The Hypocrisy and Blasphemy of Islam
In this second section (cf. Part 1) we will examine specific reports where Muslims turned Muhammad into an object of worship.
Praying Directly to Muhammad
In the five daily Islamic prayers Muslims perform what is commonly referred to as the tashahhud, the part of the prayer where a Muslim testifies concerning his belief in Allah and Muhammad. What makes this rather interesting is that this practice involves praying to Muhammad!
Narrated Shaqiq bin Salama:
'Abdullah said, "Whenever we prayed behind the Prophet we used to recite (in sitting) 'Peace be on Gabriel, Michael, peace be on so and so. Once Allah's Apostle looked back at us and said, 'Allah Himself is As-Salam (Peace), and if anyone of you prays then he should say, At-Tahiyatu lil-lahi wassalawatu wat-taiyibatu. As-Salamu 'ALAIKA aiyuha-n-Nabiyu wa rahmatu-l-lahi wa barakatuhu. As-Salam alaina wa ala ibadil-lah is-salihin. (All the compliments, prayers and good things are due to Allah: peace be on YOU, O Prophet and Allah's mercy and blessings be on you. Peace be on us and on the true pious slaves of Allah). (If you say that, it will be for all the slaves in the heaven and the earth). Ash-hadu an la-ilaha illa-l-lahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluhu. (I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I also testify that Muhammad is His slave and His Apostle)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 12, Number 794)
Ibn 'Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah used to teach us tashahhud just as he used to teach us a Sura of the Qur'an, and he would say: All services rendered by words, acts of worship, and all good things are due to Allah. Peace be upon YOU, O Prophet, and Allah's mercy and blessings. Peace be upon us and upon Allah's upright servants. I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. In the narration of Ibn Rumb (the words are): "As he would teach us the Qur'an." (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 0798)
Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Urwa ibn az-Zubayr from Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abd al-Qari that he heard Umar ibn al-Khattab say, while he was teaching people the tashahhud from the mimbar, "Say, Greetings belong to Allah. Pure actions belong to Allah. Good words and prayers belong to Allah. Peace on YOU, Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be upon us and on the slaves of Allah who are salihun. I testify that there is no god except Allah. And I testify that Muhammad is His slave and His messenger."
'At-tahiyatu lillah, az-zakiyatu lillah, at-tayibatu wa's-salawatu lillah. As-salamu ALAYKA ayyuha'nnabiyyu wa rahmatu'llahi wa barakatuhu. As-salamu alayna wa ala ibadi'llahi s-salihin. Ash-hadu an la ilaha illa 'llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluh." (Maliks Muwatta, Book 3, Number 3.14.56)
Yahya related to me from Malik from Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Qasim from his father that A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to say in the tashahhud, "Greetings, good words, prayers, pure actions belong to Allah. I testify that there is no god except Allah, alone without partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger. Peace be on YOU, Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be on us and on the slaves of Allah who are salihun. Peace be upon you."
"At-tahiyatu, at-tayibatu, as-salawatu, az-zakiyatu lillah. Ash-hadu an la ilaha illa'llah, wahdahu la sharika lah wa anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu. As-salamu ALAYKA ayyuha-n-nabiyyu wa rahmatu-llahi wa barakatuhu. As-salamu alayna wa ala ibadi-llahi's-salihin. As-salamu alaykum." (Maliks Muwatta, Book 3, Number 3.14.58)
In the above reports Muhammad made himself a part of the Islamic worship, commanding Muslims to mention and even speak to him directly in prayer!
Realizing the idolatrous implication of such a practice there are certain Muslims, particularly of the Salafi type such as the late Shaykh Muhammad Nasir ad-Deen al-Albani and Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, who claim that this is not the way a Muslim is to perform tashahhud now that Muhammad is dead. They assert that saying "Peace be upon you, Prophet" was only valid as long as Muhammad was alive but that after his demise a Muslim is to follow the example of Muhammads companion Ibn Masud who stated:
Narrated Ibn Mas'ud:
Allah's Apostle taught me the Tashah-hud as he taught me a Sura from the Quran, while my hand was between his hands. (Tashah-hud was) all the best compliments and the prayers and the good things are for Allah. Peace and Allah's Mercy and Blessings be on you, O Prophet! Peace be on us and on the pious slaves of Allah, I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and I also testify that Muhammad is Allah's slave and His Apostle. (We used to recite this in the prayer) during the lifetime of the Prophet, but when he had died, we used to say, "Peace be on the Prophet." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 74, Number 281)
The problem with this position is that there were times when the Muslims were not directly with Muhammad, but in another city or even another country, and yet they would still pray the tashahhud. In these circumstances Muhammad could not audibly hear these Muslims call him in their prayer, and such calling would therefore be an act of worship directed towards Muhammad in the same way as it is worship after his death.
The other problem is that some of the traditions which we sourced earlier conclusively demonstrate that Muslims are to continue to pray directly to Muhammad. Many of Muhammads companions and their followers did not adopt the wording of Ibn Masud but continued to pray, "Peace be upon you, O Prophet." As noted Sufi Muslim scholar and writer Dr. Gibril Fouad Haddad writes in his response to al-Albani:
26- He advocates in his Salat al-Nabi, the formula "Peace and blessings upon the Prophet" instead of "upon you, O Prophet" in the tashahhud in contradiction of the Four Sunni Schools, on the basis of a hadith of Ibn Mas`ud whereby the Companions used the indirect-speech formula after the passing of the Prophet. But the Prophet himself instructed them to pray exactly as he prayed saying: "Peace and blessings upon you, O Prophet" without telling them to change it after his death, nor did the major Companions (whose Sunna we were ordered to imitate together with that of the Prophet), such as Abu Bakr and `Umar, teach the Companions and Successors otherwise! (Al-Albani - Concise Guide to the Chief Innovator of Our Time; source)
In another rebuttal, this time to Dr. Bilal Philips, Haddad provides a variety of reasons to show why these Salafis are wrong and that Muslims should continue praying to Muhammad directly in tashahhud. He further shows why the English translation of al-Bukharis hadith concerning the position of Ibn Masud is flawed:
1. The translation above is wrong. The correct translation is as follows:
`Abd Allah ibn Sakhbara: I heard Ibn Masud say: "The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless and greet him) taught me, [as he held] my hand in his two hands, exactly the way he would teach me a sura from the Quran: al-tahiyyaat [etc.]. As-Salamu `alayka ayyuha al-Nabi, wa-rahmatullah, wa-barakatuh . [etc.] while he was among us. Then, when his soul was seized, we [still] said: as-Salamu; meaning, on the Prophet. This means: even after he passed away, we continued to give him the Salam as we did before, when he was among us. It would be incorrect from the viewpoint of Arabic to say that it means a switch to the indirect-speech formula after the passing of the Prophet
4. More importantly than all the preceding, the Prophet himself taught the Companions to say: "Peace and blessings upon you, O Prophet" without telling them to change it after his death. This is narrated from (a) Ibn Mas`ud himself as well as from others of Ahl al-Fatwa among the Companions after the time of the Prophet upon him peace, some more senior than him such as our liege-lord (b) `Umar ibn al-Khattab (Muwatta), also (c) Abu Musa al-Ash`ari (Muslim, Four Sunan); and others such as (d) our Mother Aisha (Muwatta, al-Tirmidhi) (e) Ibn Umar (al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud), (f) Jabir (al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasai, Ibn Majah), (e) Ibn `Abbas (Muslim and the Four Sunan)!
