Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Khayru Al-Mushrikin

Allah as the best mushrik of them all Pt. 2

Sam Shamoun

We continue with our analysis.

Allah makes the Holy Spirit and the angels his partners in revealing and compiling the Quran

Allah also used angels to not only help him inspire the prophets and messengers, but also to help compile those revelations together:

These are the Signs of God: WE rehearse them to thee in truth: verily Thou art one of the apostles. Those apostles WE endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them God spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour); to Jesus the son of Mary WE gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the holy spirit. If God had so willed, succeeding generations would not have fought among each other, after clear (Signs) had come to them, but they (chose) to wrangle, some believing and others rejecting. If God had so willed, they would not have fought each other; but God Fulfilleth His plan. S. 2:252-253 Y. Ali

These are the Signs of God: WE rehearse them to thee in Truth: And God means no injustice to any of His creatures. S. 3:108 Y. Ali; cf. S. 45:6

MOVE NOT thy tongue in haste, [repeating the words of the revelation:] for, behold, it is for US to gather it [in thy heart,] and to cause it to be read [as it ought to be read]. Thus, when WE recite it, follow thou its wording [with all thy mind]: and then, behold, it will be for US to make its meaning clear. S. 75:16-19 MA

Now, at first glance, one may get the impression that the use of the plural pronouns in these examples is nothing more than a literary device denoting the majesty and splendor of Allah. As such, these pronouns do not imply that Allah exists as a plurality of persons, nor do they refer to a group of divine beings working together to accomplish certain tasks.

This view, however, is at odds with statements found in the hadith literature and the explanation offered by the commentaries.

These sources agree that the one who revealed the Quran directly to Muhammad, and who helped him memorize it, wasn’t Allah. Rather, it was the angel Gabriel!

As Ibn Kathir explains:

How the Prophet received the Revelation

This is Allah teaching His Messenger how to receive the revelation FROM THE ANGEL. For verily, he (the Prophet) was rushing in his attempts to grasp the revelation and he would be reciting the revelation with THE ANGEL while he was reciting it. Therefore, Allah commanded him that when THE ANGEL brings some revelation to him he should just listen. Allah would make sure to collect it in his chest, and He would make it easy for him to recite it in the same way that it was revealed to him. Allah would explain it, interpret it and clarify it for him. So the first phase was gathering it in his chest, the second phase was recitation and the third phase was its explanation and clarification of its meaning. Thus, Allah says …

(Move not your tongue concerning to make haste therewith.) meaning, with the Qur'an. This is as Allah says …

(And be not in haste with the Qur'an before its revelation is completed to you, and say: “My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”) (20:114) Then Allah says…

(It is for Us to collect it) meaning, `in your chest.’…

(and that it be recited.) meaning, `that you recite it.’…

(And when We have recited it to you,) meaning, `when THE ANGEL has recited it to you from Allah,’…

(then follow its recitation.) meaning, `listen to it then recite it as HE taught you to recite it.’…

(Then it is for Us to make it clear.) meaning, ‘after memorizing it and reciting it, We will explain it to you, clarify it and inspire you with its meaning according to what We intended and legislated.’ Imam Ahmad recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said that the Messenger of Allah used to struggle very hard to grasp the revelation and he used to move his lips (rapidly with the recitation). The narrator, Sa`id, then said, “Ibn `Abbas said to me, ‘I will move my lips like the Messenger of Allah used to move his lips (in order to show you).’” Then, the subnarrator said, “And Sa`id said to me, ‘I will move my lips like I saw Ibn `Abbas moving his lips (in order to show you).’” Then Allah revealed…

(Move not your tongue concerning to make haste therewith. It is for Us to collect it and that it be recited.) Ibn `Abbas said, “This means He will collect it in his chest to recite it…

(And when We have recited it to you, then follow its recitation.) meaning, listen to it and pay attention…

(Then it is for Us to make it clear (to you).) So after this, when JIBRIL would leave, he would recite it AS JIBRIL HAD TAUGHT HIM TO RECITE IT.” This has also been recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. Al-Bukhari's wording says, “So whenever Jibril would come to him he would be silent, and when Jibril had left he would recite it just as Allah, the Mighty and Sublime had promised him.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 75:16-19; capital and underline emphasis ours)

The two Jalals agree:

God, exalted be He, says to His Prophet: Do not move your tongue with it, with the Qur’ān, before Gabriel is through with [reciting] it, to hasten it, fearing to lose it. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; bold emphasis ours)

So, when We recite it, to you, by means of Gabriel’s recital, follow its recitation, listen to its recitation: thus the Prophet would listen to it and then repeat it. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; bold emphasis ours)

As does the following commentary:

(Stir not thy tongue) to read the Qur'an, O Muhammad, (herewith to hasten it) to hasten the recitation of the Qur'an before Gabriel finishes reciting it to you. This is because the Prophet used to repeat whatever revelations of the Qur'an Gabriel brought down to him before the latter finished a sentence of the Qur'an, out of fear of forgetting what was revealed to him. Allah warned him against doing so. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs; bold emphasis ours)

(Lo! upon Us (resteth) the putting together thereof) preserving the Qur'an in your heart (and the reading thereof) and also preserving the reading of Gabriel to you; it is also said that this means: upon Us rests its composition of the lawful and the unlawful. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs; bold emphasis ours)

(And when We read it) when Gabriel reads to you, (follow thou the reading) you, O Muhammad, read after him; it is also said this means: what We finish composing it with all the lawful and unlawful contained therein, do you follow its composition; (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs; bold emphasis ours)

Lest someone say that these are the mistaken views of fallible expositors, it is important to mention that the Islamic scripture itself testifies that it was Gabriel who revealed the Quran to Muhammad’s heart:

Say (O Muhammad, to mankind): Who is an enemy to Gabriel! For he it is who hath revealed (this Scripture) to thy heart by Allah's leave, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, and a guidance and glad tidings to believers; S. 2:97

It even says that the Holy Spirit brought the revelation to Muhammad as well:

When We substitute one revelation for another, - and God knows best what He reveals (in stages), - they say, "Thou art but a forger": but most of them understand not. Say, the Holy Spirit has brought the revelation from thy Lord in Truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as a Guide and Glad Tidings to Muslims. S. 16:101-102 Y. Ali

All of this is a further indication that the plural pronouns employed by the Quran in these passages cannot simply be explained away as Allah referring to himself in all his splendor and majesty. As the interpretation of Muhammad and the scholars testify, the plural is a reference to Allah’s heavenly host who help their god accomplish his goals and purposes.

Thus, not only did Allah enlist heavenly creatures to help him reveal and compile the messages, he also allowed them to chime in his conversations to his servants which became part of the Quran itself!

This means that the Quran is not simply Allah’s word. It is actually the word of Allah AND his heavenly host, just as the following reference confirms:

“truly this is the word of a noble Messenger having power, with the Lord of the Throne secure, obeyed, moreover trusty.” S. 81:19-21 Arberry

Allah makes angels his partners in creation

However, this is not the only function which the heavenly host have helped Allah with.

The Muslim scripture teaches that Allah is the one who fashioned man in the womb:

O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth). S. 22:5

Verily We created man of potter's clay of black mud altered, And the jinn did We create aforetime of essential fire. And (remember) when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am creating a mortal out of potter's clay of black mud altered, So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of My Spirit (wa-nafakhtu feehi min roohee), do ye fall down, prostrating yourselves unto him. So the angels fell prostrate, all of them together Save Iblis. He refused to be among the prostrate. He said: O Iblis! What aileth thee that thou art not among the prostrate? He said: I am not one to prostrate myself unto a mortal whom Thou hast created out of potter's clay of black mud altered! S. 15:26-33 Pickthall


And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth). Thereafter We made him (the offspring of Adam) as a Nutfah (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge) (and lodged it) in a safe lodging (womb of the woman). Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators. S. 23:12-14 Hilali-Khan

In this next passage, Allah speaks of the creation of Adam and the human race collectively, e.g. the formation of the first man included the creation of all his offspring as well:

Allah it is He Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them in six Days. Then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). You (mankind) have none, besides Him, as a Wali (protector or helper etc.) or an intercessor. Will you not then remember (or be admonished)? He arranges (every) affair from the heavens to the earth, then it (affair) will go up to Him, in one Day, the space whereof is a thousand years of your reckoning (i.e. reckoning of our present world's time). That is He, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful. Who made everything He has created good, and He began the creation of man from clay. Then He made HIS offspring from semen of worthless water (male and female sexual discharge). Then He fashioned HIM in due proportion, and breathed into HIM the soul (created by Allah for that person), and He gave YOU hearing (ears), sight (eyes) and hearts. Little is the thanks YOU give! And they say: "When we are (dead and become) lost in the earth, shall we indeed be recreated anew?" Nay, but they deny the Meeting with their Lord! S. 32:4-10 Hilali-Khan

The Quran also states that Allah breathed his Spirit into mankind after forming Adam from the dust, from black stinking mud, with the obvious intention of causing them to become living beings:

Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of His Spirit (wa-nafakha feehi min roohihi); and appointed for you hearing and sight and hearts. Small thanks give ye! S. 32:9 Pickthall – cf. Q. 38:72

Ibn Kathir narrates a particular hadith where it is expressly stated that this is why Allah blew his life-giving Spirit into man:

“… As-Suddi said that Ibn `Abbas commented on…

(Then Adam received from his Lord Words) ‘Adam said, “O Lord! Did You not created me with Your Own Hands?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “And blow life into me?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “And when I sneezed, You said, ‘May Allah grant you His mercy.’ Does not Your mercy precede Your anger?” He was told, “Yes.” Adam said, “And You destined me to commit this evil act?” He was told, “Yes.” He said, “If I repent, will You send me back to Paradise?” Allah said, “Yes.”’ Similar is reported from Al-`Awfi, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Sa`id bin Ma`bad, and Ibn `Abbas. Al-Hakim recorded this Hadith in his Mustadrak from Ibn Jubayr, who narrated it from Ibn `Abbas. Al-Hakim said, ‘Its chain is Sahih and they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.’” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 2:37; bold emphasis ours)

The Islamic scripture further attests that Allah not only created every human being from a single soul,

He it is who made you spring from one soul (nafsin wahidatin), and gave you a settlement and a depository. Now have we detailed the signs unto a people who discern. S. 6:98 Palmer

He created you of a single soul (nafsin wahidatin), then from it He appointed its mate; and He sent down to you of the cattle eight couples. He creates you in your mothers' wombs creation after creation in threefold shadows. That then is God, your Lord; to Him belongs the Kingdom; there is no god but He; so how are you turned about? S. 39:6 Arberry

But that he also created the souls of every individual:

By the soul (nafsin), and That which shaped it and inspired it to lewdness and godfearing! S. 91:7-8 Arberry

I did not make them witnesses of the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor of the creation of their own souls (wa-la khalqa anfusihim); nor could I take those who lead (others) astray for aiders. S. 18:51 Shakir

The Quran even chides the disbelievers for assigning partners with Allah in creating:

Say (O Muhammad): "Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth?" Say: "(It is) Allah." Say: "Have you then taken (for worship) Auliya' (protectors, etc.) other than Him, such as have no power either for benefit or for harm to themselves?" Say: "Is the blind equal to the one who sees? Or darkness equal to light? Or do they assign to Allah partners who created the like of His creation, so that the creation (which they made and His creation) seemed alike to them." Say: "Allah is the Creator of all things, He is the One, the Irresistible." S. 13:16 Hilali-Khan

And rebukes those who think they have a share in creating man:

We have created you, why do you not then assent? Have you considered the seed? Is it you that create it or are We the creators? S. 56:57-59 Shakir

However, this is where Muslims run into a bit of a problem. Both the Quran and ahadith testify that Allah’s Spirit and the angels also share in Allah’s act of creating and fashioning human beings.

For instance, the Muslim scripture states that Allah sent his Spirit to Mary who appeared as a man in order to announce to her that he had come to give her a son:

And mention Marium in the Book when she drew aside from her family to an eastern place; So she took a veil (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our spirit, and there appeared to her a well-made man. She said: Surely I fly for refuge from you to the Beneficent God, if you are one guarding (against evil). He said: I am only an apostle of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy. She said: When shall I have a boy and no mortal has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste? He said: Even so; your Lord says: It is easy to Me: and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter which has been decreed. S. 19:16-21 Shakir

The Quran further explains that Allah then blew the Spirit into Mary’s body for the obvious purpose of causing her to conceive Jesus:

And Mary, daughter of Imran, who guarded her private parts, and we breathed therein of our spirit (fa-nafakhna feehi min roohina) and she verified the words of her Lord and His books, and was of the devout. S. 66:12 Palmer – cf. 21:91

According to the Muslim expositors, Allah actually sent the angel Gabriel to breathe into Mary in order to get her pregnant:

(And We breathed into it (private part) through Our Ruh,) meaning, through the angel Jibril. Allah sent the angel Jibril to Maryam, and he came to her in the shape of a man in every respect. Allah commanded him to blow into a gap of her garment and that breath went into her womb through her private part; this is how `Isa was conceived. This is why Allah said here…

(And We breathed into it through Our Ruh, and she testified to the truth of her Lords Kalimat, and His Kutub,) meaning His decree and His legislation. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 66:12; bold emphasis ours)

The hadiths even claim that Allah sends an angel to fashion human beings in the wombs and to breathe life into them:

'Abdullah b. Mas'ud reported: Evil one is he who is evil in the womb of his mother and the good one is he who takes lesson from the (fate of) others. The narrator came to a person from amongst the Companion of Allah’s Messenger who was called Hudhaifa b. Usaid Ghifari and said: How can a person be an evil one without (committing an evil) deed? Thereupon the person said to him: You are surprised at this, whereas I have heard Allah's Messenger as saving: When forty nights pass after the semen gets into the womb, Allah sends the angel and gives him the shape. Then he creates his sense of hearing, sense of sight, his skin, his flesh, his bones, and then says: My Lord, would he be male or female? And your Lord decides as He desires and the angel then puts down that also and then says: My Lord, what about his age? And your Lord decides as He likes it and the angel puts it down. Then he says: My Lord, what about his livelihood? And then the Lord decides as He likes and the angel writes it down, and then the angel gets out with his scroll of destiny in his hand and nothing is added to it and nothing is subtracted from it. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6393; *)


1521 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: Allah's Messenger, who is the most truthful (of the human beings) and his being truthful (is a fact), said: Verily your creation is on this wise. The constituents of one of you are collected for forty days in his mother's womb in the form of blood, after which it becomes a clot of blood in another period of forty days. Then it becomes a lump of flesh and forty days later Allah sends His angel to breathe life into it, as well as to convey instructions concerning four things, so the angel writes down his livelihood, his death, his deeds, his fortune and misfortune. By Him, besides Whom there is no god, that one among you acts like the people deserving Paradise until between him and Paradise there remains but the distance of a cubit, when suddenly the writing of destiny overcomes him and he begins to act like the denizens of Hell and thus enters Hell, and another one acts in the way of the denizens of Hell, until there remains between him and Hell a distance of a cubit that the writing of destiny overcomes him and then he begins to act like the people of Paradise and enters Paradise. (Sahih Muslim)

Allah makes angels his partners in causing death

Not only does Allah specifically take credit for creating all things, he also takes responsibility for causing death:

And Allah has created you, then He causes you to die, and of you is he who is brought back to the worst part of life, so that after having knowledge he does not know anything; surely Allah is Knowing, Powerful. S. 16:70 Shakir

Allah does this by taking the souls of men at the time of their appointed deaths:

It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply. S. 39:42 Hilali-Khan

At the same time, however, we are expressly told that there is a group of angels, including the angel of death, that actually cause people to die and who take their souls at death:

Who is guilty of more wrong than he who forgeth a lie against Allah, or saith: I am inspired, when he is not inspired in aught; and who saith: I will reveal the like of that which Allah hath revealed? If thou couldst see, when the wrong-doers reach the pangs of death and the angels stretch their hands out (saying): Deliver up your souls. This day ye are awarded doom of degradation for that ye spake concerning Allah other than the truth, and used to scorn His portents. S. 6:93 Pickthall

And had you seen when the angels will cause to die those who disbelieve, smiting their faces and their backs, and (saying): Taste the punishment of burning. S. 8:50 Shakir

Say: The angel of death who is given charge of you shall cause you to die, then to your Lord you shall be brought back. S. 32:11 Shakir – cf. 4:97; 7:37; 47:27; 79:1-2

No wonder the following passage uses the plural to refer to the action of a group of beings who cause death:

Then have patience (O Muhammad). Lo! the promise of Allah is true. And whether we let thee see a part of that which We promise them, or (whether) We cause thee to die, still unto US they will be brought back. S. 40:77 Pickthall

Allah has also assigned 19 angels to take charge of hell, including an angel named Malik:

I will cast him into Hell-fire. And what will make you know exactly what Hell-fire is? It spares not (any sinner), nor does it leave (anything unburnt)! Burning the skins! Over it are nineteen (angels as guardians and keepers of Hell). And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire, and We have fixed their number (19) only as a trial for the disbelievers, in order that the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) may arrive at a certainty [that this Qur'an is the truth as it agrees with their Books i.e. their number (19) is written in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] and the believers may increase in Faith (as this Qur'an is the truth) and that no doubts may be left for the people of the Scripture and the believers, and that those in whose hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy) and the disbelievers may say: "What Allah intends by this (curious) example?" Thus Allah leads astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And none can know the hosts of your Lord but He. And this (Hell) is nothing else than a (warning) reminder to mankind. S. 74:26-31 Hilali-Khan

Verily, the Mujrimun (criminals, sinners, disbelievers, etc.) will be in the torment of Hell to abide therein forever. (The torment) will not be lightened for them, and they will be plunged into destruction with deep regrets, sorrows and in despair therein. We wronged them not, but they were the Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, etc.). And they will cry: “O Malik (Keeper of Hell)! Let your Lord make an end of us.” He will say: "Verily you shall abide forever." S. 43:74-77

Thus, angels even have a share in torturing people forever!

This, once again, shows that the plural cannot simply be Allah speaking of himself. These plural pronouns must also be referring to his heavenly creatures since they actually help him bring death and judgment upon his subjects.

Concluding Remarks

It is clear that Allah has taken to himself (a) partner(s) in almost everything. For instance, Allah has (a) partner(s):

  • In his worship.
  • In his work of revealing and compiling his messages.
  • In his work of creating, giving life, and causing death.
  • In his work of salvation and judgment, including granting rewards and positions of honor in paradise, as well as torturing people in hell.

This basically proves that Allah is not alone and does absolutely nothing by himself. Allah actually shares his worship and unique divine characteristics and functions with his creatures. Allah is therefore guilty of being the greatest mushrik (“someone who associates others with Allah”) of them all.

In light of this fact, Allah has no choice but to send himself to hell so as to torture himself for all eternity for committing such heinous crimes and evil. Unless, of course, he has no concern for remaining consistent, or perfectly just and holy.

After all, that is the destiny of all those who ascribe partners with Allah:

Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with God, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers! S. 3:151 Y. Ali

“… Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers.” S. 5:72 Pickthall

This is Allah's guidance, He guides thereby whom He pleases of His servants; and if they had set up others (with Him), certainly what they did would have become ineffectual for them. S. 6:88 Shakir

And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him [i.e. they are Mushrikun - polytheists - see Verse 6: 121]. Do they then feel secure from the coming against them of the covering veil of the Torment of Allah, or of the coming against them of the (Final) Hour, all of a sudden while they perceive not? S. 12:106-107 Hilali-Khan

And (remember) when Luqman said unto his son, when he was exhorting him: O my dear son! Ascribe no partners unto Allah. Lo! to ascribe partners (unto Him) is a tremendous wrong - S. 31:13 Pickthall

Muslims must therefore contend with the fact that Islam is not the pure monotheistic religion that they have been led to believe. They must further accept that their god is also the greatest idolater of them all, as well as the greatest cause of idolatry there is.

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