, 'The East and its customs)


The good sense of Mohammed despised the pomp of royalty.

The Apostle of God, submitted to the menial offices of the family,

he kindled the fire,

swept the floor,

milked the ewes,

and mended with his own hands

his shoes and garments

-Edward Gibbon

(Decline & fall of the Roman Empire, 1823)

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 behaviour for all times to come.

"His Name is Muhammad" May Peace of God Be Upon Him.

He was born in Arabia in the year 570 C.E. (common era), started his mission of preaching the religion of Truth, Islam (submission to One God) 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.

-The Genuine Islam

(Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936)

I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality.  It is the only religion, which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence, which can make itself appeal to every age. The clergymen in the middle ages, as a result of discrimination and ignorance, had painted a dim picture for Mohammed. They considered him an enemy for Christianity!

However, after researching his personality,

I discovered that he was a great man.

He was never an enemy for Christianity;

rather he should 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 in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the 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.

-G.B. Shaw

(In, The Genuine Islam, Vol. 1, No. 8,1936).

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.

In all these magnificent roles,

in all these departments of human activities,

 he is like a hero

Prof. K. S. R. RAO,

(in "Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam,”)

He is the implacable lawgiver, the guide who has clearly pointed out the roads of destiny: this way leads to Heaven, this way to hell.

He is the loving grandfather, leading the prayers in the Mosque while his infant grandson clambers upon his shoulders.

He is the sacrificial hero who goes into the spiritual world for the benefit of mankind.

He is the wise sage who despised the luxurious trappings of royalty, the halls, the guards, courtiers, silks and gold, that hitherto had always been associated with power.

He is also the savant of the mystics, the guide who has led generations of dervishes, sufi’s, poets, and lovers of God on their quests.

He is the only man to have journeyed to Heaven and back.

He is the Hero of Heroes

-Barnaby Rogerson

Muhammad was never venerated as a divine figure,

but he is held to be the Perfect Man.

-        Karen Armstrong

(in, Islam, a short History)


Never has a man set himself a more sublime aim to subvert superstitions, which had been interposed between man & his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational & sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material & disfigured gods of idolatry.

Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means.

Never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world.

If greatness of purpose, smallness of means & astounding results are the three criteria of human genius,

who could dare to compare any great man to Mohamed?


(Historie de la Turquie, Paris 1854, Vol. 11 pp. 276-277)


On the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality, which has blended together peoples of every tongue and of every race.

He has left to us the indelible characteristic of the Muslim nationality, the hatred of false gods & the passion for the One & immaterial God.

The idea of the Unity of God was in itself such a miracle that upon its utterance from his lips, it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols.




When the Quraysh violated the peace treaty, Muhammad marched upon Mecca with an army of 10,000 men. Faced with this overwhelming force, the Quraysh conceded defeat. Muhammad took Mecca without shedding a drop of blood. He destroyed the idols around the Kaaba and rededicated it to Allah, the One God. Single handedly, Muhammad had brought peace to war-torn Arabia.

-        Karen Armstrong

(in, Islam, a short History)



His life,

his meditations,

his heroic reviling against the superstitions of his country,

his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry,

his firmness in enduring them for 13 years at Mecca,

his acceptance of the role of the public scorn 

& almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen,

all these and his incessant preaching,

his wars against odds,

his faith in his success &

his superhuman security in misfortune,

his forbearance in victory ,

his ambition which was entirely devoted to one idea

& in no manner striving for an empire ,

his endless prayer ,

his mystic conversations with God ,

his death &

his triumph after death –

all these attest  to a firm conviction ;

it was his conviction which gave him the power to restore a creed ;

this creed was two-fold :

the Unity of God and

 the immateriality of God :

the former telling us what God is ,

and the latter telling us what God is not









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? "


(French Historian, excerpts from Historie de la Turquie,

 Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp 276-277) 

I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind…

I became more than ever 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 pledges,

his intense devotion to his friends & 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 second volume (of the Prophets biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life

-Mahatma Gandhi, (Young India), 1924

If ever man on this earth found God;

if ever man devoted his life to God’s service

with a good & great motive,

it is certain that the Prophet of Arabia was that man;

Not only great;

but of the greatest man that humanity has produced

-        Major Arthur Glyn Leonard

(In “Islam: Her moral & spiritual value”)


This unparalleled combination of secular & religious influence, which I feel, entitles Mohamed to be considered the most influential single figure in human history

-Michael H Hart

(in his book on ratings of men who contributed towards the benefit and upliftment of Mankind,  "The 100 : A Ranking of the 100 most influential persons in History, New York, 1978)



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 levels.
-Michael H. Hart

There are messengers, prophets and wise men who started great missions, but they died before completing them, such as the Messiah in Christianity and Moses in Judaism.

