Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

More proof that Allah worships like his creatures do

Sam Shamoun

In the following articles and rebuttals,

we presented evidence to show that Allah worships and prays much like his servants do.

In this article we are going to provide further proof that Allah not only worships similarly to the way his so-called righteous followers do so, but that he actually worships himself.

According to traditional Islamic theology, the Quran is supposed to be the uncreated speech of Allah:

The Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, NOT CREATED

The Qur’an is the speech of Allah, revealed, NOT CREATED, regardless of how it is recited, and any way or anywhere it is recited. What is written from the Qur’an is just that, i.e., Quran, what is read from the Qur’an is just that, i.e., Quran, what is recited from the Qur’an is just that, i.e., Quran. The Speech of Allah is qadim, NOT CREATED, regardless of the way and the form in which the Qur’an is presented. It is the Speech of Allah, NOT CREATED, or new, OR MADE, or a physical entity, or a physical reality, or a material entity. Rather, it is an attribute from the attributes of Allah’s Essence. IT IS NOT SIMILAR TO ANY CREATED THING.

The Attribute of Speech

Allah is able, and will always be able to speak. (It is not permissible to separate between the two [i.e. Allah and His Speech] in a way that negates His Attributes). Sometimes, it is heard directly from Allah, sometimes from the one who hears it directly from Allah [such as Angel Jibril]. Whoever hears it directly from Allah hears it directly, without any mediator or translator, such as our Prophet Muhammad, when Allah spoke to him directly on the night of al-Mi’raj. Allah also spoke to Musa when he was on Mount Tur. Similarly, whoever Allah decides to speak to from among His angels, hears His speech directly. Whoever is not among the categories mentioned, they hear Allah’s qadim speech in truth from whoever is reciting it for them [from Allah]. Allah’s Speech consists of intelligible letters and a voice that is heard. (Kitab Al-I’tiqad (The Book of Creed), by Imam Abu al-Husain Muhammad bin al-Qadhi Abu Ya‘la al-Hanbali, translated by Amr bin Jalal Abualrub [Madinah Publishers and Distributors: First edition, 2012], pp. 17-18; capital emphasis ours)

As such, Islamic orthodoxy teaches that it is the Muslim deity who is speaking the Quran, and therefore means that the one who is communicating all throughout the Islamic scripture is Allah himself.

This view places Muslims in the dilemma of having to deal with the fact that the one who is actually praising and glorifying Allah in the following verses is none other than the Islamic god himself!

Praise be to Allah, Who hath created the heavens and the earth, and hath appointed darkness and light. Yet those who disbelieve ascribe rivals unto their Lord. S. 6:1 Pickthall

ALLAH sets forth for you the parable of a slave who is owned, having no power over anything; and a free man whom WE have provided with a fair provision from US and he spends thereof secretly and openly. Are they equal? Praise be to ALLAH. But most of them know not. S. 16:75 Sher Ali

Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far distant place of worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer. S. 17:1 Pickthall

And We have made therein gardens of date-palms and grapes, and We have caused springs of water to gush forth therein. So that they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hands made it not. Will they not, then, give thanks? Glory be to Him, Who has created all the pairs of that which the earth produces, as well as of their own (human) kind (male and female), and of that which they know not. S. 36:34-36 Hilali-Khan

He is Allah than Whom there is La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He) the King, the Holy, the One Free from all defects, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allah! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him. S. 59:23 Hilali-Khan

It needs to be stressed that these are not commands issued to others, ordering them to say these words. Rather, these statements are supposed to come directly from the mouth of Allah, so to speak.

This next example creates some additional problems for the Islamic position:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection). You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). Guide us to the Straight Way, The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians). S. 1:1-7 Hilali-Khan

Not only is Allah praising and worshiping himself here, he even invokes himself to guide himself on the straight path in order to avoid becoming the object of his own wrath and judgment!

