“And most certainly, thou (O Muhammad) are of most sublime and exalted character.” (The Holy Qur’ân, 68:4)
How the Topic Arose
About ten years ago, a distant cousin of mine – Mr. Mohamed Mehtar Farooki gave me a typed quotation by the French historian, Lamartine. The quotation [A detailed exposition of the quotation will be found on page 38 ] purported to prove that Muhammad (pbuh), the prophet of Islam, was the greatest man that ever lived. Mr. Mehtar was in the habit of passing information on to me, believing that I might put the same to some good use at the proper time and place. Before this he had presented me with “The Call of the Minaret,” an expensive book written by (Bishop Kenneth Cragg). By analysing this book I discovered the masterful deceit of the Christian Orientalists. Lamartine’s tribute to our prophet inspired me and I had a great desire to share his thoughts about our Nabee with my Muslim brethren. The opportunity to do so was not long in coming.
I received a phone call from the Muslim community in Dannhauser, a small town in Northern Natal,, who were organising a birthday celebration of the Holy Prophet. They invited me to give a lecture on that auspicious occasion. So I deemed it an honour and a privilege, I readily agreed. When they inquired, in view of their advertising needs, as to the subject of my lecture, I suggested on the inspiration from Lamartine, “Muhammad (pbuh) the Greatest.”
On my arrival in Dannhauser, I noticed a lot of posters advertising the meeting which in essence said that Deedat would be lecturing on the subject “MUHAMMAD THE GREAT.” I was somewhat disheartened and, on inquiring was told that the change in the title was due to a printer’s error.
Some two months later, I got another, similar invitation. This time from the Muslim community of Pretoria the administrative capital of South Africa. The subject I had mooted was the same – “Muhammad (pbuh) the Greatest.” To my dismay the topic was again changed to “MUHAMMAD THE GREAT.” Identical reasons and excuses were given. Both these incidences happened in South Africa, my own country. But, let me give you one more example of our inferiority complex – so much part of the sickness of the Ummah.
USA NO DIFFERENT
On my lecture tour of the mighty United States in 1977, 1 discovered that our soldiers in the New World also had feet of clay. Out of the many sad experiences I have had, I think that this one will suffice to prove the point. The Muslims of Indianapolis were advised to organise a lecture for me on the subject “What the Bible says about Muhammad (pbuh)” T’hey agreed to advertise just that, but their timidity did not permit them to do so. They thought the topic was too provocative, so they, in their wisdom (?), toned it down to “A PROPHET IN THE BIBLE.” A lifeless, insipid title you will no doubt agree. Which Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Jew would be intrigued to attend? What does “A PROPHET” mean? To most A PROPHET means ANY PROPHET, and who would be interested in attending a meeting where just any prophet in the Bible was debated?
Job, Joel, Jonah, Ezra, Elisha, Ezekiel are just a few of the many mentioned in the Bible. As was to be expected the attendance left much to be desired.
What is the cause of this sickness? This inferiority complex? “Yes!” We are an emasculated people. Dynamism has been wringed out of us, not only by our enemies but by our own spiritless friends. We even dare not repeat Allah’s Own testimony regarding his beloved –
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL
Normally, it is quite, natural for anyone to love, praise, idolize or hero-worship ones leader, be it a guru, saint or prophet: and very often we do.
However, if I were to reproduce here
what great Muslims have said or written about our illustrious prophet, it could be played down as exaggeration, fancy or idolization by the sceptics and the opponents of Islam. Therefore, allow me to quote unbiased historians, friendly critics and even avowed enemies of that mighty Messenger of God – Muhammad (pbuh). If the tributes of the non-Muslims do not touch your hearts, then you are in the wrong faith. Opt out of Islam! There is already too much deadwood on the “ship” of Islam.
In recent times, a book has been published in America titled “The 100,” or the Top One hundred, or the Greatest Hundred in History. A certain Michael H. Hart, described as a historian, mathematician and astronomer has written this novel book. He has searched history, seeking for men who had the greatest influence on mankind. In this book he gives us The hundred most influential men, including Asoka, Aristotle, Buddha, Confucius, Hitler, Plato, and Zoroaster. He does not give us a mere chart of the topmost “one
hundred” from the point of view of their influence on people, but he evaluates the degree of their influence and rates them in order of their excellence from No. 1, through to No. 100. He gives us his reasons for the placing of his candidates. We are not asked to agree with him, but we cannot help admire the man’s research and honesty.
