In the Name of Allah (swt), the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
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This is a collection of what famous historians and people of history in the West have said about Islam and the Muslims. (Not included in these posts are images of certain people as the only portraits available are paintings. Every maker of paintings and images of people will go to Hellfire.)
- Al-Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) [(US) (1925 – 1965) (Human Rights Activist)]:
When he was in Makkah, Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) wrote a letter to his loyal assistants in Harlem… from his heart:
“Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other Prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors.
“I have been blessed to visit the Holy City of Mecca, I have made my seven circuits around the Ka’ba, led by a young Mutawaf named Muhammad, I drank water from the well of the Zam Zam. I ran seven times back and forth between the hills of Mt. Al-Safa and Al-Marwah. I have prayed in the ancient city of Mina, and I have prayed on Mt. Arafat.
“There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white.
“America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white – but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their color.
“You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought-patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth.
“During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept on the same rug – while praying to the same God – with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the white Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana.
“We were truly all the same (brothers) – because their belief in one God had removed the white from their minds, the white from their behaviour, and the white from their attitude.
“I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man – and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their ‘differences’ in color.
“With racism plaguing America like an incurable cancer, the so-called ‘Christian’ white American heart should be more receptive to a proven solution to such a destructive problem. Perhaps it could be in time to save America from imminent disaster – the same destruction brought upon Germany by racism that eventually destroyed the Germans themselves.
“Each hour here in the Holy Land enables me to have greater spiritual insights into what is happening in America between black and white. The American Negro never can be blamed for his racial animosities – he is only reacting to four hundred years of the conscious racism of the American whites. But as racism leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the walls and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth – the only way left to America to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must lead to.
“Never have I been so highly honored. Never have I been made to feel more humble and unworthy. Who would believe the blessings that have been heaped upon an American Negro? A few nights ago, a man who would be called in America a white man, a United Nations diplomat, an ambassador, a companion of kings, gave me his hotel suite, his bed. Never would I have even thought of dreaming that I would ever be a recipient of such honors – honors that in America would be bestowed upon a King – not a Negro.
“All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds.
Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz” (Malcolm X)
[From the “Autobiography of Malcolm X” with assistance from Alex Haley, the author of ROOTS]
- Napolean Bonaparte [(France) (1769 – 1821) (Emperor)]:
“Moses has revealed the existence of God to his nation. Jesus Christ to the Roman world, Muhammad to the old continent…”
“Arabia was idolatrous when, six centuries after Jesus, Muhammad introduced the worship of the God of Abraham, of Ishmael, of Moses, and Jesus. The Ariyans and some other sects had disturbed the tranquility of the east by agitating the question of the nature of the Father, the son, and the Holy Ghost. Muhammad declared that there was none but one God who had no father, no son and that the trinity imported the idea of idolatry…”
“I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur’an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness.”
Christian Cherfils [(Paris) (1914)] – Bonaparte et Islam (Pedone Ed.) (pp. 105, 125).
- Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine [(France) (1790-1869) (Writer & Politician)]:
“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? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls. . . his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.”
“Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, 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?”
Lamartine [(Paris) (1854)] – Historie De La Turquie (Vol. II, pp. 276-277).
- Bertrand Russell [(Wales & England) (1872 – 1970) (Philosopher, Historian & Mathematician)]:
“Our use of phrase ‘The Dark ages’ to cover the period from 699 to 1,000 marks our undue concentration on Western Europe…”
“From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished. What was lost to christendom at this time was not lost to civilization, but quite the contrary…”
“To us it seems that West-European civilization is civilization, but this is a narrow view.”
Bertrand Russell [(London) (1948)] – History of Western Philosophy (p. 419).
- Sir George Bernard Shaw [(Ireland & England) (1856-1950) (Irish Playwright)]:
“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. 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. 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.”
“The world is in the utmost need of a man with the mentality of Muhammad.
Medieval ecclesiastics, either through ignorance of bigotry, painted “Mohammadanism” in the darkest colors. They were in fact; trained to hate both the man Muhammad and his to them was anti-Christ. But I have studied his life, and found him to be extraordinary. I have reached the conclusion that he was never an enemy to Christianity. He must 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 much needed peace and happiness.”
