Is Mohammad (pbuh) Deified? [Part – 4]

Is Mohammad (pbuh) Deified?

More refutations to the cliché hoax of Mohammad’s (pbuh) deification

 Part – 4

Question Mark

 

In Part – 3, Shamoun objected to calling on Prophet’s (peace be upon him) name. However, in this installment we would consider his appeals to Qur’an 9:24, 4:65, 3:31-32, 48:8-9 and the related Tafseer literatures to establish that Prophet (peace be upon him) is deified.

 

Is Mohammad (peace be upon him) a divine partner of Allah (SWT)?

 

Later in his paper, Shamoun tried to establish that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a partner with Allah (SWT). He had a few misunderstood Islamic Scriptures to support his case:

“That’s not all. Muhammad made himself Allah’s partner in respect to salvation, love, and devotion.

For instance, Muhammad ordered his followers not to love anything as much as, or more than, Allah AND himself:

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

And:

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)”

This is yet another case where we will have to expound Qur’an for emotional Christians who criticize Islam for the sake of criticizing and not to seek truth.

In order to explain the misuse of the Qur’anic verse to establish a false notion that Prophet (peace be upon him) and Allah (SWT) are joined in any divine sense, we will have to observe that the subject verse does not restrict love for Allah (SWT) “and” Prophet (peace be upon him) only; rather, it continues to state that even the mission to strive and struggle in Allah’s (SWT) cause should also be loved above all other worldly things.

At this instance, it is confirmed that either, Shamoun missed to conjoin, Allah “AND” Mohammad (peace be upon him) “AND” Struggle in His way. Or, he has not understood the divinely inspired God’s pure word.

The love for Allah (SWT) and Prophet (peace be upon him) is realized in the heartily obedience to Prophet’s commands, injunctions etc, which directly comes from Allah (SWT). With that said, in the following, we will expound what the verse actually means and how it has been misunderstood:

a)      The verse specifically states that the love of:

  • Kith, kin and relatives
  • Attraction to wealth and prosperity
  • Allurements and adornments of commerce.
  • Finally, trappings of worldly comforts like high buildings etc…

…Should not be rated above the love, dearness and inclination towards obedience to Allah’s commands which includes obeying Prophet (peace be upon him) and striving in His cause.

The theological fallacy committed in the above objection is that the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) words pertaining to Islam is considered to be distinct from Allah (SWT). Nevertheless, this notion is entirely false because:

Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him:” (Qur’an 53:3, Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-Rom Version)

 

And,

and neither does he speak out of his own desire: that [which he conveys to you] is but [a divine] inspiration with which he is being inspired” (Qur’an 53:3-4, M. Asad, Al-Alim CD-Rom Version)

From the above cited verses it is clear that obeying Prophet’s (peace be upon him) command is in turn, obeying Allah’s (SWT) command, and therefore, Prophet (peace be upon him) is to be loved above all in obedience to the divinely inspired injunctions he provides; loving Allah (SWT) above all “AND” loving (by means of obedience) Prophet (peace be upon him) above all, indirectly, alludes back to loving Allah (SWT) again. Out of love, when one abides by Prophet (peace be upon him) knowing that his injunction are indeed from Allah (SWT) then one actually follows Allah’s (SWT) command and thereby, loves Him.

The verse is general in its application, however, it can be related to specific incident in Prophet’s (peace be upon him) life.

When Abu Talib was on his death bed, he cared, in other words, he loved more the opinions, judgments and belief of his relatives as compared to the advices of Prophet (peace be upon him) which ultimately led to his eternal destruction:

            “Narrated Al Musaiyab

When Abu Talib’s death approached, the Prophet went to him while Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya were present with him. The Prophet said, “O uncle, say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allah,’ so that I may argue for your case with it before Allah.” On that, Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah bin Abu Umaiya said, “O Abu Talib! Do you want to renounce ‘Abdul Muttalib’s religion?” Then the Prophet said, “I will keep on asking (Allah for) forgiveness for you unless I am forbidden to do so.” Then there was revealed:

“It is not fitting for the Prophet and those who believe that they should invoke (Allah) for forgiveness for pagans even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of the Fire.” (9.113) (Sahih Al – Bukhari, Volume 6, Hadith 197. Al – Alim CD – ROM Version)

Narrated Abu Said Al Khudri

Abu Said Al Khudri”/> I heard Allah’s Apostle when his uncle, Abu Talib had been mentioned in his presence, saying, “Maybe my intercession will help him (Abu Talib) on the Day of Resurrection so that he may be put in a shallow place in the Fire, with fire reaching his ankles and causing his brain to boil.” (Sahih Al – Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadith 569. Al – Alim CD-ROM Version.)

