Do Muslims Worship Muhammad?

A Further Response to a Muslim Neophyte

Sam Shamoun

Zaatari produced a further "reply" to my addendum (*) concerning Muslims deifying and worshiping Muhammad. Much like his previous "responses" Zaatari again fails to address any of my points, and further proves that he doesn’t understand the issues at hand. Zaatari only demonstrates with every passing "rebuttal" that he needs to really consider finding another line of work.

Here is his "response" to my pointing out from the hadith that a blind man prayed to Muhammad directly:

The blind man asks the prophet to pray for him, the blind man doesn't pray to the prophet! Did Shamoun go blind at this point? I don't know.

Secondly, as the narration continues the blind man NEVER prays to the prophet Muhammad! Anyone who knows how to read properly will see that no where in this narration does the blind man pray to the prophet, I will quote the hadith again, and let's see:


Do any of you see any act of worship being given to the prophet Muhammad? Please Shamoun, I would love to see it.

Let us see if the blind man prayed to Muhammad or not:

Tirmidhi relates, through his chain of narrators from 'Uthman ibn Hunayf, that a blind man came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said, "I've been afflicted in my eyesight, so please pray to Allah for me." The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: "Go make ablution (wudu), perform two rak'as of prayer, and then say:

"Oh Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O MUHAMMAD (YA MUHAMMAD), I SEEK YOUR INTERCESSION with my Lord for the return of my eyesight [and in another version: "for my need, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah, grant him intercession for me"]."

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) added, "And if there is some need, do the same." (Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law (Umdat Al-Salik) in Arabic with facing English text, Commentary and Appendices, edited and translated by Nuh Hah Mim Keller [Amana Corporation; Revised edition, July 1, 1997], w40.3, p. 935; source; bold , capital and underline emphasis ours)

Do the readers see how Muhammad specifically instructed the blind man to address him directly in his prayer? The blind man wasn’t told to simply pray to Allah asking him to heal him on behalf of Muhammad. He was also directed to address Muhammad directly and personally ask him in the prayer to intercede for him. Lest Zaatari tries to justify this by saying that this took place while Muhammad was still alive on earth, here is an example of a Muslim praying to Muhammad long after the latter was dead:

Moreover, Tabarani, in his "al-Mu'jam al saghir," reports a hadith from 'Uthman ibn Hunayf that a man repeatedly visited Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be pleased with him) concerning something he needed, but Uthman paid no attention to him or his need. The man met Ibn Hunayf and complained to him about the matter - this being after the death (wisal) of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and after the caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar - so Uthman ibn Hunayf, who was one of the Companions who collected hadiths and was learned in the religion of Allah, said: "Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution (wudu), then come to the mosque, perform two rak'as of prayer therein, and say:

'O Allah, I ask You and turn to You through our Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O MUHAMMAD (YA MUHAMMAD), I TURN THROUGH YOU to my Lord, that He may fulfill my need,' and mention your need. Then come so that I can go with you [to the caliph Uthman]." So the man left and did as he had been told, then went to the door of Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be pleased with him), and the doorman came, took him by the hand, brought him to Uthman ibn Affan, and seated him next to him on a cushion. 'Uthman asked, "What do you need?" and the man mentioned what he wanted, and Uthman accomplished it for him, then he said, "I hadn't remembered your need until just now," adding, "Whenever you need something, just mention it." Then, the man departed, met Uthman ibn Hunayf, and said to him, "May Allah reward you! He didn't see to my need or pay any attention to me until you spoke with him." Uthman ibn Hunayf replied, "By Allah, I didn't speak to him, but I have seen a blind man come to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and complain to him of the loss of his eyesight. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "Can you not bear it?' and the man replied, 'O Messenger of Allah, I do not have anyone to lead me around, and it is a great hardship for me.' The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) told him, 'Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution (wudu), then pray two rak'as of prayer and make the supplications.'" Ibn Hunayf went on, "By Allah, we didn't part company or speak long before the man returned to us as if nothing had ever been wrong with him."

