In the Name of Allah (God Almighty), Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Western Perceptions of the Prophet Muhammad
THE TOP 20
The top 20 of the most influential persons in history according to M.H. Hart are:-
The 100 - A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History, New York 1978, Page 4 - Michael H. Hart.
"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."
The 100 - A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History, New York 1978, Page 33 - Michael H. Hart.
MOST INFLUENTIAL SINGLE FIGURE IN HUMAN HISTORY
"We see, then, that the Arab conquests of the seventh century have continued to play an important role in human history, down to the present day."
"It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history."
The 100 - A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History, New York 1978, Page 40 - Michael H. Hart.
ENORMOUSLY INFLUENTIAL RELIGIOUS AND SECULAR LEADER
"Furthermore, Muhammad (unlike Jesus) was a secular as well as a religious leader. In fact, as the driving force behind the Arab conquests, he may well rank as the most influential political leader of all tune.
"Of many important historical events, one might say that they were inevitable and would have occurred even without the particular political leader who guided them. For example, the South American colonies would probably have won their independence from Spain even if Simon Bolivar had never lived. But this cannot be said of the Arab conquests. Nothing similar had occurred before Muhammad, and there is no reason to believe that the conquests would have been achieved without him."
The 100 - A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History, New York 1978, Pages 39-40 - Michael H. Hart.
"In all things Muhammad was profoundly practical. When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred, and rumours of God's personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad is said to have announced, 'An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a human being.' "
Islam: The Misunderstood Religion, The Reader's Digest (American Edition), May 1955, Page 70 - James A. Michener.
GREATEST INFLUENCE UPON HUMAN RACE
"Four years after the death of Justinian, A.C. 569, was born at Mecca, in Arabia, the man who, of all men, has exercised the greatest influence upon the human race."
"Mohammad possessed that combination of qualities which more than once has decided the fate of empires."
A History Of The Intellectual Development Of Europe, London 1875, Volume 1, Pages 329-330 - John William Draper (M.D., LL.D.).
"His deportment, in general, was calm and equable."
"He is said to have possessed a smile of captivating sweetness. His complexion was more ruddy than is usual with Arabs, and in his excited and enthusiastic moments there was a glow and radiance in his countenance."
"His military triumphs awakened no pride nor vain glory, as they would have done had they been effected for selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power he maintained the same simplicity of manners and appearance as in the days of his adversity."
"If he aimed at universal dominion, it was the dominion of the faith; as to the temporal rule which grew up in his hands, as he used it without ostentation, so he took no step to perpetuate it in his family."
Mahomet And His Successors, London 1909, Pages 192-193 and Page 199 - Washington Irving.
CONQUEST OF MAKKAH
"The day of Mohammad's greatest triumph over his enemies was also the day of-his grandest victory over himself. He freely forgave the Koraysh all the years of sorrow and cruel scorn in which they had afflicted him and gave an amnesty to the whole population of Mekka. Four criminals whom justice condemned made up Mohammad's proscription list when he entered as a conqueror to the city of his bitterest enemies. The army followed his example, and entered quietly and peacefully; no house was robbed, no women insulted. One thing alone suffered destruction. Going to the Kaaba, Mohammad stood before each of the three hundred and sixty idols, and pointed to it with his staff, saving, 'Truth is come and falsehood is fled away' and at these words his attendants hewed them down, and all idols and household gods of Mekka and round about were destroyed. It was thus Mohammad entered again his native city. Through all the annals of conquest there is no triumphant entry comparable to this one."
The Speeches And Table-Talk Of The Prophet Mohammad, London 1882, Pages 46-47 - Stanley Lane Poole.
A VERITABLE HERO
"No emperor with his tiaras was obeyed as this man in a cloak of his own clouting. During three-and-twenty years of actual trial, I find something of a veritable hero necessary for that myself."
On Heroes, Hero-Worship And The Heroic In History, London 1888, Page 61 - Thomas Carlyle.
GREATEST LEADER OF ALL TIMES
Leaders must fulfil three functions:
1. Provide for the well-being of the led;
"People like Pasteur and Salk are leaders in the first sense. People like Gandhi and Confucious, on one hand, and Alexander, Caesar and Hitler on the other, are leaders in the second and perhaps the third sense. Jesus and Buddha belong in the third category alone. Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Mohammed, who combined all three functions. To a lesser degree, Moses did the same."
Time (The Weekly Newsmagazine), Article: "Who Were History's Great Leaders?", New York U.S.A. 15 July 1974, Page 32 at 33 - Jules Masserman.
FOLLOWING IN HIS FOOTSTEPS
"Serious or trivial, his daily behaviour has instituted a canon which millions observe at this day with conscious memory. No one regarded by any section of the human race as Perfect Man has been imitated so minutely. The conduct of the Founder of Christianity has not so governed the ordinary life of his followers. Moreover, no founder of a religion has been left on so solitary an eminence as the Muslim Apostle.
A History Of Arabia, Oxford 1922, Page 52 - D.G. Hogarth.
"Mohammad is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities."
Encyclopaedia Brittannica, 11th Edition, Article: 'Koran'.
RULED BY DIVINE RIGHT
"Head of the State as well as of the Church, 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 Mohammad, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its support."
Mohammad And Mohammadanism, London 1874, Page 92 - Reverend Bosworth Smith.
"The spectacular success of Muhammad in unifying the tribes of Arabia under the worship of the one God, Allah, ... can hardly fail to excite both wonder and admiration. The dire poverty which he endured so courageously in Medina is well-known. His dwelling was a hut with a minimum of furniture."
"He was calm in danger, and in the cave of Thaur assured Abu Bakr that God was with them. He showed a Spartan endurance of utter poverty, which he shared with his converts in Medina. By abolishing alcohol and prostitution he made an undoubted reformation in the life of Arabia."
Yorkshire Post, 8 June 1935 - Reverend. R. Macgregor.
CURE TO CHRONIC EVILS
"By thus absolutely prohibiting gambling and intoxicating liquors, Muhammad did much to abolish once and for all, over the vast regions that own his sway, two of the vast and most irremediable evils of European society; evils to the intensity of which Christian governments of the nineteenth century are hardly yet beginning to awake."
Mohammad And Mohammadanism, London 1874 - Reverend Bosworth Smith.
IS THERE ANY MAN GREATER THAN HE?
"Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman: to subvert superstitions which had been interposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design no other instrument than himself, and no other aid, except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God's name, Persia, Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean, Spain, and a part of Gaul."
"If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?"
"Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational doctrines, of a religion 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?"
Histoire de la Turquie, Paris 1854, Volume 11, Pages 276-277 - Lamartine.
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