The Final Messenger!

Written by: Dr. Naji Ibrahim

Edited by: Ann Ronayne

 The Final Messenger

Muhammad (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him), son of Abdullah, was born in Makkah around the year 570 CE. He became known by his people as Al-Amin (the trustworthy one).

When Muhammad reached the age of forty, the angel Gabriel came to him bringing revelation. At first, Muhammad was instructed to invite only his immediate family, including his wife Khadijah, to Islam; eventually, it was revealed to him that he should deliver Allah’s message to all humankind. For the rest of his life, he communicated this message to others, set an excellent example, and was a perfect role model for humanity. In the year 632, Prophet Muhammad died at the age of sixty-three.

Prophet Muhammad (may God’s blessings and peace be upon him) is called “the Seal of the Prophets.” As the final prophet, he was sent to confirm all the truth that had been revealed before him, including the original Gospel of Jesus (which is different from today’s Gospels).

The Glorious Qur’an testifies that {Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets.} (33:40)

Confirming the link between Jesus and him, Prophet Muhammad promised, “If a man believes in Jesus and then believes in me, he will get a double reward.” He also stated, “I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary, for there was no prophet between him and me.”

These Prophetic sayings show us how Muhammad honoured Jesus (may God’s blessings and peace be upon them both). Later, I will discuss a prophecy that Jesus made in the Bible about the coming of Muhammad.

 PROPHET MUHAMMAD’S DISTINGUISHED PERSONALITY

Muhammad  ̶ from the time of his childhood and youth, through the years of his prophethood, and up until his death  ̶ has been recognized by fair-minded people throughout history as a special and noble personality with a unique character and morals. He was merciful, honest, sincere, kind, and humble. Every detail of not only his public utterances but also his private life has been authentically documented and faithfully preserved up to the present day.

He was a prophet, a messenger, a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, a leader, a statesman, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, and a loving father.

In his booklet Muhammad: The Prophet of Islam, Professor Ramakrishna Rao calls him the "perfect model for human life," observing:

The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes! There is Muhammad, the Prophet. There is Muhammad, the Warrior; Muhammad, the Businessman; Muhammad, the Statesman; Muhammad, the Orator; Muhammad, the Reformer; Muhammad, the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad, the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad, the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad, the Judge; Muhammad, the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero.

Historically, during a short period of about twenty-three years of his prophethood, he changed the entire Arabian Peninsula…

from paganism and idolatry to submission to One God…

from tribal quarrels and wars to solidarity and cohesion…

from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety…

from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living…

from utter moral bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence.

Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a society before or since  ̶ and imagine… all these unbelievable wonders occurred in just over two decades.

 PROPHET MUHAMMAD IN THE WORLD’S SCRIPTURES

While it is outside the scope of this book to detail all the prophecies in other religious scriptures that foretell the coming of Prophet Muhammad, I should mention that Muslim scholars have documented them in the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist scriptures.

Indeed, references to Muhammad in other scriptures is a very interesting topic that has been thoroughly discussed in many books, articles, and websites.

In his wonderful book Muhammad in the Bible, Professor Abdul-Ahad Dawud (formerly the Reverend David Benjamin) notes that the Bible foretells the advent of a prophet who is ‘like unto’ Moses:

We read the following words in the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 18, verse 18: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put my words in his mouth.” If these words do not apply to Muhammad, they still remain unfulfilled. Jesus himself never claimed to be the Prophet alluded to... Jesus, as is believed by his Church, will appear as a Judge and not as a law-giver; but the promised one has to come with a “fiery law” in “his right hand” [Deut. 33:2].

Muslim scholars assert that this prophecy applies to none other than Muhammad because Moses and Muhammad are alike in many ways. Their names begin with the same letter; they are alike in their normal births, marriages, missions, and normal deaths; both were prophets, rulers, leaders, and statesmen; and both brought a “fiery law.” On the other hand, Jesus is unlike Moses in his birth, mission, and end; Jesus did not get married, nor did he rule his people or fight wars as Moses did.

It is worth mentioning that “a prophet from among their brethren” means a prophet from the brothers of the Israelites (namely the Ishmaelites, who were the Arabs), not from the Israelites themselves.