Thus, we see the consequence of not loving (and thus not obeying the advices of) Prophet (peace be upon him). When Prophet (peace be upon him) called Abu Talib, as a messenger of God, to attest his testimony towards Islamic monotheism, he loved and honored the opinions and traditional beliefs of his forefathers (Abdul Mutallib) above the love of Allah (SWT) and His Prophet (peace be upon him).

The influence, and thus the love of his kith and kin hindered him from loving Allah (in His worship) and His Prophet (in obedience to his prophetic commands) and thus, he chose eternal damnation. Thus, to achieve success one will have to love, above all, Allah (SWT) – as their only Lord and Deity and, Mohammad (peace be upon him) as the divinely appointed caller towards that one and only Deity and Lord.

Thus, there is no conjoining in loving Allah (SWT) as only Deity and loving Prophet (peace be upon him) as a true caller towards this only Deity – above all other things.

b)       Even if we brush aside all the explanations provided above, yet to imply any sort of divine conjoining, the subject Islamic Sources should state that the love and dearness shown to Allah (SWT) is same in capacity as expressed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and (struggle in His cause).

However, the verse is not stating so – it is not talking about the capacity of dearness which is to be showed amongst Allah (SWT) and Prophet (peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace be upon him) is to be loved as messenger (because he is “no more than a messenger” (Qur’an 3:144)) and Allah (SWT) is to be loved as The Deity.

Hence we see again that no divine association between Allah (SWT) and Prophet (peace be upon him) is established.

Further Response on the misuse and mishandling of Qur’an 9:24

Paying respect to the context and the entirety of the subject chapter – chapter 9; we find the Muslims with feeble faith backing out when asked to step out in Allah’s cause and migrate to Medina:

O ye who believe! what is the matter with you then when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life as compared with the hereafter. (Qur’an 9:38)

Not merely it, the Muslims with faint faith were not even willing to help the Prophet (peace be upon him) during trying times:

If ye help not (your Leader) (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him: when the unbelievers drove him out:… (Qur’an 9:40)

Thus, the entire chapter as a whole is talking about Muslims with weak faith (1.) not willing to follow the commandment of Allah (SWT) (to migrate), (2.) not willing to help the Prophet (peace be upon him) and thus, (3.) not willing to participate in the noble struggle in the cause of Allah (SWT).

 In the backdrop of the foregoing context, rating worldly affairs above the more noble cause of obeying Allah (SWT) (thus dearness and love of Allah (SWT)), helping Prophet (peace be upon him) (thus dearness and love for Prophet (peace be upon him)) and participating in struggle for Allah’s (SWT) cause is worded and rebuked in the subject verse; thus, it is not talking about equal love or dearness to Allah (SWT) and Mohammad (peace be upon him). After having knowledge of the context of the subject verse, no sane can claim that the subject verse claims equal love for Prophet (peace be upon him) and God – Almighty.

Providing yet another theological response to Shamoun, dearness and love of Allah (SWT) and His Prophet (peace be upon him) are inseparable; one cannot claim that s/he loves Allah (SWT), however, obedience to Prophet (peace be upon him) is objectionable to him/her – this is true for any prophet. Since, Allah (SWT) interacts to the general laity through His divinely appointed prophets, thus, an allegiance to these special men is incumbent as a proof of love to the Creator.

A Muslim has to love Allah (SWT) and the Prophet (peace be upon him) simultaneously, nevertheless, Allah (SWT) is to be loved as an absolute Deity and prophet is to be loved as messenger/prophet. And, the Qur’anic verse (and the quoted Hadith) is not breaching this fact since the verse is not claiming that Muslims love Prophet (peace be upon him) as God, this is what Shamoun has claimed and assumed, however, as usual, he failed to established it.

Theologically corrupt argument continues…

In order to somehow establish that Prophet (peace be upon him) is deified, Shamoun culled out Qur’an 4:65 to claim that Muslims are required to submit to him:

“Muhammad further demanded that all true believers fully submit themselves to him and his desires:

But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission S. 4:65 Hilali-Khan”

As a matter of fact, we feel proud and joyous to submit to the decisions and judgments of the Prophet (peace be upon him) because:

Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him:” (Qur’an 53:3, Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-Rom Version)

 

And,

and neither does he speak out of his own desire: that [which he conveys to you] is but [a divine] inspiration with which he is being inspired” (Qur’an 53:3-4, M. Asad, Al-Alim CD-Rom Version)

Pertaining to Islam, Prophet (peace be upon him) did not say or judge anything out of his own personal mechanism but it was inspired to him by the pure God.

Moreover, accepting his decisions whole heartedly also indicated/s the level of belief and faith which one has in God since he was divinely appointed by God. As Late Qur’an translator Yusuf Ali explains:

The test of true Faith is not mere lip profession, but bringing all our doubts and disputes to the one in whom we profess faith. Further, when a decision is given we are not only to accept it, but find in our inmost souls no difficulty and no resistance, but on the contrary a joyful acceptance springing from the conviction of our own faith.” (Note YAT_583. Sura 4 Ayah 65. Al-Alim CD-Rom Version)

Because Mohammad (peace be upon him) had the seal of prophet hood therefore, it becomes incumbent on the followers to submit to the rulings, decisions etc laid by him. Because there can be no better or more truer decisions, judgments than the judgments of the messenger of God.

In what is going to follow, we would again see, by Shamouns logics, how he missed to conjoin other prophets (peace be upon them) besides Mohammad (peace be upon him). The passages from true Scripture would also expose his misunderstanding of the same.

Not just Mohammad (peace be upon him) but every true prophet of the pure and one God was to be followed and submitted to during their era:

“The people of Noah rejected the apostles. Behold their brother Noah said to them: “Will ye not fear (Allah)? “I am to you an apostle worthy of all trust:So fear Allah and obey me. “No reward do I ask of you for it: my reward is only from the Lord of the Worlds: “So fear Allah and obey me.” (Qur’an 26:105-110)

Notice that according to the above cited verse, Noah (peace be upon him) was worthy of ALL trust. It can be deduced from it – in all matters, decisions, opinions etc Noah (peace be upon him) was to be trusted, followed and submitted. Furthermore, he was also to be obeyed; but natural, in all of his decisions as well.

We have other prophets as well to be followed and submitted:

“The `Ad (people) rejected the apostles. Behold their brother Hud said to them: “Will ye not fear (Allah)? “I AM TO YOU AN APOSTLE worthy of all trust.So fear Allah and obey me.” (Qur’an 26: 123-126)

If Hud (peace be upon him) is worthy of ALL trust then by the corollary his decisions will have to be trustworthy and thus, submitted to and obeyed.

Salih’s (peace be upon him) decisions were also to be submitted to and obeyed:

“The Thamud (people) rejected the apostles. Behold their brother Salih said to them: “Will you fear (Allah)? “I am to you an apostle worthy of all trust. “So fear Allah and obey me.” (Qur’an 26: 141-144)

Lut (peace be upon him) was also to be submitted to:

“The people of Lut rejected the apostles. Behold their brother Lut said to them: “Will ye not fear (Allah)? “I am to you an apostle worthy of all trust.”So fear Allah and obey me.” (Qur’an 26: 160-163)

 

Shuaib (peace be upon him) was no exception:

“The Companions of the Wood rejected the apostles. Behold Shuaib said to them: “Will ye not fear (Allah)? “I am to you an apostle worthy of all trust. “So fear Allah and obey me. (Qur’an 26:176-179)

Thus, we have seen, contrary to the flawed logic and understanding of Shamoun, submitting to the will and decision of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is in turn submitting to the will and decision of Allah (SWT) since he is His ambassador; this is further supported by the fact that we have several other prophets (peace be upon them all) who also deserved to be submitted to by their followers!

Nevertheless, if Shamoun has issues with Muslims submitting in totality to the judgments of Prophet (peace be upon him) in their disputes then matters would get embarrasing if we turn to Bible.

