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A great deal has been written about the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him). Below are just some statements said by well-known figures:
Lamartine (the famous historian) mentioned, “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and outstanding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?”
He concluded, “As regards all the standards by which Human Greatness may be measured, we may well ask, Is there any man greater than he?” (Histoire De La Turqvie, Paris 1854 – Vol. II, pp. 276 – 277)
In his book, The 100: A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History, Michael H. Hart stated: “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.”
Hart concluded that, “it is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.”
In his book, The Genuine Islam, Sir George Bernard Shaw said: “I believe that if a man like him were to assume the leadership of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring to this world much needed peace and happiness.”
Shaw added that, “He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.”
Mahatma Gandhi pointed out: “I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission.” (Young India Newspaper)
Wolfgang Goethe (the most famous European poet) believed that:
"He is a prophet and not a poet and therefore his Koran is to be seen as a divine law and not as a book of a human being, made for education or entertainment."
The Encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 12) cited:
"....A mass of detail in the early sources show that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest and upright men." "…Mohammad is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities.”
Thomas Carlyle, in his book, Heroes and Hero Worship, stated:
"How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades." …"The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only."
In a more recent work, John Esposito (who is a university professor of religion and international affairs, Director of the Centerfor International Studies at the College of the Holy Cross, andFounding Director of PABT Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, USA) pointed out in his book, Islam: The Straight Path that: “Muhammad was among those great religious figures, prophets and founders of religions, whose remarkable character and personality inspired uncommon confidence and commitment. His phenomenal success in attracting followers and creating a community-state that dominated Arabia could be attributed not only to the fact that he was a shrewd military strategist but also to the fact that he was an unusual man… Muhammad’s followers found him righteous, trustworthy, pious, honest and compassionate.”  (Esposito, 2004)
He clarified that “Muhammad was not the founder of Islam; he did not start a new religion.”
Professor Esposito stressed this fact:
“Islam brought a reformation; it was the call once again to total submission (Islam) to Allah and the implementation of His will as revealed in its complete form one final time to Muhammad, the last, or ‘seal,’ of the prophets. Thus, for Muhammad, Islam was not a new faith but the restoration of the true faith...”