“If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam.”
Sir George Bernard Shaw  – The Genuine Islam (Vol. 1, No. 80).
- Annie Besant [(England) (1847 – 1933) (Theosophist & Women’s Rights Activist)]:
“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.”
- Sir John Bagot Glubb [(England) (1897 – 1986) (Author & Military Commander)]:
“Khalif (Caliph) Al-Ma’mun’s period of rule (813 – 833 C.E.) may be considered the ‘golden age’ of science and learning. He had always been devoted to books and to learned pursuits. His brilliant mind was interested in every form of intellectual activity. Not only poetry but also philosophy, theology, astronomy, medicine and law all occupied his time.”
“By Mamun’s time medical schools were extremely active in Baghdad. The first free public hospital was opened in Baghdad during the Caliphate of Haroon-ar-Rashid. As the system developed, physicians and surgeons were appointed who gave lectures to medical students and issued diplomas to those who were considered qualified to practice. The first hospital in Egypt was opened in 872 AD and thereafter public hospitals sprang up all over the empire from Spain and the Maghrib to Persia.”
On the Holocaust of Baghdad (1258 C.E.) Perpetrated by Hulagu:
“The city was systematically looted, destroyed and burnt. Eight hundred thousand persons are said to have been killed. The Khalif Mustasim was sewn up in a sack and trampled to death under the feet of Mongol horses.
“For five hundred years, Baghdad had been a city of palaces, mosques, libraries and colleges. Its universities and hospitals were the most up-to-date in the world. Nothing now remained but heaps of rubble and a stench of decaying human flesh.”
- Dr. Samuel Marinus Zwemer [(USA) (1867 – 1952) (Christian Missonary To Muslims – “The Apostle To Islam”]:
“Muhammad was an able reformer, eloquent and well spoken, courageous and daring, a great thinker. We cannot attribute to him anything that contradicts these qualities. This Qur’aan that he brought and his history bear witness to the truth of these claims.”
- Thomas Carlyle [(Scotland) (1795 – 1881) (Historian)]:
“It is very shameful for any individual in this era to listen to what is said about the religion of Islam being a fabrication and Muhammad being a treacherous fabricator. Throughout his life we see him holding firm beliefs, sincere in resolve, generous and kind, compassionate, pious, virtuous, very serious. In spite of that, he was easy-going, cheerful, friendly, and even sometimes light-hearted. He was just, sincere in intention, smart, chivalrous, and quick-witted, as if he carried in his heart the lamps of every dark night, filled with light; a naturally great man who never studied in school or at the hand of a teacher, because he had no need of that.”
“As there is no danger of our becoming, any of us, Mahometans (i.e. Muslim), I mean to say all the good of him I justly can…”
“These Arabs, the man Mahomet, and that one century, – is it not as if a spark had fallen, one spark, on a world of what proves explosive powder, blazes heaven-high from Delhi to Granada! I said, the Great man was always as lightning out of Heaven; the rest of men waited for him like fuel, and then they too would flame…”
“When Pococke inquired of Grotius, where the proof was of that story of the pigeon, trained to pick peas from Mahomet’s (Muhammad’s) ear, and pass for an angel dictating to him? Grotius answered that there was no proof!…”
“A poor, hard-toiling, ill-provided man; careless of what vulgar men toil for. Not a bad man, I should say; Something better in him than hunger of any sort, — or these wild arab men, fighting and jostling three-and-twenty years at his hand, in close contact with him always, would not revered him so! They were wild men bursting ever and anon into quarrel, into all kinds of fierce sincerity; without right worth and manhood, no man could have commanded them. They called him prophet you say? Why he stood there face to face with them; bare, not enshrined in any mystry; visibly clouting his own cloak, cobbling his own shoes; fighting, counselling, ordering in the midst of them: they must have seen what kind of man he was, let him be called what you like! No emperor with his tiaras was obeyed as this man in a cloak of his own clouting. During three-and-twenty years of rough actual trial. I find something of a veritable Hero necessary for that, of itself…”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [(Germany) (1749 – 1832) (Poet & Diplomat)]:
“We Europeans with all our concepts and ideas have not yet attained that which Muhammad attained, and no one will ever surpass him. I searched in history for the loftiest example for man to follow, and I found it in the Prophet Muhammad. Thus the truth must prevail and become supreme, because Muhammad succeeded in subjugating the whole world by means of the message of Divine Oneness.”
