Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Allah’s Violation of His Own Teachings Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun

In this new series I will be documenting how Allah is an inconsistent and hypocritical deity, one who breaks his own rules and goes against his very own directives.


Allah orders the angels to worship Adam

According to the Quran Allah actually commanded all of his angels to bow down in worship to Adam in recognition of the fact that the Muslim god created him with his own hands and breathed his spirit into him:

And when We said to the angels, “Fall down and worship Adam (osjudoo li-adama)," they worshipped all (fasajadoo), save Eblis, who refused: S. 20:116 Rodwell

When thy Lord said unto the angels, verily I am about to create man of clay: When I shall have formed him, therefore, and shall have breathed my spirit into him, do ye fall down and worship him (sajideena). And all the angels worshipped [him] (fasajada), in general; except Eblis, [who] was puffed up with pride, and became an unbeliever. [God] said [unto him], O Eblis, what hindreth thee from worshipping (tasjuda) that which I have created with my hands? Art thou elated with vain pride? Or art thou [really] one of exalted merit? S. 38:71-75 Sale – cf. Q. 2:34; 7:11-12; 17:61; 18:50

Here we have Adam receiving the exact same worship, which only the Islamic deity is supposed to receive according to the Quran:

And when it is said to them: "Prostrate to the Most Beneficent (Allah) (usjudu lilrahmani)!” They say: "And what is the Most Beneficent? Shall we fall down in prostration (anasjudu) to that which you (O Muhammad) command us?" And it increases in them only aversion. S. 25:60 Hilali-Khan

Whereupon the magicians prostrated themselves, worshipping (sajideena), [and] said, we believe in the Lord of all creatures, the Lord of Moses and of Aaron. S. 26:46-48 Sale – cf. 7:120-122

Among the signs [of his power are] the night, and the day, and the sun, and the moon. Worship not (la tasjudu) the sun, neither the moon: But worship (wa’usjudu) God, who hath created them; if ye serve him. S. 41:37 Sale

This next text is quite instructive:

O you who believe! Bow down (irka’u), and prostrate yourselves (wa’usjudu), and worship (wa’ubudu) your Lord and do good that you may be successful. S. 22:77 Hilali-Khan

Note how prostration (sujud) is directly tied in with worship (ibadah), which is precisely why Muhammad expressly forbade anyone from prostrating to another besides Allah:

211400: It is not permissible to prostrate to anyone other than Allah, even if it is only by way of veneration and showing respect

Is there a hadith in which it says that a man prostrated before the Prophet and the Prophet told him not to do that?

Published Date: 2016-07-13

Praise be to Allah

The Companions of the Prophet used to honour him and venerate him, and venerate his Sunnah. In the early days of Islam, when some of them saw that the People of the Book prostrated to their bishops and patriarchs, they thought that the Prophet was more deserving of that, out of respect for him and veneration of him. But the Prophet forbade them to prostrate to him.

Ibn Maajah (1853) and al-Bayhaqi (14711) narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa said: When Mu‘aadh ibn Jabal came from Syria, he prostrated to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), who said, “What is this, O Mu‘aadh?” He said, I went to Syria and saw them prostrating to their archbishops and patriarchs, and I wanted to do that for you. The Messenger of Allah said, “Do not do that. If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone other than Allah, I would have commanded women to prostrate to their husbands. By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, no woman can fulfil her duty towards Allah until she fulfils her duty towards her husband. If he asks her (for intimacy) even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse.” 

This version was narrated by Ibn Maajah, and was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah

Abu Dawood (2140) and al-Haakim (2763) narrated that Qays ibn Sa‘d (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I went to al-Heerah and saw them prostrating to a noble of theirs (i.e., a courageous knight who was prominent among them). I thought: The Messenger of Allah is more deserving that people should prostrate to him. So I came to the Messenger of Allah and said: I went to al-Heerah and saw them prostrating to a noble of theirs, but you are the Messenger of Allah and are more deserving that people should prostrate to you. He said: “Do not do that. If I were to instruct anyone to prostrate to anyone, I would have instructed women to prostrate to their husbands, because of the rights that Allah has given them over them.” 

Classed as saheeh by al-Haakim, and adh-Dhahabi agreed with him. Also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood

Ibn Hibbaan (4162) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah entered one of the gardens of the Ansaar, where he saw two restless camels. The Messenger of Allah draw close to them and they knelt down and lay their necks on the ground. Those who were with him said: They have prostrated to him. The Messenger of Allah said: “It is not appropriate for anyone to prostrate to anyone else. If it were appropriate for anyone to prostrate to anyone else, I would have instructed the wife to prostrate to her husband, because of the great rights that Allah has given him over her.”

Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel (7/54) 

Thus the Prophet explained to them that prostration should ONLY be to Allah, and that venerating people and honouring them should not be done by prostrating to them

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said:

Prostration is for Allah ALONE, and the law of Muhammad is the most perfect and most complete of laws, according to which it is not permissible to prostrate to anyone or anything OTHER THAN ALLAH, either by way of greeting or by way of worship. As for worship, it cannot be devoted to any except Allah alone, according to all laws and teachings, but in the past prostration was used as a greeting and by way of honouring people, as the parents and brothers of Yoosuf did, and as the angels did to Adam. This was by way of greeting and showing respect, not by way of worship. But according to the law of Muhammad, Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, has forbidden that and has made prostration for Allah ALONE, may He be glorified and exalted; it is not permissible to prostrate to anyone else, either the Prophets or others, to the extent that Muhammad forbade anyone to prostrate to him and stated that prostration is for Allah ALONE, may He be glorified and exalted. 

End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb (4/112-113) 

For more information on the issue of prostrating to anyone or anything other than Allah, please see the answer to question no. 229780

And Allah knows best. (Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid, Islam Question and Answer; bold, underline and capital emphasis ours) 

Suffice it to say, the Muslims were not oblivious to the problem these texts posed for the Quran’s repeated insistence that Allah is the only being worthy of such worship. As the following Christian author explains:

“The story, as a whole, involves a difficult issue. Why did God order all His angels to fall prostrate before a being inferior to them in nature? The manner of prostration is reserved for the worship of God. It was not proper, therefore, to employ it in showing respect to creatures, including Adam. Realizing the problem involved in the use of the term ‘Sajda’ (prostration) in the passage under discussion, Jalal al-Din made the following observation:

The original word signifies properly, to prostrate one self till the forehead touches the ground, which is the humblest posture of adoration and strictly due to God only; but it is sometimes used to express civil worship or homage which may be paid to creatures. (W.T. Wherry, A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran, Vol. I, p. 301)

“Despite Jalal al-Din's apology, strictly speaking, ‘Sajda’ (prostration) is due only to God. That is why the commentator did not support adequately the exception he has made to the rule, from the Koran. The ‘Wahhabis,’ who consider themselves strict Muslims and true Monotheists, forbid worship of any creature. God alone deserves to be worshipped, according to them. They would not allow ‘Sajda’ to a civil authority–the kind of prostration which is meant to be used in prayers to God…. Moreover, it is true that strictly speaking prostration before any being other than God is a practice against monotheism and spirit of the Koran, as Wahhabis would say.” (Abdiyah Abdul-Haqq, Sharing Your Faith with a Muslim [Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN 1980], p. 78; bold emphasis ours)

Hence, if prostration is a religious act reserved for the worship of Allah alone then this must have always been the case right from the very beginning.

However, if Muslims contend that it was allowed at the beginning (as the website “Islam and Question” we cited above tries to argue) then they need to explain why did Allah prohibit it later on when he had initially permitted – in fact in the case of Adam and the angels, even directly and explicitly commanded – his creatures to show such reverence to others besides him? Why did Allah only decide to restrict such acts at some later point, specifically at the time of Muhammad?

Do Muslims really want us to believe that something that is classified as an act of shirk at a later point in time wasn’t considered shirk earlier on? What changed, the definition of shirk or the nature of worship? Perhaps both?

Besides, if bowing down to someone besides Allah was permissible at the beginning then Muslims can’t say that this is an action which is to be given only to their god since, if it were, such a religious act would have always been restricted to God from the very start.

After all, it makes no sense to say that prostrating to creatures was initially permitted since we are not speaking of ceremonial laws such as washing, or even dietary restrictions, which can change as time goes by. We are dealing with the nature of worship. As such, worship is one of those aspects of theology that remains consistent and is not affected by time or culture.

The fact is that the story of Adam turns Allah into a mushrik who actually commanded his creatures to commit shirk in their worship.


Joseph and Muhammad – Allah’s Partners in Adoration

This isn’t the only problem that Allah faces since the Islamic sources indicate that the Muslim deity went as far as to cause both animate and inanimate objects to worship Joseph,

For once Yusuf said to his father -Ya'qub (Jacob)- "O my father, a vividly descriptive image was presented to my mind in my sleep portraying eleven planets, the sun and the moon bowing to the ground in reverence and obeisance to me (sajideena)"… And he raised aloft his parents to his -the vizier's- seat of dignity and Authority and there and then did all of them bow to the ground in respect, reverence and admiration (sujjadan). There, said Yusuf to his father: "O father, this is the interpretation of my vision which was brought before my mind's eyes during sleep, and Allah has verified it and made it come true."… S. 12:4, 100 Al-Muntakhab

And Muhammad:

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith – 963

Narrated Aisha

Once when Allah's Messenger was with a number of the Emigrants and Helpers a camel came and prostrated itself before him. Thereupon his companions said, "Messenger of Allah beasts and trees prostrate themselves before you, but we have the greatest right to do so." He replied, "Worship your Lord and honour your brother. If I were to order anyone to prostrate himself before another, I should order a woman to prostrate herself before her husband. If he were to order her to convey stones from a yellow mountain to a black one, or from a black mountain to a white one, it would be incumbent on her to do so." Ahmad transmitted it. (ALIM Online Version)

Astonishingly, the very objects that are depicted as worshiping Joseph and Muhammad are the exact same ones, which the Quran says are worshiping Allah!

Have they not regarded all things that God has created casting their shadows to the right and to the left, bowing themselves before God in all lowliness? To God bows (yasjudu) everything in the heavens, and every creature crawling on the earth, and the angels. They have not waxed proud; S. 16:48-49 Arberry

Do you not see how all who dwell in the heavens and the earth bow down in worship (yasjudu) to Allah, including the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the animals, and a large number of people, even a large number of those deserving the punishment. He who is humbled by Allah has none who can raise him to honor; surely Allah does what He pleases. S. 22:18 Farook Malik

One again has to wonder why would Muhammad’s god order his creation to show the same kind of reverence and submission to mere human beings when this directly conflicts with the Islamic teaching that everything and everyone is supposed to worship only Allah, e.g. Tauhid al-Uluhiyyah/Ibadah?

We will leave it for the Muslims to solve this mess of theirs.

With that said please proceed to the second part in our series.