Muhammad the Greatest
by Ahmad Deedat
"And most certainly, thou (O Muhammad) are of most sublime and exalted character."1 (The Holy Quran, 68:4)
How the Topic Arose
About ten years ago, a distant cousin of mine - Mr. Mohamed Mehtar Farooki2 gave me a typed quotation by the French historian, Lamartine. The quotation3 purported to prove that Muhammad (pbuh), the prophet of Islam, was the greatest man that ever lived. Mr. Mehtar was in the habit of passing information on to me, believing that I might put the same to some good use at the proper time and place. Before this he had presented me with "The Call of the Minaret," an expensive book written by (Bishop Kenneth Cragg). By analysing this book I discovered the
masterful deceit of the Christian orientalists.
Lamartine's tribute to our prophet inspired me and I had a great desire to share his thoughts about our Nabee with my Muslim brethren. The opportunity to do so was not long in coming.
I received a phone call from the Muslim community in
Dannhauser, a small town in Northern Natal,, who were
organising a birthday celebration of the Holy Prophet. They
invited me to give a lecture on that auspicious occasion. So I
deemed it an honour and a privilege, I readily agreed.
When they inquired, in view of their advertising needs, as to
the subject of my lecture, I suggested on the inspiration
from Lamartine, "Muhammad (pbuh) the Greatest."
On my arrival in Dannhauser, I noticed a lot of posters
advertising the meeting which in essence said that Deedat
would be lecturing on the subject "MUHAMMAD THE GREAT."
I was somewhat disheartened and, on inquiring was told that
the change in the title was due to a printer's error.
Some two months later, I got another, similar invitation.
This time from the Muslim community of Pretoria the
administrative capital of South Africa. The subject I had
mooted was the same - "Muhammad (pbuh) the Greatest."
To my dismay the topic was again changed to "MUHAMMAD
THE GREAT." Identical reasons and excuses were given. Both
these incidences happened in South Africa, my own country.
But, let me give you one more example of our inferiority
complex - so much part of the sickness of the Ummah.
USA NO DIFFERENT
On my lecture tour of the mighty United States in 1977,
1 discovered that our soldiers in the New World also had
feet of clay. Out of the many sad experiences I have had, I
think that this one will suffice to prove the point.
The Muslims of Indianapolis were advised to organise a
lecture for me on the subject "What the Bible says about
Muhammad (pbuh)".1 T'hey agreed to advertise just that,
but their timidity did not permit them to do so. They
thought the topic was too provocative, so they, in their
wisdom (?), toned it down to "A PROPHET IN THE BIBLE." A
lifeless, insipid title you will no doubt agree. Which Hindu,
Muslim, Christian or Jew would be intrigued to attend? What
does "A PROPHET" mean? To most A PROPHET means ANY
PROPHET, and who would be interested in attending a
meeting where just any prophet in the Bible was debated?
Job, Joel, Jonah, Ezra, Elisha, Ezekiel are just a few of the
many mentioned in the Bible. As was to be expected the
attendance left much to be desired.
What is the cause of this sickness? This inferiority
complex? "Yes!" We are an emasculated people. Dynamism
has been wringed out of us, not only by our enemies but
by our own spiritless friends. We even dare not repeat
Allah's Own testimony regarding his beloved -
And Most Certainly,
Thou (O Muhammad)
Are of most sublime
And Exalted Character.
Holy Quran 68:4 2
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL
Normally, it is quite, natural for anyone to love, praise,
idolize or hero-worship ones leader, be it a guru, saint or
prophet: and very often we do.
However, if I were to reproduce here1 what great
Muslims have said or written about our illustrious prophet, it
could be played down as exaggeration, fancy or idolization
by the sceptics and the opponents of Islam. Therefore, allow
me to quote unbiased historians, friendly critics and even
avowed enemies of that mighty Messenger of God -
Muhammad (pbuh). If the tributes of the non-Muslims do
not touch your hearts, then you are in the wrong faith. Opt
out of Islam! There is already too much deadwood on the
"ship" of Islam.
In recent times, a book has been published in America
titled "The 100," or the Top One Hundred, or the Greatest
Hundred in History. A certain Michael H. Hart, described as a
historian, mathematician and astronomer has written this
novel book. He has searched history, seeking for men who
had the greatest influence on mankind. In this book he
gives us The hundred most influential men, including Asoka,
Aristotle, Buddha, Confucius, Hitler, Plato, and Zoroaster. He
does not give us a mere chart of the topmost "one
hundred" from the point of view of their influence on
people, but he evaluates the degree of their influence and
rates them in order of their excellence from No. 1, through
to No. 100. He gives us his reasons for the placing of his
candidates. We are not asked to agree with him, but we
cannot help admire the man's research and honesty.