This is an explicit, unequivocal text from a prophetic Companion proving the legal validity of tawassul through the dead. The account has been classified AS RIGOROUSLY AUTHENTICATED (SAHIH) by Baihaqi, Mundhiri, and Haythami. (Ibid., w40.4, pp. 936-937; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Here is an individual at the time of the caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan who offers up the same prayer that the blind man did where he prays and asks Muhammad directly in the same way that he asks Allah! Note, once again, the similarities:

"O Allah, I ask You and turn to You through our Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy,"


"O Muhammad, I turn through you to my Lord, that He may fulfill my need."

Zaatari will have no problem acknowledging that saying "O Allah" is clearly an act of worship since this indicates that the person is directly praying to his lord. In a similar manner, saying "O Muhammad" is also worship since the individual is praying directly to his prophet and asking him personally to act on his behalf, despite the fact that Muhammad is dead. Nor is this the only time that Muslims prayed to their prophet directly after his death:

"Allah is instructing the sinners when they commit a sin to come to the messenger of Allah and ask forgiveness in his presence and then they ask him to request forgiveness. And certainly if they did that, Allah would relent towards them and have mercy on them, and for that reason He said "they would have found Allah Oft-Returning, Merciful."

And Shaykh Mansur as-Sabbagh recollected in his book "The Perfections" (ash-Shama’il) the well-known (famous) transmission from ‘Utbi:

"I was sitting BY THE GRAVE OF THE PROPHET and a Bedouin came and said: ‘Peace be upon YOU O Prophet of Allah. I heard Allah say: "And if they had come to thee when they had wronged their souls, and asked forgiveness of Allah, and if the Messenger had also asked forgiveness for them, they would have surely found Allah Oft-Returning with compassion and Merciful." AND I CAME TO YOU asking forgiveness for my sin, taking YOU as intercessor to my Lord.’

"Then he started reciting verses: ‘O YOU best of those whose bones are buried in al-Qa’a from the sweet scents of those bones the whole area of al-Qa’a and Akamu became perfumed. I sacrifice myself to the grave that you live in – it is purity and in it is incredible generosity.’

"Then the Bedouin departed and sleep overcame me. And I saw the Prophet in my sleep and he said: ‘O ‘Utbi, follow the Bedouin and give him the glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him.’" (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir of Qur’an al-Adheem [Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1992/1412], Q. 4:64, volume I, p. 643; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Zaatari proceeds to attack a straw man:

Or is Shamoun so silly and ignorant he believes that intercession is an act of worship?! Asking the prophet to intercede on your behalf is not an act of worship. All Muslims believe in intercession, and we believe the prophet Muhammad will intercede for Muslims on the Day of Judgment:

It is not intercession itself which is the problem, but asking Muhammad directly in one’s prayers which is the difficulty that Zaatari needs to contend with and address. Hopefully, Zaatari will get it this time and stop attacking a straw man.

After citing a hadith he claims,

Intercession is not an act of worship. Intercession only takes place with the will of Allah, with his permission, and only for the believers. In other words, all intercession really belongs to Allah, as he says:

He quotes Q. 2:255 and concludes that,

So one can only intercede if Allah approves of it. Hence seeking the correct intercession is not worshiping the intercessor, rather it acknowledging the intercessor can only intercede on your behalf if Allah allows him to.

