Supplicating Allah and …?
Adoration gone Astray Pt. 3
Unveiling Islam’s true savior
To make matters worse than what they already are Muhammad went so far as to replace his god as the savior of Muslims, thereby making himself the hope of his followers instead of Allah.
For instance, Muhammad is reported to have taught that on the Day of Judgment he will save followers from eternal punishment by interceding for them. Muhammad claimed that people would be taken out of hell on the basis of his intercession:
(It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.) meaning, ‘do that which you are commanded to do, and We will raise you to a station of praise and glory (Maqam Mahmud) on the Day of Resurrection, where all of creation will praise you,’ as will their Creator, may He be glorified and exalted. Ibn Jarir said, “Most of the commentators said, ‘This is the position to which Muhammad will be raised on the Day of Resurrection, to intercede for the people so that their Lord will relieve them of some of the hardships they are facing on that Day.’” It was reported that Hudhayfah said, “Mankind will be gathered in one arena, where they will all hear the call and will all be seen. They will be standing barefoot and naked as they were created, and no person shall speak except by the leave of Allah. He will call out, ‘O Muhammad,’ and he will respond…
<<At your service, all goodness is in Your Hands and evil is not to be attributed to You. The one who is guided is the one whom You guide. Your servant is before You, from You, and to You and there is no salvation or refuge from You except with You. May You be blessed and exalted, Glory be to You, Lord of the House (the Ka`bah).>> This is the position of praise and honor (Maqam Mahmud) which was mentioned by Allah.” Ibn `Abbas said, “The position of praise and honor is the position of intercession.” Ibn Abi Najih reported something similar from Mujahid, and this was also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri. Qatadah said, “He is the first one for whom the earth will be opened on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be the first one to intercede.” So the scholars consider this the position of praise and glory to which Allah referred in the Ayah…
(It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.) I, Ibn Kathir, say: the Messenger of Allah will have honors in the Day of Resurrection in which no one else will have a share, honors which will not be matched by anyone else. He is the first one for whom the earth will be opened and he will come forth riding to the gathering place. He will have a banner under which Adam and anyone else will gather, and he will have the Hawd (Lake) to which no one else will have more access than he. He will have the right of the Grand Intercession with Allah when He comes to judge between His creation. This will be after the people ask Adam, then Nuh, then Ibrahim, then Musa, then `Isa to intercede, and each of them will say, “I am not able for that.” Then they will come to Muhammad, and he will say…
<<I can do that, I can do that.>> We will mention this in more detail shortly, if Allah wills. Part of that will be that he will intercede for some people who had been commanded to be taken to Hell, and they will be brought back. He is the first Prophet whose Ummah will be judged, and the first to take them across the Bridge over the Fire, and the first to intercede in Paradise, as was reported in Sahih Muslim. In the Hadith about the Trumpet, it says that NONE of the believers will enter Paradise EXCEPT THROUGH HIS INTERCESSION. He will be the first to enter Paradise, and his Ummah will be the first nation to enter. He will intercede for the status to be raised for people whose deeds could not get them there. He is the one who will reach Al-Wasilah, which is the highest position in Paradise, which befits no one but him. When Allah gives permission for intercession on behalf of sinners, the angels, Prophets and believers will intercede, and he will intercede for people whose number is known only to Allah. No one will intercede like him and no one will match him in intercession. This has been explained in comprehensive detail at the end of the Book of Sirah, in the chapter on the specific qualities. Praise be to Allah. Now with the help of Allah we will mention the Hadiths that were reported concerning Al-Maqam Al-Mahmud. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Umar said: “On the Day of Resurrection, the people will be humbled to their knees, each nation following its Prophet and saying, `O so-and-so, intercede,' `O so-and-so, intercede,' until the power of intercession is given to Muhammad , and that will be the day when Allah raises him to a position of praise and glory. Ibn Jarir recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said…
<<The sun will come close until the sweat reaches halfway up one's ears. When the people are in that state, they will ask Adam for help, and he will say, ‘I am not the one to do that.’ Then they will ask Musa, and he will say likewise, then they will ask Muhammad, and he will intercede for the people and will go and take hold of the handle of the gate of Paradise, and that will be the Day when Allah resurrects him to a position of praise and glory.>>” Al-Bukhari also recorded it in the Book of Zakah, where he added…
