Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Muhammad as Allah’s Heir?

More Shirk from the Prophet of Shirk

Sam Shamoun

In one of our previous articles, we saw how Muhammad turned himself into Allah’s partner in dispensing Allah’s bounties and grace to his creatures.

In light of such bold assertions, it only makes sense for Muhammad to also claim that all the spoils or booty which his jihadists took in from their raids and attacks belong to both Allah and his “messenger”!

They ask you (O Muhammad) about the spoils of war. Say: "The spoils are for Allah AND the Messenger." So fear Allah and adjust all matters of difference among you, and obey Allah AND His Messenger (Muhammad), if you are believers. S. 8:1 Saheeh International

Here is how Ibn Kathir explained this text:

“… `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported, as Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas without a chain of narration, that Ibn `Abbas said, ‘Al-Anfal are the spoils of war; they were for the Messenger of Allah, and NONE had a share in them.’ Similar was said by Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Ata', Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Muqatil bin Hayyan, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and several others…” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; bold and capital emphasis ours)

What makes this all the more troubling is that Muhammad not only stated that all the wealth which the Muslims plundered belongs entirely to him and his deity, he also claimed the power to do with it or distribute it as he saw fit:

What Allah gave as booty (Fai') to His Messenger (Muhammad) from the people of the townships, - it is for Allah, His Messenger (Muhammad), the kindred (of Messenger Muhammad), the orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), and the wayfarer, in order that it may not become a fortune used by the rich among you. And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. S. 59:7 Hilali-Khan

Muhammad further boasted that he was the only messenger whom Allah allowed to take war booty. Here, once again, is Ibn Kathir:

Supporting this view is what the Two Sahihs recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said…

<<I have been given five things which were not given to any Prophet before me. (They are:) Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey. The earth has been made a place for praying and a purifyer for me. The booty has been made lawful for me, yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection). Every Prophet used to be sent to his people only, but I have been sent to all mankind.>>

Al-A`mash narrated that Abu Salih said that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said…

<<War booty was never allowed for any among mankind except us.>> Abu Hurayrah said; This is why Allah the Most High said…

(So enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good.) (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 8:69; bold emphasis ours)

The assertion that the spoils belong to Allah and his “messenger” is basically a tautology, since the reality is that whatever portion Allah receives automatically goes to Muhammad. After all, no Muslim believes that Allah actually came down in person to receive his portion of the booty. Therefore, the statement that the plunder belongs to both Allah and his messenger is meaningless in light of the fact that Allah’s portion is actually Muhammad’s portion, since whatever is claimed to be for Allah is actually taken by Muhammad.

With the foregoing in view, it shouldn’t shock the readers to discover Muhammad labeling himself as al-Qasim, meaning the one who distributes all of Allah’s blessings to mankind!

Narrated Muawiya: Allah's Apostle said, "If Allah wants to do good for somebody, he makes him comprehend the Religion (i.e. Islam), and Allah is the Giver and I am Al-Qasim (i.e. the distributor), and this (Muslim) nation will remain victorious over their opponents, till Allah's Order comes and they will still be victorious " Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Neither do I give you (anything) nor withhold (anything) from you, but I am just a distributor (i.e. Qasim), and I give as I am ordered.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 53, Number 346)

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah Al-Ansari: Allah's Apostle said, "Name yourselves after me (by my name) but do not call (yourselves) by my Kuniya (1), for I am al-Qasim (distributor), and I distribute among you Allah's blessings." This narration has also come on the authority of Anas that the Prophet said so."  (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 73, Number 216)

And it also shouldn’t surprise them to hear him say that the entire earth belongs to him:  

Narrated Abu Huraira: While we were in the mosque, Allah's Apostle came out to us and said, "Let us proceed to the Jews." So we went along with him till we reached Bait-al-Midras (a place where the Torah used to be recited and all the Jews of the town used to gather). The Prophet stood up and addressed them, "O Assembly of Jews! Embrace Islam and you will be safe!" The Jews replied, "O Aba-l-Qasim! You have conveyed Allah's message to us." The Prophet said, "That is what I want (from you)." He repeated his first statement for the second time, and they said, "You have conveyed Allah's message, O Aba-l-Qasim." Then he said it for the third time and added, "You should know that the earth belongs to Allah AND HIS APOSTLE, and I want to exile you from this land, so whoever among you owns some property, can sell it, otherwise you should know that the earth belongs to Allah AND HIS APOSTLE." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 85, Number 77)

At this point, one could legitimately assume that Muhammad is Allah’s heir since Allah has given his “messenger” that which ultimately belongs to Muhammad’s god:

And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Allah has power over all things. S. 3:189 Hilali-Khan

Since the earth belongs to Allah, this means that Allah is giving Muhammad a share in his dominion and possessions.

Yet this view isn’t without its problems since the Quran also speaks of Allah restoring the property and possessions of others to Muhammad, who is then given the authority to distribute it as he deems fit:

And what Allah RESTORED [of property] to His Messenger from them – you did not spur for it [in an expedition] any horses or camels, but Allah gives His messengers power over whom He wills, and Allah is over all things competent. And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns – it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveler – so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever THE MESSENGER HAS GIVEN YOU – take; and WHAT HE HAS FORBIDDEN YOU – refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. S. 59:6-7 Sahih International

The problem with this claim is that the Quran speaks of Allah inheriting the heavens and earth:

But as for those who are niggardly with the bounty God has given them, let them not suppose it is better for them; nay, it is worse for them; that they were niggardly with they shall have hung about their necks on the Resurrection Day; and to God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and earth; and God is aware of the things you do. S. 3:180 Arberry

Indeed, it is We who will inherit the earth and whoever is on it, and to Us they will be returned. S. 19:40 Sahih International

Thus, whereas Allah inherits the earth and all that is in it, Muhammad, on the other hand, has the earth restored to him!

Now looking at these formulations, could it even be the other way around, namely, that it is Allah who is actually inheriting from Muhammad, and is therefore Muhammad’s heir, since Allah shall be given that which already belongs to Muhammad?

In either case, it is quite clear that the Islamic sources have once again deified Muhammad by elevating him to equal, if not greater, status with his own deity!