The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is perhaps the single most misunderstood person in human history.
This is especially true if we consider Western views of the Prophet.
Even in the learned tradition of the West, we find a vast literary history in which the Prophet is often depicted in the most debasing terms – as the warmonger, the pedophile, the slaughterer, the oppressor of women, the imposter, and the despot.
Indeed, he has become a symbol of oppression, evil and debauchery in the Western imagination.
The distorted portrayal of the Prophet was a consistent theme in European thought spanning centuries, from the initial reception of Islam’s message in medieval European thought all the way down to today.
Indeed, the Enlightenment and modern thought has done little to radically change Western views, and the prevailing ignorance, that surrounds the life of the Prophet.
Even today, rarely are views and statements about the Prophet based on facts, authentic sources and scholarly understandings of the events of his life.
In addition to distorting the Prophet’s life, character and memory, Western views have obscured our understanding of his true message and his contributions to human civilization.
With regard to the alleged clash between Islam and the West, the best place to begin a dialogue is to study the life and legacy of the central personality of Islam, who millions hold to be the most perfect model of humanity.
Once he is fairly understood, more positive efforts can be made to bridge the gap between civilizations and peoples. It is therefore of utmost importance that misconceptions of him are remedied.
A better understanding of the Prophet will give us a better understanding of Islam, and how Islam is in fact much closer to Western religions than is often presumed.
Given that most non-Muslims are seriously misinformed about the Prophet, we shall try to answer and explain the most controversial questions about his life and mission.
Though the answers to the questions are short, they took considerable research to complete.
The contents are based on authentic sources and historical facts that are widely agreed upon. We hope this benefits both non-Muslims and Muslims alike.
Ibrahim H. Malabari
President and Founder of Messenger of Mercy Foundation, Toronto - Canada
Related Links:Why Prophet Muhammad Is Mentioned in the Shahadah
The Truthfulness of Muhammad's Prophethood
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The Wise Leader (Peace be upon him)