5. As mentioned, Ibn Mas`ud himself says that the Prophet, upon him peace, taught them to say in the tashahhud: As-Salamu `alayka ayyuha al-Nabi and not otherwise whatsoever. His senior student Shaqiq narrates it from Ibn Mas`ud, from the Prophet upon him blessings and peace, in al-Bukhari in four places and in Muslim in four places as well as in al-Nasai in five places, Ibn Majah with four chains, and Abu Dawud.
6. Another senior student of Ibn Masud, Alqama, also narrates it thus from Ibn Masud in al-Nasai (with 3 chains) who adds that Alqama said: "Ibn Masud would teach us those words just as [meticulously as] he would teach us Quran." And in Abu Dawud, this is exactly how Alqama would teach tashahhud to his students.
7. Another senior student of Ibn Masud, al-Aswad ibn Yazid, also narrates it thus from Ibn Masud in al-Nasai, Ibn Majah, and al-Tirmidhi who adds: "This is the most authentic wording of the tashahhud."
8. Another major student also narrates it thus from Ibn Masud: Abu al-Ahwas Awf ibn Malik (four Sunan). Are all of the above (Shaqiq, Alqama, al-Aswad, Abu al-Ahwas) wrong in what Ibn Masud taught them, and only a single man (`Abd Allah ibn Sakhbara) knew?
9. Nor did the major Companions whose Sunna we were ordered to imitate together with that of the Prophet e, such as Abū Bakr and Umar, teach the Companions and Successors otherwise, nor did the rest of the Companions, nor did any of the Four Sunni Schools, nor does any authentic book of fiqh teach otherwise except a modernist person of bid`a who published an unauthorized and unauthoritative book he titled "The Prophets Prayer."
12. Third, it would be folly for us to leave the Prophets teaching on tashahhud as narrated and practiced by the totality of the Companions (except one, supposedly) and as understood by all Four Sunni Schools, in order to follow, 14 centuries later, a modern understanding which could very well be and assuredly is skewed and innovative. Such a choice is idiotic because the probability that it is wrong is enormous. (Dr. Bilal Philips: Tashahhud was changed! Answered by Shaykh Gibril F Haddad; source1 , 2)
Praying through Muhammads Mediation
Not only are Muslims addressing Muhammad directly during their daily prayers there is also the Islamic practice of invoking Allah through Muhammad. For example, there are certain Muslim sources which state that Adam beseeched Allah by the right of Muhammad to forgive him of his sin in eating of the forbidden tree:
Al-Bayhaqi cited the following hadith in his book "Dala'il an-Nubuwwah" (Signs of Prophethood): Narrated 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab: the Prophet said: "When Adam committed the sin, he said to Allah, 'O My Lord, I ask You with reference to Muhammad to forgive me'. Allah said: 'O Adam! How did you know about Muhammad, for I have not yet created him?' Adam replied, 'O My Lord, when You created me, I looked up and saw inscribed on the legs of the Throne the words: There is no God worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger. I knew that you do not attach to Your name but the name of the dearest of Your Creation.' Allah said to Adam, 'You have spoken rightly, Adam. Muhammad is the dearest of My Creation. I have forgiven you because you asked by Muhammad. AND HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR HIM, I WOULD NOT HAVE CREATED YOU.'" This hadith was narrated by al-Hakim who also classified it as sahih (authentic). Among the transmitters of this hadith is 'Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Zayd Ibn Aslam. Al-Haythami said: "This hadith was reported by at-Dabarani and in its chain of transmitters are people I do not know. Al-Hakim was therefore mistaken in classifying this hadith as sahih because he himself criticised 'Abd ar-rahman Ibn Zayd Ibn Aslam in his book ad-Du'afa, so how can he state the authenticity of the hadith after he had criticised him?!!" (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Part 1, Surah Al-Fatiah Surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 1 to 141, Abridged by Sheikh Nasib Ar-Rafa'i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London: Second Edition 1998], p. 107, fn 10; underline and capital emphasis ours)
Abu Muhammad al-Makki, Abu'l-Layth as-Samarqandi and others related that when Adam rebelled, he said, "O Allah, forgive me my error BY THE RIGHT OF MUHAMMAD!" Allah said to him, "How do you know Muhammad?" He said, "I saw written in every place in the Garden, 'There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.' So I knew that he was the most honoured creation in Your eyes." SO ALLAH TURNED TO HIM AND FORGAVE HIM. It is said that this is the interpretation of the words of Allah, "Adam learned some words from his Lord" (2:27)
Another variant has that Adam said, "When you created me, I lifted my gaze to Your Throne AND WRITTEN ON IT WAS: 'There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,' so I knew there would be no one held in greater esteem by You than the one whose name You placed alongside Your own name." Allah then revealed to him, "By My might and majesty, he is the last of the prophets among your descendants. IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR HIM, I WOULD HAVE NOT CREATED YOU." It is said that Adam was given the kunya, Abu Muhammad. Some people say that it was Abu'l-Bashar (the father of mankind). (Qadi Iyad, p. 89; capital emphasis ours)
Imagine that Allah created Adam because of Muhammad! And as a consequence, Adam prays to Allah by invoking / appealing to Muhammad, i.e. Muhammad is used as a mediator in approaching Allah.