The most amazing thing about his selection is that he
has put our Nabee-e-Kareem, the Holy Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh) as No. 1, 2 the first of his "100!" Thus confirming,
unknowingly, God's Own testimony in His Final Revelation to
MOST CERTAINLY, YOU HAVE
IN THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH 1
AN EXCELLENT PATTERN (OF BEHAVIOUR)
Holy Quran 33:21
JESUS (PBUH) No. 3!
Hart placing the Prophet of Islam as No. 1, has naturally
pleased the Muslims. But his choice has shocked the
Non-Muslims, more specially the Jews and the Christians,
who consider this as an affront. What? Jesus (pbuh) No. 3 and
Moses (pbuh) No. 40! This is for them very difficult to stomach,
but what says Hart? Let us hear his arguments -
SINCE THERE ARE ROUGHLY TWICE2 AS MANY
CHRISTIANS IN THE WORLD, IT MAY INITIALLY
SEEM STRANGE THAT MUHAMMAD HAS BEEN
RANKED HIGHER THAN JESUS. THERE ARE TWO
PRINCIPAL REASONS FOR THAT DECISION.
FIRST, MUHAMMAD PLAYED A FAR MORE
IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF
ISLAM THAN JESUS DID IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF
ALTHOUGH JESUS WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE
MAIN ETHICAL AND MORAL PRECEPTS OF
CHRISTIANITY (INSOFAR AS THESE DIFFERED FROM
JUDAISM), ST. PAUL WAS THE MAIN DEVELOPER
OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY, ITS PRINCIPAL
1. Allah: A proper noun for God Almighty in the Semitic languages: i.e. in the languages
of Moses , Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be on them all). For more details obtain
"What Is His name?" from the I.P.C.I.
2. The latest estimate is that there are one thousand million Muslims in the world and
one thousand two hundred million Christians.
PROSELYTIZER, AND THE AUTHOR OF A LARGE
PORTION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
MUHAMMAD, HOWEVER, WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR
BOTH THE THEOLOGY OF ISLAM AND ITS MAIN
ETHICAL AND MORAL PRINCIPLES.
IN ADDITION, HE PLAYED THE KEY ROLE IN
PROSELYTIZING THE NEW FAITH, AND IN
ESTABLISHING THE RELIGIOUS PRACTICES OF
Michael H. Hart in his book - "THE 100"-pages 38/39
PAUL THE FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY
According to Hart, the honor for founding Christianity
is to be shared between Jesus (pbuh) and St. Paul. The latter
he believes to be the real founder of Christianity.
I cannot help agreeing with Hart. Out of the total of 27
Books of the New Testament, more than half is authored by
Paul. As opposed to Paul, the Master has not written a single
word of the twenty-seven books. If you can lay your hands
on what is called "'A Red Letter Bible," you will find every
word alleged to have been uttered by Jesus (pbuh) - in
red ink and the rest in normal black ink. Don't be shocked
to find that in this so called "Injeel," the Gospel of Jesus,
over ninety percent of the 27 Books of the New Testament
is printed in black ink!
This is the candid Christian confession on what they call
the "Injeel." In actual any confrontation with Christian
missionaries, you will find them quoting one hundred
percent from Paul.
NO ONE FOLLOWS JESUS (PBUH)
Jesus (pbuh) said,
"If you love me, keep my commandments."
He said further,
Whosoever therefore shall break one of
these least commandments, and shall
teach men so, he shall be called the
least in the kingdom of heaven . . ." (matthew 5:19)
Every Christian controversialist you question, "Do you
keep the laws and the commandments?" will answer, "No!"
If you ask further, "Why don't you?" He will if he is a Bible-
thumper, invariably reply, "The law is nailed to the cross!"
Meaning the law is done away with. "We are now living
Every time you prod him with what his Lord and Master
(pbuh) had said, he will confront you with something from
Cornithians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, etc. If you ask,
"Who are they?" You will hear, 'Paul, Paul, Paul!" "Who is
your master?" you question, and he will say, "Jesus!" But he
will ever and anon contradict his own Jesus (pbuh) by his
No learned Christian will ever dispute the fact that the
real founder of Christianity is St. Paul. Therefore, Michael H.
Hart to be fair, had to place Jesus (pbuh), in slot number
WHY PROVOKE YOUR CUSTOMER?
