Comparisons are sometimes odious, but even if one was so inclined one would soon find that the Jesus of the Gospels and Prophet Muhammad offer no comparison at all. For, while Prophet Muhammad is a thoroughly historical character, every detail of his life is preserved in critically tested books of Hadith and history, the life and character of Jesus are shrouded in mystery. There are scholars who totally dismiss the historical existence of Jesus and regard him as a character of mythology. But even if we consider this to be an extreme view and grant, as do the Muslims, that a person called Jesus was eventually born in Palestine a few years before the beginning of the Christian era and claimed to be the expected Messiah of the Jews, our information about him is so fragmentary and uncertain that no clear picture of his life and personality emerges in our minds.
There are doubts about the date, place and manner of his birth; there is nothing known about the first thirty years of his life; there are differences on the question of his death. The Gospels tell us only of no more than two years of his life in a manner that can gradually pass that test of historical criticism. In an earlier chapter, Dr. C. J. Cadoux, who was Mackennal Professor of Church History at Oxford, was quoted as having written that many modern scholars and critics regard as hopeless any attempt to separate the historically true from the legendary or mythical matter which the Gospels contain and to reconstruct the story of Jesus out of the more historical residue. As we find him in the Gospels, Jesus seems a shadowy and glorified figure.