Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Jesus Christ – The Eternal Refuge of Believers

Sam Shamoun

The Quran censures those who worship and call upon created objects that do not create and/or are dead:

Do they set up those who do not create anything, while they are created? They cannot help them, nor can they help themselves? S. 7:191-192 (Quran: A Reformist Translation [QRT])

As for those they call on besides God, they do not create anything, but are themselves created! They are dead, not alive, and they will not know when they are resurrected. S. 16:20-21 QRT

The Muslim scripture exhorts believers to invoke and seek refuge in Allah/God alone:

You alone we serve; you alone we ask for help. S. 1:5 QRT

If a provocation from the devil incites you, then seek refuge with God. He is the Hearer, the Knower. S. 7:200 QRT

Surely, those who dispute about God's signs without any authority given to them, there is nothing but arrogance in their chests, which they do not perceive. Therefore, seek refuge in God; He is the Hearer, the Seer… Your Lord said, "Call on Me and I will respond to you." Surely, those who are too arrogant to serve Me, they will enter hell, forcibly. S. 40:56, 60 QRT

The temples are for God, so do not call on anyone with God. When God's servant stood up to call on Him, they nearly banded to oppose him. Say, "I only call on my Lord, and I do not associate anyone with Him." S. 72:18-20 QRT – cf. Q. 113; 114

The ahadith, on the other hand, report Muhammad as instructing his followers to also seek protection/refuge in/with the perfect words of Allah (kalimatullah):

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet used to seek Refuge with Allah for Al-Hasan and Al-Husain and say: "Your forefather (i.e. Abraham) used to seek Refuge with Allah for Ishmael and Isaac by reciting the following: 'O Allah! I seek Refuge with Your Perfect Words from every devil and from poisonous pests and from every evil, harmful, envious eye.'" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 590)

Jami` at-Tirmidhi

Chapters on Medicine

Ibn 'Abbas narrated that the Messenger of Allah used to seek refuge for Al-Hasan and Al-Husain saying:

""U'idhukuma biKALIMATILLAHI-tammati, min kulli shaitanin wa hammatin, wa minkulli'ainin lammah (I seek refuge for the two of you in the Perfect Words of Allah, from every devil and every poisonous pest, and from every harmful eye)." And he would say: "It is with this that Ibrahim would seek refuge for Ishahaq and Ismail [peace be upon them]."

Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)           

English reference: Vol. 4, Book 2, Hadith 2060

Arabic reference: Book 28, Hadith 2201 (; capital, italic and underline emphasis ours)

Khaula bint Hakim Sulamiyya reported: I heard Allah's Messenger as saying: When any one of you stays at a place, he should say: "I seek refuge in the perfect Word of Allah from the evil of that He created.” Nothing would then do him any harm until he moves from that place. Abu Huraira reported that a person came to Allah's Messenger and said: Allah's Messenger, I was stung by a scorpion during the night.” Thereupon he said: Had you recited these Words in the evening: “I seek refuge in the perfect Word of Allah from the evil of what He created," it would not have done any harm to you. (Sahih Muslim, Book 035, Number 6542)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As: The Apostle of Allah sued to teach them the following Words in the case of alarm: I seek refuge in Allah's perfect Words from His anger, the evil of His servants, the evil suggestions of the devils and their presence. Abdullah ibn Amr used to teach them to those of his children who had reached puberty, and he wrote them down (on some material) and hung on the child who had not reached puberty. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 28, Number 3884)

Narrated AbuSalih Zakwan as-Samman: A man from Aslam tribe said: I was sitting with the Apostle of Allah. A man from among his Companions came and said: Apostle of Allah! I have been stung last night, and I could not sleep till morning. He asked: What was that? He replied: A scorpion. He said: Oh, had you said in the evening: "I take refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of what He created," nothing would have harmed you, Allah willing. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 28, Number 3889)

Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib: The Apostle of Allah used to say when he lay down: O Allah, I seek refuge in Thy noble Person and in Thy perfect Words from the evil of what Thou seizest by its forelock; O Allah! Thou removest debt and sin; O Allah! thy troop's not routed, Thy promise is not broken and the riches of the rich do not avail against Thee. Glory and praise be unto Thee! (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 5034)

It is on the basis of such narrations that Muslim scholars have concluded that Allah’s words must be uncreated, and that seeking protection in them and the other characteristics of Allah is not a violation of absolute monotheism:

Khawlah Bint Hakeem in forms us that the Prophet has approved as a sunnah for the Muslims that when they visit a dwelling, they should seek shelter with Allah rather than with the jinn or others, from the evil of His creatures; and he informed us that whoever seeks refuge and shelter in the Most Complete and Perfect Words of Allah, which are free from every defect and imperfection, Allah will be sufficient protection for him from every evil present in His creatures until he leaves that place.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. Evidence of the blessing of this supplication.

2. That the Qur'an was revealed, not created.1

3. That protection is not sought with other than Allah, nor with His Divine Attributes.

4. Evidence that Seeking shelter with Allah is prescribed by the Religion.

5. Evidence of the completeness and perfection of the Qur'an because, being the Word of Allah, it is necessarily Perfect and Complete.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves that seeking protection with other than Allah, or with one of His Attributes is not permissible, because seeking shelter or protection is an act of worship and dedicating an act of worship to other than Allah is Shirk.


