Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Muhammad – The Visible Image and Human Manifestation of Allah?

Sam Shamoun

According to God’s only truly inspired writings, the Lord Jesus Christ is the visible image, the human appearance, of the one only true God:

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of those who don’t have faith so they couldn’t see the light of the gospel that reveals Christ’s glory. Christ is the image of God. We don’t preach about ourselves. Instead, we preach about Jesus Christ as Lord, and we describe ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. God said that light should shine out of the darkness. He is the same one who shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 Common English Bible (CEB)

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the one who is first over all creation, Because all things were created by him: both in the heavens and on the earth, the things that are visible and the things that are invisible. Whether they are thrones or powers, or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him and for him. He existed before all things, and all things are held together in him. He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the one who is firstborn from among the dead so that he might occupy the first place in everything. Because all the fullness of God was pleased to live in him, and he reconciled all things to himself through him—whether things on earth or in the heavens. He brought peace through the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:15-20 CEB

The God-breathed Scriptures also testify that Christ himself is truly God by nature, and the exact representation of his Father’s substance or being:

All the fullness of deity lives in Christ’s body. And you have been filled by him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10 CEB

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Hebrews 1:1-3 NIV 2010

Therefore, seeing him is to see God in the flesh, and beholding him is to behold the Father’s perfect reflection and revelation:

“Jesus shouted, ‘Whoever believes in me doesn’t believe in me but in the one who sent me. Whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.’” John 12:44-45 CEB

“‘If you have really known me, you will also know the Father. From now on you know him and have seen him.’ Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father; that will be enough for us.’ Jesus replied, ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been with you all this time? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I have spoken to you I don’t speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me does his works. Trust me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or at least believe on account of the works themselves.’” John 14:7-11 CEB

Muhammad, however, was nothing more than a fallible, imperfect human being whose god informed him that he would eventually die like any other man:

Muhammad is naught but a Messenger; Messengers have passed away before him. Why, if he should die or is slain, will you turn about on your heels? If any man should turn about on his heels, he will not harm God in any way; and God will recompense the thankful. S. 3:144 Arberry

Say: "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your God is one God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner.” S. 18:110 Y. Ali

Verily, you (O Muhammad) will die and verily, they (too) will die. S. 39:30 Hilali-Khan

SAY: I am only a man like you. It is revealed to me that your God is one God: go straight then to Him, and implore his pardon. And woe to those who join gods with God;- S. 41:6 Rodwell

Muhammad’s deity would even command him to repent and ask forgiveness for his sins (and quite often we might add!):

And seek forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. And plead not on behalf of (people) who deceive themselves. Lo! Allah loveth not one who is treacherous and sinful. S. 4:106-107

May Allah forgive you (O Muhammad). Why did you grant them leave (for remaining behind, you should have persisted as regards your order to them to proceed on Jihad), until those who told the truth were seen by you in a clear light, and you had known the liars? S. 9:43 Hilali-Khan

Then have patience (O Muhammad). Lo! the promise of Allah is true. And ask forgiveness of thy sin, and hymn the praise of thy Lord at fall of night and in the early hours. S. 40:55 Pickthall

(The Prophet) frowned and turned away, Because there came to him the blind man (interrupting). But what could tell thee but that perchance he might grow (in spiritual understanding)? - Or that he might receive admonition, and the teaching might profit him? As to one who regards Himself as self-sufficient, To him dost thou attend; Though it is no blame to thee if he grow not (in spiritual understanding). But as to him who came to thee striving earnestly, And with fear (in his heart), Of him wast thou unmindful. By no means (should it be so)! For it is indeed a Message of instruction: Therefore let whoso will, keep it in remembrance. S. 80:1-12 Y. Ali – cf. Q. 47:19; 48:1-2; 110:1-3

To make matters worse, Muhammad’s god repeatedly threatened to brutally kill and damn his messenger to hell if he ever compromised with the pagans or changed the so-called revelations: 

And when Our signs are recited to them, clear signs, those who look not to encounter Us say, 'Bring a Koran other than this, or alter it.' Say: 'It is not for me to alter it of my own accord. I follow nothing, except what is revealed to me. Truly I fear, if I should rebel against my Lord, the chastisement of a dreadful day.' S. 10:15 Arberry

This is (part) of that wisdom wherewith thy Lord hath inspired thee (O Muhammad). And set not up with Allah any other god, lest thou be cast into hell, reproved, abandoned. S. 17:39 Pickthall

Verily, they were about to tempt you away from that which We have revealed (the Qur'an) unto you (O Muhammad), to fabricate something other than it against Us, and then they would certainly have taken you a friend! And had We not made you stand firm, you would nearly have inclined to them a little. In that case, We would have made you taste a double portion (of punishment) in this life and a double portion (of punishment) after death. And then you would have found none to help you against Us. S. 17:73-75 Hilali-Khan

And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad), as it was to those (Allah's Messengers) before you: "If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers." S. 39:65

And if he (Muhammad) had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah), We surely should have seized him by his right hand (or with power and might), And then certainly should have cut off his life artery (Aorta), And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him. S. 69:44-46 Hilali-Khan

Muhammad was also someone who didn’t know the unseen and could not benefit any one since he himself was uncertain of his own salvation!