In the existing version of the New Testament, Jesus prophesies the coming of another Comforter, declaring, “and he shall give you another Comforter” (John 14:16). Jesus is also quoted as saying:

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

He shall glorify me...” (John 16:7-14)

So who is this other ‘Comforter’ who is to come after Jesus?

Muslim scholars state that only Muhammad completely fulfilled Jesus’ prophecy, for many reasons. To mention some:

§ Jesus’ reference to “another Comforter” cannot mean the Holy Spirit. (Many Christians believe in a Trinity consisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.) According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit was there before and during the mission of Jesus, while the Comforter was to come after.

§ Muhammad came to warn people against sinning and to command them to be righteous. He was a ruler and a judge, with a “law” in “his right hand”.

§ Muhammad guided people to the ultimate truth concerning the One True God, the purpose of this life, the Hereafter and eternal life, and many other truths.

§ Muhammad informed us of things to come, through the many prophecies and miracles given to him by the One Who sent him, Allah.

§ Muhammad was a prophet who did not “speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak” (John 16:13). He was the instrument through whom God revealed His Word, the Glorious Qur’an, which he recited in the name of Allah. The Bible prophesied that “he shall speak in My name…” (Deut. 18:19). In fact, the chapters of the Glorious Qur’an are preceded by the phrase {In the Name of Allah}. The Glorious Qur’an states:

{In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. By the star when it descends, your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed.} (53: 1-4)

§ Additionally, Muhammad and the Glorious Qur’an indeed exalted Jesus. In his honour, Muslims like to name their sons Eisa (the Arabic name for Jesus).

§ Furthermore, when the Jews asked John the Baptist who he was, he denied being Christ or Elijah or “that Prophet”.

“Who are you? And he (John) confessed, I am not the Christ. And then they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? And he said, I am not. Are you that Prophet? And he answered, No”. (John 1:19-21)

Again, Muslim scholars argue that Muhammad is the one referred to in this Biblical text, “Are you that Prophet? And he answered, No.”

So who is “that Prophet”? It clearly does not apply to John the Baptist, nor to Jesus the Christ, as John himself testified.

At this point, a wise, honest, and sincere seeker of the truth should objectively ask:

-    Who is that Prophet?

-    Who is the true Prophet that came after John and Jesus, conveying their original message about the One True God alone?

He is Muhammad!

 EXCERPTS OF WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT PROPHET MUHAMMAD

A great deal of literature has been written about Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him). Below are just a few statements from well-known figures.

Lamartine (the famous historian) asked:

If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and outstanding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?

Lamartine concluded:

As regards all the 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, Vol. II, pp. 276-277)

In his book The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Michael H. Hart stated:

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.

Hart concluded that:

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.

In his book The Genuine Islam, Sir George Bernard Shaw wrote:

I believe that if a man like him were to assume the leadership of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring to this world much needed peace and happiness.

Shaw added:

He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.

Mahatma Gandhi explained:

I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. (Young India Newspaper)

Wolfgang Goethe (the famous European poet) believed that:

He is a prophet and not a poet and therefore his Koran is to be seen as a divine law and not as a book of a human being, made for education or entertainment.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 12) cited:

A mass of detail in the early sources show that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest and upright men… Mohammad is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities.

Thomas Carlyle stated in Heroes and Hero Worship:

How one man single-handedly could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades.…The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only.

John Esposito (a university professor of religion and international affairs, Director of the Center for International Studies at the College of the Holy Cross, and Founding Director of PABT Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, USA) pointed out in his book Islam: The Straight Path:

Muhammad was among those great religious figures, prophets and founders of religions, whose remarkable character and personality inspired uncommon confidence and commitment. His phenomenal success in attracting followers and creating a community-state that dominated Arabia could be attributed not only to the fact that he was a shrewd military strategist but also to the fact that he was an unusual man… Muhammad’s followers found him righteous, trustworthy, pious, honest and compassionate.

He clarified that “Muhammad was not the founder of Islam; he did not start a new religion.”

Professor Esposito stressed this fact:

Islam brought a reformation; it was the call once again to total submission (Islam) to Allah and the implementation of His will as revealed in its complete form one final time to Muhammad, the last, or ‘seal,’ of the prophets. Thus, for Muhammad, Islam was not a new faith but the restoration of the true faith...

 BEAUTIFUL PROPHETIC SAYINGS

Below are some examples of the Prophet’s sayings, to give you a taste of their beauty and sweetness:

ž “A good word is charity.”

ž “A sincere smile is charity.”

ž “The best of you are the best in character.”

ž “Removing a harmful thing from the path (road) is charity.”

ž “The best [aspect] of faith is patience and tolerance.”

ž When asked which aspect of Islam was best, he replied, “Feed and greet both those you know and those you do not know.”

Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said:

ž “The Compassionate One [God] has mercy on those who are merciful. If you show mercy to those who are on the earth, He Who is in Heaven will show mercy to you.”

ž “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”

ž “He who eats his fill while his neighbor goes to bed without food is not a believer.”

ž “The powerful is not he who knocks the other down; indeed the powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger.”

ž “God does not judge you according to your bodies and appearances, but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds.”

ž “The best of you is he who is best to his family, and I am the best among you to my family.”

ž “The best of you are those who are best to their women.”

ž “The best of Islam is to behave with gentleness and tolerance.”

ž “The best people are those most beneficial to [other] people.”

These are just some examples of the Prophet’s wise, wonderful, and golden sayings.

Prophet Muhammad also practiced what he taught; his dealings and behaviour towards others reflected his special and unique personality in his morals, mercy, honesty, sincerity, kindness, truthfulness, humbleness, generosity, forgiveness, patience, tolerance, and many other virtues.

The stories and evidence of the Prophet’s magnificent personal attributes are too numerous to mention here, so let us take just one example.

After his Makkan opponents rejected him and his message of Islam...

After they persecuted and mistreated him, trying to kill him many times...

After they tortured and killed many of his followers and loved ones...

After they fought him and his companions, driving them out of their homes and seizing their properties and land…

How did Muhammad treat these enemies when he entered Makkah and liberated it from idolatry and paganism?

In the wake of this momentous victory for Muhammad and the Muslims, at the climax of their joy, rapture, and happiness at coming back home to the sacred city of Makkah… Prophet Muhammad gathered together the Makkans, who were afraid that he would harm or even kill them in revenge for their past abuse and killing of Muslims.

Muhammad asked them, “What do you think I am going to do with you?”

They answered, “You are a generous brother and the son of an honourable brother of ours.”

Then the kind, tolerant, generous, and merciful Prophet forgave them. He announced, “No harm will come to you. You may go. You are free.”

Have you ever seen such a scene? Have you ever heard such a story? Can you sense the Prophet's mercy?

Describing this unprecedented historic event, Professor John Esposito stated:

Eschewing vengeance and the plunder of conquest, the Prophet instead accepted a settlement, granting amnesty rather than wielding the sword toward his former enemies. For their part, the Meccans converted to Islam, accepted Muhammad’s leadership, and were incorporated within the umma (Muslim community).

In contrast, are you aware of the atrocities committed by various ‘superpower’ nations throughout human history, when they unjustly attacked, invaded, and tortured others?

Remarkably, the more we discover about Muhammad’s life, the more we come to realize his excellent conduct and character, and that he was indeed {sent as a mercy to the worlds.} (Qur’an 21:107)

Prophet Muhammad said, “I have been sent to perfect the noble traits of character.”

Confirming this fact, Allah tells him in the Glorious Qur’an, {Indeed, you are of a great moral character.} (68:4)

 Are you still curious?

If you are curious and interested in discovering more information and details about Islam, please visit our website:

www.discoveritsbeauty.com

Feel free to e-mail your questions or feedback to:

[email protected]

The Series of Discover Its Beauty in 7 Minutes:

1.         Just the Tip of the Iceberg

2.         The Religion of Adam and Eve

3.         The ABCs of Islam

4.         Answering Humanity’s Critical Questions

5.         His Beautiful Names

6.         The Last Revelation

7.         The Final Messenger

 Useful Islamic Websites:

http://www.allahsquran.com

http://www.quranexplorer.com

http://www.islamhouse.com

http://www.edialogue.org

http://www.islamreligion.com

http://www.newmuslimguide.com

http://www.guidetoislam.com

http://www.rasoulallah.net