“Mohammed is the guy Muslims worship innit?”
No. Muslims do not worship Muhammad (peace be upon him) or any other prophets. Muslims believe in all prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses and Jesus. Muslims believe that Muhammad(pbuh) was the last of the prophets. They believe that God alone is to be worshipped, not any human being.
“So then… who was he?”
In brief, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Mecca in Arabia in the year 570 AD. His ancestry goes back to Prophet Ishmael, son of Prophet Abraham.. His father died before his birth and his mother died when he was six. He was raised first by a nurse as it was the custom in those days, and then by his grandfather and uncle.
As a young man, he was known as a righteous person who used to meditate in a cave. At the age of 40 he was given the first revelation, when the angel Gabriel appeared in the cave. Subsequently, the revelations came over 23 years and were eventually compiled in the form of a book called the Quran.
“Didn't Mohammed write the Quran?”
No. The Quran was revealed to the Prophet (pbuh) through the Angel Gabriel. It is the record of the exact words revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The revelations were memorised by the Prophet (pbuh) and then dictated to his companions.
The Quran has been preserved, unchanged, in its original form and confirms the truth in the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel. The Quran is also proven scientifically because it contains hundreds of scientific facts and statements which have only been discovered in the last 100 years or so. This clearly proves that the Quran is work of NO man!
“Why do Muslims always bang on about Mohammed?”
The prophet (pbuh) is the most important figure in the lives of Muslims. Muslims respect him and follow the example he left behind. The prophet (pbuh) is the person who brought to us the religion we follow. He taught us the purpose of life, how to live our lives, and how to treat ourselves and others. He is our role model and we follow his example, known as “Sunnah”, which is documented in books of “Hadith”.
“Sunnah? Hadith? Is that the latest fashion man or what, like Gucci and Armani?'”
No, it's not. 'Sunnah' is what the Prophet (pbuh) did, said or approved of. Hadith are recorded traditions relating to the sayings and doings of the Prophet(pbuh) which are available today in book form in almost every language.
“But what’s so special about him? What did he do that was so special?”
You see, the Prophet (pbuh) liberated the slaves and protected the weak. He gave equal rights to women and gave the world the concept of the equality of mankind. The Prophet (pbuh) was the first human in history to give universal suffrage (votes to every adult).
He gave the first written constitution to mankind, consisting of 60 articles. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the first person in history to give rights to prisoners of wars (PoWs). These were revolutionary and historical actions, which gave rights to each person in every society for all time.
You know why he's so special? Coz he wasn’t only a teacher, preacher and propagator of moral values but he practised them in his own life as well. He provided us with moral values, moral behaviour, human values and etiquette which are practised world-wide to this day. He was a Prophet, a political leader, a military leader, a judge, a religious and spiritual leader, a teacher and a perfect personality for all to follow.
“Ain't the teachings of Mohammed out of date? Come on man, 1400 years is ancient!”
When you study his life you get practical guidance and an ideal role model on how to act as a husband, father, brother, neighbour, teacher, ruler, reformer, judge and as a human being... I would say very up to date! Anybody and everybody can get light from following the lifestyle of the holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The Prophet (pbuh) gives clear teachings to resolve modern day problems such as racism, tribalism, sectarianism, hunger, homelessness, poverty, teenage pregnancies, single parent families, rape. child abuse, drugs and alcohol abuse, world peace, environmental health and many more. So NO, the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are definitely relevant today and most certainly NOT out of date.
“Didn't Mohammed hate non Muslims?”
He acted with mercy and compassion even to those who came to attack him. Many attempts were made to kill the Prophet (pbuh). His followers and supporters were tortured and killed. He and his supporters had sanctions put on them and were boycotted by the rest of Mecca. He had animal excrement thrown on him whilst in prayer. He was stoned by children in Mecca and was badly injured.
He went through many periods of bitter starvation. He had to leave his homeland and migrate to Medina to escape the persecutions in Mecca. The Prophet was called a madman and ridiculed. BUT HE NEVER INSULTED ANYONE. HE NEVER SHOWED HATE TOWARDS ANY OF HIS ENEMIES. HE SIMPLY FORGAVE THEM AND HE OFFERED THEM LOVE AND COMPASSION.
“Didn't Mohammed hate Christians and Jews?”
Again, he taught the exact opposite. Islam tells us that Jews and Christians are "people of the Book". By the book it means those that also received divine scriptures. Muslims are told to treat them with respect and justice and not to fight with them. Let's look at the classic example from the life of the Prophet (pbuh):
Once a group of Christian priests were in Medina. They needed a place to stay so they went to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He said you can stay at my house. He cooked them dinner and made them welcome. Soon it was the time for the Christians to pray, the Prophet (pbuh) took them to the Mosque of the Prophet and said you can do your worship here.
“Didn't Mohammed teach violence and terrorism?”
Now that's a joke. He taught the absolute opposite of this. Just listen to some of his teachings:
"The faithful is he in whom people place their confidence about their property and life'. (Tirmizi)
"A perfect Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands mankind is safe.'
'It is unworthy of a Muslim to injure people's reputations: and it is unworthy to curse any one: and it is unworthy to abuse any one: and it is unworthy of a Muslim to talk arrogantly.'
Faith is a restraint against all violence, let no Muslim commit violence.'
The Prophet Muhammad was asked;
'what actions are most excellent in Islam?'
'To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the injured.'
Some people asked Allah's messenger:
'who is a very good Muslim?'
'one who avoids harming the people with his tongue and hands.' 'A believer remains within the scope of his religion as long as he doesn't kill another person illegally.'
Now does that sound like a man of violence and terrorism or a great man of peace? Terrorism goes against every principle in Islam. If a Muslim engages in terrorism he is not following Islam and is contradicting the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). They may be using the name of Islam for political or financial gain.
“I ain't heard no big non-Muslim 'big up' Mohammed?”
Michael H Hart in 'The 100: A Ranking of the most influential Persons in History' (New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc. 1978):
'My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.'
Lamartine, a French historian writes in his book, History of Turkey, p. 276:
'…Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational beliefs, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he'?
'When I closed the second volume (of the Prophets biography) I was sorry that there was not more for me to read of a great life.'
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of Humanity."
“If Mohammed was really a top Prophet and that... then why don't Christians, Jews and others mention him in their books?”
Well.... actually they do. The Prophet (pbuh) is mentioned in Hindu scriptures, Buddhist scriptures, Torah and the Bible.(See The Revival website for further details)
“Did Prophet Mohammed perform miracles like Prophet Jesus did?”
Yes he did. He performed hundreds of miracles which was one of the proofs that he was a true Prophet of God. (See The Revival website for further details)
“Why did Muslims make a big deal of some stupid cartoons?”
Muslims see the Prophet (pbuh) as a role model and follow his every teaching. The cartoons insulted the prophet and portrayed him as a terrorist. So obviously Muslims were upset and angry.
But it should be crystal clear that those Muslims who protested with violence, shooting, killing, hijacking and threatening to kill others have totally contradicted the exact teachings of the prophet they were protesting for.