This placing of Christ in the number three spot by
Michael H. Hart poses a very serious question for us. Why
would an American publish a book of 572 pages in America
and selling in America for $15 each, go out of his way to
provoke his potential readers?
Who will buy his books? Surely, not the Pakistanis and
the Bangladeshis, neither the Arabs nor the Turks! Except for
few copies here and there, the overwhelming number of
his customers will be from the 250 million Christians and the
6 million Jews of America. Then why did he provoke his
customers? Did he not hear the dictum - "the customer is
always right!" Of course he did. Then why his daring
choice. But before I close this episode of Hart, I will
allow him to make his one last apology for his "temerity."
"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." Michael H. Hart
"The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in
History", New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc., 1978, p.33.
WHO WERE HISTORY'sS GREAT LEADERS
TIME, JULY 15, 1974
The world famous "Time"1 carried the above rubic on
its front cover. Inside the magazine were numerous essays as
to 'What makes a great leader?' 'Throughout history,
who qualifies?' TIME asked a variety of historians, writers,
military men, businessmen and others for their selections.
Each gave his candidate according to his "light" as objec-
tively as is humanly possible, depending on one's own
awareness and prejudice.
WHO KNOWS DR. SALAZAR?
It is my habit and pleasurable duty to take non-Muslims
on a guided tour1 of the largest mosque in the Southern
Hemisphere - "The Jumma Masjid" Durban.
On one occasion I was hosting a Portuguese couple, a
husband and wife team. At some stage during the discussion
the Portuguese gentleman said that "Dr. Salazar was the
greatest man in the world!" I did not debate the point
with him as I personally knew little about Dr. Salazar except
that he was a one time dictator of Portugal albeit to many a
great benefactor to his nation. My poor visitor was, however,
speaking according to his own knowledge, point of view
MUHAMMAD (PBUH) CAN NOT BE IGNORED!
Among the contributors to the "Time," it seems that
none could ignore Muhammad (pbuh).
WILLIAM McNEILL, a United States historian, of the Uni-
versity of Chicago, records:
"IF YOU MEASURE LEADERSHIP BY IMPACT, THEN
YOU WOULD HAVE TO NAME JESUS, BUDDHA,
MOHAMMED, CONFUCIUS, THE GREAT PROPHETS
OF THE WORLD ..."
McNeill does not go into details, nor does he give us
any explanation as to why he placed Jesus (pbuh) first and
Muhammad (pbuh) number three. Perhaps it was by force
of habit. It is very likely that McNeill is a Christian. However,
we will not argue with him. Then comes -
JAMES GAVIN, described as a United States army man, a
retired lieutenant general. He says -
AMONG LEADERS WHO HAVE MADE THE
GREATEST IMPACT THROUGH AGES, I WOULD
CONSIDER MOHAMMED, JESUS CHRIST, MAYBE
LENIN, POSSIBLY MAO. AS FOR A LEADER WHOSE
QUALITIES WE COULD MOST USE NOW, I WOULD
CHOOSE JOHN F. KENNEDY."
The General does not say much more, yet we have to
salute him. It calls for tremendous fortitude to pen the name
Muhammad before that of Christ (peace be upon them
both). It surely, was no slip of the pen.
JULES MASSERMAN, United States psychoanalyst and
professor of the Chicago University, gives us, unlike the
other contributors, the basis for making his selection. He
gives us his reason for choosing his greatest LEADER of all
He wants us to find out, what we are really looking for
in the man, the qualities that sets him apart. We may be
looking for any sets of qualities. As in the case of Michael H.
Hart, he was looking for a person wielding the MOST
However, Masserman does not want us to depend on
our fancies or prejudices: he wants to establish objective
standards for judging, before we confer greatness upon
He says that "Leaders must fulfil three functions--"
No. 1 THE LEADER MUST PROVIDE FOR THE
WELL-BEING OF THE LEAD ...
The leader, whoever he is, must be interested in your
welfare. He must not be looking for milking cows for his
own greed like the Rev. Jim Jones of Jonestown, Guyana, of
the "Suicide Cult" fame. You will remember him as the
man who committed suicide together with 910 of his
followers, all at the same time EN MASSE!
The United States Government was on his trail and he
was on the verge of being caught for certain felonies. But
before they could apprehend him, he thought it wise to
eliminate himself, together with all his followers, so that no
one would be left to testify against him. He laced lemonade
with cynide and inspired his devotees to drink it, and so
they did and they all died in disgrace! In the meantime, it
was discovered that the Rev. Jim Jones had salted away
fifteen million dollars and stacked it in his own account in banks
throughout the world. All his victims were his milking cows
and he was exploiting them to satisfy his own lust and
greed. Masserman's hero must be found to benefit his
sheep, his flock, and not himself
No. 2 THE LEADER OR WOULD BE LEADER MUST
PROVIDE A SOCIAL ORGANIZATION IN
WHICH PEOPLE FEEL RELATIVELY SECURE ...
