The Honorable Elijah Muhammad on Muhamamd, the Black Prophet. Pittsburg Courier Feb 2, 1957
Dr. Michael Hart is an impressively learned man. From Cornell University he received an undergraduate degree in mathematics. From Princeton University he earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics. He holds additional graduate degrees in physics, astronomy, and computer science, as well as a law degree. A former research scientist at NASA, Dr. Hart is now a professor of physics.
Dr. Hart’s racial views are equally noteworthy. He believes, not too differently from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that a peaceful America requires an America that is partitioned into three separate nations: a White separatist territory, a Black separatist territory, and a multiracial territory. Dr. Hart advocates the “Preservation of Western Civilization,” which entails, among other things, defending America’s Judeo-Christian and European identity against Muslims, Black Americans and immigrants.
This all makes his book, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History (1978, revised 1992) interesting, to say the least. This list includes the likes of Homer (# 98), Jean Jacques Rousseau (#78), William the Conqueror (#67), Genghis Khan (#29) Jesus Christ (#3) and Isaac Newton (#2). But the real eye-opener in this work is who Dr. Hart determined was the most influential person in all of human history: the Prophet Muhammad of Arabia.
Dr. Hart explains:
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. Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world's great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive…
unified by Muhammad for the first time in history, and inspired by their fervent belief in the one true God…small Arab armies now embarked upon one of the most astonishing series of conquests in human history…
in a scant century of fighting, these Bedouin tribesmen, inspired by the word of the Prophet, had carved out an empire stretching from the borders of India to the Atlantic Ocean-the largest empire that the world had yet seen. And everywhere that the armies conquered, large-scale conversion to the new faith eventually followed…
It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. On the purely religious level, then, it seems likely that Muhammad has been as influential in human history as Jesus. Furthermore, Muhammad (unlike Jesus) was a secular as well as a religious leader. In fact, as the driving force behind the Arab conquests, he may well rank as the most influential political leader of all time…
the Arab conquests of the seventh century have continued to play an important role in human history, down to the present day. 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.
It was not only the profoundly learned 20th century astrophysicist and racial separatist that counted Muhammad as the most influential man of recorded history. He in fact continues an historiographic trend that was popular in the 19th century as well. English-born American scientist and historian John William Draper, for example, recognized in his 1875 publication A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe (London 1875, Vol. 1, pp. 329-330):
"Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born at Mecca, in Arabia the man who, of all men exercised the greatest influence upon the human race . . . Mohammed . . ."
Around the same time in France the historian, poet, and politician Alphonse de Lamartine wrote in hisHistoire de la Turguie (Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp. 276-277):
“Never has a man set himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman: to subvert superstitions which had been interposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design no other instrument than himself, and no other aid, except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world…If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the true criteria of human genius, who would dare to compare any great man in modern 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 and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the inhabited world, and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs, and the souls. On the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality, which blended together peoples of every tongue and of every race… The conquest of one-third of the earth to his dogma was his miracle; rather it was not the miracle of a man but that of reason. His life, his meditations, his heroic revilings against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for thirteen years at Makkah, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen: all these and finally, his migration, his incessant preaching, his wars against odds, his faith in his success and his superhuman security in misfortune, his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire, his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death – all these…(served) to affirm conviction which gave him power to restore a creed…
Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?"
If Western writers’ recognition of the Arab Prophet Muhammad as the most influential man in history is surprising, we would be expecting way too much from them to expect recognition that this most influential man in history was Black. Black scholars, however, have appropriately stressed this point. See for example:
George Wells Parker, The Children of the Sun (Hamitic League of theWorld, 1918; reprint Black Classic Press, 1981) 22:
“Note, too, fact (sic) that Mohammed was of these Black Arabs.”
J.A. Rogers, Sex and Race Volume I: Negro-Caucasian Mixing in All Ages and All Lands(New York: Helga M. Rogers, 1968) 95-96:
“Mohamet himself, by all accounts, was a Negro. A contemporary of his describes him as ‘large-mouthed’ and ‘bluish-coloured, with hair that was neither straight nor curly,’ that is, hair that was probably frizzly like that of the ‘Fuzzy-Wuzzy.’ ‘Bluish,’ also, happens to be the precise color of certain very Negroid natives of the Sudan…It was this empire founded by the black Mohamet with the help of brown, yellow and white mongrels that aroused proud Europe from the slumber of the Dark Ages, and laid the foundations of its present culture.”
Cheikh Anta Diop, The African Origin of Civilization (Westport: Lawrence Hill & Company, 1967): 25ff:
“the entire Arab people, including the Prophet, is mixed with Negro blood. All educated Arabs are conscious of that fact.”
Yosef A.A. ben-Jochannan, African Origins of the Major ‘Western Religions’ (1970; Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1991) 237f:
“none of the Gods, prophets, or founders of any of the three religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - …was indigenous to Europe (a Caucasian, or White man.)…Judaism and Islam, both, had indigenous Africans in the leadership roles from the first day of their recorded origin…Islam had Mohamet – whose grandfather was of African origin… Al-Jahiz’s description and identification of the Prophet Mohamet placed him, Mohamet, in the family of the Black Race.”
Mamadou Chinyelu, “Africans in the Birth and Spread of Islam,” in Ivan Van Sertima (ed.), Golden Age of the Moor (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1993) 360:
“African blood figures in Mohammed’s lineage”
Wayne B. Chandler, “Ebony and Bronze: Race and Ethnicity in Early Arabia and the Islamic World,” in Runoko Rashidi and Ivan Van Sertima (edd.) African Presence in Early Asia (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1995) 280:
“All the chronicles that survive intact agree that Ishmael and Muhammad were of the Black race…A careful examination of history reveals that the Prophet Muhammad…was of the Black race and was black in complexion.”
This Africa-centered literature definitely got it right. The Arab Prophet Muhammad was not just “mixed” with Negro or African blood: as a pure Arab he was born of a Black, Africoid people, as the Arabs were the descendants of the Africans who migrated into the area millennia ago, and pure Arabs were in Muhammad’s day by definition black-skinned.
The Prophet Muhammad was indeed one of the greatest Africans in history. As leader of a political empire, he was in fact a great African king, and should be counted among great kings of African history. To deny Muhammad and the early Islamic empire that he founded is to deny a most glorious aspect of African world history.
Christian Crusader depiction of Prophet Muhammad. Luttrell Psalter, Diocese of Lincoln, c. 1325-35. British Library, London
Due to Muhammad’s irrefutable historical greatness, it is no surprise that White Supremacy is loath to let him go, Islamic White Supremacy as well as Western White Supremacy. On the other hand, Africa-centered scholarship must come (again) to the defense of this great African king, prophet and warrior. These young, New Age Afrocentrists must stop hating on Muhammad, for they are hating on one of the greatest Black men of history.
On February 3-4 of this year the Muslim world (or those so inclined from it) celebrated Mawlid al-Nabior the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad. It is most apropos that the opening of our Black History Month coincided with the birth-celebration of the Holy Prophet of Arabia. He was indeed a Black History Icon (though the White Supremacists in Islam be adverse).