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Session on the Deification of Muhammad Pt. 1

This is the material that I compiled for the talk I did for Jonathan McLatchie’s Apologetics Academy titled, “Islam’s Deification of Muhammad,” which can be viewed here


By deification I mean Muhammad has been elevated to the status of a god who has become Allah’s partner in virtually all things. I do not mean that Muhammad has been transformed into Allah himself, or that he is equal to his deity in every respect. There is a sense, however, in which Muhammad has become the visible image and manifestation (so to speak) of Allah.


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

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

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

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


“The fact that mention of the Prophet is directly connected to mention of Allah also shows that obedience to the Prophet is connected to obedience to Allah and His name to Allah’s name. Allah says, ‘Obey Allah and His Messenger’ (2:32) and ‘Believe in Allah and His Messenger.’ (4:136) Allah joins them together using the conjunction WA WHICH IS THE CONJUNCTION OF PARTNERSHIP. IT IS NOT PERMITTED TO USE THIS CONJUNCTION IN CONNECTION WITH ALLAH IN THE CASE OF ANYONE EXCEPT THE PROPHET.

“Hudhayfa said that the Prophet said, ‘None of you should say, “What Allah wills and (wa) so-and-so wills.” Rather say, “What Allah wills.” Then stop and say, “So-and-so wills.”’

“Al-Khattabi said, ‘The Prophet has guided you to correct behaviour in putting the will of Allah before the will of others. He chose “then” (thumma) which implies sequence and deference as opposed to “and” (wa) WHICH IMPLIES PARTNERSHIP.’

“Something similar is mentioned in another hadith. Someone was speaking in the presence of the Prophet and said, ‘Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has been rightly guided, and whoever rebels against them both (joining them together by using the dual form)…’ The Prophet said to him, ‘What a bad speaker you are! Get up! [Or he said: Get out!]’

“Abu Sulayman said, ‘He disliked the two names being joined together in that way BECAUSE IT IMPLIES EQUALITY.’…” (Qadi ‘Iyad, Kitab Ash-shifa bi ta’rif huquq al-Mustafa (Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One), translation by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K.; third reprint 1991, paperback], Part One. Allah’s great estimation of the worth of his Prophet expressed in both word and action, Chapter One. Allah’s praise of him and his great esteem for him, Section 1. Concerning praise of him and his numerous excellent qualities, p. 8; capital emphasis ours)


O you who have believed, obey Allah AND His Messenger and do not turn from HIM (‘anhu) while you hear [his order]. S. 8:20 Sahih International

The Arabic word anhu is a 3rd person masculine singular object pronoun, even though the passage expressly mentions two objects, namely Allah and his messenger. As such, it is unclear whether the pronoun refers back to the nearest antecedent, e.g. Muhammad, or whether it is actually pointing back to Allah himself. It would have therefore been more correct to employ a dual pronoun i.e. “and turn not from them,” in order to avoid such ambiguity.

However, it may be the case that Muhammad deliberately employed the singular pronoun in order to emphasize the fact that to obey him is the same as obeying Allah, since his commands are Allah’s commands and vice-versa. This in turn means that Muhammad is the human voice of his deity, a fact which is further confirmed by the next verse:

O you who have believed, respond to Allah AND to the Messenger when HE calls you (da’akum) to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered. S. 8:24 Sahih International

The Arabic term da’akum is a 3rd person masculine singular perfect verb, despite the fact that the passage is an exhortation to respond to the call of both Allah and Muhammad. Grammatically, it would have been more correct to employ a dual verb “they call you.”

As it stands, the singular must be seen as another attempt by Muhammad to place himself on the level of deity by making his calling to the believers virtually the same as Allah calling out to them to hear and obey. This not only associates Muhammad with his lord, but also makes him out to be identical to Allah, e.g. Allah’s call is Muhammad’s call and Muhammad’s call is Allah’s call since they are basically one and the same.

This also explains why answering Muhammad’s call takes precedence and priority over prayer itself, just as the following tradition shows:

Narrated Abu Said bin Al-Mu’alla: While I was praying in the Mosque, Allah’s Apostle called me but I did not respond to him. Later I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I was praying.” He said, “Didn’t Allah say—‘Give your response to Allah (by obeying Him) and to His Apostle when he calls you?’” (8.24)…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 1

Instead of commending the man for worshiping Allah, Muhammad actually chides his companion for not setting aside his prayers in order to beckon to his prophet’s call. Muhammad even goes as far as to cite Q. 8:24 to prove that the Quran itself testifies that immediately responding to his call is more important than praying to Allah. This provides irrefutable proof that a Muslim’s relationship to Muhammad takes priority over his relationship to Allah.

Now which Muslim would dare say that Muhammad did not understand the meaning of Q. 8:24? Which Muslim would want to claim that Muhammad misused this verse and sinned against his lord by behaving in an arrogant and blasphemous way, ascribing to himself a position that the Quran does not give to him?

In any case, this narration shows that Muhammad placed himself on the same level as his own god, if not actually even higher than the Muslim deity. At the very least, it shows that Muhammad’s calling is virtually identical with the very voice (in fact, the human voice!) of Allah himself.

Thus, to beckon to the Muhammad’s summons is to obey the call of Allah since to hear the sound of Muhammad’s voice is to listen to Allah himself, just as the following verse demonstrates: 

He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad), has indeed obeyed Allah, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad) as a watcher over them. S. 4:80 Hilali-Khan

This explains why the Quran groups the two together through the use of singular pronouns. It basically comes down to Muhammad making himself out to be the human image and representation of his deity!


But no, by thy Lord! they will not believe till they make thee the judge regarding the disagreement between them, then they shall find in themselves no impediment touching THY verdict, but shall surrender in full submission. S. 4:65 Arberry

But no! by your Lord! they do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any straitness in their hearts as to what YOU have decided and submit with entire submission. Shakir

Here we are told clearly and plainly that a Muslim must fully surrender to Muhammad with a complete submission!

Lest Muslims accuse of us distorting the meaning of this specific citation here is how some of Islam’s renowned commentators interpreted this reference:

But no, (fa-la, the la is extra) by your Lord! They will not believe until they make you judge over what has broken out, has become mixed up, between them and find in themselves no inhibition, [no] constraint or doubt, regarding what you decide, but submit, [but] comply with your ruling, in full submission, without objection. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; bold and underline emphasis ours)

The following Sufi Muslim author writes:

When the best generation of humankind ever to walk the earth realized that the Lord of the Heaven was addressing them directly with His timeless Speech in the language which they had mastered better than any human nation ever mastered a language, they realized that not only had Allah Almighty deputized the worthiest of them as the carrier of the final Message to humanity, but He had also made belief in that most honorable, most distinguished, and most accomplished Messenger – our liege-lord Muhammad – an integral condition of belief in Allah Himself by saying repeatedly “Believe in Allah AND the Messenger.”

They also heard Allah again and again command them to “Obey Allah AND the Messenger.” They also realized that Allah Almighty stressed to them that this Messenger was their paramount model of behavior and of belief in Allah and the Last Day. They also heard and understood it meant they had to follow him and love him before they could claim to follow and love Allah.

They further understood the required levels of following the Prophet properly and truly on which one’s actual belief in Allah Most High depended: {But nay, by your Lord! they will not believe (in truth) until they make you judge of what is in dispute between them}. But to make the Prophet judge is not enough, this must be done without any mental reservation toward the Prophet and his decision: {and find within themselves no dislike of that which you decide}. Even this unalloyed acceptance of the Prophet’s judgment is not enough, there must be full embrace of the heart, mind and soul for the Prophet: {and submit with full submission} (4:65)! (Gibril Fouad Haddad, The Story of Hadith – On Obeying, Following, Imitating, And Loving Prophet Muhammad; bold and underline emphasis ours)

And to show what happens to any Muslim who refuses to fully submit to

Muhammad here are the comments of renowned Sunni exegete Ibn Kathir:

One Does not Become a Believer Unless He Refers to the Messenger for Judgment AND SUBMITS TO HIS DECISIONS

Allah said…

<But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them,> Allah swears by His Glorious, Most Honorable Self, that no one shall attain faith until he refers to the Messenger for judgment IN ALL MATTERS. Thereafter, whatever the Messenger commands, is the plain truth that must be submitted to inwardly and outwardly. Allah said…

<and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.> meaning: they adhere to your judgment, and thus do not feel any hesitation over your decision, and they submit to it inwardly and outwardly. They submit to the Prophet’s decision with total submission without any rejection, denial or dispute. Al-Bukhari recorded that `Urwah said, “Az-Zubayr quarreled with a man about a stream which both of them used for irrigation. Allah’s Messenger said to Az-Zubayr…

<<O Zubayr! Irrigate (your garden) first, and then let the water flow to your neighbor.>> The Ansari became angry and said, `O Allah’s Messenger! Is it because he is your cousin?’ On that, the face of Allah’s Messenger changed color (because of anger) and said…

<<Irrigate (your garden), O Zubayr, and then withhold the water until it reaches the walls (surrounding the palms). Then, release the water to your neighbor.>> So, Allah’s Messenger gave Az-Zubayr his full right when the Ansari made him angry. Before that, Allah’s Messenger had given a generous judgment, beneficial for Az-Zubayr and the Ansari. Az-Zubayr said, `I think the following verse was revealed concerning that case…

<But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them.>’” Another reason in his Tafsir, Al-Hafiz Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin `Abdur-Rahman bin Ibrahim bin Duhaym recorded that Damrah narrated that two men took their dispute to the Prophet, and he gave a judgment to the benefit of whoever among them had the right. The person who lost the dispute said, “I do not agree.” The other person asked him, “What do you want then?” He said, “Let us go to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq.” They went to Abu Bakr and the person who won the dispute said, “We went to the Prophet with our dispute and he issued a decision in my favor.” Abu Bakr said, “Then the decision is that which the Messenger of Allah issued.” The person who lost the dispute still rejected the decision and said, “Let us go to `Umar bin Al-Khattab.” When they went to `Umar, the person who won the dispute said, “We took our dispute to the Prophet and he decided in my favor, but this man refused to submit to the decision.” `Umar bin Al-Khattab asked the second man and he concurred. `Umar went to his house and emerged from it holding aloft his sword. He struck the head of the man who rejected the Prophet’s decision with the sword and killed him. Consequently, Allah revealed…

<But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith>. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; capital and underline emphasis ours)

A companion of Muhammad is struck down in cold blood for simply refusing to fully submit to his prophet’s decision!


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

O our people! respond to Allah’s SUMMONER and believe in HIM. HE will forgive you some of your sins and guard you from a painful doom. And whoso respondeth not to Allah’s SUMMONER he can nowise escape in the earth, and he hath no protecting friends (awliyaa) instead of HIM. Such are in error manifest. S. 46:31-32

The pronouns all point back to Allah’s summoner, who is supposed to be Muhammad, since he is the nearest antecedent or object in the context. As such, the verse is not referring to Allah, but to Muhammad as the one who is able to save and forgive sinners!

Here are a few more translations which help make this point clearer:

O our people! accept the Divine CALLER and believe in HIM, HE will forgive you of your faults and protect you from a painful punishment. And whoever does not accept the Divine CALLER, he shall not escape in the earth and he shall not have guardians besides HIM, these are in manifest error. Shakir

Our people, respond to the one who calls you to God. Believe in HIMHE will forgive you your sins and protect you from a painful torment.’ S. 46:31 Abdel Haleem

O our people, hearken to the one who invites (you) to Allah, and believe in himHe will forgive you your faults, and deliver you from a Penalty Grievous. Y. Ali

It is abundantly clear that the one who is said to forgive sins and save people from a painful torment, and who is the only guardian anyone has, is supposed to be Muhammad, the so-called divine caller or summoner that Allah has sent.

The hadiths reinforce this by singling out the fact that Muhammad will actually deliver people out of hell itself:

Narrated ‘Imran bin Husain: The Prophet said, “Some people will be taken out of the Fire through the intercession of Muhammad they will enter Paradise and will be called Al-Jahannamiyin (the Hell Fire people).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 571


“‘… So they will come to me, and I will ask my Lord’s permission to enter His House and then I will be permitted. When I see Him I will fall down in prostration before Him, and He will leave me (in prostration) as long as He will, and then He will say, “O Muhammad, lift up your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask (for anything) for it will be granted”: Then I will raise my head and glorify my Lord with certain praises which He has taught me. Allah will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people). I WILL TAKE THEM OUT and make them enter Paradise.’

“(Qatada said: I heard Anas saying that), the Prophet said, ‘I will go out and take them OUT OF HELL (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, and then I will return and ask my Lord for permission to enter His House and I will be permitted. When I will see Him I will fall down in prostration before Him and He will leave me in prostration as long as He will let me (in that state), and then He will say, “O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask, your request will be granted.”’ The Prophet added, ‘So I will raise my head and glorify and praise Him as He has taught me. Then I will intercede and He will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people). I will take them out and let them enter Paradise.’

“(Qatada added: I heard Anas saying that) the Prophet said, ‘I will go out and take them OUT OF HELL (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, and I will return for the third time and will ask my Lord for permission to enter His house, and I will be allowed to enter. When I see Him, I will fall down in prostration before Him, and will remain in prostration as long as He will, and then He will say, “Raise your head, O Muhammad, and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask, for your request will be granted.” So I will raise my head and praise Allah as He has taught me and then I will intercede and He will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people). I will take them out and let them enter Paradise.’

“(Qatada said: I heard Anas saying that) the Prophet said, ‘So I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, till none will remain in the Fire except those whom Quran will imprison (i.e., those who are destined for eternal life in the fire).’

“The narrator then recited the Verse:– ‘It may be that your Lord will raise you to a Station of Praise and Glory.’ (17.79) The narrator added: This is the Station of Praise and Glory which Allah has promised to your Prophet.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532v

In fact, the Quran explicitly teaches that Muhammad’s intercession is an essential and necessary aspect for receiving forgiveness:

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

We sent not an apostle, but to be obeyed, in accordance with the will of God. If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked God’s forgiveness, and the Apostle had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found God indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful. S. 4:64 Y. Ali

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

They only are the true believers who believe in Allah and His messenger and, when they are with him on some common errand, go not away until they have asked leave of him. Lo! those who ask leave of thee, those are they who believe in Allah and His messenger. So, if they ask thy leave for some affair of theirs, give leave to whom thou wilt of them, and ask for them forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. S. 24:62

So know (O Muhammad) that there is no God save Allah, and ask forgiveness for thy sin and for believing men and believing women. Allah knoweth (both) your place of turmoil and your place of rest. S. 47:19

We have more info in the next part of the material:

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