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Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

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August 10th, 2011

Issue 6

Issue 6 [@ 6:43]: Robert Spencer gives a background to Muslim behavior – “In Islamic theology the prophet Muhammad is considered Al-Insan-al-Kamil which is the perfect man. He is the model par excellence to be imitated. He is the person that the more a Muslim is like him the better off he is. So the prophet Muhammad is revered today in the Islamic world as the primary model of human behavior.”

Comment 6: Even though Robert Spencer by above statement is setting a stage for his smear later in the movie, but factually he is correct. Many authors, Muslims and non-Muslims could be quoted who expounded this statement. For now we will read from Khwaja Kamaluddin.

Khwaja Kamaluddin in his book “The Ideal Prophet” [pub. 1925], in the chapter “Prophets of God as Ideals” outlines the philosophy of prophet-hood and the ideal therein, which is excerpted below:

A Muslim must believe in the Divine origin of every great religion. He must believe that Prophets were given to every nation and that all the Prophets of God were entitled to equal respect, and he must not make any distinctions between them. The position is logically tenable as well. We are composed of body and soul. Both should be equally nourished by our Creator. If in His physical dispensation to minister to our physical needs He has made no difference between man and man, shall He then be partial in His spiritual Providence? If His message through Jesus could not reach the four corners of the world – even now there are millions whom it has not reached – would the Sustainer of all the human race suffer those waiting multitudes to starve for lack of spiritual food? No. He sends His message to them through other Divine messengers; and this it is that explains the existence of so many religions in the world.

These Messengers from Above brought Divine lore and illuminated the world. They were the teachers, and the models for the practice of the tenets they inculcated in their people, under Divine guidance. But their contemporaries did not keep full records of the words and deeds of these masters. Whatever has come down has been merely hearsay, giving such ample occasion for adulteration that within the space of a century each religion had suffered in its purity. Coming generations were given a religion which was never taught by the Master, and in the case of Christianity, I may say, not even imagined by the Founder. This paucity of contemporary records of the various Teachers has led to a further difficulty. None of the old religions possess enough material to meet the needs of the day, and the world in general has been left to its own judgement on many vital matters of life.

Christianity is a case in point; if we leave aside the mystical side of the creed, the sermons and other utterances of Jesus do not come up to our demands. His teachings, as recorded, give a general outline of a religion of Love and Kindliness, and that again in an idealistic way, that hardly suits the practical side of life; and this is not all, as Arnold Bennett rightly says. The ideals of Jesus tend, rather more than less, to influence the individual towards the life of a recluse. They do not fit in with social or national life. They have no bearing on International relations.

There is, moreover, a sort of discrepancy between the various utterances of Jesus and his recorded actions which does not help us in understanding his precepts. They in a way are contrary to his own teachings. The root of all is that his disciples or other contemporaries did not leave us an adequate record of his life. Such has been the case with the other Prophets of God.

“Unlike all other Prophets, whose proper likeness is concealed from us in a mist of reverence, Muhammad is a clear historic character, the numberless details of whose conduct and demeanour are recorded for us by his own contemporaries.”[Marmaduke Pickthall]

Muhammad is the only Prophet who may be called historic in the true sense of the word. From his childhood to his death, most of his life – and especially the period of his ministry as a Prophet – is on record. I know more of him than I know of my own parents in many respects; and is it not a wonderful thing that, with all our knowledge of him, he commands our respect and admiration? I cannot say what would be our estimate of others had we known more of them. The lives of other Prophets are enshrouded in mystery and myth; we know very little of their daily life, they speak like oracles; and are tolerable only when considered as subjects of fiction; but Muhammad is more definitely historic than any personality in history. It is indeed wonderful how little his detractors find to use against him in all this mass of evidence.