The most amazing thing about his selection is that he has put our Nabee-e-Kareem, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as No. 1,
the first of his “100!” Thus confirming, unknowingly, God’s Own testimony in His Final Revelation to the World:
MOST CERTAINLY, YOU HAVE IN THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH AN EXCELLENT PATTERN (OF BEHAVIOUR) Holy Qur’ân 33:21
JESUS (PBUH) No. 3!
Hart placing the Prophet of Islam as No. 1, has naturally pleased the Muslims. But his choice as shocked the Non-Muslims, more specially the Jews and the Christians, who consider this as an affront. What? Jesus (pbuh) No. 3 and Moses (pbuh) No. 40! This is for them very difficult to stomach, but what says Hart? Let us hear his arguments –
SINCE THERE ARE ROUGHLY TWICE
[The latest estimate is that there are one thousand million Muslims in the world and one thousand two hundred million Christians] AS MANY CHRISTIANS IN THE WORLD, IT MAY INITIALLY SEEM STRANGE THAT MUHAMMAD HAS BEEN RANKED HIGHER THAN JESUS. THERE ARE TWO PRINCIPAL REASONS FOR THAT DECISION.
FIRST, MUHAMMAD PLAYED A FAR MORE IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE EVELOPMENT OF ISLAM THAN JESUS DID IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHRISTIANITY. ALTHOUGH JESUS WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MAIN ETHICAL AND MORAL PRECEPTS OF CHRISTIANITY (INSOFAR AS THESE DIFFERED FROM JUDAISM), ST. PAUL WAS THE MAIN DEVELOPER OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY, ITS PRINCIPAL
PROSELYTIZER, AND THE AUTHOR OF A LARGE PORTION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
MUHAMMAD, HOWEVER, WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR BOTH THE THEOLOGY OF ISLAM AND ITS MAIN ETHICAL AND MORAL PRINCIPLES. IN ADDITION, HE PLAYED THE KEY ROLE IN PROSELYTIZING THE NEW FAITH, AND IN ESTABLISHING THE RELIGIOUS PRACTICES OF ISLAM.
Michael H. Hart in his book – “THE 100”-pages 38/39
PAUL THE FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY
According to Hart, the honor for founding Christianity is to be shared between Jesus (pbuh) and St. Paul. The latter he believes to be the real founder of Christianity.
I cannot help agreeing with Hart. Out of the total of 27 Books of the New Testament, more than half is authored by Paul. As opposed to Paul, the Master has not written a single word of the twenty-seven books. If you can lay your hands on what is called “‘A Red Letter Bible,” you will find every word alleged to have been uttered by Jesus (pbuh) – in red ink and the rest in normal black ink. Don’t be shocked to find that in this so called “Injeel,” the Gospel of Jesus, over ninety percent of the 27 Books of the New Testament is printed in black ink!
This is the candid Christian confession on what they call the “Injeel.” In actual any confrontation with Christian missionaries, you will find them quoting one hundred percent from Paul.
NO ONE FOLLOWS JESUS (PBUH) Jesus (pbuh) said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
He said further, Whosoever therefore shall break one of
these least commandments, and shall
teach men so, he shall be called the
least in the kingdom of heaven . . .” (Matthew 5:19)
Every Christian controversialist you question, “Do you keep the laws and the commandments?” will answer, “No!” If you ask further, “Why don’t you?” He will if he is a Bible-thumper, invariably reply, “The law is nailed to the cross!” Meaning the law is done away with. “We are now living under grace!”
Every time you prod him with what his Lord and Master (pbuh) had said, he will confront you with something from Cornithians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, etc. If you ask, “Who are they?” You will hear, ‘Paul, Paul, Paul!” “Who is your master?” you question, and he will say, “Jesus!” But he will ever and anon contradict his own Jesus (pbuh) by his Paul!
No learned Christian will ever dispute the fact that the real founder of Christianity is St. Paul. Therefore, Michael H. Hart to be fair, had to place Jesus (pbuh), in slot number three. WHY PROVOKE YOUR CUSTOMER? This placing of Christ in the number three spot by Michael H. Hart poses a very serious question for us. Why would an American publish a book of 572 pages in America and selling in America for $15 each, go out of his way to provoke his potential readers? Who will buy his books? Surely, not the Pakistanis and the Bangladeshis, neither the Arabs nor the Turks! Except for a few copies here and there, the overwhelming number of his customers will be from the 250 million Christians and the 6 million Jews of America. Then why did he provoke his customers? Did he not hear the dictum – “the customer is
always right!” Of course he did. Then why his daring choice. But before I close this episode of Hart, I will allow him to make his one last apology for his “temerity.”