Shaykh Haddad comments on these narrations:
Al-Daylami in al-Firdaws bi-Mathur al-Khitab (5:227 §8031) cited without chain from Ibn Abbas: "Allah Most High says: I swear it by My Power and My Glory! Were it not for you [O Muhammad], I would not have created the world."
Al-Albani rejected it in his Silsila Daifa (§282). Al-Khallal in al-Sunna (1:237) narrated it from the Hanbali Harun ibn al-Abbas al-Hashimi who added that whoever rejects this hadith is a zindiq. This ruling is reminiscent of the expression of the Shafii Imam Taqi al-Din al-Hisni in the book he wrote against Ibn Taymiyya entitled Daf Shubahi man Shabbaha wa-Tamarrad in which he said:
Whoever denies the use of the Prophet as intermediary (al-tawassul bihi) and the use of him as intercessor (al-tashaffu bihi) after his death, or claims that his sanctity ended with his death, has announced to the people and proclaimed against himself that his state is worse than that of the Jews, who used him as intermediary before he appeared into existence (Hadith of Adam's tawassul through the Prophet (Rabi al-Awwal 1427April 2006), pp. 2-3; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
Hence, Muhammad is the reason why Allah created the world and forgave Adam!
These are not the only narratives where Muslims prayed through Muhammad. Here are some other Islamic sources which refer to Muslims invoking Muhammads mediation even after the latter had died:
Abdullah bin Qurt narrates
I then departed from the Masjid via Ethiopia Gate and said to myself, "I will commit a grave error if I fail to make salam at the tomb of Rasulullah, for I do not know whether or not I will see it again."
So I went to the room where Aishah was sitting at the grave. Ali and al-Abbas were also present with al-Husayn sitting in Alis lap and al-Hasan in al-Abbass lap. They were reciting Suratul-Anam while Ali was reciting Surah Hud. I made salam to Rasulullah.
Ali: O Ibn Qurt, are you going to Syria?
Ibn Qurt: Yes, O cousin of Rasulullah. I think that once I reach there the two armies will already be deeply embroiled in fighting. They will see me coming without help or reinforcements. I really fear that they will become weak and frightened. I wish that I could reach them before they fight so that I can at least advise them and counsel them with patience.
Ali: So what is stopping you from asking Umar to make dua for you?
Ibn Qurt: I am well aware of all these virtues of Umar which you have mentioned, but in addition I would like your dua and the dua of al-Abbas, the paternal uncle of Rasulullah, especially here at the noble tomb of Rasulullah.
Al-Abbas raised his hand in supplication. Ali, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, Aishah (and Hafsah and Umm Salamah who had also arrived) joined them. He prayed, "O Allah, we seek intercession THROUGH THIS CHOSEN PROPHET AND SELECTED MESSENGER THROUGH WHOM ADAM ALSO SOUGHT INTERCERSSION and then You forgave his error. O Allah, make the road easy for Abdullah and fold up the long distances for him. Help the Sahabah of Your Prophet with victory. You are the Hearer of Dua."
He then said, "Go Abdullah, for it is unlikely that Allah will reject the dua of Umar, Abbas, Ali, al-Hasan, and the wives of Rasulullah, especially when they have interceded through the best of all creation." (Al-Imam al-Waqidi, The Islamic Conquest of Syria, A Translation of Futuhusham: The Inspiring History of the Sahabahs Conquest of Syria, translated by Mawlana Sulayman al-Kindi [Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., London 2005], Part 3: Al-Yarmuk, pp. 287-288; capital and underline emphasis ours)
It is just as necessary to have esteem and respect for the Prophet after his death as it were when he was alive. This means to show it whenever the Prophet, his hadith or sunna are mentioned, when anyone hears his name or anything about his life or how his family and relatives behaved. It includes respect for the People of his House (ahl al-bayt) and his Companions...
Abu Humayd said, "Abu Ja'far, the Amir al-Mu'minin, had a dispute with Malik in the Prophet's mosque. Malik said to him, 'Amir al-Mu'minin, do not raise your voice in this mosque. Allah taught the people how to behave by saying, "Do not raise your voices above the Prophet" (49:2) He praises people with the words, "Those who lower their voices in the presence of the Messenger of Allah." (49:3) He censures people, saying, "Those who call you..." Respect for him when he is dead is the same as respect for him when he was alive."
"Abu Ja'far was humbled by this. He asked Malik, 'Abu Abdullah, do you face qibla when you supplicate or do you face the Messenger of Allah?' He replied, 'Why would you turn your face from him when he is YOUR MEANS and the means of your father, Adam, to Allah on the Day of Rising? I face him and ASK HIM to intercede and Allah will grant his intercession. Allah says, "If, when you wronged yourselves, they had come to you."'" (4:64) (Qadi Iyad, Kitab Ash-shifa bi ta'rif huquq al-Mustafa (Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One), translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K., third reprint 1991, paperback], pp. 237-238; capital and underline emphasis ours)
Here is a man who faced Muhammad's grave when he prayed, and actually directed his prayers to Muhammad in order to ask him for his intercession!
Shaykh Haddad mentions the above narration from the Qadi Iyad and comments on the practice of praying to and through Muhammad:
It is also narrated that Ibn Umar would place his hand on the seat of the Prophets minbar then wipe his face with it2 and that Abu Ayyub was seen resting his face on the Prophets grave.3 This practice of the Companions clarifies two matters. The first is the permissibility of asking Allah for things by the Prophet (tawassul) after his death since by their act the Companions were truly making tawassul. Likewise it is permissible to ask Allah for things by means of other pious Muslims. The second is the permissibility of tabarruk or seeking blessing (baraka) from objects connected to the Prophet.
It is similarly related that in the year of the drought called al-Ramada (17-18) during the successorship of Umar the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harith, while slaughtering a sheep for his kin, noticed that the sheeps bones had turned red because the drying flesh was clinging to them. He cried out Ya Muhammadah!" Then he saw the Prophet in a dream ordering him to go to Umar with the tidings of coming rain on condition that Umar show wisdom. Hearing this, Umar assembled the people and came out to pray for rain with al-Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet.4 The same is related from the Companion or Successor Malik ibn Iyad, also known as Malik al-Dar:5 A man came to the grave of the Prophet and said: Messenger of Allah, ask for rain for your Community (istasqi liummatik), for verily they have but perished!" after which the Prophet appeared to him in a dream telling him: "Go to Umar and give him my greeting, then tell him that they will be watered. Tell him: Be clever!" The man went and told Umar. The latter wept and said: "My Lord! I spare no effort except in what escapes my power!"6 Ibn Hajar identifies Malik al-Dar as Umars treasurer and the man who visited and saw the Prophet in his dream as the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harith, counting this hadith among the reasons for al-Bukharis naming of the chapter The peoples request to their leader for rain if they suffer drought."
II. Ah.mad Recommended Tawassul in Every Dua
Abu Bakr al-Marwazi narrated in his Mansak that Imam Ahmad preferred for one to make tawassul through the Prophet in EVERY supplication with the wording: "O Allah! I am turning to you with your Prophet, the Prophet of mercy. O Muhammad! I am turning with you to my Lord for the fulfillment of my need. The report is mentioned in the books of the Hanbali madhhab as it bears on the adab of dua as a fiqh issue.7 Ibn Taymiyya cites it in his Qaida fil-Tawassul wal-Wasila (p. 98 and 155) where he attributes it to Imam Ahmad and a group of the Salaf" from Mansak al-Marwazi as his source and in his Radd ala al-Akhnai (p. 168) where he cites the text of the dua in full, similar to the dua of the blind man in al-Tirmidhi and elsewhere and with the wording Ya Muhammad Ibn Fihr al-Maliki al-Misri (fl . 440) in his Fadail Malik while al-Zurqani in his commentary on al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya said al-Qadi Iyad narrated it in al-Shifa from Malik with a good, or rather sound chain as did al-Khafaji in his commentary on the Shifa.10 Ibn Qunfudh positively at tributes it to Malik11 while the hadith Master Ibn Jamaa said: The report is related by the two hadith Masters: Ibn Bashkuwal and al-Qadi Iyad in al-Shifa, and no attention is paid to the words of those who claim that it is forged purely on the basis of their idle desires
2 Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni (5:468) and al-Buhuti, Kashshaf (2:517) cf. al-Mardawi, Insaf (4:54), Ibn Muflih, Furu (3:523). Ibn Baz had the effrontery to call this act shirk.
3 Narrated by Ahmad (38:558 #23585 isnad daif), and al-Hakim (4:515=1990 ed. 4:560 sahih), both with a weak chain because of Dawud ibn Abi Salih who is unknown.
4 Narrated by al-T.abari in his Tarikh (2:509).
5 Umar ibn al-Khattabs freedman. He narrated from Abu Bakr and Umar. He was known. Ibn Sad (5:12). He is agreed upon (as trustworthy), the Successors have approved highly of him. Abu Yala al-Khalil ibn Abd Allah al-Khalili al-Qazwini, Kitab al-Irshad fi Marifat Ulama al-Hadith, ed. Muhammad Said ibn Umar Idris, 1st ed., 3 vols. (Riyad: Maktabat al-Rushd, 1989), as quoted in Abd Allah al-Ghumari, Irgham al-Mubtadi al-Ghabi bi-Jawaz al-Tawassul bil-Nabi, ed. Hasan Ali al-Saqqaf, 2nd ed. (Amman: Dar al-Imam al-Nawawi, 1992 p. 9). Malik ibn Iyad: Umars freedman. He is the one named Malik al-Dar. He saw the Prophet and heard narrations from Abu Bakr al-Siddiq. He narrated from Abu Bakr and Umar, Muadh, and Abu Ubayda. From him narrated Abu Salih al-Saman and his (Maliks) two sons Awn and Abd Allah Isaba (6:164 #8350 Malik ibn Iyad).
6 Ibn Kathir cites it thus from al-Bayhaqis Dalail al-Nubuwwa (7:47) in al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya (Maarif ed. 7:91-92=Dar Ihya al-Turath ed. 7:105) saying: isnaduhu sahih and he also declares its chain sound (isnaduhu jayyidun qawi) in his Jami al-Masanid (1:223) in Musnad Umar. Ibn Abi Shayba cites it (6:352= 12:31-32) with a sound (sahih) chain as confirmed by Ibn Hajar who says: "rawa Ibn Abi Shayba biisnadin sahih and cites the hadith in Fath al-Bari, Book of istisqa ch. 3 (1989 ed. 2:629-630= 1959 ed. 2:495) as well as in al-Isaba (6:164 #8350=3:484) where he says that Ibn Abi Khaythama cited it. It is also thus narrated by al-Khalili in al-Irshad (1:313-314) and Ibn Abd al-Barr in al-Istiab (2:464= 3:1149). Al-Albani attempted to weaken this report in his al-Tawassul (p. 120) but was refuted in the lengthy analysis given by Mamduh. in Raf al-Minara (p. 262-278), which refutes other similar attempts cf. Bin Bazs marginalia on Fath al-Bari, Abu Bakr al-Jazairis tract Wa Jau Yarkudun, Hammad al-Ansaris articles al-Mafhum al-Sahih lil-Tawassul" also titled "Tuhfat al-Qari fil-Radd ala al-Ghumari," and other such literature.
7 Cf. Ibn Muflih. s Furu (1:595=2:204); al-Mardawis Insaf (2:456); Ibn Aqils Tadhkira; al-Buhuti, Kashshaf al-Qina (2:68); Shams al-Din ibn Muflih, al-Furu (2:159); al-Hajjawi, al-Iqna (1:208)
10 Cf. al-Nabhani, Shawahid al-Haqq (p. 186-188); and al-Khafaji, Nasim al-Riyad (3:398).
11 In Wasilat al-Islam (p. 145-146). (Tawassul and Tabarruk of the Salaf (Rajab 1423 September 2002), pp. 1-2; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)
The renowned hadith compiler al-Bukhari included a specific report where Umar asked Allah by Muhammad and his uncle for rain:
III: People asking the Imam to ask for rain when there is a drought
963. It is related that the father of 'Abdullah ibn Dinar said, "I heard Ibn 'Umar reciting the poem of Abu Talib:
Faultless, he is asked, by his noble face, to pray for rain,
A support for the orphans, a defence for the widows."
It is related that Salim said that his father (Ibn 'Umar) said, "Sometimes I remembered the words of the poet while looking at the face of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he was praying for rain. He did not get down until the rain was flowing in every gutter:
Faultless, he is asked, by his noble face, to pray for rain,
A support for the orphans, a defence for the widows.
