The Frenchman behind the famous words!

“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and outstanding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?”  Alphonse de Lamartine

Almost every learned Muslim has read or heard and admired the above words, but few would today, know the man who uttered these famous words.  These thoughts are the basic beliefs of every Muslim but when they hear them from the mouth of a non-Muslim also, these become music to their ears.  I just searched on Google and the quote is mentioned in at least 2000 websites.  However, not many Muslims know about their benefactor, who in an age of prejudice, painted the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, in true colors! 

If every Muslim in France tells about this quote and the author to ten non-Muslims, the whole of France would soon genuinely know the Holy Prophet Muhammad and would also appreciate Alphonse de Lamartine.  So, who was the great man Alphonse de Lamartine, whose legacy has begun to expand more than a century of his death? 

Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine (21 October 1790 – 28 February 1869) was a French writer, poet and politician who was instrumental in the foundation of the Second Republic.
Lamartine was born in Mâcon, Burgundy on 21 October 1790. His family was part of the French provincial nobility, and he spent his youth at the family estate at Milly-Lamartine.
He is famous for his partly autobiographical poem, “Le Lac” (“The Lake”), which describes in retrospect the fervent love shared by a couple from the point of view of the bereaved man. Lamartine was masterly in his use of French poetic forms. Raised a devout Catholic, Lamartine became a pantheist, writing Jocelyn and La Chute d’un ange. He wrote Histoire des Girondins in 1847 in praise of the Girondists.
He worked for the French embassy in Italy from 1825 to 1828. In 1829, he was elected a member of the Académie française. He was elected a ‘député’ in 1833, and was briefly in charge of the government during the turbulence of 1848. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1848. Due to his great age, Jacques-Charles Dupont de l’Eure, Chairman of the Provisional Government, effectively delegated many of his duties to Lamartine. He was then a member of the Executive Commission, the political body which served as France’s joint Head of State.
Lamartine was instrumental in the founding of the Second Republic of France, having met with Republican Deputies and journalists in the Hôtel de Ville to agree on the make-up of its provisional government. Lamartine himself was chosen to formally declare the Republic in traditional form from the balcony of the Hôtel de Ville.

Read more in Wikipedia or the Muslim Times

To learn more about the Holy Prophet Muhammad, see my collection of articles about him:


Categories: France, Islam

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