There was no man more meticulously observed and comprehensively recorded than the Prophet Muhammad. This was a result of his impact and influence upon his according to the Jewish historian Michael Hart,
“My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world’s great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive.”
He was born in Makkah in the heart of Arabia in 570 Common Era. This came confirming the prophecy of previous scriptures which allude to “the Prophet”. In Deuteronomy 18:17-19
“The Lord said to me [Moses]: I will raise up for them a Prophet like you among their brothers; I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to My words that the Prophet speaks in My Name, I will Myself call him to account.”
(In this verse he is called “the” Prophet in the definitive form and then is said to speak in God’s name. Each chapter of the Qur’an begins with the phrase “In the Name of God, The Benficent, The Merciful”. Actually, the Prophet would say this before most everything he would do.)
In the new testament we have another reference to this prophecy. The following verse is when John the Baptist was interrogated by the Rabbi’s in John 1:19-21,
“He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.” They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you The Prophet?” He answered, “No.”
(The significance here is obvious the Jews in the time of Jesus were waiting for three prophecies; the Messiah (Christ is Greek), Elijah and the Prophet (in the definitive). In many of the Christian commentaries they place a reference on “the Prophet” here in this verse sending the reading back to Deuteronomy mentioned above. If Deuteronomy were a Messianic prophecy then the cross-reference should undoubtedly be placed in this verse in John where he is asked are you “the Messiah?”)
In the Qur’an, God clearly defines the Prophet’s mission in the following verse-
“I merely sent you as an act of mercy to all the world.” (21:107)
In the Prophetic tradition (Hadith), He was narrated to have responded to his companions who called upon him to supplicate God against the Polytheists who continually abused, tortured and sought to uproot the Muslims,
“I was not sent to curse or damn people. Rather I was sent as a mercy.” (Muslim)
Anyone who reads his full biography and researches the Prophetic tradition (hadith/sunnah) will undoubtedly find this his overarching characteristic. That being said those who are filled with hatred, enmity and perhaps jealousy use a cut and paste approach to define our beloved Prophet (PBUH). This approach is often out of context and combined with disingenuous translations to suit their goal of discrediting and vilifying Islam. The following are the statements of non-Muslim objective historians about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
“It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.”
Annie Besant, THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF MUHAMMAD, Madras,1932, p. 4.
“It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that deserves our wonder, the same pure and perfect impression which he engraved at Mecca and Medina is preserved, after the revolutions of twelve centuries by the Indian, the African and the Turkish proselytes of the Koran. . . The Mahometans have uniformly withstood the temptation of reducing the object of their faith an devotion to a level with the senses and imagination of man. ‘I believe in One God and Mahomet the Apostle of God’ is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honours of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.”
Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay, HISTORY OF THE SARACEN EMPIRE, London, 1870, p. 54.
“His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement – all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.”
W. Montgomery Watt, MOHAMMAD AT MECCA, Oxford, 1953, p. 52.
It would be of great benefit for anyone to read his biography. Here are a few titles that do justice-
1. Muhammad: Man and Prophet by Adil Salahi
2. Muhammad: Critical Lives series by Yahiya Emerick
3. A Mercy to the Universe by Saeed Al-Qahtani free download here- http://www.kalamullah.com/a-mercy-to-the-universe.html