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Is not praising Prophet Muhammad wrong?

The religion of Islam today still continues to be one of the misunderstood religions in the world. One reason for this is the fact that for centuries this beautiful religion has been unduly presented to the world through the so-called Muslim people, scholars, organizations and countries that do not act or function in an Islamic manner, according to teachings of the Quran. The result of centuries-long ignorance is obvious. Not only has the religion of Islam been given a bad name, but also Muslims all around the world today are suffering the consequences of abandoning the teachings of the Quran, in favor of innovations that have nothing to do with religion. One of these innovations is the volumes and volumes of hadith books written some 200 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad in one side while on the other side is consistently elevating and focusing on him in their praise and prayers nullifies their all works due to idol worshiping and contributes nothing to the growth of their souls. As a result, what we see in the majority that claims to be Muslims is violence, arrogance, evil behavior or stupidity when they encounter any criticism, even if it is the truth from God.

Root of praising Prophet Muhammad

Not long after Prophet Muhammad’s death, it gradually became a man-made tradition among Muslims to praise him despite God’s clear commandments in the Quran. In fact, the root is the word “prophet” (Nabi) that consistently refers to Muhammad in many verses only when he was alive but Satan used some of these verses to entice Muslims into commemorating Muhammad, constantly, instead of commemorating God including the verses referring to him when he had a direct contact with the people. However, this tradition mainly stems from the misuse and misinterpretation of the following verses of the Quran:
[3:31] Proclaim: “If you love GOD, you should follow me.” GOD will then love you, and forgive your sins. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
Note: This verse indicates prophet’s closeness with God because of the message NOT because of anything PERSONAL as his supposed sayings did not exist during the revelation of the Quran but until after 200 years of his death. This order is from God for the contemporary believers to follow the prophet for the message what has been sent down to Muhammad i.e., the Quran when he had a direct contact with the people. Hence, the order for us now is to follow the message (Quran) what he left for us but none can find any logic to interpret it to be an order from God for the believers of the subsequent generations to praise him or follow his sayings or the way he had led his family life.

[7:157] Those who follow the messenger, the gentile prophet (Muhammad), whom they find written in their Torah and Gospel exhorts them to be righteous, enjoins them from evil, allows for them all good food, and prohibits that which is bad, and unloads the burdens and the shackles imposed upon them. Those who believe in him, respect him, support him, and follow the light that came with him are the successful ones.
[7:158] Say, “O people, I am God’s messenger to all of you. To Him belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no god except He. He controls life and death.” Therefore, you shall believe in God and His messenger, the gentile prophet, who believes in God and His words. Follow him, that you may be guided.

Note: Through the above verses, the contemporary Jews and Christians were commanded to follow the message that came down to gentile prophet Muhammad who had no knowledge of the previous scriptures, Torah and Gospel when he had direct contact with the people. The phrases that end these two verses are very crucial for us to reflect on the message for which Muhammad was a prophet. However, none can find any logic to interpret it to be an order from God for the believers of the subsequent generations to praise him or follow his sayings or how he had led his family life as well.

[33:56] God and His angels help and support the prophet. O you who believe, you shall help and support him, and regard him as he should be regarded.
Note: This verse has been made the central focus for praising prophet Muhammad through the misinterpretation of the Arabic word, “Salloo” to ‘send blessings’ for the prophet instead of ‘help and support’ the prophet. As we all know that the sole mission of the prophet was to deliver the message and he had to face strong opposition to deliver the God’s message. Even he had to emigrate from Mecca to Medina, and had fought many battles in his lifetime. As such, both physical and financial support was required in spreading of God’s message. Hence, it was the order from God for the contemporary believers to help and support the prophetat his lifetime. It has also been confirmed from the word “prophet” (Nabi) consistently referring to Muhammad in the Quran only when he was alive NOT after his deathand the order for us from God how we should respect the prophet at his lifetime. However, the order for us now is to follow the message (Quran) what he left for us.