Unlike the Marxist, the Facist, the Nazi, the Neo-Nazi
the Ashkenazi,l the Zionist, and their fellow-travellers,
Professor Masserman, in his brief essay in the TIME magazine,
did not spell this out. But his beliefs and feelings are
abundantly clear. He is in search of a Leader who will
provide a social order free of self, and greed and racism: for
all these "isms" carry within them the seeds of their
own destruction. There's still with us much sorrow and sin,
Injustice, Oppression, wrong and hate.
Still does Arrogance deaden Conscience
Rob struggling souls of e'en the crumbs
Of Pity, and make, of loathsome flesh
And crumbling dust, fair-seeming Idols
For worship. Still does Ignorance blow
A mighty Horn and try to shame
True Wisdom. Still do men drive Slaves, - -
Protesting smoothly the end of Slavery!
Still does Greed devour the substance
Of helpless ones within her power.
Nay, more, - - the fine Individual Voice
Is smothered in the raucous din
Of groups and Crowds that madly shout
What they call Slogans New, - -
Old Falsehoods long discredited ...
Abdullah Yusuf Ali
No. 3 THAT THIS LEADER MUST PROVIDE HIS
PEOPLE WITH ONE SET OF BELIEFS ...
It is easy to talk of the Fellowship of Faith and the
Brotherhood of Man, but in South Africa today, there are a
thousand different sects and denominations among the
Whites (people of European descent) and three thousand
among the Blacks (of African descent).
The White Churches in my country are Spawning "Black"
Bishops, fast, but in the first three hundred years of
European conquest, they did not produce a single Black
Bishop. Even now, the Black, the White, the Coloured and
the Indian cannot pray together in most of the Dutch
Reformed Churches. The hatred between the Christian sects
was aptly described by the Christian Emperor Julian, who
said: "NO WILD BEASTS ARE SO HOSTILE TO MAN AS
CHRISTIAN SECTS IN GENERAL ARE TO ONE
Sayed Amir Ali in his "Spirit of lslam,"- page 1 ii.
With the foregoing three standards, Masserman searches
history and analyses Louis Pasteur, Salk, Gandhi, Confucius,
Alexander the Great, Caesar, Hitler, Buddha, Jesus and the
rest;1 finally coming to the conclusion that -
PERHAPS THE GREATEST LEADER OF ALL TIMES
WAS MUHAMMED, WHO COMBINED ALL THREE
FUNCTIONS. (and) TO A LESSER DEGREE, MOSES
DID THE SAME
We cannot help marvelling at Masserman, that as a Jew
he condescends to scrutinize even Adolf Hitler, the arch-
enemy of his people. He considers Hitler to be a great
leader. His race, the mighty German nation of 90 million
people, was ready to march to destiny or destruction at his
behest. Alas, he lead them to ruin.
Hitler is not the question. The question is why would
Masserman, as an American Jew, a paid servant of the
Government proclaim to his countrymen of over two hun-
dred million Jews and Christians that not Jesus, not Moses
but Muhummed 2 was "The greatest Leader of all
times!" ACCOUNT FOR THAT!
WHAT SAY THE SCEPTICS?
Michael H. Hart put Muhammad No. 1 on his list and
his own Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (pbuh) No. 3.
Why? -"He was bribed!"(?)
William McNeill considers Muhammad as worthy of
honour in his list of the first three names of his.
Why? "He was bribed!" (?)
James Gavin puts Muhammad (pbuh) before Christ
(pbuh). Why? "He was bribed!" (?)
James Masserman adjudges Muhammad (pbuh) No. 1
and his own hero Moses (pbuh) a close second.
Why? "He was bribed!" (?)
"ARE WE TO SUPPOSE THAT ALL THE GLOWING
ADULATION OF MUHAMMAD (PBUH) WAS A
MISERABLE PIECE OF INTELLECTUAL LEGERDEMAIN,
HOCUS POCUS . . . I, FOR MY PART, CANNOT
FORM ANY SUCH SUPPOSITION ... ONE WOULD
BE ENTIRELY AT A LOSS WHAT TO THINK OF
MANKIND AT ALL IF QUACKERY SO GREW AND
FLOURISHED IN THE WORLD."1
Yet the scoffers bemoan anyone who has anything good
to say about Muhammad (pbuh) or Islam AS HAVING BEEN
BRIBED by the Arabs! They are giving too much credit to my
bretheren. I repeat: "It is possible, but it is improbable!"
