Do Muslims Worship Muhammad?

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asked May 19, 2015 by admin (4,310 points)

1 Answer

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Summary

The essence of Islam is that all worship is directed to God alone, and that nobody deserves any share in those things that are part of His exclusive rights. It is not allowed to make a single supplication, or to offer a single prayer to other than Allah, not even to a noble prophet or a close angel.

Muslims are commanded to follow the Prophet, honour and revere him. They are also commanded to obey him, but they are commanded that this honour, respect, and obedience must never reach the level of worship, and that divinity must never be attributed to the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as we find in the Qur’an:

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your God is One God (Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.’” [The Qur’an: al-Kahf 18:110]

This was further emphasised by the Prophet himself (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in an authentic report:

“Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus), for I am only [Allah’s] slave. So, call me the slave of Allah and His messenger.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari: 654]

Full Answer

Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is a figure well known in the non-Muslim world as the Prophet of Islam. Many non-Muslims naturally wonder whether or not Muslims believe that Muhammad has any divine qualities, and whether or not Muslims direct all or part of their worship towards him, especially in light of the mainstream Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

In order to answer this question, the first and most important thing for the reader to understand is that the essence of Islam is that all worship is directed to God alone, and that nobody deserves any share in those things that are part of His exclusive rights. So, in Islam, every single act of worship must be directed to God alone, and the greatest sin in Islam is to direct even the tiniest part of worship to other than God. It is not allowed for a Muslim to make a single supplication, or to offer a single prayer to other than Allah; not even to a noble prophet or a close angel.

The Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the best of Allah’s creation, and the last in a long line of prophets, including Nooh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musaa (Moses), and ‘Eesaa (Jesus). Muslims honour and revere them as noble prophets of God and the best of mankind, but they do not direct any acts of worship towards them.

Muslims are commanded to follow the Prophet, honour and revere him, as is befitting to his status:

“That you may believe in Allah and His Messenger, and honour and respect him…” [The Qur’an: al-Fath 48:9]

They are also commanded to obey him:

“He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; but those who turn away – We have not sent you over them as a guardian.” [The Qur’an: an-Nisaa’ 4:80]

But they are commanded that this honour, respect, and obedience must never reach the level of worship, and that divinity must never be attributed to the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as we find in the Qur’an:

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your God is One God (Allah). So whoever hopes to meet with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.’” [The Qur’an: al-Kahf 18:110]

This was further emphasised by the Prophet himself (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in an authentic report:

“Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus), for I am only [Allah’s] slave. So, call me the slave of Allah and His messenger.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari: 654]

The Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also forbade his grave from being used as a place of worship, let alone for him to be worshipped in it. In an authentic report, he said:

“O Allah! Do not make my grave an idol that is worshipped. May the curse of Allah be upon those who took the graves of their prophets as places of worship.” [Musnad Ahmed: 7352]

The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also forbade Muslims from excessively praising him. In an authentic report, some people said, “O Messenger of Allah, O the best amongst us and son of the best of us, you are our master and the son of our master.” The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied:

“O people, say what you have to say and do not allow Satan to fascinate you. I am Muhammad, the slave of Allah and His Messenger. I do not like you to raise me above the status at which I have been placed by Allah, Noble and Majestic is He.” [Musnad Ahmad: 13596]

However, it is also important to note that although the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) strictly commanded the Muslims to worship Allah alone and to avoid worshipping anything or anybody else, some Muslims wrongly venerate the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to a level only befitting of Allah, giving him divine powers and attributes. There is no doubt that this is a grave sin that contradicts the most fundamental tenets of Islam, and the Islamic texts quoted above are ample proof that this is a practice alien to Islam and that it goes against the command of the Prophet himself (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

In summary, the essence of Islam is that all worship is directed to God alone, and that nobody deserves any share in those things that are part of His exclusive rights. It is not allowed to make a single supplication, or to offer a single prayer to other than Allah, not even to a noble prophet or a close angel.

Muslims are commanded to follow the Prophet, honour and revere him. They are also commanded to obey him, but they are commanded that this honour, respect, and obedience must never reach the level of worship, and that divinity must never be attributed to the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as we find in the Qur’an:

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your God is One God (Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.’” [The Qur’an: al-Kahf 18:110]

This was further emphasised by the Prophet himself (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in an authentic report:

“Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus), for I am only [Allah’s] slave. So, call me the slave of Allah and His messenger.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari: 654]

answered May 19, 2015 by admin (4,310 points)
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