Did the Meccans really believe that Allah was the Supreme God?

Responding to one Muslim Dawagandist who thinks they did

Sam Shamoun

This is a rebuttal to Bassam Zawadi’s reply (*) to my article that discusses whether the Meccans really believed that Allah was the Supreme God over all (*).

Zawadi starts off by questioning my knowledge of Islam.

My Response:

It seems like we need to give Shamoun a class in basic Islamic theology. (Pretty pathetic to give to a man whom supposedly studied Islam for more than a decade).

What is rather pathetic is Zawadi’s desperate attempt of refuting straw man. But we have come to expect such pathetic argumentation from Zawadi. More pathetic still is Zawadi’s gross ignorance of what his religious sources really teach despite the fact that he has grown up around Muslims all his life.

Tawheed (monotheism) is of three types.

The problem with Zawadi’s assertion is that neither the word Tawhid nor its threefold prescription appears in the Quran, nor were such categories or terms used by or known to Muhammad and his companions. These are facts admitted by Muslims themselves:

Tauhiyd comes from the verb wahhad which literally means TO UNITE. In Islamic terminology, it means to realize and maintain the unity of Allah in one's actions (inwardly and outwardly). The actual word tauhiyd does not occur in the Quran or Sunnah though the present tense of the verb (from which tauhiyd is derived) is used in Sunnah. The Prophet sent Muadh ibn Jabal as governor of Yemen in 9 A.H. He told him, "You will going to the people of the book, so first invite yuwahhidu Allah [them to the assertion of the oneness of Allah]".[1]

Further, the division of tauhiyd into the components known to us today WERE NOT DONE BY THE PROPHET OR HIS COMPANIONS. It was systematically defined as such in order to convey, as concisely as possible, the simple unitarian belief of Islam. This was necessary because as Islam quickly spread to the four corners of the world, new converts began to interpret the teachings of Islam in line with their own philosophical concepts of Allah and so confusion arose. Preconceived interpretations, all of which are blameworthy, were propagated by those who wanted to destroy Islam from the inside. The first such enemy of Islam was an Iraqi convert from Christianity named Sausan who preached man's absolute free will while denying (qadr) Divine Decree[2]. His student, Ma`bad ibn Khalid al-Juhani[3], spread such deviant ideas until he was tried and executed by the Umayyad Caliph. There were three other such executions over the period of 26 years. The later Umayyad Caliphs were relatively more corrupt and cared less about such religious issues. At the same time, the masses were also relatively less educated about their religion. This proved to be a deadly combination. As the number of deviants increased through the liberation of various lands, apostates were no longer executed. Instead, Muslim scholars rose to execute the tide of heretics intellectually. Tauhiyd, precisely defined, EMERGED OUT OF THIS DEFENSE STRATEGY. Tauhiyd had been divided into the three following categories: tauhiyd ar-rububiyah, tauhiyd al-asma was-sifaat, and tauhiyd al-`ibadah or tauhiyd al-`uluuhiyah. Tauhiyd has been likened to a tree, the roots being tauhiyd ar-rububiyah, the trunk being tauhiyd al-asma was-sifaat, and the fruit being tauhiyd al-`ibadah. Each category of tauhiyd will now be discussed in some detail. (The Concept of Tauhiyd, 7 October 2005; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)


Or consider the seventy-three-page "introduction" to volume one of this same translation, a tract that explains the Muslim Trinity: Tawhid al-Rububuyya, Tawhid al-Uluhiyya, and Tawhid al-Asma wa al-Sifat—the (1) Tawhid of Lordship, (2) Tawhid of Godhood, and (3) Tawhid of Names and Attributes. By way of preface to it, Dr. Khan notes that many Western converts enter Islam without knowing what belief in the Oneness of Allah really means. He clarifies that tawhid is not one; namely, to say and believe the shahada of Islam with complete conviction—as it was from the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) until the advent of Ibn Taymiya seven centuries later—as new converts might imagine, but must now be three in order to be one, and cannot be one without being three. While such logic may be already familiar to converts from Christianity, Imam Bukhari (d. 256/870) certainly never knew anything of it, and its being printed as an "introduction" to his work seems to me to qualify as "tampering with classical texts"—aside from being a re-form of traditional ‘aqida, in which Islam, in the words of the Prophet of Islam (Allah bless him and give him peace), "is to testify that there is no god except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah …" (Sahih Muslim, 1.37: 8). (Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Question 3, Re-Forming Classical Texts: As far as Wahhabi tamperings with classical texts goes, how widespread is this heinous crime? Can you give some serious examples of this?; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Another authority whom Zawadi sources (1; 2), Shaykh Gibril Foaud Haddad writes:

It is related by al-Harawi from Imam al-Shafi`i, that he said, Imam Malik was asked about kalam (Theological rhetoric) and tawhid, so Malik said:

"It is foolishness to think about the Prophet, that he taught this Umma about istinja (cleaning after relieving oneself), but he did not teach them tawhid. And tawhid is what the Prophet said:

‘I was commanded to fight the people until they say: There is no Deity worthy of worship besides Allah.’" [Quoted in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

This report is true and its meaning undisputed. It shows that tawhid is One, NOT THREE. Its splitting into three IS ONE OF THE INNOVATIONS OF MISGUIDANCE that created fitna among the Muslims and is reminiscent of the Byzantine disputations. It is strange that some are still confused over this. (Haddad, "Salafi" Tamperings of Classical Texts – The ‘Aqida of the Imams, (2) Tampered Report - Imam Malik And Istawa; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)

And for a scathing criticism of breaking down Tawhid into multiple categories and a sharp refutation of Ibn Taymiyyah for introducing this innovation we highly recommend these articles: [1], [2].

With the foregoing in perspective it is pretty hard to imagine how the Meccan Arabs could embrace the three divisions of Tawhid when such a threefold classification was only formulated centuries after the death of Muhammad!

Now Zawadi may contend that the pagans knew of the three aspects of Islamic monotheism, even though the exact terminology and precise division may not have been used at that time, since the Quran expressly speaks of these different classifications. The problem with this assertion is that the Quran actually contradicts this later innovation (more like deviation) as we shall seek to prove.

Finally, Zawadi fails to mention that certain Muslims have introduced another category of Tawhid, called Tawhid al-Hakamiyya (i.e. judgment/decree belongs to Allah alone). Now Zawadi may not like this fourth category since his Salafi scholars do not consider it a legitimate subset of Tawhid, believing that it falls under the classification of Tawhid al-Rububiyya instead. Yet the fact remains that there are Muslims who have included this within the Muslim innovation of breaking Tawhid into various categories.

1. Tawheed Ar-Ruboobiya. The exclusive uniqueness of Allah as omnipotent Lord. The one and the only one fully capable and in command in His creation. This belief affirms that God is the only ultimate Creator of all things.

The polytheists of Mecca affirmed this belief as seen in Surah 23:84-89, 29:61-63 and 31:25.

It seems that I am going to have to walk Zawadi through this step by step since he totally ignored what I had said. It is obvious from certain verses and narratives that the pagans did not believe that Allah was the unrivaled Supreme Being, but that he was one of many competing and equal gods. Note, once again, the hadith which I sourced in my initial article:

… Abu Sufyan said, "Our victory today is a counterbalance to yours in the battle of Badr, and in war (the victory) is always undecided and is shared in turns by the belligerents, and you will find some of your (killed) men mutilated, but I did not urge my men to do so, yet I do not feel sorry for their deed." After that he started reciting cheerfully, "O Hubal, be high!" On that the Prophet said (to his companions), "Why don't you answer him back?" They said, "O Allah's Apostle! What shall we say?" He said, "Say, Allah is Higher and more Sublime." (Then) Abu Sufyan said, "We have the (idol) Al Uzza, and you have no Uzza." The Prophet said (to his companions), "Why don't you answer him back?" They asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What shall we say?" He said, "Say Allah is our Helper and you have no helper." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 276)

And here is another narration:

Narrated Al-Bara:
We faced the pagans on that day (of the battle of Uhud) and the Prophet placed a batch of archers (at a special place) and appointed 'Abdullah (bin Jubair) as their commander and said, "Do not leave this place; and if you should see us conquering the enemy, do not leave this place, and if you should see them conquering us, do not (come to) help us," So, when we faced the enemy, they took to their heel till I saw their women running towards the mountain, lifting up their clothes from their legs, revealing their leg-bangles. The Muslims started saying, "The booty, the booty!" 'Abdullah bin Jubair said, "The Prophet had taken a firm promise from me not to leave this place." But his companions refused (to stay). So when they refused (to stay there), (Allah) confused them so that they could not know where to go, and they suffered seventy casualties. Abu Sufyan ascended a high place and said, "Is Muhammad present amongst the people?" The Prophet said, "Do not answer him." Abu Sufyan said, "Is the son of Abu Quhafa present among the people?" The Prophet said, "Do not answer him." Abu Sufyan said, "Is the son of Al-Khattab amongst the people?" He then added, "All these people have been killed, for, were they alive, they would have replied." On that, 'Umar could not help saying, "You are a liar, O enemy of Allah! Allah has kept what will make you unhappy." Abu Sufyan said, "Superior may be Hubal!" On that the Prophet said (to his companions), "Reply to him." They asked, "What may we say?" He said, "Say: Allah is More Elevated and More Majestic!" Abu Sufyan said, "We have (the idol) Al-'Uzza, whereas you have no 'Uzza!" The Prophet said (to his companions), "Reply to him." They said, "What may we say?" The Prophet said, "Say: Allah is our Helper and you have no helper." Abu Sufyan said, "(This) day compensates for our loss at Badr and (in) the battle (the victory) is always undecided and shared in turns by the belligerents. You will see some of your dead men mutilated, but neither did I urge this action, nor am I sorry for it." Narrated Jabir: Some people took wine in the morning of the day of Uhud and were then killed as martyrs. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 375)

Abu Sufyan attributes his victory over the Muslims to his gods/goddesses, e.g. Hubal and al-Uzza. He even responds to Muhammad’s chant of Allah being higher by extolling the praise of his idols that assisted him in the victory against the Muslims. This shows that rather than thinking that Hubal and al-Uzza were not as great as Allah, or that they were less powerful than he, Abu Sufyan actually believed that these gods/goddesses were equal to, if not greater than, him since they could defeat his followers in battle.

To put this another way so that Zawadi doesn’t miss the point, the fact that Abu Sufyan attributed his victory over Muhammad and his deity to Hubal and Uzza suggests that in his mind these idols were equal, if not superior, to Muhammad’s Allah. He obviously felt that Allah could be challenged and defeated, which means that the pagan Meccans didn’t see Allah as the unrivaled supreme Deity as certain Quranic citations and Islamic traditions claim.

Thus, the Muslim assertion that Allah wasn’t a mere pagan deity among many rival gods that the Meccans worshiped is extremely doubtful.

More importantly, Allah is not the sole ruler or judge, nor does he have sole command over his creation. Muhammad is his partner who has equal ownership of the earth and whose decisions are just as binding as Allah’s:

VI: Expelling the Jews from the <Arabian peninsula>

'Umar said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "We will let you remain in that as long as Allah lets you remain there."

2996. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "While we were in the mosque, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came out and said, ‘Go to the Jews.’ We went out until we came to the house of al-Midras. He said, ‘Become Muslim and you will be safe. Know that the earth belongs to Allah AND His Messenger. I want to expel you from this land. Whoever of you has some property should sell it. However, the earth belongs to Allah AND His Messenger.’" (Aisha Bewley, Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 63. Chapters on the Jizya and Truces; source; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Muhammad audaciously claims that the earth belongs to Allah and to him, which may explain why the Quran speaks of Allah restoring to his messenger the plunder and possessions of the peoples:

And whatever Allah restored to His Messenger from them you did not press forward against it any horse or a riding camel but Allah gives authority to His messengers against whom He pleases, and Allah has power over all things. Whatever Allah has restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns, it is for Allah AND for the Messenger, and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, so that it may not be a thing taken by turns among the rich of you, and whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you keep back, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is severe in retributing (evil): S. 59:6-7

If this weren’t shocking enough Muhammad even demanded that his followers fully surrender their will and decisions to him:

But no! by your Lord! they do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any straitness in their hearts as to what YOU have decided and submit with entire submission. S. 4:65 Shakir

Note carefully what this text is saying. It is not enough to submit to Allah and his decisions, one must equally submit to Muhammad and his judgments as well! As one of the writers that Zawadi often quotes admitted:

When the best generation of humankind ever to walk the earth realized that the Lord of the Heaven was addressing them directly with His timeless Speech in the language which they had mastered better than any human nation ever mastered a language, they realized that not only had Allah Almighty deputized the worthiest of them as the carrier of the final Message to humanity, but He had also made belief in that most honorable, most distinguished, and most accomplished Messenger - our liege-lord Muhammad - an integral condition of belief in Allah Himself by saying repeatedly "Believe in Allah AND the Messenger."