In it we find scores of mere men, let alone prophets, from all walks of life judging disputes of men and men submitting to them in totality:

Mere mortals as judge:

 

 

If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judge may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. (Deuteronomy 25:1)

“And I charged your judges at that time, saying, hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. (Deuteronomy 1:16)

Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. (Deuteronomy 16:18)

And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment: (Deuteronomy 17:9)

To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David. Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? Do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? (Psalm 58:1)

Lot (peace be upon him) as a judge:

“And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. (Genesis 19:9)

So called Dan as judge:

“Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. (Genesis 49:16)

Moses (peace be upon him) as judge:

“And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.”  (Exodus 18:13)

Observe that the above Exodus verse states that people stood from morning unto evening! just to get judged by Moses (peace be upon him). Their earnest desire to get judged by Moses (peace be upon him), no matter, how long they waited in queue, implies that they were ready to submit to the judgments and decisions of Moses (peace be upon him) whole heartedly. We cannot expect, in all possibilities, that these people would stand whole day to finally claim that we do not submit entirely to the decision which Moses (peace be upon him), as an ambassador of God, has made.

Thus, we find that biblical figures also judged between the disputes of their people – so did last and final Prophet (peace be upon him), however, if Shamoun is consistent with his argument then he should first bow down to biblical prophets and mere mortals and start their worship alongside the worship of father AND son AND ghost and then attack straw man against Islam.

Continuing on his flimsy arguments; Shamoun wrote:

“Muhammad went so far as to connect obedience to his orders with the forgiveness of sins and Allah’s love, e.g., if a person wants Allah to love him/her and to be forgiven of his/her sins then s/he must perfectly obey Muhammad:

Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Say (O Muhammad): “Obey Allah AND the Messenger (Muhammad).” But if they turn away, then Allah does not like the disbelievers. S. 3:31-32 Hilali-Khan

 

Mankind went astray from the true and pure God – Allah (SWT) to the worship of false deities, however, it was the duty of the prophet(s) to advice them towards truth again so that they might once again turn to the true and pure God – Allah (SWT) and earn His favors and love. So, following prophet(s) would indeed earn people the love of Allah (SWT), Al – Hamdolillah!

Specifically, mankind during Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) era abandoned themselves to evil. They rejected message of messengers previously sent to the world. Mohammad (peace be upon him) was sent as one of their own kith and kin. His life was known to them – he had proved his uprightness (in all regards) to them and thus, earned all sorts of trust. Therefore, it became incumbent to follow his advice when he called them as a true prophet and consequently worship Allah (SWT) and gain His love.

A person cannot claim to love Allah (SWT) just by lip profession, however, when His very appointed prophet beckons them towards Him, they frown away from him. This attitude, indirectly, proves their hypocrisy in true love for Allah (SWT). Thus, as a test, a real lover of Allah (SWT) would always follow the Prophet (peace be upon him) otherwise, the love for Allah (SWT) is not real.

Thus, it is absurd to claim deification of Prophet (peace be upon him) if he is followed and as a consequence of it, the follower is loved by Allah (SWT) and their sins are forgiven.

Shamoun tried to support his above argument of obedience to Prophet (peace be upon him) through a Tafsir literature, by doing so he gave us more opportunity to expose his ignorance:

“After hearing Muhammad recite these verses, some of his contemporaries accused him of trying to make himself comparable to Jesus in Christian devotion:

(Say) O Muhammad!: (If ye love Allah) and His religion, (follow me) follow my Religion; (Allah will love you) He will increase your love (and forgive you your sins) which were committed when you followed Judaism. (Allah is Forgiving) of whoever repents, (Merciful) towards whoever dies in a state of repentance. This verse was revealed about the Jews who claimed they were the children of Allah and His beloved ones. When this verse was revealed ‘Abdullah Ibn Ubayy said: “Muhammad is commanding us to love him as the Christians loved Jesus”, and the Jews said: “Muhammad wants us to take him as a compassionate Lord, just as the Christians took Jesus as a compassionate Lord”. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs, Q. 3:31; bold emphasis ours)

These folks could clearly see that Muhammad was commanding his followers to view him as an object of religious worship in the same way that Christians did (still do) with Christ. However, Christians admit that Jesus is God in the flesh, and is therefore worthy of all worship, glory, and honor. Muhammad, on the other hand, is supposed to be an imperfect, fallible human being. To, therefore, fully submit to and perfectly obey him is to give a creature the honor and reverence which belongs only God. 