<<That will be the Day when Allah resurrects him to a position of praise and glory, and all the people will praise him.>> Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that `Abdullah said, “Then Allah will give permission for intercession, and Ar-Ruh Al-Quddus, Jibril, will stand up, then Ibrahim, the close Friend of Allah will stand up, then `Isa or Musa will stand up - Abu Az-Za`ra' said, `I do not know which of them, ' -- then your Prophet will stand up and will intercede, and no one after him will intercede as much as he does. This is the position of praise and glory to which Allah referred…
(It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.)” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Muhammad even claimed that his god would be so angry on the last day and that people would be too afraid to stand before him in judgment that they would desperately search among the prophets for an intercessor that would go before Allah on their behalf:
Abu Huraira reported: Meat was one day brought to the Messenger of Allah and a foreleg was offered to him, a part which he liked. He sliced with his teeth a piece out of it and said: I shall be the leader of mankind on the Day of Resurrection. Do you know why? Allah would gather in one plain the earlier and the later (of the human race) on the Day of Resurrection. Then the voice of the proclaimer would be heard by all of them and the eyesight would penetrate through all of them and the sun would come near. People would then experience a degree of anguish, anxiety and agony which they shall not be able to bear and they shall not be able to stand. Some people would say to the others: Don’t you see in which trouble you are? Don't you see what (misfortune) has overtaken you? Why don't you find one who should intercede for you with your Lord? Some would say to the others: Go to Adam. And they would go to Adam and say: O Adam, thou art the father of mankind. Allah created thee by His own Hand and breathed in thee of His spirit and ordered the angels to prostrate before thee. Intercede for us with thy Lord. Don't you see in what (trouble) we are? Don't you see what (misfortune) has overtaken us? Adam would say: Verily, my Lord is angry, to an extent to which He had never been angry before nor would He be angry afterward… They would come to Jesus and would say: O Jesus, thou art the messenger of Allah and thou conversed with people in the cradle, (thou art) His Word which He sent down upon Mary, and (thou art) the Spirit from Him; so intercede for us with thy Lord. Don't you see (the trouble) in which we are? Don't you see (the misfortune) that has overtaken us? Jesus would say: Verily, my Lord is angry today as He had never been angry before or would ever be angry afterwards. HE MENTIONED NO SIN OF HIS. (He simply said) I am concerned with myself, I am concerned with myself; you go to someone else: better go to Muhammad.
They would come to me and say: O Muhammad, thou art the messenger of Allah and the last of the apostles. Allah has pardoned thee all thy previous and later sins. Intercede for us with thy Lord; don't you see in which (trouble) we are? Don't you see what (misfortune) has overtaken us? I shall then set off and come below the Throne and fall down prostrate before my Lord; then Allah would reveal to me and inspire me with some of His Praises and Glorifications which He had not revealed to anyone before me. He would then say: Muhammad, raise thy head; ask and it would be granted; intercede and intercession would be accepted. I would then raise my head and say: O my Lord, my people, my people. It would be said: O Muhammad, bring in by the right gate of Paradise those of your people who would have no account to render. They would share with the people some other door besides this door. The Holy Prophet then said: By Him in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, verily the distance between two door leaves of the Paradise is as great as between Mecca and Hajar, or as between Mecca and Busra. (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0378)
Muhammad further stated that his intercession would be for any Muslim who committed major sins:
4310. It was narrated that Jabir said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘My intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be for those among my nation who committed major sins.’” (Hasan)…
4311. It was narrated from Abu Musa Al-Ash‘ari that the Messenger of Allah said: “I was given the choice between intercession and half of my nation being admitted into Paradise, and I chose intercession, because it is more general and more sufficient. Do you think it is for the pious? No, it is for the impure sinners.” (Hasan) (English Translation of Sunan Ibn Majah - Compiled by Imam Muhammad Bin Yazeed Ibn Majah Al-Qazwini, From Hadith No. 3657 to 4341, Ahadith edited and referenced by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair 'Ali Za'i, translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab (Canada), final review by Abu Khaliyl (USA) [Darussalam Publications and Distributors, First Edition: June 2007], Volume 5, 37. The Chapters On Asceticism, Chapter 37. Intercession, p. 404)
These hadiths raise several major problems for the Muslims who believe that these are the actual words of their prophet.
