There is a vast collection of writings and quotations from a wide variety of Non-Muslim notables—including academics, writers, philosophers, poets, politicians, and activists. The collection signifies the respect the Prophet commands. Scholars of all religions expressed a high degree of respect to the Prophet PBUH since the emergence of his message. Even the learned and educated Non-Muslims of all societies understand his sublime place in the world. However, for those who are ignorant, the torchbearers of the right path assume responsibility to educate and bring them to the light.
It seems as though the western society may have become insensitive, to an extent, to spiritual personalities on account of their own beliefs. It is difficult for them to comprehend the level of respect extended by Muslims to all prophets—especially their love for the Prophet (PBUH). Despite such differences in religious thoughts, the Prophet (PBUH) attracts a high degree of respect throughout history.
It is a vital point that his prophethood was affirmed first by a Christian priest. Similarly, a Christian king from Africa extended the first political support to the Muslims. In the modern world too, all those who get an opportunity to study his teachings and the social structure he introduced greatly appreciate him. He has always been respected and acknowledged by historians and intellectuals of all societies. The excerpts of their writings encompass various facets of his life and the effects of his message on the entire humanity of all times. As such, it is vital to understand the perception of the Prophet and his message through the eyes of other religions.
For instance, Alfred Guillermo, a scholar of Islam and the Hebrew Bible, said, “Muhammad accomplished his purpose in the course of three small engagements: the number of combatants in these never exceeded a few thousand, but in importance they rank among the world’s decisive battles.”
Similarly, Alphonse de LaMartaine, a French writer, poet and politician, said in Historie de la Turquie, “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? The most famous men created arms and empires only. They founded, if any at all, no more than material power that often crumbled away before their eyes. This man merged not only armies, legislation, empires, peoples and dynasties but millions of men in one third of the inhabited world, and more than that, moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls on the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law. He created a spiritual nationality of every tongue and of every race.”
He further elaborated by saying, “Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions which had been imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God’s name, Persia Khorasan, Transoxiana, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul.”
“The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of the fabulous theogonies, was in itself such a miracle that upon its utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols and set on fire one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, his heroic stand against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for fifteen years in Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen. This dogma was twofold the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.”