Islam is a religion that, today, has over one and a half billion followers across the globe. The man who brought the message of this religion must, necessarily, be one of the most influential figures in world history. But Prophet Muhammad’s astonishing impact wasn’t just on account of his being a leader in any conventional sense.
The Prophet preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral and legal 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. All aspects of his teachings worked – and continue to work – in complete harmony with each other for the wellbeing and happiness of mankind.
Remarkably, Prophet Muhammad’s prophethood spanned only 23 years, but in spite of this relatively short period of time, he transformed the entire Arabian Peninsula from paganism and idolatry to the worship of One God; from tribal quarrels and wars to solidarity and cohesion; from drunkenness and wickedness to sobriety and piety; from lawlessness and anarchy to law and order; and from utter moral bankruptcy to the highest standards of morality and virtue. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of people or a place before or since – and all this in just over two decades.
While most famous personalities come across as uni-dimensional figures who distinguished themselves in one or two fields – such as religious thought or military leadership – Prophet Muhammad made spectacular accomplishments in every field and discipline of human thought and behavior. Indeed, the Quran states that he was sent as a mercy for humankind and as the best possible example for them to follow.
Every detail of what he said and did, privately and publically, has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to this day. The authenticity of the records so preserved is vouched for not only by faithful followers, but also by academics and critics.
Still, non-Muslims seeking to learn about Prophet Muhammad’s life have struggled with publications that are largely inauthentic or that draw upon unreliable resources. Biographical accounts by Westerner writers are inevitably – and even notoriously – biased or tainted with prejudices and Orientalist fallacies.
This book, however, provides an excellent introduction to some of the major aspects of Prophet Muhammad's life and events and, hence, provides a Muslim (and hence an in-proper-context) perspective to readers. It explains the prominent roles that Prophet Muhammad's personality has played in Islamic practice and thought, and the crucial roles it continues to play in Muslim life and civilization.
Why read about the life of the Prophet?
No matter which religious denomination one ascribes to or which ideological and political beliefs one espouses, one can only stand to benefit from learning about Prophet Muhammad's life, a man who moved even an iconoclast like G. B. Shaw to comment: “He must be called the savior 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”. (The Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936).
Further, by studying the life of Prophet Muhammad, one can separate fact from fiction and gain a deeper understanding of the man and his message. In a time when we are bombarded with false propaganda and media lies, it is up to open-minded individuals with a desire for the truth to do what they can to fulfil that desire. This book may be regarded as a significant first step towards achieving this most noble of objectives.
سيد الخلق صلى الله عليه وسلم