Those were the words of Abu Talib."
964. It is related from Anas, "If there was a drought, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab would ask al-'Abbas ibn 'Abdu'l-Muttalib to do the rain prayer. He would say, 'O Allah, we seek intercession with You by Your Prophet and we ask You for rain. We seek intercession with You by the uncle of our Prophet, so give us rain!'" He added, "And they were given rain." (Aisha Bewley, Sahih of al-Bukhari Collection, Chapter 21. The Rain Prayer; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
According to another report Muslims actually went to Muhammad's grave in order to pray for rain, at the orders of his child bride Aisha no less!
al-Darimi in the Chapter 15 of the Muqaddima (Introduction) to his Sunan (1:43) entitled: "Allah's generosity to His Prophet after his death," relates from Aws ibn `Abd Allah with a good chain: "The people of Madina complained to `A'isha of the severe drought that they were suffering. She said: "Go to the Prophet's grave and open a window towards the sky so that there will be no roof between him and the sky." They did so, after which they were watered with such rain that vegetation grew and the camels got fat. That year was named the Year of Plenty." (Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine, III. QUESTIONS ON TAWASSUL; sources [1, 2])
The author(s) responds to the objections raised by one salafi scholar against the authenticity of this report:
... the above documentation is partial and biased, and this is not surprising since "Salafis" only mention what advances their view while they cover up, rephrase, or declare weak whatever contradicts it. This is especially true of Albani, whose followers claim him as "the leading scholar of hadith of this age"(!) whereas he makes frequent mistakes, innovates in many of his rulings, and is generally unreliable except to those unschooled in the Islamic sciences. It would be more correct for "Salafis" to say: "He is our leading scholar," for in this we would agree with them completely. However, it is a fact that no one who has actual knowledge in hadith and fiqh uses Albani's books except that they check and verify anything they take from them against trustworthy scholars.
The present narration is a case in point, since Albani deliberately omits to mention the authentication of the narrators he seeks to declare weak, hiding basic evidence from his readers in order to mislead them, all because he is dead set against the issue at hand, even if it is authentically reported from the Mother of the Believers! Following is a point-by-point refutation of Albani's claims by the Moroccan hadith scholar `Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Siddiq al-Ghumari in his booklet entitled: Irgham al-mubtadi` al-ghabi bi jawaz al-tawassul bi al-nabi (The coercion of the unintelligent innovator to the effect that using the Prophet as a means is permissible p. 23-25):
Abani's weakening of Sa`id ibn Zayd is rejected, because Sa`id is one of Muslim's narrators, and Yahya ibn Ma`in declared him trustworthy (thiqa)!
The editor of Ghumari's text, Ghumari's student Hasan `Ali al-Saqqaf says on the same page as the above:
Albani has adduced worthless proofs as is his habit when embellishing falsehood. He cited whatever fit his whim from Ibn Hajar's Taqrib, leaving out his mention that Sa`id ibn Zayd is one of Muslim's narrators in his Sahih. Beware, therefore, of this tadlis (concealment) on his part!... He added Dhahabi's notice on Sa`id ibn Zayd in the Mizan, and this is another deliberate cover-up, for he faithlessly omitted to mention what Ibn Hajar reported in Tahdhib al-tahdhib (4:29) from those who declared Sa`id ibn Zayd trustworthy, in addition to his being one of Muslim's narrators:
- Bukhari said: "Muslim ibn Ibrahim narrated to us: Sa`id ibn Zayd Abu al-Hasan narrated to us, and he is reliable and a memorizer of hadith (saduq hafiz)."
- al-Duri said on the authority of Ibn Ma`in: "Sa`id ibn Zayd is trustworthy (thiqa)."
- Ibn Sa`d said: "He was trustworthy."
- al-`Ujli said: "He is from Basra, and he is trustworthy."
- Abu Zur`a said: "I heard Sulayman ibn Harb say: Sa`id ibn Zayd narrated to us, and he was trustworthy."
- Abu Ja`far al-Darimi said: "Hibban ibn Hilal narrated to us: Sa`id ibn Zayd narrated to us, and he was a memorizer of hadith and he was reliable."
- Ibn `Adi said: "There is no denounced narration from him except someone else also narrates it, and I consider him one of those in the reliable category."
In addition to the above remarks it is noteworthy to mention that Albani cited Ahmad's grading of Sa`id ibn Zayd as la ba'sa bihi which his translator rendered as "he is all right," but neither the author nor the translator seems to know that in Imam Ahmad's terminology la ba'sa bihi is identical with thiqa, which means "trustworthy" and is among the highest gradings of authentication! Ibn Salah in his Muqaddima (p. 134), Dhahabi in Lisan al-mizan (1:13), Sakhawi in Fath al-mughith, Ibn Hajar in Hadi al-sari, Abu Ghudda in his commentary to Lucknawi's Raf` (p. 222 n. 3), as well as the editor of Nawawi's al-Taqrib wa al-taysir (p. 51) have indicated that the equivalency of saying "There is no harm in him" with the grade of trustworthy (thiqa) obtains for many early authorities of the third century such as Ibn Ma`in, Ibn al-Madini, Imam Ahmad, Duhaym, Abu Zur`a, Abu Hatim al-Razi, Ya`qub ibn Sufyan al-Fasawi, and others.
Albani continues in his list of reasons for weakening Darimi's narration:
(ii) It is mawquf (stopping at the Companion), coming only from `A'isha and not from the Prophet, and even if the chain of narration up to `A'isha were authentic then it would not be a proof since it is something open to personal judgment in which even the Companions are sometimes correct and sometimes incorrect, and we are not bound to act upon that (!).
To this claim it is easy to reply that not only is the narration sound and authentic, but also that there is no objection related from any of the Companions to the act recommended by the Mother of the Believers, just as there was no objection on their part to the istisqa' made by the man who came to the grave of the Prophet in the narration of Malik al-Dar cited below. This shows ijma` on the matter on the part of the Companions, and such ijma` is definitely binding in the sense that no one can declare unlawful or innovative something which they have tacitly declared lawful or desirable. As for the following the opinion of the Companions we say what Imam al-Shafi`i said as related by Ibn Qayyim in A`lam al-muwaqqi`in `an rabb al-`alamin (2:186-187): "Their opinion for us is better than our opinion to ourselves." (Ibid.)
