Muhammad Asad: The Unsung Hero

By Musa Khan.

Hain Ayan Yorash-e-Tatar K Afsany Sy,

Pasbaan Mil Gaye Kaabe Ko Sanam Khane Sy

(It is proved to all the world, from tales of Tartar Conquerors,

The Ka’ba brave defenders found in temple-worshippers)

Islam as a religion has a lot of miracles. One among the many miracles of Islam is that sometimes those who are die-hard enemies of Islam, accept this religion as their faith, and serve it in a way that no one else could. Everyone knows the story of Umar that how did he convert to Islam while he was on his way to kill the Prophet (P.B.U.H), and proved to be one of his (Prophet’s) best companions. Umar (R.A) services to Islam needs no explanation. Same is the story of Khalid bin Walid (R.A), that he was a deadliest enemy of Islam and finally accepted Islam to be his faith. He is regarded as the finest among Muslim generals. The Tartars (Mongols) shook the Islamic empire to its foundations, and crushed cities in Iran and Iraq. But Babur, who is the descendent of Mongols, conquered India, and erected an islamic empire (Saltanat-e-Mughlia) in India. 

“reading Muhammad Asad’s works will not only help us learn Islam deeply and know our flaws, but also be a great tribute to that unsung hero of Islam”

Leolond Weiss story is of the same nature. He was a journalist and hailed from Austria-Hungry. He was born in a Jewish family. Jews are always regarded as the worst enemies of Muslims. This we are talking of the early twentieth century. 

He had an interest in traveling and travelled from Australia-Hungry to Germany; Germany to Palestine; Palestine to the Arab world; Arab world to India, and from India to Afghanistan. 

Leonold Weiss converted to Islam in 1926 and then took an Islamic name–Muhammad Asad. 

By travelling he found the opportunity to live among Muslims and learn about Islam from nearer. Travel indeed provides someone with invaluable things which could be got through no other means. 

He had served Islam. We as Muslims are highly indebted to him. The following lines give a brief account of his service to Islam. 

He translated the Sahih-al-Bukhari to English on the recommendation of Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal. This is in fact a great service to Islam. With an English translation the sayings of Muhammad S.A.W. were made understandable to a new class of people. Moreover, he wrote a book named ‘Islam at the Crossroads‘. He dedicated this book to the Muslim youth. Islam at the Crossroads is one of the best books written for the purpose to identify the faults of contemporary Muslim world and has recommendations through which Muslims can gain back their lost prestige. He explains, in Islam at the Crossroads, the philosophy of Islam and proves how better the social and spiritual teachings of Islam are than that of the west. 


Other than that, he also has an autobiography under the name ‘The road to Mecca’. It is an account of his journeys, his experiences on the way, and the story of how and why did he convert to Islam. One must read it, if interested to know about Muhammad Asad and his view point about Islam and Muslims. His understanding of Islam is peculiar and catchy to a modern Muslim reader. 

One more prominent work of Muhammad Asad is ‘The message of the Quran’, which is an English translation of the Holy Quran and his commentary on its verses. 

Other than Islamic writings, Muhammad Asad had also served the Government of Pakistan. He was conferred upon an honorary citizenship of Pakistan after its creation. He served in Pakistan’s Foreign Office to the Middle East and helped Pakistan forge good relations with other Muslim countries in her nascent state. Later on he served in the United Nations as a Pakistani ambassador. 

I think we should read his writings. Reading his works will not only help us learn Islam deeply and know our flaws, but also be a great tribute to that unsung hero of Islam. 

About Author:
Musa Khan hails from Nowshera, Pakistan.  By profession he is B.Sc Electrical Engineer and has interest in social sciences.

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