During the centuries of the crusades, all sorts of slanders were invented against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). But with the birth of the modern age, marked with religious tolerance and freedom of thought, there has been a great change in the approach of Western authors in their delineation of his life and character. The views of some non-Muslim scholars regarding Prophet Muhammad, given at the end, justify this opinion.
But the West has still to go a step forward to discover the greatest reality about Muhammad and that is his being the true and the last Prophet of God for the whole humanity. In spite of all its objectivity and enlightenment there has been no sincere and objective attempt by the West to understand the Prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh). It is so strange that very glowing tributes are paid to him for his integrity and achievement but his claim of being the Prophet of God has been rejected explicitly or implicitly. It is here that a searching of the heart is required, and a review of the so-called objectivity is needed. The following glaring facts from the life of Muhammad (pbuh) have been furnished to facilitate an unbiased, logical and objective decision regarding his Prophethood.Read more...
Taken from "The Life of Muhammad" by Muhammad Husayn Haykal,
translated by Dr. Ismail Ragi A. al Faruqi
Irving and Islamic Determinism
Washington Irving, one of the greatest writers the United States of America produced in the nineteenth century, is a real credit to his people. He has written a biography of the Arab Prophet in which the material is presented in an eloquent and captivating manner. Although his treatment is well taken at times, it is prejudiced at others. His book ends with a conclusion in which he presents the principles of Islam and what he has taken to be the historical sources of those principles. After mentioning iman in God, in His angels, Books, prophets, and the Day of Judgment, Washington Irving wrote:
"The sixth and last article of the Islam faith is PREDESTINATION, and on this Mahomet evidently reposed his chief dependence for the success of his military enterprises. He inculcated that every event had been predetermined by God, and written down in the eternal tablet previous to the creation of the world. That the destiny of every individual and the hour of his death were irrevocably fixed, and could neither be varied nor evaded by any effort of human sagacity or foresight. Under this persuasion the Moslems engaged in battle without risk; and, as death in battle was equivalent to martyrdom, and entitled them to an immediate admission into paradise, they had in either alternative, death or victory, a certainty of gain.Read more...
1638. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) forbade shaving a part of the head.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
1639. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saw a boy, some portion of whose head was shaved and some of it was left out. He prohibited them from that and said, "Shave the whole of it or leave the whole of it.''
Commentary: This order of Prophet (PBUH) was based on the reason that that hair-style was then in vogue among the Jews and Christian priests and ascetics. This style was also popular with the group which was given to mischief and disobedience. This is, however, permissible in exceptional circumstances. In any case, either one should shave the hair completely or keep them in such a style that there is no resemblance with women.
1640. `Abdullah bin Ja`far (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Prophet (PBUH) gave respite for three days to the family of Ja`far (after his martydom). Then he came and said, "Don't weep for my brother after this day.'' He said, "Bring all of my nephews to me.'' We were accordingly brought as if we were chickens. Then he said, "Call for me a barber.'' He directed him to shave our heads which he did.
Commentary: Ja`far was the cousin of the Prophet (PBUH) and he was martyred in the battle of Mu'tah. Although martyrdom is an honour but even then the bereaved family does feel the shock of the loss. For this reason, the Prophet (PBUH) permitted them to give vent to their grief for three days. It should not, however, be taken to mean that he allowed them to lament and wail, because that is prohibited. What he actually allowed them was the natural weeping which does occur when people come for condolence and speak of the deceased. Such expression of grief is permissible after a period of three days also.
Therefore, what the Prophet (PBUH) had advised them was not in the nature of unlawful but natural. The children of the deceased called themselves "chickens'' as they were greatly enervated by the tragedy. This Hadith has been mentioned here to confirm the validity of shaving the hair of the head, especially of children, although keeping bobbed hair is more meritorious because the Prophet (PBUH) himself did so. Bobbed hair are cut short and allowed to hang loosely.
1641. `Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) prohibited a woman from shaving her head.
Commentary: This Hadith is also included in At-Tirmidhi but Sheikh Al-Albani has regarded it "Da`if'' (weak). Please see Ahadith Ad-Da`ifah. However, in order to avoid resemblance with men, this prohibition for women will stand. If it is required on medical ground then it will be permissible.