Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

How Muhammad’s Sunna Trumps the Quran Once Again!

Is it really Muhammad? Or is it rather Abraham?

By Sam Shamoun

The hadiths have Muhammad going around boasting about how Allah has appointed him to be the leader of both the prophets of God and mankind in general:

Sunan Ibn Majah


It was narrated from Ubayy bin Ka’b, from his father, that the Messenger of Allah said:

“When the Day of Resurrection comes, I will be the leader of the Prophets and the one who addresses them, and the one among them who will agree to intercede, and it is no boast.”

Grade: Hasan (Darussalam)

English reference: Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 4314

Arabic reference: Book 37, Hadith 4457 (; source)

It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that there was placed before the Messenger of Allah a cup of soft bread, soup and meat. He took part of the foreleg which he liked most. He sliced (with his teeth) a slice (out of that) and said: I would be the leader of mankind on the Day of Resurrection. He then sliced (that meat) for the second time and said: I am the leader of mankind on the Day of Resurrection. When he saw that his companions did not ask him (about this assertion) he said: Why don't you say: How would that be? They said: How would be it, Messenger of Allah? He said: People would stand before the Lord of the worlds. And the rest of the hadith was narrated like the one transmitted by Abu Hayyan, on the authority of Abu Zur'a, and in the story of Ibrahim, this addition was made. He said and made mention of his words with regard to the star: This is my Lord. And his words with regard to their gods: But the big among them has done that. And his words: I am ailing. He (the Holy Prophet) said: By Him in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, the distance between two leaves of the door from their supporting frames is as the distance between Mecca and Hajar or Hajar and Mecca. I do not remember how he said it (whether Mecca and Hajar or Hajar and Mecca). (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0379)

However, these assertions contradict the express teachings of the Quran which plainly state that Allah appointed Abraham to be the leader of all the nations:

And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: "I will make thee an Imam (Leader) to the Nations." He pleaded: "And also (Imams) from my offspring!" He answered: "But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers." S. 2:124 Yusuf Ali

This explains the Quran’s commanding mankind to follow the religion of Abraham:

And who forsaketh the religion of Abraham (millati Ibraheema) save him who befooleth himself? Verily We chose him in the world, and lo! in the Hereafter he is among the righteous. S. 2:130 Pickthall

Say: Allah speaketh truth. So follow the religion of Abraham (millata Ibraheema), the upright. He was not of the idolaters. S. 3:95 Pickthall

And who is better in faith than he who submits himself entirely to ALLAH, and he is a doer of good and follows the religion of Abraham (millata Ibraheema)? And ALLAH took Abraham for a special friend. S. 4:125 Sher Ali

Lo! Abraham was a nation (ommatan) obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the idolaters; Thankful for His bounties; He chose him and He guided him unto a straight path. And We gave him good in the world, and in the Hereafter he is among the righteous. And afterward We inspired thee (Muhammad, saying): Follow the religion of Abraham (millata Ibraheema), as one by nature upright. He was not of the idolaters. S. 16:120-123 Pickthall

Muhammad himself was ordered by his lord to follow Abraham’s religion and to imitate his guidance, since this is the guidance embraced by all of God’s true prophets:

And they say: Be Jews or Christians, then ye will be rightly guided. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Nay, but (we follow) the religion of Abraham (millata Ibraheema), the upright, and he was not of the idolaters. S. 2:135 Pickthall

Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim (Abraham) are those who followed him, and this Prophet (Muhammad) and those who have believed (Muslims). And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers. S. 3:68 Hilali-Khan

That is Our argument. We gave it unto Abraham against his folk. We raise unto degrees of wisdom whom We will. Lo! thy Lord is Wise, And We bestowed upon him Isaac and Jacob; each of them We guided; and Noah did We guide aforetime; and of his seed (We guided) David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the good. And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias. Each one (of them) was of the righteous. And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot. Each one (of them) did We prefer above (Our) creatures, With some of their forefathers and their offspring and their brethren; and We chose them and guided them unto a straight path. Such is the guidance of Allah wherewith He guideth whom He will of His bondmen. But if they had set up (for worship) aught beside Him, (all) that they did would have been vain. Those are they unto whom We gave the Scripture and command and prophethood. But if these disbelieve therein, then indeed We shall entrust it to a people who will not be disbelievers therein. Those are they whom Allah guideth, so follow their guidance. Say (O Muhammad, unto mankind): I ask of you no fee for it. Lo! it is naught but a Reminder to (His) creatures. S. 6:83-90 Pickthall

Say, `My Lord has guided me unto a straight path - the right religion, the religion of Abraham (millata Ibraheema), the upright. And he was not of those who associated gods with ALLAH. S. 6:161 Sher Ali

And fight in defence of God's true religion, as it behoveth [you] to fight for the same. He hath chosen you, and hath not imposed on you any difficulty in the religion [which he hath given you], the religion of your father Abraham (millati abeekum Ibraheema): He hath named you Moslems heretofore, and in this [book]; that [our] apostle may be a witness against you [at the day of judgement], and that ye may be witnesses against [the rest] of mankind. Wherefore be ye constant at prayer; and give alms: And adhere firmly unto God. He is your master; and he is the best master, and the best protector. S. 22:78 Sale

The hadiths further confirm this fact by indicating that Muhammad not only followed the guidance of Abraham and the prophets before him,

Narrated Al-Awwam: I asked Mujahid regarding the prostration in Surat Sad. He said, "I asked Ibn 'Abbas, 'What evidence makes you prostrate?' He said, "Don't you recite:--'And among his progeny, David and Solomon..(6.84). Those are they whom Allah had guided. So follow their guidance.' (6.90) So David was the one of those prophets whom Prophet (Muhammad) was ordered to follow. David prostrated, so Allah's Apostle (Muhammad) performed this prostration too.' (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 331)

But by also having Muhammad candidly admit that Abraham, not him, is the best of all creation:

Anas b. Malik reported that a person came to Allah's Messenger and said: O, the best of creation; thereupon Allah's Messenger said: He is Ibrahim. (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5841)

This only makes sense in light of the express statements of the Quran that it is the religion and guidance of Abraham that mankind is supposed to follow since Allah appointed Abraham, not Muhammad, as the iman, the leader of all mankind.

So much for the claim of the ahadith that Muhammad is the leader of mankind and the messengers of God.

With that said we now move on to the second part of the discussion where we unveil what the true religion and guidance of Abraham happens to be.