Lest Muslims accuse us of distorting or reading too much into this particular text, here is what the renowned Muslim expositor Ibn Kathir had to say concerning the issue of Allah praising himself in this very sura:

Further, Ibn Jarir commented on the Ayah

(Al-Hamdu Lillah), that it means, "A praise that Allah PRAISED HIMSELF WITH, indicating to His servants that they TOO should praise Him, as if Allah had said, `Say: All thanks and praise is due to Allah.'” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 1:1; bold emphasis ours)


Hafs mentioned that `Umar said to `Ali, "We know La ilaha illallah, Subhan Allah and Allahu Akbar. What about Al-Hamdu Lillah?” `Ali said, "A statement that Allah liked for Himself, was pleased with for Himself and He likes that it be repeated.” Also, Ibn `Abbas said, "Al-Hamdu Lillah is the statement of appreciation. When the servant says Al-Hamdu Lillah, Allah says, `My servant has praised Me.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this Hadith. (Ibid)

Ibn Kathir goes on to explain why Allah chose al-hamd with the definite article al, as opposed to simply hamd:

Al before Hamd encompasses all Types of Thanks and Appreciation for Allah

The letters Alif and Lam before the word Hamd serve to encompass all types of thanks and appreciation for Allah, the Exalted. A Hadith stated…

(O Allah! All of Al-Hamd is due to You, You own all the ownership, all types of good are in Your Hand and all affairs belong to You.) (Ibid; italic and underline emphasis ours)

Thus, Allah likes to praise himself with all types of thanks and appreciation!

The so-called authentic traditions provide further substantiation for the fact that Allah praises himself. In fact, these narrations even go as far as to say that the reason why Allah praises himself is because there is no one who loves to be praised more than him!

Narrated Abu Wail:
'Abdullah (bin Mas'ud) said, "None has more sense of ghaira than Allah therefore - He prohibits shameful sins (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly. And none loves to be praised more than Allah does, AND FOR THIS REASON HE PRAISES HIMSELF." I asked Abu Wali, "Did you hear it from Abdullah?" He said, "Yes," I said, "Did Abdullah ascribe it to Allah's Apostle?" He said, "Yes." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 158)

Narrated Abdullah bin Mas'ud:
Allah's Apostle said, "… and none loves to be praised more than Allah does, AND THIS IS WHY HE PRAISES HIMSELF." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 161)

These same reports are also found in Sahih Muslim:

'Abdullah b. Mas'ud reported it directly from Allah's Messenger that he said: “… and nothing is loved by Allah more than the praise of his ownself and it is because of this THAT HE HAS PRAISED HIMSELF.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6647)

“'Abdullah b. Mas'ud reported that Allah's Messenger said: “None loves one’s own praise more than Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, does. It is because of this that He has praised Himself…” (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6648)

Another reason why Allah loves to praise himself is because no one is capable of praising him enough, or in a suitable manner, not even Muhammad!

'A'isha reported: One night I missed Allah's Messenger from the bed, and when I sought him my hand touched the soles of his feet while he was in the state of prostration; they (feet) were raised and he was saying:" O Allah, I seek refuge in Thy pleasure from Thy anger, and in Thy forgiveness from Thy punishment, and I seek refuge in Thee from Thee (Thy anger). I cannot reckon Thy praise. Thou art as Thou hast lauded Thyself." (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 0986)


Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said from Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Harith at-Taymi that A'isha, umm al-muminin said, "I was sleeping by the side of the Messenger of Allah and I missed him in the night, so I felt for him with my hand and I put my hand on his feet and he was in sajda saying, 'I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your wrath, and in Your pardon from Your punishment, and in You from You. I cannot enumerate Your praises as You praise Yourself.'" Audhu bi ridaka min sakhatika, wa bi muafatika min uqubatika wa bika minka, la uhsiy thana'an alayka, anta kama athnayta ala nafsika. (Malik’s Muwatta, Book 15, Number 15.8.31)

Hence, not only does Allah love nothing more than to praise himself, the reason why he engages in such self-praise is because there is no one who is able to praise him to his own satisfaction. Talk about having a super-inflated ego!

