The Message: Mohammed: Messenger of God (A movie)

· Agnosticism
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“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and outstanding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?” Alphonse de Lamartine

Samuel Parsons Scott understood part of the charm of the Prophet’s character when he wrote:

“The glories which invest the history of Islam may be entirely derived from the valor, the virtue, the intelligence, the genius, of man. If this be conceded, the largest measure of credit is due to him who conceived its plan, promoted its impulse, and formulated the rules which insured its success. In any event, if the object of religion be the inculcation of morals, the diminution of evil, the promotion of human happiness, the expansion of the human intellect, if the performance of good works will avail in the great day when mankind shall be summoned to its final reckoning it is neither irreverent nor unreasonable to admit that Muhammad was indeed an Apostle of God.” [1]

What Samuel Parsons Scott missed, Reverend ProfessorMontgomery Watt a biographer of the Prophet Muhammad grasped or was it a Freudian slip? He high lighted above all virtues the Prophet’s trust in God:

“The more one reflects on the history of Muhammad and of early Islam, the more one is amazed at the vastness of his achievement. Circumstances presented him with an opportunity such as few men have had, but the man was fully matched with the hour. Had it not been for his gifts as a seer, statesman, and administrator and, behind these, his trust in God and firm belief that God had sent him, a notable chapter in the history of mankind would have remained unwritten.” [2]

A good place for the non-Muslims to start learning about the Holy Prophet Muhammad is a movie named the Message: Mohammed: Messenger of God (1976) Rated PG.

The back cover states, “After seeing a vision of the Angel Gabriel, Mohammad calls to the people of Mecca to cast aside the 300 idols of Kaaba and worship only one God. Starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas, this breathtaking historical epic about the birth of the Islamic faith took six years to prepare and more than a year to film. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.”

The movie can be watched at the following links:

http://muxlim.com/videos/yasamine/movie-the-message-the-story-of-islam-eng-lang-14/

Stage I

The stage I is defined by me as those non-Muslims who want to know about the Prophet Muhammad and are not keen to just find the negative stuff. In this stage, I suggest to watch a few documentaries. My main suggestion is to watch or read on and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.” After you have watched the movie,

the Message,the next movie or documentary I suggest is a history channel biography of the Prophet Muhammad:

Stage II

In stage II read some of the positive things that the non-Muslim writers have written about him and I have a Google-Knol for you:

http://knol.google.com/k/tribute-to-islam-the-prophet-muhammad-and-quran-by-non-muslim-writers #

Stage III

Now you are ready to read some biographies of the Prophet Muhammad. I suggest two. First let me introduce an author:

Encylopaedia Britannica states about Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan:

“Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan was a Pakistani politician, diplomat, and international jurist, known particularly for his representation of Pakistan at the United Nations (UN).

The son of the leading attorney of his native city, Zafrulla Khan studied at Government College in Lahore and received his LL.B. from King’s College, London University, in 1914. He practiced law in Sialkot and Lahore, became a member of the Punjab Legislative Council in 1926, and was a delegate in 1930, 1931, and 1932 to the Round Table Conferences on Indian reforms in London. In 1931–32 he was president of the All-India Muslim League (later the Muslim League), and he sat on the British viceroy’s executive council as its Muslim member from 1935 to 1941. He led the Indian delegation to the League of Nations in 1939, and from 1941 to 1947 he served as a judge of the Federal Court of India.

Prior to the partition of India in 1947, Zafrulla Khan presented the Muslim League’s view of the future boundaries of Pakistan to Sir Cyril Radcliffe, the man designated to decide the boundaries between India and Pakistan. Upon the independence of Pakistan, Zafrulla Khan became the new country’s minister of foreign affairs and served concurrently as leader of Pakistan’s delegation to the UN (1947–54). From 1954 to 1961 he served as a member of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He again represented Pakistan at the UN in 1961–64 and served as president of the UN General Assembly in 1962–63. Returning to the International Court of Justice in 1964, he served as the court’s president from 1970 to 1973.

He was knighted in 1935. He is the author of Islam: Its Meaning for Modern Man (1962) and wrote a translation of the Qur’an (1970).”