Worship God alone

We have already learned that God has chosen many messengers (prophets and messengers) but to deliver only one message to worship Him alone. The Quran is God’s final message to humanity, confirming previous scriptures, and its message for our salvation is to “Worship God alone.” He has commanded us directly and indirectly, positively and negatively citing many examples to worship Him alone in many verses of the Quran but here are a few as examples:
[3:51] “God is my Lord and your Lord; you shall worship Him alone. This is the right path.”
[4:36] You shall worship God alone – do not associate anything with Him. You shall regard the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, the related neighbor, the unrelated neighbor, the close associate, the traveling alien, and your servants. God does not like the arrogant show-offs.
[7:3] You shall all follow what is revealed to you from your Lord; do not follow any allies besides Him. Rarely do you take heed.
[19:36] He (Jesus) also proclaimed, “God is my Lord and your Lord; you shall worship Him alone. This is the right path.”
[20:14] “I am God; there is no other god beside Me. You shall worship Me alone, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) to remember Me.
[21:25] We did not send any messenger before you except with the inspiration: “There is no god except Me; you shall worship Me alone.”
[29:17] “What you worship instead of God are powerless idols; you have invented a lie.” The idols you worship beside God do not possess any provisions for you. Therefore, you shall seek provisions only from God. You shall worship Him alone, and be appreciative of Him; to Him is your ultimate return.
[39:66] Therefore, you shall worship God alone, and be appreciative.

Commemorate and glorify God day and night

God has commanded us in the Quran to commemorate and glorify Him day and night which means that He should be with us at all our circumstances. Therefore, our focus should be God, the Almighty to remember and please him, which is spelled out in the following verses:
[3:192] They remember God while standing, sitting, and on their sides, and they reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth: “Our Lord, You did not create all this in vain. Be You glorified. Save us from the retribution of Hell.
[4:103] Once you complete your Contact Prayer (Salat), you shall remember God while standing, sitting, or lying down. Once the war is over, you shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat); the Contact Prayers (Salat) are decreed for the believers at specific times.
[7:205] You shall remember your Lord within yourself, publicly, privately, and quietly, day and night; do not be unaware.
[13:28] They are the ones whose hearts rejoice in remembering God. Absolutely, by remembering God, the hearts rejoice.
[15:98] You shall sing the praises of your Lord, and be with the prostrators.
[33:41] O you who believe, you shall remember GOD frequently.
[33:42] You shall glorify Him day and night.
[40:65] He is the Living; there is no god except He. You shall worship Him alone, devoting your religion absolutely to Him alone. Praise be to GOD, Lord of the universe.
[62:10] Once the prayer is completed, you may spread through the land to seek God’s bounties, and continue to remember God frequently, that you may succeed.
[110:3] You shall glorify and praise your Lord, and implore Him for forgiveness. He is the Redeemer.

All praise belong to God

Our god is whatever occupies our thoughts most of the time. Hence, all our praise should be to God alone and if all praise belongs to God, why should we ever need to praise anybody else for that matter?

[28:70] He is the one GOD; there is no other god beside Him. To Him belongs ALL PRAISE in this first life, and in the Hereafter. All judgment belongs with Him, and to Him you will be returned.
[30:18] ALL PRAISE is due to Him in the heavens and the earth, throughout the evening, as well as in the middle of your day.
[34:1] Praise be to GOD – to whom belongs everything in the heavens and the earth; ALL PRAISE is also due to Him in the Hereafter. He is the Most Wise, the Cognizant.
[45:36] To GOD belongs ALL PRAISE; Lord of the heavens, Lord of the earth, Lord of the universe.
[64:1] Glorifying GOD is everything in the heavens and everything on earth. To Him belongs all kingship, and to Him belongs ALL PRAISE, and He is Omnipotent.

Respect prophet/messenger

God chooses messengers from us from time to time to deliver His message to guide the people. Thus, He teaches us how we should respect them when they live with us or when they are not among us. The order for the contemporary believers to respect the messengers when they are alive is for the successful delivery of His message but such teaching is not applicable for the subsequent generation of believers when they are not among them:
[49:1] O you who believe, do not place your opinion above that of God and His messenger. You shall reverence God. God is Hearer, Omniscient.
Note: The messenger delivers the God’s message and strictly follows His commands, the believers should not have any opinion other than God and His messenger, and it does not matter whether he lives with us or not.