- Michael H. Hart [(USA) (1932 – Present) (Astrophysicist)]:
“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…
Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world’s great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive… Like all religions, Islam exerts an enormous influence upon the lives of its followers. It is for this reason that the founders of the world’s great religions all figure prominently in this book. Since there are roughly twice as many Christians as Moslems 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 development 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. Moreover, he is the author of the Moslem holy scriptures***, the Koran, a collection of certain of Muhammad’s insights that he believed had been directly revealed to him by Allah. Most of these utterances were copied more or less faithfully during Muhammad’s lifetime and were collected together in authoritative form not long after his death. The Koran therefore, closely represents Muhammad’s ideas and teachings and to a considerable extent his exact words. No such detailed compilation of the teachings of Christ has survived. Since the Koran is at least as important to Moslems as the Bible is to Christians, the influence of Muhammed through the medium of the Koran has been enormous It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. On the purely religious level, then, it seems likely that Muhammad has been as influential in human history as Jesus.
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 time… 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.”
Michael H. Hart (1978.) – The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History.
*** Who Wrote the Qur’an? (Right Click & Save Target As)
- Herbert George Wells [(England) (1866 – 1946) (Novelist & Journalist)]:
“The Islamic teachings have left great traditions for equitable and gentle dealings and behaviour, and inspire people with nobility and tolerance. These are human teachings of the highest order and at the same time practicable. These teachings brought into existence a society in which hard-heartedness and collective oppression and injustice were the least as compared with all other societies preceding it….Islam is replete with gentleness, courtesy, and fraternity.”
- Dr. John William Draper [(England & USA) (1811 – 1882) (Philosopher & Photochemist)]:
“During the period of the Caliphs the learned men of the Christians and the Jews were not only held in great esteem but were appointed to posts of great responsibility, and were promoted to the high ranking job in the government….He (Caliph Haroon Rasheed) never considered to which country a learned person belonged nor his faith and belief, but only his excellence in the field of learning.”
- Philip Khuri Hitti [(Lebanon & USA) (1886 – 1978.) (Scholar & Professor):
“During all the first part of the Middle Ages, no other people made as important a contribution to human progress as did the Arabs, if we take this term to mean all those whose mother-tongue was Arabic, and not merely those living in the Arabian peninsula. For centuries, Arabic was the language of learning, culture and intellectual progress for the whole of the civilized world with the exception of the Far East. From the IXth to the XIIth century there were more philosophical, medical, historical, religiuos, astronomical and geographical works written in Arabic than in any other human tongue.”
- Michael The Elder [(Modern Day Turkey) (1126 – 1199) (Aramean Patriarch)]:
“This is why the God of vengeance, who alone is all-Powerful, and changes the empire of mortals as He will, giving it to whomsoever He will, and uplifting the humble beholding the wickedness of the Romans who throughout their dominions, cruelly plundered our churches and our monasteries and condemned us without pity, brought from the region of the south the sons of Ishmael, to deliver us through them from the hands of the Romans. And if in truth we have suffered some loss, because the Catholic churches, that had been taken away from us and given to the Chalcedonians, remained in their possession; for when the cities submitted to the Arabs, they assigned to each denomination the churches which they found it to be in possession of (and at that time the great churches of Emessa and that of Harran had been taken away from us); nevertheless it was no slight advantage for us to be delivered from the cruelty of the Romans, their wickedness, their wrath and cruel zeal against us, and to find ourselves at people.
(Michael the Elder, Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch wrote this text in the latter part of the twelfth century, after five centuries of Muslim rule in that region.)
J.B. Chabot [(Paris) (1901)] – Michael the Elder, Chronique de Michael Syrien – Patriarche Jacobite d’ Antioche (Vol. II).