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Prophet Muhammad in Western Thinkers' Viewpoint

Submitted by Marjana on Wed, 13/02/2013 - 15:48
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Clarifying the gloriously religious merits and values of Islamic revolution is one of the cultural necessities of the contemporary era. Undoubtedly, being aware of the borderless horizons of sacred purposes of Divine prophets and knowing their immaculate behavioral style and life is one of this precious knowledge.

Consequently, on the occasion of prophet Muhammad's Maba'th (the day at which appointed Muhammad was given to convey Allah's mission), some facts of Islam and prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are considered from the view point of Western thinkers hereunder, to fortify the spirituality and solidify youth's, adolescents' and adults' religious beliefs and foundations as well as to confront the deviated thoughts and enlighten the new generations of Islamic revolution.

Goethe had showed his interest in Islam in several parts of his life. The first display of his interest dates back to Goethe’s youth. At the age of 23, he had composed a very beautiful eulogy describing the holy prophet Muhammad. At the age of 70, he had clearly stated that he would vigil all Ghadr nights (the nights in which the first verses of the Holy Qur'an have been revealed to the prophet Muhammad).

Leon Tolstoy, the prominent Russian writer, in a letter responding to Mrs.Yelma Yevsimavna (Vakilava), a Russian mother who asked him about one of her sons' converting to Islam, on 15th of March of 1909 wrote down that your son and I are of the same opinion that religion of Islam and Muhammad's teachings are more valuable and have a higher position compared to Christian teachings. I congratulate your son who serves in this Devine ritual. One who is writing these lines for you now is Christian and has practiced Christianity for several years but wants to tell you that Islam and Muhammad's teachings seem to be more complete and valuable than Christian teachings. Islam is far from the abnormal matters. At the apex of Islam, is Prophet Muhammad in whose teachings lies the essences of all sacred religions. His lessons are consistent with most of Christian teachings because the bases of all Divine religions are Allah. Religions' advices intend to encourage people to believe in God. So what can fulfill this object better would be more respectful; that is Islam.

Johan Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1838), the most prominent German poet whose precious works have made him one of the most leading poets of the world, has such an astonishing encounter with Islam that is upon us to investigate it accurately and scientifically. Goethe's affection for Islam is internal and out of normal rules. Goethe has showed this affection during different parts of his life. The first display of his interest for Islam dates back to the age of 23 when he eulogizes Prophet Muhammad. At the age of 70, he asserts openly that he has in his mind to vigil all Ghadr nights in which the Holy Qur'an has been revealed. He also has showed his interest for Islam in different ways during such a long period of his life, 23 to 70. Goethe's propensity to Islam has been manifested in Eastern Divan (poetry collection) more than any other of his works. This book besides Faust, his most magnificent work, is considered as Goethe's most important literary works. One of the most wondering verses of the Divan is the verse in which he does not refute he may be a Muslim. Goethe's studies on Qur'an in 1772 had brought a great achievement for him since it generates the motivation for him to write Muhammad play. Although this play never went to the stage, in some parts of it, which have been written down by Goethe, some beautiful concepts of Islam and its founder in the eyes of Goethe are obvious. This is the reason why the study of this work is beneficial to make Goethe's relation to Islam clear. Some parts of the play show why and how he has evinced interest in Islam. The most significant reasons are first the personality of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and second the indispensable percepts of Islam. One of the beautiful parts of the play is called "The Melody of Muhammad". This song is a conversation between Imam Ali (AS) and Fatima (peace be upon her).Goethe composed this song in the spring of 1773, by then he had studied several books about Prophet Muhammad. The composer depicted the personality of the founder of Islam as the spiritual leader of all humanity. To state clearly, he has made use of an exemplification of a heavy flood by which to explain the dawn of his movement from the very small dots to a great spiritual movement achievement.

Besides these two prominent writers and thinkers during the history, lots of other non-Muslim scientists and scholars have acknowledged the Prophet Muhammad's sublime characteristic. Some of those scholars are as follows:

In addition to the letter that was mentioned before, Leon Tolstoy, the famous Russian writer and ethical philosopher whose teachings have been exemplars for political leaders of the world, has a bright idea about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Dr. Gustav Lobon's book, Islam and Arabs, (page:154,159).

He, who has been considered as the pioneer for persons such as Gandhi, says: "The great Islam's Prophet is deserved to being respected and honored. His religion will pervade the world thanks to its agreement with the wisdom and intellect.