 

Several responses are in order to the above claim:

Firstly, (a.) the person who claimed that Mohammad (peace be upon him) commands the same love to be shown to him as was shown to Jesus (peace be upon him) is Abdullah ibn Ubayy who was not a Muslim, but a hypocrite and a liar. Therefore, all Shamoun did, to expose his desperation, is to appeal to a hypocrite. (b.) The bunch of people who misunderstood Mohammad (peace be upon him) expected Muslims to treat him as their compassionate Lord, were Jews – the same Jews who misunderstood Jesus (peace be upon him) and even to this day misunderstand him.

Being consistent, because Shamoun appeals to Hypocrites (and mischievous Jews), would he accept if somebody appeals to Jews for identity of Jesus (peace be upon him)?

Furthermore, Shamoun himself provides a refutation to his claim; notice that he mentions “…SOME of his contemporaries”; indicating, there were other knowledgeable people amongst the non – Muslims who did not misunderstand Prophet (peace be upon him) – people of the likes of Abdullah Ibn Salam (a learned Jew), Waraqa Ibn Naufal and Salman Farsi (learned Christians). Ironically, they all (we are not certain about Waraqa) became Muslims!

It is strikingly noticeable that no Muslim claimed that Mohammad (peace be upon him) wants a non befitting status and affection – thus, Shamoun has a case, only when he runs to lying hypocrites or mischievous Jews.

Secondly, we find in Hadith literature an utterly opposite quotation from Prophet (peace be upon him) which directly responds to the claims the Jews and Hypocrites were making:

“I heard the Prophet saying, Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a slave. So, call me the Slave of Allah and His Apostle.” (Al-Bukhari 4.654)

So even if the Jews and Hypocrite(s) were making the claim, it was utterly refuted by Prophet (peace be upon him).

Further Shamoun also alleged that Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted polytheists to make him their personal idol:

“But it gets even better (or should we say worse?). According to another tradition, Q. 3:31 was composed to encourage the pagans to abandon their idols for Muhammad!

(Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah…) [3:31]. Said al-Hasan ibn Jurayj: “Some people had claimed at the time of the Messenger of Allah that they loved Allah. They said: ‘O Muhammad! Verily, we love our Lord’, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Juwaybir also reported that al-Dahhak related that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Prophet saw the Quraysh in the Sacred Mosque prostrating to their idols which they erected therein, with eggs of ostriches hanging from them and earrings dangling from their ears. And so he said to them: ‘O Quraysh! You have contravened the religion of your fathers Abraham and Ishmael, both of whom were Muslims’. They responded: ‘O Muhammad! We worship them out of love for Allah and so that they bring us closer to Him’. Upon which Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah) and you worship your idols to bring you closer to Him, as you claim, then (follow me; Allah will love you…) for I am His Messenger to you, His proof against you, AND I AM MORE WORTHY OF REVERENCE THAN YOUR IDOLS”. Al-Kalbi also related from Abu Salih that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “When the Jews said: ‘We are the children of Allah and His beloved’, Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. Then the Messenger of Allahread it to the Jews but they refused to accept it”. Muhammad ibn Ishaq reported that Muhammad ibn Ja’far ibn al-Zubayr said: “This was revealed about the Christians of Najran, for they had said: ‘We venerate and worship Christ out of love and veneration for Allah’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse as a response”. (‘Alī ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuzul; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Muhammad not only wanted the pagans to get rid of their idols, he also wanted them to take the very love and reverence which they had for their gods and give it to him instead.

In other words, Muhammad basically wanted everyone to make him their personal idol!”

Once again several responses are in order. We would respond using two approaches, namely, Discordant and Concordant Approach:

Discordant Approach

In the very first place, Prophet (peace be upon him) did not ask the polytheists to worship him as they worship their idols. On the contrary, he asked them to follow him, that is, his advices.

Secondly, notice that polytheists said they have reasons to worship their idols to which Prophet (peace be upon him) responded he is more worthy, not of worship, but of reverence. It is rather stark as to why Prophet (peace be upon him), while responding to the polytheists, changed the word “worship” (which they were using) to “reverence”; implying, that Prophet (peace be upon him) never wanted worship out of them but reverence in a way of obedience to his advices.

Thus, the Tafsir, as of now has not proved that Mohammad (peace be upon him) demanded any worship from the idolaters, nevertheless, it has shed doubts on its authenticity.

