Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Muslim Christ Trumps the Prophet of Islam Again!

Examining Muhammad’s and Jesus’ Roles as Intercessors Pt. 2

Sam Shamoun

We now resume with our discussion.

Trusting in and Turning to Jesus Christ – God’s Perfect Word

Muslim theologians are clear that no true follower of Muhammad can seek help with or refuge in a creature. Renowned Muslim authority Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, who wrote a commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, stated that:

“… There is no seeking refuge in creation! Allah says ask help from Allah, and the Prophet said, ‘If you want to ask, ask from Allah.’” (Fathul Bari, Kitab at-Tawhid, Ch. 13)

Another Muslim wrote:

“Isn’t it well known that it is not allowed by the command of the Prophet to seek refuge in creation from the evil of the creation? Have you ever heard any scholar allowing [someone] to say in du‘a: ‘I seek refuge in the Kabah from the evil of the creation of Allah or I seek refuge in Safa and Marwa or Arafat or Mina from the evil of the creation of Allah?’ No one said this and it is not allowed for Muslim who knows the deen of Allah to seek refuge in creation from the evil of the creation.” (Ibn Khuzaimah, Kitab at-Tawhid, 1/401; *)

However, these same scholars taught that it is permissible for Muslims to seek refuge with Allah by appealing to his perfect words. They based this on the fact that there are narrations where Muhammad himself sought Allah’s help by making appeal to the words of his god:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As:
The Apostle of Allah used to teach them the following words in the case of alarm: I seek refuge in Allah's perfect words from His anger, the evil of His servants, the evil suggestions of the devils and their presence. Abdullah ibn Amr used to teach them to those of his children who had reached puberty, and he wrote them down (on some material) and hung on the child who had not reached puberty. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 28, Number 3884; *)

Narrated AbuSalih Zakwan as-Samman:

A man from Aslam tribe said: I was sitting with the Apostle of Allah. A man from among his Companions came and said: Apostle of Allah! I have been stung last night, and I could not sleep till morning. He asked: What was that? He replied: A scorpion.

He said: Oh, had you said in the evening: "I take refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of what He created," nothing would have harmed you, Allah willing. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 28, Number 3889; *)

Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:
The Apostle of Allah used to say when he lay down: O Allah, I seek refuge in Thy noble Person and in Thy perfect Words from the evil of what Thou seizest by its forelock; O Allah! Thou removest debt and sin; O Allah! thy troop's not routed, Thy promise is not broken and the riches of the rich do not avail against Thee. Glory and praise be unto Thee! (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 5034; *)

Yahya related to me from Malik that Yahya ibn Sa’id said that he had heard that Khalid ibn al-Walid said to the Messenger of Allah, “I have nightmares.” The Messenger of Allah said to him, “Say, ‘I seek refuge with the complete words of Allah from His anger and His punishment and the evil of His slaves, and from the evil suggestions of the shayatin and from their being present (at death).’”

Audhu bi kalimati' llahi't-tammati min ghadabihi wa iqabihi wa sharri ibadihi wa min hamazati' sh-shayatin wa an yahdurun. (Malik’s Muwatta, Book 51, Number 51.4.9; *)

Muslim scholars have viewed these traditions as providing evidence that Allah’s words are not a part of creation since Muhammad would not have sought refuge in them if they were. As Ibn Abdul Barr wrote concerning the hadith from Malik:

This hadith is evidence that the Kalam (Word) of Allah is not [part of] creation because there is no help from creation. (At-Tamheed)

Thus, the Muslim reasoning goes something like this:

  1. It is forbidden to seek refuge or help from creation when invoking Allah.
  2. Muhammad sought refuge in the words of Allah.
  3. This confirms that Allah’s words are not created.(1)

Now if Muslims were to apply this logic consistently they would be forced to come to the same conclusion concerning Christ. After all, the Quran in several places calls Jesus the Word of/from Allah and a Spirit which proceeds from him:

And the angels called to him, standing in the Sanctuary at worship, ‘Lo, God gives thee good tidings of John, who shall confirm a Word of God (bi-kalimatin mina Allahi), a chief, and chaste, a Prophet, righteous.’ … When the angels said, 'Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary (bi-kalimatin minhu ismuhu al-maseehu ‘Isa ibnu maryama); high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God. S. 3:39, 45 Arberry

