Refuting Sam Shamoun's Arguments Against The Monotheism of Islam: Part 8
Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Examining the Islamic Testimony of Faith in light of Quranic Exegesis: Exposing the Blatant Idolatry and Gross Problems with the Creed of Islam"
[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.
Shamoun's argument is laughable to say the least. He argues that since testifying that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah is an essential component of faith required for one to become a Muslim that makes Muslims guilty of polytheism because they have supposedly equated Muhammad (peace be upon him) to the level of God.
Using that same logic, Shamoun would also basically argue that Muslims have also raised the angels, messengers and previous revelations to Allah's level because it is essential to believe in all of them in order to be a Muslim (Surah 2:285).
Shamoun argues that mentioning Muhammad (peace be upon him) exclusively violates the commands of the verse that states that we must not distinguish between Allah's prophets. In order to not reinvent the wheel, please refer to these articles:
- Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Does Allah Prefer or Does He Not?"
- Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Revisiting the Problem with Allah preferring some Prophets over others: Being a Response to a Muslim Apologist"
The reason why we mention Muhammad (peace be upon him) exclusively is because affirming his Prophethood automatically implies affirming the revelation that he has brought forth, which affirms the Prophethood of everyone else such as Moses, Jesus, Abraham, etc. Hence, to affirm Muhammad's (peace be upon him) Prophethood is to affirm the Prophethood of everyone else.
Shamoun argues that this hadeeth enjoins us to call upon Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in our prayers:
Narrated Shaqiq bin Salama:
'Abdullah said, "Whenever we prayed behind the Prophet we used to recite (in sitting) 'Peace be on Gabriel, Michael, peace be on so and so. Once Allah's Apostle looked back at us and said, 'Allah Himself is As-Salam (Peace), and if anyone of you prays then he should say, At-Tahiyatu lil-lahi wassalawatu wat-taiyibatu. As-Salamu 'ALAIKA aiyuha-n-Nabiyu wa rahmatu-l-lahi wa barakatuhu. As-Salam alaina wa ala ibadil-lah is-salihin. (All the compliments, prayers and good things are due to Allah: peace be on YOU, O Prophet and Allah's mercy and blessings be on you. Peace be on us and on the true pious slaves of Allah). (If you say that, it will be for all the slaves in the heaven and the earth). Ash-hadu an la-ilaha illa-l-lahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluhu. (I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I also testify that Muhammad is His slave and His Apostle)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 12, Number 794)
Ibn 'Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah used to teach us tashahhud just as he used to teach us a Sura of the Qur'an, and he would say: All services rendered by words, acts of worship, and all good things are due to Allah. Peace be upon YOU, O Prophet, and Allah's mercy and blessings. Peace be upon us and upon Allah's upright servants. I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. In the narration of Ibn Rumb (the words are): "As he would teach us the Qur'an." (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 0798)
And then Shamoun points out that the dead could not hear, so how could Muslims send greetings upon Muhammad (peace be upon him) who is dead? Shamoun argues that this is Shirk.
First of all, it is important to note that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is dead in this world, but alive in the realm of barzakh.
Secondly, we already know how Muhammad (peace be upon him) is able to receive our greetings. He said so himself:
There are angels wandering on earth who extend the greetings of my followers to me. (This hadeeth is found in Sunan Al Nisa'i, Sunan Al Darimi and Musnad Ahmad. Shaykh Al Albani declared this hadeeth to be Hasan in his Saheeh Al Nisa'i)
So as we could see, it is the angels who deliver the greetings to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Muslims don't believe that Muhammad (peace be upon him) independently could know who is greeting him, for if we did then we would be guilty of Shirk. However, since we believe that Allah has permitted the angels to pass on the message, where on earth is the polytheism?
There is not a single verse which says that the testimony of faith is to confess or bear witness that Allah is god and that Muhammad is his messenger. Nor is there any example of a messenger exhorting people to testify that Allah is the only god and that he is his messenger.
How is there not being any verse in the Qur'an stating the testimony of faith relevant? Muslims follow both the Qur'an AND the authentic Sunnah.
Shamoun already concedes that the Qur'an teaches that we must bear witness that Allah is God, but denies that the Qur'an teaches us to bear witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of God. The Qur'an does indirectly, yet clearly show that Muslims were to testify that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a messenger:
When the hypocrites come to you (O Muhammad SAW), they say: "We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah." Allah knows that you are indeed His Messenger and Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars indeed.
Ibn Kathir states in his commentary:
Allah the Exalted states that the hypocrites pretended to be Muslims when they went to the Prophet. In reality, they were not Muslims, but rather the opposite. This is why Allah the Exalted said,
[ÅöÐóÇ ÌóÂÁóßó ÇáúãõäóÜÝöÞõæäó ÞóÇáõæÇú äóÔúåóÏõ Åöäøóßó áóÑóÓõæáõ Çááøóåö]
(When the hypocrites come to you, they say: "We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah.'') meaning, `when the hypocrites come to you, they announce this statement and pretend to believe in it.' Allah informs that there is no substance to their statement, and this is why He said,
[æóÇááøóåõ íóÚúáóãõ Åöäøóßó áóÑóÓõæáõåõ]
(Allah knows that you are indeed His Messenger,) then said,
[æóÇááøóåõ íóÔúåóÏõ Åöäøó ÇáúãõäóÜÝöÞöíäó áóßóÜÐöÈõæäó]
(And Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars indeed.) meaning, their claims, even though it is true about the Prophet. But they did not believe inwardly in what they declared outwardly, and this is why Allah declared their falsehood about their creed. (Source)
Notice the following points:
- Hypocrites are those who outwardly pretend to be Muslims, but inwardly reject Islam.
- The hypocrites used to testify that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah. They did this outwardly, which indicates that they were trying to convince the people that they were Muslims.
- This implies that testifying that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a part of Islamic teachings, otherwise the hypocrites would never have done it in order to convince people that they were Muslims.
Fifth, the shahada also entails confessing a dead man as the messenger of Allah. Notice that in the testimony of faith Muslims do not say that Muhammad WAS Allah's messenger (Muhammadan kana rasulu 'llah), but that he IS the messenger of Allah. Although the Arabic phrase, Muhammadan rasulu 'llah, does not have a verb there is an implied "IS" in the construction, which explains why Muslims translate it as "Muhammad IS the messenger of Allah". Yet how can a dead man still be Allah's messenger when he is in his grave and can neither harm nor benefit anyone?
Muhammad (peace be upon him), despite not being alive in this realm is alive in another realm. He and the Prophets are alive in a special way and they also pray in their graves. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
The Prophets are alive and pray in their graves. (Shaykh Al Albani declared this narration authentic in his Silsila Al Ahaadeeth Al Saheeha, no. 621)
Also, the Prophet's (peace be upon him) soul is said to return to his body each time one gives greetings to him:
Sunan Abu Dawud
Book 10, Number 2036:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: If any one of you greets me, Allah returns my soul to me and I respond to the greeting. (Shaykh Al Albani declared this narration hasan in his Silsila Al Ahaadeeth Al Saheeha, no. 2266)
So we see that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is indeed still alive (not in this world), returns our greetings and prays. Also, his teachings are alive with us today and we still obey his commands. In that sense he is still the Messenger of Allah today. Whether Shamoun agrees with the logic or not isn't relevant, the point is that he can't show that Islam teaches polytheism.
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