Say: For myself I have no power to benefit, nor power to hurt, save that which Allah willeth. Had I knowledge of the Unseen, I should have abundance of wealth, and adversity would not touch me. I am but a warner, and a bearer of good tidings unto folk who believe. S. 7:188 Pickthall

Or say they: He hath invented it? Say (O Muhammad): If I have invented it, still ye have no power to support me against Allah. He is Best Aware of what ye say among yourselves concerning it. He sufficeth for a witness between me and you. And He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. Say: I am no new thing among the messengers (of Allah), nor know I what will be done with me or with you. I do but follow that which is inspired in me, and I am but a plain warner. S. 46:8-9 Pickthall

Say (unto them, O Muhammad): I pray unto Allah only, and ascribe unto Him no partner. Say: Lo! I control not hurt nor benefit for you. Say: Lo! none can protect me from Allah, nor can I find any refuge beside Him. S. 72:20-22 Pickthall

In light of such teachings, one would not expect Islamic tradition transforming Muhammad into the alter ego or the human manifestation of Allah. However, and unfortunately, this is PRECISELY what Muslim piety ended up doing with Islam’s prophet!

For instance, some of the greatest Muslim theologians and writers of the past began compiling lists of names of their prophet. What makes such compilations rather troubling is that many of these names that were being ascribed to Muhammad are actually those that belong exclusively to Allah!

To illustrate our point, noted Sufi author Gibril Fouad Haddad provides a list of Muhammad’s names which were taken from a book written by one of Islam’s leading scholars. This renowned authority claimed to have acquired the names from the Quran and authentic Islamic sources:

This is the explanation of the Names of the Prophet Muhammad, as set forth by Shaykh al-Islam, the last of the major hadith masters, al-hafiz, Sayyidi Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (d. 911) in his book

al-Riyad al-aniqa fi sharh asma' khayr al-khaliqa sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam edited by the Lebanese hadith scholar Abu Hajir Muhammad al-Sa`id ibn Basyuni Zaghlul and published in Beirut by Dar al-kutub al-`ilmiyya (1405/1985).

Suyuti says: It is my hope that Allah accept this book and that through this book I will gain the Messenger's intercession. Perhaps it shall be that Allah make it the seal of all my works, and grant me what I have asked Him with longing regarding the Honorable One. I have named it "The beautiful gardens: Explanation of the names of the Best of Creation." …


Suyuti said in al-Riyad al-aniqa: al-Nawawi said in his Tahdhib al-asma' wa al-sifat (The emendation of the Names and Attributes):

Most of the Prophet's names mentioned are only attributes, such as the Concluder (al-`aqib), the Gatherer (al-hashir), and the Sealer (al-khatim). To call them "names" is a metaphorical apellation.

We have established a list of three hundred and forty-odd names divided among sections (commentary and referencing of each name follows the list): (Haddad, Sharh Asma’ Al-Nabi (Explanation of the names of the prophet); *)

Here are some of the names listed by Haddad:

I- Names of the Prophet explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an

5. al-A`la: The Highest (in all creation).

7. al-Amin: The Dependable.

20. al-Haqq: The Truth Itself.

27. Dhu al-quwwa: The Strong One.

29. al-Ra'uf: The Gentle One.
30. al-Rahim: The Compassionate One.

46. al-`Aziz: The Mighty One. The Dearest One.

50. al-Karim: The Generous One.

54. al-Mubîn: The Manifest.

72. al-Nur: The Light.

74. al-Hadi: Guidance Itself.

75. al-Wali: The Ally.

094. al-`âlim: The Knower.
095. al-`Alîm: The Deeply Aware.
096. al-`Afuw: The Grantor of Pardon.

098. al-Ghani: The Free From Want.

110. al-Mu'min: The Believer. The Grantor of Safety.

117. al-Mawla: The Master of Favors and Help.
120. al-Hâdi: The Guide.

According to Haddad, this next list was taken from the hadith literature and ancient books.

148. al-Awwal: The First.
149. al-âkhir: The Last.

144. al-Bâtin: The Hidden One (in his station).

150. al-Jabbar: The Fierce One.

154. al-Hâfizh: The Preserver.

169. al-Hamîd: The Praised One.
170. al-Hayy: The Living One.

202. al-Salam: Peace.

210. al-Shâkir: The Thankful One.
212. al-Shakur: The Ever-Thankful.

235. al-Sadiq: The Truthful.

245. al-`Adl: The Just.

250. al-`Ali: The High One.

251. al-Ghafur: The Frequent and Abundant Forgiver.

313. al-Muhaymin: The Watcher.

(Note – Beginning with 144. al-Bâtin, all the names mentioned here have been wrongly numbered by Haddad. 144 should have been 154.)

What Haddad conveniently failed to mention is that all of the above listed names are actually the very names of Allah!

Compare the following names of Allah with the ones attributed to Muhammad:

Al-Awwal, Al-Akhir: The First and the Last

Al-Akhir is He who remains after all His creatures have perished.

Al-Awwal is the First, preceding all others.

Al-Awwal and Al-Akhir are two of the Ninety-Nine Names.

As-Salâm: Perfect Peace

The Flawless, sound of every imperfection or deficiency, peace for His creatures. He is the Author of Safety, because He has rendered all His creatures safe from unsoundness and from injustice from Him, the Giver of peace.

