Refuting Sam Shamoun's Arguments Against The Monotheism of Islam: Part 10
Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Allah & Mo., Inc."
[Introduction, Sami Zaatari's Rebuttals to Shamoun, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Tawassul in Christianity]
We encourage the reader to first read Shamoun's article over here.
Sam Shamoun said:
Muhammad: Co-Possessor of the World
Astonishingly, Muhammad is said to co-own the planet since it says in a hadith that the entire earth belongs to both Allah AND him:
VI: Expelling the Jews from the Arabian peninsula
'Umar said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "We will let you remain in that as long as Allah lets you remain there."
2996. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "While we were in the mosque, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came out and said, 'Go to the Jews.' We went out until we came to the house of al-Midras. He said, 'Become Muslim and you will be safe. Know that the earth belongs to Allah AND His Messenger. I want to expel you from this land. Whoever of you has some property should sell it. However, the earth belongs to Allah AND His Messenger.'" (Aisha Bewley, Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 63. Chapters on the Jizya and Truces; ; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)
The Arabic word for earth is الْأَرْضِ. Dr. Zaghloul El-Naggar states:
The word 'Earth' recurs in the Glorious Qur'an and in the Prophet's Ahadith referring to three other meanings according to the context. Sometimes it refers to the whole planet and at other times, to the dry mass on which we live, while at some other times, it indicates the topsoil covering the dry land rocks. (Dr. Zaghloul El-Naggar, Mountains to Stabilize the Earth, Source)
For instance, we know that the Arabic word used for Earth الْأَرْضِ is used in Surah 2:61 to refer to land mass and not the entire planet. Or in Surah 2:71 we see that the cow being described to the Israelites is one that wonders on the Earth الْأَرْضِ, but the context obviously shows that the cow is wondering in a specific area close by and not that it could be wondering anywhere on planet Earth. Or in Surah 4:97 where the oppressed believers tell the angels that they were oppressed on Earth الْأَرْضِ, but the context denotes that they were referring to the specific land that they were residing in.
There are many other examples that I can provide, but I believe that the above examples suffice to show that context is important when wanting to know the meaning of a word. So the Arabic word الْأَرْضِ does not only refer to the entire planet Earth, it could also refer to a certain area or piece of land.
I believe that the context of the hadith is clear that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was specifically talking about the land that the Jews were residing. The land belonging to "Allah and His Messenger" implies that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) will rule the land according to the laws of Allah.
Sam Shamoun said:
And because the earth belongs entirely to Muhammad his followers have been given permission to pray wherever they feel like:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
The Prophet said, "I have been given five things which were not given to any one else before me.
1. Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey.
2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum, therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due.
3. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me.
4. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection).
5. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 7, Number 331: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/007.sbt.html#001.007.331)
The hadith doesn't say anywhere that the entire earth has been given to the Prophet (peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace be upon him) was merely emphasizing that the earth could be used as a place for prayer and as a means for purification by performing Tayammum with it.
Sam Shamoun said:
As if this weren't bad enough, there are specific narratives classified as sound by Sunni Muslims which use the conjunction wa in reference to Allah and Muhammad both knowing the same thing:
Narrated Ibn Abbas:
. He [Muhammad] ordered them to believe in Allah, and asked them, "Do you know what is meant by belief in Allah?" They said, "Allah AND His Apostle know best." He said, ''To testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, the One, Who has no partners with Him, AND that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle; and to offer prayers perfectly and to pay Zakat." . (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 91, Number 371: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/091.sbt.html#009.091.371)
Narrated Abu Dharr:
Once I was with the Prophet in the mosque at the time of sunset. The Prophet said, "O Abu Dharr! Do you know where the sun sets?" I replied, "Allah AND His Apostle know best." He said, "It goes and prostrates underneath (Allah's) Throne; and that is Allah's Statement:--
'And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (decreed). And that is the decree of All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.' (36.38) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 326: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/060.sbt.html#006.060.326)
. 'Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "Verily he has betrayed Allah, His Apostle, and the believers! Allow me to chop his neck off!" The Prophet said, "O 'Umar! What do you know? Perhaps Allah looked upon the Badr warriors and said, 'Do whatever you like, for I have ordained that you will be in Paradise.'" On that 'Umar wept and said, "Allah AND His Apostle know best." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 74, Number 276: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/074.sbt.html#008.074.276)
Narrated Mu'adh bin Jabal:
The Prophet said, "O Mu'adh! Do you know what Allah's Right upon His slaves is?" I said, "Allah AND His Apostle know best." The Prophet said, "To worship Him (Allah) Alone and to join none in worship with Him (Allah). Do you know what their right upon Him is?" I replied, "Allah AND His Apostle know best." The Prophet said, "Not to punish them (if they do so)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 470: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/093.sbt.html#009.093.470)
Doesn't the use of the conjunction in all of the above narratives imply that Muhammad knows whatever Allah knows thereby making him a co-equal partner with Allah in knowledge? Yet wouldn't this clearly contradict the explicit testimony of the Quran that Muhammad doesn't know what Allah knows and is ignorant of the unseen?
