It's not for nothing that Allah holds up the Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessing upon him-PBUH) as the ultimate model and mentor of humankind. By six, he had lost both parents. Then his grandfather and uncle also. The blows continued in adulthood. His loving, motherly wife, Khadija, also died, and their two male children.
The pagan chiefs of Mecca had sworn to crush "his" new religion. He and his poor followers were ostracized. His opponents stomped in triumph, jeering, teasing, taunting and rejoicing that the Prophet's lineage is truncated. It required extraordinary intervention to save the fledgeling mission of the Prophet. And that's exactly what Allah did to prove that indeed He was the Lord and Master of the Prophet; that indeed Muhammed (PBUH) was His messenger. The Almighty sent Angel Gabriel with a balm of a message: "We have indeed granted you abundance of favours. Turn, therefore, to Thy Lord in prayer and sacrifice. For it is your enemies who are cut off (from all hope.)" Quran 108.
Further words of consolation were to follow later; "When the help of Allah comes and the victory. And you see mankind entering the religion of Allah (Islam) in multitudes. Then celebrate the praises of your Lord and seek his forgiveness, for He is oft-forgiving." Quran 110
God does not utter any idle, empty words. And so, the Prophet soon saw the tables turn. A few powerful men from the pagan side became Muslim. In time, the Prophet and his followers who had been forced to flee Mecca to Madina, received overwhelming acceptance from the Madinans. They grew in strength and returned to defeat the Meccan pagans who had ambushed the Muslims in breach of an existing peace treaty. The Prophet forgave the Meccans who had driven him and his followers into exile, who had seized their lands, farms and homes, and the vanquished side was so overwhelmed by the sheer magnanimity and nobility of the victorious Muslims that they accepted Islam en masse! The Prophet lived to see Islam's rapid spread beyond the Arabian Peninsula.
But Allah has more in store for his servant. He proclaimed to the messenger the eventual triumph of Islam over all other faiths; “It is He (Allah) who has sent down His messenger with the Guidance (the Qur'an) and the religion of truth (Islam) to prevail over all other religion, no matter how much the polytheists will dislike it." Quran 9:33
Very significantly, the Almighty had revealed that the triumph of Islam as a global brand will confound the unbelievers who would see their passionate efforts to malign and scandalise His religion go waste. “They desire to extinguish the flame of Allah (Islam) with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, no matter how much the disbelievers would detest it.” Quran 9:32.
And true to Allah’s prediction, the CNNs, BBCs, RFIs and Daily Mails of the world have spared no effort in presenting Islam as an evil ideology. The Zionists and purveyors of nationalist rhetoric in Europe and America have made it a point of honour to discredit Islam and scare the world about the “violent, backward” religion. Yet, it is in very these parts of the world, Europe, America and Australia that Islam is making the biggest strides, winning thousands of reverts annually.
How could a bare and humble shepherd man make such an audacious declaration that the new faith he was preaching in the backwaters of Arabia was not only going global but was also going to dominate all other religion? The mission was too daunting, too ambitious and too unlikely for a poor, uneducated desert dweller without the basic instruments. But he has made a spectacular success of it. Today, Islam is only some 30 years away from catching up with Christianity as the biggest religion in the world. Islam already boasts more practising adherents than does any other religion. While much of this growth is due to higher fertility, a lot of it is also the result of conversion. In fact, 23% of American Muslims say they are converts to the faith. And even in death, Muhammed (PBUH) commands more reverence and loyalty than any living emperor, monarch or bishop.
Was Muhammed (PBUH) intellectually and materially equipped for this incredible success? No! Only God could have done it for the humble man who mended his own shoes!
No wonder, French poet and historian, Alphonse de Lamartine, wrote in his book History of Turkey “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad?”
And American astrophysicist and History author, Michael Hart, could not help ranking the unlettered Prophet as the greatest man in history.
“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 level.” - The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History
And God confirms “Have we not raised high your (Muhammed’s) esteem? Quran 94:4