(Or, on second thought, Allah’s love and praise of himself may not be due to a super-inflated ego, or excessive pride, but rather a result of low self-esteem. This could also explain why he constantly needs and craves for more praise and thus for more affirmation. Perhaps Allah feels himself not being loved enough, and thus he must always push others to praise him and, as even this is not enough, praises himself over and over again on top of it.)

Interestingly, praising oneself or self-praise is condemned in Islam even though Allah does it(1)

Self-Praise is not permitted

It is not permissible for a created being such as man to praise himself. The Holy Qur'an says: (Do not pretend to be pure; He knows best who is really God-fearing) (53:32). That is to say, a man can be praised only if he fears Allah, but Allah alone knows to what degree a particular man possesses this quality, known as Taqwa. As for Allah praising Himself, the reason is that man is not capable of praising the glory and greatness of Allah in a befitting manner. Not to speak of others, the… Prophet has exclaimed: (I cannot properly praise You!) Therefore, Allah Himself has taught man the mode of praising Him. (Mufti Shafi Usmani, Ma'ariful Qur'an, Volume 1, p. 84; underline emphasis ours)

These statements pretty much show that Allah is a very needful deity, one that desperately needs to be loved, praised and adored, which is precisely why he created mankind and genies in the first place:

And I have not created the jinn and men except to worship me. 51:56

Yet since these creatures are incapable of giving Allah the love and attention he so craves, he therefore had no other choice but to praise himself in order to fully satisfy his desire for honor and worship.(2)

So much for the Muslim assertion that Allah doesn’t actually pray and worship like his creatures do.

Related Articles

For more on the issue of Allah’s ego we recommend the following article: Allah’s Pride


(1) This isn’t the only thing that Allah does which is expressly forbidden for others to do. Allah also happens to swear by all of his creation, something which he expressly forbids his followers from doing:

Hence, what is classified as a sin and vice for others to engage in, is actually considered to be a virtue and moral good when Allah does it!

(2) To make matters worse, Allah even praises Muhammad!

According to Ibn Kathir the following verse,

Allah and His angels pray for the prophet. O ye who believe! pray for him and salute him with a salutation! S. 33:56

Indicates that Allah actually glorifies Muhammad by praising him in front of his angels:

“Al-Bukhari said: ‘Abu Al-`Aliyah said: “Allah's Salah is His praising him before the angels, and the Salah of the angels is their supplication.”…’” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; bold emphasis ours)

Here are some examples from the Quran of Allah praising Muhammad:

Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much. S. 33:21 Hilali-Khan

And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character. S. 68:4 Hilali-Khan

Allah even went as far as to ascribe to his “messenger” some of his own unique titles and characteristics:

There hath come unto you a messenger, (one) of yourselves, unto whom aught that ye are overburdened is grievous, full of concern for you, for the believers full of pity, merciful (raoofun raheemun). S. 9:128 Pickthall

Contrast this with what Allah says of himself:

Allah hath turned in mercy to the Prophet, and to the Muhajirin and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of hardship. After the hearts of a party of them had almost swerved aside, then turned He unto them in mercy. Lo! He is Full of Pity, Merciful (raoofun raheemun) for them. S. 9:117 Pickthall – cf. Q. 2:143; 16:7, 47; 22:65; 24:20; 57:9; 59:10

Now what this all basically means is that Allah is guilty of committing the unforgiveable sin of association, otherwise known as shirk,

Lo! Allah forgiveth not that a partner should be ascribed unto Him. He forgiveth (all) save that to whom He will. Whoso ascribeth partners to Allah, he hath indeed invented a tremendous sin. S. 4:48 Pickthall

Say: "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your God is one God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner. S. 18:110 – cf. Q. 4:116; 2:22

Since he has essentially taken Muhammad to be his partner in his exclusive praise and honor!

For more on the subject of the deification and association of Muhammad with his god we suggest looking over the articles and rebuttals found over here.

And to read more specifically about the issue of Allah granting Muhammad some of his very own divine names and characteristics, we highly recommend reading the following exposition and rebuttal:

So much for Islam being a strict monotheistic religion which insists on worshiping the creator alone.