Evidence and Testimony of the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet
Hawzah News Agency – The assembling of evidence and testimonies, as stated earlier, is one means by which the veracity of the claim of the Prophet can be proven. Here we shall briefly allude to some of this evidence which shows clearly the authenticity of his claim.
1. The quality of the life of the Prophet prior to his receiving his mission. The Qurayshi tribesmen referred to the Prophet as al-Amin, ‘the Trustworthy’, before he received his call, entrusting to his safe-keeping their most precious possessions. When they were re-building the Ka’ba, a dispute broke out between four tribes as to which would have the honor of fixing the Black Stone in its place. All agreed that this act be accomplished by the most honorable of the Quraysh, that is, the Holy Prophet, on account of his virtue and his purity of soul.
2. The fact of being untainted by the impurities of his ambience. The Prophet of Islam was raised in an environment dominated by idolatry, gambling, the burying alive of female babies, the eating of carrion and various other forms of impropriety. Nonetheless, the Prophet was an exemplary figure, standing above his environment, remaining unsullied in any respect by the moral and spiritual corruption around him.
3. The content of his call. When we examine the content of the Prophet’s call, it is striking that he was calling people to the very opposite of the norms prevailing in their society. They were idol-worshippers and he called them to Tawhid; they denied the afterlife, and he made belief therein one of the tenets of the faith; they buried alive their daughters and considered women to be of little importance, but he restored to women their intrinsic human dignity; they were greedy for riches and usury, and he prohibited usury; wine-drinking and gambling were rife, and he called these things the handiwork of the devil, and abstention from both were made obligatory.
4. The means by which the call was made. The ways and means by which the Prophet issued his call were essentially humane and moral. He never used inhumane methods in his conduct of warfare—such as blocking and polluting his enemies’ water supplies, cutting down trees or the like. Rather, he ordered that no women, children or old people were to be harmed, that no trees were to be cut, and that hostilities against the enemy were not to commence until an ultimatum had been delivered. There was no trace of the Machiavellian maxim, ‘the end justifies the means,’ in his approach. For example, at the battle of Khaybar, he refused to take the advice of a Jew to poison the water-supplies of the enemy to force them to surrender. The history of his mission is, indeed, replete with noble acts towards his enemies.
5. The qualities of his followers. A careful consideration of the spirituality, the intellectuality and the morality of those who believed in the Prophet also confirms the veracity of his Message. It is clear that whenever a message has an effect on the most excellent members of a community, this is a sign of its veracity and authenticity; while, if the most worldly types are attracted by it, this is a sign of its deficiency. Amongst the true followers of the Prophet were such supreme figures as the Commander of the Faithful, ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, Ja’far b. Abi Talib, Salman al-Farisi, Abi Dharr al-Ghiffari, Miqdad b. ‘Amr,
‘Ammar b. Yasir, Bilal b. Rabah, Mus’ab b. ‘Umayr, Ibn Mas’ud in regard to all of whom history records eminent personal qualities: asceticism, piety, purity, righteousness, resolution, generosity.
6. The evident effect on the environment, the founding of a mighty and glorious civilization. Over a period of twenty-three years, the Prophet of Islam transformed the entire situation of the Arabian Peninsula. He changed bandits into believers and raised up monotheists from pagan idolaters; he trained them to such an extent that not only did they found a glorious civilization in their own homeland, but also spread the unrivalled majesty of Islamic culture to other parts of the world. Ja’far b. Abi Talib, one of the Muslims of the Golden Age of Islam, stressed this very point in the answer he gave to the King of
Ethiopia: ‘O King, God has raised up amongst us a Prophet who led us from idolatry and gambling to prayer and charity, justice and piety, generosity to one’s kin; and who prohibited all forms of corruption, lewdness and oppression.’
This and other such evidence leads us to accept the veracity of his Message and the justice of his cause. It is certain that someone with such qualities as were possessed by him must be truthful in his claims to prophecy, and in his avowal of a connection with the unseen, just as the other evidence brought forward emphaticallyand with precision uphold these claims.
Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, Doctrines of Shii Islam, A Compendium of Imami Beliefs and Practices, Translated.