They also heard Allah again and again command them to "Obey Allah AND the Messenger." They also realized that Allah Almighty stressed to them that this Messenger was their paramount model of behavior and of belief in Allah and the Last Day. They also heard and understood it meant they had to follow him and love him before they could claim to follow and love Allah.

They further understood the required levels of following the Prophet properly and truly on which one's actual belief in Allah Most High depended: {But nay, by your Lord! they will not believe (in truth) until they make you judge of what is in dispute between them}. But to make the Prophet judge is not enough, this must be done without any mental reservation toward the Prophet and his decision: {and find within themselves no dislike of that which you decide}. Even this unalloyed acceptance of the Prophet's judgment is not enough, there must be full embrace of the heart, mind and soul for the Prophet: {and submit with full submission} (4:65)! (Gibril Fouad Haddad, The Story of Hadith - On Obeying, Following, Imitating, And Loving Prophet Muhammad; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Thus, Islam doesn’t come close to affirming Tawhid al-Rububiyya but really teaches that Muhammad is Allah’s co-equal partner, Islam’s other god.

2. Tawheed Al-Uloohiya. The exclusiveness uniqueness of Allah as deity. Allah is the only valid object of worship and no portion of any form of worship may be directed to other than Allah.

The polytheists of Mecca went against this belief for they directed their worship to idols as well and not Allah alone.

Allah criticizes them for believing that God is the sole creator of the heavens, yet at the same time they directed their worship to others beside Him.

Surah 39:38

And verily, if thou shouldst ask them: Who created the heavens and the earth? they will say: Allah. Say: Bethink you then of those ye worship beside Allah, if Allah willed some hurt for me, could they remove from me His hurt; or if He willed some mercy for me, could they restrain His mercy? Say: Allah is my all. In Him do (all) the trusting put their trust.

First, here is a more accurate translation:

And verily, if you ask them: "Who created the heavens and the earth?" Surely, they will say: "Allah (has created them)." Say: "Tell me then, the things that you invoke besides Allah, if Allah intended some harm for me, could they remove His harm, or if He (Allah) intended some mercy for me, could they withhold His Mercy?" Say: "Sufficient for me is Allah; in Him those who trust (i.e. believers) must put their trust." S. 39:38 Hilali-Khan

The Quran discourages people from praying or invoking any one or thing else besides Allah, which is quite relevant in exposing the true teachings of Islam as we shall see.

Second, the Quran doesn’t simply say that Muslims are not to worship any one else, but that they are not to serve anyone but Allah. The primary word which the Quran uses for worshiping Allah is ibaadah and a person who worships is called an abd (slave).

O My servants ('ibadi) who believe! surely My earth is vast, therefore Me alone should you serve (fa'budun). S. 29:56 Shakir

Behold, the apostles came to them, from before them and behind them, (preaching): "Serve (ta‘buduu) none but God." They said, "If our Lord had so pleased, He would certainly have sent down angels (to preach). Now we reject your mission (altogether)." S. 41:14 Y. Ali

Say: 'O unbelievers, I serve (a‘budu) not what you serve (ta‘budun) and you are not serving (a‘biduna) what I serve (a‘bud), nor am I serving (‘abidum) what you have served (‘abattum), neither are you serving (‘abiduna) what I serve (‘abud). To you your religion, and to me my religion!' S. 109:1-6 Arberry

This is precisely why Tawhid al-Uluhiyya is also called Tawhid al-Ibaadah.

Moreover, bowing down (sujud) and invoking/praying to Allah are acts which are directly connected with the service that must be rendered only to Allah:

Surely those who are with thy Lord wax not too proud to serve Him (‘ibadatihi); they chant His praise, and to Him they bow (yasjudoona). S. 7:206 Arberry

And your Lord says: "Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me (‘ibadati) will surely find themselves in Hell - in humiliation!" S. 40:60

And who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besides God, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become enemies for them and will deny their worshipping/serving (bi‘ibadatihim). S. 46:5-6 Hilali-Khan

Muhammad even forbad people to call their slaves abdi:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: None of you must say: "My slave" (abdi) and "My slave-woman" (amati), and a slave must not say: "My lord" (rabbi or rabbati). The master (of a slave) should say: "My young man" (fataya) and "My young woman" (fatati), and a slave should say "My master" (sayyidi) and "My mistress" (sayyidati), for you are all (Allah’s slave and the Lord is Allah, Most High. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 4957)

Here is where the problem lies for Zawadi. Not only does the Quran allow Muslims to own slaves who will serve them:

O believers, prescribed for you is retaliation, touching the slain; freeman for freeman, slave for slave (wal-‘abdu bil‘abdi), female for female. But if aught is pardoned a man by his brother, let the pursuing be honourable, and let the payment be with kindliness. That is a lightening granted you by your Lord, and a mercy; and for him who commits aggression after that -- for him there awaits a painful chastisement. S. 2:178

And do not marry the idolatresses until they believe, and certainly a believing maid is better than an idolatress woman, even though she should please you; and do not give (believing women) in marriage to idolaters until they believe, and certainly a believing servant (la‘abdum-mu’minun) is better than an idolater, even though he should please you; these invite to the fire, and Allah invites to the garden and to forgiveness by His will, and makes clear His communications to men, that they may be mindful. S. 2:221 Arberry

And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves (‘ibadikum) and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing. S. 24:32 Arberry

It even claims that Allah permitted the angels and certain prophets to bow down (sujud) to other creatures!

And when We said to the angels, 'Bow yourselves to Adam'; so they bowed themselves (osjudoo li-adama fasajadoo), save Iblis; he was one of the jinn, and committed ungodliness against his Lord's command. What, and do you take him and his seed to be your friends, apart from Me, and they an enemy to you? How evil is that exchange for the evildoers! S. 18:50 Arberry

Behold! Joseph said to his father: "O my father! I did see eleven stars and the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrate (sajideena) themselves to me!" S. 12:4 Y. Ali

And he raised his parents upon the throne and they fell down in prostration (sujjadan) before him, and he said: O my father! this is the significance of my vision of old; my Lord has indeed made it to be true; and He was indeed kind to me when He brought me forth from the prison and brought you from the desert after the Shaitan had sown dissensions between me and my brothers, surely my Lord is benignant to whom He pleases; surely He is the Knowing, the Wise. S. 12:100 Shakir

If this weren’t bad enough, there are certain reports where Muslims are invoking and praying to others besides Allah:

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)

In the above so-called sound narrations we find Muslims praying directly to Muhammad! This isn’t the only example of Muslims praying to or through someone besides Allah:

III: People asking the Imam to ask for rain when there is a drought

963. It is related that the father of 'Abdullah ibn Dinar said, "I heard Ibn 'Umar reciting the poem of Abu Talib:

Faultless, he is asked, by his noble face, to pray for rain,

    A support for the orphans, a defence for the widows."

It is related that Salim said that his father (Ibn 'Umar) said, "Sometimes I remembered the words of the poet while looking at the face of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he was praying for rain. He did not get down until the rain was flowing in every gutter:

Faultless, he is asked, by his noble face, to pray for rain,

   A support for the orphans, a defence for the widows.

Those were the words of Abu Talib."

964. It is related from Anas, "If there was a drought, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab would ask al-'Abbas ibn 'Abdu'l-Muttalib to do the rain prayer. He would say, 'O Allah, we seek intercession with You by Your Prophet and we ask You for rain. We seek intercession with You by the uncle of our Prophet, so give us rain!'" He added, "And they were given rain." (Aisha Bewley, Sahih of al-Bukhari Collection, Chapter 21. The Rain Prayer; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)


Abdullah bin Qurt narrates…

I then departed from the Masjid via Ethiopia Gate and said to myself, "I will commit a grave error if I fail to make salam at the tomb of Rasulullah, for I do not know whether or not I will see it again."

So I went to the room where ‘Aishah was sitting at the grave. ‘Ali and al-‘Abbas were also present with al-Husayn sitting in ‘Ali’s lap and al-Hasan in al-‘Abbas’s lap. They were reciting Suratul-An‘am while ‘Ali was reciting Surah Hud. I made salam to Rasulullah.

‘Ali: O Ibn Qurt, are you going to Syria?

Ibn Qurt: Yes, O cousin of Rasulullah. I think that once I reach there the two armies will already be deeply embroiled in fighting. They will see me coming without help or reinforcements. I really fear that they will become weak and frightened. I wish that I could reach them before they fight so that I can at least advise them and counsel them with patience.

‘Ali: So what is stopping you from asking ‘Umar to make du’a for you?…

Ibn Qurt: I am well aware of all these virtues of ‘Umar which you have mentioned, but in addition I would like your du’a and the du’a of al-‘Abbas, the paternal uncle of Rasulullah, especially here at the noble tomb of Rasulullah.

Al-‘Abbas raised his hand in supplication. ‘Ali, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, ‘Aishah (and Hafsah and Umm Salamah who had also arrived) joined them. He prayed, "O Allah, we seek intercession THROUGH THIS CHOSEN PROPHET AND SELECTED MESSENGER THROUGH WHOM ADAM ALSO SOUGHT INTERCERSSION and then You forgave his error. O Allah, make the road easy for ‘Abdullah and fold up the long distances for him. Help the Sahabah of Your Prophet with victory. You are the Hearer of Du’a."

He then said, "Go Abdullah, for it is unlikely that Allah will reject the du’a of ‘Umar, ‘Abbas, ‘Ali, al-Hasan, and the wives of Rasulullah, especially when they have interceded through the best of all creation." (Al-Imam al-Waqidi, The Islamic Conquest of Syria, A Translation of Futuhusham: The Inspiring History of the Sahabah’s Conquest of Syria, translated by Mawlana Sulayman al-Kindi [Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., London 2005], Part 3: Al-Yarmuk, pp. 287-288; capital and underline emphasis ours)

All of these examples conclusively refute the assertion that Islam does not tolerate or allow Muslims to pray, serve and/or bow to anyone other than Allah.

3. Tawheed Al-Asmaa' wa As-Sifaat. The exclusiveness uniqueness of Allah with regard to His names and attributes as He told us in the Qur'an or commanded his Prophet (peace be upon him) to tell us in the hadith. Stated another way: this form of tawheed pertains to complete acceptance of Allah's attributes and names as they have been given to us.

Zawadi forgets to mention the following important piece of information:

The Essence of Shirk in Tawheed al-Asma wa-Sifaat:

Shirk in Tawheed al-Asma wa-Sifaat is to give other than Allah, the qualities (Attributes), which are specific of Allah Alone. For example, amongst the Attributes of Allah is that He is the Knower of the Unseen (Ghayb) and He alone knows what the heart conceals. Allah says: "Say, ‘None in the Heavens and the earth know the Ghayb (Unseen) except Allah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected."

Therefore, to consider someone other than Allah to have the knowledge of the past, future or the Unseen is Shirk (associating partners with Allah).

This concept of Tawheed distinguishes Islam from many other religions. Those who have studied comparative religion can very easily realize that, while the Jews made their Creator like the creation, the Christians make the creation like the Creator. (Sajid Abdul Kayum, The Jamaa'at Tableegh and the Deobandis, Chapter 2: The Islamic Concept of Tawheed (Monotheism); source; bold emphasis ours)


Ibn al-Qayyim has listed some of the types of ilhad to include:

May Allah (SWT) guide us all. Ameen. (What is Tawheed Asma wa al-Siffat? July, 2007: source; bold emphasis ours)

Pay careful attention to the bold parts – naming any being with the names of Allah or their derivatives is a clear violation of this category of Tawhid.(1)

And yet even here Zawadi runs into problems since the Quran ascribes certain divine characteristics to other beings. For instance, Allah’s Spirit is a divine person who shares God’s essential attributes such as giving life, being omnipotent and omnipresent etc.

And mention in the Book Mary when she withdrew from her people to an eastern place, and she took a veil apart from them; then We sent unto her Our Spirit that presented himself to her a man without fault. She said, 'I take refuge in the All-merciful from thee! If thou fearest God ... He said, 'I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a boy most pure. She said, 'How shall I have a son whom no mortal has touched, neither have I been unchaste?' He said, 'Even so thy Lord has said: "Easy is that for Me; and that We may appoint him a sign unto men and a mercy from Us; it is a thing decreed."' S. 19:16-21

And Mary, Imran's daughter, who guarded her virginity, so We breathed into her of Our Spirit, and she confirmed the Words of her Lord and His Books, and became one of the obedient. S. 66:12

What we understand by interpreting these verses in light of one another is that Allah sent forth his Spirit to cause Mary to conceive Jesus Christ. Hence, the Spirit is the Creator.

Thou shalt not find any people who believe in God and the Last Day who are loving to anyone who opposes. God and His Messenger, not though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their clan. Those -- He has written faith upon their hearts, and He has confirmed them with a Spirit from Himself; and He shall admit them into gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein to dwell forever, God being well-pleased with them, and they well-pleased with Him. Those are God's party; why, surely God's party -- they are the prosperers. S. 58:22

In order for the Spirit to be able to confirm, or strengthen, all the believers wherever they maybe he must be omnipresent and omnipotent, attributes which belong only to God. It is little wonder that the late Muslim translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali believed that this Spirit from Allah is actually an incomprehensible Divine entity:

Cf. ii 87 and 253, where it is said that God strengthened the Prophet Jesus with the holy spirit. Here we learn that all good and righteous men are strengthened by God with the holy spirit. If anything, the phrase used here is stronger, ‘a spirit from Himself'. Whenever any one offers his heart in faith and purity to God, God accepts it, engraves that faith on the seeker's heart, and further fortifies him with the Divine Spirit, which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature of God. (Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Quran, p. 1518, f. 5365; bold emphasis ours)

Moreover, specific names of Allah such as al-Aziz (the (al)Mighty):

Allah made it not but as a message of good news for you and as an assurance to your hearts. And there is no victory except from Allah, the All-Mighty (al-Aziz), the All-Wise. S. 3:126 Hilali-Khan

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

Whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth glorifies Allah, the King (of everything), the Holy, the All-Mighty (al-Aziz), the All-Wise. S. 62:1 Hilali-Khan

And Rabb (Lord):

Truly! Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path. S. 3:51 Hilali-Khan

He [Musa (Moses)] said: "O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother, so separate us from the people who are the Fasiqun (rebellious and disobedient to Allah)!" S. 5:25 Hilali-Khan

Are even applied to human beings:

And women in the city said: "The wife of Al-'Aziz is seeking to seduce her (slave) young man, indeed she loves him violently; verily we see her in plain error." S. 12:30 Hilali-Khan

(The King) said (to the women): "What was your affair when you did seek to seduce Yusuf (Joseph)?" The women said: "Allah forbid! No evil know we against him!" The wife of Al-'Aziz said: "Now the truth is manifest (to all), it was I who sought to seduce him, and he is surely of the truthful." S. 12:51 Hilali-Khan

What makes this example rather interesting is that it erroneously applies an Arabic title to an Egyptian who lived before the time of Moses! (*)


There did Zakariya PRAY TO HIS LORD: 'O MY LORD! Grant unto me from Thee a progeny that is pure: for Thou art He that heareth prayer!' While he was standing in prayer in the chamber, THE ANGELS CALLED UNTO HIM: 'Allah doth give thee glad tidings of Yahyá (John) witnessing the truth of a Word from Allah, and (be besides) noble, chaste, and a prophet,- of the (goodly) company of the righteous.' HE SAID: 'O MY LORD! How shall I have a son, seeing I am very old, and my wife is barren?' 'Thus,' was the answer, 'Doth Allah accomplish what He willeth.' HE SAID: 'O MY LORD! Give me a Sign!' 'Thy Sign,' was the answer, 'Shall be that thou shalt speak to no man for three days but with signals. Then celebrate the praises of thy Lord again and again, and glorify Him in the evening and in the morning.' S. 3:38-41 Shakir

When he called upon his Lord in a low voice, He said: MY LORD! surely my bones are weakened and my head flares with hoariness, and, my Lord! I have never been unsuccessful in my prayer to Thee: And surely I fear my cousins after me, and my wife is barren, therefore grant me from Thyself an heir, Who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Yaqoub, and make him, my Lord, one in whom Thou art well pleased. O Zakariya! surely We give you good news of a boy whose name shall be Yahya: We have not made before anyone his equal. He said: O MY LORD! when shall I have a son, and my wife is barren, and I myself have reached indeed the extreme degree of old age? HE SAID: So shall it be, YOUR LORD SAYS: It is easy to Me, and indeed I created you before, when you were nothing. He said: My Lord! give me a sign. He said: Your sign is that you will not be able to speak to the people three nights while in sound health. S. 19:3-10 Shakir

Note the following points from the foregoing references:

What this means is that Zechariah was addressing the angels, or one specific angel, as his lord! Here is a portion of the passage which highlights this point:

He said, 'O my Lord, how shall I have a son, seeing my wife is barren, and I have attained to the declining of old age?' SAID HE, 'So it shall be; THY LORD SAYS, "Easy is that for Me, seeing that I created thee aforetime, when thou wast nothing."' S. 19:8-9 Arberry

The person speaking refers to what Zechariah's lord had said, which makes it obvious that he could not be Allah. And yet it is this same entity who was speaking on Allah’s behalf that Zechariah addressed as his lord!

Mary is also depicted as addressing the angels or one of the angels as her lord:

Behold! THE ANGELS SAID: 'O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee - chosen thee above the women of all nations. O Mary! worship thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down.' This is part of the tidings of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee (O Messenger) by inspiration: Thou wast not with them when they cast lots with pens (or arrows), as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary: Nor wast thou with them when they disputed (the point). Behold! THE ANGELS SAID: 'O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah. He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.' She said: 'O MY LORD! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?' HE SAID: 'Even so; Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, "Be," and it is!’ S. 3:42-47

Thus, the Quran portrays prophets and believers as violating another aspect of Islamic monotheism!

It is not (possible) that a man, to whom is given the Book, and Wisdom, and the Prophetic Office, should say to people: 'Be ye my worshippers rather than Allah's: On the contrary (he would say) 'Be ye worshippers of Him (Who is truly the Cherisher of all): For ye have taught the Book and ye have studied it earnestly.' Nor would he instruct you to take angels and prophets for Lords and patrons. What! would he bid you to unbelief after ye have bowed your will (to Allah in Islám)? S. 3:79-80

It does seem that Allah has bid some prophets and believers to unbelief after they had bowed to him.

With the foregoing in perspective it is rather obvious that Zawadi couldn’t adequately refute my claims and therefore decided to throw out red herrings by bringing up irrelevant issues. Unfortunately for Zawadi, he didn’t realize that by raising the topic of Tawhid he would only be helping us to expose the fact that the Quran does not teach the type of monotheism that he and his Muslim cohorts erroneously believe.

We end our rebuttal by adopting Zawadi’s closing remarks.


The Quran and hadith literature are filled with contradictions since certain references teach that the polytheists of Mecca believed that Allah was the supreme deity and the creator of the heavens and the earth whereas other texts imply that they actually believed that he was just one of many rival and competing gods/goddesses.

Moreover, Zawadi’s rebuttal only provided another example of his failure and inability to pay close attention to what the Quran teaches and to what I actually wrote. It has long been obvious to us that Zawadi can’t help but to expose his gross ignorance of basic kindergarten grade Islamic theology.


Further Reading

Here is a host of articles and rebuttals which deal with the issue of Islamic monotheism more in depth, e.g. whether Allah is a singular consciousness or a multi-personal Being, whether the Quran teaches the three classifications of Tawhid etc.,





(1) It is interesting that, in the NT, the Lord Jesus ascribes to himself some of the very attributes and characteristics which the Quran acknowledges belong exclusively to God, such as an-Nur (the Light [Q. 24:35]), al-Haqq (the Truth/Reality [Q. 22:6, 62; 23:116]), al-Hayy (the Life/Living One [Q. 25:58; 40:65]), al-Muhyi (the Giver of Life [Q. 2:28; 30:50]), al-Ba’ith (The Raiser/Resurrector of the dead [Q. 2:28; 22:5-6; 30:50]) and al-Awwal wa al-Akhir (the First and the Last [Q. 57:3]):

"Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD, and those who hear will live… Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear HIS VOICE and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment." John 5:25, 28-29

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I AM THE LIGHT of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’" John 8:12

"We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I AM THE LIGHT of the world." John 9:4-5

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." John 10:27-28

"Jesus said to her, ‘I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.’" John 11:25-27

"Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, AND THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me.’" John 14:6

"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST, AND THE LIVING ONE. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.’" Revelation 1:17-18

Yet in spite of such clear, unambiguous statements Muslims like Zawadi will still deny that Jesus claimed to be God in the NT Scriptures.

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