Over the centuries, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has been heavily targeted in the West, whether for personal gain or through sheer ignorance. However, those who have impartially studied the life of Muhammad ﷺ in detail have painted a completely different picture.

Here are ten quotations by famous Western non-Muslim writers, professors, statesmen, philosophers, historians, and even clergymen that reveal who Muhammad ﷺ really was.

Edward Gibbon (1737- 1794), English historian and Member of Parliament:

“The good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the fire; swept the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands his shoes and garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit, he observed without effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab.”

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish philosopher, historian and writer:

“It is a great shame for anyone to listen to the accusation that Islam is a lie and that Muhammad was a fabricator and a deceiver. We saw that he remained steadfast upon his principles, with firm determination; kind and generous, compassionate, pious, virtuous, with real manhood, hardworking and sincere. Besides all these qualities, he was lenient with others, tolerant, kind, cheerful and praiseworthy and perhaps he would joke and tease his companions. He was just, truthful, smart, pure, magnanimous and present-minded…”

Gustav Weil (1808-1889), German orientalist and author:

“Muhammad was a shining example to his people. His character was pure and stainless. His house, his dress, his food – they were characterized by a rare simplicity. So unpretentious was he that he would receive from his companions no special mark of reverence, nor would he accept any service from his slave which he could do for himself. He was accessible to all and at all times. He visited the sick and was full of sympathy for all. Unlimited was his benevolence and generosity as also was his anxious care for the welfare of the community.”

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Irish playwright, critic and political activist:

“The world is in dire need of a man with the mind of Muhammad; religious people in the Middle-Ages, due to their ignorance and prejudice, had pictured him in a very dark way as they used to consider him the enemy of Christianity. But after looking into the story of this man I found it to be an amazing and a miraculous one and I came to the conclusion that he was never an enemy of Christianity, and must be called instead the savior of humanity. In my opinion, if he was to be given control over the world today, he would solve our problems and secure the peace and happiness which the world is longing for.”

Reverend Bosworth Smith (1794-1884), American bishop and scholar:

“Head of the State as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without the Pope’s pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue. If ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports. He cared not for all the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life.”

Stanley Edward Lane-Poole (1854-1931), British orientalist and archaeologist:

“He was the most faithful protector of those he protected, the sweetest and most agreeable in conversation. Those who saw him were suddenly filled with reverence; those who came near him loved him; they who described him would say, “I have never seen his like either before or after.” He was of great taciturnity, but when he spoke it was with emphasis and deliberation, and no one could forget what he said…”

Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869), French statesman, writer and poet:

“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws, and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls… As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”

Annie Besant (1847-1933), British rights’ activist, socialist and orator:

“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.”

Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje (1857-1936), Dutch scholar and government advisor:

“The league of nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations… The world has not hesitated to raise to divinity individuals whose lives and missions have been lost in legend. Historically speaking, none of these legends achieved even a fraction of what Muhammad accomplished. And all his striving was for the sole purpose of uniting mankind for the worship of One God on the codes of moral excellence. Muhammad or his followers never at any time claimed that he was a Son of God or the God-incarnate or a man with divinity – but he always was and is even today considered as only a Messenger chosen by God.”

William Montgomery Watt (1909-2006), Scottish historian, orientalist and Anglican priest:

“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.”