Ghumari said regarding these claims about Abu al-Nu`man:
His weakening of Abu al-Nu`man is invalid, because Abu al-Nu`man's deterioration did not affect what is narrated from him! al-Daraqutni said [as cited by Dhahabi in Mizan al-i`tidal (4:81)]: "He deteriorated at the end of his life, and no denounced hadith issued from him after his deterioration whatsoever, and he is trustworthy (thiqa)." As for what Ibn Hibban said, that "Many denounced things occurred in his narrations after his deterioration," then al-Dhahabi refuted it when he said (4:8): "Ibn Hibban was unable to cite a single denounced narration from him, and the truth is just as Daraqutni said."
Shaykh Muhammad ibn `Alawi al-Maliki said in his book Shifa' al-fu'ad bi ziyarat khayr al-`ibad (p. 152):
Abu al-Nu`man's deterioration neither harms nor is detrimental to his reliability, since Bukhari in his Sahih narrated over one hundred hadiths from him, and no narration was taken from him after his deterioration, as Daraqutni said.... The chain of transmission is all right, in fact I consider it good. The scholars have cited as evidence many chains that are like it or less strong than it.
Following are Saqqaf's further comments, beginning with Albani's charge against Shaykh al-Ghumari:
We know full well that it is Albani who betrays scholarly trust and deliberately misinforms the people, even if he accuses others of disinformation.... In weakening Abu al-Nu`man he has again acted faithlessly. His quotation from al-Burhan al-Halabi's book al-Ightibat bi man rumiya bi al-ikhtilat (p. 23) is designed to pull the wool over the eyes of his followers and those who only read his works! For it is necessary to also know that those who are branded as suffering from deterioration in the aforementioned book are divided among those whose narrations were unaffected by their deterioration and those whose narrations were affected. Abu al-Nu`man belongs to the first group, and al-Dhahabi made this clear in al-Mizan (4:8). Therefore our reply to Albani is: Shaykh al-Ghumari did not miss anything concerning this matter of deterioration, because he is a hadith scholar and a master memorizer (hafiz), however, it is you who have missed it, O slandering backbiter!
As for Albani's quotation of Ibn Taymiyya's claim in his al-Radd `ala al-Bakri (p. 68-74) whereby "a clear proof that it is a lie is the fact that no such opening existed above the house at all in the whole of the life of `A'isha"(!) then it is a weak objection which is no sooner brought up than cast out. Surely Imam al-Darimi and the scholars of the succeeding generations would know of such a detail better than latecomers. As for the authorities among the latter, then the hadith scholar and historian of Madina Imam `Ali al-Samhudi (d. 922) did not so much as look at Ibn Taymiyya's objection, rather he confirmed the truth of Darimi's narration by saying, after citing it in his Wafa' al-wafa' (2:549): al-Zayn al-Miraghi said: "Know that it is the Sunna of the people of Madina to this day to open a window at the bottom of the dome of the Prophet's room, that is, of the blessed green dome, on the side of the Qibla." I say: And in our time, they open the door facing the noble face (the grave) in the space surrounding the room and they gather there."
So much for the claims of naysayers regarding istisqa' through the Prophet. (Ibid.)
If this werent amazing enough here are a few examples of Muslims praying directly to Muhammad:
Tirmidhi relates, through his chain of narrators from 'Uthman ibn Hunayf, that a blind man came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said, "I've been afflicted in my eyesight, so please pray to Allah for me." The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: "Go make ablution (wudu), perform two rak'as of prayer, and then say:
"Oh Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O MUHAMMAD (YA MUHAMMAD), I SEEK YOUR INTERCESSION with my Lord for the return of my eyesight [and in another version: "for my need, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah, grant him intercession for me"]."
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) added, "And if there is some need, do the same." (Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law (Umdat Al-Salik) in Arabic with facing English text, Commentary and Appendices, edited and translated by Nuh Hah Mim Keller [Amana Corporation; Revised edition , July 1, 1997], w40.3, p. 935; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Moreover, Tabarani, in his "al-Mu'jam al saghir," reports a hadith from 'Uthman ibn Hunayf that a man repeatedly visited Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be pleased with him) concerning something he needed, but Uthman paid no attention to him or his need. The man met Ibn Hunayf and complained to him about the matter - this being after the death (wisal) of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and after the caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar - so Uthman ibn Hunayf, who was one of the Companions who collected hadiths and was learned in the religion of Allah, said: "Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution (wudu), then come to the mosque, perform two rak'as of prayer therein, and say:
'O Allah, I ask You and turn to You through our Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O MUHAMMAD (YA MUHAMMAD), I TURN THROUGH YOU to my Lord, that He may fulfill my need,' and mention your need. Then come so that I can go with you [to the caliph Uthman]." So the man left and did as he had been told, then went to the door of Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be pleased with him), and the doorman came, took him by the hand, brought him to Uthman ibn Affan, and seated him next to him on a cushion. 'Uthman asked, "What do you need?" and the man mentioned what he wanted, and Uthman accomplished it for him, then he said, "I hadn't remembered your need until just now," adding, "Whenever you need something, just mention it." Then, the man departed, met Uthman ibn Hunayf, and said to him, "May Allah reward you! He didn't see to my need or pay any attention to me until you spoke with him." Uthman ibn Hunayf replied, "By Allah, I didn't speak to him, but I have seen a blind man come to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and complain to him of the loss of his eyesight. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "Can you not bear it?' and the man replied, 'O Messenger of Allah, I do not have anyone to lead me around, and it is a great hardship for me.' The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) told him, 'Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution (wudu), then pray two rak'as of prayer and make the supplications.'" Ibn Hunayf went on, "By Allah, we didn't part company or speak long before the man returned to us as if nothing had ever been wrong with him."
This is an explicit, unequivocal text from a prophetic Companion proving the legal validity of tawassul through the dead. The account has been classified AS RIGOROUSLY AUTHENTICATED (SAHIH) by Baihaqi, Mundhiri, and Haythami. (Ibid., w40.4, pp. 936-937; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)
The Problem with praying to Muhammad
Muslims are faced with a major problem. According to other so-called authentic sources of Islam all prayers, supplications, requests etc., are to be made only to Allah since these are acts of worship, and all forms of worship must be rendered to God alone:
You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). S. 1:5 Hilali-Khan
Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help. Shakir
Narrated An-Nu'man ibn Bashir:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Supplication (du'a') is itself the worship.
