it is strange to find people, with hearts filled with hatred, accusing prophet muhammad, pbuh, of violence and cruelty; or that he propagated the religion of islam with swords!
but the truth was said by great men of knowledge, science, and wisdom. they responded to and rejected these false accusations.
first response: scholar louis sedillot
one of the most eminent defenders of the prophet, a man who proved the falsehood of the accusations, is the french historian louis sedillot. he writes: “it is such a distortion of facts in history when some writers accuse prophet muhammad, pbuh, of cruelty. (…) they forget that he spared no effort in eliminating the inherited desire for revenge between arabs; despite the fact that revenge was highly esteemed in arabia like fencing was in europe. they don’t read the qur’anic verse by which the prophet broke the horrible habit of burying newborn girls alive. they never think of the pardon he granted to his worst enemies after the conquest of makka. neither do they consider the mercy he showed to many tribes during war. (…) do they not know that he never misused his power in fulfilling the desire for cruelty? if any of his companions committed anything wrong, he would stop them and correct them. it is well known that he refused the opinion of his close companion ‘omar bin al-khattab on killing the prisoners of war. when the time came to punish bani quraydha, he left the judgment to sa‘d bin mu‘ath who used to be their ally. he also forgave hamza’s killer and never refused any request for kindness and forgiveness.”
second response: dr karen armstrong
researcher karen armstrong writes in the introduction to her book muhammad: a biography of the prophet: “it is wrong to assume, as some say, that islam holds violence and intolerance in its essence. the fact is that islam is a global religion, and is not, at all, characterised by any aggressive eastern attributes against the west.”
some westerners found that these allegations are caused by old resentments. armstrong continues: “we, in the west, are in need to free ourselves from some old resentment. and perhaps it is good to start with prophet muhammad, pbuh. he was a very compassionate man. (…) he founded a religion and a cultural tradition that was not based on the sword, despite the western myth, and whose name ‘islam’ signifies peace and reconciliation.”
third response: german writer dison
german thinker dison says: “it is a mistake for one to believe what others are trying to promote about islam, that its progress and establishment is firstly owed to the sword. the first reason behind the spread of islam is the unique religious brotherhood and the new social life it prepared and called for. it is also owed to the honourable life led by prophet muhammad, pbuh, and the caliphs afterwards. their lives were full of virtue and sacrifice to a level that gave islam a great unbeatable power.”