But Mohammed is the only messenger who completed his religious message and all it rulings were complete.

Complete nations and peoples followed the religion of Mohammed during his lifetime.

Besides, he established a government and a state,

which is considered as a worldly affair as well.

Mohammed united all the tribes and clans in one people and established laws-of-life.

He set his nation to preach the religion to the rest of the world.

Therefore, he is the only man throughout the history who succeeded on the religious and secular levels

-Michael H. Hart

(The 100: A Ranking of the most influential persons in History, New York, 1978, p. 33)


"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."

-Prof. Hurgronje




Muhammad’s surrender to God had been so complete that he had transformed society and enabled the Arabs to live together in harmony.

The word Islam is etymologically related to salaam (peace),

and in these early years

Islam promoted cohesion and concord.

-        Karen Armstrong

(in, Islam, a short History)

The Prophet of Islam taught self-control and discipline to the extent of praying even on the battlefield.

 In an aged of barbarism, the Battlefield itself was humanized and strict instructions were issued not to cheat, not to break trust, not to mutilate, not to kill a child or woman or an old man, not to hew down date palm nor burn it, not to cut a fruit tree, not to molest any person engaged in worship.

His own treatment with his bitterest enemies is the noblest example for his followers. At the conquest of Mecca, he stood at the zenith of his power. The city which had refused to listen to his mission, which had tortured him and his followers, which had driven him and his people into exile and which had unrelentingly persecuted and boycotted him even when he had taken refuge in a place more than 200 miles away, that city now lay at his feet. By the laws of war he could have justly avenged all the cruelties inflicted on him and his people. But what treatment did he accord to them?Mohammad's heart flowed with affection and he declared,

"This day, there is no reproof against you and you are all free."

"This day" he proclaimed"I trample under my feet all distinctions between man and man, all hatred between man and man."

By Prof. K. S. R. Rao,

(Head of the Department of Philosophy,
Government College for Women University of Mysore, Mandya-57140;

 from "Islam and Modern age", Hydrabad, March 1978)


Mohammad has been admitted by friend and foe as Al Amin, or the faithful. If a conqueror is a great man, here is a person who rose from helpless orphan and a humble creature to be the ruler of Arabia, the equal to Chosroes and Caesars, one who founded a great Empire that has survived all these 14 centuries.

If the devotion that a leader commands is the criterion of greatness, the Prophet's name even today

exerts a magical charm over millions of souls,

spread all over the world.

-By Prof. K. S. R. Rao,

(Re-printed from "Islam and Modern age)

He had not studied philosophy in the school of Athens of Rome, Persia, India, or China.

Yet, he could proclaim the highest truths of eternal value to mankind.

 Illiterate himself, yet he could speak with an eloquence and fervour which moved men to tears, to tears of ecstasy.

Born an orphan blessed with no worldly goods, he was loved by all.

He had studied at no military academy;

yet he could organize his forces against tremendous odds and gained victories through the moral forces, which he marshalled. Gifted men with genius for preaching are rare.

In the person of the Prophet of Islam

the world has seen this rarest phenomenon walking on the earth, walking in flesh and blood.

-By Prof. K. S. R. Rao,

(Re-printed from "Islam and Modern age)



Head of the State as well as the church,

he was Caesar and Pope in one.

But he was Pope without the Pope’s pretensions ,

and Caesar without the legions of Caesar,

without a standing army,

without a bodyguard,

without a police-force,

without a fixed revenue.

If ever a man ruled by the right Divine, it was Muhammad,

for he had all the powers without their supports.

He cared not for the dressings of power.

The simplicity of his private life

was in keeping with his public life.

-Reverend Bosworth Smith

(Muhammad & Muhammadinism, London 1874)



Orphanages had sprung up for the first time under the teaching of the Prophet Mohamed, the Prophet of Islam.

The world owes its orphanages to this Prophet,

who himself was born an orphan

-Professor Nassignon

"Muhammad is the most successful

of all Prophets and religious personalities. " 

-Encyclopaedia Britannica

It suffice Mohammed that he salvaged a humiliated bloody nation

from the grip of Satanic customs

and put them on the road of development and progress.