The biography by him, Muhammad: Seal of the Prophets can be read at the following link:

http://www.alislam.org/library/books/muhammad_seal_of_the_prophets/

The second biographer that I want to introduce here is byHadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad (1889-1965), who was mentor of Sir Zafrulla Khan. He led the Ahmadiyya Muslim community from 1914 till 1965, as Khalifatul Masih II. He was one of the greatest Muslim thinkers. The community progressed remarkably during his leadership. The biography by him,

Life of Muhammadcan be read at the following link:

http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Life-of-Muhammad.pdf

Now you are also ready to visit the official page about the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community:

http://www.alislam.org/holyprophet/

The Final Stage or Stage IV If now you admire the Holy Prophet Muhammad to some degree or already are a Muslim then here is the final segment to enhance your understanding of the character of the Greatest of the sons of Adam. You see him through the eyes of his most devoted follower, who is none other than the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Here is a collection of excerpts from his writings and there is a detailed chapter about the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, my peace of Allah be on him:

http://www.alislam.org/books/Essence-1.pdf

Here I will like to share a few samples:

I always wonder how high was the status of this Arabian Prophet, whose name was Muhammad, thousands of blessings be upon him. One cannot reach the limit of his high status and it is not given to man to estimate correctly his spiritual effectiveness. It is a pity that his rank has not been recognized as it should have been. He was the champion who restored to the world the Unity of God which had disappeared from the world; he loved God in the extreme and his soul melted out of sympathy for mankind. Therefore God, Who knew the secret of his heart, exalted him above all the Prophets and all the first ones and the last ones and bestowed upon him in his lifetime all that he desired. He is the fountainhead of every grace and a person who claims any superiority without acknowledging his grace, is not a man but is the spawn of Satan, because the Holy Prophet has been bestowed the key to every exaltation and he has been given the treasury of every understanding. He who does not receive through him is deprived forever. I am nothing and possess nothing. I would be most ungrateful if I were not to confess that I have learnt of the true Unity of God through this Prophet. The recognition of the Living God we have achieved through this Perfect Prophet and through his light. The honor of converse with God, through which we behold His countenance, has been bestowed upon me through this great Prophet. The ray of this sun of guidance falls like sunshine upon me and I continue illumined only so long as I am adjusted towards it. [Haqiqatul Wahi, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 22, pp. 118-119].

O all ye who dwell upon the earth, and O all human souls that are in the east or in the west, I announce to you emphatically that the true reality in the earth is Islam alone, and the True God is the God Who is described in the Qur’an, and the Prophet who has everlasting spiritual life and who is seated on the throne of glory and holiness, is Muhammad, the chosen one [peace and blessings of Allah be on him]. The proof of his spiritual life and holy majesty is that by following him and loving him we become recipients of the Holy Spirit and are favoured with the bounty of converse with God and witness heavenly signs. [Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 15, p. 141]

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  1. Zia Shah

    The Prophet Muhammad and the Christian monks of Mount Sinai — The Holy Prophet Muhammad was the greatest pioneer of religious freedom and tolerance. When I say it, I literally mean it, for it would take history more than 1000 years to produce anything, remotely equal to the covenant that he gave to the Christian monks of Mount Sinai and to the Christians in general, in generosity and tolerance. By the grace of Allah I have found the complete record of the Covenant in Christian sources: “In proof of the correctness of the view thus taken by the historian of the tolerant character of Mohammed, the following public document is here inserted, being extracted from a work entitled ‘A Description of the East and other Countries,’ by Richard Pococke, Bishop of Meath, and published in 1743, vol. i. p. 268. The high character of its author for piety, integrity and learning is a sufficient voucher for the authenticity of the document which is as follows :— The Patent of Mohammed, which he granted to the Monks of Mount Sinai, and to Christians in general. “As God is great and governeth, from whom all the prophets are come, for there remaineth no record of injustice against God; through the gifts that are given unto men, Mohammed, the son of Abdallah, the Apostle of God, and careful guardian of the whole world, has written the present instrument, to all those that are his national people, and of his religion, as a secure and positive promise to be accomplished to the Christian nation and relations of the Nazareen, whosoever they may be, whether they be the noble or the vulgar, the honourable or otherwise, saying thus: I. Whosoever of my nation shall presume to break my promise and oath which is contained in this present agreement, destroys the promise of God, acts contrary to the oath and will be a resister of the faith (which God forbid!) for he becometh worthy of the curse, whether he be the king himself or a poor man, or what person soever he may be. II. That whenever any of the monks in his travels shall happen to settle on any mountain, hill, village, or in any other habitable place, on the sea or in deserts, or in any convent, church, or house of prayer, I shall be in the midst of them, as the preserver and protector of them, their goods and effects, with my soul, aid and protection, jointly with all my national people, because they are a part of my own people, and an honour to me. III. Moreover, I command all officers not to require any poll tax of them or any other tribute, because they shall not be forced or compelled to anything of this kind. IV. None shall presume to change their judges or governors, but they shall remain in their office without being deposed. V. No one shall molest them when they are travelling on the road. VI. Whatever churches they are possessed of, no one is to deprive them of them. VII. Whosoever shall annul any of these my decrees, let him know positively that he annuls the ordinance of God. VIII. Moreover, neither their judges, governors, monks, servants, disciples, or any others depending on them, shall pay any poll tax or be molested on that account, because I am their protector, wheresoever they shall be, either by land or sea, east or west, north or south; because both they and all that belong to them are included in this my promissory oath and patent. IX. And of those that live quietly and solitary upon the mountains, they shall exact neither poll tax nor tithes from their incomes, neither shall any Mussulman partake of what they have, for they labour only to maintain themselves. X. Whenever the crop of the earth shall be plentiful in its due time, the inhabitants shall be obliged, out of every bushel, to give them a certain measure.”For further details go to:(John Davenport. An apology for Mohammed and the Koran. 1869. Pages 147-151. The book is available on Archive.org)