Say (O Muhammad SAW): "I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghaib (unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe." S. 7:188 Hilali-Khan
If so doesn't this conclusively show that the so-called sound narratives are contradicting the Quran?
Doesn't the use of the conjunction in all of the above narratives imply that Muhammad knows whatever Allah knows thereby making him a co-equal partner with Allah in knowledge?
No it doesn't because in all of these narrations the knowledge that is being affirmed for the Prophet (peace be upon him) alongside with Allah is of a particular matter (e.g. meaning of belief in Allah, where the sun sets, Allah's right upon His slaves, etc.). Obviously, at the time of the Prophet's (peace be upon him) questioning no one knew the answers except Allah and the Prophet (peace be upon him) because the Prophet (peace be upon him) was known to have received revelation from Allah regarding these matters.
Imam Nawawi in his commentary states:
( الله ورسوله أعلم ) . هذا من حسن أدبهم , وأنهم علموا أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يخفى عليه ما يعرفونه من الجواب فعرفوا أنه ليس المراد مطلق الإخبار بما يعرفون .
"Allah and His Messenger know best". This is from their good manners. They knew that the knowledge that they didn't have wasn't kept hidden from him (peace be upon him), hence they knew that he wasn't going to tell them something they were already aware of. (Imam Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, Kitab: Al Qassaama wal Muhaaribeen al Qisaas wal Diyyaat, Bab: Taghleet Tahreem Al Dimaa' wal 'Araadh wal Amwaal, Commentary on Hadith no. 3179, Source)
However, the scholars have clearly specified that this was only applicable during the life time of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Shaykh Abdullah Jibreen in his commentary on Haashiyat Kitaab Al Tawheed says:
هذه العبارة جائزةٌ في وقت الرسول -صلى الله عليه وسلم - لأنه يمكن أن يؤخذ العلم من عنده ، أما بعد وفاته - صلى الله عليه وسلم - فلا يجوز
This expression was permissible during the time of the Messenger (peace be upon him) for it was possible to receive knowledge from him at that time. However, after his death (peace be upon him), this is not permissible.
Shaykh Sulaymaan al 'Alwaan in his commentary on Saheeh Al Bukhari (hadith no. 53) states:
فيه أن من سئل عما لا يعلم يكل العلم إلى عالمه ، فيقول : الله ورسوله أعلم ، وهذا في المسائل العلمية يجوز أن يقول هذا في حياة النبي - صلى الله عليه وسلم - وبعد وفاته ؛ بمعنى : كتاب الله وسنة رسوله- صلى الله عليه وسلم - أعلم ، فما من شيءٍ من المسائل العلمية إلا وترجع إلى الكتاب وإلى ة . السنة
أما إذا سئل عن المسائل الكونية غير ذلك كأن يقال لك : أقدم زيدٌ ؟ - وأنت لا تدري - فتقول : الله أعلم
If one is asked a question that he doesn't have the answer to he must refer to the one who does have the knowledge, so he says: Allah and His Messenger know best and this is in regards to the matters of sharee'ah. It was permissible to say this during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and is also permissible after his death; only with the meaning: the book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace be upon him) know best. For there is nothing from the matters of sharee'ah except that they go back to the book and sunnah.
However, if one is asked about universal matters such as if someone is asked: Has Zayd come? And you don't know, you only say: Allah knows best.
Shaykh Sulaymaan's explanation has hopefully clarified this whole issue better for Shamoun. Note the following points:
- Allah and His Messenger do indeed know best when it comes to matters of religion, for Allah reveals what is necessary for us to know about religion to Muhammad (peace be upon him).
- Muhammad (peace be upon him) is not co-equal in knowledge with Allah, for he doesn't know everything about universal matters, while Allah does.
The rest of Shamoun's points have already been addressed in other articles, hence we will not reinvent the wheel.
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