151223_POL_Trump-Beats-Cruz.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2by Sufyan Farooqi

In a recent article published in Politico magazine, previous presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson encouraged Americans to read about Prophet Muhammad. As an American-Muslim, I could not agree more. I strongly believe that it is through studying the life of Prophet Muhammad that we can gain a better understanding of Islam as a religion. If more Americans, especially certain Republican candidates, would take that time to do this, it would reduce the amount of Islamophobia in this country. After all, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.

 Upon seeing Dr. Ben Carson’s remarks about Prophet Muhammad I cannot help but question if Dr. Carson himself has read about the life of prophet Muhammad. He makes the statement that “people didn’t like” Prophet Muhammad. He also says “Somebody [Muhammad] lives a life who is in no way comparable to Jesus Christ”. I beg to differ.

While I can agree that there are some in the world that “don’t like” the Prophet Muhammad, I believe they don’t really know who he was and haven’t studied his life, at least not in an unbiased manner. 

In his own lifetime, there were many that didn’t like Prophet Muhammad; for example, the lady that would leave vulgar garbage regularly along Prophet Muhammad’s path. This continued for some time without even an utterance of a complaint from the Prophet. One day there was no garbage along his path. Prophet Muhammad was taken by surprise. He inquired from acquaintances about the lady and found out that she had fallen ill. He visited her and cared for her in her sickness. 

 After seeing this the lady’s opinion of Prophet Muhammad changed drastically, she couldn’t help but have a deep admiration and respect for the Prophet.

 Zaid, a slave that Prophet Muhammad helped free, and subsequently became known as his adopted son, was so enamored by the prophet’s kindness that when Zaid was approached by his father to return home, he preferred to stay with his beloved Muhammad. He said ‘I will not leave thee… thou hast been a father and mother to me.’   Again, showing how people who really knew the Prophet Muhammad fell in love with his personage.

 Islam today has over 1.2 billion followers all of whom hold the Prophet Muhammad in the highest regard. There are also many non-muslims that have praised the Prophet Muhammad as well. 

 Sir William Muir in his book ‘Life of Mahomet’ praises many qualities of Prophet Muhammad including his modesty, kindliness, patience, and generosity that “riveted the affections of all around him… A kindly and benevolent disposition pervaded all those illustrations of his character. Muhammad was a faithful friend.”

In matters of state leadership, Muir points out that, “Muhammad displayed all the qualifications of an able and experienced ruler”

How can a man who people ‘didn’t like’ be ranked number one by Michael Hart in his book The 100 as THE most influential person in history? Mr. Hart  says:

My choice of Muhammad to lead 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 levels”

 Mr. Hart also explains why he ranked Prophet Muhammad higher than Jesus Christ. Saying that the Prophet Muhammad played “a far more important role in the development of Islam than Jesus did in the development of Christianity.”

 As evidence of this the author points to the Quran, the Holy book of Islam which Muslims believe to be directly revealed to Muhammad from God. Hart says that the Quran “closely represents Muhammad’s ideas and teachings”  and that the influence of Prophet Muhammad on Islam has been greater than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity.

 If anyone’s life is worthy of being compared to Jesus, it would be the Prophet Muhammad. We all know Jesus taught us to ‘turn the other cheek’. Prophet Muhammad was a living example of forbearance and justice throughout all the trials that he encountered during his life. He went above and beyond in his service to humanity.

So again, I wish to thank Dr. Carson for encouraging Americans to read about the life of Muhammad. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz would do well to heed this advice. If they need a copy I’ll be happy to send them one at my own expense.

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