  2. Zia Shah

    Is it possible to know the Prophet Mohammed and yet deny his Prophethood — It is not possible to be aware of the achievements of the Holy Prophet Mohammed and be rational and yet deny his Prophethood! John Davenport writes in 1869:”Is it possible to conceive, we may ask, that the man who effected such great and lasting reforms in his own country by substituting the worship of the one only true God for the gross and debasing idolatry in which his countrymen had been plunged for ages; who abolished infanticide, prohibited the use of spirituous liquors and games of chance (those sources of moral depravity), who restricted within comparatively narrow limits the unrestrained polygamy which he found in existence and practice—can we, we repeat, conceive so great and zealous a reformer to have been a mere impostor, or that his whole career was one of sheer hypocrisy? Can we imagine that his divine mission was a mere invention of his own of whose falsehood he was conscious throughout? No, sorely, nothing but a consciousness of really righteous intentions could have carried Mohammed so steadily and constantly without ever flinching or wavering, without ever betraying himself to his most intimate connections and companions, from his first revelation to Khadijah to his last agony in the arms of Ayesha. Surely a good and sincere man, full of confidence in his Creator, who makes an immense reform both in faith and practice, is truly a direct instrument in the hands of God, and may be said to have a commission from Him. Why may not Mohammed be recognized, no less than other faithful, though imperfect servants of God, as truly a servant of God, serving him faithfully though imperfectly? Why may it not be believed that he was, in his own age and country, a preacher of truth and righteousness, sent to teach his own people the unity and righteousness of God, to give them civil and moral precepts suited to their condition. Mohammed, then, was doubtless fully convinced of his own mission, as well as that in the name of God, and in the character of his Apostle he wrought a great, albeit perhaps an imperfect reform, in his own country. Nor was his belief in his own mission ill founded. Through mockery and persecution the Prophet kept unflinchingly his path; no threats, no injuries hinder him from still preaching to his people the unity and the righteousness of God, and exhorting to a far better and purer morality than had ever up to his time been set before them. He claimed no temporal power, no spiritual domination; he asked but for simple toleration, free permission to win men by persuasion into the way of truth. He required that men should do justice and love mercy, and walk humbly before their God, and, as the sanction of all, he taught that there will be a resurrection of the dead as well of the just and the unjust.”(John Davenport. An apology for Mohammed and the Koran. 1869. Pages 139-141. The book is available on Archive.org)We the Muslims believe that the Holy Prophet Muhammad served his Creator perfectly, other than that John Davenport’s testimony is fully in line with a devout believer.

  3. Zia Shah

    Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him, only condoned defensive wars — Muslim Sunrise issues of December, 2009 and March 2010 are on this issue.Muslimsunrise.comRuth Cranston wrote:”Muhammad never instigated fighting and bloodshed. Every battle he fought was in rebuttal. He fought in order to survive…and he fought with the weapons and in fashion of his time… Certainly no ‘Christian’ nation of 140,000,000 people who today dispatch (this is a book written in 1949) 120,000 helpless civilians with a single bomb can look askance at a leader who at his worst killed a bare five or six hundred. The slayings of the Prophet of Arabia in the benighted and bloodthirsty age of the seventh century look positively puerile compared with our own in this ‘advanced’ and enlightened twentieth. Not to mention the mass slaughter by the Christians during the Inquisition and the Crusades – when, Christian warriors proudly recorded, they ‘waded ankle-deep in the gore of the Muslim infidels.'” (Ruth Cranston ‘World Faith’. Page 155. Ayer Publishing. (1949).Read an article:http://www.alislam.org/library/articles/War-and-Peace-in-Islam-20080402MN.pdf

  4. Zia Shah

    The character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad — An Urdu Speech — Here I link a historical address delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Massih the fourth – the previous administrative and spiritual head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The topic of the Adress was Seerat-un-Nabi or the Life of the Prophet Muhammed, may peace be on him. This Address was delivered during the concluding session of Jalsa Salana United Kingdom 1996 in Urdu Language:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=339qFv04FOQ&feature=related

  5. I thank God and knol for getting to know your work. Please do join helium also whee you can shae your immense knowledge about Prophet Muhammed[pbuh].god bless you.

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