As-Salam is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-'Alî, Al-'Âlî, Al-'A'lâ: The Most High

Above and beyond, the High above whom there is nothing higher.

Al-'Ali is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Ar-Râfi': The Exalter

Active sense of 'Ali. Great in attributes, Exalter of the degrees of dignity; the Lofty. He exalts by drawing people near to Him and by granting them good fortune.

Ar-Rafi' is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Karîm, Al-Akram: The Generous, The Most Generous

Worthy of praise, glorious; Generous (in the sense of abundant), Munificent, noble, precious, possessing generosity lacking in any lowness or baseness.

Al-Karim is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Hamîd: The Praiseworthy

Praised and praiseworthy.

Al-Hamid is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Ghanî: The Rich Beyond Need

The Self-Sufficient, Without need of anything, He who possesses all things.

Al-Ghani is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Bâtin: The Inward

He who knows the inward or intrinsic states or circumstances of thing, He who is veiled from eyes and imaginations of creatures.

Al-Batin is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Hayy: The Living

Ever-Living, i.e. Deathless.

Al-Hayy is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Qawi, Dhu'l-Quwwa: The All-Strong, The Possessor of Strength

Strong. It is either an equivalent of qadir, or qawî has a stronger meaning. He possesses the plenitude and perfection of power.

Al-Qawi is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-'Azîz: The Almighty

The All-Powerful, the Incomparable. No one can resist or oppose Allah. Often the all-Powerful applied to punishment; impossible, difficult, free of being menaced; unique and nothing is like Him. The One who overcomes everything, He who resists or withstands so that nothing overcomes Him; the Incomparable, the Unparalleled. Nothing is beyond His power.

Al-'Aziz is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Jabbâr: The Compeller

He compels His creatures to what He wills of His commands and prohibitions, and none can oppose Him and none is free of His grasp; the One who repairs and mends; the One who is inaccessible, the Unattainable, the Supreme. Also the Restorer of the poor to wealth or sufficiency, the Establisher of hearts according to their natural constitutions which He gave them in their mothers' wombs, disposing them to know Him and bear witness to Him, both the wretched and the happy among them.

Al-Jabbar is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-'Âlim, Al-'Alîm, Al-'Allâm: The All-Knowing

The Knower. He who knows what has been and what will be, who ever has known and ever will know what has been and what will be, from whom nothing is concealed in the earth nor in the heaven, whose knowledge comprehends all things in the most complete manner. His knowledge is timeless and essential.

Al-'Alim is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

As-Sayyid: The Master

Lord, but only of animate creatures.

Al-Mawlâ, Al-Walî, Al-Wâlî: The Protector, The Friend

patron, protector, master

Al-Walî is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Khâfid, Ar-Râfi': The Abaser, The Exalter

Ar-Râfi': the Exalter, (see above under Names of Perfection)

Al-Khâfid: The Abaser of the proud, haughty and insolent; the Abaser of all He desires to abase, abasing some to the Fire and raising some to the Garden.

Al'Adl,  Al-'Âdil: The Just

The Just and Equitable. He whom desire does not cause to incline or decline so that He should deviate from the right course in judgement.

Al-'Adl is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Ash-Shakûr; Ash-Shâkir: The Ever-Thankful

The Rewarder of Thankfulness. He repays people for their good actions. He gives a large reward for few works; He in whose estimation few works performed by His slaves increase and who multiplies His rewards to them.

As-Sâdiq: The Truthful

Truthful, untouched by the possibility of lying.

Al-Mu'min: The Trustworthy

The Giver of Faith, to give security; He who makes mankind secure from His wronging them; He who makes His servants safe from His punishment (i.e. Muhaymin); Believer of His servants on the Day of Rising in the questioning, or He who will faithfully give His servants what He promised them; He who has declared in His word the truth of His unity.

Al-Mu'min is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Muhaymin: The Safeguarder

The Safeguarder, the Witness, the one who watches over things He preserves and guards, Allah is Amin, worthy of trust; Preserver.

Al-Muhaymin is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Amîn: The Secure

He who is secure with respect to the accidents of fortune.

Al-Hâdî: The Guide

The One who shows the way.

Al-Hadi is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Mubîn: The Clarifier

The One who make clear His proofs and Signs.

An-Nûr: The Light

The light, guide, the One who illuminates; the One who is manifest, clear.

An-Nur is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Ar-Rahmân, Ar-Rahîm: The All-Merciful, Most Merciful

The original sense of rahma is "gentleness" (riqqa, riqqat al-qalb), tenderness (tahannun), kindness (ta'attuf). Ibn 'Abbas says that ar-Rahman is ar-raqîq (The Gentle) and ar-Rahim is al-'âtif Ôala khaqihi bi'r-rizq (Kind to His creatures with provision)

Allah is Rahman, merciful for all men, virtuous or sinners, believers or unbelievers, but He is rahim for believers. One is general and the other particular. He is ar-Rahman inasmuch as He gives all men their provision or created them.

Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim are two of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Ar-Ra'ûf: The All-Gentle

Intensive form of mercy, or it is to make a suffering stop, the Clement, the One who makes things easier for people than need be out of tenderness. It is more far-reaching than rahma.

Ar-Ra'uf is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-Ghâfir, Al-Ghafûr; Al-Ghaffar: The Forgiving, The Ever-Forgiving,
The Endlessly Forgiving

Al-Ghafir who pardons a particular sin; Al-Ghafur who is in the habit of forgiving sins and covering them up; Al-Ghaffar is the One who does not cease to pardon them, one after the other. Ghafr, in the root, means to cover, veil, so to make hidden (unlike 'afw, to efface), not to punish, to cause them to be undisclosed. The One who covers and forgives the sins of His servants.

Al-Ghafur and Al-Ghaffur are two of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Al-'Afuw: The All-Pardoning

He who makes disappear, effaces; also has the meaning of fadl, superfluous and so it is resembles Al-Wahhab and Al-Jawad. He forgives much. He passes over wrong actions and pardons faults. More far-reaching than Al-Ghafur, which is veiling. 'Afw is effacing.

Al-'Afuw is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

As-Sabûr: The Patient

The One who does not hasten to punish, but forgives. He constrains Himself to be patient and endure the misdoings of His creation.

As-Sabur is one of the Ninety-Nine Names. (Aisha Bewley, The Divine Names)

Most of these divine names and ascriptions are actually derived from the Quran, as the following verses clearly prove:

And remember Abraham and Isma'il raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing (al-aleemu). S. 2:127 Y. Ali

God there is no god but He, the Living (al-hayyu), the Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave? He knows what lies before them and what is after them, and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge save such as He wills. His Throne comprises the heavens and earth; the preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is the All-high, the All-glorious. S. 2:255 Arberry

That is because Allah is the Truth (al-haqqu), and that what they call upon besides Him -- that is the falsehood, and because Allah is the High (al-aliyyu), the Great. S. 22:62 Shakir

But for God's bounty to you and His mercy and that God is All-gentle, All-compassionate  (raoofun raheemun) -- S. 24:20 Arberry

To Allah belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth. Verily, Allah, He is Al-Ghani (Rich, Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise (al-hameedu). S. 31:26 Hilali-Khan

O men! ye are but paupers in need of God; but God is the Rich (al-ghaniyyu), the Praiseworthy (al-hameedu)! S. 35:15 Rodwell

His is what is in the heavens and what is in the earth, and He is the High (al-aliyyu), the Great. The heavens may almost rend asunder from above them and the angels sing the praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth; now surely Allah is the Forgiving (al-ghafooru), the Merciful. S. 42:4-5 Shakir

Allah is gracious unto His slaves. He provideth for whom He will. And He is the Strong (al-qawiyyu), the Mighty (al-azizu). S. 42:19 Pickthall

Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power (thoo al-quwatti), the Most Strong. S. 51:58 Hilali-Khan

He is the First and the Last (al-awwalu wa al-akhiru), and the Outward and the Inward (al-batinu); and He is Knower (aleemun) of all things. S. 57:3 Pickthall

He is God beside whom there is no god. He knoweth (alimu) things visible and invisible: He is the Compassionate (al-rahmanu), the Merciful (al-raheemu). He is God beside whom there is no god: He is the King, the Holy, the Peaceful (al-salamu), the Faithful (al-mu’minu), the Guardian (al-muhayminu), the Mighty (al-azizu), the Strong (al-jabbaru), the Most High! Far be the Glory of God from that which they unite with Him! S. 59:22-23 Rodwell

Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous (al-akramu), S. 96:3 Arberry

This means that Muslims have taken some of the names and qualities of their deity and attributed them to their prophet! 

Amazingly, there are Muslim scholars that have acknowledged and unashamedly admitted that both the Quran and the Islamic traditions do in fact ascribe many of the unique names of Allah to Muhammad:

One of the men of knowledge, Al-Husayn ibn al-Fadl, said, “He honored him with two of His own names: the compassionate and the merciful (rauf, rahim).” The same point is made in another ayat: “Allah was kind to the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves.” (3:164) …

Jafar ibn Muhammad [as-Sadiq] said, “Allah knew that His creatures would not be capable of pure obedience to Him, so He told them this in order that they would realize that they would never be able to achieve absolute purity in serving Him. Between Himself and them He placed one of their own species, CLOTHING HIM IN HIS OWN ATTRIBUTES OF COMPASSION AND MERCY. He brought him out as a truthful ambassador to creation and made it such that when someone obeys him, they are obeying Allah, and when someone agrees with him, they are agreeing with Allah.” Allah says: “Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah.” (4:80)

As-Samarqandi explains that the words a mercy to all the worlds mean for both the jinn and mankind. It is also said that it means for all creation. He is a mercy to the believers by guiding them, a mercy to the hypocrites by granting them security from being killed, and a mercy to the unbelievers by deferring their punishment. Ibn Abbas said, “He is a mercy to the believers and also to the unbelievers since they are safe from what befell the other communities who cried lies.”

It is related that the Prophet said to Jibril, “Has any of this mercy touched you?” He replied, “Yes, I used to have fear about what would happen to me, but now I feel safe because of the way Allah praised me when He said, ‘Possessing power, secure with the Lord of the Throne, obeyed, then trusty.’” (81:21)

Allah says, “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the likeness of His light is like a niche wherein is a lamp, the lamp in a glass, the glass as if it were a glittering star kindled from a blessed tree, an olive that is neither of the east nor the west whose oil would nearly shine, even if no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guides to His Light whomever He wills. Allah makes examples for people and Allah has knowledge of everything.” (24:35)

Kab al-Ahbar and Ibn Jubayr said, “By the second light He means Muhammad. Allah says, ‘the likeness of his light…meaning the light of Muhammad.”