During the Second World War, Norway produced only
one "Quisling."2 He was tried for treason and executed. It
is unlikely that America and the Western world have just
reached puberty to spawn a breed of Quislings nurtured by
hot petrodollars from the Middle East. Please do not
demean your honest, courageous men, who without fear or
favour are prepared to suffer obloquy for their convictions.
We must all admire them!
We can now justifiably conclude that the God of Mercy,
Who forever recognises the sincere efforts of His servants, is
only fulfilling His Promise to Muhammad (pbuh), His Chosen
AND HAVE WE NOT RAISED HIGH
THE ESTEEM (IN WHICH) THOU
(ARE HELD)? Hoiy Quran 94:4
Alternative renderings: 1
(a) Have We not exalted thy fame?
(b) And have We not raised thy name for thee?(c) Have We not given you high renown?
Friends and foes alike, as if by some secret compulsion
are made to pay unsolicited tributes to this mighty Messen-
ger of God. But the Almighty commandeers even the devil
into His service, as He had done in the time of Jesus (pbuh),
(Matthew 4:1 -11). Even the devil sometimes speaks Gospel
Professor K.S. Ramakrishna Rao, a Hindu philosopher in
his book "MUHUMMED - The Prophet of lslam",2
quotes the arch-devil himself, yes, Adolf Hitler, to prove the
unique greatness of Muhammad (pbuh).
The Professor, like Jules Masserman who had evaluated
the Prophet of Islam on three grounds (see appendix "C"
on page 63) also saw in Hitler's "Mein Kamp!" a three-
faceted jewel, a rare commodity which he found in our
hero under discussion. Quoting Hitler, he says:
"A GREAT THEORIST IS SELDOM A GREAT LEADER.
AN AGITATOR IS FAR MORE LIKELY TO POSSESS
THESE QUALITIES. HE WILL ALWAYS BE A BETTER
LEADER. FOR, LEADERSHIP MEANS THE ABILITY TO
MOVE MASSES OF MEN. THE TALENT TO PRO-
DUCE IDEAS HAS NOTHING IN COMMON WITH
THE CAPACITY FOR LEADERSHIP." HITLER CON-
TINUES, "THE UNION OF THE THEORIST,
ORGANISER, AND LEADER IN ONE MAN IS THE
RAREST PHENOMENON ON THIS EARTH; THEREIN
CONSISTS GREATNESS." PROFESSOR RAO CON-
CLUDES, IN HIS OWN WORDS, "IN THE PERSON
OF THE PROPHET OF ISLAM THE WORLD HAS
SEEN THIS RAREST PHENOMENON ON EARTH,
WALKING IN FLESH AND BLOOD."
SHARE THE ANGER
Before anyone assails the Professor of undue bias and
"bribery," let me give them a few more names of admirers
of Muhammad (pbuh).
1. "MUHUMMAD WAS THE SOUL OF KINDNESS,
AND HIS INFLUENCE WAS FELT AND NEVER
FORGOTTEN BY THOSE AROUND HIM."
A Hindu scholar - Diwan Chand Sharma in his
"The Prophets of the East," Calcutta 1935, p. 122.
2. "FOUR YEARS AFTER THE DEATH OF JUSTINIAN,
A.D. 569, WAS BORN AT MAKKAH, IN ARABIA
THE MAN WHO, OF ALL MEN EXERCISED THE
GREATEST INFLUENCE1 UPON THE HUMAN
RACE ... MOHAMMED ..."
John William Draper, M.D., LLD., in his "A History of the
lntellectual Development of Europe",- London 1875.
3. "I DOUBT WHETHER ANY MAN WHOSE
EXTERNAL CONDITIONS CHANGED SO MUCH
EVER CHANGED HIMSELF LESS TO MEET THEM."
R. V. C. Bodley in
"The Messenger,"- London 1946, p.9.
4. "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."
George Bernard Shaw, in
"The Genuine Islam,- Vol. 1, No. 81936.
5. "BY A FORTUNE ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE IN HIS-
TORY, MOHAMMED IS A THREEFOLD FOUNDER
OF A NATION, OF AN EMPIRE, AND OF A
R. Bosworth-Smith in
"Mohammed and Mohammedanism".- 1946.
6. "MOHAMMED WAS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL OF
ALL RELIGIOUS PERSONALITIES."
Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition