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Prophet, the Founder of Islam?



                                     It is a notorious misunderstanding regarding the Prophet (Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him). Some polemists deliberately strive to give it a wide circulation. It has made such a bad impact upon the society that even the textbook makers simply subscribe to this view, and school children from their early child hood learn the forgery by heart. Even the writers who supported Islam under the light of disinterested historical information, consciously or otherwise spell the fable. Bishop Boyd Carpenter writers: ‘Muhammad is by many, seen only through the fog which dread and ignorance have spread around him. To theme he is an object of horror against which anything evil might be said…But now the mists of prejudice have cleared away, we can afford to see the founder of Islam in  fairer light’(Bishop Boyd Carpenter, The Permanent element in religion. P.30)

   The same is repeated by Michener also: ‘Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D.570 into an Arabian tribe that worshiped idols’ (James A Michener, Islam the misunderstood Religion- Reader’s digest, 1965)

   Some are of the opinion that, there is no glaring difference between Islam and Christianity, except that Muhammad invented Islam, when he failed to get ascendancy over Christianity. The French encyclopedia Larousse stated: ‘Muhammad remained in his moral corruption and debauchery a camel thief, a cardinal who failed to reach the throne of the papacy and win it for himself. He therefore invented a new religion with which to avenge himself against his colleagues’ (Muḥammad Ḥusayn Haykal, The life of Muhammad. P. xxxiii)

   The very name of Islam hardly hits to the heart of this Slander. Quite contrary to the names of other religions, the word Islam is devoid of any personal or topographic indications. Christianity is derived from Christ, Buddism from Sri Buddha, Jainism from Jinan, Hinduism from river Sindu, or from Hind, Confucianism from Confucius, and so on. But nobody can excavate any such names from the word ‘Islam’ Western writers are envious of this name. So they have been trying to give publicity to the term ‘Mohammadanism’ instead of Islam. Some writers have given titles to their Scandalous works on Islam as Mohammadanism. For e.g. Gibb gave title to his work on Islam as Mohammadanism–Historical survey, and smith, Muhammad and Muhammanism while Hurgronge, Leither, and Margoliouth restricted absolutely in ‘Muhammadanism’ Maurice Buccaille cautions the Muslim world to be careful against the treacherous usage. He writes: ‘the use of such terms as Muhammadan religion and Muhammadans has been instrumental-even to the present day-in maintaining the false notion that beliefs were involved that were spread by the work of a man among which God (in Christina sense) had no place.’((Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, The Qur’an  and Science P. ii).

   The History of Islam does not come to a close with Prophet Muhammad but it is as old as the origin of man. It is not made by a pope or a saint but presented by almighty Allah to the mankind. God created Adam and has furnished in this world what all the things he needed. As the bylaw of straight forward life almighty gave some code of ethics. The code includes both material and spiritual guidelines, the totality of which is known as Islam.

   Human beings permeated into the various part of the world. God sent Prophets in different ages and in different places whenever the light of Islam was on the verge of fading. They taught the society and civilized it thus rejuvenating the religion. More than one hundred and twenty four thousands of Prophets were sent, among whom are Ibrahim. Moosa, Nooh, Christ and Muhammad (Blessing of Allah upon them). Both Christ and Muhammad (PBH) are the Messengers of the God and not gods to be worshipped as misunderstood by many. They do not legislate laws. Nor do they amend them. They are human beings of flesh and blood. Those who made Christ god and negated the Prophethood of Muhammad (PBH), tried to make him founder of a new religion. That is what happened in History.

   Polemists can be said to have won in their malicious effort of publicizing the allegation. They misinterpret history to mislead the world. They are not even hesitant to compare Prophet with Alexander and Napoleon. Deliberately or otherwise, even the poetic images opted by Sarojini Naidu was slipped to sword while she distributed flowers of worship to Hindus, song of faith for Christians, she granted the sword of love for Musalman.( Sarojini Naidu, Awake ! The Golden Treasury of Indo- Anglian Poetry, P.151).

   In order to disgrace the enemy, the paid writers are breaking all limits of courtesy. Margoliouth writes ‘the fact of primary importance in the rise of Islam is that the movement became considerable only when its originator was able to draw the sword and handle it successfully…. ‘Muhammad’ organizes assassinations and wholesale massacres. His career as a tyrant of Madina, is that of a robber chief, whose political economy consists in securing and dividing plunder, the distribution of the latter at times carried out on principles which fail to satisfy his follower’s ideas of justice’ (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics).

   Bauben remarks: Fra fidenzio believed that Muhammad used oppressive methods to achieve his aims and surrounded himself with evil men, thieves, plunderers, fugitives, murderers, and such like ready to kill, plunder and liquidate every community that refused to follow him’(Daniel, Islam and the West P: 92).

   Actually the allegations are baseless. Those who are still skeptical, have to study the genuine history of Islam, without being partial. Disinterested historians have disclosed the fact as it is. Sir Thomas Arnold has prepared a prolonged thesis criticizing the vile argument. Butter convinced, Mahatma Gandhi states: ‘I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of the millions of mankind. I become more than ever convinced that it was not the sword won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life’(Young India, Quoted in ‘The light’, Lahore 16th September 1923).

   De Lacy O ‘Leary states: ‘History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims Sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated (De Lacy O Leary, Islam at the crossroads. P: 8, London, 1923).

   Lawrence-E-Brown writes: ‘Incidentally these well established facts dispose of the idea so widely fostered in Christian writings that Muslims, where-ever they went, forced people to accept Islam at the point of sword’(Lawrence E Browne, The Prophets of Islam. P: 14, London, 1944).

      Iconoclasm of Prophet

   It is believed that, Prophet Muhammad captured Ka-ba and broke all the idols therein. Muslims are presented to be iconoclasts. Actually, the allegation does not have any touch with truth. It is true that, Islam does not support idolatry. Further it strictly prohibits worshiping anything but Allah almighty.

   By worshiping, we are thanking the one who created us, protects us and will reward us. He gave all the resource, say, food, drink, cloths, air….for us. It is sure that the stone idol which we create is not our creator, logically. So, to prostrate before such a dumb, deaf, blind and motionless stone would be sheer ungratefulness towards the real creator. The same is the case with embodying him in such substances, which are not sufficient enough. This can be understood easily attributing to man. Suppose we are erecting a small image of bug or rat or dog in memory of our prime minister, our president or our father. Suppose, our children make a figure of swine in order to remember us? God is beyond the catch of all imagination and so attempts to confine him in our fictional figures are but sheer ungratefulness.

   Prophet (BPH) awakened the people about the meaninglessness of the idolatry first. In the Holy Qur’an there are instance of Prophet Ibrahim who liberated a community from the evil clutches of idols. Those who thought deep started worshiping the one god leaving countless deities. Abu Darr Al Ghifari (May Allah Please with him) was on the way to visit the Prophet. When he returned from urinating he happened to see a vagabond dog urinating in the mouth of god which he had put in a safety place. That moment his brain became filled with straight thoughts. At last he embraced Islam in the presence of Prophet. This was what happened in history. Prophet Muhammad had crushed the idols, which were built in the hearts of the people, and not those, which were made up of clay and stone. Prophet lived in holy Makkah thirteen years even after his Prophet hood. Still he never ordered to break them. Qur’an Prohibits even to ridicule the idols of non-Muslims: ‘revile not ye those whom they call upon beside Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance’ (6:108).

