Several world leaders including Napoleon Bonaparte, Gandhi, George Bernard Shaw, Edward Gibbon, William Montgomery Watt, Michael H. Hart, Thomas Carlyle, Stanley Edward Lane-Poole praised Islam
LAHORE: Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, is not the first famous non-Muslim in history to have admired and said good things about Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Holy Quran.
The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Laureate, was recently quoted by an online Indian newspaper "Karnataka Muslims" as saying: "Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life is the best example for the entire humanity. We should follow the path shown by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in order to establish global peace and to end terrorism and tyranny from the world. The Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) message of peace, love, justice and religious tolerance will always be a leading light for the whole humanity. The Holy Quran as a Sacred Book, which is a priceless Gift of God given to mankind for guidance and welfare of the entire humanity."
He was expressing his views at the grand global meet of Buddhists in the Indian city of Mysore. Apart from the Dalai Lama, let us see what other famous non-Muslims have said about Quran, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Islam:
Father of India, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), had maintained: "I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than ever 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 pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life."
(Quoted in "Young India" 1924)
Legendary French military leader and Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), had said: "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 Quran which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness."
(Reference: Quoted in author Christian Cherfils' 1914 book "Bonaparte Et Islam," or " "Napoleon and Islam")
Globally-acknowledged Nobel Prize and Oscar-winning Irish playwright, Sir George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), had viewed: "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 it self 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."
(Reference: Bernard Shaw's 1936 book "The Genuine Islam," Volume No. 8)
Renowned English historian and Member of Parliament, Edward Gibbon (1737-94) had opined: "The good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the fire; swept the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands his shoes and garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit, he observed without effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab."
(Quoted on page 54 of author Simon Ockley's book "History of the Saracen Empire," London, 1870)
Scottish historian, an Emeritus Professor in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh, William Montgomery Watt (1909-2006), had held: "His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement – all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad."
(Reference: William Montgomery Watt's book "Mohammad at Mecca," Oxford 1953, page 52)
Eminent American author, Michael H. Hart (born 1932) had opined: "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 level."
(Reference: Page 33 of Michael Hart's book " The 100: A Ranking of the most influential persons in history." The book was published in New York by Hart Publishing Company)
Influential Scottish essayist, historian and teacher, Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), had asserted: " How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and Bedouins into a most powerful and civilised 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…How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilised nation in less than two decades….A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world; the world’s Maker had ordered so."
(Reference: Thomas Carlyle's book "Heroes and heroes' worship")
Internationally-admired British orientalist and archaeologist, Stanley Edward Lane-Poole (1854 – 1931), had noted: "He was the most faithful protector of those he protected, the sweetest and most agreeable in conversation. Those who saw him were suddenly filled with reverence; those who came near him loved him; they who described him would say, "I have never seen his like either before or after." He was of great taciturnity, but when he spoke it was with emphasis and deliberation, and no one could forget what he said..."
(Reference: Lane-Poole's book "Table Talk of the Prophet")
Research conducted by the "Jang Group and Geo television Network" further reveals that in 1935, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was also honoured By the U.S. Supreme Court.
The American Apex Court had dubbed the great Prophet "One of the greatest lawgivers of the world."
The third US President, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), had a vast personal library reflecting his enormous curiosity about the world. He was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
Among his volumes: a Quran purchased in 1765 that informed his ideas about plurality and religious freedom in the founding of America.
In her book "Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders," a widely-acclaimed US author, Denise Spellberg, had drawn parallels between the beliefs of the founding fathers and religious tolerance in the United States.
According to a National Public Radio (NPR) report, she had written: "I think that there is anxiety about what Muslims believe, largely because people don't understand Islam very well. I think that was also true in the 18th century. It strikes me that Jefferson was theorising for a future that included Muslims — not in spite of their religion, but because of it and because of his notion of universal civil rights."
On how Thomas Jefferson came to have a Quran, Denise Spellberg wrote: "He actually was a bibliophile from the beginning. He ordered this Quran in 1765, eleven years before he wrote the Declaration of Independence. He was a law student at the time, and he had the book shipped from England to Williamsburg, Va. ... There's an entry in the local newspaper because they were the booksellers for the time. Europeans and Americans after them, in this period tended to be quite hostile toward Islam. And yet Jefferson was curious about the religion and law of Muslims, and that's probably why he bought the Quran."