Just a little something to share. Excerpt taken from a book,"Riwayat Hidup Rasulullah s.a.w." by Abul Hasan Ali Al-Hasany An-Nadwy cetakan Pustaka Nasional(Pg 30-31)
Dalam harian "Al-Ahram" tanggal 15 Muharram 1397H (5 January 1977), Dr. Husin Kamaluddin, Kepala Bagian Handasah Modern dari Fakultas Handasah dari Universiti Riyadh, mengumumkan dalam perjumpaan dengan para wartawan di Kairo, bahawa beliau sudah sampai kepada kesimpulan yang berupakan Pandangan Geografi (pendapat baru dalam ilmu geografi) yang menguatkan bahawa Mekkah al-Mukarramah letaknya betul-betul di pusat daratan bumi. Penyelidikan beliau ini dimulainya dengan membuat peta bumi dengan ukuran jarak yang tepat dari seluruh tempat di permukaan bumi dengan kota Mekkah.
Penyelidikan ini mulanya dimaksud untuk menciptakan satu alat yang murah untuk menentukan kiblat. Tetapi secara kebetulan sekali dari penyelidikan itu terbukti bahawa Mekkah betul-betul terletak di pusat daratan bumi, sesuai dengan bunyi ayat al-Quran yang menyebut bahawa Mekkah adalah "UMMUL QURAA"(PUSAT NEGARA-NEGARA). Baca al-Quran surah al-An'aam ayat 92 artinya sebagai berikut:
"Dan ini (al-Quran) adalah kitab yang Kami turunkan yang diberkahi, yang membenarkan kitab-kitab yang diturunkan sebelumnya, agar engkau (Muhammad) memberi peringatan kepada penduduk UMMUL QURAA (PUSAT NEGARA-NEGARA) (yaitu penduduk kota Mekkah) dan orang-orang yang di luar lingkungannya. Orang-orang yang beriman terhadap kehidupan akhirat tentu beriman kepadanya (al-Quran) dan mereka selalu memelihara sembahyang mereka."
Anyway, if anyone out there planning to read and find out more about Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. I would recommend the book above. I've read there's an English translation on the book also. If not, search for an author by the name of Karen Armstrong.
There are many books on the prophet written by writers from different backgrounds and religion. Please be careful when reading because some of these books which are easily available at bookstores or the public libraries are written not to relate the truth about Prophet Muhammad but to mock and create even more confusion for those want to know more about him.
I have browsed through such a book written by an atheist. In the book, the author questioned about the sanity of the prophet!? He even went as far as discussing the different types of mental illnesses a person can have and tried to match one of them with the prophet. He cannot fathom how the prophet came about receiving "wahyu" from AllahSWT (because he don't believe in God in the first place!) So most of his writings are trying to reason with things that cannot be seen. And many of the facts that were stated in there were wrong and appalling! One of them, about how the prophets' wives started to cry and wailed loudly, beating themselves on their chest upon knowing of the prophets' death while we muslims know that this act is despised and forbidden in Islam. And this kind of book is displayed at the public library. What would those who are ignorant of Islam think when they read it?
Here's another example in an article,excerpt of an an interview with Karen Armstrong.
Armstrong explains how the media in the US attempted to silence opposing voices after 11 September. For example, she had been commissioned by the New Yorker magazine to write an article on Islam, but the article was killed and the magazine published one by the academic Bernard Lewis instead.
"They thought I am an apologist for Muslims, because my article was about the prophet as a peacemaker, and this did not suit their agenda as much as Lewis's did. Both Lewis and Kramer are staunch Zionists who write from a position of extreme bias. But people need to know that Islam is a universal religion, and that there is nothing aggressively oriental or anti-Western about it. Lewis's line, on the other hand, is that Islam is an inherently violent religion," she said.
So please be careful while reading! To be safe, look out for well-known credible authors or best, books from muslim scholars like the one above and read up the introduction page first before delving into the book.