The Islam that was revealed to Muhammad (PBUH), is the continuation and culmination of all the preceding revealed religions and hence it is for all times and all peoples. This status of Islam is sustained by glaring facts. Firstly, there is no other revealed book extant in the same form and content as it was revealed. Secondly, no other revealed religion has any convincing claim to provide guidance in all walks of human life for all times. But Islam addresses humanity at large and offers basic guidance regarding all human problems.Moreover, it has withstood the test of fourteen hundred years and has all the potentialities of establishing and ideal society as it did under the leadership of the last Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
It was a miracle that Prophet Muhammad could bring even his toughest enemies to the fold of Islam without adequate material resources. Worshippers of idols, blind followers of the ways of forefathers, promoters of tribal feuds, abusers of human dignity and blood, became the most disciplined nation under the guidance of Islam and its Prophet. Islam opened before them vistas of spiritual heights and human dignity by declaring righteousness as the sole criterion of merit and honor.Islam shaped their social, cultural, moral and commercial life with basic laws and principles which are in conformity with human nature and hence applicable in all times as human nature does not change.
It is so unfortunate that the Christian West instead of sincerely trying to understand the phenomenal success of Islam during its earlier time, considered it as a rival religion. During the centuries of the Crusades this trend gained much force and impetus and huge amount of literature was produced to tarnish the image of Islam. But Islam has begun to unfold its genuineness to the modem scholars whose bold and objective observations on Islam belie all the charges levelled against it by the so-called unbiased Orientalist.
Here we fumish some observations on Islam by great and acknowledged non-Muslim scholars of modem time. Truth needs no advocates to plead on its behalf, but the prolonged malicious propaganda against Islam has created great confusion even in the minds of free and objective thinkers.
We hope that the following observations would contribute to initiating an objective evaluation of Islam.
It (Islam) replaced monkishness by manliness. It gives hope to
the slave, brotherhood to mankind, and recognition of the
fundamental facts of human nature.
Paper read before the Church Congress at Walverhamton, Oct. 7, 887,
Quoted by Amold in The Preaching of Islam, p.p. 71-72.
Sense of justice is one ot the most wonderful ideals of Islam,
because as I read the Quran I find those dynamic principle of
life, not mystic but practical ethics for the daily conduct of
life suited to the whole world.
Sarojini Naidu, Lectures on "The Ideals of Islam" see Speeches and Writings of Sarojini Naidu,
Madras, 1918, p. 167.
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
fantasticlly absurd myths that historians have ever repeated
De Lacy O'Leary
Islam at the Crossroads,
London, 1923 p. 8.
But Islam has a still further service to render to the cause of
humanity. It stands after all nearer to the real East than
Europe does, and it possesses a magnifigant tradition of
inter-racial understanding and cooperation. No other society has
such a record of success in uniting in an equality of status, of
opportunity, and of endeavours so many and so various races of
mankind .. Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently
irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the
opposition of the great societies of East and West is to be
replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is and
indispensable condition. In its hands lies very largely the
solution of the problem with which Europe is faced in its
relation with East. If they unite, the hope of a peaceful issue
is immeasurably enhanced. But if Europe, by rejecting the
cooperation of Islam, throws it into the arms of its rivals,
the issue can only be disastrous for both.
H.A. R. Gibb, Whither Islam,
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 ftom 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.
G. B. Shaw, The Genuine Islam,
Vol. 1, No. 81936
The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one
of the outstanding achievements of Islam and in the contemporary
world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation
of this Islamic virtue.
A.J. Toynbee, Civilization on Trial,
New York, 1984, p. 205.
The rise of Islam is perhaps the most amazing event in human history. Springing from a land and a people like previously negligible, Islam spread within a century over half the earth, shattering great empires, overthrowing long established religions, remoulding the souls of races, and building up a whole new world - world of Islam.
The closer we examine this development the more extraordinary does it appear. The other great religions won their way slowly, by painful struggle and finally triumphed with the aid of powerful monarchs converted to the new faith. Christianity had its Constantine, Budhism its Asoka, and Zoroastrianism its Cyrus, each lending to his chosen cult the mighty force of secular authority, Not so Islam. Arising in a desert land sparsely inhabited by a nomad race previously undistinguished in human annals. Islam sallied forth on its great adventure with the slenderest human backing and against the heaviest material odds. Yet Islam triumphed with seemingly miraculous ease, and a couple of generations saw the Fiery Crescent borne victorious ftom the Pyrenees to the Himalayas and from the deserts of Central Africa.
Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the
widest sense of this
term considered etymologically and historically. The definition
of rationalism as a system that bases religious beliefs on
principles fumished by the reason applies to it exactly.. It
cannot be denied that many doctrines and systems of theology and
also many superstitions, ftom the worship of saints to the use
of rosaries and amulets, have become grafted on the main trunk
of Muslim creed. But in spite of the rich development, in every
sense of the term, of the teachings of the Prophet, the Quran
has invariably kept its place as the fundamental starting point,
and the dogma of unity of God has always been proclaimed therein
with a grandeur, a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note
of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside
the pale of Islam. This fidelity to the fundamental dogma of
the religion, the elemental simplicity of the formula in which
it is enunciated, the proof that it gains ftom the fervid
conviction of the missionaries who propagate it, are so many
causes to explain the success of Muhammadan missionary efforts.
A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities
and consequently so accessible to the ordinary understanding
might be expected to possess and does indeed possess
a marvellous power of winning its way into the consciences of
"La Propaganda Chretienne et ses Adversaries Musulmans" Paris 1890,
quoted by T. W. Amold in The Preaching of Islam,London 1913, pp. 413-414.
I am not a muslim in the usual sense, though I hope I am a
"Muslim" as "one surrendered to God", but I believe that
embedded in the Quran and other expressions of the Islamic
vision are vast stories of divine truth ftom which I and
other occidentals have still much to learn, and Islam is
certainly a strong contender for the suppling of the basic
framework for the one religion of the future.
W. Montgomery Watt, Islam and Christianity Today
London 1983, p. IX.
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