   Truly, there was no need of breaking idols as far as Prophet Muhammad was concerned, for the idolaters themselves statrted breaking them. During Prophet’s time there was more than 300 idols in Ka-aba with Fathah Makkah (the victory of holy Makkah) they themselves demolished them. For instance, ‘Manatha’ a senior god was crushed by its own previous worshipper Sa’d bin zaid Al AShhaly, “Ussa” another presiding deity but Khalid Bin Walid who dared to kill Prophet many a time, and Suva by Amr Bin Asw who was also previously an idol worshipper. When a restaurant is turned to be a textiles shop, the ovens, plates and glasses are removed, since they are no more useful. Similarly when all the idolaters changed to be monotheists, the useless instruments were taken away.
Uncontrolled antipathy against prophet seems to have absorbed all the shamefulness from the polemist as much to charge idolatry upon him even when the whole history becomes loquacious of war between him and idolatry.

   Belief in charms, naming the children with the names of idol touches, kissing the black stone assuming it to be an idol….are all imposed upon Prophet. Margoliouth writes: ‘of the superstitious of the Arabs, which differ slightly, if at all from those of other races. He would seem to have imbibed a fair share’ (David SamuelMargoliouth, Muhammad and the Rise of Islam 1995, P. 61).
He is not hesitant to remark Muhammad and Khadija ‘Performed some domestic rite in honor of one of the goddesses each night before retiring’(Ibid 70).

   They are bold enough to present a Muhammad who slaughters sheep for dedicating to goddesses. Bauban writes; ‘quoting from T Wellhausen’s Reste Arabischen Heidentuns (Berlin:1897), Margoliouth asserts that Muhammad’… confessed to having at one time sacrificed a gray sheep to Al-Uzza and probably did so more than once, since after his mission, he used to slaughter sheep for sacrifice with his own hands’(Jabal Muhammad Bauben, Image of Prophet in the west, P. 69).

   Peter the venerable is thankful for having confessed that Muhammad changed the Arabs, ‘away from idolatry’ but he fills up the sentence ‘yet not to one God, but.. to the error of his own heresies’ (Daniel, Islam and the west, P. 421).

   Both Montgomery Watt and Samual Margoliouth cast doubts on the monotheistic conviction of Prophet Muhammad! Watt writes: “firstly at one time Muhammad must have publicly recited the satanic verses as part of the Qur’an; it is unthinkable that the story could have been invented later by Muslims or toasted upon them by non-Muslims. Secondly, of some later time Muhammad announced that these verses were not really part of the Qur’an and should be replaced by others of vastly different import. The earliest versions do not specify how long afterwards this happened. The probability is that it was weeks or even months’ (William Montgomery Watt, Muhammad at Mecca, Geford, 1953, P. 103).

   Discarding all scholarly gentleness, he piles assumption one after another. Disparaging the monotheism of Prophet he continues: ‘the truth rather is that his monotheism was originally, like that of his more enlightened contemporaries somewhat vague, and in particular was not so strict that the recognition of the inferior divine beings was felt to be incompatible with it”(Ibid P. 104).

   This allegation of idolatry seems to have exceeded all the extremes. Prophet’s life was completely devoted to preach against this foul action. He suffered innumerable tortures in his life exclusively for having criticized idolatry. He never worshipped an idol even before his prophet hood, where as all the Arabs were prostrating to Man gods created by man. One who goes through the holy Qur’an can have an excellent reading against idolatry. But blindness temptates the polemists to allege that also against the holy Prophet. Whoever studied history, can realize that it was Prophet Muhammad who proclaimed monotheism, and discouraged the idolatry.

   Napoleon remarks: “Arabia was idolatrous when, six centuries after Jesus, Muhammad introduced the worship of God of Abraham, of Ismael, of Moses, and of Jesus. The Ayrians(1)  and some other sects had distributed the tranquility of the east by agitating the question of nature of the father, the sun, and the Holy Ghost. Muhammad declared that there was none but one who had no father, no son and that the trinity imported the idea of idolatry..”(Napoleon Bonaparte, ‘Bonaparte at Islam’)

   (1) Ayrians : A race of completely blonde-haired, blue-eyed people. Adolf Hitler believed that the Ayrians were "the perfect race"(urban dictionary).



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