The Worship of Muhammad – Part One

I have been asked many times in the past few days about my thoughts on the uprisings in Egypt and Libya. In short, the issue is not solely political, but theological as well. Since this blog is not about politics, I will take the road less traveled. What exactly is the Muslim’s view of Muhammad that causes such visceral reactions?

Muslims complain that Christians believe in and worship “a man.” Closer examination of how Muslims treat Muhammad offers yet another bizarre twist when comparing Islam and Christianity. While Muslims technically do not worship Muhammad, in many ways their actions tell a much different tale. Everything from the Islamic creed, to how Muslims behave in everyday life, to the Qur’an itself appears a lot like Muhammad worship.

In this first of a four part series on the worship of Muhammad, consider the shahada, the Muslim creed. To become a Muslim, a person must recite the shahada in Arabic. Roughly translated, the shahada is as follows,

“I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah”

Notice that this is a two part testimony. Of course Muslims believe that there is no god but Allah, but look at the rest of the shahada. Part two of the Muslim creed is that you must also believe that Muhammad brought the message of Allah.

Consider these words within a Muslim tract discussing the shahada,

“The second part of the Shahada means that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is the servant and chosen messenger of Allah. No one must have two opinions about this matter.” [i]

From the Muslim perspective, a person who believes in the concept of God without believing that Muhammad brought “the” message is not a Muslim. In other words, believing in Allah is not enough to be called a Muslim. A Muslim must also believe that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger. So what was that message? One part of it is that Muhammad’s actions are to be followed as closely as possible (Qur’an 33:21). This means, by corollary, Islam requires belief “in a man.” Some readers may think this an overextension of Islamic doctrine. Yet consider what the Qur’an itself has to say on the issue of belief,

[49.15] The believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Apostle then they doubt not and struggle hard with their wealth and their lives in the way of Allah; they are the truthful ones.

Muslims must believe both in Allah as well as Muhammad, his apostle. It is true that the way in which Muslims are to believe in Muhammad is very different than the way a Christian is commanded to believe in Jesus. However, Christians are not required to state a creed that they believe that Isaiah and Haggai are prophets in order to be a Christian. Of course, we do believe they are prophets, but stating it isn’t part of any Christian confession. In contrast, if a Muslim does not believe in Muhammad, he is not a Muslim and cannot go to paradise, thus making the religion of Islam oddly coupled to a man. Not only is the belief in Muhammad as the messenger stressed from the positive standpoint as referenced in the previously cited passage of the Qur’an, but unbelief in Muhammad is stressed from the negative standpoint in many passages as well. Hellfire is guaranteed for those who do not believe in and obey both Allah AND his apostle.

[4.14] And whoever disobeys Allah and His Apostle and goes beyond His limits, He will cause him to enter fire to abide in it, and he shall have an abasing chastisement.

The instructions Muslims receive on how to lead their lives result in worship of Muhammad in every way but name only. To understand this, we must recognize that Islamic doctrine is such that belief in God alone gives Muslims no rules for life. The Qur’an gives some instructions, but in a vacuum it doesn’t have nearly enough detail to allow for a workable system to live out faith. A devout Muslim therefore must look to Muhammad, whose life is the only one believed to be of sufficient record to be followed as the premier example. This is becoming obvious even to Muslims, and when a Muslim dares state it, he may be branded heretical. This next quote is from such an accused Muslim, Anna Jordan. Please remember this is not some Christian author discussing perceptions of Muslims; this is a Muslim describing the state of her own religion.

While they have adamantly insisted they do not deify Mohammed, they have sought to supplement God’s word by looking for guidance in the words and actions of Mohammed, thereby elevating the prophet to a status never ordained by God. [ii]

For a religion which stresses not believing in “a man,” it seems strange that the creed of initiation must include him and that the holy book requires obedience to him. Muslims are inadvertently doing exactly what they loudly proclaim must not be done. In the next part of this series, the Qur’an will be examined in more detail as to how it equates Allah and Muhammad in some rather compromising comparisons.



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19 Responses to The Worship of Muhammad – Part One

  1. Rod Black says:

    A helpful addition to your study would be the books by Annemarie Schimmel, especially And Muhammad is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety. The studies in this and another book Celebrating Muḥammad: images of the prophet in popular Muslim poetry by Ali Sultaan Asani, Kamal Abdel-Malek, Annemarie Schimmel show how Muhammad is regarded in the popular poetry and writings of Muslims today.

  2. Pingback: Love for the Prophet of Islam | Unraveling Islam

  3. c mitchell says:

    Thank you for continuing to open our eyes to the truth.


  4. Pingback: Signs of Taqiyya

  5. Aasif says:

    Qur’an does not say anything about a Shahadah. Qur’an does not says not to refer other books for deciding right and wrong. Referring to any hadith is prohibited in Quran. But it is true that almost all Muslims are deluded with the so called teachings and doings of Muhammad because they give little or no value to Quran.

  6. Aasir,

    The trouble is that the Qur’an, by itself, doesn’t give Muslims enough to go on. How often should you pray each day? The Qur’an does not say, you must look to the Hadith for the answer. What day should you attend mosque? Again, the Qur’an is not specific enough. There are so many other items that the Qur’an does not provide any specificity about.