Sahl ibn Abdullah at-Tustari said that it means that Allah is the guide of the people of the heavens and the earth. Then Sahl said, “… like the light of Muhammad when it is lodged in the loins like a niche. By the lamp He means his heart. The glass is his breast. It is as if it were a glittering star because of belief and wisdom it contains, kindled from a blessed tree, i.e. from the light of Ibrahim. He makes a comparison with the blessed tree and He says, ‘Its oil would nearly shine,’ i.e. Muhammad's prophecy is almost evident to the people before he speaks, just like this oil.”

A lot more is said about this ayat, and Allah knows best what it means.

Elsewhere in the Qur'an, Allah calls his Prophet a light and a light-giving lamp. He says, “A light and a Clear Book have come to you from Allah.” (5:15) Allah also says, “We sent you as a witness, a bringer of good news and a warner, one who calls to Allah with His permission and a light-giving lamp.” (Qadi Iyad Ibn Musa al-Yahsubi, Kitab Ash-shifa bi ta'rif huquq al-Mustafa (Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One), translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K., third reprint 1991, paperback], Part One. Allah’s great estimation of the worth of his Prophet expressed in both word and action, Chapter One. Allah’s praise of him and his great esteem for him, Section 1. Concerning praise of him and his numerous excellent qualities, pp. 4-6; underline emphasis ours)


Section 14. On Allah honouring the Prophet WITH SOME OF HIS OWN BEAUTIFUL NAMES and describing him with some of His own Sublime Qualities

Know that Allah has bestowed a mark of honour on many of the Prophets by investing them with some of His names – for instance, when He calls Ishaq and Isma’il ‘knowing’ (‘alim) and ‘forbearing’ (halim), Ibrahim ‘forbearing’, Nuh ‘thankful’ (shakur), ‘Isa and Yahya ‘devoted’ (barr), Musa ‘noble’ (karim) and ‘strong’ (qawwi), Yusuf ‘a knowing guardian’ (hafidh, ‘alim), Ayyub ‘patient’ (sabur) and Isma’il ‘truthful to the promise’ (sadiq al-wa’d). The Mighty Book has referred to them as such in various places where they are mentioned. 

Yet He has preferred our Prophet Muhammad since He has adorned him with a wealth of His names in His Mighty Book and on the tongues of His Prophets … 

One of His names is the Praiseworthy (al-Hamid). This means the One who is praised because He praises Himself and His slaves praise him. It also means the One who praises Himself and praises acts of obedience. The Prophet is called Muhammad and Ahmad. Muhammad means praised, and that is how his name occurs in the Zabur of David. Ahmad means the greatest of those who give praise and the most sublime of those who are praised. Hassan ibn Thabit indicated this when he said:

It is taken for him from His own name in order to exalt him.

The One with the Throne is praised (Mahmud) AND HE IS MUHAMMAD.

Two of Allah’s names are the Compassionate, the Merciful (ar-Ra’uf, ar-Rahim). They are similar in meaning. He calls him by them in His Book when He says, “Compassionate, merciful to the believers.” (9.128)

Among His names is the Clear Truth (al-Haqq al-Mubin). The Truth (al-Haqq) means that which exists and is indisputably real. Similarly the Clear (al-Mubin) is the One whose divinity is clear. Bana and Abana mean the same – to make clear to His slaves the matter of their deen and their return to Him. He calls the Prophet by this name in His Book, when He says, “Until the Truth comes to you and a clear Messenger” (15:89). He says, “Say: I am the Clear Warner” (4:170). He says, “They rejected the truth that came to them” (6:5).

It is said that this means Muhammad. It is said that it means the Qur’an…

Another of Allah’s names is the Light (an-Nur). It means Possessor of Light, i.e. its Creator or the Illuminator of the heavens and the earth with lights, and the One who illuminates the hearts of the believers with guidance. Allah calls the Prophet “light” when He says, “A light and a clear book has come to you from Allah.” (5:15) It is said that this refers to Muhammad. It is also said that it refers to the Qur’an. Allah also calls him “a luminous lamp.” (33:46) He called him that to make his position clear, to clarify his prophethood and to illumine the hearts of the believers and the gnostics by what he had brought. (Ibid., pp. 126-127; capital and underline emphasis ours)


One of His names is the Generous/Noble (al-Karim). It means the One with Much Good. It is said that it means the Overflower. It is said that it means the Forgiving. It is said that it means the High. In the hadith related about his names we find, “He is the most generous.” Allah calls the Prophet “noble” when He says, “It is the word of a noble messenger” (81:19). It is said that this refers to Muhammad and it is also said that this refers to Jibril. The Prophet said, “I am the noblest of the children of Adam.” All the meanings of the name can be validly applied to him. (Ibid., p. 128)


One of the names of Allah is the Strong (al-Qawi), the One with Strength, and the Firm. Allah describes him with that, saying, “Endued with power with the One with the Throne, secure” (81:20). It is said that this refers to Muhammad and it is also said that it means Jibril … One of His names is the Mighty (al-‘Aziz). It means the difficult of access, victor, or the one who has no like or the self-exalted. Allah says, “Might belongs to Allah and His Messenger” (63:8) i.e. by inapproachability and majestic value. (Ibid., pp. 129-131)

The reason why we say that this is amazing is because this directly violates the very core of Islamic monotheism, particularly the concept known as Tauhid al-Asma wa-Sifat. The following Muslim explains the meaning and application of this specific doctrine:

4. The third aspect of Tawhid as-Asma was-Sifat requires that man not be given the attributes of Allah. For example, in the New Testament, Paul takes the figure of Melchizedek, king of Salem, from the Torah (Genesis 14:18-20) and gives both him and Jesus the divine attribute of having no beginning or end:

“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever.”

“So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, ‘Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee’; as he says also in another place, ‘Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.’”

Most Shi’ite sects (with the exception of the Zaidites of Yemen) have given their “Imams” divine attributes of absolute infallibility, knowledge of the past, future and the unseen, the ability to change destiny and control over the atoms of the creation. In so doing they set up rivals who share God’s unique attributes, and who, in fact, become gods besides Allah.

5. Maintaining the unity of Allah’s names also means that Allah’s names in the definite form cannot be given to His creation unless preceded by the prefix ‘Abd meaning "slave of" or "servant of”. Many of the Divine names in their indefinite form like Ra’uf and Rahim are allowable names for men because Allah has used some of them in their indefinite forms to refer to the Prophet…

But ar-Ra’uf (the One Most Full of Pity) and ar-Rahim (the Most Merciful) can only be used to refer to men if they are preceded by ‘Abd as in ‘Abdur-Ra’uf or ‘Abdur-Rahim, since in the definite form they represent a level of perfection which only belongs to God. Similarly, names like ‘Abdur-Rasool (slave of the messenger), ‘Abdun-Nabi (slave of the Prophet), ‘Abdul-Husayn (slave of Husayn), etc., where people name themselves slaves to other than Allah are also forbidden. Based on this principle, the Prophet forbade Muslims from referring to those put under their charge as ‘abdi (my slave) or amati (my slave girl). (Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) [International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, 2nd Edition: 2005], Chapter One. The Categories of Tawhid, pp. 29-32; bold emphasis ours)

Not only has Islamic tradition taken the names of Allah in their definite forms and given them to Muhammad, it has even gone so far as to ascribe such divine attributes as eternality/uncreatedness/ever-living to him!

Take, for instance, the name given to Muhammad, namely “the First and the Last.” This is a title which speaks of God’s eternal existence, his uncreatedness, of his having no beginning and no end. This divine name basically points to the fact that God has been there from the very start of all things and will continue to be there when the consummation of all creation comes about. The reason why this can be said of God is because he is eternal, having neither beginning nor end to his existence, and is ever-living.

This understanding is evident from the way Yahweh himself uses this name in the Holy Bible:

“Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD—with the first of them and with the lastI am he.” Isaiah 41:4 NIV 2010– cf. 44:6; 48:12; Revelation 1:17-18; 2:8; 21:6-7; 22:12-13, 20

Yahweh has been there from the beginning, even with the very first of the generations, and shall be there with the very last of them, since his existence is from everlasting to everlasting:

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:1-2 NIV 2010

In light of this, the only way Muhammad could ever be called the first and the last is if he is a being that has always existed and will continue to exist forever. However, we know such is not the case since, as we saw earlier, the Quran goes out of its way to depict Muhammad as a mere fallible mortal who would die like any other creature, and who in fact did eventually die!   

The Muslims are thus guilty of deifying their prophet, of taking a finite creature and transforming him into an eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient being!

To top it off, Muslims even called Muhammad the Holy Spirit!

194. Ruh al-qudus: The Spirit of Holiness.

The problem with calling Muhammad by this name is that the Quran knows of only one ruh al-qudus, and he is the one who came down from Allah to assist Jesus and inspire Muhammad!

And verily WE gave Moses the Book and caused Messengers to follow in his footsteps after him; and to Jesus, son of Mary, WE gave manifest Signs, and strengthened him with the Spirit of Holiness (roohi al-qudusi). Will you, then, every time a Messenger comes to you with what you yourselves desire not, behave arrogantly and treat some as liars and slay others? S. 2:87 Sher Ali – cf. 2:253; 5:110

And when WE bring one Sign in place of another - and ALLAH knows best the object of what HE reveals - they say, `Thou art but a fabricator,' Nay, but most of them know not. Say, `The Spirit of holiness (roohu al-qudusi) has brought it down from thy Lord with truth, that HE may strengthen in their faith those who believe and as a guidance and glad tidings for Muslims. S. 16:101-102 Sher Ali

Does this mean that Muhammad was not only the visible image of Allah but was also the human manifestation of the Holy Spirit as well?

It is apparent that Muslim piety took Muhammad and transformed him into a Christ-like figure. In fact, Muslims have taken virtually everything the Holy Bible says about the immortal Lord Jesus and applied it to their own prophet. Here is a brief list of similarities which brings out this point more clearly:

Everything was created and exists for Muhammad (cf. Matthew 11:27; 28:18; Mark 12:6-7; John 1:3, 10; 3:35; 13:3; 16:15; 17:10; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2).

Muhammad possesses the exclusive attributes and names of his god (cf. John 1:1; 5:43; 17:11-12; Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3).

Salvation is dependent upon loving, confessing, believing, and obeying Allah AND Muhammad (cf. Matthew 10:37-39; 17:5; Luke 24:44-49; John 1:12-13; 3:14-18; 4:39-42; 5:24; 14:1-6, 15, 20-24; 15:1-16; 17:3, 20-24; Acts 3:16, 26; 4:12; 5:31; 10:36-43; 13:38-39; 26:15-18; 1 John 4:9-10, 14).

Muhammad will intercede for Muslims on the Day of Judgment, thereby saving them from hell (cf. John 1:29-34, 36; Romans 3:21-31; 5:1, 8-11; 8:1-3, 9-39; Philippians 3:8-11, 20-21; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 3:11-13; 4:13-18; 5:1-2, 9-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:51-10; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 2:9-18; 4:15-16; 6:19-20; 7:24-28; 9:23-28; 10:10-18, 19-22; 1 John 2:1-2).

At the last day Allah will actually permit Muhammad to sit at his right hand upon the divine throne (cf. Mark. 12:35-37; 14:61-62; Acts 2:29-36; 7:55-56; Ephesians 1:19-23; 5:5; Colossians 1:13-14; 2:10; 3:1; Revelation 3:21; 12:1-2, 5, 10; 22:1-3).

[The papers listed in section on The Deification of Muhammad provide the documentation substantiating all of the above points.]

This seems to also explain why some Muslims (particularly of the Sufi type) took the following statements:

Narrated Abu Qatada:

The Prophet said, "Whoever sees me (in a dream) then he indeed has seen the truth." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 125)

Abu Qatada reported Allah's Messenger as saying: He who saw me in dream in fact saw the truth (what is true). (Sahih Muslim, Book 029, Number 5637)

And interpreted them to mean that whoever sees their prophet actually sees Allah or God himself!

“One who sees me sees God.” (Badi‘ al-Zaman Furuzanfar, Ahadith-i mathnawi [Tehran, Iran 1334 AH/1955 AD], No. 163, p. 63 (from both Bukhari and Muslim).

The preceding quote was cited by Carl W. Ernst in his book, Ruzbihan Baqli: Mysticism and the Rhetoric of Sainthood in Persian Sufism (Routledge Sufi Series), Curzon Press, 1996, II. The Inner Structure of Sainthood, G. The Unveiling of Secrets as a Literary Text, p. 90.

Here is what this same author wrote elsewhere in respect to the four divisions of kufr or infidelity:

3. Muhammadan infidelity (kufr-i muhammadi). As Abu Sa’id said, “Whoever saw his (Muhammad’s beauty) at once became an infidel.” Those who experience the light of Muhammad (which is to Iblis’s light as the sun is to the moon) immediately prostrated themselves in adoration. Is there not a hadith in which Muhammad said, “He who seen me has seen God”? This is a sublime truth, but it is still infidelity and idolatry.   (Ernst, Words of Ecstasy in Sufism [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1980], p. 80; bold emphasis ours)

This form or version of the hadith even managed to find its way in the following anthology of quotes taken from the world’s various religious texts:

Whoever sees me [Muhammad] has seen God. Islam. Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim (Andrew Wilson & International Religious Foundation, World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts, [Paragon House, 1998], Part Three: Salvation and the Savior, Chapter 11: The Founder, p. 465)

If the above wasn’t disturbing and shocking enough notice what the following Muslim source says about Allah’s relationship to Muhammad:

“Do you know who that resplendent form of awareness is, Ya Rasul? Let Me explain. I, the one without anyone to call My own,11 am an entrusted treasure (amana). And since that resplendent awareness emerged within Me, it, too, is My entrusted treasure. THAT TREASURE IS YOU. I have fashioned you as that entrusted treasure and as the divine Messenger (Rasul) for all My creations. And I have placed all My secrets within the qalb of Adam, who is the most exalted of them all.

“Just as I am the Treasure given in trust that belongs to all My creations, you also are a treasure given in trust, belonging equally to all. Whoever comes to realize the form of the aforementioned six truths and takes on your form will see you. Whoever sees you will also see Me.”

Allah continues:

“Therefore go and explain these truths to My creations, make the light of their wisdom shine, and make them assume the resplendent form of My love. At the beginning, I placed you within them in the nature of wisdom, but now, when I send you again (at the end), I cannot send you as the entrusted treasure in its original,12 resplendent form, for that resplendence is far brighter than the resplendence of many millions of suns, and is so powerful that it would either draw into itself and absorb the rays of any other light, or it might surround and envelop all those rays.” (The Resonance of Allah: Resplendent Explanations Arising from the Nur, Allah’s Wisdom of Grace, by Sufi Shaikh Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen [The Fellowship Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2001], Chapter Ten. Bismillah, pp. 252-253; bold and capital emphasis ours)

11. When Allah was by Himself, meditating on Himself, the light of Muhammad came out of Him. Muhammad was destitute, for he also had no one to call his own. So Allah said to him, “You are Mine. You belong to Me. You are My treasure. You and I are both treasures given in trust to the children of Adam.”  

