By Sam Shamoun
In this part of our rebuttal we are going to take a closer look at what the Islamic sources teach concerning the role that Muhammad plays in the life of a Muslim, especially as it pertains to forgiveness of sins and salvation.
Contrary to William’s assertions that there is no mediator in Islam, the Quran is emphatically clear that Allah does not grant forgiveness or peace apart from Muhammad.
According to the Islamic scripture Allah only loves and forgives those who believe in Muhammad, perfectly submit to his decisions, and seek for his intercession:
Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Say: Obey Allah and the messenger. But if they turn away, lo! Allah loveth not the disbelievers (in His guidance). S. 3:31-32 Pickthall
It was by the mercy of Allah that thou wast lenient with them (O Muhammad), for if thou hadst been stern and fierce of heart they would have dispersed from round about thee. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs. And when thou art resolved, then put thy trust in Allah. Lo! Allah loveth those who put their trust (in Him). S. 3:159 Pickthall
We sent no messenger save that he should be obeyed by Allah's leave. And if, when they had wronged themselves, they had but come unto thee and asked forgiveness of Allah, and asked forgiveness of the messenger, they would have found Allah Forgiving, Merciful. But nay, by thy Lord, they will not believe (in truth) until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which thou decidest, and submit with full submission. S. 4:64-65 Pickthall
Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily! Your invocations are a source of security for them, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. S. 9:103 Hilali-Khan
The true believers are only those, who believe in (the Oneness of) Allah AND His Messenger (Muhammad), and when they are with him on some common matter, they go not away until they have asked HIS permission. Verily! Those who ask your permission, those are they who (really) believe in Allah and His Messenger. So if they ask your permission for some affairs of theirs, give permission to whom YOU WILL of them, and ask Allah for their forgiveness. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. S. 24:62 Hilali-Khan
The Quran further emphasizes the need for Muslims to love both Allah and Muhammad more than anything, even more than their very own lives:
Say: If your fathers, and your sons, and your brethren, and your wives, and your tribe, and the wealth ye have acquired, and merchandise for which ye fear that there will no sale, and dwellings ye desire are dearer to you than Allah and His messenger and striving in His way: then wait till Allah bringeth His command to pass. Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. S. 9:24 Pickthall
You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), even though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred (people). For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Ruh (proofs, light and true guidance) from Himself. And We will admit them to Gardens (Paradise) under which rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allah is pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Verily, it is the Party of Allah that will be the successful. S. 58:22 Hilali-Khan
That’s not all. The so-called sound ahadith proclaim that a Muslim(ah) must bless and pray for Muhammad if s/he wants Allah to accept his/her supplications and acts of worship:
Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "Supplication and prayer are suspended between the heaven and the earth and none of it rises to Allah UNTIL YOU PRAY ON THE PROPHET." Ali related something similar and added, "and on the family of Muhammad."
Ibn Mas'ud said, "When one of you wants to ask Allah for something, he should begin by praising and extolling Him as He deserves and THEN bless the Prophet. Then his supplication is more likely to be successful."…
The hadith says, "The supplication between the two prayers is not rejected." Another hadith says, "Every supplication is veiled below heaven and when the prayer on me is made, THEN it ascends." (Qadi 'Iyad Ibn Musa al-Yahsubi, 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. 253-254; bold and capital emphasis ours)
We are told in one narration that Muhammad even went as far as to encourage his companions to devote their entire prayers to him, since that would result in having their wrong deeds forgiven:
Ubayy ibn Ka'b said, "Once, when the first quarter of the night had gone, the Messenger of Allah got up and said, 'O people, remember Allah! The quake has come which will be followed by its sequel. Death will come with all that accompanies it.'" Ubayy asked, "Messenger of Allah, I do a lot of the prayer on you, so how much of my prayer should I devote to you?" He said, "Whatever you like." Ubayy asked, "A quarter?" and was told "Whatever you like, and if you do more it is better." He asked, "A third?" He replied, "Whatever you like, and if you do more it is better." He asked, "A half?" He replied, "Whatever you like, and if you do more it is better." He asked, "Two-thirds?" He replied, "Whatever you like, and if you do more it is better." He said, "Messenger of Allah, I WILL DEVOTE ALL MY PRAYER TO YOU." He said, "THEN YOU WILL HAVE ENOUGH AND YOUR WRONG ACTIONS WILL BE FORGIVEN." (Ibid., p. 260; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Here is what the renowned Muslim expositor and scholar Ibn Kathir wrote concerning the necessity of praying for Muhammad as prescribed by the Quran itself in Q. 33:56:
“… There are Mutawatir Hadiths narrated from the Messenger of Allah commanding us to send blessings on him and how we should say Salah upon him. We will mention as many of them as we can, if Allah wills, and Allah is the One Whose help we seek In his Tafsir of this Ayah, Al-Bukhari recorded that Ka`b bin `Ujrah said, "It was said, `O Messenger of Allah, with regard to sending Salam upon you, we know about this, but how about Salah?’ He said…