  7. ali khan says:

    messenger has to be follow. just because we follow him don’t mean we worship him.
    plus our Creator him self order us to follow Muhammad(pbuh), because he don’t
    speak or do out of his own desires, He (the Messanger) does what is command by the creator.

    by the way don’t forget other verse of Quran such as chapter 98 verse 1-6
    1. Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (children of Isreal and Christians) and among Al-Mushrikûn (atheism etc), were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence.
    2. A Messenger (Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) from Allâh, reciting (the Qur’ân) purified pages [purified from Al-Bâtil (falsehood )]
    3. Containing correct and straight laws from Allâh
    4. And the people of the Scripture (children of Isreal and Christians) differed not until after there came to them clear evidence. (i.e. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and whatever was revealed to him).
    5. And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allâh, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give Zakât: and that is the right religion.
    6. Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islâm, the Qur’ân and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) from among the people of the Scripture (children of Isreal and Christians) and Al-Mushrikûn will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures.

    to ” c mitchell ” you are Intentionally deceived by your creator. because you associated partners with him.
    chapter 2 verse 18:
    They are deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not (to the Right Path).

    Egypt and Libya: why you don’t write the truth about what the bankers did to Libya and Egypt instead of wring about the Creator Messenger.

    Libya was dismantled by the bankers because Libya wanted gold for currency, which banker did not like so it has to use U.S to do there job;
    same for IRAQ, IRAQ wanted to use Euro instead , IRAQ was also destroyed by Isreal using U.S and it Allies to establish greater Israel, same reason they wanted to weaken Egypt.

  8. Hassan says:

    As an ex-Muslim who has converted to Christianity, I fully agree with you. Islam is about worshiping Muhammad.

  9. Amidu Milazi says:

    I am a former Muslim man. I fully believe that Muslims worship Muhammad.

  10. Worship is also Asking to intercede also and here is what islam is saying: “Oh Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; [praying to:] 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 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)

  11. Abigail says:

    Qur’an came with everything. You just need to study it deeply and try to get the right meaning of each verse. When Allah sent the Qur’an he wanted it to be a collection of everything (previous books, guidance and rules). It is a perfect creation that nobody would find any mistake or ambiguity. Even if something is ambiguous to you in Qur’an just take it as a challenge and reach the true meaning that Allah made it for this way in order to use your mind otherwise why would he created you with such tremendous and miraculous mind ?.
    Thousands of scholars who studied Qur’an end up entering Islam. Consider their findings and studies but in another side study it by yourself you’ll get the meaning.

    • Abigail,

      If the Qur’an comes with everything, then why do Muslims read the Hadith? They would be unnecessary. You say that God created us with a miraculous mind. This is true, please use it to consider this question.

      Also, I have studied the Qur’an extensively. The more that I do, the more mistakes and ambiguity that I find. Thousands of people study the Qur’an and find it incorrect as well, and what will you make of that?

      • Abigail says:

        I apologize but if you have read the Qur’an in a different language please do not complain and say it has mistakes !
        Qur’an was sent in Arabic and its language is the most rhetorical I myself ever seen and studied. Once you master Arabic language you will be able to understand the hidden meanings and why I said you have been created with such miraculous mind to use it. I suggest you to follow Mr. Thaker Nike as a reference only. The rest is up to you.

        • Abigail,

          The God who communicated to us via the Bible has done so in a way that transcends any language barrier. Yet the Qur’an is only understandable in Arabic. Why do you suppose the god of the Qur’an does not have that power to transmit his message in all languages like author of the Bible does?

          • Abigail says:

            In order to understand the root meaning of a conveyed message one must understand the context in which it’s presented. Each book came along with a prophet addressed to a specific nation in a specific period of time. However, as Allah said the Qur’an is the conclusion and collection of everything , every book that has been sent before. And it was sent in Arabic due to the context ( prophet Mohammed peace be upon him was Arab from Adnan) and his language was Arabic. Each verse in the Quran has it’s own context and meaning. When there’s translation the message gets altered or watered down by interpolation and transliteratory errors made by man. Therefore the concepts change from their deeper impacted meaning. This is why you find ambiguities and mistakes. Allah sent the Quran in Arabic because there is no rhetorical language than Arabic and he knew that the book will remain as it was sent. The other books were sent in other languages and they ended up being mistranslated and changed. The old testament of bible in contemporary Yiddish (Ghetto low German) or the Modern Hebrew (Ghetto Austrohungarian infused with levantine Arabic) was compiled from Ancient Torat Scrolls kept by the Sadducees and backed by Rabbinical leadership of notable scholars from the Essenses and Pharisees who also agreed on sourcing from the Zabur, Proverbs, Talmuds, Mitzvahs and Abramosaic texts that weren’t destroyed over the millenia. The vatican (Old “fake holy” Roman Catholics) along with Crypto jews altered some texts to suit government needs. So the only way to recover linguistically is language knowledge of the rudiment languages for compilation and the originals…much like the hadiths as we know em today. Using texts and factual archives and archeological specimens to recreate the truth and original message unaltered.

  12. Abigail,

    I agree with you that the Qur’an is full of mistakes when it is translated. However, the Old and New Testament can be translated to any language and the meaning still comes through. I know this personally as someone who reads Koine Greek and have read much of the New Testament in the original language.

    Again, my question to you is how is the God of the Bible able to transmit His message in any language, whereas Allah of the Qur’an is limited to transmitting the true meaning in Arabic only? If I were a Muslim, I would want to know the answer to the question.

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