In the first place, Muhammad’s own so-called sacred book emphatically asserts that all intercession belongs uniquely and exclusively to Allah:
Or choose they intercessors other than Allah? Say: What! Even though they have power over nothing and have no intelligence? Say: Unto Allah belongeth all intercession. His is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. And afterward unto Him ye will be brought back. S. 39:43-44 Pickthall
As such, believers have no other helper or intercessor besides Allah:
Warn hereby those who fear (because they know) that they will be gathered unto their Lord, for whom there is no protecting ally nor intercessor beside Him, that they may ward off (evil). S. 6:51 Pickthall
And leave alone those who take their religion to be a sport and a pastime, and whom worldly life has beguiled. And admonish people thereby lest a soul be consigned to perdition for what it has earned. It shall have no helper nor intercessor beside ALLAH; and even if it offer every ransom it shall not be accepted from it. These are they who have been delivered over to destruction for their own acts. They will have a drink of boiling water and a grievous punishment, because they disbelieved. S. 6:70 Shakir
Yet by claiming to be an intercessor who will save his people from wrath Muhammad basically ends up supplanting Allah as the savior and helper of all those who believe! Muhammad’s teaching causes and/or will cause his followers to turn and look to him as their hope of salvation!
Second, according to other so-called sound ahadith Muhammad commanded his followers to seek refuge from hellfire by turning to Allah:
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah said: When any one of you utters tashahhud (in prayer) he must seek refuge with Allah from four (trials) and should thus say: “O Allah! I seek refuge with Thee from the torment of the Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trial of life and death and from the evil of the trial of Masih al-Dajjal” (Antichrist). (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1217)
Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah used to teach them this supplication (in the same spirit) with which he used to teach them a surah of the Qur'an. He would thus instruct us: “Say, O Allah I we seek refuge with Thee from the torment of Hell, and I seek refuge with Thee from the torment of the grave, and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of Masih al-Dajjal. and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of life and death.” Muslim b. Hajjaj said: It has reached me that Tawus said to his son: Did you make this supplication in prayer? He said: No. (Upon this) he (Tawus) said: Repeat the prayer. Tawus has narrated this hadith through three or four (transmitters) with words to the same effect. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1225)
In fact, Muhammad himself sought protection with Allah from the torment of hell and the grave:
'Amra reported that a Jewess came to 'A'isha to ask (about something) and said: May Allah protect you from the torment of the grave! 'A'isha said: Messenger of Allah, would people be tormented in the graves? The Messenger of Allah said: (May there be) protection of Allah! The Messenger of Allah mounted one morning on the ride, and the sun eclipsed. 'A'isha said: I came in the company of the women in the mosque from behind the rooms. The Messenger of Allah dismounted from his ride and came to the place of worship where he used to pray. He stood up (to pray) and the people stood behind him. 'A'isha said: He stood for a long time. He then bowed and it was a long ruku'. He then raised his head and he stood for a long time, less than the first standing. He then bowed and his ruku' was long, but it was less than that (the first) ruku'. He then raised (his head) and the sun had become bright. He (the Holy Prophet) then said: I saw you under trial in the grave like the turmoil of Dajjal. 'Amra said: I heard 'A'isha say: I listened after this to the Messenger of Allah seeking refuge from the torment of Fire and the torment of the grave. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1973)
And yet instead of motivating Muslims to seek refuge with Allah on the last day Muhammad is actually causing them to turn away from their lord in fear! Muhammad is directly responsible for making his followers too afraid to approach Allah since it is obvious that he wants them to turn to him instead!