The Shariah laws of Mohammed shall spread all over the world

because it agrees with the common sense and wisdom

-The Russian writer Tolstoy

(Interesting note: the day Leo Tolstoy died, a small pocketbook of the Prophet’s(SAW) sayings were found in his shirt pocket)


Muslims can only be understood

as the result of the holy life of Muhammad

-Lex Hixon

Knowledge of this path,

of the details of the life of the Prophet Mohammed,

is vital,

if one is to enter the imagination & understanding

of the Muslim World.

-Barnaby Rogerson

(The Prophet Mohamed, a Biography)

There is no end to Muhammad’s external and spiritual greatness.

 Using his Earthly and Heavenly names,

Muhammad and Ahmad,

there are two sides to him.

Muhammad is connected with the Laylat-al-qadr,

the night of the 1st revelation of the Koran,

while Ahmad is connected with the Night of the Heavenly journey.

-Professor Annemarie Schimmel

Muslims call Islam the ‘religion of Love’,

for Muhammad appropriated the station of perfect love

beyond any other prophet,

 since God took him as His beloved:

 Muhammad habibi;

Muhammad is regarded as the one who shows God’s love and His will

and thus guides humanity on the Straight Path:

“Say: if you love God then follow me,

so that God loves you” (S3V31)

-Professor Annemarie Schimmel

As an inspired man,

as the vessel of Divine Revelation,

as a Prophet,





and lawgiver,

Muhammad is revered,


and imitated,

but he is not worshipped.

The basic tenet of Islam is that Allah is One God

and that no person, creature or thing

may be associated with Him.

-Thomas W. Lippman

(Understanding Islam, 1982)

Few men have left so great a mark on history as did Muhammad.

In a public career of just over twenty years,

he established a major world religion

that still flourishes 1400 years later.

He instilled the virtues of mercy,



and self-restraint into a pagan society.

And he left the Qur’an, the Revealed Book,

as a guide, beacon , inspiration, law, and consolation

to the Muslims who would follow him

-Thomas W. Lippman

(Understanding Islam, 1982)

When the Prophet was asked

“What is the best Islam?”

He replied:

“ The best Islam is that you feed the hungry

and spread peace amoung people you know

and those

you do not know”

-Professor Annemarie Schimmel

(From “And Muhammad is His Messenger”)

From the age of Adam to the time of Jesus,

each of the Prophets kneaded the dough of religion

in a different fashion,

but it was to Muhammad, upon whom be peace,

that the glowing oven full of the fire of love belonged.

In this oven of love, the bread of religion was baked for 23 years;

then he brought it forth from the oven of love

and hung over the door of his shop a proclamation saying

‘I have been sent to the Red and the Black’

It is this bread that satiated the hungry

and became the object of delight

of those who belonged to Muhammad’s Ummah.

And yet all these prerogatives and graces

did not induce the Prophet to take pride in them

he would say instead

“Poverty is my pride”

-Professor Annemarie Schimmel

(From “And Muhammad is His Messenger”,

partially quoting Najmuddin Razi Daya)

Love of the Prophet

runs like blood

in the veins of his community.

For us, Mustafa is enough

-Sir Mohamed Iqbal

"It seems to me that Muhammad was a very ordinary man.

He could not read or write. In fact, he was illiterate.

We are talking about 1400 years ago.

You have someone who was illiterate making profound pronouncement and statements that are amazingly accurate about scientific nature.

I personally cannot see how this could be mere chance.

There are too many accuracy’s and, like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind in concerning that this is a divine inspiration or revelation, which led him to these statements."

Dr. T.V.N. Persaud,

Professor of Anatomy and Head of the Department of Anatomy, and a professor of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.   He is the author or editor of 25 books, and has published over 181 scientific papers. In 1991, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada

As a scientist, I can only deal with things, which I can specifically see. I can understand embryology and developmental biology. I see no evidence to refute the concept that this individual Muhammad had to be developing this information from some place... so I see nothing here in conflict with the concept that Divine intervention was involved in what he was able to write..."

-E. Marshall Johnson,

Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, and Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Author of over 200 publications

It is not the propagation, but the permanency of his religion, that deserves our wonder.

The same pure & perfect impression, which he engraved

at Mecca and Medina

is preserved

-Edward Gibbon & Simon Oakley

(History of the Saracen Empire)

All that is of merit to mankind

is embodied by the Prophet Muhammad

-Barnaby Rogerson

(in, The Prophet Muhammad)

Like almost every major Prophet before him, Muhammad fought shy of serving as the transmitter of God's word, sensing his own inadequacy. 

