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INVOCATION AND WORSHIP: THE ISLAMIC DILEMMA

The Quran is explicitly clear that invoking/calling on/praying to other beings, especially those who are dead, is a means of worship, and therefore a blatant act of the sin of associating partners with Allah (shirk):

Say: I am forbidden to worship (abuda) those on whom ye call (tad’oona) instead of Allah. Say: I will not follow your desires, for then should I go astray and I should not be of the rightly guided. S. 6:56 Pickthall

I shall withdraw from you and that unto which ye pray (tad’oona) beside Allah, and I shall pray (wa’adoo) unto my Lord. It may be that, in prayer unto my Lord, I shall not be unblest. So, when he had withdrawn from them and that which they were worshipping (yabudoona) beside Allah, We gave him Isaac and Jacob. Each of them We made a prophet. S. 19:48-49 Pickthall

Those whom they (Al-Mushrikuninvoke (yad’oona) besides Allah have not created anything, but are themselves created. (They are) dead, lifeless, and they know not when they will be raised up. Your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God Allah, none has the right to be worshipped but He). But for those who believe not in the Hereafter, their hearts deny (the faith in the Oneness of Allah), and they are proud. S. 16:20-22 Hilali-Khan

And rehearse to them (something of) Abraham’s story. Behold, he said to his father and his people: “What worship ye (ta’budoona)?” They said: “We worship (nabudu) idols, and we remain constantly in attendance on them.” He said: “Do they listen to you when ye call (tad’oona) (on them)? Or do you good or harm?” They said: “Nay, but we found our fathers doing thus (what we do).” He said: “Do ye then see whom ye have been worshipping (tabudoona), – Ye and your fathers before you? – For they are enemies to me; not so the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds; Who created me, and it is He Who guides me; Who gives me food and drink, And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me; Who will cause me to die, and then to life (again); And who, I hope, will forgive me my faults on the day of Judgment.” S. 26:69-82 Y. Ali

And let them not divert thee from the revelations of Allah after they have been sent down unto thee; but call (mankind) unto thy Lord (waod’u ila rabbika), and be not of those who ascribe partners (unto Him). S. 28:87 Pickthall

That is because, when God was called to alone (du’iya l-lahu wahdahu), you disbelieved; but if others are associated with Him, then you believe. Judgment belongs to God, the All-high, the All-great. It is He who shows you His signs and sends down to you out of heaven provision; yet none remembers but he who repents. So call unto God (fa-id’u l-lahu), making your religion His sincerely, though the unbelievers be averse. S. 40:12-14 Arberry

And your Lord says, `Pray unto ME (od’oonee); I will answer your prayer. But those who are too proud to worship ME (ibadatee) will, surely, enter Hell, despised.’… HE is the Living God. There is no god but HE. So pray unto HIM (faod’oohu), devoting your worship wholly and sincerely to HIM. All praise belongs to ALLAH, the Lord of the worlds. Say, I have been forbidden to worship (a’buda) those whom you call upon (tad’oona) beside ALLAH since there have come clear proofs unto me from MY Lord; and I have been commanded to submit myself solely to the Lord of the worlds.’ S. 40:60, 65-66 Sher Ali

The places of worship (al-masajida) belong to God; so call not, along with God, upon anyone (fala tad’oo ma’a Allahi ahadan). When the servant of God stood calling on Him (yad’oohu), they were wellnigh upon him in swarms. Say: ‘I call only upon my Lord (innama ad’oo rabbee), and I do not associate with Him anyone.’ S. 72:18-20 Arberry

Shirk is the one sin that Allah never forgives:

Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky as a canopy, and sent down water (rain) from the sky and brought forth therewith fruits as a provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped). S. 2:22

Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. S. 4:48 Hilali-Khan – Cf. v. 116

And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad), as it was to those (Allah’s Messengers) before you: “If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.” S. 39:65 Hilali-Khan

This explains why there are narrations where Muhammad is said to have taught that du’a, the word of supplication/invocation/prayer, is itself ibadaah or worship:

17 The Book of DU’A (SUPPLICATIONS)

An-Nu’man bin Bashir reported: The Prophet said, “DU’A (SUPPLICATION) IS WORSHIP.”