Washington Irving, the American consul in Spain and writer states that "all Qur'an's verses are firm and full of content. So there is no consoling document available. Karl Marx, originally a German politician, philosopher and a revolutionary character, in 19th century after understanding the Prophet's personality deeply expresses:"Muhammad was the man who rose with an iron will among people who worship idles. He invited them to monotheism and plant the immortality of psych in their souls. So not only he has to be included among the prominent men of the history, but also we have to confess by all of our hearts that he has been God's prophet (quoted from the book Muhammad among Western Scholars, page 10).

Mahatma Gandhi in his book, studies of Islam in western countries, writes (at page 36): the life of Islam's Prophet is in turn a manifest exemplar and sign of refusing compulsion philosophy in the issue of religion.

Jawaharlal Nehru has also stated in his book, A Look at the World History: religion publicized by Islam's prophet was welcomed by the neighboring countries due to its simplicity, honesty, and tasteful of democracy and equivalence.

French thinker, Voltaire, in his book named Voltaire and Islam has said: "The Holy Prophet Muhammad indubitably was a great man. He was a mighty conqueror, a wise legislator, a just king and a pious prophet. He fulfilled the greatest possible role in front of ordinary people on the earth.

Pierre Simon Laplace, the famous French astronomer and mathematician of 18th and 19th whose ideas made great changes in astronomy, has expressed his idea about Islam in this way:

"Although we do not believe in Divine religions, Hazret Muhammad (PBUH)'s ritual and his percepts are two social exemplars for humanity's life. So we confess that the advent of his religion and its wise rules have been great and valuable. Therefore we are not needless of Muhammad's instructions (Islam Doctrine journal, May of 1352, p. 69).

Professor Ernest Hegel, one of the most famous and impressive philosophers in 19th century originally from Germany, in Thomas Carlyle's book, Muhammad's Biography, states that "Islamism is a novel at the same time undamaged design of monotheism" (p. 48).

Herbert George Wells, the English writer and researcher, in his book, Wealth, states that "Islam is the only religion every man can be proud of believing in it… the only religion as I have found and expressed several times that is aware of the advent of genesis, familiar with the secret of creation and always brings civilization wherever it goes is Islam."

George Bernard Shaw, the Britain's most famous writer after Shakespeare whose ideas about sect, science, economy, family and art has had profound effect on his audiences, says about the personality of Islam's prophet: "I have always been respectful of Muhammad's religion due to its fabulous living characteristics. In my opinion Islam is the only religion which has some features that make it capable of absorbing different changes and adaptable to every era's figures. I have anticipated that Muhammad's creed will be acceptable for the future Europe as it has been stated to be accepted in today Europe. I am of the conviction that if a man such as Islam's prophet takes the absolute lead of the new world era, he will be successful in solving world's problems in such a way that meets the deep need of human being for peace and prosperity."

Edward Gibbon, 18th century English historian and famous writer of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire writes about Qur'an:"from Atlantic ocean to Ganges river in India, Qur'an is not only known as the religious jurisprudence, but also the Constitution including judiciary, civil and criminal rules to manage all humankind's financial affairs and all these affairs will be fulfilled by the fixed laws administered by God. In other words, Qur'an is Muslims' Constitution and general commands including religious, social, civil, martial, judiciary and criminal as well as a set of daily life rules covering all religious rituals, self-purification, body care, hygiene practices, individual and public rights, public interests, moralities, crimes, this world's agony and the other world's torment."

Professor Will Durant, the American writer and historian whose works are read by millions of people throughout the world, comments on charismatic personality of Islam's prophet as follows:

"If we evaluate this great man's effect on people, we have to say that prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is one of the greatest men in the human history. He sought to raise the knowledge level and ethic of people who had become barbarized due to highly intensive warmth and drought of desert. He attained such a success that is more than any other world reformers' success. We can hardly find a man who has fulfilled all of his religious causes. He succeeded since he believed in religion. He unified the infidel outspread tribes to organize the Ummah (a unified nation). He revealed a simple, vivid and strong creed with spiritualities based on bravery and self-esteem, more valuable than Judaism, Christianity and an old religion of Arabia. The next generation of the Ummah triumphs over enemies in 100 battles, created a great emperor during a century and in the contemporary age is a strong force that dominates half of the world."