Third, this depiction of Allah being so angry to the point that the believers will be too afraid to approach him also goes against the explicit teachings of the Quran which tells the righteous believers that they have nothing to fear on that day:
Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. S. 2:62 Hilali-Khan
We send the apostles only to give good news and to warn: so those who believe and mend (their lives), - upon them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. S. 6:48
And the dwellers on the Heights call unto men whom they know by their marks, (saying): What did your multitude and that in which ye took your pride avail you? Are these they of whom ye swore that Allah would not show them mercy? (Unto them it hath been said): Enter the Garden. No fear shall come upon you nor is it ye who will grieve. S. 7:48-49 Pickthall
Lo! verily the friends of Allah are (those) on whom fear (cometh) not, nor do they grieve! S. 10:62 Pickthall
The Quran even describes Allah as the most merciful of all those who show mercy, and informs Muslims not to despair of Allah’s mercy:
Moses prayed: "O my Lord! forgive me and my brother! admit us to Thy mercy! for Thou art the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!" S. 7:151 Y. Ali – cf. Q. 12:64, 92; 21:38
Say: O My slaves who have been prodigal to their own hurt! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgiveth all sins. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. S. 39:53 Pickthall
In fact, the only ones who despair of Allah’s mercy according to the Quran are the disbelievers and those who go astray from the straight path:
[Ibrahim (Abraham)] said: “And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray?” S. 15:56 Hilali-Khan
“O my sons! Go you and enquire about Yusuf (Joseph) and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah's Mercy. Certainly no one despairs of Allah's Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.” S. 12:87 Hilali-Khan
However, by portraying Allah as a rather frightful and wrathful deity and by claiming to be mankind’s intercessor and savior, Muhammad pretty much made himself even more merciful than his own god! Muhammad is directly to be blamed for causing believers to despair of the mercy and grace of Allah.
Fourth, according to Muhammad the reason why prophets such as Adam will refuse to intercede is because of some of the sins they had committed during their life on earth.
This raises two additional issues. First, the reports themselves testify that Muhammad also sinned and needed to be forgiven:
“… They will go to Jesus who will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking, but you’d better go to Muhammad whose sins of the past and the future had been forgiven (by Allah)’…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 507)
Why, then, was he not disqualified from interceding for his followers? After all, if the prophets couldn’t act as intercessors because of their sins then surely Muhammad wouldn’t be able to do so either! Why, then, is his intercession allowed in light of his own confession that he was a sinner? And weren’t the sins of the other prophets forgiven as well? Or does any Muslim want to claim that only the sins of Muhammad forgiven, but not the sins of the other prophets? Again, since their sins were forgiven as well then why couldn’t they intercede for the people if Muhammad was allowed to do so?
Second, the same ahadith also claim that Jesus Christ will not mention any sins he committed:
CCIII: "Descendants of those We carried with Nuh. He was a grateful slave." (17:3)…
"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; capital and underline emphasis ours)
To read Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan’s translation of this same hadith please go here.
The obvious reason why Jesus doesn’t confess any personal sin is because Muhammad recognized that Christ, unlike himself, was absolutely sinless! In light of this fact why would Jesus refuse to intercede for the believers when he had more right to do so than Muhammad who admitted that he was a sinner in need of forgiveness?
This leads us to our third point. Adam will supposedly tell the believers that it was his disobedience that caused them to be expelled from Paradise:
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira and Hudhaifa that the Messenger of Allah said: Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, would gather people. The believers would stand till the Paradise would be brought near them. They would come to Adam and say: O our father, open for us the Paradise. He would say: What turned ye out from the Paradise was THE SIN OF YOUR FATHER ADAM… (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0380)
Now if Allah allows the wrongful actions of an individual to affect others who had nothing to do with those evil acts then shouldn’t we expect that Allah will also permit the good deeds of a righteous believer to benefit and affect other individuals as well? If not, then why not? Why allow the one but not the other? Is that fair and just?