(He then recited:) "And your Lord said: Call on Me, I will answer you" (xI.60). (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 8, Number 1474)
Narrated Anas ibn Malik
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Supplication is the pith of worship."
Tirmidhi transmitted it. (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 697; ALIM CD-Rom Version)
In fact, there are narrations where Muhammad is reported to have exhorted Muslims to ask and seek the help of Allah alone:
On the authority of Abdullah bin Abbas, who said: One day I was behind the prophet and he said to me:
"Young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; if you seek help, seek help of Allah. Know that if the Nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with anything, they would harm you only with something Allah had already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried." (Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadith, Number 19; bold and italic emphasis ours)
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas
Once I was riding (on an animal) behind the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said:
Boy, I would like to teach you something. Be careful and follow Allah's commands perseveringly. Allah will protect you. You should safeguard His rights, and you will always find Him with you; if you need something, ask Allah, and when you need help, solicit Allah ALONE for the same. Bear it in mind that if all the people combined together to grant you some benefit, they would not be able to do so except that which Allah has determined for you and that if all of them were combined together to do you harm, they would not be able to do so except that which Allah has determined for you. The pens have been set aside and the writings of the book of fate have become dry.
Transmitted by Tirmidhi. (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 15; ALIM CD-Rom Version)
Such narratives have led Salafi scholars to outright condemn this Muslim practice of supplicating and invoking Muhammad and other Islamic "saints" since these are nothing more than idolatrous acts:
Consequently, the most important aspect of Tawheed is that of Tawheed al-Ebaadah, maintaining the unity of Allaahs worship. All forms of worship must be directed only to Allaah because He alone deserves worship, and it is He alone who can grant benefit to man as a result of His worship. Furthermore, there is no need for any form of intercessor or intermediary between man and God Consequently, the gravest sin is Shirk, the worship of others instead of Allaah or along with Allaah. In Soorah al-Faatihah, which every Muslim is required to recite in his or her prayers at least seventeen times daily, verse four reads, "You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help". A clear statement that all forms of worship should only be directed to the One who can respond, Allaah. The Prophet Muhammad confirmed the concept of unity of worship saying, "If you ask in prayer ask only Allaah, and if you seek help, seek it only from Allaah." The absence of any need for intercession is further emphasized by the many verses indicating His closeness to man. For example
"When My servants ask you (O Muhammad) about Me (tell them), Verily I am close (to them), I listen to the prayer of every one who calls on Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me in order that they may be guided aright."
"It is We who created man and We know what his soul whispers to him, for We are nearer to him than his jugular vein."
The confirmation of Tawheed al-Ebaadah conversely necessitates the denial of all forms of intercession or association of partners with Allaah(1). If someone prays to the dead seeking their influence on the lives of the living or the souls of those who have passed away, they have associated a partner with Allaah, because worship is being shared between Allaah and His creation. The Prophet Muhammad said, in no uncertain terms, "Prayer (duaa) is worship."
If someone prays to the Prophet, to so-called saints, Jinns or angels asking for help or asking them to request help from Allaah for them, they have also committed Shirk(2) (Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) [Islamic Book Service, New Delhi, India, Reprint Edition: 2004], 1. Chapter on the Categories of Tawheed, pp. 18-22; underline emphasis ours)
Philips further says that:
Muslims whose acts of worship fall into this category of Shirk are those who pray to Prophet Muhammad or to mystics in the hierarchy of saints believing that they can answer their prayers, though Allaah has clearly sad in the Quraan:
"Say: Think to yourselves, if Allaahs punishment came upon you or the Final Hour, would you then call on other than Allaah? (Reply) if you are truthful." (Ibid., 2. Chapter on the Categories of Shirk, p. 39; underline emphasis ours)
And this is what he writes concerning the Muslim practice of praying to the dead and on the graves of saints:
There are many ignorant Muslims throughout the world who direct their prayers to the Prophet Muhammad in this fashion. Both of these methods are totally rejected by the teachings of Islaam which hold that one who dies enters the dimension called the Barzakh wherein his deeds come to an end. He is unable to do anything for the living, though the results of his deeds may affect the living and continue to earn reward or punishment for himself The Prophet also took great pains to explain that he could not benefit anyone in this life, regardless of their closeness to him. Allaah commanded him in the Quraan to say to his followers
"I have no power to bring good or avert harm even from myself, it is only as Allaah wills. If I had knowledge of the unseen, I would surely have accumulated only good and no evil would have befallen me. But I am only a warner and a bringer of glad tidings for those who believe."
One of his companions, Abu Hurayrah, reported that when the verse "Warn your nearest kin." Was revealed to the Prophet, he said "O people of Quraysh, secure deliverance from Allaah (by doing good deeds). I can not avail you at all against Allaah; O sons of Abdul-Muttalib, I can not avail you at all against Allaah; O (my uncle) Abbaas ibn Abdul-Muttalib, O (my aunt) Safeeyah, I can not avail you at all against Allaah; O Faatimah, daughter of Muhammad, ask me whatever you like, but I have nothing which can avail you against Allaah." In spite of this clear opposition to praying to the Prophet, many Muslims not only do that, but they also pray to a hierarchy of saints Such unmistakable pronouncements of Shirk are common even though practising Muslims repeat at least seventeen times a day in their prayers the phrase "Eeyaaka Na budu wa Eeyaaka Nasta een You alone we worship and from You alone we seek help."
Both of these methods of prayer involve the grave sin of Shirk, which Islaam vigilantly opposes, yet both methods have managed to creep into the religious practices of the masses of Muslims today in one form or another. In so doing they inadvertently confirm, the veracity of Allaahs Ominous statement in the Quraan
"Most of them (claim) belief in Allaah, while committing Shirk." (Ibid., 11. Chapter on Grave Worship, pp. 179-182)
Philips is not alone in censuring such actions:
Second, whoever sets up an intermediary between himself and Allah, whom he prays to, seeks intercession from and puts his reliance in, has blasphemed according to the consensus of the scholars. (Muhammad bin Suleiman At-Tamimi, What Negates One's Islam; sources 1, 2)
This clearly puts Muslims in a dilemma. As we saw earlier in our discussion, praying to and through Muhammad is supported by narratives which are deemed sound or authentic by Muslim scholars. In fact, one of the reports where Muslims invoked Allah for rain on the merits of Muhammad and his uncle came from the hadith collection of al-Bukhari, considered by Sunni Muslims to be the most authentic compilation of narratives and second only to the Quran in terms of authority. Yet there are other so-called authentic narrations where Muhammad clearly censured such acts and plainly stated that all supplications must be made only to Allah since these are acts of worship which cannot be shown to a creature.