O ye who have received the scriptures, exceed not the just bounds in your religion, neither say of God [any other] than the truth. Verily Christ Jesus the son of Mary [is] the apostle of God, and his word (kalimatuhu), which he conveyed into Mary, and a spirit [proceeding] from him. Believe therefore in God, and his apostles, and say not, [there are] three [Gods]; forbear [this]; it will be better for you. God is but one God. Far be it from him that he should have a son! Unto him [belongeth] whatsoever [is] in heaven and on earth; and God is a sufficient protector. S. 4:171 Sale

Certain hadiths also identify Jesus as the Word and Spirit of Allah:

7002 … They will go to Musa and he will say, 'I am not worthy of this task,' and he will mention his error which he committed when he killed a person. 'Rather go to 'Isa, the slave of Allah and His Messenger, the Spirit of Allah and His Word. (Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, 100. Book of Tawhid (the belief that Allah is One in His Essence, Attributes and Actions); *)


“… They would come to Moses, but he would say: I am not in a position to do that; you better go to Jesus, the Word of Allah and His Spirit …” (Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 380; *)

This implies that Jesus is uncreated as well, which means that his intercession can be sought after.

In fact, as some Muslim expositors have explained, Allah will exalt and honor Christ in the hereafter by making him an intercessor:

Mention, when the angels, namely, Gabriel, said, ‘O Mary, God gives you good tidings of a Word from Him, that is, a boy, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, He addresses her attributing him to her in order to point out that she will give birth to him without a father, for, the custom is to attribute the child to its father, honoured shall he be in this world, through prophethood, and the Hereafter, through [his] intercession and the high stations [al-darajāt al-‘ulā, cf. Q. 20:75], and of those brought close, to God. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Q. 3:55; bold emphasis ours)

Jesus is also said to be pure or holy:

He said: "Nay, I am only an apostle from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son." Q. 19:19 Y. Ali

If thou fearest God ... He said, 'I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a boy most pure. Arberry

This is never said of Muhammad who was repeatedly told to seek forgiveness for his sins (cf. Q. 4:105-107; 9:43; 40:55; 47:19; 48:1-2; 80:1-10; 110:3).

Hence, whereas Muhammad’s claim to intercession contradicts the express statements of the Quran and specific hadiths, the Islamic teaching concerning Jesus’ intercessory role makes absolute sense in light of the logic employed by the Muslim theologians:

  1. Muslims are forbidden from seeking refuge with any creature.
  2. Muhammad appealed to Allah’s words in his invocations for protection and salvation.
  3. This was perfectly acceptable because the words of Allah are not part of creation.
  4. The Quran and ahadith call Jesus the Word of Allah and his Spirit which came forth from him.
  5. This means that Jesus must be uncreated as well.
  6. Since Jesus is not a creature, believers can therefore seek out his intercession and appeal to him when invoking Allah.

However, such a teaching does contradict the assertion of the Islamic scripture that Christ was no more than a servant of Allah:

Jesus is no more than a servant whom we favoured, and proposed as an instance of divine power to the children of Israel. S. 43:59 Sale

The fact is that the Islamic corpus itself confirms that Jesus was much more than a mere slave. The Islamic sources testify to the following:

Jesus was conceived supernaturally to Mary who gave birth to him while still a virgin.

Jesus’ mother is the greatest woman that Allah created, being the only woman mentioned explicitly by name in the Quran, having an entire chapter named in her honor.

Jesus is the Messiah/Christ, a title which points to Jesus being a King who possesses an eternal, indestructible kingdom (cf. Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 2:44-45; 7:13-14; Matthew 25:31-43; Mark 14:61b-62; Luke 1:30-33; 23:2-3; John 18:33-37; 19:12; Ephesians 1:20-23; 5:5; Colossians 1:13-18; 2:9-10; 3:1; 1 Peter 3:18; 2 Peter 1:11; Revelation 1:5; 11:15; 12:1-5, 10; 17:14; 19:16; 20:4-6; 22:1-3).

Jesus is the Word and Spirit of Allah who was sent to Mary. These titles not only imply that Christ preexisted his human birth, they affirm that he is an eternal Being as well.

