In order to understand the truth of the invitation of a claimant to prophethood, and his truthfulness or falsity, we have other ways in addition to the question of his miracles and this can be another living proof of the way to reach the truth which is to study the following:
1. The moral personality and social background.
2. The conditions which ruled in the area of the invitation.
3. The conditions of the time.
4. The content of the invitation.
5. The programs and means and principles and goal.
6. An evaluation of the effects of the invitation upon the area or environment.
7. An evaluation of the faith and self-sacrifices of the invitee in relation to the goal.
8. The non-compromise with deviated suggestions.
9. The speed of the effects in public opinion.
10. A study of the faithful and understanding what group they come from.
If we, in truth, study these ten subjects in relation to every claimant and if we make a file about them, we can very easily understand the truth.
Noting that has been said above, we present a very brief study of the above issues in relation to the person of the Holy Prophet, even though each one of these items requires a separate study of its own.
1. That which is among the particularities of the morality of the Prophet of Islam in the midst of his social activities, according to the histories written by his friends and enemies, is clear to us that he was so pure and correct that even in the Age of Ignorance, he was given the title of ‘trustworthy’. History says, “When he wanted to migrate to Medina, he assigned ‘Ali, peace be upon him, the task of giving back the trusts which people had placed with him.”
His courage, perseverance and good conduct, his quickness and his manliness, his forgiveness in war and peace can be seen, in particular, his command of forgiveness for the people of Mecca after the victory over this city and the surrender of the blood-thirsty enemies of Islam is clear and is clear evidence of his character.
2. We all know that normal, average individuals even geniuses — take on the color of their environment, whether they want to or not, of course, to a lesser or greater degree.
Now let us think that a person who lived for 40 years in the midst of ignorance, idol worship, in an environment which was formed by the weave of the culture of the people with polytheism and superstition. How is it possible that the people arise to establish pure monotheism and struggle against all forms of polytheism?
How is it possible that scientific analyses develop in an environment of ignorance?
Can one believe that without divine intervention such a wondrous phenomenon would occur?
3. It must be seen if the manifestation of a prophet took place in every age and era when the world was going through the Middle Ages, the age of despotism, discrimination, oppressive racial and class superiority? Perhaps we should read the words of Hadrat ‘Ali, who bore witness to the age before and after the appearance of Islam.
He says, “God sent the Holy Prophet during a time when the people of the world were lost and led astray; their intellects were at the disposal of their whims and lusts; their sense of honor was destroyed; the oppression of ignorance had led them astray and in the midst of ignorance and anxiety, they were lost.” (The Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon 91).
Now think about the precepts which the slogans of equality of human beings, the elimination of racial discrimination and class distinction had in relation to the situation of that time. “Surely the believers are brothers.”
4. The content of his invitation brought unity in all areas, the elimination of oppressive privileges, the unity of humanity, a struggle with oppression, a plan for the rule of the world, defense of the deprived and the acceptance of piety and trustworthiness as the best criteria for human values.
5. In the area of plans to be implemented, permission was never given to make use of the concept that the goal is a means to justify the end in order to attain the sacred goals but rather sought out sacred means. He directly would say:
وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا
“And let not hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably...” (5:8)
His commands to keep to moral principles even in the midst of war, not to attack civilians, not cutting down the forests and date palms, not polluting the drinking water of the enemy, good treatment of the prisoners of war are clear signs of this truth.
6. The effects of his invitation upon the environment were so great that the enemies were even afraid of people going near the Prophet because they saw that his attraction and influence was extraordinary. Sometimes they raised such a commotion when he spoke that the people could not hear what he was saying, to prevent his words from entering their thirsty hearts. Because of this, and to cover over the truth of what he was saying, they called him ‘bewitched’ and his words, ‘bewitchment’. This in itself was an admittance of the strange effects of the invitation of the Holy Prophet.
7. An evaluation of his self-sacrifice upon the way of his invitation shows that he, more than any other person, was a believer in and faithful to the precepts which he brought.
He stood in some of the battlefields where those who had recently accepted Islam fled. He paid no attention to the enemy who often threatened him in every way possible. He retained his beliefs and never showed weakness or doubt.
8. Several times they tried to kill him on the excuse that he compromised with the deviates, but he never surrendered. He would say, “If you give me the sun in one hand and the moon in another and all of the planets and stars be under my dominion, I will never give up my goal and surrender.”
9. Not only was the effect of his invitation in public opinion wondrous, the speed by which it happened was also extraordinary. Those who have studied the books of western experts on the Middle East and on Islam are all amazed by the speed of the spread of Islam. For example, three of the most famous ones of the West who wrote, The History of Arab Civilization and Its Basis in the East, have said that this must be admitted.
They say, “With all of the efforts for the understanding of the speedy progress of Islam in the world, the fact that in less than a century it was able to spread to most parts of the known world, is still a great puzzle.”
Yes. It is a puzzle that Islam was able to penetrate into the hearts of millions of people with such speed, to absorb civilizations and bring about new civilizations.
10. Finally, we reach the point that the enemies were a group of unbeliever leaders, oppressors and wealthy who only sought their own self-interests whereas those who found faith were most often the pure-hearted youth, from among the large group of the abased who longed for the truth and were even slaves, individuals who other than pure hearts, had no capital and who were thirsty for the truth.
From the totality of this study, which is a very extensive one, we can well conclude that this was a divine invitation, an invitation which flowed from something beyond nature, from the great Creator for the salvation of the human being from corruption and ignorance, polytheism, oppression and injustice.
1. Is there any way to come to recognize the truth of a prophet other than through his miracles? What are they?
2. What is meant by the gathering of laws and what issues must be considered?
3. Can anything be understood from a comparison of the Arabs before and after Islam?
4. Express a part of that which existed in the Age of Ignorance among the Arabs, in particular, and of the world, in general.
5. Why did the enemies of Islam condemn the Prophet by calling what he said bewitchment’.