[Abu Dawud].

Sunnah.com reference: Book 17, Hadith 1

Arabic/English book reference: Book 17, Hadith 1465 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/17/1; capital emphasis ours)

And:

  1. The excellence of supplication
  2. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet said, “Nothing is dearer to Allah than supplication.”
  3. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet said, “The noblest ACT OF WORSHIP is supplication.”
  4. An-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported that the Prophet said, “Supplication IS WORSHIP.” Then he recited, “Call on Me and I will answer you.” (Aisha Bewley, Al-Adab al-Mufrad al-Bukhari, XXX. Supplication http://bewley.virtualave.net/adab4.html#supplicate; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Again:

  1. It was narrated from Nu‘man bin Bashir that the Messenger of Allah said: “Indeed the supplication IS THE WORSHIP.” Then he recited: “And your Lord said: Invoke Me, I will respond to you.”[1](SAHIH(English Translation of Sunan Ibn Majah – Compiled by Imam Muhammad Bin Yazeed Ibn Majah Al-Qazwini, From Hadith No. 3657 to 4341, Ahadith edited and referenced by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair ‘Ali Za’i, translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab (Canada), final review by Abu Khaliyl (USA) [Darussalam Publications and Distributors, First Edition: June 2007], Volume 5, 34. The Chapter On Supplication, Chapter 1. The Virtue of Supplication, p. 95 https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah/34/2; capital and underline emphasis ours)

[1] Ghafir 40:60. (Ibid.)

Finally:

  1. An-Nu‘man bin Bashir narrated that the Prophet said: “The supplication, IS WORSHIP.” Then he recited: And Your Lord said: “Call upon me, I will respond to you. Verily, those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell humiliated.” (SAHIH)

[Abu ‘Eisa said:] This Hadith is Hasan Sahih. Mansur and Al-‘A‘mash narrated it from Dharr, and we do not know it except from the narration of Dharr. [He is Dharr ‘Abdullah Al-Hamdani, trustworthy, the father of ‘Umar bin Dharr.]

Comments:

Supplication IS WORSHIP IN ITSELF, and for proof the Prophet recited the Verse of Surat Ghafir, “Call upon Me, I will respond to you. Verily, those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell humiliated.” This Verse shows that not begging His favors is a sign of scorn. As supplication IS THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP, and without its essence, the supplication is nothing but lifeless utterances. (English Translation of Jami‘ At-Tirmidhi, Compiled by Imam Hafiz Abu ‘Eisa Mohammad Ibn ‘Eisa At-Tirmidhi, From Hadith no. 3291 to 3956, translated by Abu Khaliyl (USA), Ahadith edited & referenced by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair ‘Ali Za’i [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, First Edition: November 2007], Volume 6, 45. The Book Of Supplications From The Messenger Of Allah, pp. 102-103 https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/48/3; capital and underline emphasis ours)

I continue from where I left off by showing how Muhammad turned himself into an object of worship according to his own criterion: INVOCATION AND WORSHIP: THE ISLAMIC DILEMMA PT. 1.

According to certain allegedly sound hadiths, Muhammad permitted his followers to invoke him in their prayers, a practice which continued long after his death.

For instance, Muhammad instructed a blind man to supplicate both himself and Allah together in order to have his invocation granted:

  1. ‘Uthman bin Hunaif narrated that a blind man came to the Prophet and said to him: “Supplicate to Allah to heal me.” He said: “If you wish, I will supplicate for you, and if you wish, you can be patient, for that is better for you.” He said: “Then supplicate to him.” He said: “So he ordered him to perform Wudu’and to make his Wudu’ complete, and to supplicate with this supplication: ‘O Allah, I ask You and turn towards You by Your Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy. Indeed, I have turned to my Lord, BY MEANS OF YOU, concerning this need of mine, so that it can be resolved, So Allah so accept HIS INTERCESSION for me (Allahumma Inni As’aluka WA MUHAMMADIN Nabi-Ir-Rahmati Tawajjahtu Bika Ila Rabbi Fi Hajati Hadhihi Lituqda Li, Allahumma FASHAFFI‘HU Fiya).’” (SAHIH)

[He said]: This Hadith is Hasan SAHIH Gharib, we do not know of it except through this route, as a narration of Abu Ja‘far, and he is someone other than Al-Khatmi, [and Uthman bin Hunaif is the brother of Sahl bin Hunaif] (English Translation of Jami‘ At-Tirmidhi: Compiled by Imam Hafiz Abu ‘Eisa Mohammad Ibn ‘Eisa At-Tirmidhi, translated by Abu Khaliyl (USA), ahadith edited and referenced by Hafiz Tahir Zubair ‘Ali Za’i [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, First Edition: November 2007], Volume 6, From Hadith No. 3291 to 3956, Various Narrations On The Chapters Of Supplications, Chapter 118, p. 283 – Online version https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/48/209; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Here is a different version of this same hadith:

  1. It was narrated from ‘Uthman bin Hunaif that a blind man came to the Prophet and said to him: “Pray to Allah to heal me.” He said: “If you wish to store your reward for the Hereafter, that is better, or if you wish, I will supplicate for you.” He said: “Supplicate.” He said: “So he told him to perform ablution and do it well, and to pray two Rak’ah, and to say this supplication: “Allahumma inni as’aluka wa atawajjahu ilaika BI-MUHAMMADIN NABIYYIR-RAHMA.YA MUHAMMADU inni qad tawajjahtu bika ila rabbi fi hajati hadhihi Lituqda. Allahumma FASHAFFI‘HU fiya(O Allah, I ask of You and I turn my face towards You BY VIRTUE OF THE INTERCESSION OF MUHAMMAD THE PROPHET OF MERCY. O MUHAMMAD, I have turned to my Lord BY VIRTUE OF YOUR INTERCESSION concerning this need of mine, so that it may be met. O Allah, accept HIS INTERCESSION concerning me)”. (SAHIH) (English Translation of Sunan Ibn Majah: Compiled by Imam Muhammad Bin Yazeed Ibn Majah Al-Qazwini, Ahadith edited and referenced by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair ‘Ali Za’i, translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab (Canada), final review by Abu Khaliyl (USA) [Darussalam Publications and Distributors, First Edition: June 2007], Volume 2, From Hadith no. 803 to 1782, 5. The Chapters Of Establishing The Prayer And The Sunnah Regarding Them, Chapter 189. What Was Narrated Concerning Prayer At Times Of Need, pp. 329-330 – Online Version https://sunnah.com/urn/1287330; capital and underline emphasis ours)

What makes this blatant idolatrous act rather troubling is that Muslims continued to employ this invocation many years after Muhammad’s demise:

THE HADITH OF THE MAN IN NEED

Moreover, Tabarani, in his “al-Mu’jam al saghir,” reports a hadith from ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf that a man repeatedly visited Uthman ibn Affan 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 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, 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 and complain to him of the loss of his eyesight. The Prophet 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 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 rigously authenticated (SAHIH) by Baihaqi, Mundhiri, and Haythami. (Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Tawassul: Supplicating Allah through an Intermediary (From Reliance of the Traveller) http://seekershub.org/ans-blog/2011/07/02/tawassul-supplicating-allah-through-an-intermediary/; bold and capital emphasis mine)

We, thus, have an individual at the time of the caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan, over 20 twenty years after the death of Muhammad, offering up the same invocation that the blind man did, a prayer where the man had to speak directly to his deceased prophet and his god.

Nor is this an isolated instance.

The following narrations are taken from Riyad as-Salihin, The Book of Supplicating Allah to Exalt the Mention of Allah’s Messenger (https://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/15). All capital, italicized, and/or underline emphasis will be mine:

Aus bin Aus reported:

The Messenger of Allah said, “Among the best of your days is Friday; so supplicate Allah more often for me in it, for your SUPPLICATIONS will be DISPLAYED to me.” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah! How will our blessings be DISPLAYED to you when your decayed body will have mixed with the earth?” He replied, “Allah has prohibited the earth from consuming the bodies of the Prophets.”

[Abu Dawud].

Sunnah.com reference: Book 15, Hadith 3

Arabic/English book reference: Book 15, Hadith 1399

Abu Hurairah reported:

The Messenger of Allah said, “Do not make my grave a place of festivity, and supplicate Allah for me, for your SUPPLICATION reaches me wherever you are.”

[Abu Dawud].

Sunnah.com reference: Book 15, Hadith 5

Arabic/English book reference: Book 15, Hadith 1401

Abu Hurairah reported:

The Messenger of Allah said, “Whenever someone greets me, Allah returns the soul to my body (in the grave) and I return his greeting.”

[Abu Dawud].

Sunnah.com reference: Book 15, Hadith 6

Arabic/English book reference: Book 15, Hadith 1402

These next examples are also interesting:

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 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 English [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K., third reprint 1991, paperback], pp. 262-263; capital and underline emphasis mine)

Pay careful attention to the words of Muhammad that the supplications and prayers of his followers are shown to him, confirming that Muslims aren’t merely greeting a dead man (which is bad enough) but are in fact praying directly to him!

That’s not all. There are notable scholars who claim that, on the basis of Q. 4:64, Muslims can actually visit their dead prophet’s grave in order to personally ask him for his intercession!

And this is exactly what some Muslims did:

Although, this verse (64) was revealed in the background of a particular incident relating to hypocrites, yet its words yield a general ruling which stipulates that anyone who presents himself before the Holy Prophet and he prays for his forgiveness, he will be definitely forgiven. And ‘the presence before the Prophet,’ as it would have been during his blessed life in this mortal world, HOLDS THE SAME EFFECT EVEN TODAY as the visit to the sacred precincts of the Mosque of the Prophet and the act of ‘presenting’ oneself BEFORE THE BLESSED RESIDENT OF THE SANCTIFIED MAUSOLEUM FALLS WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THIS RULE.

Sayyidna ‘Ali has said: “Three days after we all had finished with the burial of the Messenger of Allah a villager came and fell down close to the blessed grave. Weeping bitterly, he referred to this particular verse of the Qur’an AND ADDRESSING HIMSELF TO THE BLESSED GRAVE, he said: ‘Allah Almighty has promised in this verse that a sinner, if he presented himself before the Rasul of Allah, and the Rasul elects to pray for his forgiveness, then he will forgive him. Therefore, here I am, presenting myself BEFORE YOU so that I may be blessed with YOUR prayer for my forgiveness.’ People personally present there at that time say that, in response to the pleading of the villager, a voice coming out from the sanctified mausoleum rang around with the words… You have been forgiven.” (al-Bahr al-Muhit) (Mufti Shafi Usmani, Maariful Quran, Volume 2, p. 486 https://www.kalamullah.com/Books/Maariful%20Quran/English-MaarifulQuran-MuftiShafiUsmaniRA-Vol-2-Page-451-505.pdf; capital emphasis mine)

And:

“Allah is instructing the sinners when they commit a sin to come to the messenger of Allah and ask forgiveness in his presence and then they ask him to request forgiveness. And certainly if they did that, Allah would relent towards them and have mercy on them, and for that reason He said “they would have found Allah Oft-Returning, Merciful.”

And Shaykh Mansur as-Sabbagh recollected in his book “The Perfections” (ash-Shama’il) the well-known (famous) transmission from ‘Utbi:

“I was sitting by the grave of the Prophet and a Bedouin came and said: ‘Peace be upon you O Prophet of Allah. I heard Allah say: “And if they had come to thee when they had wronged their souls, and asked forgiveness of Allah, and if the Messenger had also asked forgiveness for them, they would have surely found Allah Oft-Returning with compassion and Merciful.” And I came to you asking forgiveness for my sin, taking you as intercessor to my Lord.’

“Then he started reciting verses: ‘O You best of those whose bones are buried in al-Qa’a from the sweet scents of those bones the whole area of al-Qa’a and Akamu became perfumed. My self I sacrifice to the grave that you live in it is purity and in it is incredible generosity.’

“Then the Bedouin departed and sleep overcame me. And I saw the Prophet in my sleep and he said: ‘Ya ‘Utbi, follow the Bedouin and give him the glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him.’” (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir of Qur’an al-Adheem [Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1992/1412], Volume 1, p. 643)

As if this weren’t shocking enough, there were Muslims who would face Muhammad’s grave rather than the Kabah whenever they would supplicate!

It is just as necessary to have esteem and respect for the Prophet AFTER HIS DEATH AS IT WERE WHEN HE WAS ALIVE. This means to show it whenever the Prophet, his hadith or sunna are mentioned, when anyone hears his name or anything about his life or how his family and relatives behaved. It includes respect for the People of his House (ah al-bayt) and his Companions…

Abu Humayd said, “Abu Ja’far, the Amir al-Mu’minin, had a dispute with Malik in the Prophet’s mosque. Malik said to him, ‘Amir al-Mu’minin, do not raise your voice in this mosque. Allah taught the people how to behave by saying, ‘Do not raise your voices above the Prophet’ (49:2) He praises people with the words, “Those who lower their voices in the presence of the Messenger of Allah.” (49:3) He censures people, saying, “Those who call you…” Respect for him WHEN HE IS DEAD is the same as respect for him when he was alive.”

“Abu Ja’far was humbled by this. He asked Malik, ‘Abu Abdullah, do you face qibla when you supplicate or do you face the Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘Why would you turn your face from him when he is YOUR MEANS and the means of your father, Adam, to Allah on the Day of Rising? I face him and ASK HIM to intercede and Allah will grant his intercession. Allah says, “If, when you wronged yourselves, they had come to you.”‘” (4:64) (Qadi ‘Iyad, pp. 237-238; capital and underline emphasis mine)

This means Muhammad commanded his followers to worship him as a god since, as we saw in the previous part, supplications/invocations as an essential part of Islamic worship.

Therefore, it is a lie when Muslims claim that they are not Muhammadans and that they do not worship Muhammad since they most certainly do so, and by express order of their prophet!

The problems are far from over.

The Quran indicates that the reason why the pagans invoked and worshiped their various gods and goddesses is because of their hope that these beings would intercede for them and bring them closer to Allah:

And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Say: “Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?” Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him! S. 10:18 Hilali-Khan

Lo! We have revealed the Scripture unto thee (Muhammad) with truth; so worship Allah, making religion pure for Him (only). Surely pure religion is for Allah only. And those who choose protecting friends beside Him (say): We worship them only that they may bring us near unto Allah. Lo! Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Lo! Allah guideth not him who is a liar, an ingrate. S. 39:2-3 Pickthall

What makes this rather perplexing is that the Muslim scripture acknowledges that these beings truly exist since it asserts that they are nothing more than slaves of Allah who are seeking a means of getting closer to him:

He it is Who did create you from a single soul, and therefrom did make his mate that he might take rest in her. And when he covered her she bore a light burden, and she passed (unnoticed) with it, but when it became heavy they cried unto Allah, their Lord, saying: If thou givest unto us aright we shall be of the thankful. But when He gave unto them aright, they ascribed unto Him partners in respect of that which He had given them. High is He Exalted above all that they associate (with Him). Attribute they as partners to Allah those who created naught, but are themselves created, And cannot give them help, nor can they help themselves? And if ye call them to the Guidance, they follow you not. Whether ye call them or are silent is all one for you. Lo! those on whom ye call (tad’oona) beside Allah are slaves like unto you. Call on them (faod’oohum) now, and let them answer you, if ye are truthful! Have they feet wherewith they walk, or have they hands wherewith they hold, or have they eyes wherewith they see, or have they ears wherewith they hear? Say: Call upon your (so-called) partners (od’oo shurakaakum) (of Allah), and then contrive against me, spare me not! Lo! my Protecting Friend is Allah Who revealeth the Scripture. He befriendeth the righteous. They on whom ye call (tad’oona) beside Him have no power to help you, nor can they help you, nor can they help themselves. S. 7:189-197 Pickthall

Say (O Muhammad): “Call unto those (od’u) besides Him whom you pretend [to be gods like angels, Iesa (Jesus), ‘Uzair (Ezra), etc.]. They have neither the power to remove the adversity from you nor even to shift it from you to another person.” Those whom they call upon (yad’oona) [like ‘Iesa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), ‘Uzair (Ezra), angel, etc.] desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allah), as to which of them should be the nearest and they [‘Iesa (Jesus), ‘Uzair (Ezra), angels, etc.] hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment. Verily, the Torment of your Lord is something to be afraid of! S. 17:56-57 Hilali-Khan

The Quran even has these divinities on the day of judgment denouncing the pagans before Allah for worshiping them!

And when the idolaters behold their associates, they shall say, ‘Our Lord, these are our associates on whom we called apart from Thee (nad’oo min doonika).’ They will fling back at them the saying, ‘Surely, you are truly liars.’ S. 16:86 Arberry

He merges the night into the day (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the night are added to the hours of the day), and He merges the day into the night (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the day are added to the hours of the night). And He has subjected the sun and the moon, each runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allah your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon (tad’oona ) instead of Him, own not even a Qitmir (the thin membrane over the datestone). If you invoke (or call upon) them (tad’oohum), they hear not your call, and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O Muhammad) like Him Who is the All-Knower (of each and everything). S. 35:13-14 Hilali-Khan

Say (O Muhammad to these pagans): “Think! All that you invoke (tad’oona) besides Allah show me! What have they created of the earth? Or have they a share in (the creation of) the heavens? Bring me a Book (revealed before this), or some trace of knowledge (in support of your claims), if you are truthful!” And who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) (yad’oo) besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) (du’a-ihim) 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 (ibadatihim). S. 46:4-6 Hilali-Khan

The reason this is problematic is that some of the idols that the Meccans worshiped included the so-called daughters of Allah, namely Al-Lat, Al-‘Uzza and Manat:

Have you then considered Al-Lat, and Al-‘Uzza (two idols of the pagan Arabs) And Manat (another idol of the pagan Arabs), the other third? Is it for you the males and for Him the females? That indeed is a division most unfair! They are but names which you have named, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire, whereas there has surely come to them the Guidance from their Lord! S. 53:19-23 Hilali-Khan

This means that Muhammad actually believed that these goddesses really exist, a fact confirmed by the earliest extant biography on Muhammad’s life.

According to Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad sent Khalid b. Walid to kill al-Uzza who turned out to be a hysterical black woman that Khalid struck down:

In this year, five nights before the end of Ramadan, Khalid b. al-Walid destroyed al-‘Uzza in the lowland of Nakhlah. Al-‘Uzza was an idol of the Banu Shayban, a subdivision of Sulaym, allies of the Banu Hashim. The Banu Asad b. ‘Abd al-‘Uzza used to say it was their idol. Khalid set out for it, and then he said, “I have destroyed it.” [The Messenger of God] said, “Did you see anything?” “No,” said Khalid. “Then,” he said, “go back and destroy it.” So Khalid returned to the idol, destroyed its temple, and broke the idol. The keeper began saying, “Rage, O ‘Uzza, with one of thy fits of rage!”– whereupon a naked, wailing Ethiopian woman came out before him. Khalid killed her and took her jewels that were on her. Then he went to the Messenger of God and gave him a report of what happened. “That was al-‘Uzza,” he said, “and al-‘Uzza will never be worshiped [again].”

According to Ibn Humayd – Salamah – Ibn Ishaq, who said: The Messenger of God sent Khalid b. al-Walid to [deal with] al-‘Uzza, who was at Nakhlah. She was a temple venerated by the tribes of Quraysh, Kinanah, and all Mudar. Her keepers were of the Banu Shayban, a division of the Banu Sulaym, allies of the Banu Hashim. When the master of the temple heard that Khalid was coming to deal with al-‘Uzza, he hung his sword on her and climbed the mountain near which al-‘Uzza was located. As he went up he said:

O ‘Uzza, attack with an attack that hits no vital place,
against Khalid! Throw down thy veil, and gird up thy train!

O ‘Uzza, if today thou wilt not slay Khalid,
bear a swift punishment, or become a Christian!

Having reached al-‘Uzza, Khalid destroyed her and returned to the Messenger of God. (The History of al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1997], Volume 8, pp. 187-188; bold emphasis mine)

Muhammad’s belief in the existence of these so-called daughters of Allah is also supported by the episode of the “Satanic Verses”:

It is narrated on the authority of Muhammad Ibn Ka’b Al-Qurathi that the Messenger of Allah recited Surat An-Najm to Allah’s saying (what means): {So have you considered al-Lat and al-‘Uzza? And Manat, the third – the other one?} [An-Najm, verse 19-20] THEN SATAN INSPIRED HIM TO SAY: “Those are the high goddesses whose intercession is expected”. Then Allah revealed what means: {Verily, they were about to tempt you away from that which We revealed to you to fabricate something other than it against Us, and (had you done so) then they would surely have taken you an intimate friend! And if We had not strengthened you, you would have almost inclined to them a little}. [Al-Isra’, verse 73-74] The Messenger of Allah then kept distressed till Allah revealed (what means): {And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke (or recited), Satan threw into it (his recitation some misunderstanding). But Allah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allah makes precise His verses. And Allah is Knowing and Wise}. [Al-Hajj, verse 52] [Abu Ash-Shaykh] (Jalal Al-Din Al-Suyuti, Reasons and Occasions of Revelation of the Holy Qur’an (Lubab An-Nuqul Fi Asbab An-Nuzul), translated by Dr. Muhammad Mahdi Al-Sharif [Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, Beirut 2015], Q. 17:73, pp. 235-236; capital emphasis mine)

It is narrated on the authority of Sa’id Ibn Jubayr that The Messenger of Allah recited Surat An-Najm to Allah’s saying (what means): {So have you considered al-Lat and al-‘Uzza? And Manat, the third – the other one?} [An-Najm, verse 19-20] THEN SATAN INSPIRED HIM TO SAY: “Those are the high goddesses whose intercession is expected”. The polytheists said: “He (Muhammad) has never mentioned our gods with good before this day”. Then he prostrated AND THEY PROSTRATED WITH HIM. On that occasion, Allah revealed this Qur’anic Verse. [Ibn Abu Hatim; Ibn Jarir and Ibn Al-Mundhir]

The same is narrated ON THE AUTHORITY OF IBN ‘ABBAS. [Al-Bazzar and Ibn Mardawayh] (Ibid., Q. 22:52, p. 260; capital emphasis mine)

The fact that Muhammad could speak of the intercession of these goddesses being wholly acceptable to his god shows that he really thought that such divine beings truly exist. His only problem was with the pagan belief that these gods were the offspring of Allah, something he completely rejected.

Hence, Muhammad not only turned himself into a god by exhorting his followers to invoke him, he even went as far as to affirm the real existence of the gods and goddesses that his pagan tribe worshiped and invoked!

So much for the oft-repeated Muslim claim that Islam is the purest form of monotheistic worship in existence.

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