In fact, the following report confirms that Allah does and will allow the righteous deeds of believers to benefit others:
4316. It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin Abu Jad‘a that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “More than (the members of the tribe) Banu Tamim will enter Paradise through the intercession of a man from among my nation.” They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, besides you?” He said, “Besides me.” (Sahih)
I (the narrator) said: “Did you hear that from the Messenger of Allah?” He said: “I heard it.”
a. The higher the rank of a believer, the more he will intercede for the people. It could be understood that due to the intercession of a person, as many people as the number of a tribe will be forgiven.
b. Banu Tamim is the tribe of Abu Bakr Siddiq, the person of this nation whose intercession will rescue so much people from Hell probably will be Abu Bakr Siddiq. Allah knows best. (English Translation of Sunan Ibn Majah - Compiled by Imam Muhammad Bin Yazeed Ibn Majah Al-Qazwini, From Hadith No. 3657 to 4341, Ahadith edited and referenced by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair 'Ali Za'i, translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab (Canada), final review by Abu Khaliyl (USA) [Darussalam Publications and Distributors, First Edition: June 2007], Volume 5, 37. The Chapters On Asceticism, Chapter 37. Intercession, p. 409; underline emphasis ours)
According to the Quran, a person’s rank is dependent upon the amount of good deeds s/he performs:
Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward; Degrees of (higher) grades from Him, and Forgiveness and Mercy. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. S. 4:95-96
And for all there will be ranks from what they do, that He may pay them for their deeds; and they will not be wronged. S. 46:19 Pickthall
Thus, if Allah will permit an imperfect believer to intercede and save others then how much more will he accept Christ’s perfect righteousness? How much more will Christ’s sinless and perfect obedience benefit all those who believe in him? And which is more acceptable to an all-holy and perfect Deity? The intercession of an absolutely sinless and perfect person like Christ? Or the mediation of an imperfect sinner such as Muhammad when he himself needed forgiveness and salvation?
We have seen from our examination that although Christians are thoroughly justified in calling upon Jesus, Muslims on the other hand do not have any right to invoke Muhammad in their prayers or du’as. According to the challenge of the Quran itself, a person must have created something and has to share in God’s heavenly rule before s/he can be taken as an object of worship. Since both the Quran and the Holy Bible teach that Jesus meets these criteria Christians should therefore worship and adore the risen Christ to the glory of God his Father.
Muslims, however, do not believe that Muhammad created anything and outright deny that their prophet has a share in the dominion of the heavens. Moreover, the Muslim scripture emphatically goes out of its way to say that Muhammad was a fallible human being who was uncertain of his salvation and who knew that he had to die like any other mortal. As such, Muslims are expressly forbidden from invoking Muhammad.
However, Muhammad clearly went against his own teachings by allowing his followers to make du’a to him, either by calling out his name (Ya Muhammad) and/or by praying directly to him both in their invocations and in their daily acts of worship.
Muhammad is also guilty of making himself out to be Islam’s real savior. His assertion that people will turn to him at the last day in order to be saved from Allah’s wrath and hellfire ends up supplanting Allah as the hope and refuge of Muslims. Instead of encouraging Muslims to seek Allah for salvation, seeing that he is supposed to be the most merciful and compassionate of all those who show mercy, Muhammad actually frightened them away from their lord. It is obvious that Muhammad did this so that the Muslims would cling to him as their true hope, thereby replacing Allah in the hearts and minds of his followers.
By giving such instructions Muhammad pretty much turned himself into a partner in the worship of Allah, and is therefore guilty of shirk or of associating others (himself) with Allah. This is the one sin which the Quran says Allah will never forgive and which sends a person straight to hell:
They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers. S. 5:72 Pickthall
This is (part) of that wisdom wherewith thy Lord hath inspired thee (O Muhammad). And set not up with Allah any other god, lest thou be cast into hell, reproved, abandoned. S. 17:39 Pickthall
And certainly, it has been revealed to you and to those before you: Surely if you associate (ashrakta) (with Allah), your work would certainly come to naught and you would certainly be of the losers. S. 39:65 Shakir
As one Salafi Muslim scholar so eloquently put it in his discussion on what constitutes for shirk in worship:
Consequently, the most important aspect of Tawhid is that of Tawhid al-‘Ibadah, maintaining the unity of Allah’s worship. All forms of worship must be directed only to Allah 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 Allah or along with Allah.
