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What did they say about Islam?
Submitted by Abdullah Attar
The Islam that was revealed to prophet Muhammad is the continuation and culmination of all the preceding revealed religions and, hence, it is for all times and all people.
This status of Islam is sustained by glaring facts. First, there is no other revealed book extant in the same form and content as it was revealed. Secondly, no other revealed religion has any convincing claim to provide guidance in all walks of human life for all times. But, Islam addresses humanity at large and offers basic guidance regarding all human problems.
Moreover, it has withstood the test of fourteen hundred years and has all the potentialities of establishing an ideal society as it did under the leadership of the last Prophet, Muhammad.
It was a miracle that Prophet Muhammad could bring even his toughest enemies to the fold of Islam without adequate material resources.
Worshippers of idols, blind followers of the ways of forefathers, promoters of tribal feuds, abusers of human dignity and blood, became the most disciplined nation under the guidance of Islam and its Prophet. Islam opened before them vistas of spiritual heights and human dignity by declaring righteousness as the sole criterion of merit and honor. Islam shaped their social, cultural, moral, and commercial lives with basic laws and principles which are in conformity with human nature and, hence, applicable in all times, as human nature does not change.
It is so unfortunate that the Christian West, instead of sincerely trying to understand the phenomenal success of Islam during its earlier time, considered it as a rival religion. During the centuries of the Crusades, this trend gained much force and impetus and huge amount of literature was produced to tarnish the image of Islam. But, Islam has begun to unfold its genuineness to the modern scholars whose bold and objective observations on Islam belie all the charges leveled against it by “the unbiased orientalists.”
Here, we furnish some observations on Islam by great and acknowledged non-Muslim scholars of modern times. Truth needs no advocates to plead on its behalf, but the prolonged malicious propaganda against Islam has created great confusion, even in the minds of free and objective thinkers.
We hope that the following observations will contribute to initiating an objective evaluation of Islam:
"It (Islam) replaced monkishness by manliness. It gives hope to the slave, brotherhood to mankind, and recognition of the fundamental facts of human nature." (Paper read before the Church Congress at Walverhamton, 7 Oct 1887)
"Sense of justice is one of the most wonderful ideals of Islam, because as I read in the Quran I find those dynamic principles of life, not mystic but practical ethics for the daily conduct of life suited to the whole world." (Lectures on "The Ideals of Islam", see speeches and writings of sarojini naidu, madras, 1918).
De Lacy O'leary
"But Islam has a still further service to render to the cause of humanity. It stands after all nearer to the real East than Europe does, and it possesses a magnificent tradition of inter-racial understanding and cooperation. No other society has such a record of success in uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavors so many and so various races of mankind... Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the opposition of the great societies of East and West is to be replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition. In its hands lies very largely the solution of the problem with which Europe is faced in its relation with East. If they unite, the hope of a peaceful issue is immeasurably enhanced. But if Europe, by rejecting the cooperation of Islam, throws it into the arms of its rivals, the issue can only be disastrous for both." (Islam at the Crossroads, London, 1923).