Written by Sami Zaatari Thursday, 07 April 2011 13:03
One common misconception and argument that is thrown against the Muslims is that we worship the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). They sometimes even call the Muslims ‘Muhammadans’ in a derogatory way. This claim however is untrue, and has no foundation at all. Muslims love the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), respect, and honor him. Yet this does not amount to worship, shall we say that just because we love our family, and that we shall defend their rights and honor means that we worship them?
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) even taught the Muslims to not over-praise him:
Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 654:
Narrated 'Umar: I heard the Prophet saying, "Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a Slave. So, call me the Slave of Allah and His Apostle."
Here the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) explicitly teaches the Muslims to not over-praise him, and he gets very specific by what he means, he says that we should not over praise him as the Christians do with Jesus. As we all know many Christians worship and revere Jesus, they believe he is God, and that he is the one in whom their salvation lies.
This narration of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would be enough to end the false claim that Muslims worship Muhammad (pbuh), and/or are taught to.
We read another narration this time from the Caliph Abu Bakr, before quoting the narration it must be known that Abu Bakr was the Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) right hand man, he became the leader of the Muslim nation after the Prophet's death. Logically if Muslims worship Muhammad (pbuh) then we would find that his right hand man, and one of his closest companions to be worshipping him, yet instead we see this:
Whoever amongst you worshipped Muhammad? Muhammad is dead. But whoever worshipped Allah? Allah is alive and will never die.
After uttering this statement Abu Bakr then recited the following passage from the Noble Quran:
003.144 : Muhammad is no more than a messenger: many Were the messenger that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then Turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.
Here we have the explicit proof that Muslims don't worship the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and on top of this we see we are not taught to worship him, rather we are to worship Allah.
So let us summarize what we have so far:
-The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught us not to over-praise him
-Abu Bakr the prophet's right hand man did not worship the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), rather he called for the exact opposite
-The Quran teaches us to not worship Muhammad (pbuh), but to worship Allah
With that said, let us now look at the passages in the Quran that explicitly teach us to worship Allah alone, not worship Allah and Muhammad (pbuh):
003.051 "'It is Allah Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.'"
072.018 "And the places of worship are for Allah (alone): So invoke not any one along with Allah
011.123 To Allah do belong the unseen (secrets) of the heavens and the earth, and to Him goeth back every affair (for decision): then worship Him, and put thy trust in Him: and thy Lord is not unmindful of aught that ye do.
006.088 This is the guidance of Allah: He giveth that guidance to whom He pleaseth, of His worshippers. If they were to join other gods with Him, all that they did would be vain for them.
002.116 They say: "Allah hath begotten a son" :Glory be to Him.-Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: everything renders worship to Him.
020.014 "Verily, I am Allah: There is no god but I: So serve thou Me (only), and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise.
003.064 Say: "O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah's Will).
018.110 Say: "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your Allah is one Allah: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner.
Many more verses could be added, but the point is clear, Allah in the Quran teaches us to worship him alone, and to not join any partners with him.
If any critic wants to persist in claiming we worship the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), then I set forth these challenges:
-Show a single Quranic passage that commands Muslims to worship Muhammad (pbuh)
-Show a single hadith that commands Muslims to worship Muhammad (pbuh)
-Show any companion that worshiped the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with the consensus of the other companions (pbuh)
It shouldn’t be so hard right? After all, if your making a claim, you should be able to back it up.
And Allah Knows Best!