Jesus performed mighty miracles and possessed the life-giving Spirit by which he could breathe into clay birds and make them come alive, as well as raising the dead.

Jesus was taken physically, bodily into the presence of Allah.

Jesus shall return to the earth to rule as righteous judge, ushering in universal peace.

These facts make it abundantly clear that Jesus was a whole lot more than a human servant.

As it stands, the Islamic corpus is contradicting itself concerning the Person and work of Christ.

Concluding Remarks

It has (once again) become apparent from our examination that the Islamic Christ is vastly superior to all creation, and far greater than Muhammad ever was. The Islamic sources portray Muhammad as an imperfect, inconsistent, finite human being who often contradicted himself and who committed some heinous sins. Jesus, however, is depicted as being absolutely sinless and transcendent above the rest of the prophets and messengers.

Before concluding, we want to make sure to repeat the assertion that we made in the conclusion of the following article. We need to make it clear that we do not hold the view that the Quran or hadiths are revelations from God. Nor do we believe the Muslim Isa is the same as the historical Jesus revealed in God’s inspired Scriptures. Our position concerning Isa of the Quran is that he is a satanic counterfeit, one which was concocted to deceive people away from the real Jesus and the Gospel he proclaimed as recorded in God’s Word, the Holy Bible (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-15; Galatians 1:8-9).

However, we do believe that God is so sovereign that he is able to even use what Muhammad and his spirit taught concerning Jesus to lead Muslims to the truth concerning his glorious and beloved Son as revealed in the Holy Bible.

With that said, we want to end this by reiterating this fact: Even the Muslim Christ is far better than and vastly superior to the prophet of Islam.

Related Articles

Christianity and Islam Series No. 5: The Titles of Jesus in The Qur'an and the Bible
The Uniqueness of Jesus in the Qur'an and the Bible
Al-Masihu-Isa: The Glory of Jesus The Messiah
Nuzul-I-Isa: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
The Quran Agrees: Jesus is the most Exalted of all
The Quran Also Agrees: Jesus Is the Most High!
Mary in the Islamic Perspective: Additional Proof for Jesus’ Superiority over the Prophet of Islam
Jesus Christ: Islam’s Greatest Prophet and Messenger
Did God speak to Jesus directly according to the Quran? Responding to one Muslim Polemicist’s Denials
Jesus Superior Still According to the Quran! – Addressing the Muslim Attempt of Defending Muhammad
Revisiting Muhammad’s Supposed Superiority – Being a response to a Muslim Dawagandist
Jesus’ Superiority Revisited – Being a further response to a Muslim Dawagandist
Islam Testifies That Christ Is Better Than Muhammad Pt. 1
Islam Testifies That Christ Is Better Than Muhammad Pt. 2


(1) This same argument can be employed to introduce another contradiction, e.g. Muhammad turns out to be an eternal being. Muhammad apparently didn’t realize that by boasting that he would intercede at the last day, he was basically claiming to be uncreated and therefore divine!

Again, note the logic behind this:

  1. Allah forbids the intercession of any creature.
  2. Muhammad claims that Allah will permit him to intercede for Muslims.
  3. Muhammad is therefore not a creature.

However, this contradicts the Quran’s repeated assertion that Muhammad was an imperfect mortal, no more no less:

Or thou have a house of gold; or thou ascend up into heaven, and even then we will put no faith in thine ascension till thou bring down for us a book that we can read. Say (O Muhammad): My Lord be Glorified! Am I aught save a mortal messenger? S. 17:93 Pickthall

Say (O Muhammad): “I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” S. 18:110 Hilali-Khan

Say (unto them O Muhammad): I am only a mortal like you. It is inspired in me that your God is One God, therefore take the straight path unto Him and seek forgiveness of Him. And woe unto the idolaters, S. 41:6 Pickthall

And Muhammad is no more than an apostle; the apostles have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least and Allah will reward the grateful. S. 3:144 Shakir

And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad), then if you die, would they live forever? S. 21:34 Hilali-Khan

Verily, you (O Muhammad) will die and verily, they (too) will die. Then, on the Day of Resurrection, you will be disputing before your Lord. S. 39:30-31 Hilali-Khan