during the centuries of the crusades, all sorts of slanders were invented against prophet muhammad (pbuh). but with the birth of the modern age, marked with religious tolerance and freedom of thought, there has been a great change in the approach of western authors in their delineation of his life and character. the views of some non-muslim scholars regarding prophet muhammad, given at the end, justify this opinion.
but the west has still to go a step forward to discover the greatest reality about muhammad and that is his being the true and the last prophet of god for the whole humanity. in spite of all its objectivity and enlightenment there has been no sincere and objective attempt by the west to understand the prophethood of muhammad (pbuh).
it is so strange that very glowing tributes are paid to him for his integrity and achievement but his claim of being the prophet of god has been rejected explicitly or implicitly. it is here that a searching of the heart is required, and a review of the so-called objectivity is needed. the following glaring facts from the life of muhammad (pbuh) have been furnished to facilitate an unbiased, logical and objective decision regarding his prophethood.
up to the age of forty, muhammad was not known as a statesman, a preacher or an orator. he was never seen discussing the principles of metaphysics, ethics, law, politics, economics or sociology. no doubt he possessed an excellent character, charming manners and was highly cultured.
yet there was nothing so deeply striking and so radically extraordinary in him that would make men expect something great and revolutionary from him in the future. but when he came out of the cave (hira) with a new message, he was completely transformed. is it possible for such a person of the above qualities to turn all of a sudden into 'an impostor' and claim to be the prophet of allah and invite all the rage of his people?
one might ask: for what reason did he suffer all those hardships? his people offered to accept him as their king and he would leave the preaching of his religion. but he chose to refuse their tempting offers and go on preaching his religion single-handedly in face of all kinds of insults, social boycott and even physical assault by his own people. was it not only god's support and his firm will to disseminate the message of allah and his deep-rooted belief that ultimately islam would emerge as the only way of life for humanity, that he stood like a mountain in the face of all opposition and conspiracies to eliminate him? furthermore, had he come with a design of rivalry with the christians and the jews, why should he have made belief in jesus christ and moses and other prophets of god (peace be upon them), a basic requirement of faith without which no one could be a muslim?
is it not an incontrovertible proof of his prophethood that in spite of being unlettered and having led a very normal and quiet life for forty years, when he began preaching his message, all of arabia stood in awe and wonder and was bewitched by his wonderful eloquence and oratory? it was so matchless that the whole legion of arab poets, preachers and orators of the highest calibre failed to bring forth its equivalent. and above all, how could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature contained in the qur'an that no other human being could possible have developed at that time?
last but not least, why did he lead a hard life even after gaining power and authority? just ponder over the words he uttered while dying: "we the community of the prophets are not inherited. whatever we leave is for charity."
as a matter of fact, muhammad (pbuh) is the last link of the chain of prophets sent in different lands and times since the very beginning of the human life on this planet.