The Ideal Prophet
The Ideal Prophet
The Prophet of Islam was an ideal embodiment of such virtues as mercy, sympathy, magnanimity, justice, forbearance and forgiveness. There is not a single instance to show that he ever used force or preached violence to promulgate his religion or to revenge against his foes who persistently opposed the early part of his Prophetic mission.
One of the many noble examples of his tolerance and forgiveness in history is seen in his peaceful but triumphant victory over Mecca. It was not a military victory; it was the triumph of his magnificent moral and religions character, unparalleled in the history of the world, after many years of ceaseless oppression and wars waged by his enemies to destroy him and his religion.
In this moment of great triumph, the Prophet remained god-fearing, merciful and forgiving, magnanimously refusing to avenge the Quraish tribe for their past misdeeds. He did not compel even a single soul to embrace Islam under the pressure of his grand victory. Although the city of Mecca had surrendered unconditionally and had recognized his authority, but all its inhabitants had not till then embraced Islam, nor had they formally acknowledged his Prophetic claim. Verily the ways of the Prophet were the ways of God.
Here is a tribute which Sir William Muir pays to this supreme and exemplary religious tolerance of the Holy Prophet :
"Thus he (the Prophet ) preached a religious toleration that had never been known to the world before. If religious toleration must be a necessary article of faith in the Religion of Humanity, it is surely another cogent justification for Mohammed's claim to the name of the Ideal Prophet."
Lastly, let us see what Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest apostle of non-violence and religious toleration of our time, has to say about the Holy Prophet and Islam. The Mahatma said: "I become more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam 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 and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in Allah and his own mission."
"In its glorious days, Islam was not intolerant. It commanded the admiration of the world. When the West was sunk in darkness, a bright star rose in the Eastern firmament and gave light and comfort to a groaning world. Islam is not a false religion. Let Hindus study it reverently, and they will love it even as I do."
Sir Bernard Shaw's Prediction
Sir Bernard Shaw, the learned philosopher and great novelist of England, in his Getting Married predicted:
"I believe the whole of the British Empire will adopt a reformed Islam before the end of the century? When asked to confirm it, he said: "I have always held the religion of Mohammed 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 phases of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. The world must doubtless attach high value to the predictions of great men like me. I have prophesied about the faith of Mohammed that it would be acceptable tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.
"The Medieval ecclesiastics," says Shaw, "either through ignorance or bigotry, painted Islam in the darkest colors. They were, in fact, trained to hate both the man Mohammed and his religion. To them, Mohammed was anti-Christ. I have studied him, the wonderful man, and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ 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 the problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness. Europe is beginning to be enamored of the creed of Mohammed . In the next century it may go still further in recognizing the utility of that creed in solving its problems, and it is in this sense that you must understand my prediction. Already even at the present time many of my own people and of Europe as well have gone over to the faith of Mohammed . And the Islamization of Europe may be said to have begun."