12. God said, “Ya Muhammad! I cannot send you in your original brilliance, as the unconcealed light of the secret (sirr). So I have placed you in a form that can be seen outwardly, a form that will conceal that brilliance. You are going to come in that form and show the people, bit by bit, everything that all the prophets who came before you have shown.” (Ibid., p. 252; bold emphasis ours)

It is obvious as to what is going on here. This gross misreading of the hadith is based on the fact that one of the divine names happens to be “the Truth” (al-haqq), a name which Muslims also ascribed to Muhammad. Hence, these Muslims erroneously assumed that when their prophet said that whoever saw him in a dream would actually be seeing the truth, they thought he meant a person would actually be seeing Allah!

What makes this all the more interesting is that this next source even parallels Muhammad’s statements regarding seeing him in truth with the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to show the close union and connection the righteous enjoy with God: 

35. It should also be noted that in the case of one version of this story (see al-Tabari, Jami‘ al-bayan, vol. 3, p. 22 and Wahidi, Asbab al-nuzul, pp. 58-59), the Prophet, after pronouncing the Qur’anic verse [Q. 2:256], then says, “God banish them! They are the first ones to disbelieve” (ab ‘adahuma Allah, hum awwal man kafara). This statement requires some explanation and needs to be understood in the context of the time. It can be said from the Islamic point of view that the actions of Abu’l-Husayn’s sons represent a grave error, because they were rejecting a prophet within his own lifetime, a prophet who they knew personally. The actions of Abu’l-Husayn’s sons represent a denial of the immediate presence of the truth, and this is very different than, for instance, someone choosing not to accept the message of Islam today; one who never had a chance to actually see the Prophet, who was the living embodiment of submission to God. Like the words of Christ, “He who has seen me has seen the truth [sic],” the Prophet said, “He who has seen me has seen his Lord,” thereby placing great responsibility on the shoulders of those who were privileged to encounter him. The strident words of the prophet about the sons of Abu ‘l-Husayn need to be understood in this context. (David Dakake, “The Myth of a Militant Islam,” in Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition: Essays by Western Muslim Scholars, edited by Joseph E. B. Lumbard [World Wisdom Inc., 2004], Part I. Religious Foundations, Notes, p. 32 – also see p. 15 for the context of this footnote; bold emphasis ours)


8. The Prophet Muhammad said: “Whoever has seen me, has seen the Truth” (Sahih Muslim, IV, 1225). And Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus also said: “He that has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Perfect submission to God as the Anointer transforms the self into the Anointed (Hristos [sic]). (The Mosque: The Heart of Submission, by Rusmir Mahmutcehajic, foreword by William C. Chittick [Fordham University Press, 2006], Notes. Chapter 2: The Self that Speaks, pp. 83-84)

In light of these similarities it is hard to escape the conclusion that Muslims have turned Muhammad into the human manifestation of their god in order to supplant Christ and/or to make their prophet more comparable to the risen Lord of glory. In other words, by granting Muhammad the status and glory, which the Holy Bible ascribes to God’s beloved Son, Muslims could compete with what Christians were saying about their sovereign Lord and eternal King. Yet in so doing they ended up deifying a creature and making him equal to their god. 

Thankfully, not all Muslims are blind to the deification of Muhammad. Certain Muslims, specifically those who follow the Quran alone, have seen and spoken out against this blatant idolatry. 

In fact, the Sufi shaykh whom we have been quoting even posted an email from one such Muslim in the very same article which lists all the various names of Muhammad:

--- Forwarded message follows ---
From: fhaddad@
Subject: Re: [3] Names of the Prophet
In article .. Edip Yuksel -------> writes:

Attributing God's exclusive attributes, such as al-Awwal-The First, Al-Akhir-The Last to prophet Muhammad is the zenith of idol worship. Those who claim only 99 attributes for God, but fabricate hundreds of attributes for a human being are indeed idol worshipers.

You will be rejected by Muhammad in the day of judgment.

Edip Yuksel

al-Hamdu lillah: coming from that source, such a pronouncement is a confirmation and a sign of support.

What business does any Muslim have with the attacks of one whom his own father -- Sadreddin Yuksel, a respected kurdish scholar from the city of Siirt, Turkey -- declared a kafir? This in itself is a sufficient sign who and what this person is, as the Prophet declared that one rejected by his (Muslim) parents will not enter Paradise.

Blessings and Peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

GF Haddad ©
[16 Dec 1996]

Haddad’s reply fails to address anything that Edip Yuksel said, and is simply a blatant attack on Yuksel’s person, which is nothing more than a logical fallacy (i.e., argumentum ad hominem).

The fact is Yuksel is right. Ascribing the exclusive names and attributes of God to a finite creature is the very zenith of idol worship. Therefore, the Muslim who subscribe to this belief are outright idolators since they have taken their own prophet and turned him into the alter ego and the visible image of their god.

What makes this so sad is that there are actually Muslims like al-Suyuti and Haddad who would not only deny that such is the case, but would actually rejoice in such creature worship and try to justify it anyway they can!

May our risen Lord Jesus protect us from such blatant sins and may he be pleased to grant Muslims the grace to escape such blasphemous and damnable idolatry.