W. Montgomery Watt

  • A mark of false pride
  • “It is appropriate to publish a study about Islamic influences on Europe in this time when the interdependence of Muslims and Arab Christians with the Europeans in the one and the same world is increasing. It has been recognized for some time that medieval Christian writers created an image of Islam that was in many respects denigratory, but through the efforts of scholars over the last century or so, a more objective picture is now taking shape in the minds of the people of the West. For our cultural indebtedness to Islam, however, we Europeans have a blind spot. We sometimes belittle the extent and importance of the Islamic influence on our heritage, and sometimes overlook it altogether. For the sake of good relations with Arabs and Muslims we must acknowledge our appreciation of them to the full. To try to cover it over and deny it is a mark of false pride.”

  • Where is the appropriate leader
  • “If there exists an appropriate leader who speaks properly about Islam, it is possible for this religion to reappear as one of the fundamental great forces in the world.”

  • Genius solutions
  • “The Qur’an lays down genius solutions to the economic, social and ethical problems of the times. It is for this reason that there cannot be any doubt about the wisdom of the Qur’an, due to the success of Muhammad in communicating the message that Allah had commanded him to communicate. In my opinion, we must, whatever our religious position may be, consider the message of the Qur’an; a creative emergence in the locale of Mecca”.

  • Justice and fairness
  • “His readiness to undergo persecution for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as a leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement - all indicate his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad was an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history are so poorly appreciated in the West as is Muhammad.”