[49:2] O you who believe, do not raise your voices above the voice of the prophet, nor shall you shout at him as you shout at each other, lest your works become nullified while you do not perceive.
[49:3] Surely, those who lower their voices at the messenger of God are the ones whose hearts are prepared by God to become righteous. They have deserved forgiveness and a great recompense.

Note: Obviously, the contemporary believers could not possibly raise their voices above the prophet’s voice. In addition, respecting the prophet helps outsiders and visitors in coming to God’s message.

[49:4] As for those who call on you from outside the walls, most of them do not understand.
Note: As the prophet was a fatherly figure among the believers, it was not befitting for them to call him from the other side of the wall that also conforms to the order of enjoining them from marrying the wives of prophet after him 33:53. Also note that 49:2-4 are only applicable to the contemporary believers.

In addition, there are several other reasons why praising Muhammad is wrong that we need to take the entire Quran to determine these reasons:

First: praising Muhammad is wrong as prophet never ask us to idolize him, and the people who do this are disbelievers. He was a humble servant of God and advocated devotion to God alone.
[3:79] Never would a human being whom God blessed with the scripture and prophethood say to the people, “Idolize me beside God.” Instead, (he would say), “Devote yourselves absolutely to your Lord alone,” according to the scripture you preach and the teachings you learn.
Are we absolutely devoted to God alone?

Second: consistently praising Muhammad is wrong as it is a Satan’s trap for idol worship. Idol worship is an unforgiveable sin but God is the Forgiver and the Most Merciful and He can forgive all our sins if we repent and reform before our death but NOT at the time of death or after death.
[4:48] God does not forgive idolatry, but He forgives lesser offenses for whomever He wills. Anyone who sets up idols beside God, has forged a horrendous offense.
[4:116] GOD does not forgive idol worship and He forgives lesser offenses for whomever He wills. Anyone who idolizes any idol beside GOD has strayed far astray.
[25:71] Those who repent and lead a righteous life, God redeems them; a complete redemption.
[39:53] Proclaim: “O My servants who exceeded the limits, never despair of God’s mercy. For God forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful.”
[4:18] Not acceptable is the repentance of those who commit sins until death comes to them, then say, “Now I repent.” Nor is it acceptable from those who die as disbelievers. For these, we have prepared a painful retribution.

Idol worship is opposite to worship God alone.

Third: praising Muhammad is wrong because doing so makes a distinction among the messengers and prophets. In more than half a dozen verses of the Quran God tells us not to make any distinction among them. All prophets and messengers are His obedient servants who brought the same message: “Worship God alone.” Here is just one to cite as an example:
[2:136] “Say, “We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs, and in what was given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters.”
Are we making any distinction disobeying God?

Fourth: elevating Muhammad or focusing on him is wrong as it is a tantamount to idol worship and disobedience of God. The majority of Muslims violate God’s order by insisting on putting Muhammad’s name with God in the prayer and declaration of faith. Thus, they are worshiping nothing and God is aware of what they are doing.
[29:42] GOD knows full well that whatever they worship besides Him are really nothing. He is the Almighty, the Most Wise.
Are we worshiping God or worshiping nothing?

Fifth: praising Muhammad expecting favor from him is wrong because intersession is a myth and relying on him to help us put into Paradise is wishful thinking and an eventual ticket to Hell, if we do not realize it before it is too late.
[10:18] They worship beside GOD idols that possess no power to harm them or benefit them, and they say, “These are our intercessors at GOD!” Say, “Are you informing GOD of something He does not know in the heavens or the earth?” Be He glorified. He is the Most High; far above needing partners.
[2:48] Beware of the day when no soul can avail another soul, no intercession will be accepted, no ransom can be paid, nor can anyone be helped.

Do we rely on a myth or the truth?