Doesn’t Zaatari understand that he is only complicating matters further and providing more evidence that the Quran and so-called authentic Sunna are filled with irreconcilable contradictions? For example, as Zaatari correctly noted the Quran does claim in certain places that Allah does accept the intercession of specific individuals. Yet there are other verses and specific Islamic narratives which soundly refute this assertion of Allah permitting intercession or of Muhammad being allowed to intercede for others:

Children of Israel, remember My blessing wherewith I blessed you, and that I have preferred you above all beings; and beware of a day when no soul for another shall give satisfaction, and no intercession shall be accepted from it, nor any counterpoise be taken, neither shall they be helped. S. 2:47-48 Arberry

Children of Israel, remember My blessing wherewith I blessed you, and that I have preferred you above all beings; and beware a day when no soul for another shall give satisfaction, and no counterpoise shall be accepted from it, nor any intercession shall be profitable to it, neither shall they be helped. S. 2:122-123 Arberry

O believers, expend of that wherewith We have provided you, before there comes a day wherein shall be neither traffick, nor friendship, nor intercession; and the unbelievers -- they are the evildoers. S. 2:254 Arberry

The last verse above is addressing believers and telling them specifically that when that Day comes, i.e. the Day of Judgment, they will have no intercessor or friend. And:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
When Allah revealed the Verse: "Warn your nearest kinsmen," Allah’s Apostle got up and said, "O people of Quraish (or said similar words)! Buy (i.e. save) yourselves (from the Hellfire) as I cannot save you from Allah’s Punishment; O Bani Abd Manaf! I cannot save you from Allah's Punishment, O Safiya, the Aunt of Allah's Apostle! I cannot save you from Allah's Punishment; O Fatima bint Muhammad! Ask me anything from my wealth, but I cannot save you from Allah's Punishment." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 51, Number 16)

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "(On the Day of Resurrection) camels will come to their owner in the best state of health they have ever had (in the world), and if he had not paid their Zakat (in the world) then they would tread him with their feet; and similarly, sheep will come to their owner in the best state of health they have ever had in the world, and if he had not paid their Zakat, then they would tread him with their hooves and would butt him with their horns." The Prophet added, "One of their rights is that they should be milked while water is kept in front of them." The Prophet added, "I do not want anyone of you to come to me on the Day of Resurrection, carrying over his neck a sheep that will be bleating. Such a person will (then) say, ‘O Muhammad! (please intercede for me,).’ I will say to him. ‘I can't help you, for I conveyed Allah's Message to you.’ Similarly, I do not want anyone of you to come to me carrying over his neck a camel that will be grunting. Such a person (then) will say ‘O Muhammad! (please intercede for me).’ I will say to him, ‘I can't help you for I conveyed Allah's message to you.’" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 485)

Amazingly, Muhammad himself was uncertain of his fate:

Say: "I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the messengers, NOR DO I KNOW WHAT WILL BE DONE WITH ME OR WITH YOU. I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration; I am but a Warner open and clear." S. 46:9 Y. Ali


Narrated ‘Um al-‘Ala:
An Ansari woman who gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet that the Ansar drew lots concerning the dwelling of the Emigrants. ‘Uthman bin Maz'un was decided to dwell with them (i.e. Um al-‘Ala’s family), 'Uthman fell ill and I nursed him till he died, and we covered him with his clothes. Then the Prophet came to us and I (addressing the dead body) said, "O Abu As-Sa'ib, may Allah's Mercy be on you! I bear witness that Allah has honored you." On that the Prophet said, "How do you know that Allah has honored him?" I replied, "I do not know. May my father and my mother be sacrificed for you, O Allah's Apostle! But who else is worthy of it (if not 'Uthman)?" He said, "As to him, by Allah, death has overtaken him, and I hope the best for him. By Allah, though I am the Apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me," By Allah, I will never assert the piety of anyone after him. That made me sad, and when I slept I saw in a dream a flowing stream for 'Uthman bin Maz'un. I went to Allah's Apostle and told him of it. He remarked, "That symbolizes his (good) deeds." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 266)

How can Muhammad be of any help to anyone else when he wasn’t even certain of his own salvation and couldn’t benefit himself? Now contrast Muhammad’s uncertainty with the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." John 3:16-18

"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." John 5:24

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." Romans 5:1, 9-11

"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." Romans 8:31-34

"For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come." 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

"For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Thessalonians 5:9

"one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life… but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever." Hebrews 7:16, 24-28

"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:1-2

The other problem with Zaatari’s assertion that Allah will permit intercession for the believers is that there are narratives which expressly say that Muhammad will intercede for Muslims who have done no good works and are burning in hell:

… The Prophet added, "Then the prophets and Angels and the believers will intercede, and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say, ‘Now remains My Intercession.’ He will then hold a handful of the Fire from which He will take out some people whose bodies have been burnt, and they will be thrown into a river at the entrance of Paradise, called the water of life.

They will grow on its banks, as a seed carried by the torrent grows. You have noticed how it grows beside a rock or beside a tree, and how the side facing the sun is usually green while the side facing the shade is white. Those people will come out (of the River of Life) like pearls, and they will have (golden) necklaces, and then they will enter Paradise whereupon the people of Paradise will say, ‘These are the people emancipated by the Beneficent. He has admitted them into Paradise WITHOUT THEM HAVING DONE ANY GOOD DEEDS AND WITHOUT SENDING FORTH ANY GOOD (for themselves).’ Then it will be said to them, ‘For you is what you have seen and its equivalent as well.’" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532s)

According to the Quran, however, a true believer is one who has faith AND obeys Muhammad’s commands, doing good works:

And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: "This is what we were provided with before," and they will be given things in resemblance (i.e. in the same form but different in taste) and they shall have therein Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives), (having no menses, stools, urine, etc.) and they will abide therein forever. S. 2:25 Hilali-Khan

The desert Arabs say, "We believe." Say, "Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say, 'We have submitted our wills to God,' For not yet has Faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey God and His Apostle, He will not belittle aught of your deeds: for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." S. 49:14 Y. Ali

How, then, can Allah take out of hell Muslims who never did a good deed in their entire lives thereby proving that they never had true faith to begin with?

Zaatari sources the late Salafi scholar al-Albani to discredit the narrative of the blind man praying to Muhammad. Not only has al-Albani been thoroughly refuted regarding this issue (1, 2, 3)

But Zaatari has once again proven how utterly chaotic and contradictory Islamic scholarship truly is. After all, one often finds Islamic scholars contradicting each other concerning the grading of specific narratives such as in this case, i.e. al-Albani and his ilk try to do everything they can to negate the authenticity of this report of the blind man praying to Muhammad since it conflicts with their theology whereas other scholars rigorously defend its veracity since they have no problem admitting that one can pray to Allah through the mediation of others (known as Tawassul). This leaves the average Muslim – as well as non-Muslim – baffled as to what to believe and accept concerning such a vitally important topic, and Zaatari has done absolutely nothing to help clarify the issue.

As a further illustration of his illiteracy Zaatari claims that Muhammad never commanded his followers to love him just as much as Allah:

No where in these texts does the prophet say we should love him more than God or equal with God. Shamoun makes this up again! Rather the fact that it says love God AND his prophet is to show the connection, that to love one you must love the other, that you cant just love God, and not love his messenger. You must love them both, and this is what is trying to be conveyed, not an equal love of both. Secondly, the prophet makes sure to mention God first, by doing this we know that loving Allah is above loving the prophet.

It is amazing that this gent admits that Muhammad is connecting himself with Allah in love and that a person cannot love one without the other and still deny that this establishes that Muhammad did demand the same love that Allah receives! The lad also fails to address the fact that the Arabic uses the conjunction wa (“and”), i.e. “love Allah AND his messenger,” which Muslim scholars admit implies partnership, showing that Muhammad expected his followers to love him just as much as they love Allah. Nor does this neophyte want to see that Muhammad said this in the context of commanding his followers to make both Allah and himself dearer than anyone else.

Zaatari did raise a number of other points. If the Lord Jesus wills, we will address some of his other arguments shortly.

Poor Zaatari. He actually thought he had managed to write the definitive "refutation" to our points; and yet little did he realize that his so-called reply introduced even more irreconcilable contradictions for him to contend with!

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