Many people have studied the life and character of the Prophet of Islam and have expressed remarkable viewpoints about his unique character. This is a collection of short quotations from several notables, including academics, writers, and scholars. Considering the fact that these words reflect the views of some non-Muslim personalities, they might require to be paid more attention. Moreover some of these quotations touch on some aspects of the character of the Prophet which might not be well noticed by the Muslims.

Michael H. Hart (1932- 2007)

Professor of astronomy, physics and the history of science

His ?The 100? is a ranking of the 100 people who, in his opinion, most influenced human history. It is remarkable that he has chosen the Prophet of Islam as the first influential Man in the history. He says in this regard,

    “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.” (1)

Reverend Bosworth Smith (1794-1884)

Late Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford

q       “? he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without the Pope’s pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar.  Without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue, if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by a right Divine, it was Mohammed; for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports.” (2)

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Well-known as the ?first American man of letters

?He was sober and abstemious in his diet, and a rigorous observer of fasts. He indulged in no magnificence of apparel, the ostentation of a petty mind; neither was his simplicity in dress affected, but the result of a real disregard to distinction from so trivial a source …

In his private dealings he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and poor, the powerful and the weak, with equity, and was beloved by the common people for the affability with which he received them, and listened to their complaints…

His military triumphs awakened no pride nor vain glory, as they would have done had they been effected for selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power he maintained the same simplicity of manners and appearance as in the days of his adversity. So far from affecting regal state, he was displeased if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonial of respect were shown to him.” (3)

David George Hogarth (1862-1927)

English archaeologist, author, and keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

?Serious or trivial, his daily behaviour has instituted a canon which millions observe this day with conscious mimicry.  No one regarded by any section of the human race as Perfect Man has been imitated so minutely.? (4)

William Montgomery Watt (1909-2006)

Professor (Emeritus) of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and one of the key historians of Islam in the West.

There was nothing inevitable or automatic about the spread of the Arabs and the growth of the Islamic community. Without a remarkable combination of qualities in Muhammad it is improbable that the expansion would have taken place,

The more one reflects on the history of Muhammad and of early Islam, the more one is amazed at the vastness of his achievement.? (5)

q       “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.” (6)

Here remains a question: Is the man who lived many centuries ago and whose characters and qualities are not hidden from the eyes of contemporary scholars, well introduced and properly recognized today?



1. Michael H. Hart, ?The 100: A Ranking of The Most Influential Persons In History?, New York, 1978, p. 33

2. Reverend Bosworth Smith, ?Mohammed and Mohammedanism?, London, 1874, p. 235

3. William Montgomery Watt, ?Life of Mahomet, London?, 1889, pp. 192-3, 199

4. David George Hogarth, ?Arabia?, Oxford, 1922, p. 52

5. William Montgomery Watt, ?Muhammad Prophet and Statesman? (1960), Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp 236 and 237

6. William Montgomery Watt, ?Mohammad At Mecca?, Oxford, 1953, p. 52

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *