Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Is Allah the Only Judge and Forgiver of Sins?"

 

By

 

Bassam Zawadi

 

 

Sam Shamoun responded back to my article over here.

 

 

Sam Shamoun said:

 

That is NOT what the passages are saying; this is simply what Zawadi wants the verses to say. The references do not qualify their statements by saying that Allah is the ultimate authority or judge, but expressly claim that there is no other judge besides Allah and that he doesn't allow absolutely ANYONE to share in his decisions and judgment, which would naturally include Muhammad.

Note, carefully, the wording of the following text:

"Say: Allah is Best Aware how long they tarried. His is the Invisible of the heavens and the earth. How clear of sight is He and keen of hearing! They have NO protecting friend beside Him, and He maketh NONE to share in His government." S. 18:26 Pickthall

Since Zawadi has a fascination of quoting more than one translation here is the way the various versions render this specific passage:

. There is NO guardian for them besides Him, and He associates NONE in his judgment. Muhammad Ali (*)

. They have NO protector other than Him; NOR does He share His Command WITH ANY PERSON WHATSOEVER. Yusuf Ali

. NO guardian have they apart from Him, since He allots to NO ONE a share in His rule!" Muhammad Asad (*)

. They have NO Wali (Helper, Disposer of affairs, Protector, etc.) other than Him, and He makes NONE to share in His Decision and His Rule." Al-Hilali & Khan

. They have NOT besides Him any protector, and He shares NOT His legislation WITH ANYONE. Al-Muntada Alislami (*)

. There is NONE to be a guardian for them besides Him, and He DOES NOT MAKE ANY ONE His associate in His Judgment. Shakir

. They have NO other guardian but Him, and He DOES NOT share His authority WITH ANY ONE. Ahmed Ali (*)

. NO ONE other than Him is their guardian and NO ONE shares His Judgment. Muhammad Sarwar (*)

. They have NO helper beside HIM, and HE DOES NOT LET ANYONE share in HIS judgment. Sher Ali

. They have NO patron beside Him, NOR in His rule HE ASSOCIATETH ANYONE. Abdul-Majid Daryabadi (*)

. They have NO patron besides Him, NOR DOES HE LET ANYONE ELSE share in His discretion. T.B. Irving (*)

. They have NO helper besides him. He lets NONE ASSOCIATE with Him and share His judgment. Abdul Mannan Omer (*)

. They have NO helper beside Him and He DOES NOT LET ANY ONE share His authority. Muhammad Zafrulla Khan (*)

. Mankind has NO protector besides Him NOR does He share His sovereignty WITH ANYONE. G.A. Parwez (*)

. (there is) NONE for them from other than Him (as a) guardian/ally, and He DOES NOT share/make partners in His judgment/rule ANYONE. Muhamed Ahmed with his daughter Samira (*)

. They DO NOT have besides Him any ally, NOR does He share in His judgment WITH ANYONE. The Message - A Pure and Literal Translation of Al-Qu'ran (*)

. There is NONE beside Him as Lord and Master, and He NEVER PERMITS ANY PARTNERS to share in His kingship. Khalifa

. They have NO protector, apart from Him, and He associates in His government NO ONE.' Arberry

. They have NO patron beside Him, NOR DOES HE LET ANY ONE share in His judgment. Palmer

. Man hath NO guardian but Him, and NONE may bear part in his judgments: - Rodwell

. The [inhabitants thereof] have NO protector besides him; NEITHER DOTH HE SUFFER ANY ONE to have a share in [the establishment or knowledge of] his decree. Sale

All of the major translations (along with some lesser known ones), most of which were produced by Muslims, agree that Q. 18:26 is attesting to the fact that Allah does not allow ANY individual to share in his decision making, in his judgments. Allah also forbids believers from having any other wali (protector/ally/patron/friend) besides him which is another contradiction altogether (*).

In order for Zawadi's explanation to be taken seriously the texts would need to say something like the following,

  • Allah doesn't allow anyone to share in his judgment in an absolute sense since he holds ultimate authority.
  • Allah doesn't allow anyone to share in his judgment among the false gods or the wicked, but does permit his righteous angels and servants to do so.

Unfortunately for Zawadi that is not what the verses say or imply. The passages expressly and unambiguously assert that absolutely NO ONE is allowed to share in Allah's rule, in Allah's judgments or decisions, just as the following commentators realized:

Say: 'God is more knowledgeable of how long they tarried, [more knowledgeable] than those contending over this [issue] - and this [fact] has already been mentioned [above, verse 19]. To Him belongs the Unseen of the heavens and the earth, that is, [to Him belongs] the knowledge thereof. How well He sees! namely, God - this form is for [expressing] amazement [at something]. How well He hears! likewise [for expressing amazement]. These two [expressions] are being used metaphorically. What is meant is that nothing can escape God's sight or hearing. They, THE INHABITANTS OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH, have no guardian, someone to assist [them], besides Him, and He makes NONE to share in His rule', for He is Independent, without need of a partner. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)

 

 

My Response:

 

 

There goes Shamoun with his demands again. He demands the exact wording to his satisfaction in each verse he shows instead of looking at all verses together and trying to harmonize and interpret them.

 

 

Ibn Abbas said in his commentary...

 

 

(Say) O Muhammad: (Allah is best aware how long they tarried) after that. (His is the Invisible of the heavens and the earth) His is that which is hidden from the servants. (How clear of sight is He and keen of hearing!) so hear and know what I see and know about them and their matter (They have no protecting friend beside Him) they have no one to protect them beside Allah; it is also said that this means: the people of Mecca have no close one to benefit them against Allah's chastisement, (and He maketh none to share in His government) in His dominion of the Unseen. (Ibn Abbaas, Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn 'Abbs, Commentary on Surah 18:26, Source)

 

 

So here we see that it really is Allah who is in control. When Allah says that He wont let anyone judge along side with Him, that means that Allah would never give up any of His authority to anyone else like you might have in a company controlled by partnership. What Allah is saying is that He is more like a sole proprietorship in which He has no partners and doesn't have to answer to anyone. Now even in a sole proprietorship you would still have the vice president and managers who would have authority and take charge. However, at the end of the day there is only one person in ultimate authority and that is the owner.

 

Similarly with Allah, in this verse He is emphasizing that He is the only judge with no equals. But this doesn't mean that there can't be other judges who are judging by Allah's permission.

 

 

Sam Shamoun said:

Now let us contrast this with what the following reference says regarding obeying Muhammad in everything and making him a judge in every decision:

But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad SAW) 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

Muhammad is to have the final say in all matters, not just some, and those who oppose his rule are disbelievers. In fact, one commentator mentions that Umar ibn al-Khattab actually killed a man, striking him down with his sword, for refusing to submit to Muhammad's decision in a matter:

One Does not Become a Believer Unless He Refers to the Messenger for Judgment and Submits to his Decisions

Allah said.

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.

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.

<> 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.

'" 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...

. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)

 

 

My Response:

 

 

I have read the Arabic text of Surah 4:65 and it not say 'all disputes'. It only says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) should judge between what happened between them. Shamoun may verify this with this with his Arab friends.

 

Most translations do not say 'all disputes'...

 

 

Pickthall

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.

Yusuf Ali

But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction.

Hilali-Khan

But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad SAW) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.

Shakir

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.

Sher Ali

But no, by thy Lord, they will not be true believers until they make thee judge in all that is in dispute between them and then find not in their hearts any demur concerning that which thou decidest and submit with full submission.

Khalifa

Never indeed, by your Lord; they are not believers unless they come to you to judge in their disputes, then find no hesitation in their hearts whatsoever in accepting your judgment. They must submit a total submission.

Arberry

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.

Palmer

But no! by thy Lord! they will not believe, until they have made thee judge of what they differ on; then they will not find in themselves aught to hinder what thou hast decreed, and they will submit with submission.

Rodwell

And they will not - I swear by thy Lord - they will not believe, until they have set thee up as judge between them on points where they differ. Then shall they not find in their own minds any difficulty in thy decisions, and shall submit with entire submission.

Sale

And by thy Lord they will not [perfectly] believe, until they make thee judge of their controversies; and shall not afterwards find in their own minds any hardship in what thou shalt determine, but shall acquiesce [therein] with [entire] submission.

 

 

Secondly, even if we assume that the verse says ALL, all of what though? It only says to judge in matters that happened between them in their daily life activities. Its not like the verse says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) will judge whether they will go to heaven or not.

 

 

Al Suyuti states...

 

 

But no, (fa-lā, the lā 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. (Jalal ud-Din Siyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Commentary on Surah 4:65, Source)

 

 

 

Imam Tabari says...

 

 

{ ÍóÊøóì íõÍóßøöãõæß ÝöíãóÇ ÔóÌóÑó Èóíúäåãú } íóÞõæá : ÍóÊøóì íóÌúÚóáõæß ÍóßóãðÇ Èóíúäåãú ÝöíãóÇ ÇöÎúÊóáóØó Èóíúäåãú ãöäú ÃõãõæÑåãú               

 

 

Until they make you a judge in disputes of their affairs. (Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami' al-bayan fi ta'wil al-Qur'an, Commentary on Surah 4:65, Source)

 

 

 

So we see that this is in reference to the people's private affairs, not literally in ALL MATTERS (e.g. such as deciding ones eternal fate, which only God could judge)

 

Thirdly, how is it that the Prophet (peace be upon him) judges between the people anyways? The Qur'an says...

 

 

Surah 4:105

 

"Surely We have revealed the Book to you with the truth that you may judge between people by means of that which Allah has shown you; and be not an advocate on behalf of the treacherous."

 

Surah 5:48

 

"And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, verifying what is before it of the Book and a guardian over it, therefore judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires (to turn away) from the truth that has come to you;"

 

 

So here we see that the Prophet (peace be upon him) does not simply judge by his own authority, but by what Allah has revealed. Indicating that really the ultimate judge is Allah.

 

Let me guess, Shamoun is going to demand to see the word 'ultimate' again?

 

 

 

 

 

Sam Shamoun said:

Moreover, does the alternate rendering which Zawadi proposes really impact the meaning and thereby nullify our point? Not in the least since the reference says that in order for Allah to forgive these sinners they must come to Muhammad:

We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allah's Leave. If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, HAD COME TO YOU (Muhammad SAW) and begged Allah's Forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them: indeed, they would have found Allah All-Forgiving (One Who accepts repentance), Most Merciful. Hilali-Khan

This makes coming to Muhammad synonymous with begging Allah which means that Muhammad does indeed share in Allah's decisions, whether such decisions relate to forgiveness or other issues. As renowned Sunni exegete Ibn Kathir put it:

directs the sinners and evildoers, when they commit errors and mistakes, to come to the Messenger, so that they ask Allah for forgiveness IN HIS PRESENCE and ask him to supplicate to Allah to forgive them. If they do this, Allah will forgive them and award them His mercy and pardon. This is why Allah said.

. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Forgiveness here is made incumbent upon the Muslims coming to Muhammad, with the implication being that if they did not come to him they would not be forgiven. With this in mind is it any wonder that Pickthall and the above translator(s) of Ibn Abbas rendered the Arabic to mean that the people had to come and ask Muhammad to forgive their sins since this is basically what they did? To put it another way, why didn't these Muslims simply confess their sins to Allah without having to go to Muhammad if he wasn't somehow involved in assuring that their sins would be forgiven? The answer? Because to come before Muhammad is to go or stand before Allah since Allah decided to make his forgiveness dependent on Muhammad.

 

 

 

 

My Response:

 

 

Shamoun said...

 

Forgiveness here is made incumbent upon the Muslims coming to Muhammad, with the implication being that if they did not come to him they would not be forgiven.

 

Shamoun is making this general statement that all Muslims must go to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and ask him to ask God for our forgiveness. This is not true. We pray directly to God. The verse was talking about a certain group of hypocrites who rejected the judgment of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and looked for another one to judge between them. Thus, addressed, in this verse, the hypocrites who committed injustice to themselves with such a major sin. So since the hypocrites committed injustice towards the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regards, they were required to go to the Prophet (peace be upon him) as well. See Tafsir Tabari


 

 

 

 

Sam Shamoun said:

More importantly, there is a text which explicitly attests that Muhammad does forgive sinners, thereby supporting our understanding of Q. 4:64:

Of their goods, take alms, that so THOU mightest purify and sanctify them; and pray on their behalf. Verily thy prayers are a source of security for them: And God is One Who heareth and knoweth. S. 9:103 Y. Ali

Lest Zawadi accuse us of relying on one translation which happens to support our agenda note how these other versions render this same passage:

O dear Prophet (Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him) take the obligatory charity from their wealth, by which YOU may cleanse them and make them pure, and pray in their favour. Mohammed Aqib Farid Qadri (*)

(Prophet!) take a portion of their possessions as Zakt so that YOU may thereby purify them (of their evils) and enhance them in their virtuous deeds, and pray for them. Abdul Mannan Omer (*)

. YOU will cleanse and purify them by means of it. Pray for them. T.B. Irving

. wherewith THOU mayst purify them and mayst make them grow, and pray for them. Pickthall

. so that THOU mayest cleanse them thereby and cause them to grow in purity, and pray for them. Muhammad Asad (*)

. THOU wouldst cleanse them and purify them thereby - and pray for them. Muhammad Ali (*)

. thereby THOU wilt cleanse them and purify them; and pray thou for them. Daryabadi

. that THOU mayest purify them thereby and provide for their uplift and welfare; and pray for them. Muhammad Zafrulla Khan

. YOU would cleanse them and purify them thereby, and pray for them . Shakir

. so that THOU mayest cleanse them and purify them thereby. And pray for them. Sher Ali

. by which YOU purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allah's blessings] upon them. Al-Muntada Alislami (*)

. that THOU mayst cleanse and purify them thereby, and pray for them. Rodwell

. that THOU mayest cleanse them, and purify them thereby; and pray for them. Sale

And here is how the two Jalals interpreted this reference:

Take of their wealth some alms, to purify them and to cleanse them thereby, of their sins; he thus took a third of their wealth and gave it away as charity; and pray for them, that is, supplicate for them; truly your prayers are a comfort, a mercy, for them: it is also said [to mean] reassurance [for them], that their repentance has been accepted. And God is Hearer, Knower. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; bold and italic emphasis ours)

Nor is this the only text which says Muhammad purifies people:

Indeed Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad SAW) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur'an), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur'an) and Al-Hikmah [the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW (i.e. his legal ways, statements, acts of worship, etc.)], while before that they had been in manifest error. S. 3:164 Hilali-Khan

He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad SAW) from among themselves, reciting to them His Verses, purifying them (from the filth of disbelief and polytheism), and teaching them the Book (this Qur'an, Islamic laws and Islamic jurisprudence) and Al-Hikmah (As-Sunnah: legal ways, orders, acts of worship, etc. of Prophet Muhammad SAW). And verily, they had been before in manifest error; S. 62:2 Hilali-Khan

Now seeing how the Quran admits that only Allah can forgive sins and that he is the one who purifies people:

And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring God to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, - and who can forgive sins except God? - and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. S. 3:135 Y. Ali

O ye who believe! follow not Satan's footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of Satan, he will (but) command what is shameful and wrong: and were it not for the grace and mercy of God on you, not one of you would ever have been pure: but God doth purify whom He pleases: and God is One Who hears and knows (all things). S. 24:21 Y. Ali

Doesn't this further prove that Muhammad does share in Allah's rule, Allah's decisions, as well as in his ability to forgive and purify sinners? And wouldn't this imply that the Quran is deifying Muhammad, granting him a status and characteristics which belong only to God?(1) More on Muhammad's deification and sharing in Allah's authority shortly.

Zawadi attacks a straw man by saying that,

Indeed, we human beings can forgive people's shortcomings but that doesn't make us God.

We are not talking about forgiving or overlooking another person's shortcomings, or of pardoning someone's crimes that have been committed against us. Rather, we are talking about forgiveness of sins in the context of salvation, in relation to one's ultimate destiny or eternal fate, which is something that only God can perform and guarantee. Yet the Quran says Muhammad shares in this ability as well.

 

 

My Response:

 

 

How does the Prophet (peace be upon him) purify the people?

 

Ibn Abbas states...

 

Allah then mentions his blessings on them, saying: (Allah verily hath shown grace to the believers by sending unto them a messenger) of the Children of Adam whose lineage is well known (of their own) an Arab, like them, from the tribe of the Quraysh (who reciteth unto them His revelations) the Qur'an containing commands and prohibitions, (and causeth them to grow) he purifies them by means of the attestation of Allah's divine Oneness from idolatry as well as by cleansing them from their sins, (and teacheth them the Scripture) the Qur'an (and wisdom) the lawful and the prohibited; (although before) the advent of Muhammad and the Qur'an (they were in flagrant error) they were adherents of disbelief. (Ibn Abbaas, Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn 'Abbs, Commentary on Surah 3:164, Source)

 

Allah then explained to the Prophet (pbuh) what he should take of their wealth because they had asked him to take some of it because they had stayed behind and not taken part in the Battle of Tabuk. But the Prophet (pbuh) initially refused to take anything from them until, that is, Allah explained the matter to him, saying: (Take alms) a third (of their wealth) the wealth of those who stayed behind, wherewith thou mayst purify them) from their sins (and mayst make them grow) and reform them with it, (and pray for them) ask forgiveness for them and make supplication for them. (Lo! Your prayer) your asking for their forgiveness and your supplications (is an assuagement for them) tranquillity for their hearts that their repentance will be accepted. (Allah is Hearer) of what they say, i.e. their saying: take our wealth, (Knower) of their repentance and intention. (Ibn Abbaas, Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn 'Abbs, Commentary on Surah 9:103, Source)

 

 

 

Al Suyuti states...

 

It is He Who sent to the unlettered [folk], [among] the Arabs (ummī means 'one who cannot write or read a book'), a messenger from among them, namely, Muhammad (s), to recite to them His signs, the Qur'ān, and to purify them, to cleanse them from idolatry, and to teach them the Book, the Qur'ān, and wisdom, [in] the rulings that it contains, though indeed (wa-in: in has been softened from the hardened form, with its subject having been omitted, that is to say, [understand it as] wa-innahum) before that, [before] his coming, they had been in manifest error. (Jalal ud-Din Siyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Commentary on Surah 62:2, Source)

 

 

 

Take of their wealth some alms, to purify them and to cleanse them thereby, of their sins; he thus took a third of their wealth and gave it away as charity; and pray for them, that is, supplicate for them; truly your prayers are a comfort, a mercy, for them: it is also said [to mean] reassurance [for them], that their repentance has been accepted. And God is Hearer, Knower. (Jalal ud-Din Siyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Commentary on Surah 9:103, Source)

 

 

So here we see that the Prophet (peace be upon him) purifies the people by calling them away from idolatry and evil sins. He also does it by taking wealth from the people, which they pay as charity and that will cleanse their sins for giving charity will do so.

 

So it is Allah purifying the people through the Prophet (peace be upon him).

 

Similar examples.

 

Allah is said to be the one teaching the Qur'an (Surah 55:2) but through His Messenger (Surah 3:164).

 

Allah is said to take the souls at night (Surah 39:42) but through His angels (Surah 4:97, 32:11)

 

Allah is said to be the one who guides people (Surah 28:56) but through his Messenger (Surah 13:7).

 

We see in Surah 7:157 that the Prophets can make things forbidden and permissible but only if Allah informs him and gives him permission to do so (Surah 66:1)

 

So Allah purifies the people by sending his Prophets so that people may follow them since they carry the message of God with them.

 

 

 

 

Sam Shamoun said:

More importantly, the Quran testifies that Allah does not have ultimate authority but shares it equally with Muhammad, making the two of them the ultimate sources of judgment, salvation and rulership.

Here are a set of passages which proves our point:

These are Allah's limits, and whoever obeys Allah AND His Messenger, He will cause him to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them; and this is the great achievement. And whoever disobeys Allah AND His Messenger and goes beyond His limits, He will cause him to enter fire to abide in it, and he shall have an abasing chastisement. S. 4:13-14

And whoever obeys Allah AND the Messenger, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company are they! S. 4:69

Obey Allah, AND obey the Messenger, and beware (of evil): if ye do turn back, know ye that it is Our Messenger's duty to proclaim (the message) in the clearest manner. S. 5:92 A. Yusuf Ali

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah AND His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. S. 9:29

The response of the believers, when they are invited to Allah AND His Messenger that he may judge between them, is only to say: We hear and we obey; and these it is that are the successful. S. 24:51

Say: Obey Allah AND obey the Messenger; but if you turn back, then on him rests that which is imposed on him and on you rests that which is imposed on you; and if you obey him, you are on the right way; and nothing rests on the Messenger but clear delivering (of the message). S. 24:54

There are many more passages that use this formulation, e.g. 3:32, 8:1, 20, 24, 46; 4:69; 9:71; 24:47; 33:33, 66; 47:33; 49:14; 58:13; 64:12, and some additional ones that will shortly be discussed in more detail because they reveal further aspects.

In Islamic and quranic understanding, the Quran comes fully and only from Allah, not the least bit originated from Muhammad or other human sources. Therefore, why would Muhammad's name even have to be mentioned if this is the meaning of the phrase? It would not add anything to "obey Allah" (in what he has commanded you in the Quran). In fact, in that case this formulation would only confuse the concept that the Quran is not from Muhammad in any way, suggesting that Allah and Muhammad are something like co-authors who have to be obeyed together since they together are the source of the Quran.

The command "obey Allah and the Messenger" ' particularly since it is repeated over and over again ' means obedience to Allah and to Muhammad ON THE SAME LEVEL.

Our conclusion is also supported by the fact that in several instances, e.g. 4:59, 5:92, 24:54 etc., the word "obey" is explicitly repeated, i.e. "obey Allah and obey the messenger".

 

 

My Response:

 

 

This is indeed a foolish argument. Just because the word 'and' is there, that doesn't mean the two which the word connects are co equal in every sense. (more of this below)

 

Using that logic we would also have to say that Allah is co equal with the believers (Surah 2:9) because the word 'and' connects them together. Also using that logic we have to say that Allah and His Messenger and people in authority are also co equal (Surah 4:59) because the word 'and' connects them together or that Allah is co equal with the revelations that He has sent and His Prophets (Surah 2:136, 275). But that is absurd.

 

 

Rather, what to obey Allah and His Messenger simply means is to follow the Qur'an and Prophetic Sunnah since the Qur'an and Sunnah are the two sources of religious authority.

 

In Islam, to obey the Messenger is as if you are obeying Allah (Surah 4:80). How is that? The Messenger is receiving revelations from Allah and communicating it to the people. Thus to obey what he is saying is obeying the one who has sent him and that is Allah.

 

So is it correct to say that we should obey Allah and the Messenger on the SAME LEVEL (as Shamoun puts it)? In some sense, yes. However, it is only because obeying Allah and His Messenger is actually obeying the same source and that is Allah. Allah is the ultimate authority that is sending revelations to the Prophet (peace be upon him) who follows what he is being told and does not speak of his own desires (Surah 6:50, 7:203, 10:15, 10:109, 18:110, 41:6, 46:9, 53:3-4)

 

That is why it is compulsory to obey the Prophet (peace be upon him) in all matters in regards to religion, for he was infallible in these regard...

 

 

Saheeh Muslim

 

Book 030, Hadith Number 5831.

------------------------------

Chapter : It is obligatory to follow the Prophet (may peace be upon him) in all matters pertaining to religion, but one is free to act on one's own opinion in matters which pertain to technical skill.

 

Rafi' b. Khadij reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) came to Medina and the people had been grafting the trees. He said: What are you doing? They said: We are grafting them, whereupon he said: It may perhaps be good for you if you do not do that, so they abandoned this practice (and the date-palms) began to yield less fruit. They made a mention of it (to the Holy Prophet), whereupon he said: I am a human being, so when I command you about a thing pertaining to religion, do accept it, and when I command you about a thing out of my personal opinion, keep it in mind that I am a human being. 'Ikrima reported that he said something like this.

 

 

 

Sam Shamoun said:

Moreover, if that latter interpretation is correct, then one would expect to find other places in the Quran where it speaks only about obedience to Muhammad without even mentioning Allah explicitly in the exhortation to obey, just as it would be no surprise to find the command to obey Allah without mentioning Muhammad. And that is indeed the case. The two (Allah and the messenger) are nearly always mentioned together when the Quran demands obedience from its listeners, but one can also find the command to obey the messenger used separately as the next several quotations will show.

Only those are believers who believe in Allah and His Messenger, and when they are with him on a momentous affair they go not away until they have asked his permission; surely they who ask your permission are they who believe in Allah and His Messenger; so when they ask your permission for some affair of theirs, give permission to whom you please of them and ask forgiveness for them from Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Do not hold the Messenger's calling (you) among you to be like your calling one to the other; Allah indeed knows those who steal away from among you, concealing themselves; therefore let those beware who go against his order lest a trial afflict them or there befall them a painful chastisement. S. 24:62-63

Only those are true believers who wait for Muhammad's permission (not Allah's permission), and it is up to Muhammad to give it or to withhold it (give permission to whom YOU please), i.e. whether or not one obeys Muhammad's word determines one's state as a genuine believer.

 

 

My Response:

 

 

Shamoun is ignorant of what the verse is even trying to say. The verse is talking about the etiquette of a person who leaves a gathering. That it is etiquette to ask permission from the Messenger when he leaves a gathering in which the Messenger is in. How can someone ask Allah for permission to leave a gathering?

 

Read Tafsir Ibn Kathir

 

 

Sam Shamoun said:

These verses are even stronger:

Surely those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah; the hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore whoever breaks (his faith), he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul, and whoever fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, He will grant him a mighty reward. S. 48:10

Whoever obeys the messenger has obeyed Allah, and whoever turns away: We have not sent thee as a warder over them. S. 4:80 Pickthall

Do Muslims want to obey Allah? Then simply obey the messenger. Whoever obeys Muhammad, has already obeyed Allah. By obeying Muhammad, one obeys Allah. Obedience to Muhammad is declared to be synonymous with obedience to Allah. Muhammad has, for all practical purposes, taken the place of Allah.

In fact one's entire salvation is determined by one's obedience and devotion to Muhammad:

And obey Allah AND the Messenger, that you may be shown mercy. S. 3:132

Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. S. 3:31 Pickthall

Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those before them, and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them, and that He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange; they shall serve Me, not associating aught with Me; and whoever is ungrateful after this, these it is who are the transgressors. And keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and obey the Messenger, so that mercy may be shown to you. S. 24:55-56

Verily, those who annoy Allah AND His Messenger (SAW) Allah has cursed them in this world, and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating torment. S. 33:57 Hilali-Khan

Have you not seen those who are forbidden secret counsels, then they return to what they are forbidden, and they hold secret counsels for sin and revolt and disobedience to the Messenger, and when they come to you they greet you with a greeting with which Allah does not greet you, and they say in themselves: Why does not Allah punish us for what we say? Hell is enough for them; they shall enter it, and evil is the resort. S. 58:8

 

 

My Response:

 

 

Great, we thank Shamoun for giving us a lecture on the importance of obedience to the Messenger since these arguments are one of the biggest blows to the hadeeth rejecting Muslim creed.

 

 

Sam Shamoun said:

The other major point to note is that in all of the above references where Allah and Muhammad are mentioned together, the passages conjoin the two through the use of the Arabic conjunction Wa ("and"). The significance of this use may be lost to the English readers but not to those who have studied the Muslim reference works.

According to Muslim authorities this conjunction implies partnership and co-equality, e.g. when a person or thing is mentioned alongside Allah using this specific conjunction this implies that that person or thing is Allah's partner or equal.

Muhammad himself realized this and forbade people from using this conjunction when speaking of Allah and someone or something 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) (Kitab At-Tawheed, by Sheikh ul-Islam Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, translated by: Compilation and Research Department Dar-us-Salam [Dar-us-Salam Publications Riyadh-Saudi Arabia, 1996], Chapter 43: Saying: "As Allah Wills and You Will", pp. 21-22; source; underline emphasis ours)

A renowned Muslim scholar named Qadi Iyad Ibn Musa al-Yahsubi had this to say regarding Muslims joining Muhammad with Allah in their confession:

Qatada said, "Allah exalted his fame in this world and the Next. There is no speaker, witness nor anyone doing the prayer who fails to say, 'There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.'"

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri related that the Prophet said, "Jibril, peace be upon him, came to me and said, 'My Lord and your Lord says, 'Do you know how I have exalted your fame?"' I said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'When I am mentioned you are mentioned with Me.'"

Ibn 'Ata quoted a hadith qudsi saying, "I completed belief with your being mentioned with Me." And another one which says, "I have made your mention part of My mention so whoever mentions Me, mentions you."

Ja'far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq, "No one mentions you as the Messenger but that he mentions Me as the Lord."

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, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, 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." . (Iyad, 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. 7-8; bold and capital emphasis ours)

". He coupled his name with His own name, and his pleasure with His pleasure. He made him one of the two pillars of tawhid." (Ibid., p. 27)

Ibn 'Abbas said, "Written on the door of the Garden is: I am Allah. There is no god but Me. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. I will not punish anyone who says that." (Ibid., p. 90)

 

 

My Response:

 

 

Obviously we can't say that Allah wills and Muhammad wills. For Allah has not given the Prophet (peace be upon him) authority to will things to happen. To say as Allah and the Prophet wills shows that both of them have exalted power in the same sense while there is no evidence that Allah has given the Prophet (peace be upon him) any such power.

 

This is in opposition to the previous example, which Shamoun showed from the verses talking about obeying Allah and His Messenger for there is evidence that Allah has sent down revelation to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and that He has given him authority to judge amongst the people based on the revelation sent to him.

So yes the word 'and' could imply equality in certain contexts but not always. This is even the case in the English language.

 

For example.

 

David and Mark should be obeyed. (This does not necessarily imply equality between David and Mark since David could possibly be the President of the country and Mark is the vice president)

 

God and Moses both will that the Sun will rise tomorrow. (This implies equality of power and this is blasphemous, for Moses does not have the power to will the Sun to rise. Only God does.)

 

In Arabic language, the letter (wa) - i.e., (and) - indicates either combination or succession. E.g., Zaid and Amr stood up. If I mean that they both stood up in the same time, then (Zaid and Amr) equals (Amr and Zaid), but if I mean that Zaid stood up first, then I should say (Zaid and Amr), (confer Ibn Faris, al-Sahibi, p. 157)

 

Shaykh Uthaymeen said...

 

When it comes to matters related to Shariah (Islamic law) then it is symbolized by saying (and) because whatever the prophet says in terms of religion it is as if it is said by Allah because Allah says: " whoever obeys the messenger obeys Allah" [Surah 4:80]. On the other hand, the matters that are related to universal matters we cannot say 'Allah and.' because Allah has control over everything which works according to His will.

So if someone says: would it rain tomorrow? And he was answered with: "Allah and his Messenger know!" Then know that this is wrong answer because the Prophet has no knowledge on such matters. However, if someone asks for example: "Is this Haram or halal?" And was answered with: "Allah and his messenger" then this is correct answer because the ruling of the prophet is the same ruling of Allah. as Allah says: whoever obeys the messenger obeys Allah"
(Al-'Uthaimin, Sharh al-Arba'een al-Nawawiyyah, Hadith no. 1, Source)

 

 

 

 

So we see that the word 'and' does not always imply equality of essence at all times and context needs to be analysed.

 

Qadi Iyad 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!]"

 

 

 

 

The surprise here is that Qadi 'Iyad here was not talking about (wa/and) at all, rather he was talking about joining Allah with any of His creatures in the same pronoun as (they) or (them). This usage is utterly forbidden; this is the reason why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the speaker: "What a bad speaker you are!"

 

 

Sam Shamoun said:

 

As if this weren't bad enough that Muhammad is joined to Allah as a partner, the following reference actually ascribes praise and worship to him!

Verily, We have sent you as a witness, as a bearer of glad tidings, and as a warner. In order that you may believe in Allah AND His Messenger, and that you assist and honour HIM and glorify HIS praises morning and afternoon. Verily, those who give allegiance to you they are giving to Allah. The hand of Allah is over their hands. Then whosoever breaks his pledge breaks only to his own harm, and whosoever fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, He will bestow on him a great reward. S. 48:8-10

In this text, the nearest referent, the closest antecedent to the pronouns ("him," "his") is not Allah, but Muhammad! Basically, the author has written this citation in such a way that he ended up making Muhammad the object of a Muslim's praise, worship and glorification! As one late Christian writer noted:

"This sentence is disrupted because of a sudden shift from addressing Muhammad to addressing other people. Apart from this, the accusative pronoun in 'succour Him, and reverence Him' refers, beyond doubt, to Muhammad, who was mentioned earlier, not to God as the English translator understood it. But 'give Him glory' refers to God. The entire verse is chaotic. The reader cannot be expected to understand its true meaning from the arrangement of words. It is kufr ('unbelief') to say 'succour Him, and reverence Him, and that you may give Him glory at the dawn and in the evening' about Muhammad, since glory should be given to God alone. It is also kufr to make such a statement with reference to God, since God almighty is not in need for succour or help!" ('Abdallah 'Abd al-Fadi, Is the Qur'an Infallible? [Light of Life, PO Box 13, A-9503 Villach, Austria], pp. 182-183)

 

 

My Response:

 

 

First of all, Abd al-Fadi is ignorant of Arabic language whether it is in regards to its structure, grammar or expression. You can check this article exposing him and his likes of Arab Christians:
http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vbe/showthread.php?t=671



It cannot be argued that "It is also kufr to make such a statement with reference to God, since God almighty is not in need for succour or help!" because assisting Allah means assisting His Cause and giving support to His religion and His Messenger as in Surah 47:7 "if you assist Allah, He will assist you".

Al-Zamakhshari says:

 

æÇáÖãÇÆÑ ááå ÚÒ æÌáø æÇáãÑÇÏ ÈÊÚÒíÒ Çááå: ÊÚÒíÒ Ïíäå æÑÓæáå Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÓáã æãä ÝÑÞ ÇáÖãÇÆÑ ÝÞÏ ÃÈÚÏ                                                                              


The pronouns belong to God (glory be to Him), and the meaning of "assisting God" is assisting His Religion and His Messenger. Whosoever breaks up the pronouns, has gone far. (Az-Zamakhshari, Tafsir-ul-Kashaf, Commentary on Surah 48:9, Source)

 



Other scholars such as Imam Razi and al-Nasafi agree with al-Zamakhshari.

Al-Alousi says:

 

æÞíá: ßáÇ ÇáÖãíÑíä ááÑÓæá Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÓáã æÑæí Úä ÇÈä ÚÈÇÓ¡ æÒÚã ÈÚÖåã Ãäå íÊÚíä ßæä ÇáÖãíÑ Ýí { ÊÚÒÑæå } ááÑÓæá Úáíå ÇáÕáÇÉ æÇáÓáÇã áÊæåã Ãä ÇáÊÚÒíÑ áÇ íßæä áå ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì ßãÇ íÊÚíä ÚäÏ Çáßá ßæä ÇáÖãíÑ Ýí Þæáå ÊÚÇáì: { æóÊõÓóÈøÍõæåõ } ááå ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì¡ æáÇ íÎÝì Ãä ÇáÃæáì ßæä ÇáÖãíÑíä ÝíãÇ ÊÞÏã ááå ÊÚÇáì ÃíÖÇð áÆáÇ íáÒã Ýß ÇáÖãÇÆÑ ãä ÛíÑ ÖÑæÑÉ


It was said that the two pronouns refer to the Messenger (peace be upon him) and so was narrated on authority of Ibn 'Abbas. Some claimed that the pronoun in "assist Him" must refer to the Messenger for imagining that assistance cannot be attributed to God the Most High. Also, all agree that pronouns in "honour Him and celebrate His praises" refer to God the Most High. Obviously, it is prior of the first two pronouns to refer to God the Most High in order not to break up the pronouns without necessity. (Al-Alousi, Rooh Al Ma'aani, Commentary on Surah 48:9, Source)


Ibn 'Ashour says:

 

æÖãÇÆÑ ÇáÛíÈÉ ÇáãäÕæÈÉ ÇáËáÇËÉ ÚÇÆÏÉ Åáì ÇÓã ÇáÌáÇáÉ áÃä ÅÝÑÇÏ ÇáÖãÇÆÑ ãÚ ßæä ÇáãÐßæÑ ÞÈáåÇ ÇÓãíä Ïáíá Úáì Ãä ÇáãÑÇÏ ÃÍÏåãÇ. æÇáÞÑíäÉ Úáì ÊÚííä ÇáãÑÇÏ ÐßÑ { æÊÓÈÍæå }                


The three pronouns refer to God the Glorious due to the fact that mention of two nouns before singular pronouns indicates that only one of them is meant. The clue to recognize which of them is meant is the mention of "and celebrate His praises". (Ibn 'Ashour, Al Tahreer wal Tanweer, Commentary on Surah 48:9, Source)


In conclusion:
The three pronouns in the holy verse under discussion refer to God the Most High. For those who think that saying, "assist God" is blasphemous, we reply that it actually refers to assisting God's Religion and His Messenger as Az-Zamakhshari has stated and as Al Razi and Al-Nasafi and have affirmed in their commentaries.

 

Sam Shamoun said:

 

Zawadi tries to turn the tables against us by lodging a similar complaint against the Holy Bible:

I can do the same technique with the Bible.

I can show that in one place the Bible says that God is the only judge and lawgiver (James 4:12), yet we have the disciples having the ability to judge (Matthew 19:28) and obviously we have countries today instituting their own laws and constitutions.

I can also show that in one place the Bible says that God is the only one who forgives sins (Mark 2:10), yet we see that the disciples had the ability to forgive sins (John 20:23) and ordinary people as well (Matthew 6:14)

The Christian would reply back reconciling these verses the same way that we had in this article. So why the double standard?

If this isn't the kettle calling the pot black! Zawadi constantly uses double standards since he often raises objections against the Holy Bible that he never bothers to use against the Quran. And yet he has the audacity to accuse us of double standards!

More importantly, the above merely shows that Zawadi didn't understand our objection. Our objection wasn't that Allah couldn't use agents to reveal his law or to pass his judgements. Rather, our objection centered on the plain reading of the Quran which says that Allah allows absolutely no one to share in his decisions or judgments. Zawadi is clearly attacking straw man and comparing apples and oranges.

The Bible passages that he cites are not at all suggesting that God doesn't reveal his laws through individuals which he appoints to be his spokespersons. Rather the point is that, as the one law-giver and judge, God reveals his law and will through the agents which he has raised to represent him. He also judges others through these very same spokespersons, i.e. through his prophets and apostles who will be communicating the decisions and judgments of God which is relayed through them.

The example of John 20:23 helps to illustrate this point since there Jesus says, in context, that:

"Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.'" John 20:21-23

If one were to read how the disciples remitted or retained people's sins one will see that they did this through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. In other words, the apostles could pronounce people's sins forgiven on the basis of their believing in the Gospel and could tell them that they remained in their sins for rejecting the message of Christ. This is precisely what John says at the conclusion of this very chapter of his Gospel:

"Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20:30-31

And precisely what the Apostles did as the following examples amply demonstrate:

"And Peter said to them, 'Repent, and be baptized every one of you IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'" Acts 2:38

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

"All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." Acts 10:43

"After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: 'Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.'" Acts 15:7-11

"that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:19-20

Yet they themselves were aware that they had no inherent ability or authority to forgive any one of their transgressions:

"Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, 'Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.' Peter answered: 'May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! you have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. PERHAPS he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.' Then Simon answered, 'Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.'" Acts 8:13-24

All Peter could do here was tell Simon, in light of his false conversion and perverted heart, to pray to God to forgive him since he himself couldn't do so nor guarantee that he would be forgiven.

Thus, the foregoing shows that Jesus wasn't claming that his followers had the ability to forgive sins since this is a characteristic which God alone has (by God we mean the three distinct Persons of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit). For more on these issues we recommend the following articles:

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/q_apostles_forgive_sins.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/zawadi_jesus_judge.htm

Again, this is unlike the Quran which places Muhammad on the same level as Allah, making him a co-equal partner in his god's decisions and judgments, thereby plainly contradicting those specific passages which say that Allah allows NO ONE to share in his rule and authority.

So much for Zawadi's biblical examples.

Now there is a way for Zawadi to resolve all of these problems, and that is to simply acknowledge that the author of the Quran failed to express his views clearly. Zawadi can opt for the position that the author meant to say one thing but ended up saying something completely different by failing to write or communicate his/her thoughts correctly. Yet to take this stance is to basically admit what the unbelievers have been saying along, namely, the Quran is not the Arabic masterpiece or the standard of linguistic eloquence that Muslims believe it to be but is a rather incoherent and unintelligible book for the most part.

 

 

My Response:

 

 

Shamoun said...

 

 

Rather, our objection centered on the plain reading of the Quran which says that Allah allows absolutely no one to share in his decisions or judgments. Zawadi is clearly attacking straw man and comparing apples and oranges.

 

 

Just as my objection centered on the plain reading that God is THE ONLY judge and lawgiver. Thus, if we isolate these verses from the rest and only examine this verse just as Shamoun is doing with the Qur'an then we see that God is the THE ONLY JUDGE and that there can't be other judges.

 

Then when we look at other verses that show that there were others that judge as well we say that this is a contraction if we were to apply the same standards that Shamoun employs against the Qur'an, thus exposing his hypocrisy.

 

Instead, what does Shamoun do? Shamoun appeals to other verses in the Bible to show that the disciples don't forgive the same way God does and that the disciples are not God. But why won't Shamoun let me appeal to verses in the Qur'an such as Surah 6:50 that show that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is not co-equal with Allah?

 

The answer is because Shamoun is a hypocrite and is using double standards and we stand firmly by this assertion.

 

 

Appendix

 

 

Shamoun has decided to write a response over here.

 

Shamoun said:

 

There are major problems with this assertion. In the first place it doesn't matter that Muhammad is allegedly issuing orders from Allah, which supposedly justifies such obedience. This is simply irrelevant and is nothing more than a smokescreen. What is relevant is that such obedience results in Muhammad's deification by placing him on the same level of authority with his god.

 

Of course it makes all the difference in the world. The reason why Allah is deity is because He is to be obeyed above everyone. Without Allah, we wouldn't obey Muhammad (peace be upon him). If obedience to Muhammad (peace be upon him) is dependent upon Allah's permission and command then how on earth could we suggest that Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) are obeyed on the same level?

Shamoun then said:

To give a helpful illustration the Lord Jesus said that the Father gave him the authority to judge so that everyone would honor the Son in the same way that they honor the Father:

"Moreover, the Father judges no one but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son JUST AS they honor the Father. He does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him." John 5:22-23

To honor the Son just as one honors his Father implies that the latter is commanding people to worship his Son as God since this is the kind of honor that the Father is supposed to receive. Now does it matter that the Father gave the Son the authority to judge? Does this change the fact that God granted Jesus the authority to judge so that the people worship the Son as God? No, not at all.

Likewise, Muhammad supposedly receiving his instructions from God doesn't refute the point that the obedience which the Quran expects Muslims to give to their prophet makes him equal with Allah.

The verse does not say that the people should honor the son with the same honor that they give to the Father. The verse only says that they should honor the son just like they honor the Father meaning that both of them equally deserve the right of being honored, however this does not necessarily imply that the quality of honor is equal.

 

To honor the Son is to honor the Father and vice versa. Remember what Jesus said:

 

John 14:6-10

 

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us. 9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

 

Now obviously Jesus did not mean that people who have seen him have literally seen the Father because we know that no one has ever seen God:

 

1 John 4:12

 

12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

 

But what Jesus meant was that if they knew him and acknowledged him for who he was then they acknowledged the Father. 

 

So basically both Jesus and the Father deserve honor, but Jesus did not say that the same exact honor should be given to both of them. To honor Jesus is to honor the Father. It is only because of the Father that Jesus is honored and not the other way around. This makes the Father greater than Jesus.

 

Shamoun said:

 

In fact, obedience to Muhammad even takes precedence over worshiping Allah, as the Quran itself suggests. For instance, Muhammad used Q. 8:24 to prove that Allah himself testifies in the Muslim scripture that responding to his messenger's call immediately is more important than worshiping him!

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)

And:

CXLII: "O you who believe! Respond to Allah, AND to the Messenger, when He calls you to what will bring you to life! Know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that you will be gathered to Him." (8:24)

4370. It is related that Sa'id b. al-Mu'alla said, "I was praying and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, passed by called me, but I did not answer until I had finished praying. Then I went to him and he said, 'What kept you from coming to me? Does not Allah say, "Respond to Allah, AND to the Messenger, when He calls you to what will bring you to life!" (8:24)?' Then he said to me, 'I will teach you a sura which is the greatest of the suras in the Qur'an before you leave.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was about to leave, so I reminded him."

This is related from Abu Sa'id, a man of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He said "It is: 'Praise be to Allah, the Lords worlds,' the Seven Oft-Repeated ones." (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 68. Book of Tafsir; source; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Talk about the height of arrogance and blasphemy. Instead of commending his companion for praying to Allah Muhammad has the audacity to chide him for not setting aside his prayers in order to beckon to his prophet's call.

Shamoun has a habit of being critical of every single point. We ask Shamoun how the companions have taken precedence of Muhammad (peace be upon him) over Allah, when it is Allah Himself who is commanding the Muslim to respond back to Muhammad (peace be upon him)?

Furthermore, it is not forbidden for a Muslim to cut off his prayer in order to attend to other needs. For instance, if I am praying and my mom calls me I must respond to her, for obedience to parents is compulsory. This is only if one does not end up praying his prayer after its prescribed time. Hence, the man should have answered the Prophet's call if it did not result in his praying it after its prescribed time. To answer the call of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a form of worship, since Allah commands us to do it.

Shamoun said:

 

And if Muhammad didn't know that it would rain the next day then how did he know that the sun would change its course and rise from the west? If Zawadi says that this is the result of special revelation then why couldn't Allah also reveal to his prophet whether it would rain or not the next day?

 

What a silly question, how do I know why Allah chose to reveal specific things to the Prophet (peace be upon him)? There is evidence that Allah revealed the course of the sun to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and there is evidence that He did not in regards to rain. Hence, we have evidence that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is not omniscient.

Shamoun said:

 

But this is precisely where Zawadi gets himself in trouble. According to other reports Muhammad didn't limit inspiration to religious matters since he actually believed that he ALWAYS spoke by revelation:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As:
I used to write everything which I heard from the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). I intended (by it) to memorise it. The Quraysh prohibited me saying: Do you write everything that you hear from him while the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) is a human being: he speaks in anger and pleasure? So I stopped writing, and mentioned it to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). He signalled with his finger to him mouth and said: Write, by Him in Whose hand my soul lies, only right comes out from it. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 25, Number 3639)

And:

{Wa-ma yantiqu 'ani-l-huwa, in huwa illa wa'hyum yu'ha (He, Muhammad, does not speak of his own desire, it is only a revelation revealed)} (53:3-4)

Prophet Muhammad did not only speak, or 'Nataqa (in the present tense: Yantiqu)' the Quran, he also spoke the Sunnah. Abdullah Ibn 'Amr Ibn al-'Aas used to write everything the Prophet said, meaning, his Hadeeth or religious statements. Muslims from the tribe of Quraish -the Prophet's tribe- criticized Abdullah for doing this, claiming that sometimes the Prophet might say things in anger. Abdullah Ibn 'Amr asked the Prophet about it, and he said, while pointing to his mouth .

"Rather, write! For by He (Allah) in Whose Hand is my soul, nothing save the Truth comes out of it." (A Sahih Hadeeth; Sahih Sunan Abi Dawud [3646]) (Introduction to: Muhammad The Prophet of Mercy - Muhammad's Role in Islam, by Jalal Abualrub, edited by Alaa Mencke [Madinah Publishers and Distributors, First Edition: June 2007], p. 35; underline emphasis ours)

First of all, we challenge Shamoun to quote any well respected scholar who says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ALWAYS spoke by inspiration (i.e. this includes his conversations with his friends, wives, when he conducted business transactions, etc.)

 

Secondly, Shamoun forgot to highlight what Shaykh Jalal Abu Al Rub said:

 

Prophet Muhammad did not only speak, or 'Nataqa (in the present tense: Yantiqu)' the Quran, he also spoke the Sunnah. Abdullah Ibn 'Amr Ibn al-'Aas used to write everything the Prophet said, meaning, his Hadeeth or religious statements.

 

 

This is only referring to the times when the Prophet (peace be upon him) is speaking about religious issues. Abdullah ibn 'Amr thought that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke in a time of anger, his statements shouldn't be recorded. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated that this was false and that even if he speaks about religious matters in a state of anger, this doesn't change the fact that they are still revelations and need to be recorded.

Shamoun asks:

Moreover, where does "religion" end? Are not Muslims constantly emphasizing that the religion of Islam encompasses all of life? Why are they talking about Islamic banking? Is that economics or is it religion? What about politics? What about medicine? What about "Islamization of knowledge"? Is there any sphere of life that is outside of religion, in the Islamic understanding? Isn't that the whole issue of "sunnah", and the Muslim effort to imitate the prophet in as many aspects of life as possible? Is the style of clothing that Muslims wear a matter of personal taste, or is that not very eminently a matter of religion? Can Zawadi define for us what is "outside religion" in his opinion?

Religion touches upon all aspects of life. Religion affects our social life and ensures that we don't choose bad friends. It affects our business and ensures that we don't cheat our customers. If affects our politics and ensures that no immoral laws are instituted. And so on and so forth.

What I was saying was that the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke 100% flawlessly when it came to communicating the revelation sent down to him, but when it came to matters that were not revealed to him he could make mistakes. That is all what I was saying, Shamoun veered off topic with his response.

Shamoun asks:

Really? If Muhammad couldn't judge who goes to heaven or not then how could he guarantee the salvation of ten of his companions such as Abu Bakr and Umar?

Narrated Sa'id ibn Zayd:
AbdurRahman ibn al-Akhnas said that when he was in the mosque, a man mentioned Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). So Sa'id ibn Zayd got up and said: I bear witness to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) that I heard him say: Ten persons will go to Paradise: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) will go to Paradise, AbuBakr will go to Paradise, Umar will go to Paradise, Uthman will go to Paradise, Ali will go to Paradise, Talhah will go to Paradise: az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam will go to paradise, Sa'd ibn Malik will go to Paradise, and AbdurRahman ibn Awf will go to Paradise. If I wish, I can mention the tenth. The People asked: Who is he: So he kept silence. The again asked: Who is he: He replied: He is Sa'id ibn Zayd. (Sunan Abu Dawood, Book 40, Number 4632)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) wasn't guaranteeing anyone's salvation, he was only informing them about it.

Shamoun then says:

Lest Zawadi argue that Muhammad isn't guaranteeing their salvation but simply announcing what Allah made known to him, here are some examples of Muhammad influencing his god to save people from hell:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:
The Prophet said, "A man keeps on asking others for something till he comes on the Day of Resurrection without any piece of flesh on his face." The Prophet added, "On the Day of Resurrection, the Sun will come near (to, the people) to such an extent that the sweat will reach up to the middle of the ears, so, when all the people are in that state, they will ask Adam for help, and then Moses, and then Muhammad (p.b.u.h)." The sub-narrator added "Muhammad will intercede with Allah to JUDGE amongst the people. He will proceed on till he will hold the ring of the door (of Paradise) and then Allah will exalt him to Maqam Mahmud (the privilege of intercession, etc.). And all the people of the gathering will send their praises to Allah. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 553)

Narrated Ma'bad bin Hilal Al'Anzi:

We, i.e., some people from Basra gathered and went to Anas bin Malik, and we went in company with Thabit Al-Bunnani so that he might ask him about the Hadith of Intercession on our behalf. Behold, Anas was in his palace, and our arrival coincided with his Duha prayer. We asked permission to enter and he admitted us while he was sitting on his bed. We said to Thabit, "Do not ask him about anything else first but the Hadith of Intercession." He said, "O Abu Hamza! There are your brethren from Basra coming to ask you about the Hadith of Intercession." Anas then said, "Muhammad talked to us saying, 'On the Day of Resurrection the people will surge with each other like waves, and then they will come to Adam and say, 'Please intercede for us with your Lord.' He will say, 'I am not fit for that but you'd better go to Abraham as he is the Khalil of the Beneficent.' They will go to Abraham and he will say, 'I am not fit for that, but you'd better go to Moses as he is the one to whom Allah spoke directly.' So they will go to Moses and he will say, 'I am not fit for that, but you'd better go to Jesus as he is a soul created by Allah and His Word.' (Be: And it was) they will go to Jesus and he will say, 'I am not fit for that, but you'd better go to Muhammad.'

They would come to me and I would say, 'I am for that.' Then I will ask for my Lord's permission, and it will be given, and then He will inspire me to praise Him with such praises as I do not know now. So I will praise Him with those praises and will fall down, prostrate before Him. Then it will be said, 'O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to; and ask, for your will be granted (your request); and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.' I will say, 'O Lord, my followers! My followers!' And then it will be said, 'Go and take out of Hell (Fire) all those who have faith in their hearts, equal to the weight of a barley grain.' I will go and do so and return to praise Him with the same praises, and fall down (prostrate) before Him. Then it will be said, 'O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and ask, for you will be granted (your request); and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.' I will say, 'O Lord, my followers! My followers!' It will be said, 'Go and take out of it all those who have faith in their hearts equal to the weight of a small ant or a mustard seed.' I will go and do so and return to praise Him with the same praises, and fall down in prostration before Him. It will be said, 'O, Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and ask, for you will be granted (your request); and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.' I will say, 'O Lord, my followers!' Then He will say, 'Go and take out (all those) in whose hearts there is faith even to the lightest, lightest mustard seed. (Take them) out of the Fire.' I will go and do so." .

Anas told me the same as he told you and said that the Prophet added, 'I then return for a fourth time and praise Him similarly and prostrate before Him me the same as he 'O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to; and ask, for you will be granted (your request): and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.' I will say, 'O Lord, allow me to intercede for whoever said, 'None has the right to be worshiped except Allah.' Then Allah will say, 'By my Power, and my Majesty, and by My Supremacy, and by My Greatness, I will take out of Hell (Fire) whoever said: 'None has the right to be worshipped except Allah.'" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 601)

Truly amazing. Instead of Allah taking Muslims out of hell Muhammad will be the one doing that!

How could Muhammad say that he would save people from hellfire on the day of judgment? How could he influence Allah to reverse his decision of punishing people if Muhammad didn't have a hand in a person's salvation?

Is Shamoun blind? How can anyone read the above hadith and then say that Muhammad (peace be upon him) had the power to save people? The hadith clearly states that ONLY WITH ALLAH'S PERMISSION would the Prophet (peace be upon him) be able to intercede.

Notice what the hadith states:

He will proceed on till he will hold the ring of the door (of Paradise) and then Allah will exalt him to Maqam Mahmud (the privilege of intercession, etc.).

And:

They would come to me and I would say, 'I am for that.' Then I will ask for my Lord's permission, and it will be given

And:

I will go and do so and return to praise Him with the same praises, and fall down in prostration before Him.

And :

'O Lord, allow me to intercede for whoever said, 'None has the right to be worshiped except Allah.'

And:

Then Allah will say, 'By my Power, and my Majesty, and by My Supremacy, and by My Greatness, I will take out of Hell (Fire) whoever said:

 

What do we learn from the above hadith? We learn:

-          The Prophet (peace be upon him) won't exalt himself to the privilege of intercession, but Allah will.

-          The Prophet (peace be upon him) needs to ask for Allah's permission before intercessing for anyone.

-          The Prophet (peace be upon him) has to prostrate to Allah in order to continue intercessing for the people.

-          Allah must allow the Prophet (peace be upon him) to intercess and accept his request before the Prophet (peace be upon him) is able to do anything.

-          The final result is that it is Allah Himself who takes the person out of Hell by His Power, Majesty, Supremacy and Greatness and not Muhammad (peace be upon him).

How could any sane person after reading all this say that it is Muhammad (peace be upon him) who has ultimate saving power? Well the answer is no one, only the insane would say such a thing. We encourage Shamoun to visit a nearby mental institution.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) made it clear that he cannot save anyone on his own:

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 4, Book 51, Number 16

Narrated Abu Huraira:


When Allah revealed the Verse: "Warn your nearest kinsmen," Allah's Apostle got up and said, "O people of Quraish (or said similar words)! Buy (i.e. save) yourselves (from the Hellfire) as I cannot save you from Allah's Punishment; O Bani Abd Manaf! I cannot save you from Allah's Punishment, O Safiya, the Aunt of Allah's Apostle! I cannot save you from Allah's Punishment; O Fatima bint Muhammad! Ask me anything from my wealth, but I cannot save you from Allah's Punishment."

Shamoun says:

Muhammad's contradictory teachings may have been the reason why Abu Bakr was less than certain concerning his destiny even though he had personally been promised paradise:

"Although he had such a faith, which was too great to suffice all the inhabitants of the earth, he was afraid that his heart might go astray. So, he used to utter, while weeping: 'Would that I have been a bitten tree!' Whenever he was reminded of his position in Allah's sight, he would say: 'By Allah! I would not rest assured and feel safe from the deception of Allah (la amanu limakr Allah), even if I had one foot in paradise.'" (Khalid Muhammad Khalid, Successors of the Messenger, translated by Muhammad Mahdi al-Sharif [Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, Beirut Lebanon, 2005], Book One: Abu Bakr Has Come, p. 99; bold and italic emphasis ours)

Abu Bakr seemed to realize that his prophet's confusion concerning the fate of his followers and himself was a result of Allah being a deceiver who couldn't be trusted to do what he says.

I cannot find a chain of transmission for this statement.

Shamoun said:

First, as we mentioned in regards to Muhammad's authority to say that Allah is purifying through his messenger is irrelevant since it doesn't deny the fact that the Quran emphatically says that Muhammad is able to purify sinners.

Second, how does Allah purify sinners if not by calling them away from idolatry and sin and taking wealth from them as charity? In other words, Allah purifies individuals in the same way that Zawadi says Muhammad does!

Allah purifies sinners by also reaching out to their hearts if they were truth seekers. That is why we make the following supplication: "O Allah! O Controller of the Hearts! Keep my heart firm in Your religion". Allah purifies us by purifying our hearts as well. The Prophet (peace be upon him) only has the ability to call us to doing good and motivating us to do so, however he doesn't have authority over our hearts. He can only call us to do good, which might have an affect on our hearts, but not necessarily. Hence, we cannot say that Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) purify sinners in the same exact way.

Shamoun said:

As if this weren't shocking enough Muhammad further commanded Muslims to love him just as much as they love Allah!

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)

Again:

Narrated Anas:
Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever possesses the (following) three qualities will have the sweetness 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 9, Book 85, Number 74)

No where above does it say that Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) are to be loved equally. If I said "My parents are dearer to me than any human being living on earth today" that doesn't change the fact that I do indeed love my mother more than my father.

Furthermore, our love of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is dependent upon Allah's love and not vice versa. The reason why we love and follow Muhammad (peace be upon him) is because it is a necessary aspect of loving Allah (Surah 3:31). Hence, to say that the love that the Muslim has for Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is equal is false.

Shamoun then says:

Zawadi claims that I am ignorant concerning what Q. 24:62-63 is saying:

 

Shamoun is ignorant of what the verse is even trying to say. The verse is talking about the etiquette of a person who leaves a gathering. That it is etiquette to ask permission from the Messenger when he leaves a gathering in which the Messenger is in. How can someone ask Allah for permission to leave a gathering?

 

This only exposes Zawadi's dishonesty (or gross ignorance) since he knows full well that Muslims use such passages all the time to establish a specific principle, even though the verses in question may not be relevant to the point being discussed.

 

For instance, how many times have Muslims referenced the following text to prove that a person must take whatever Muhammad gives them?

 

What Allah gave as booty (Fai') to His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) from the people of the townships, - it is for Allah, His Messenger (Muhammad SAW), the kindred (of Messenger Muhammad SAW), the orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), and the wayfarer, in order that it may not become a fortune used by the rich among you. And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. S. 59:7 Hilali-Khan

 

Yet when we read the immediate context what this quote is actually saying is that Muslims were to accept whatever portion of the booty Muhammad assigned to them:

And whatever spoils of war God has given unto His Messenger from them, against that you pricked neither horse nor camel; but God gives authority to His Messengers over whomsoever He will. God is powerful over everything. Whatsoever spoils of war God has given to His Messenger from the people of the cities belongs to God, and His Messenger, and the near kinsman, orphans, the needy and the traveller, so that it be not a thing taken in turns among the rich of you. Whatever the Messenger gives you, take; whatever he forbids you, give over. And fear God; surely God is terrible in retribution. S. 59:6-7 Arberry

 

What makes this rather amusing is that Zawadi himself quotes a Muslim scholar named Taqi Usmani who uses this very verse to prove that one has to submit to Muhammad's authority!.......

In light of this Islamic method of interpreting the Quran it is clear that the principle that one gathers from Q. 24:62-63 is that Muslims must seek the permission of Muhammad for whatever one chooses to do since texts like Q. 4:65 demand them to fully submit to his orders. After all if one needs Muhammad's permission to enter and leave his premises or how to conduct oneself in a gathering then how much more does one need Muhammad's guidance in regards to the more important decisions of one's life!

 

Talk about comparing apples with oranges. First of all, we understand the Qur'an as a whole. The reason why we understand Surah 59:7 as we do is because there is a lot of supporting evidence from the Qur'an, which talks about obeying the Messenger (peace be upon him) and following his teachings. Secondly, we look at how the early Muslims have understood that passage and follow their examples.

 

When it comes to Surah 24:62-63 not a single early Muslim has ever understood it in the way Shamoun argues. We don't see any of the early Muslims calling out to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asking for his permission. Furthermore, the verse specifies exactly whom it is speaking out:

 

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

 

The verse makes it clear that it is speaking about those who are with him. Are we with the Prophet (peace be upon him)? Is he in our presence? Do we believe that he is omnipresent? Did he teach us that after he dies we need to call out to him and ask for his permission if we go somewhere? The answer is no, no, no and no.

 

So much for Shamoun's faulty exegesis and distortions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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