These are just some parts of West’s thinkers about prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). Despite these undeniable facts and, of the most importance, rightfulness of such a religion that persevered itself against all enmities, difficulties and deviations during the last 1400 years, and it has remained active, alive and dynamic in front of world's anti-religions and dominance-seekers but unfortunately some pseudo-intellectuals in different parts of the world behaves in a way like what Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab and idle worshipers of Mecca did in Arab's absurdity era. Say, the origin of such an extremist absurdity is infinite. As Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clark showed in 2001: A Space Odyssey, There are no differences between the ignorance of monkeys of millions years ago and today, so called civilized man. The only difference is that old stony armament has been replaced by technologic advanced weapon.

Mrs. Mommsen, the professor of Stanford University in California, says about the influence of Islam and shameless facing of some western media with it and its sublime prophet during a lecture: The advent of Islam on the account of endeavors of God's prophet and his family was a milestone in human's history without which civilizations such as ancients Iranian, Egyptian and Roman would never find a way to the current civilization. There are enormous historical reasons for this undeniable truth. One of these reasons is the Islamic and especially non-Muslim and European scientists' acknowledgment of this great truth. You have already read a small part of it in this article. Unfortunately, superficially developed and Zionism-stricken western countries have started a widespread psychological warfare to confront Divine religions' teachings especially to confront the glorious Islam. At the forefront of such warfare are the known figures of the United States and Israel. Surprisingly, the fake pioneers of civilization and human rights blasphemed the holy prophet Muhammad (PBUH) because of their despicable humility to combat Muhammad's glory which is pervading the world. Despite these offensive efforts. Fortunately, the renowned scientists of the countries not only have considered Islam's prophet as one of the top leading figures of religious civilization, but also have frankly anticipated that Islam would prevail in the world due to its infinite advantages. The very important point has irked those who insult and has made them uncivilized. On the other side, they seek to evaluate Islam World's reaction to these offenses to put Muslims especially Islamic Republic of Iran under more pressure with their new scenario. Another side of this slandering is the unveiling of this scandal that reveals their empty slogans of seeking democracy and freedom. Of God's volition they themselves break scandals increasingly. A considerable point is that in the eyes of these people claiming democracy, insulting the Divine prophet, whose followers are more than 1.5 billion and 4.5other billion inhabitants of the earth respect him, is the consequence of democracy that has to be endured.

Meanwhile, even researching about an event entitled Jews' slaughter in the Second World War is said to be harrowing for at most 15 million Jews, most of whom basically do not have any stand for it, and is considered a crime and if a person says that, for example, 5.5 millions of people have been slaughtered during that event he must to be brought to the trial and sentenced to the imprisonment, so there has been no offenses to even those who believe that Holocaust is real, but it has dealt to discuss a historical event. Contrariwise in Islam not only it is not permissible to insult any Divine prophets, but also it is known a cardinal sin and respecting all God's prophets are mandatory based on the verses of the Holy Qur'an. It means that in the claimed method of seeking democracy, harrowing 1.5 billion Muslims and hundreds of millions of monotheists is a genuine democracy but questioning about a historical event, believed by some millions of Jews, is a crime and leads to the imprisonment sentence. It is interesting that David Irving, the famous British historian, was sentenced to three years in prison in 2006 in England due to denying the gas rooms in Auschwitz in his lecture presented 17 years ago( in 1989); however, he asserted that in 1991 had withdrawn his remarks about Holocaust. (Does not it remind you of medieval period?). Francis Fukuyama, the American writer and theoretician, has asserted very clearly all these tensions, challenges and warfare of human rights and democracy.

Fukuyama, the theoretician of neo-conservatives ruling the country, has presented his book, The End of History, in three international conferences held in Toronto, Washington and Jerusalem. This book was proposed as a reaction to Samuel Huntington's book of Clash of Civilizations. Huntington acclaims that subcultures and trivial civilizations are devoured by the dominant culture and media conduct the world to the global village and the world inevitably will be engaged with a catastrophic battle. Therefore, to prevent such battle, we have to accept one as the liege then he proves that the liege is America. Fukuyama says that this battle will absolutely happen but the final winner will not be the West but Muslims based on some reasons and documents. Meanwhile, Goethe composes a sensational song in the second episode of his play on behalf of the prophet Muhammad to describe monotheism based on prophet Ibrahim's remarks addressing infidels who are mentioned in 76th verse of surah Al-An'am of the holy Qur'an where God says: I do not like those who are on the wane.

It's obvious that Goethe has adopted such concept in the best possible way and restated it on behalf of prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Indeed, how had Goethe achieved such a wide knowledge of Qur'an and such affection for the last prophet?

Quoted from the book of "The Excuse of Fault in the Presence of Muhammad and Qur'an"