Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Revealing Allah’s Partner in Dispensing Divine Grace

Sam Shamoun

Muslims are constantly boasting of just how rigorously monotheistic the Islamic faith happens to be. They are the first to tell others that they only worship the creator, never the creature, and that Muhammad is nothing more than a human being (albeit the greatest one in their estimation). 

However, as we have documented on numerous occasions, a careful examination of the primary sources of Islam actually prove that the opposite is true. Islam is not a strict monotheistic religion which prohibits the worship of any thing other than Allah, nor does it depict Muhammad as a mere human servant. On the contrary, the Islamic sources portray Muhammad as Allah’s partner, i.e. as one who shares in various attributes and functions which are otherwise claimed to belong exclusively to Allah.

For instance, the Quran is emphatically clear that all grace and bounty are in the hands of Allah alone, meaning that he alone is the source of provision and blessing and that he alone dispenses his bountiful grace to whomever he wishes:

And believe not save in one who followeth your religion - Say (O Muhammad): Lo! the guidance is Allah's Guidance - that anyone is given the like of that which was given unto you or that they may argue with you in the presence of their Lord. Say (O Muhammad): Lo! the bounty is in Allah's hand (inna al-fadla biyadi Allahi). He bestoweth it on whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. S. 3:73 Pickthall

That the People of the Scripture may know that they control naught of the bounty of Allah (fadli Allahi), but that the bounty is in Allah's hand (al-fadla biyadi Allahi) to give to whom He will. And Allah is of Infinite Bounty (thoo al-fadli al-ʿazimi). S. 57:29 Pickthall

In light of the Muslim claims, these verses would have to mean that it is not possible for there to be someone besides Allah who is capable of dispensing divine grace, since Allah does not have any partners who share in his unique characteristics and abilities.

In fact, the Muslim scripture is quite emphatic that associating partners with Allah in his divine attributes, roles, majesty etc., is to commit the unforgiveable sin, commonly known as shirk, especially when carried out by someone who knows full well how much of a serious offense this is against Allah:     

“who made the earth for you a bed and the heaven a dome; and sent down from heaven water, and brought forth therewith fruits as a sustenance for you; so make no peers for God, the while ye know! S. 2:22 Palmer

Surely Allah does not forgive that anything should be associated with Him, and forgives what is besides that to whomsoever He pleases; and whoever associates anything with Allah, he devises indeed a great sin. S. 4:48 Shakir – cf. Q. 4:116

At the same time, however, the Quran states that Muhammad is a partner with Allah in dispensing Allah’s bountiful grace, even going as far as using the Arabic conjunction wa (“and”) to signify this fact:

If only they had been content with what God AND His Apostle (Allahu WA’rasooluhu) gave them, and had said, "Sufficient unto us is God! God AND His Apostle will soon GIVE us of His bounty (Allahu min fadlihi WA‘rasooluhu): to God do we turn our hopes!" (that would have been the right course). S. 9:59 Y. Ali

They swear by Allah that they did not speak, and certainly they did speak, the word of unbelief, and disbelieved after their Islam, and they had determined upon what they have not been able to effect, and they did not find fault except because Allah AND His Apostle ENRICHED them out of His grace (Allahu WA’rasooluhu min fadlihi); therefore if they repent, it will be good for them; and if they turn back, Allah will chastise them with a painful chastisement in this world and the hereafter, and they shall not have in the land any guardian or a helper. S. 9:74 Shakir

According to Muslim scholars and linguists, wa is the conjunction used to denote partnership, which is why it is expressly forbidden for Muslims to employ this word in the same sentence where Allah is mentioned alongside someone else:

A Jewish man came to the Prophet and said: "Verily, you (Muslims) commit Shirk, for you say: ‘As Allah wills AND as you will;’ and you say: ‘By the Ka’bah!’" And so the Prophet ordered whoever wanted to swear, to say: "By the Lord of the Ka’bah" and to say: "As Allah wills, THEN as you will." (An-Nasaa’ee, it was declared saheeh by Albanee in as Saheehah # 137 and declared saheeh by Adh-Dhahabee in his checking of Al Mustadrak and declared saheeh by Ibn Hajar in Al Isaabah 4/389)

A man came to the Prophet and he said: "As Allah AND you will," at which the Prophet said: "Would you set me up as a partner besides Allah? As Allah Alone Wills" (An-Nasaa’ee, declared authentic (hasan) by Albanee in as Saheehah # 139)

On the authority of At-Tufail the half brother of Aishah it is reported that he said: "I saw in a dream that I came upon a number of Jews and I said to them: ‘You are indeed a good people were it not that you claim ‘Uzair is the son of Allah.’ They replied: ‘You too are good, were it not that you say: As Allah wills AND as Muhammad wills.’ Then, I came upon a number of Christians and I said to them: ‘You are indeed a good people were it not that you claim the Messiah (Jesus) is the son of Allah.’ They replied: ‘You are also good, were it not that you say: As Allah wills AND as Muhammad wills.’ When I awoke I told someone about this then I went to the Prophet and repeated it to him. He asked me: ‘Have you told anyone about this?’ I said: ‘Yes.’ Then he went to the pulpit and, after praising Allah, he said: ‘At-Tufail had a dream which he has already communicated to some of you. You used to say something which I was prevented from forbidding to you until now. Henceforth do not say: As Allah wills AND as Muhammad wills, but say: What Allah Alone Wills.’" (Ibn Maajah, Albanee mentioned it in as Saheehah # 138, Al Haythamee said in Majma Az-Zawaaid: the men in its chain are reliable according to the conditions of Imam Muslim) (Takhreej of Kitaab at Tawheed, posted by, 2004, Chapter 43: Saying: "As Allah Wills and You Will", pp. 21-22; See also Kitab At-Tawheed, by Sheikh ul-Islam Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, translated by the Compilation and Research Department Dar-us-Salam [Dar-us-Salam Publications Riyadh-Saudi Arabia, 1996], Chapter No: 44. How it is to say “What Allah may will and you may will”; capital, italic and underline emphasis ours)


“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), translation by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K.; third reprint 1991, paperback], Part One. Allah’s great estimation of the worth of his Prophet expressed in both word and action, Chapter One. Allah’s praise of him and his great esteem for him, Section 1. Concerning praise of him and his numerous excellent qualities, p. 8; capital emphasis ours)

This means that the author(s) and/or editor(s) is/are guilty of turning Muhammad into Allah’s partner by making him a sharer in Allah’s ability of bestowing or dispensing his grace and bounty upon his creatures. The Muslim scripture expressly says that Muhammad was capable of enriching people, since he was able to give them from the bounty of Allah, even though the Quran itself says that this is a divine prerogative which belongs solely to Allah!

So much for Islam being a rather strict form of monotheism.

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