In Surah 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". This is a clear statement that all forms of worship should only be directed to the One who can respond – Allah. 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 Allah."
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.’" (Qur’an 2:186)…
"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." (Qur’an 50:16)
The confirmation of Tawhid al-‘Ibadah conversely necessitates the denial of all forms of intercession or association of partners with Allah. 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 Allah, because worship is being shared between Allaah and His creation. The Prophet Muhammad said, in no uncertain terms,
"Prayer (du‘a) is worship."…
If someone prays to the Prophet, or to jinn, angels or so-called saints asking for help or asking them to request help from Allaah for them, they have also committed shirk… (Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) [International Islamic Publishing House, 2005], Chapter One. The Categories of Tawhid, pp. 35-37; bold and underline emphasis ours)
Philips further states that:
Muslims whose acts of worship fall into this category of shirk are those who pray to Prophet Muhammad or to mystics in the Sufi hierarchy of saints, believing that they can answer their prayers, though Allah has clearly said in the Qur’an:
"Say: ‘Think to yourselves; if there came upon you Allah’s punishment or the Final Hour, would you then call on other than Allah? [Reply] if you are truthful." (Qur’an 6:40) (Ibid., Chapter Two. The Categories of Shirk, pp. 55-56; bold emphasis ours)
And this is what he also says 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. Allah commanded him in the Qur’aan 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." (Qur’an 7:188)
One of his companions, Abu Hurayrah, reported that when the verse
"Warn your nearest kin." (Qur’an 26:214)
– 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 Allah."…
In spite of this clear indication that the Prophet has no power to change what Allah has destined many Muslims not only pray to him for help, but also pray to a hierarchy of saints… Such unmistakable pronouncements of shirk are common even though practising Muslims repeat at least seventeen times per day in their daily prayers the phrase, "Eeyaka na ‘budu wa eeyaka nasta ‘een” – “You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help.”
Both using the dead as intercessors and praying to them directly contain the grave sin of shirk, which Islam 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 Allah’s Ominous statement in the Qur’an …
"Most of them [claim] belief in Allaah, while committing Shirk." (Qur’an 12:106) (Ibid., Chapter Eleven. Grave Worship, pp. 198-201; bold emphasis ours)
Unfortunately for Philips, it was Muhammad who personally taught Muslims that it was perfectly acceptable to pray or make dua’ to him. Neither Philips nor any other Salafi Muslim will be able to simply brush aside all of the narratives that were cited to show that it was Muhammad himself who instructed his followers to pray to him. They cannot claim that these are weak or fabricated reports since Islam’s greatest hadith scholars have classified these hadiths as absolutely sound. If Philips does choose to reject these ahadith then he is going to have to call into question all the other so-called authentic prophetic reports. After all, if the greatest hadith scholars were so mistaken in their classification of these narratives then what’s to say they were able to get the grading of the other reports right? By adopting this approach, Philips would essentially be destroying the very foundation of the Quran and the Islamic religion.
However, to accept these reports as sound puts Muslims like Philips in another major dilemma. Philips and the other Muslims who believe in the Sunna of their prophet must accept that Muhammad is actually in hell for permitting others to pray to him which, according to Philips himself, is a blatant act of shirk. They must further contend with the fact that Muhammad is personally responsible for causing multitudes of his followers who pray to him and look to him as their savior and intercessor to commit shirk against Allah. Muhammad is therefore the reason why so many Muslims will inevitably experience eternal torture and damnation!
How tragic that these Muslims trust(ed) Muhammad enough to take him at his word, believing that there is no harm in praying to him even after his death and thinking that there is absolutely nothing wrong in trusting that his intercession will save them from eternal fire. Little did/do they realize that these are the very teachings which will condemn them to hell forever!
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