<<Say: ‘O Allah, send Your Salah upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent Your Salah upon the family of Ibrahim, verily You are the Most Praiseworthy, Most Glorious. O Allah, send Your blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent Your blessings upon the family of Ibrahim, verily You are Most Praiseworthy, Most Glorious.’>>”… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 33:56)
Saying Salah upon the Prophet before the Supplication
Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi reported the following Hadith and graded it Sahih; An-Nasa'i, Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibban recorded in their Sahihs that Fadalah bin `Ubayd said: "The Messenger of Allah heard a man making supplication in his prayer when he had not praised Allah or said Salah upon the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah said…
<<This man is rushing.>> Then he called him over and said, to him or to someone else…
<<When any one of you supplicates, let him start by praising and glorifying Allah, may He be exalted, then let him send Salah upon the Prophet, and after that let him make supplication as he wishes.>> (Ibid.; underline emphasis ours)
Another Hadith At-Tirmidhi recorded that Ubayy bin Ka`b said: "When two thirds of the night had passed, the Messenger of Allah would get up and say…
<<O people, remember Allah, remember Allah, the first blast of the Trumpet has come and will be followed by the second blast, death has come with all its horrors, death has come with all its horrors.>>” Ubayy said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah, I send a lot of Salah upon you, how much of my prayer should be Salah upon you?' He said…
<<Whatever you want.>> I said, `A quarter?' He said…
<<Whatever you want, but if you increase it, it will be better for you.>> I said, `Half?' He said…
<<Whatever you want, but if you increase it, it will be better for you.>> I said, `Two thirds?' He said…
<<Whatever you want, but if you increase it, it will be better for you.>> I said, `Should I make my whole prayer for you?' He said…
<<This would be sufficient to relieve your distress and earn you forgiveness of your sins.>> Then he said: "This is a Hasan Hadith.” (Ibid.; bold and underline emphasis ours)
At-Tirmidhi recorded that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said: "A supplication remains suspended between heaven and earth and does not ascend any further UNTIL you send Salah upon your Prophet.” This was also narrated by Mu`adh bin Al-Harith from Abu Qurrah from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib from `Umar, as a saying of the Prophet. It was also recorded by Razin bin Mu`awiyah in his book, where he also attributed it to the Prophet reporting that he said…
<<A supplication remains suspended between heaven and earth and does not ascend any further until a person sends Salah on me. Do not treat me like a spare water container, send Salah upon me at the beginning of your supplication, at the end and in the middle.>> Sending Salah upon the Prophet is even more strongly encouraged in the Qunut supplication. Ahmad, the Sunan compilers, Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim recorded that Al-Hasan bin `Ali said: "The Messenger of Allah taught me some words to say during Al-Witr…
<<‘O Allah, guide me along with those whom You have guided, grant me health along with those to whom You have granted health, be an ally to me along with those to whom You are an ally, and bless me for that which You have bestowed. Protect me from the evil You have decreed, for verily You decree and none can decree over You. Verily, he whom You show allegiance to is never abased and he whom You take as an enemy is never honored and mighty, O our Lord, blessed and Exalted are You.’>>” In his Sunan, An-Nasa'i has the addition…
(“and may Allah bless Muhammad.”) at the end of this Qunut. It is also recommended to say plenty of Salah upon him on Friday and on the eve of Friday. Imam Ahmad recorded that Aws bin Aws Ath-Thaqafi said: "The Messenger of Allah said…
<<One of the best of your days is Friday; on this day Adam was created and died, on this day the Trumpet (Sur) will be blown and all will have swoon away. So on this day send plenty of Salah upon me, for your Salah will be presented to me.>> They said, `O Messenger of Allah, how will they be shown to you after your body has dispersed into the earth?' He said…
<<Allah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets.>>” This was also recorded by Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah, and it was graded Sahih by Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibban, Ad-Daraqutni and An-Nawawi in Al-Adhkar. (Ibid.; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Thus, Muhammad becomes the very focus and object of prayers and worship right alongside his god!
As if this weren’t troubling enough, Muhammad is reported to have told his followers that he will be enabled to actually hear their prayers and know their condition even after his death!
Abu Hurayra said that the Messenger of Allah said, "Whenever anyone greets me with peace, Allah will return my soul to me so that I can return the greeting."
Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shayba mentions that Abu Hurayra said that the Messenger of Allah said, "I will hear whoever blesses me at my grave. If someone is far away and blesses me, that is also conveyed to me."…
Ibn 'Umar said, "Do a lot of prayer on your Prophet every Jumu'a. It is brought to him from you every Jumu'a." One version has, "None of you blesses me but that his prayer is shown to me when he finishes it."
Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali said that the Prophet said, "Bless me wherever you are. Your prayer will reach me."
One of them mentioned that the name of someone who blesses the Prophet is shown to the Prophet when he does it.
Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali said, "When you enter the mosque, greet the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah said, 'Do not make my house a place of 'Id and do not make your houses graves. Bless me wherever you are. Your prayer will reach me wherever you are.'"…
Sulayman ibn Suhyam said that he saw the Prophet in a dream and asked him, "Messenger of Allah, do you recognise the greeting of those who come to you?" He replied, "YES, AND I ANSWER THEM." (Qadi ‘Iyad, pp. 262-263; bold and capital emphasis ours)
To top this all off, Muhammad also went as far as to make himself the savior of all Muslims by teaching that his intercession will be sought for and necessary on the day of judgment in order to escape the anger and displeasure of Allah. Muhammad even ended up denigrating the true prophets of God, including the Lord Jesus, in order to depict himself as the Muslims’ only hope for salvation:
7002. Qatada related from Anas that the Prophet said, "The believers will be kept on the Day of Rising until they become worried about that. They will say, 'If only we could ask someone to intercede for us to give us relief from our position!' They will go to Adam and say, 'You are the father of mankind. Allah created you with His hand. Let you dwell in His garden, made His angels prostate to you and taught you the names of all things. Will you intercede on our behalf with your Lord so that He will relieve us from this place of ours?' He will say, 'I am not worthy of this task,' and he will mention his error which he committed: eating from the tree when he was forbidden it. 'Rather go to Nuh, the first Messenger that Allah sent to the people of the earth.' They will go to Nuh and he will say, 'I am not worthy of this task,' and he will mention his error which he committed in asking his Lord for that of which he had no knowledge. 'Rather go to Ibrahim, the Close Friend of the all-Merciful.' They will go to Ibrahim and he will say, 'I am not worthy of this task,' and he will mention the three statements in which he lied. 'Go to Musa, a slave to whom He gave the Torah, to whom Allah spoke directly and brought near for conversation' They will go to Musa and he will say, 'I am not worthy of this task,' and he will mention his error which he committed when he killed a person. 'Rather go to 'Isa [Jesus], the slave of Allah and His Messenger, the Spirit of Allah and His Word. They will go to 'Isa and he will say, 'I am not worthy of this task. Rather go to Muhammad, a slave whose past and future wrong actions Allah has forgiven.' They will come to me and I will ask for my Lord's permission to enter His House and He will give me permission. When I see Him, I will fall down in prostration and He will leave me as long as Allah wills. Then He will say, 'Muhammad, rise. Speak and it will be heard. Intercede and the intercession will be granted. Ask and you will be given.'"
He said, "I will lift my head and praise Him with praises which He will teach me. He will fix an amount for me and I will bring them out and let them into the Garden."
Qatada said, "I also heard him say that the Prophet said, ‘I will go out and bring them out of the Fire and admit them into the Garden. Then I will ask my Lord for permission to enter His house and I will be given permission. When I see Him, I will fall down in prostration and He will leave me as long as Allah wills. Then He will say, "Muhammad, rise. Speak and it will be heard. Intercede and the intercession will be granted. Ask and you will be given." I will lift my head and praise Him with praises which He will teach me. He will fix an amount for me and I will bring them out and let them into the Garden.'"
Qatada said, "I also heard him say that the Prophet said, 'I will go out and bring them out of the Fire and admit them into the Garden. Then I will return a third time and I will ask my Lord for permission to enter His house and I will be given permission. When I see Him, I will fall down in prostration and He will leave me as long as Allah wills. Then He will say, "Muhammad, rise. Speak and it will be heard. Intercede and the intercession will be granted. Ask and you will be given." I will lift my head and praise Him with praises which He will teach me. He will fix an amount for me and I will bring them out and let them into the Garden.'"
Qatada said, "I also heard him say that the Prophet said, 'I will go out and bring them out of the Fire and admit them into the Garden until only those remain in the Fire whom the Qur'an has held," i.e. for whom eternity is obliged. He said, "Then he recited this ayat, 'It may well be that your Lord will raise you to a Praiseworthy Station.' (17:79)." He said, "This is the Praiseworthy Station which He promised your Prophet." (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, 100. Book of Tawhid (the belief that Allah is One in His Essence, Attributes and Actions); bold and underline emphasis ours)
With the foregoing in perspective, could the Islamic sources be any clearer that Muhammad is not only Allah’s middleman but also his partner in worship, as well as in his exclusive divine attributes such as omniscience and mercy?