Dr. Adil bin Ali Ash-Shaddy
Arabic calligraphy: Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
Some non-Muslim westerners wonder what Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) offered to humanity. This question is raised particularly after incidents of defamation targeting the Prophet’s honorable character by western media.
So, it is our duty to answer these questions and to highlight what our Prophet gave to humanity and the world. Aided and guided by God’s revelation, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) contributed the following:1. He transferred humanity from obedience and submission to other men to the worship and submission to God alone, associating nothing with Him. Consequently, humanity became free from servitude to other than God, and this is the greatest honor for mankind.
2. Through revelation from God, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) liberated the human mind from superstition, deception, and submission to false objects of worship as well as those concepts contrary to reason. This includes the claim that God had a human son, and that idols and stones can harm people.
3. His message laid the foundations for tolerance among people. In the Qur’an, God revealed to His Prophet that there is to be no compulsion in the acceptance of religion.
The Prophet also clarified the rights of non-Muslims who do not wage war against Muslims and guaranteed protection of their lives, children, property, and honor. Even today in many Muslim countries there are Jewish and Christian citizens living in peace and security, in contrast to the Spanish Inquisition when Muslims were exterminated in an ethnic cleansing that violated all basic human principles.
4. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was a mercy sent by God to all peoples regardless of race or faith. In fact, his teachings include mercy even to birds, animals, plants, and inanimate beings. He forbade harming them without right or reason.
5. Muhammad showed unparalleled respect for and appreciation of all the prophets who preceded him, among them Abraham, Moses and Jesus (peace and blessings be upon them all).
One who denies or disrespects any of the prophets cannot be a Muslim. Islam regards all of the prophets as one brotherhood, inviting people to the belief that there is no deity worthy of worship except God, who is the one true God.
6. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) defended human rights for both males and females, for the young and the elderly, regardless of social status. He established a set of sublime principles; one example being in the speech he gave during his farewell pilgrimage in which he declared strict prohibition of transgression against people’s lives, property, and honor.
He laid down these principles more than 1400 years ago, long before the world knew of the Magna Charta in 1215, the Declaration of Rights in 1628, the Personal Freedoms Law in 1679, the American Declaration of Independence in 1776, the Human and Citizen Rights Charter in 1789, and the worldwide Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
7. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) elevated the importance of morality in human life. He called for good manners, honesty, loyalty, and chastity, and strengthened social bonds such as being dutiful to parents and relatives, always putting into practice what he preached.
He prohibited and warned against negative behaviors such as lying, envy, betrayal, fornication, and disrespect of parents, and he treated the problems stemming from these grave social diseases.
8. Through the revelation from God, His Messenger invited people to use their minds, to discover the universe around them, and to acquire knowledge. He confirmed that God rewards such deeds at a time when scientists and intellectuals in other civilizations were suffering persecution and accusations of heresy and blasphemy, being terrorized in prisons, tortured and often killed.
9. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) came with a revelation from God, presenting a religion compatible with human nature, a way of life that satisfies the needs of the soul and those of the body, and establishes a balance between worldly deeds and those done for the Hereafter.
It is a religion that disciplines human instincts and desires without suppressing them completely as happens in some other cultures which were absorbed with ideas contrary to human nature, depriving religious men of such natural human rights as marriage and of such natural reactions as anger toward transgression. This led most members of these civilizations to reject religious teachings and become absorbed in the material world, which caters only to their bodies while leaving their souls in a miserable state.
10. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) presented to the world a perfect model of brotherhood among human beings. He taught that no race is superior to another for all are equal in origin and equal in responsibilities and rights. One’s degree of faith and piety is the only criterion for preference. His Companions were given equal opportunities to belong to Islam and serve the religion. Among them were Suhayb, a Byzantine, Bilal, an Abyssinian, Salman, a Persian, and many other non-Arabs.
In conclusion, each of these ten points requires further details and explanation. What Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) offered humanity is too detailed to be mentioned in this brief outline. There is also a great deal that has been said about him by objective researchers from the East and West after they studied the biography of this great Prophet.
God’s Blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad as well as upon all other God’s prophets, his family, Companions, and followers.
(Taken with some m(dification from www.mercyprophet.com.** This article was first published in 2010. Dr. Adil bin Ali Ash-Shaddy is Secretary General of the International Program for Introducing the Prophet of Mercy)
Dr. Adil bin Ali Ash-Shaddy