“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, p.33.
WHO WERE HISTORY’S GREAT LEADERS
TIME, JULY 15, 1974
The world famous “Time” carried the above rubic on its front cover. Inside the magazine were numerous essays as to ‘What makes a great leader?‘ ‘Throughout history,
who qualifies?‘ TIME asked a variety of historians, writers, military men, businessmen and others for their selections. Each gave his candidate according to his “light” as objectively as is humanly possible, depending on one’s own awareness and prejudice.
WHO KNOWS DR. SALAZAR?
It is my habit and pleasurable duty to take non-Muslims on a guided tour
of the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere – “The Jumma Masjid” Durban.
On one occasion I was hosting a Portuguese couple, a husband and wife team. At some stage during the discussion the Portuguese gentleman said that “Dr. Salazar was the
greatest man in the world!” I did not debate the point with him as I personally knew little about Dr. Salazar except that he was a one time dictator of Portugal albeit to many a great benefactor to his nation. My poor visitor was, however, speaking according to his own knowledge, point of view and prejudice.
MUHAMMAD (PBUH) AN NOT BE IGNORED!
Among the contributors to the “Time,” it seems that none could ignore Muhammad (pbuh).
WILLIAM McNEILL, a United States historian, of the University of Chicago, records:
“IF YOU MEASURE LEADERSHIP BY IMPACT, THEN YOU WOULD HAVE TO NAME JESUS, BUDDHA, MOHAMMED, CONFUCIUS, THE GREAT PROPHETS OF THE WORLD …”
McNeill does not go into details, nor does he give us any explanation as to why he placed Jesus (pbuh) first and Muhammad (pbuh) number three. Perhaps it was by force of habit. It is very likely that McNeill is a Christian. However, we will not argue with him. Then comes –
JAMES GAVIN, described as a United States army man, a retired lieutenant general. He says – “AMONG LEADERS WHO HAVE MADE THE GREATEST IMPACT THROUGH AGES, I WOULD CONSIDER MOHAMMED, JESUS CHRIST, MAYBE LENIN, POSSIBLY MAO. AS FOR A LEADER WHOSE QUALITIES WE COULD MOST USE NOW, I WOULD CHOOSE JOHN F. KENNEDY.”
The General does not say much more, yet we have to salute him. It calls for tremendous fortitude to pen the name Muhammad before that of Christ (peace be upon them both). It surely, was no slip of the pen.
JULES MASSERMAN, United States psychoanalyst and professor of the Chicago University, gives us, unlike the other contributors, the basis for making his selection. He gives us his reason for choosing his greatest LEADER of all times. He wants us to find out, what we are really looking for in the man, the qualities that sets him apart. We may be looking for any sets of qualities. As in the case of Michael H. Hart, he was looking for a person wielding the MOST Influence.1
However, Masserman does not want us to depend on our fancies or prejudices: he wants to establish objective standards for judging, before we confer greatness upon anybody.
He says that “Leaders must fulfill three functions–”
No. 1 THE LEADER MUST PROVIDE FOR THE WELL-BEING OF THE LEAD …
The leader, whoever he is, must be interested in your welfare. He must not be looking for milking cows for his own greed like the Rev. Jim Jones of Jonestown, Guyana, of the “Suicide Cult” fame. You will remember him as the man who committed suicide together with 910 of his followers, all at the same time EN MASSE!
The United States Government was on his trail and he was on the verge of being caught for certain felonies. But before they could apprehend him, he thought it wise to eliminate himself, together with all his followers, so that no one would be left to testify against him. He laced lemonade with cynide and inspired his devotees to drink it, and so they did and they all died in disgrace! In the meantime, it was discovered that the Rev. Jim Jones had salted away fifteen million dollars and stacked it in his own account in banks throughout the world. All his victims were his milking cows and he was exploiting them to satisfy his own lust and greed. Masserman’s hero must be found to benefit his sheep, his flock, and not himself
No. 2 THE LEADER OR WOULD BE LEADER MUST PROVIDE A SOCIAL ORGANIZATION IN WHICH PEOPLE FEEL RELATIVELY SECURE …
Unlike the Marxist, the Facist, the Nazi, the Neo-Nazi the Ashkenazi,
[The Jews from Germany, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, mostly from Russia who are in unlawful occupation of Palestine. There is something prophetic in the name itself – the Jews are doing to the people of the occupied territories exactly what the Nazis did to them. What an irony!]
the Zionist, and their fellow-travellers, Professor Masserman, in his brief essay in the TIME magazine, did not spell this out. But his beliefs and feelings are abundantly clear. He is in search of a Leader who will provide a social order free of self, and greed and racism: for all these “isms” carry within them the seeds of their own destruction.