Sixth: praising Muhammad is wrong because we need God to give us what we need but Muhammad cannot give us what we need.In addition, Prophet Muhammad, or any other prophet, messenger or saint, no matter how close they are to God, cannot be mediators at God. This is only a common myth being a satanic trick.
[35:15] O people, you are the ones who need GOD, while GOD is in no need for anyone, the Most Praiseworthy.
[39:3] Absolutely, the religion shall be devoted to GOD alone. Those who set up idols beside Him say, “We idolize them only to bring us closer to GOD; for they are in a better position!” GOD will judge them regarding their disputes. GOD does not guide such liars, disbelievers.
Do we believe in myth or truth?

Seventh: praising Muhammad is wrong because he cannot provide us guidance that we need as our roadmap or cannot forgive us. God knows what we need as He created us, and it is His mercy and system to send scriptures, messengers, and prophets to humanity to tell us to worship Him alone providing a roadmap for our salvation.
[2:38] We said, “Go down therefrom, all of you. When guidance comes to you from Me, those who follow My guidance will have no fear, nor will they grieve.
[2:185] Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book… God wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify God for guiding you, and to express your appreciation.

Are we following the roadmap?

Eighth: praising Muhammad is wrong because it makes no sense if we reflect on some of God’s qualities. God is in full control and aware of everything. He created the heavens and the earth and provided for its inhabitants. He controls life and death. Hence, there is no reason to praise something else that has no power or to praise another human being like Muhammad, Ali or Hussain.
[2:255] God: there is no other god besides Him, the Living, the Eternal. …He knows their past, and their future. No one attains any knowledge, except as He wills. His dominion encompasses the heavens and the earth, and ruling them never burdens Him. He is the Most High, the Great.
[24:55] GOD promises those among you who believe and lead a righteous life, that He will make them sovereigns on earth, as He did for those before them, and will establish for them the religion He has chosen for them, and will substitute peace and security for them in place of fear. All this because they worship Me alone; they never set up any idols beside Me. Those who disbelieve after this are the truly wicked.
[24:64] Absolutely, to God belongs everything in the heavens and the earth. He fully knows every condition you may be in. The day you are returned to Him, He will inform them of everything they had done. God is fully aware of all things.

Do we worship something that is all powerful or needs help himself?

Finally: praising Muhammad is wrong because only God can hear our prayers and only God can answer our prayers. No one in Heaven has any greater access to God’s throne than we do as individuals through our submission and prayer.
[2:186] When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided.
Do we need answers for our prayers?

In a nutshell, prophet Muhammad can neither bring us closer to God, nor can he benefit or harm us, then why should we praise him who has no access to God’s throne now to make us idol worshipers. Since it is centuries-long ignorance, and obviously, it is not easy to accept the truth readily for all but the true believers, then what we need to do is gain confidence in God and His system that there is no other god except God, and only He can protect and guide us to the right understanding should we want to be guided. However, God is the Most Merciful and He has issued a dreadful warning against idol worship to prevent us from falling in any forms of idol worshiping including setting up His allies as idols. Idol worship is opposite to worship God alone and nullifies our all works. As such, the perfect religion is to worship God alone, being totally devoted to Him alone understanding that God has distinct set of laws, standards and systems to control His vast dominion being the Lord of both worlds, here and the Hereafter; and we should not mess up the earthly set with the set of the Hereafter to make us losers in the Hereafter for failing to use our God given wisdom to distinguish the earthly set from that of the Hereafter behaving like the deaf, dumb and blind, or the donkey.
[28:56] You cannot guide the ones you love. God is the only One who guides in accordance with His will, and in accordance with His knowledge of those who deserve the guidance.
[6:82] Those who believe, and do not pollute their belief with idol worship, have deserved the perfect security, and they are truly guided.
[98:5] All that was asked of them was to worship God, devoting the religion absolutely to Him alone, observe the contact prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat). Such is the perfect religion.
[2:18] The deaf, dumb and blind will fail to return.

Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Tafazzal (9/18/2015)