Herein lies the superiority of the Holy Prophet, and for this, among many other things, we accept him as the Ideal Prophet. The record of his words and deeds is complete, and his precepts and examples stand in complementary relation to each other, as if every need of the human soul has been anticipated and every contingency of human existence provided for in the mirror of his life. As a Muslim I cannot say that other Prophets of God did not perfect their mission. I only say that we find very little in their record to help us. They must have done that for which they were sent; but their historians have not been faithful. In the matter of this dearth of record of the world’s Prophets, I am constrained to remark that had it not been for Muhammad we would not have been able to appreciate the Divine institution of Prophethood. If a Prophet comes only to read homilies on morality, while he himself in his life does nothing to raise humanity, but simply reiterates in a different accent the lesson taught by others before him, I fail to understand the necessity of his Divine Mission. We can learn the same from those who did not claim to have been raised up by God. [pg 25-28, emphasis added]

A few prayers and a few curses, or a few sermons and a few miracles, do not make up the whole furniture of a Prophet; much more than this is needed to make a Prophet of a man. A Prophet comes to resuscitate humanity when – death mental, moral and spiritual death – has overtaken it; he comes with high principles, acts upon them himself, and leads other to do likewise; he thus brings reanimation to his environment. In a word, he comes to evolve humanity, a problem of a very complex nature. Humanity has very many sides – physical, emotional, sentimental, social, moral, mental and spiritual. They all are mixed with each other; they are complementary to each other for their existence and growth; they serve each other reciprocally in performing their respective functions. We cannot neglect one for the benefit of another. For instance, we hear much said against our low passions. We are advised to crush them. But that would be unnatural. These passions are in their evolutionary state; they are the bedrock of high morality, and germinate spirituality. A Prophet must have regard to them all. He must evolve a system that may bring every human instinct into proper play, and control every faculty in a way that may raise humanity and enable man to reflect Divine morality, as I said in these pages elsewhere.

Elsewhere, I have summed up some of the special and exclusive achievements of the Prophet Muhammad, and the unique service he rendered to humanity in such a capacity. His achievements are the achievements of a Prophet. I do not find them in the life of other Prophets, probably on account of the two causes mentioned above. But if we Muslims accept Muhammad as the Ideal Prophet, it is in his representative character as well. Every Prophet of God was an Ideal, and came as a model, to be imitated by the people he was raised up among, and he would be the same ideal to all coming generations, if we were in possession of his full record and if he had the necessary opportunities for the display of various virtues which he undoubtedly possessed but was unable to put into practice for want of an opportunity. But as things stand, we look only to Muhammad as such a Prophet. In him we find every requisite of a Prophet. He assembles in him all that was individually possessed by the other Prophets. He collects in himself all that we want to see in a Prophet. Salawatu- ‘l-Lahi ‘alaihi wa ‘ala alihi – the blessings of God be upon him and his followers. [pg 31-32]

Khwaja Kamaluddin’s book “The Ideal Prophet” needs a review as it preempts and unhinges the rest of the movie for its allegations against Muhammad. The contents of the book by themselves make the case for the Ideal Prophet and are worth perusal below:

Foreword – by Lord Headley
Pen Portrait of the Holy Prophet
Gods-Incarnate as Human Ideals
Sermon and Sacrament
The Prophets of God as Ideals
Before Muhammad
The Ideal Call
The Ideal Personality
The Ideal Character
The Ideal Success
The Ideal Teacher of Religion

Object of Religion
The Muslim Conception of Heaven
God Our Prototype
Morality A Reflection of Divine Attributes
Muslim Prayer
Muslim Formula of Life
Formula for Greeting
No Intermediary Between Man and God
Monotheism in its Purest Form
Object of Monotheism
God Not Impersonal
Human Capabilities and Sinlessness of Nature
The Problem of Good and Evil
Universal Brotherhood
All Prophets Sinless
Complete Religious Tolerance
Right Use of the Sword
Equality of Man and Elevation of Womanhood
Marriage Ennobled
Slavery Abolished
Drink and Gambling
Respect for Learning and Logic
Universality of Teachings
A Liveable Religion

The Ideal Expounder
The Ideal Exemplar

Keeping of Promise
Doing Justice
Sacrificial Spirit
Fairness in Dealing
Disregard of Distinction
The Prophet Discouraged undue Reverence
Modesty, Leniency, Shyness and Humility
Praise Discouraged
Sublimity of Manner

The Assemblage of Virtues

Humility of Mind
The Prophet would do the work of others
Exchange of Presents
His Aversion for Beggary

The Ideal Prophet – Khwaja Kamaluddin

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