There’s still with us much sorrow and sin, Injustice, Oppression, wrong and hate. Still does Arrogance deaden Conscience Rob struggling souls of e’en the crumbs Of Pity, and make, of loathsome flesh And crumbling dust, fair-seeming Idols For worship. Still does Ignorance blow A mighty Horn and try to shame True Wisdom. Still do men drive Slaves,
– – Protesting smoothly the end of Slavery! Still does Greed devour the substance Of helpless ones within her power. Nay, more, – –
the fine Individual Voice Is smothered in the raucous din Of groups and Crowds that madly shout What they call Slogans New, – – Old Falsehoods long discredited … Abdullah Yusuf Ali
No. 3 THAT THIS LEADER MUST PROVIDE HIS PEOPLE WITH ONE SET OF BELIEFS
It is easy to talk of the Fellowship of Faith and the Brotherhood of Man, but in South Africa today, there are a thousand different sects and denominations among the Whites (people of European descent) and three thousand among the Blacks (of African descent). The White Churches in my country are Spawning “Black” Bishops, fast, but in the first three hundred years of European conquest, they did not produce a single Black Bishop. Even now, the Black, the White, the Colored and the Indian cannot pray together in most of the Dutch Reformed Churches. The hatred between the Christian sects was aptly described by the Christian Emperor Julian, who said: “NO WILD BEASTS ARE SO HOSTILE TO MAN AS CHRISTIAN SECTS IN GENERAL ARE TO ONE ANOTHER.” Sayed Amir Ali in his “Spirit of lslam,”- page 1 ii.
With the foregoing three standards, Masserman searches history and analyses Louis Pasteur, Salk, Gandhi, Confucius, Alexander the Great, Caesar, Hitler, Buddha, Jesus and the rest;
finally coming to the conclusion that – PERHAPS THE GREATEST LEADER OF ALL TIMES WAS MUHAMMED, WHO COMBINED ALL THREE FUNCTIONS. (and) TO A LESSER DEGREE, MOSES DID THE SAME
We cannot help marveling at Masserman, that as a Jew he condescends to scrutinize even Adolf Hitler, the arch-enemy of his people. He considers Hitler to be a great leader. His race, the mighty German nation of 90 million people, was ready to march to destiny or destruction at his behest. Alas, he lead them to ruin. Hitler is not the question. The question is why would Masserman, as an American Jew, a paid servant of the Government proclaim to his countrymen of over two hundred million Jews and Christians that not Jesus, not Moses but Muhummed was “The greatest Leader of all
times!” ACCOUNT FOR THAT!
WHAT SAY THE SCEPTICS?
Michael H. Hart put Muhammad No. 1 on his list and his own Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (pbuh) No. 3. Why? -“He was bribed!“(?) William McNeill considers Muhammad as worthy of honour in his list of the first three names of his. Why? “He was bribed!” (?) James Gavin puts Muhammad (pbuh) before Christ (pbuh). Why? “He was bribed!” (?) James Masserman adjudges Muhammad (pbuh) No. 1 and his own hero Moses (pbuh) a close second. Why? “He was bribed!” (?) “ARE WE TO SUPPOSE THAT ALL THE GLOWING ADULATION OF MUHAMMAD (PBUH) WAS A MISERABLE PIECE OF INTELLECTUAL LEGERDEMAIN, HOCUS POCUS . . . I, FOR MY PART, CANNOT FORM ANY SUCH SUPPOSITION … ONE WOULD BE ENTIRELY AT A LOSS WHAT TO THINK OF MANKIND AT ALL IF QUACKERY SO GREW AND FLOURISHED IN THE WORLD.”1
Yet the scoffers bemoan anyone who has anything good to say about Muhammad (pbuh) or Islam AS HAVING BEEN BRIBED by the Arabs! They are giving too much credit to my brethren. I repeat: “It is possible, but it is improbable!”
During the Second World War, Norway produced only one “Quisling.” He was tried for treason and executed. It is unlikely that America and the Western world have just reached puberty to spawn a breed of Quislings nurtured by hot petrodollars from the Middle East. Please do not demean your honest, courageous men, who without fear or favour are prepared to suffer obloquy for their convictions. We must all admire them! We can now justifiably conclude that the God of Mercy, Who forever recognises the sincere efforts of His servants, is only fulfilling His Promise to Muhammad (pbuh), His Chosen Messenger –
AND HAVE WE NOT RAISED HIGH THE ESTEEM (IN WHICH) THOU (ARE HELD)? Holy Qur’ân 94:4
Have We not exalted thy fame?
And have We not raised thy name for thee?
Have We not given you high renown?
Friends and foes alike, as if by some secret compulsion are made to pay unsolicited tributes to this mighty Messenger of God. But the Almighty commanders even the devil into His service, as He had done in the time of Jesus (pbuh), (Matthew 4:1 -11). Even the devil sometimes speaks Gospel truths. Professor K. S. Ramakrishna Rao, a Hindu philosopher in his book “MUHUMMED – The Prophet of lslam“, quotes the arch-devil himself, yes, Adolf Hitler, to prove the unique greatness of Muhammad (pbuh). The Professor, like Jules Masserman who had evaluated the Prophet of Islam on three grounds (see appendix “C” on page 63) also saw in Hitler’s “Mein Kamp!” a three faceted jewel, a rare commodity which he found in our hero under discussion. Quoting Hitler, he says:
“A GREAT THEORIST IS SELDOM A GREAT LEADER. AN AGITATOR IS FAR MORE LIKELY TO POSSESS THESE QUALITIES. HE WILL ALWAYS BE A BETTER LEADER. FOR, LEADERSHIP MEANS THE ABILITY TO MOVE MASSES OF MEN. THE TALENT TO PRODUCE IDEAS HAS NOTHING IN COMMON WITH THE CAPACITY FOR LEADERSHIP.” HITLER CONTINUES, “THE UNION OF THE THEORIST, ORGANISER, AND LEADER IN ONE MAN IS THE RAREST PHENOMENON ON THIS EARTH; THEREIN CONSISTS GREATNESS.” PROFESSOR RAO CONCLUDES, IN HIS OWN WORDS, “IN THE PERSON
OF THE PROPHET OF ISLAM THE WORLD HAS
SEEN THIS RAREST PHENOMENON ON EARTH,
WALKING IN FLESH AND BLOOD.”
SHARE THE ANGER
Before anyone assails the Professor of undue bias and “bribery,” let me give them a few more names of admirers of Muhammad (pbuh).
1. “MUHUMMAD WAS THE SOUL OF KINDNESS, AND HIS INFLUENCE WAS FELT AND NEVER FORGOTTEN BY THOSE AROUND HIM.” A Hindu scholar – Diwan Chand Sharma in his “The Prophets of the East,” Calcutta 1935, p. 122.
2. “FOUR YEARS AFTER THE DEATH OF JUSTINIAN, A.D. 569, WAS BORN AT MAKKAH, IN ARABIA THE MAN WHO, OF ALL MEN EXERCISED THE GREATEST INFLUENCE UPON THE HUMAN RACE … MOHAMMED …” John William Draper, M.D., LLD., in his “A History of the
lntellectual Development of Europe“,- London 1875.
3. “I DOUBT WHETHER ANY MAN WHOSE EXTERNAL CONDITIONS CHANGED SO MUCH EVER CHANGED HIMSELF LESS TO MEET THEM.” R. V. C. Bodley in “The Messenger,”- London 1946, p.9.
4. “I HAVE STUDIED HIM – THE WONDERFUL MAN – AND IN MY OPINION FAR FROM BEING AN ANTI-CHRIST, HE MUST BE CALLED THE SAVIOUR OF HUMANITY.” George Bernard Shaw, in “The Genuine Islam,- Vol. 1, No. 81936.
5. “BY A FORTUNE ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE IN HISTORY, MOHAMMED IS A THREEFOLD FOUNDER OF A NATION, OF AN EMPIRE, AND OF A RELIGION.” R. Bosworth-Smith in “Mohammed and Mohammedanism”.- 1946.
6. “MOHAMMED WAS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL OF ALL RELIGIOUS PERSONALITIES.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition