Islamic Associates Inc.

Revisiting the Issue of Muhammad’s Partnership with Allah

Sam Shamoun

Bassam Zawadi produced a reply (*) to my article concerning Muhammad being Allah’s equal partner (*).

We suggest that the readers first read his response since we will not be following the exact order of his rebuttal.

In the article Zawadi will mention my quote from Muslim jurist Qadi ‘Iyad:

Qadi Iyad said:

"Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has been rightly guided, and whoever rebels against them both (joining them together by using the dual form)." The Prophet said to him, "What a bad speaker you are! Get up! [Or he said: Get out!]"

The surprise here is that Qadi 'Iyad here was not talking about (wa/and) at all, rather he was talking about joining Allah with any of His creatures in the same pronoun as (they) or (them). This usage is utterly forbidden; this is the reason why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the speaker: "What a bad speaker you are!"

Qadi Iyad wasn’t talking about wa at all? Really? Let us quote the context once again to see if Zawadi is correct:

The fact that mention of the Prophet is directly connected to mention of Allah also shows that obedience to the Prophet is connected to obedience to Allah AND HIS NAME TO ALLAH’S NAME. Allah says, "Obey Allah and His Messenger" (2:32) and "Believe in Allah and His Messenger." (4:136) Allah joins them together using the conjunction wa WHICH IS THE CONJUNCTION OF PARTNERSHIP. IT IS NOT PERMITTED TO USE THIS CONJUNCTION IN CONNECTION WITH ALLAH IN THE CASE OF ANYONE EXCEPT THE PROPHET.

Hudhayfa said that the Prophet said, "None of you should say, 'What Allah wills and (wa) so-and-so wills.' Rather say, 'What Allah wills.' Then stop and say, 'So-and-so wills.'"

Al-Khattabi said, "The Prophet has guided you to correct behaviour in putting the will of Allah before the will of others. He chose 'then' (thumma) which implies sequence and deference as opposed to 'and' (wa) WHICH IMPLIES PARTNERSHIP."

Something similar is mentioned in another hadith. Someone was speaking in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, "Whoever obeys Allah AND His Messenger has been rightly guided, and whoever rebels against them both (joining them together by using the dual form)." The Prophet said to him, "What a bad speaker you are! Get up! [Or he said: Get out!]"

Abu Sulayman said, "He disliked the two names being joined together in that way BECAUSE IT IMPLIES EQUALITY." (Qadi Iyad, Kitab Ash-shifa bi ta'rif huquq al-Mustafa (Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One), translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K., third reprint 1991, paperback], pp. 7-8; capital emphasis ours)

In the context of this particular reference the Qadi was speaking of the conjunction being proof of Muhammad’s partnership and equality with Allah, and how this isn’t accepted or allowed for anyone other than him. Now in light of these statements was the Muslim incorrect for grouping both Allah and Muhammad together by the use of the dual in Arabic (i.e. "them")? Or is this just a case of splitting hairs? After all if the conjunction means that one must fully obey Allah and Muhammad then this means that a person cannot rebel against Muhammad without rebelling against Allah. So why not use the dual form to convey this fact when the conjunction clearly groups the two together as equals?

As if this wasn’t clear enough the Qadi says that Allah made Muhammad one of the pillars of Tawhid, meaning Islamic monotheism:

"… He coupled his name with His own name, and his pleasure with His pleasure. He made him ONE OF THE TWO PILLARS of tawhid." (Ibid., p. 27; capital emphasis ours)

How can a finite creature be an integral and essential part of Islamic monotheism, being the very heart of the oneness of Allah, without this turning him into a god and a coequal partner with Allah?

Zawadi will chide me for making a "foolish" argument:

This is indeed a foolish argument. Just because the word 'and' is there, that doesn't mean the two which the word connects are co equal in every sense. (more of this below)

The Muslim sources we referenced such as Qadi ‘Iyad and Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab must have been foolish as well.

Zawadi does admit, however, that the conjunction can mean equality but says that the context is important to determine whether this is what it means:

So yes the word 'and' could imply equality in certain contexts but not always. This is even the case in the English language.


So we see that the word 'and' does not always imply equality of essence at all times and context needs to be analysed.

Apparently, Zawadi has either badly misunderstood or is deliberately distorting our argument. Our whole point was that since the conjunction implies partnership and equality then how could Allah take a finite creature to be his equal, thereby turning him into a god of sorts, which is nothing more than idolatry?

After all, it is the Muslim scholars who say that the conjunction implies equality and partnership. And since Muhammad is an imperfect being he cannot be equal to Allah in essence so then how could his god make him his partner in obedience and salvation?

Zawadi then gives the following example to prove his assertion that "and" doesn’t always imply equality:

David and Mark should be obeyed. (This does not necessarily imply equality between David and Mark since David could possibly be the President of the country and Mark is the vice president)

This is a very bad example since it backfires against Zawadi. First, both David and Mark are equal in essence since they are both fully human, so it does imply equality in one sense. Second, it is assumed that the President and the Vice-President will try to work in unison and therefore agree with each other concerning the decisions they make before they issue them in public. As a result, a person cannot obey the President more than the Vice-president but must obey both of them equally since to disobey one is to disobey the other.

So let us transfer this example over to Muhammad’s case. We know that Muhammad isn’t equal with Allah in essence since he is a fallible human being. So then why does Allah join Muhammad with himself in obedience and salvation? Does an imperfect, finite creature hold equal authority to Allah? Does salvation depend on professing complete faith in Allah and a finite creature? According to the Muslim scholars, yes it does which is nothing more than idolatry.

Zawadi’s examples go from bad to worse:

Using that logic we would also have to say that Allah is co equal with the believers (Surah 2:9) because the word 'and' connects them together. Also using that logic we have to say that Allah and His Messenger and people in authority are also co equal (Surah 4:59) because the word 'and' connects them together or that Allah is co equal with the revelations that He has sent and His Prophets (Surah 2:136, 275). But that is absurd.

Talk about circular reasoning! Zawadi assumes that the Quran is a consistent scripture and because of this erroneous assumption he thinks that these examples will somehow refute my point. In reality, however, Zawadi has further demonstrated that he doesn’t understand my point or the argument I presented by his own Muslim scholars.

Note, for instance, the verses he used to "refute" my argument and see how they actually prove my case:

They think to beguile Allah AND those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not. S. 2:9

The conjunction is joining Allah with the believers, in that the unbelievers tried to deceive both of them together. So this is actually an example of partnership since it is joining Muslims with Allah in the disbelievers’ act of deception.

Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah AND that which is revealed unto us AND that which was revealed unto Abraham, AND Ishmael, AND Isaac, AND Jacob, AND the tribes, AND that which Moses AND Jesus received, AND that which the prophets received from their Lord. WE MAKE NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN ANY OF THEM, and unto Him we have surrendered. S. 2:136

The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord AND (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah AND His angels AND His scriptures AND His messengers - WE MAKE NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN ANY OF HIS MESSENGERS - and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying. S. 2:285

Once again, the conjunction is joining all of the above persons and items together as the object of Islamic belief since Muslims must have complete faith in all of them. A Muslim cannot believe in Allah without believing in his angels, and cannot believe in the Messengers without believing in the revealed books which were given to them.

To put this in another way so that Zawadi can actually grasp the argument, these passages are demonstrating that the Arabic wa ("and") is a conjunction of partnership since it is joining the angels, revelations, messengers etc. with Allah in faith, that a true Muslim is one who believes in all of them equally.

Thus, the Muslim scholars we mentioned were correct since the Arabic conjunction wa does refer to partnership. What makes this rather unfortunate is that Zawadi quotes references which he thinks establish his case when all he is doing is proving that he really doesn’t understand the argument he is trying to refute.

Zawadi tries to justify what the Quran says about believing in and obeying Muhammad by arguing on the grounds that he was communicating the revelation:

Rather, what to obey Allah and His Messenger simply means is to follow the Qur'an and Prophetic Sunnah since the Qur'an and Sunnah are the two sources of religious authority.

In Islam, to obey the Messenger is as if you are obeying Allah (Surah 4:80). How is that? The Messenger is receiving revelations from Allah and communicating it to the people. Thus to obey what he is saying is obeying the one who has sent him and that is Allah.

So is it correct to say that we should obey Allah and the Messenger on the SAME LEVEL (as Shamoun puts it)? In some sense, yes. However, it is only because obeying Allah and His Messenger is actually obeying the same source and that is Allah. Allah is the ultimate authority that is sending revelations to the Prophet (peace be upon him) who follows what he is being told and does not speak of his own desires (Surah 6:50, 7:203, 10:15, 10:109, 18:110, 41:6, 46:9, 53:3-4)


This is in opposition to the previous example, which Shamoun showed from the verses talking about obeying Allah and His Messenger for there is evidence that Allah has sent down revelation to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and that He has given him authority to judge amongst the people based on the revelation sent to him.

There are major problems with this assertion. In the first place it doesn’t matter that Muhammad is allegedly issuing orders from Allah, which supposedly justifies such obedience. This is simply irrelevant and is nothing more than a smokescreen. What is relevant is that such obedience results in Muhammad’s deification by placing him on the same level of authority with his god.

To give a helpful illustration the Lord Jesus said that the Father gave him the authority to judge so that everyone would honor the Son in the same way that they honor the Father:

"Moreover, the Father judges no one but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son JUST AS they honor the Father. He does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him." John 5:22-23

To honor the Son just as one honors his Father implies that the latter is commanding people to worship his Son as God since this is the kind of honor that the Father is supposed to receive. Now does it matter that the Father gave the Son the authority to judge? Does this change the fact that the reason God granted Jesus such authority is because he wants everyone to worship the Son just as they worship him? No, not at all.

Likewise, Muhammad supposedly receiving his instructions from God doesn’t refute the point that the obedience which the Quran expects Muslims to give to their prophet makes him equal with Allah.

In fact, obedience to Muhammad even takes precedence over worshiping Allah, as the Quran itself suggests. For instance, Muhammad used Q. 8:24 to prove that Allah himself testifies in the Muslim scripture that responding to his messenger’s call immediately is more important than worshiping him!

Narrated Abu Said bin Al-Mu'alla:
While I was praying in the Mosque, Allah's Apostle called me but I did not respond to him. Later I said, "O Allah's Apostle! I was praying." He said, "Didn't Allah say—‘Give your response to Allah (by obeying Him) and to His Apostle when he calls you?’" (8.24) … (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 1)


CXLII: "O you who believe! Respond to Allah, AND to the Messenger, when He calls you to what will bring you to life! Know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that you will be gathered to Him." (8:24)

4370. It is related that Sa'id b. al-Mu'alla said, "I was praying and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, passed by called me, but I did not answer until I had finished praying. Then I went to him and he said, 'What kept you from coming to me? Does not Allah say, "Respond to Allah, AND to the Messenger, when He calls you to what will bring you to life!" (8:24)?' Then he said to me, 'I will teach you a sura which is the greatest of the suras in the Qur'an before you leave.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was about to leave, so I reminded him."

This is related from Abu Sa'id, a man of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He said "It is: 'Praise be to Allah, the Lords worlds,' the Seven Oft-Repeated ones." (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 68. Book of Tafsir; source; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Talk about the height of arrogance and blasphemy. Instead of commending his companion for praying to Allah Muhammad has the audacity to chide him for not setting aside his prayers in order to beckon to his prophet’s call.

Doesn’t this establish that a Muslim’s relationship to Muhammad takes priority over his relationship to God? Which Muslim would dare say that Muhammad did not understand the meaning of Q. 8:24? Which Muslim would want to claim that Muhammad misused this verse and sinned against God by behaving in an arrogant and blasphemous way, ascribing to himself a position that the Quran does not give to him?

Even the people around Muhammad realized that this kind of obedience bordered on worship and likened him to Jesus in Christian devotion:

(And he commanded you) O people of the Quraysh, Jews and Christians (not that ye should take the angels) as daughters of Allah (and the Prophets for lords. Would he command you to disbelieve) how could Abraham command you to follow disbelief (after ye had surrendered (to Allah) after he commanded you to follow Islam (completely Surrendering to Allah), saying to you: (Lo! Allah hath chosen for you the (true) Religion; therefore die not save as men who have surrendered [2:132]). Allah says here: Allah has not sent a Messenger except that He commanded him to follow Islam and not Judaism, Christianity or the worship of idols, as these unbelievers claim. It is also said that this verse was revealed about the claims of the Jews that Muhammad commanded them to love him and worship him as the Christians worshipped Jesus. The Christians and idolaters also made the same claim. (Tanwīr al-Miqbās min Tafsīr Ibn ‘Abbās; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)


It is related that 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said to the Prophet, "Part of your excellence with Allah is that He has made obedience to you obedience to Him. Allah says, 'Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah' (4:80) and 'If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you.'" (3:31) it is related that when this ayat was sent down, people said, "Muhammad wants us to take him as a mercy IN THE WAY CHRISTIANS DID WITH 'ISA, so Allah revealed, 'Say: Obey Allah, and the Messenger.'" (3:32) (Qadi Iyad, p. 9)

In any case, if this incident doesn’t convince Zawadi that Muhammad placed himself on the same level as God, or even above him, then nothing will.

Zawadi also wrote that:

Obviously we can't say that Allah wills and Muhammad wills. For Allah has not given the Prophet (peace be upon him) authority to will things to happen. To say as Allah and the Prophet wills shows that both of them have exalted power in the same sense while there is no evidence that Allah has given the Prophet (peace be upon him) any such power.

Nor should one say, "As Allah AND his Messenger have commanded," or "Allah AND his Messenger have decided," but this is precisely what Muhammad did say:

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah AND His Messenger HAVE DECREED a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error. S. 33:36 Hilali-Khan

Hence, what Muhammad decrees Allah decrees and what Allah decrees Muhammad decrees! No wonder that Muhammad’s child bride mocked her husband regarding Allah sending legislation that allowed his messenger to sleep with any woman who offered herself to him:

Narrated Aisha:
I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah’s Apostle and I used to say, "Can a lady give herself (to a man)?" But when Allah revealed: "You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily)." (33.51) I said (to the Prophet), "I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 311)

This makes it obvious that one can’t tell when Muhammad’s words/orders end and Allah’s commands begin and vice-versa.

Zawadi quotes a Salafi Shaykh:

Shaykh Uthaymeen said...

When it comes to matters related to Shariah (Islamic law) then it is symbolized by saying (and) because whatever the prophet says in terms of religion it is as if it is said by Allah because Allah says: "whoever obeys the messenger obeys Allah" [Surah 4:80]. On the other hand, the matters that are related to universal matters we cannot say 'Allah and.' because Allah has control over everything which works according to His will.

So if someone says: would it rain tomorrow? And he was answered with: "Allah and his Messenger know!" Then know that this is wrong answer because the Prophet has no knowledge on such matters. However, if someone asks for example: "Is this Haram or halal?" And was answered with: "Allah and his messenger" then this is correct answer because the ruling of the prophet is the same ruling of Allah. as Allah says: whoever obeys the messenger obeys Allah"
(Al-'Uthaimin, Sharh al-Arba'een al-Nawawiyyah, Hadith no. 1, Source)

It is amusing that the Shaykh would use the example of rain when the hadith records Muhammad describing the course of the sun which goes against science:

Narrated Abu Dhar:
The Prophet asked me at sunset, "Do you know where the sun goes (at the time of sunset)?" I replied, "Allah AND His Apostle know better." He said, "It goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west. And that is the interpretation of the Statement of Allah: "And the sun Runs its fixed course For a term (decreed). that is The Decree of (Allah) The Exalted in Might, The All-Knowing." (36.38) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 421)


There are two views over the meaning of the phrase …

<on its fixed course for a term (appointed).> (The first view) is that it refers to its fixed course of location, which is beneath the Throne, BEYOND the earth in that direction. Wherever it goes, it is beneath the Throne, it and all of creation, because the Throne is the ROOF of creation and IT IS NOT A SPHERE as many astronomers claim. Rather it is A DOME SUPPORTED BY LEGS OR PILLARS, CARRIED BY THE ANGELS, and it is ABOVE the universe, ABOVE the heads of people. When the sun is at its zenith at noon, it is in its closest position to the Throne, and when it runs in its fourth orbit at the opposite point to its zenith, at midnight, it is in its furthest position from the Throne. At that point it prostrates and asks permission to rise, as mentioned in the Hadiths.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I was with the Prophet in the Masjid at sunset, and he said: …

((O Abu Dharr! Do you know where the sun sets?)) I said, ‘Allah AND His Messenger know best.’ He said: ...

((It goes and prostrates itself beneath the Throne, and that is what Allah says: <And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.>))

It was also reported that Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah about the Ayah: …

<And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term.>

He said…

((Its fixed course is beneath the Throne.))"

(The second view) is that this refers to when the sun's appointed time comes to an end, which will be on the Day of Resurrection, when its fixed course will be abolished, it will come to a halt and it will be rolled up. This world will come to an end, and that will be the end of its appointed time. This is the fixed course of its time ... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir Abridged, Volume 8 Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 51 to the end of Surat Ad-Dukhan, abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; September 2000, first edition], pp. 196-197; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

It is obvious that neither Allah nor his messenger knew best since they were both mistaken concerning the sun traveling beneath Allah’s throne, which is supposed to be located above the seven heavens, in order to get permission to resume its course. And if Muhammad didn’t know that it would rain the next day then how did he know that the sun would change its course and rise from the west? If Zawadi says that this is the result of special revelation then why couldn’t Allah also reveal to his prophet whether it would rain or not the next day?

Zawadi explains that Muslims are to obey Muhammad in religious matters:

That is why it is compulsory to obey the Prophet (peace be upon him) in all matters in regards to religion, for he was infallible in these regard...

Saheeh Muslim

Book 030, Hadith Number 5831.


Chapter : It is obligatory to follow the Prophet (may peace be upon him) in all matters pertaining to religion, but one is free to act on one's own opinion in matters which pertain to technical skill.

Rafi' b. Khadij reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) came to Medina and the people had been grafting the trees. He said: What are you doing? They said: We are grafting them, whereupon he said: It may perhaps be good for you if you do not do that, so they abandoned this practice (and the date-palms) began to yield less fruit. They made a mention of it (to the Holy Prophet), whereupon he said: I am a human being, so when I command you about a thing pertaining to religion, do accept it, and when I command you about a thing out of my personal opinion, keep it in mind that I am a human being. 'Ikrima reported that he said something like this.

This is where Zawadi digs himself deeper into the hole. We do agree with him that Muhammad was human, and further believe that he was a false prophet who didn’t receive any revelations from the true God.

Moreover, the hadiths provide plenty of examples proving that Muhammad often spoke out of ignorance and anger:


A'isha reported that two persons visited Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and both of them talked about a thing, of which I am not aware, but that annoyed him and he invoked curse upon both of them and hurled malediction, and when they went out I said: Allah's Messenger, the good would reach everyone but it would not reach these two. He said: Why so? I said: Because you have invoked curse and hurled malediction upon both of them. He said: Don't you know that I have made condition with my Lord saying thus: O Allah, I am a human being and that for a Muslim upon whom I invoke curse or hurl malediction make it a source of purity and reward? (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6285)

This hadith has been reported on the authority of A'mash with the same chain of transmitters and the hadith transmitted on the authority of 'Isa (the words are): "He had a private meeting with them and hurled malediction upon them and cursed them and sent them out." (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6286)

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: O Allah, I make a covenant with Thee against which Thou wouldst never go. I am a human being and thus for a Muslim whom I give any harm or whom I scold or upon whom I invoke curse or whom I beat, make this a source of blessing, purification and nearness to Thee on the Day of Resurrection. (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6290)

Salim, the freed slave of Nasriyyin, said: I heard Abu Huraira as saying that he heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: O Allah, Muhammad is a human being. I lose my temper just as human beings lose temper, and I have held a covenant with Thee which Thou wouldst not break: For a believer whom I give any trouble or invoke curse or beat, make that an expiation (of his sins and a source of) his nearness to Thee on the Day of Resurrection. (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6293)

Anas b. Malik reported that there was an orphan girl with Umm Sulaim (who was the mother of Anas). Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) saw that orphan girl and said: O, it is you; you have grown young. May you not advance in years! That slave-girl returned to Umm Sulaim weeping. Umm Sulaim said: O daughter, what is the matter with you? She said: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) has invoked curse upon me that I should not grow in age and thus I would never grow in age, or she said, in my (length) of life. Umm Sulaim went out wrapping her head-dress hurriedly until she met Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). He said to her: Umm Sulaim, what is the matter with you? She said: Allah's Apostle, you invoked curse upon my orphan girl. He said: Umm Sulaim, what is that? She said: She (the orphan girl) states you have cursed her saying that she might not grow in age or grow in life. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) smiled and then said: Umm Sulaim, don't you know that I have made this term with my Lord. And the term with my Lord is that I said to Him: I am a human being and I am pleased just as a human being is pleased and I lose temper just as a human being loses temper, so for any person from amongst my Ummah whom I curse and he in no way deserves it, let that, O Lord, be made a source of purification and purity and nearness to (Allah) on the Day of Resurrection. (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6297)

Muhammad also warned people about his human frailties and forgetfulness:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) offered prayer. The version of the narrator Ibrahim goes: I do not know whether he increased or decreased (the rak'ahs of prayer).
When he gave the salutation, he was asked: Has something new happened in the prayer, Apostle of Allah? He said: What is it? They said: You prayed so many and so many (rak'ahs). He then relented his foot and faced the Qiblah and made two prostrations. He then gave the salutation. When he turned away (finished the prayer), he turned his face to us and said: Had anything new happened in prayer, I would have informed you. I am only a human being and I forget just as you do; so when I forget, remind me, and when any of you is in doubt about his prayer he should aim at what is correct, and complete his prayer in that respect, then give the salutation and afterwards made two prostrations. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 3, Number 1015)

In fact, Muhammad was so human and fallible that he even gave bad agricultural advice that led to a rather embarrassing situation:

Rafi' b. Khadij reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) came to Medina and the people had been grafting the trees. He said: What are you doing? They said: We are grafting them, whereupon he said: It may perhaps be good for you if you do not do that, so they abandoned this practice (and the date-palms) began to yield less fruit. They made a mention of it (to the Holy Prophet), whereupon he said: I am a human being, so when I command you about a thing pertaining to religion, do accept it, and when I command you about a thing out of my personal opinion, keep it in mind that I am a human being. 'Ikrima reported that he said something like this. (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5831)

But this is precisely where Zawadi gets himself in trouble. According to other reports Muhammad didn’t limit inspiration to religious matters since he actually believed that he ALWAYS spoke by revelation:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As:
I used to write everything which I heard from the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). I intended (by it) to memorise it. The Quraysh prohibited me saying: Do you write everything that you hear from him while the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) is a human being: he speaks in anger and pleasure? So I stopped writing, and mentioned it to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). He signalled with his finger to him mouth and said: Write, by Him in Whose hand my soul lies, only right comes out from it. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 25, Number 3639)


{Wa-ma yantiqu ‘ani-l-huwa, in huwa illa wa’hyum yu’ha (He, Muhammad, does not speak of his own desire, it is only a revelation revealed)} (53:3-4)

Prophet Muhammad did not only speak, or ‘Nataqa (in the present tense: Yantiqu)’ the Quran, he also spoke the Sunnah. Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Aas used to write everything the Prophet said, meaning, his Hadeeth or religious statements. Muslims from the tribe of Quraish –the Prophet’s tribe– criticized Abdullah for doing this, claiming that sometimes the Prophet might say things in anger. Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr asked the Prophet about it, and he said, while pointing to his mouth …

"Rather, write! For by He (Allah) in Whose Hand is my soul, nothing save the Truth comes out of it." (A Sahih Hadeeth; Sahih Sunan Abi Dawud [3646]) (Introduction to: Muhammad The Prophet of Mercy – Muhammad’s Role in Islam, by Jalal Abualrub, edited by Alaa Mencke [Madinah Publishers and Distributors, First Edition: June 2007], p. 35; underline emphasis ours)

If what Muhammad said was true then how could he be mistaken about anything if only truth comes out of his mouth? Moreover, weren’t the people right since Muhammad did say things in anger? Or does this mean that he was actually inspired by his god to curse people in his sinful rage and to give bad agricultural advice? Maybe Zawadi can help make sense out of all this.

Moreover, where does "religion" end? Are not Muslims constantly emphasizing that the religion of Islam encompasses all of life? Why are they talking about Islamic banking? Is that economics or is it religion? What about politics? What about medicine? What about "Islamization of knowledge"? Is there any sphere of life that is outside of religion, in the Islamic understanding? Isn’t that the whole issue of "sunnah", and the Muslim effort to imitate the prophet in as many aspects of life as possible? Is the style of clothing that Muslims wear a matter of personal taste, or is that not very eminently a matter of religion? Can Zawadi define for us what is "outside religion" in his opinion?

Zawadi further says concerning the Quran commanding Muslims to worship Muhammad in Q. 48:9:

First of all, Abd al-Fadi is ignorant of Arabic language whether it is in regards to its structure, grammar or expression. You can check this article exposing him and his likes of Arab Christians:

It cannot be argued that "It is also kufr to make such a statement with reference to God, since God almighty is not in need for succour or help!" because assisting Allah means assisting His Cause and giving support to His religion and His Messenger as in Surah 47:7 "if you assist Allah, He will assist you".

Zawadi is simply committing the fallacy of appealing to authority and of ad hominem, of poisoning the well. He conveniently ignores what Shaykh G .F. Haddad wrote and thinks that by quoting other scholars’ opinions he is somehow proving his position:

"That ye (mankind) may believe in Allah and His messenger, and may honor h/Him, and may revere h/Him, and may glorify h/Him at early dawn and at the close of day" (48:9). Al-Nawawi said that the scholars of Qur'anic commentary have given this verse two lines of explanation, one group giving the three personal pronouns "HIM" a single referent, namely, either Allah ("Him") OR THE PROPHET ("him"); the other group distinguishing between two referents, namely, the Prophet (SAWS) for the first two ("honor and revere him"), and Allah for the last ("glorify Him"). Those of the first group that said the pronouns ALL REFER TO THE PROPHET (SAWS) explained "glorify him" (tusabbihuhu) here to mean: "declare him devoid of inappropriate attributes and pray for him." (The Prophetic Title "Best of Creation"; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Moreover, what makes this all the more amazing is that he accuses the late Christian writer Abd al-Fadi of being ignorant of Arabic even though he quotes a Muslim authority who agrees with this author! Notice what one of Zawadi’s own Islamic scholars said (emphasis ours):

Al-Alousi says…

It was said that the two pronouns refer to the Messenger (peace be upon him) and so was narrated on authority of Ibn 'Abbas. Some claimed that the pronoun in "assist Him" must refer to the Messenger for imagining that assistance CANNOT BE ATTRIBUTED TO GOD THE MOST HIGH. Also, all agree that pronouns in "honour Him and celebrate His praises" refer to God the Most High. Obviously, it is prior of the first two pronouns to refer to God the Most High in order not to break up the pronouns without necessity. (Al-Alousi, Rooh Al Ma'aani, Commentary on Surah 48:9, Source)

The Muslims which Al-Alousi referred to, such as Ibn Abbas, must have been just as ignorant as Abd al-Fadi since they too had a problem with Allah needing help from the Muslims.

As if Zawadi couldn’t make it any worse for himself he proceeds to quote scholars who contradict one another. Again, emphasis ours:

Al-Zamakhshari says…

The pronouns belong to God (glory be to Him), and the meaning of "assisting God" is assisting His Religion and His Messenger. Whosoever breaks up the pronouns, HAS GONE FAR. (Az-Zamakhshari, Tafsir-ul-Kashaf, Commentary on Surah 48:9, Source)

Other scholars such as Imam Razi and al-Nasafi agree with al-Zamakhshari.

What al-Zamakhshari’s comments imply is that the Muslims whom Haddad and al-Alousi mentioned must have gone far and were very ignorant since they broke up the pronouns on the grounds that one cannot speak of a person assisting Allah. Al-Jalalayn must have gone too far as well:

that you may believe (li-tu’minu, may also here be read li-yu’minu, ‘that they may believe’; and similarly read either the second person plural or the third person plural in the next three instances) in God and His Messenger, and that you may support Him (tu‘azziruhu: a variant reading has tu‘azzizuhu) and revere Him (the [third person suffixed] pronoun [-hu, ‘him’] may refer either to God or to His Messenger) and glorify Him, that is, God, morning and evening. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

And talking about begging the question again, pay attention to what this next scholar says:

Ibn 'Ashour says…

The three pronouns refer to God the Glorious due to the fact that mention of two nouns before singular pronouns indicates that only one of them is meant. The clue to recognize which of them is meant is the mention of "and celebrate His praises". (Ibn 'Ashour, Al Tahreer wal Tanweer, Commentary on Surah 48:9, Source)

Note the circular nature of the argument. The exegete takes the command "to celebrate his praises" as ipso facto ruling out Muhammad since he is operating under the mistaken assumption that the Quran would not exhort Muslims to render such worship to their prophet.

But there is substantiation from the Quran and Islamic literature that Muslims are to give Muhammad such praise. For instance, the Muslim scripture says that believers should pray for Muhammad much like Allah and his angels pray for him:

Verily, God and His angels pray for the prophet (yusalloona ala al-nabiyyi). O ye who believe! pray for him (salloo alayhi) and salute him with a salutation! S. 33:56 Palmer

And according to the so-called sound hadiths Muslims are supposed to do this in their daily worship since Muhammad exhorted them to pray to him directly:

Narrated Shaqiq bin Salama:
'Abdullah said, "Whenever we prayed behind the Prophet we used to recite (in sitting) 'Peace be on Gabriel, Michael, peace be on so and so. Once Allah's Apostle looked back at us and said, 'Allah Himself is As-Salam (Peace), and if anyone of you prays then he should say, At-Tahiyatu lil-lahi wassalawatu wat-taiyibatu. As-Salamu 'ALAIKA aiyuha-n-Nabiyu wa rahmatu-l-lahi wa barakatuhu. As-Salam alaina wa ala ibadil-lah is-salihin. (All the compliments, prayers and good things are due to Allah: peace be on YOU, O Prophet and Allah's mercy and blessings be on you. Peace be on us and on the true pious slaves of Allah). (If you say that, it will be for all the slaves in the heaven and the earth). Ash-hadu an la-ilaha illa-l-lahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluhu. (I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I also testify that Muhammad is His slave and His Apostle)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 12, Number 794)


Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Urwa ibn az-Zubayr from Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abd al-Qari that he heard Umar ibn al-Khattab say, while he was teaching people the tashahhud from the mimbar, "Say, Greetings belong to Allah. Pure actions belong to Allah. Good words and prayers belong to Allah. Peace on YOU, Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be upon us and on the slaves of Allah who are salihun. I testify that there is no god except Allah. And I testify that Muhammad is His slave and His messenger."

'At-tahiyatu lillah, az-zakiyatu lillah, at-tayibatu wa's-salawatu lillah. As-salamu ALAYKA ayyuha'nnabiyyu wa rahmatu'llahi wa barakatuhu. As-salamu alayna wa ala ibadi'llahi s-salihin. Ash-hadu an la ilaha illa 'llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluh." (Malik’s Muwatta, Book 3, Number 3.14.56)

Zawadi faces another major dilemma with this daily Muslim practice of praying to Muhammad. Prayers are acts of worship which are to be offered only to God:

Say (O Muhammad): "Verily, my Salāt (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for God, the Lord of the 'Alamīn (mankind, jinns and all that exists). S. 6:162 Hilali-Khan

And that the mosques (al-masajida) are Allah's, therefore call not upon any one [this includes Muhammad] with Allah: S. 72:18 Shakir

How, then, could Muhammad dare include himself as an object of the Islamic prayers without this being an act of worship?

In conclusion: It is not clear whether the three pronouns mentioned in Q. 48:9 refer to Allah, Muhammad or to both. Even Muslims were confused and couldn’t agree among themselves whether the pronouns all had one subject in view or two, and whether the part which says to "assist him" meant that believers had to help Allah or Muhammad. Some Muslims were troubled by attributing this part of the text to Allah since this sounded too blasphemous and they couldn’t figure out why an all-powerful deity would even need their help. What this shows is that, far from being the Arabic masterpiece that dawagandists like Zawadi erroneously believe, the Quran is an incoherent and unintelligible piece of literature which has perplexed Muslim scholars till this day.

Zawadi continues to show that he doesn’t have the ability to comprehend an argument since he repeats the same bad analogy concerning what the Holy Bible teaches on God being the one lawgiver with what the Quran says regarding Allah being the ONLY judge which we already addressed. Instead of repeating ourselves over and over again we will simply ignore it along with his assertion that I am being a hypocrite for not allowing him to reconcile Quranic verses together. Once Zawadi learns to practice what he preaches and apply this same standard to his reading of God’s true Word, the Holy Bible, then he may have the right to accuse me of being inconsistent.

We conclude by addressing what Zawadi mockingly said to me concerning the Quran commanding Muslims to obey Muhammad:

Great, we thank Shamoun for giving us a lecture on the importance of obedience to the Messenger since these arguments are one of the biggest blows to the hadeeth rejecting Muslim creed.

My pleasure, Zawadi. Anything to help Muslims see that their religion has turned Muhammad into a god, an object of worship, proving that Islam is nothing more than repackaged paganism. It seems that these verses had the deification of Muhammad in mind:

Praise belongs to God who created the heavens and the earth and appointed the shadows and light; then the unbelievers ascribe equals to their Lord. S. 6:1 Arberry

Even though the Quran warns Muslims against doing this:

And (remember) when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: "O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed." S. 31:13 Hilali-Khan

Our hope and prayer is that, by the grace of the risen Lord and immortal Savior Jesus Christ, Muslims will turn away from this idolatry to serving the one true and living God of all:

"The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell 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 rescues us from the coming wrath." 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10

"We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life… We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:9-13, 20-21

Related Material

After completing this response I discovered that I had already started a reply to this same article by Zawadi a while back, one that I had forgotten about. Instead of deleting this particular response I have decided to include this as a supplement to the above reply.

In this section I will offer some additional comments to specific points which Zawadi raised.

Zawadi whines about my focusing on the actual, literal reading of the Quran.

There goes Shamoun with his demands again. He demands the exact wording to his satisfaction in each verse he shows besides looking at all verses together and trying to harmonize and interpret them.

Much like Muslims demand for the very precise, exact formulation to appear in the Holy Bible in order to embrace teachings such as the Trinity, the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ etc. This is simply more of Zawadi’s inconsistency as well as a tacit admission that he cannot respond to our challenge.

Zawadi quotes the following commentary:

Ibn Abbas said in his commentary...

(Say) O Muhammad: (Allah is best aware how long they tarried) after that. (His is the Invisible of the heavens and the earth) His is that which is hidden from the servants. (How clear of sight is He and keen of hearing!) so hear and know what I see and know about them and their matter (They have no protecting friend beside Him) they have no one to protect them beside Allah; it is also said that this means: the people of Mecca have no close one to benefit them against Allah's chastisement, (and He maketh none to share in His government) in His dominion of the Unseen. (Ibn Abbaas, Tanwīr al-Miqbās min Tafsīr Ibn 'Abbās, Commentary on Surah 18:26, Source)

So here we see that it really is Allah who is in control. When Allah says that He wont let anyone judge along side with Him, that means that Allah would never give up any of His authority to anyone else like you might have in a company controlled by partnership. What Allah is saying is that He is more like a sole proprietorshipin which He has no partners and doesn't have to answer to anyone. Now even in a sole proprietorship you would still have the vice president and managers who would have authority and take charge. However, at the end of the day there is only one person in ultimate authority and that is the owner.

Similarly with Allah, in this verse He is emphasizing that He is the only judge with no equals. But this doesn't mean that there can't be other judges who are judging by Allah's permission.

It is apparent that Zawadi hasn’t pondered over his own statements carefully since they actually reinforce my claims.

Zawadi denies that Q. 4:65 means that Muhammad is to have the final say in all matters, even though he realizes that this is how some of the very Muslim versions have translated it. What makes this rather ironic is that he conveniently ignored how the expositors explained the meaning of this text which demonstrates that Muhammad’s authority rivals that of Allah in Islam. He chose (quite conveniently I might add) to overlook that the reference plainly commands Muslims to give Muhammad their complete, full, undivided devotion, submitting to him and his rules wholeheartedly. As one of Zawadi’s own sources candidly admitted:

But no, (fa-la, the la is extra) by your Lord! They will not believe until they make you judge over what has broken out, has become mixed up, between them and find in themselves no inhibition, [no] constraint or doubt, regarding what you decide, but submit, [but] comply with your ruling, IN FULL SUBMISSION, WITHOUT OBJECTION. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Another expositor writes:

(But nay, by your lord) Allah swore by Himself and by the age of Muhammad, (they will not believe) in secret nor deserve to be called believers when alone (until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves) in their hearts (no dislike) no doubt (of that which thou decidest) between them, (and submit with full submission) TOTALLY SUBMIT TO YOU. (Tanwīr al-Miqbās min Tafsīr Ibn ‘Abbās; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Thus, far from having sole propriety, Allah has given Muhammad equal partnership in his affairs since he demands that all Muslims fully submit to his messenger as they do their lord.

Zawadi also says that:

Secondly, even if we assume that the verse says ALL, all of what though? It only says to judge in matters that happened between them in their daily life activities. Its not like the verse says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) will judge whether they will go to heaven or not…

Really? If Muhammad couldn’t judge who goes to heaven or not then how could he guarantee the salvation of ten of his companions such as Abu Bakr and Umar?

Narrated Sa'id ibn Zayd:
AbdurRahman ibn al-Akhnas said that when he was in the mosque, a man mentioned Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). So Sa'id ibn Zayd got up and said: I bear witness to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) that I heard him say: Ten persons will go to Paradise: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) will go to Paradise, AbuBakr will go to Paradise, Umar will go to Paradise, Uthman will go to Paradise, Ali will go to Paradise, Talhah will go to Paradise: az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam will go to paradise, Sa'd ibn Malik will go to Paradise, and AbdurRahman ibn Awf will go to Paradise. If I wish, I can mention the tenth. The People asked: Who is he: So he kept silence. The again asked: Who is he: He replied: He is Sa'id ibn Zayd. (Sunan Abu Dawood, Book 40, Number 4632)

Lest Zawadi argue that Muhammad isn’t guaranteeing their salvation but simply announcing what Allah made known to him, here are some examples of Muhammad influencing his god to save people from hell:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:
The Prophet said, "A man keeps on asking others for something till he comes on the Day of Resurrection without any piece of flesh on his face." The Prophet added, "On the Day of Resurrection, the Sun will come near (to, the people) to such an extent that the sweat will reach up to the middle of the ears, so, when all the people are in that state, they will ask Adam for help, and then Moses, and then Muhammad (p.b.u.h)." The sub-narrator added "Muhammad will intercede with Allah to JUDGE amongst the people. He will proceed on till he will hold the ring of the door (of Paradise) and then Allah will exalt him to Maqam Mahmud (the privilege of intercession, etc.). And all the people of the gathering will send their praises to Allah. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 553)

Narrated Ma’bad bin Hilal Al’Anzi:

We, i.e., some people from Basra gathered and went to Anas bin Malik, and we went in company with Thabit Al-Bunnani so that he might ask him about the Hadith of Intercession on our behalf. Behold, Anas was in his palace, and our arrival coincided with his Duha prayer. We asked permission to enter and he admitted us while he was sitting on his bed. We said to Thabit, "Do not ask him about anything else first but the Hadith of Intercession." He said, "O Abu Hamza! There are your brethren from Basra coming to ask you about the Hadith of Intercession." Anas then said, "Muhammad talked to us saying, ‘On the Day of Resurrection the people will surge with each other like waves, and then they will come to Adam and say, ‘Please intercede for us with your Lord.’ He will say, ‘I am not fit for that but you'd better go to Abraham as he is the Khalil of the Beneficent.’ They will go to Abraham and he will say, ‘I am not fit for that, but you'd better go to Moses as he is the one to whom Allah spoke directly.’ So they will go to Moses and he will say, ‘I am not fit for that, but you'd better go to Jesus as he is a soul created by Allah and His Word.’ (Be: And it was) they will go to Jesus and he will say, ‘I am not fit for that, but you'd better go to Muhammad.’

They would come to me and I would say, ‘I am for that.’ Then I will ask for my Lord's permission, and it will be given, and then He will inspire me to praise Him with such praises as I do not know now. So I will praise Him with those praises and will fall down, prostrate before Him. Then it will be said, ‘O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to; and ask, for your will be granted (your request); and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.’ I will say, ‘O Lord, my followers! My followers!’ And then it will be said, Go and take out of Hell (Fire) all those who have faith in their hearts, equal to the weight of a barley grain.’ I will go and do so and return to praise Him with the same praises, and fall down (prostrate) before Him. Then it will be said, ‘O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and ask, for you will be granted (your request); and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.’ I will say, ‘O Lord, my followers! My followers!’ It will be said, ‘Go and take out of it all those who have faith in their hearts equal to the weight of a small ant or a mustard seed.’ I will go and do so and return to praise Him with the same praises, and fall down in prostration before Him. It will be said, ‘O, Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and ask, for you will be granted (your request); and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.’ I will say, ‘O Lord, my followers!’ Then He will say, Go and take out (all those) in whose hearts there is faith even to the lightest, lightest mustard seed. (Take them) out of the Fire.’ I will go and do so." …

Anas told me the same as he told you and said that the Prophet added, ‘I then return for a fourth time and praise Him similarly and prostrate before Him me the same as he ‘O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to; and ask, for you will be granted (your request): and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.’ I will say, O Lord, allow me to intercede for whoever said, ‘None has the right to be worshiped except Allah.’ Then Allah will say, ‘By my Power, and my Majesty, and by My Supremacy, and by My Greatness, I will take out of Hell (Fire) whoever said: ‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allah.’" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 601)

Truly amazing. Instead of Allah taking Muslims out of hell Muhammad will be the one doing that!

How could Muhammad say that he would save people from hellfire on the day of judgment? How could he influence Allah to reverse his decision of punishing people if Muhammad didn’t have a hand in a person’s salvation?

But then again Zawadi has a point since Muhammad wasn’t certain of his own salvation, let alone the salvation of others:

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

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 '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)

Narrated Kharija bin Zaid bin Thabit:
Um Al-'Ala an Ansari woman who had given the Pledge of allegiance to Allah's Apostle said, "'Uthman bin Maz'un came in our share when the Ansars drew lots to distribute the emigrants (to dwell) among themselves, He became sick and we looked after (nursed) him till he died. Then we shrouded him in his clothes. Allah's Apostle came to us, I (addressing the dead body) said, "May Allah's Mercy be on you, O Aba As-Sa'ib! I testify that Allah has honored you." The Prophet said, ‘How do you know that?’ I replied, ‘I do not know, by Allah.’ He said, ‘As for him, death has come to him and I wish him all good from Allah. By Allah, though I am Allah's Apostle, I neither know what will happen to me, nor to you.’" Um Al-'Ala said, "By Allah, I will never attest the righteousness of anybody after that." She added, "Later I saw in a dream, a flowing spring for 'Uthman. So I went to Allah's Apostle and mentioned that to him. He said, ‘That is (the symbol of) his good deeds (the reward for) which is going on for him.’" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 145)

Talk about confusion and contradiction! Muhammad’s contradictory teachings may have been the reason why Abu Bakr was less than certain concerning his destiny even though he had personally been promised paradise:

"Although he had such a faith, which was too great to suffice all the inhabitants of the earth, he was afraid that his heart might go astray. So, he used to utter, while weeping: ‘Would that I have been a bitten tree!’ Whenever he was reminded of his position in Allah’s sight, he would say: ‘By Allah! I would not rest assured and feel safe from the deception of Allah (la amanu limakr Allah), even if I had one foot in paradise.’" (Khalid Muhammad Khalid, Successors of the Messenger, translated by Muhammad Mahdi al-Sharif [Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, Beirut Lebanon, 2005], Book One: Abu Bakr Has Come, p. 99; bold and italic emphasis ours)

Abu Bakr seemed to realize that his prophet’s confusion concerning the fate of his followers and himself was a result of Allah being a deceiver who couldn’t be trusted to do what he says.

For more on Muhammad’s role as intercessor and the problems the Islamic doctrine poses for the perfection and character of Allah please consult the following:

Zawadi introduces a red herring and an irrelevant issue since he claims that Muhammad judges according to what Allah revealed to him. As we mentioned in the previous section the question that Zawadi must answer is how is this supposed to refute the fact that Muhammad shares in Allah’s authority, in his decisions? How does this reconcile the gross contradiction between Allah alone having sole authority and rulership with the Quran exhorting Muslims to fully submit to Muhammad’s decisions, thereby making him a co-equal partner with Allah? Don’t forget what Zawadi wrote above:

When Allah says that He wont let anyone judge along side with Him, that means that Allah would never give up any of His authority to anyone else like you might have in a company controlled by partnership. (Bold and underline emphasis ours)

Yet this is precisely what Allah has done for Muhammad, namely, give his own authority over to his messenger thereby forcing the Muslims to fully submit to his prophet just as they do Allah.

All that Zawadi is proving is that Allah made Muhammad his equal even though Q. 18:26 expressly and emphatically testifies that Allah wouldn’t do this for anyone since he alone is the judge and ruler:

… There is none to be a guardian for them besides Him, and He maketh none to share in His government. Pickthall

… They have no protector other than Him; nor does He share His Command with any person whatsoever. Y. Ali

Zawadi makes the following point concerning my statement that the Quran made it incumbent on Muslims to come to Muhammad in order to obtain forgiveness:

Shamoun is making this general statement that all Muslims must go to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and ask him to ask God for our forgiveness. This is not true. We pray directly to God. The verse was talking about a certain group of hypocrites who rejected the judgment of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and looked for another one to judge between them. Thus, addressed, in this verse, the hypocrites who committed injustice to themselves with such a major sin. So since the hypocrites committed injustice towards the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regards, they were required to go to the Prophet (peace be upon him) as well. See Tafsir Tabari

Zawadi commits the fallacy of hasty generalization and presumes to speak on behalf of all Muslims. Doesn’t he realize that there are so-called authentic narrations that show how Muslims would come to Muhammad’s grave and ask him to pray for their forgiveness?

Although, this verse (64) was revealed in the background of a particular incident relating to hypocrites, yet its words yield a general ruling which stipulates that anyone who presents himself before the Holy Prophet and he prays for his forgiveness, he will be definitely forgiven. And ‘the presence before the Prophet,’ as it would have been during his blessed life in this mortal world, HOLDS THE SAME EFFECT EVEN TODAY as the visit to the sacred precincts of the Mosque of the Prophet and the act of ‘presenting’ oneself BEFORE THE BLESSED RESIDENT OF THE SANCTIFIED MAUSOLEUM FALLS WITHIN THE JURISDICATION OF THIS RULE.

Sayyidna ‘Ali has said: "Three days after we all had finished with the burial of the Messenger of Allah a villager came and fell down close to the blessed grave. Weeping bitterly, he referred to this particular verse of the Qur’an AND ADDRESSING HIMSELF TO THE BLESSED GRAVE, he said: ‘Allah Almighty has promised in this verse that a sinner, if he presented himself before the Rasul of Allah, and the Rasul elects to pray for his forgiveness, then he will forgive him. Therefore, here I am, presenting myself BEFORE YOU so that I may be blessed with YOUR prayer for my forgiveness.’ People personally present there at that time say that, in response to the pleading of the villager, a voice coming out from the sanctified mausoleum rang around with the words… You have been forgiven." (al-Bahr al-Muhit) (Mufti Shafi Usmani, Maariful Quran, Volume 2, p. 486; source; capital emphasis ours)


"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. My self I sacrifice 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: ‘Ya ‘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], volume I, p. 643; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)

For more on this point please read this article.

And isn’t Zawadi aware of the following reports where Muslims prayed to Muhammad directly even after his death?

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; bold and capital emphasis ours)


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; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Of course he knows this already since Zawadi can be found on the following forum asking Muslims to help him refute the authenticity of these narratives (*).

In fact, his statement here:

Qadi Iyad said:

"Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has been rightly guided, and whoever rebels against them both (joining them together by using the dual form) …" The Prophet said to him, "What a bad speaker you are! Get up! [Or he said: Get out!]"

The surprise here is that Qadi 'Iyad here was not talking about (wa/and) at all, rather he was talking about joining Allah with any of His creatures in the same pronoun as (they) or (them). This usage is utterly forbidden; this is the reason why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the speaker: "What a bad speaker you are!"

Is "borrowed" from a Muslim poster on the forum named Moumen (*).

And yet here is what Zawadi was forced to admit on this same forum:

10-08-2007, 02:43 PM

Bro Moumen

I was reading Kitab Al Shifaa', it is even said that some scholars interpreted surah 33:56 as only the angels sending the praises for THEY FEARED that the letter waoow implied partnership between Allah and His angels.

It seems like they are saying that the letter waaoow ALWAYS implies partnership. But i dont agree with that. Context, states whether it is partnership or not. (Capital and underline emphasis ours)

This is not the only time that Bassam has "borrowed" the arguments of Moumen since he will do so again in his "response" to the late Christian writer Abd Al-Fadi.

It cannot be argued that "It is also kufr to make such a statement with reference to God, since God almighty is not in need for succour or help!" because assisting Allah means assisting His Cause and giving support to His religion and His Messenger as in Surah 47:7 "if you assist Allah, He will assist you".

Al-Zamakhshari says…

The pronouns belong to God (glory be to Him), and the meaning of "assisting God" is assisting His Religion and His Messenger. Whosoever breaks up the pronouns, has gone far. (Az-Zamakhshari, Tafsir-ul-Kashaf, Commentary on Surah 48:9, Source)

These are not the words of Zawadi but of Moumen ( No wonder Zawadi could say to Moumen,

10-08-2007, 02:17 AM

Assalamu alaykum

you rock!

Since Zawadi got all of his answers to Abd al-Fadi from him!

What makes this rather amazing is that Zawadi, in this same post, concedes that Abd al-Fadi was correct:

10-07-2007, 06:11 PM

He kind of makes a point. I mean, clearly the verse is talking about the same 'him', but it cannot be Allah for we don't help Allah and it can't be the Prophet for we can't make tasbeeh of the Prophet.