How, then, can Muslims pray to and through Muhammad without this being worship? If all prayers and invocations are acts of worship and yet certain sound reports say that prayers and requests were made to Muhammad directly then doesnt this prove that Muslims do worship a creature?
With the foregoing in mind should it really come as a surprise to Muslims that Christians and other non-Muslim groups accuse them of worshiping Muhammad? Should it really shock and offend them that the West has labeled them Muhammadans/Mohammedans seeing that Muhammad is the actual focus of Muslim piety and devotion, not Allah? As one Muslim polemicist named Robert Squires stated concerning the use of this term:
Christians came to the mistaken assumption that Muslims worship Muhammad by formulating an incorrect analogy - they worship Jesus so they assumed Muslims worship Muhammad. This is one of the reasons that they called Muslims by the incorrect name "Mohammedans" for so many years! (Misconceptions About Islam; source)
In light of the clear examples that we provided here of Muslims praying to Muhammad isnt it obvious that Muslims are in fact worshiping Muhammad, contrary to the assertions of Squires? After all, isnt it obvious when we have specific reports which state that Adam and certain Muslims prayed to Allah in the name or merits of Muhammad that the Muslims who concocted such fables were in fact deifying and worshiping their prophet?
Moreover, can there be any more blatant example of idolatry than Muslims forging narratives and putting words in Allahs mouth stating that Muhammad is the reason why the universe exists? And if he is the reason why creation exists and if Muslims are commanded to submit to him as they do to Allah isnt it evident that Muhammad is in fact Islams other lord, a god besides Allah?
This concludes this particular section of our analysis of the Qurans statements concerning there being no other Lord besides Allah. Part 3 examines the Qurans claim that the true inspired prophets never commanded the people to worship anyone besides God in light of the teachings of the Holy Bible.
Here are some articles which deal with the issue of the Muslim worship Muhammad, both from a Muslim and non-Muslim perspective:
For those interested in downloading and reading Dr. Bilal Philips book on Tawhid for free please go here.
And for a Muslim response to some of the claims made in this book please consult the following:
(1) Dr. Philips accuses Christians of committing the sin of shirk for affirming the doctrine of the Holy Trinity:
Christian belief states that the one God reveals himself in the three persons of the Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit. These three persons are nevertheless regarded as a unity, sharing one substance. Prophet Jesus is elevated to divinity, sits on the right hand of God and judges the world. The Holy Spirit, who in the Hebrew Bible is the means by which God exercises his creative power, in Christian thought becomes a part of the God-head. Paul made the Holy Spirit the alter ego of Christ, the guide and help of Christians, first manifesting itself on the day of Pentecost. Consequently, Shirk in Ruboobeyah occurs in the Christian belief that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are Gods partners in all of His dominion, in their belief that Jesus alone pronounces judgement on the world and in their belief that Christians are helped and guided by the Holy Spirit. (Ibid., 28-29)
Dr. Philips must have forgotten what the Quran says about Allah helping and strengthening the faithful by his Spirit:
Thou shalt not find any people who believe in God and the Last Day who are loving to anyone who opposes. God and His Messenger, not though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their clan. Those -- He has written faith upon their hearts, and He has confirmed them with a Spirit from Himself; and He shall admit them into gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein to dwell forever, God being well-pleased with them, and they well-pleased with Him. Those are God's party; why, surely God's party -- they are the prosperers. S. 58:22
Allahs Spirit is able to confirm or strengthen all true believers wherever they maybe which presupposes that he is omnipresent and omnipotent, attributes which belong only to God. In light of this is it any wonder that the late Muslim translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali believed that this Spirit from Allah is actually an incomprehensible Divine entity?
Cf. ii 87 and 253, where it is said that God strengthened the Prophet Jesus with the holy spirit. Here we learn that all good and righteous men are strengthened by God with the holy spirit. If anything, the phrase used here is stronger, a spirit from Himself'. Whenever any one offers his heart in faith and purity to God, God accepts it, engraves that faith on the seeker's heart, and further fortifies him with the Divine Spirit, which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature of God. (Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Quran, p. 1518, note 5365; bold emphasis ours)
How, then, could Dr. Philips have the audacity to criticize Christians for believing that the Holy Spirit is God when his own Muslim scripture clearly ascribes divine characteristics to the Spirit of Allah, thereby agreeing with the Holy Bible that the Spirit is in some sense divine as well? Would Dr. Philips accuse Muhammad or blame the author of the Quran for committing shirk since s/he/they affirm the divinity of the Spirit? He should, and must do so, if he is to remain consistent.
(2) One wonders what Dr. Philips will say about all of those narratives which claim that at the last day Muhammad and others will intercede and save Muslims from hell:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:
The Prophet said, "A man keeps on asking others for something till he comes on the Day of Resurrection without any piece of flesh on his face." The Prophet added, "On the Day of Resurrection, the Sun will come near (to, the people) to such an extent that the sweat will reach up to the middle of the ears, so, when all the people are in that state, they will ask Adam for help, and then Moses, and then Muhammad (p.b.u.h)." The sub-narrator added "Muhammad will intercede with Allah to judge amongst the people. He will proceed on till he will hold the ring of the door (of Paradise) and then Allah will exalt him to Maqam Mahmud (the privilege of intercession, etc.). And all the people of the gathering will send their praises to Allah. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 553)
... 'Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant) but if there is any good (done) He doubles it.' (4.40) The Prophet added, "Then the prophets and Angels and the believers will intercede, and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say, ‘Now remains My Intercession.’ He will then hold a handful of the Fire from which He will take out some people whose bodies have been burnt, and they will be thrown into a river at the entrance of Paradise, called the water of life ..." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532s)
If Islam forbids intercession altogether, as Philips clearly suggests, then what need is there for Muhammad's intercession (or anyone else's for that matter)? If there is no intercessor between God and man then this either means that Muhammad was wrong or that these hadiths are forgeries. We will let Philips take his pick.
The Deification of Muhammad
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page