But the Angel commanded 'Read.' 

So far as we know, Muhammad was unable to read or write, but he began to dictate those inspired words, which would soon revolutionize a large segment of the earth:

 'There is One God.'

-James A. Michener

"Islam: The Misunderstood Religion," in Reader’s Digest (American edition), May 1955, pp. 68-70.





These observations make the hypothesis advanced by those who see Muhammad as the author of the Qur'an untenable.

How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author, in terms of literary merits, in the whole of Arabic literature?

How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human being could possibly have developed at that time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncement on the subject?

-Maurice Bucaille

(Dr. Maurice Bucaille addressed the French Academy of Medicine in 1976 concerning the existence in the Qur’an of certain statements concerning physiology and reproduction. The above is an extract of his speech based on his famous book, The Bible, The Qur’an & Science, 1978, p. 125).


Thinking about many of these questions and thinking where Muhammad came from, he was after all a Bedouin.

I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years with very complicated and advanced technological methods that this is the case

-Professor Alfred Kroner


About 14 centuries ago, at a meditation retreat near Mecca, Muhammad received a first message through the Archangel Gabriel. The First message was followed by successive revelations spanning a period of some twenty years. They were not only transcribed while the Prophet was still alive, but also recited by heart by his followers and later by the many believers who had gathered around him. …Mohammad himself arranged it into surahs. After his death the various elements were brought together in a Book, henceforth known as the Qur’an.

It contains the Word of God, to the exclusion of any human addition.

In contrast to this, the Christian Revelation is based on numerous indirect human accounts.

We do not in fact have an eye-witness account from the life of Jesus, contrary to what many Christians imagine.

-Dr Maurice Bucaille,

The Bible, The Qur’an & Science, 1976

By a fortune absolutely unique in history,

Mohammad is a threefold founder of a nation,

of an empire

and of a religion.

-Rev Bosworth Smith

(in Dictionary of Islam, 1986)

Mohammad, thirteen hundred years ago,

assured to the mothers, wives, and daughters of Islam,

a rank and dignity

not yet generally assured to women by the laws of the West

-Pierre Crabites

(in Dictionary of Islam, 1986)

Muhammad is the first link in the spiritual chain of Sufism,

and his ascension through the Heaven’s into the Divine Presence,

became the prototype of the mystic’s spiritual ascension.

-Professor Annemarie Schimmel

(In, Mystical Dimensions of Islam, 1975)

The Qur’an does not constitute the sole source of

doctrine and legislation in Islam.

During Muhammad’s life and after his death,

complementary information of a legislative nature

was indeed sought in the study of the words and deeds

of the Prophet.

These came from the oral tradition.

Those who undertook to assemble them in collections

made the kind of enquiries, which are always very taxing

before recording accounts of past events.

They nevertheless had a great regard for accuracy

in their arduous task of collecting information.

This is illustrated by the fact that for all of the Prophet’s sayings, the most venerable collections always bear the names of those responsible for the account, going right back to the person who first collected the information from members of Muhammad’s family or his companions.

A very large number of collections of the Prophet’s words and deeds thus appears under the title of Hadith’s.

Al-Bukhari’s work is generally regarded as the most authentic after the Qur’an. One must however, be very wary of certain translations made by Europeans, including the French translation, because they contain inaccuracies and untruths.

In recent years, an approved bilingual Arabic/English edition

has been provided by Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khan

of the Islamic University of Medina.

-Dr Maurice Bucaille,

(The Bible, The Qur’an & Science,3rd Edition)

From the earliest times, Muhammad, the Messenger of God,

had been the ideal for the faithful Muslim.

His behaviour, his acts and his words,

served as models for the pious,

who tried to imitate him as closely as possible

even in the smallest details of outward life

-Professor Annemarie Schimmel

(In Mystical Dimensions of Islam) 

Since Muslim tradition forbids figural representation,

one finds instead,

accounts of Muhammad’s lofty qualities

written in exquisite calligraphy

hanging on the walls of houses

-Professor Annemarie Schimmel

(In Mystical Dimensions of Islam)

Muhammad’s greatest gift to the world

is revealed every time a Muslim stands alone

to pray directly to God.

This revolution in spiritual attitude,

the direct communion between believer and Divine,

is Muhammad’s triumphant achievement.

He himself always possessed an extraordinarily close relationship

with the Divine,

revealed in that haunting Revelation that

“God is closer to you than your jugular vein.”

-Barnaby Rogerson

(in, The Prophet Muhammad)