If we interpret the first two to be referring to the Prophet and third to Allah then the sentence seems to be structured strangely.

some assistance please. (Christian Missionary Argument Regarding Surah 48:9)

This is the same Zawadi who just got done telling us that Abd al-Fadi didn’t know Arabic!

Notice the clear dishonesty at work here. At first Zawadi admitted that Abd al-Fadi makes a point but then gives the misleading impression in his rebuttal that this late Christian scholar was ignorant of Arabic! Seeing that we have already addressed Q. 48:9 in the first section there is no need to repeat ourselves here.

Zawadi again seeks to distract his readers from the fact that the Quran says that Muhammad purifies people from their sins, a divine function. It should be noted that even here Zawadi has taken his answers from these same Muslim posters (1, 2).

After citing two specific expositors he concludes:

So here we see that the Prophet (peace be upon him) purifies the people by calling them away from idolatry and evil sins. He also does it by taking wealth from the people, which they pay as charity and that will cleanse their sins for giving charity will do so.

So it is Allah purifying the people through the Prophet (peace be upon him).

First, as we mentioned in regards to Muhammad’s authority to say that Allah is purifying through his messenger is irrelevant since it doesn’t deny the fact that the Quran emphatically says that Muhammad is able to purify sinners.

Second, how does Allah purify sinners if not by calling them away from idolatry and sin and taking wealth from them as charity? In other words, Allah purifies individuals in the same way that Zawadi says Muhammad does!

Third, the examples we gave earlier demonstrate that Muslims understood from Q. 4:64 that they could continue to visit Muhammad’s grave now that he is dead and personally ask him to pray for their forgiveness. If this doesn’t show the central role Muhammad plays in salvation and forgiveness of sins then we don’t know what will!

Zawadi proceeds to commit the fallacy of false analogy:

Similar examples.

Allah is said to be the one teaching the Qur'an (Surah 55:2) but through His Messenger (Surah 3:164).


Allah is said to be the one who guides people (Surah 28:56) but through his Messenger (Surah 13:7)…

These examples backfire against Zawadi since the one who actually did the teaching and proclaimed the guidance to the people was Muhammad, not Allah. This means that Muhammad is just as important and has an equal role in the communication of the Quran as does his god.

Allah is said to take the souls at night (Surah 39:42) but through His angels (Surah 4:97, 32:11)

This doesn’t support Zawadi’s position but simply indicates that the Quran contradicts itself:

So Allah purifies the people by sending his Prophets so that people may follow them since they carry the message of God with them.

If all the Quran were saying is that Muhammad simply conveyed the message of forgiveness Zawadi would have a point. But, unfortunately for him, that is not what is stated in the Muslim scripture. The Quran expressly says that Muhammad actually purifies sinners and that Muslims must fully submit to him as they submit to Allah.

As if this weren’t shocking enough Muhammad further commanded Muslims to love him just as much as they love Allah!

Say: 'If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your clan, your possessions that you have gained, commerce you fear may slacken, dwellings you love -- if these are dearer to you than God AND His Messenger, and to struggle in His way, then wait till God brings His command; God guides not the people of the ungodly.' S. 9:24 Arberry


Narrated Anas:
The Prophet said, "Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:
1. The one to whom Allah AND His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else.
2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah's sake.
3. Who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 15)


Narrated Anas:
Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever possesses the (following) three qualities will have the sweetness of faith (1): The one to whom Allah AND His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else; (2) Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah's Sake; (3) who hates to revert to atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the Fire." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 85, Number 74)

With the foregoing in perspective it becomes abundantly obvious that Muhammad made himself Allah’s equal by demanding a love and devotion which belongs only to God.

Zawadi claims that I am ignorant concerning what Q. 24:62-63 is saying:

Shamoun is ignorant of what the verse is even trying to say. The verse is talking about the etiquette of a person who leaves a gathering. That it is etiquette to ask permission from the Messenger when he leaves a gathering in which the Messenger is in. How can someone ask Allah for permission to leave a gathering?

This only exposes Zawadi’s dishonesty (or gross ignorance) since he knows full well that Muslims use such passages all the time to establish a specific principle, even though the verses in question may not be relevant to the point being discussed.

For instance, how many times have Muslims referenced the following text to prove that a person must take whatever Muhammad gives them?

What Allah gave as booty (Fai') to His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) from the people of the townships, - it is for Allah, His Messenger (Muhammad SAW), the kindred (of Messenger Muhammad SAW), the orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), and the wayfarer, in order that it may not become a fortune used by the rich among you. And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. S. 59:7 Hilali-Khan

Yet when we read the immediate context what this quote is actually saying is that Muslims were to accept whatever portion of the booty Muhammad assigned to them:

And whatever spoils of war God has given unto His Messenger from them, against that you pricked neither horse nor camel; but God gives authority to His Messengers over whomsoever He will. God is powerful over everything. Whatsoever spoils of war God has given to His Messenger from the people of the cities belongs to God, and His Messenger, and the near kinsman, orphans, the needy and the traveller, so that it be not a thing taken in turns among the rich of you. Whatever the Messenger gives you, take; whatever he forbids you, give over. And fear God; surely God is terrible in retribution. S. 59:6-7 Arberry

What makes this rather amusing is that Zawadi himself quotes a Muslim scholar named Taqi Usmani who uses this very verse to prove that one has to submit to Muhammad’s authority!

The Holy Qur'ān says:

Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it; and whatever he forbids you, refrain from it. (59:7)

Although the context of this verse relates to the distribution of the spoils of war, yet it is the well-known principle of the interpretation of the Holy Qur'ān that, notwithstanding the particular event in which a verse is revealed, if the words used are general, they are to be construed in their general sense; they cannot be restricted to that particular event.

Keeping in view this principle, which is never disputed, the verse gives a general rule about the Holy Prophet  that whatever order he gives is binding on the believers and whatever thing he forbids stands prohibited for them. The Holy Qur'ān thus has conferred a legal authority to the Holy Prophet to give orders, to make laws and to enforce prohibitions.

It will be interesting here to cite a wise answer of 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd, the blessed companion of the Holy Prophet, which he gave to a woman.

A woman from the tribe of Asad came to 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ūd and said, "I have come to know that you hold such and such things as prohibited. I have gone through the whole Book of Allāh, but never found any such prohibition in it."

'Abdullah ibn Mas'ūd replied, "Had you read the Book you would have found it. Allāh Almighty says: "Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it; and whatever he forbids you, refrain from it." (59:7). (Ibn Mājah)

By this answer 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ūd pointed out that this verse is so comprehensive that it embodies all the orders and prohibitions of the Holy Prophet and since the questioned prohibitions are enforced by the Holy Prophet they form part of this verse, though indirectly. (Refuting The Argument That The Only Duty Of The Messenger Is To Simply Deliver The Qur'an; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

In light of this Islamic method of interpreting the Quran it is clear that the principle that one gathers from Q. 24:62-63 is that Muslims must seek the permission of Muhammad for whatever one chooses to do since texts like Q. 4:65 demand them to fully submit to his orders. After all if one needs Muhammad’s permission to enter and leave his premises or how to conduct oneself in a gathering then how much more does one need Muhammad’s guidance in regards to the more important decisions of one’s life!

So much for Zawadi’s "response."

Rebuttals to Answering-Christianity
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page