terminology used in this book:
1. rubb: some prefer to translate the term 'rubb' into 'lord.' beside the fact that the latter is a biblical term referring to the alleged lordship of the slave of allah, prophet jesus, the word ‘lord’ which is limited to ‘master', 'chief', ‘proprietor’, or 'ruler', can never convey the conclusive signification of the term 'rubb'. among other signification, the term 'rubb' means, the creator, the fashioner, the provider, the one upon whom all creatures depend for their means of subsistence, and the one who gives life and causes death.
2. deen: the word translated as religion is 'deen', which in arabic commonly refers to a way of life, which is both private and public. it is an inclusive term meaning: acts of worship, political practice, and a detailed code of conduct, including hygiene or etiquette matters.
3. sal'lal'laahu a'laihi wa sal'lam. some translate it as 'peace be upon him'. this translation is incorrect; the correct translation is, 'may allah exalt his mention, and render him and his household safe and secure from every derogatory thing'.
all praise is due to allah, the rubb of the worlds, and may allah exalt the mention of his prophet, and render him and his household safe and secure from all derogatory things.
when talking about prophet muhammad, may allah exalt his mention, one should keep in mind that he is talking about the greatest individual in history. this is not a baseless claim; for the one who reads his biography, and learns of his mannerisms and ethics, while keeping aside all preconceived notions would certainly reach this conclusion. some fair and just non-muslims have reached this conclusion as well.
professor hasan ali, may allah have mercy on him, said in his magazine 'noor al-islam' that a brahmin colleague of his once told him: 'i recognize and believe that the messenger of islam is the greatest and most mature man in history.' professor hasan ali, may allah have mercy on him, asked him: 'why do you consider him as the greatest and most mature man?' he answered: 'no man possessed the characteristics, mannerisms and ethics that he possessed at one time. he was a king under whom the entire peninsula was unified; yet he was humble. he believed that the dominion belonged to his god alone. great riches would come to him, and yet he lived in a state of poverty; fire would not be lit in his house for many days and he would stay hungry. he was a great leader; he led small numbers into battle against thousands, and yet he would decisively defeat them. he loved peace agreements, and would agree to them with a firm heart; even though he had thousands of his brave and courageous companions by his side. each companion was very brave and could confront a thousand enemies alone, while not feeling the least bit intimidated. yet, the prophet was kind-hearted, merciful, and did not want to shed a drop of blood. he was deeply concerned about the affairs of the arabian peninsula, yet he did not neglect the affairs of his family, household, or the poor and needy. he was keen to disseminate islam amongst those who had gone astray. in general, he was a man concerned with the betterment and wellbeing of mankind, yet he did not indulge in amassing worldly fortune. he busied himself with the worship of allah and loved doings deeds which pleased allah. he never avenged himself on account of personal reasons. he even prayed for his enemies' wellbeing, and would warn them of the punishment of allah.
he was an ascetic regarding worldly affairs and would worship allah throughout the night. he was the brave and courageous soldier who fought with the sword - and the infallible prophet - the conqueror who conquered nations and countries. he slept on a mat of hay, and a pillow filled with course fibers. people crowned him as the sultan over arabs, or king of the arabian peninsula, yet his family lived a simple life, even after they received great fortunes; the riches were piled in the masjid. fatima complained to him about the strenuous work she did, the grinding stone and water jug which she used to carry - how they had left marks on her body. the messenger at that time was dividing the female and male slaves amongst the muslims. he did not give her a portion of that wealth; instead, the prophet taught her a few words and supplications. his companion, umar came to his house and looked in his room, and saw nothing but a hay mat which the prophet was sitting on, which had left marks on his body. the only provisions in the house were half a saa' (measure of weight) of barley in a container, and a water skin that hung on the wall - this is all the messenger of allah owned at a time half the arabs were under his control. when umar saw this, he could not control himself and wept. the messenger of allah, may allah exalt his mention, said: 'why are you weeping o umar?' he replied: 'why shouldn't i weep - khosrau and caesar enjoy themselves in this world and the messenger of allah, may allah exalt his mention, only owns what i see!' he responded: 'o umar, wouldn't it please you that this is the share of khosrau and caesar in this life, and in the hereafter this pleasure would be for us alone?'
when the prophet examined his troops prior to the occupation of makkah, abu sufyan stood beside al-ab'bas, the uncle of the prophet, may allah exalt his mention, and they looked at the banners of the muslim army. abu sufyan at that time was not a muslim. he was amazed by the vast number of muslims; they advanced towards makkah like a torrent of water. no one could stop them and nothing stood in their way. abu sufyan then said to al-ab'bas: 'o ab'bas, your nephew has become a grand king!' ab'bas responded saying: 'this is not kingship, rather prophethood, and the message of islam.'
ad'ee at-ta'ee, the son of ha'tim at-ta'ee who is the paradigm of generosity, attended the assembly of the prophet, may allah exalt his mention, while he was still a christian. when he saw how the companions aggrandized and respected the prophet, he was confused - was he a prophet or a king? he asked himself, 'is this a king or a messenger of the messengers of allah?' while he was pondering over this, a destitute woman came to the prophet, and said: 'i wish to tell you a secret.' he said to her: 'which road in madinah do you want me to meet you in?' the prophet, may allah exalt his mention, left with the destitute maid, and took care of her needs. when ad'ee saw the humbleness of the prophet, he realized the truth and discarded the crosses that he was wearing and became a muslim.'
we will mention some statements of the orientalists concerning muhammad, may allah exalt his mention. we as muslims believe in the prophet, may allah exalt his mention, and his message. we are mentioning these statements for the following two reasons:
a. to serve as a reminder and admonition for name-sake muslims who abandoned their prophet, so that they would heed and return to their deen.
b. so that non-muslims would know who the prophet is from the statements of their own people, so that they would be guided to islam.
i ask these people to not hold any preconceived notions when searching for the truth, when reading this or any other islamic material. i ask allah to open their hearts and chests to accept the truth, and to show them the right path and inspire them to follow it.