1. This is because the Qur'an is the Word of Allah, and as such, it is not created. (Shaikh Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab, Kitab At-Tawheed, Chapter 11: Seeking Refuge in Other Than Allah is Shirk; italic and underline emphasis ours)

This now brings us to the next section.

Jesus Christ – The Eternal Creative Word of Allah

The Quran expressly teaches that Jesus is the Word of Allah who possessed divine authority to create and give life to both inanimate and dead objects:

When the angels said, 'Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him (bikalimatin minhu) whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God… And [he will be] a messenger to the Children of Israel, “Truly I have brought you a sign from your Lord. I WILL CREATE for you out of clay the shape of a bird. Then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird by God’s Leave. And I will heal the blind and the leper AND GIVE LIFE TO THE DEAD by God’s Leave. And I will inform you about what you eat and what you store up in your houses. Truly in that is a sign for you, I you are believers.” S. 3:45, 49

People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and HIS WORD (wakalimatuhu) that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not, ‘Three.’ Refrain; better is it for you. God is only One God. Glory be to Him – That He should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth; God suffices for a guardian. S. 4:171 Arberry

Then God will say, “O Jesus son of Mary! Remember My Blessing upon thee, when I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit, that thou mightest speak to people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught thee the Book, Wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel; and how didst CREATE out of clay the shape of a bird, by My Leave, and thou wouldst breathe into it, and it would become a bird, by My Leave; and thou wouldst heal the blind and the leper, by My Leave, AND THOU WOULDST BRING FORTH THE DEAD, by My Leave; and how I restrained the Children of Israel from thee, when thou didst bring them clear proofs, and those who disbelieved among them said, ‘This is naught but manifest sorcery.’” S. 5:110

Even the hadiths identify Jesus as the perfectly sinless Word of Allah and his Spirit whom was sent down to Mary:

“… They will go to 'Isa and say, 'O 'Isa! You are the Messenger of Allah and His Word which He cast to Maryam and a spirit from Him. You spoke to people while in the cradle. Intercede with your Lord on our behalf. Do you not see what we are suffering?' 'Isa will say, 'My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again,' AND HE DID NOT MENTION A SIN. 'O my soul! My soul! My soul! Go to someone else. Go to Muhammad.' (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 68. Book of Tafsir; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)


Jami` at-Tirmidhi

Chapters on Virtues

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

that a group of people from the Companions of the Messenger of Allah sat waiting for him. He said: "Then he came out, such that when he came close to them, he heard them talking, and he heard what they were saying. So some of them said: 'It's amazing that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has taken a Khalil (close friend) from His creation. He took Ibrahim as a Khalil.' And some of them said: 'That is not more amazing than speaking to Musa, He spoke to him with real speech.' And some said: 'And 'Eisa is THE WORD OF ALLAH and His Spirit.' And some said: 'Adam was chosen by Allah.' So he came out upon them and said his Salam, and said: 'I have heard your words, and your amazement that Ibrahim is the Khalil of Allah, and he is such, and that Musa is the one spoken to by Allah, and he is such, and that 'Eisa is the spirit of Allah and HIS WORD, and he is such, and that Adam was chosen by Allah, and he is such…

Grade: Da'if (Darussalam)           

English reference: Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3616

Arabic reference: Book 49, Hadith 3976 (; capital, italic and underline emphasis ours)

The Islamic scripture further proclaims that Allah took Jesus alive to dwell with him:

God said: 'Jesus, I am about to claim you back and lift you up TO ME. I shall take you away from the unbelievers and exalt your followers above them till the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me you shall all return and I shall judge your disputes. S. 3:55 N. J. Dawood

and their boast, "Behold, we have slain the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, [who claimed to be] an apostle of God!" However, they did not slay him, and neither did they crucify him, but it only seemed to them [as if it had been] so; and, verily, those who hold conflicting views thereon are indeed confused, having no [real] knowledge thereof, and following mere conjecture. For, of a certainty, they did not slay him: nay, God exalted him UNTO HIMSELF – and God is indeed almighty, wise. S. 4:157-158 Muhammad Asad

This means that Christ has been living in the very presence of Allah for nearly two thousand years!

Now this raises serious problems for the Muslims, difficulties which they cannot escape from. Note why:

  1. Seeking refuge and safety in the attributes of Allah is permissible, since they are eternal and are therefore not part of creation.
  2. Allah’s words are part of his characteristics, which make them perfect and eternal. As such, it is permitted for Muslims to seek refuge in them.
  3. Jesus Christ is the living Word of Allah who has power to create and give life.
  4. This means that Jesus must be eternal, and that seeking his help or protection is permissible since he is the perfect Word of Allah. 

There is simply no way for Muslims to get around this major dilemma, especially if they want to remain faithful to the teachings of their own supposed authentic sources.

Moreover, appealing to texts where Jesus is depicted as nothing more than a slave of Allah won’t resolve the problem, but only makes matters worse since this only goes to show that Islam’s most reliable sources are filled with irreconcilable contradictions.

Therefore, our advice to Muslims is to do the only sensible thing by turning away from Islam, and to take refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ since he is the only Hope of salvation for mankind:

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life. He who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:36 Modern English Version (MEV)

“‘Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also. You know where I am going, and you know the way.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:1-6 MEV

“There is no salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 MEV

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the command of God our Savior, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope, To Timothy, my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord… I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful and appointed me to the ministry. I was previously a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and an insolent man. But I was shown mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. The grace of our Lord overflowed with the faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, first, Jesus Christ might show all patience, as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-16 MEV