Furthermore, we can disagree with the above Tafsir citation, and we have good grounds to do so because Allah (SWT) revealed the status of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as no more than mere mortal and messenger and Mohammad (peace be upon him) himself denied any over and un-befitting respect and praise for himself:

Muhammad is no more than an Apostle: many were the Apostles that passed away before him. If he died or were slain will ye then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve him) with gratitude. (Qur’an 3:144)

Say: “I tell you not that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor do I know what is hidden, nor do I tell you I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me.” Say: “can the blind be held equal to the seeing?” Will ye then consider not? (Qur’an 6:50)

“Say: “I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as Allah willeth. If I had knowledge of the unseen I should have multiplied all good and no evil should have touched me I am but a warner and a bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith.” (Qur’an 7:188)

How can a man who is no more than a mere mortal, proclaiming no power over any good or harm urge polytheists to revere him (allegedly, in a sense of worship) more than their idols ironically when they used to worship idols for their necessities. The Qur’anic verse and the alleged saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the Tafsir does not reconcile and under this situation we may deny the Tafsir report.

Commenting on Qur’an 3:144, Yusuf Ali writes:

“This verse primarily applies to the battle of Uhud, in the course of which a cry was raised that the Messenger was slain. He had indeed been severely wounded, but Talha, Abu Bakr, and Ali were at his side, and his own unexampled bravery saved the Muslim army from a rout. This verse was recalled again by Abu Bakr when the messenger actually died a natural death eight years later, to remind people that Allah, Whose Message he brought, lives for ever. And have need to remember this now and often for two reasons: (1) when we feel inclined to pay more than human honor to one who was the truest, the purest, and the greatest of men, and thus in a sense to compound for our forgetting the spirit of his teaching, and (2) when we feel depressed at the chances and changes of time, and forget that Allah lives and watches over us and over all His creatures now as in a history in the past and in the future.” (Note 460)

Al-Bukhari provides a similar teaching:

“I heard the Prophet saying, Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a slave. So, call me the Slave of Allah and His Apostle.” (Al-Bukhari 4.654)

 

How can it be believed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) demanded reverence more than worshipped idols when he himself forbade over reverence on him which was paid to a supposed deity -Jesus (peace be upon him) by a particular community. If indeed Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted himself to be worshipped then it was expected him as saying, “Exaggerate me in praising as the Christians praise the son of Mary, for I am your only Lord God.”, nevertheless, he spoke exact contrary to this statement.

It does not reconcile that Mohammad (peace be upon him) would at one hand demand over reverence from idol worshippers and on other hand deny and repel exaggerated reverence paid to him like was paid to supposed deity – Jesus (peace be upon him) by Christians. After all, why would Mohammad (peace be upon him) want reverence of supposed deities Lat and Uzza (say) only, while rejecting exaggerated reverence given to another supposed deity – Jesus (peace be upon him); we do not think that Trinitarian Christians offer less reverence to Jesus (peace be upon him) as their deity than what pagans would pay to Lat or Uzza.  

From the foregoing it looks like the Tafsir report can be interpreted from a different perspective. This leads us to our second approach:

Concordant Approach

Denying the false belief and argumentation of polytheists that they worship the idols out of love and to gain nearness of Allah (SWT) – Mohammad (peace be upon him) states that true love of Allah (SWT) can be achieved, not by worshipping false and non – existent gods, but by following God’s divinely appointed prophets.

In other words, reverence (not worship) due for a true Prophet of a pure God is over the worship directed at false and futile stocks and stones. There is more pith and purpose is revering true prophet (as a prophet) than worshipping baseless idols. Thus, Prophet’s (peace be upon him) demand to revere him above the worship of futile and baseless idols is justified from this perspective.

Yet again, we found that each of Prophet’s (peace be upon him) action just complied to the fact that he is “no more than an Apostle” and neither did he ever expected or taught any one to treat him more than that.

This takes us to the fifth and final installment in the series where we look the ongoing series as a whole and recapitulate it.

Note:

  • All Emphasize wherever not found in original, is ours.
  • All Qur’anic quotations, unless otherwise mentioned, are taken from Yusuf Ali Translation, Al – Alim CD-ROM Version.
  • All Biblical quotations, unless otherwise mentioned, are taken from King James Version, E-Sword Version.
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