Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Revealing Allah’s Partner in Receiving Pleasure

Sam Shamoun

Continuing from where we left off, the Quran even links Muhammad’s pleasure with the pleasure of Allah:

They swear to you by Allah in order to please you, while Allah AND his Apostle are most entitled that they should seek HIS pleasure (yurduhu). S. 9:62

The word yurduhu is singular and yet, as the context makes it clear, it is used in relation to a dual subject, namely Allah and Muhammad his apostle. In other words, if this is not simply yet another grammatical error, then the singular is presumably being employed in order to group Muhammad and his deity together in their pleasure, in what pleases them.

This is reflected in the way some of the English versions of the Quran translate this particular text:

“… while God AND His messenger IS more worthy to be pleased if they were those who acknowledge.” Quran: Reformist Translation (QRT)

Notice here the use of the singular verb is, as opposed to are.

“… the while it is God and His Apostle WHOSE pleasure they should seek above all else…” Muhammad Asad

“… But it is more just that they should please God and the Apostle…” N. J. Dawood

This means that Allah has taken Muhammad to be his partner in his pleasure, so that Allah’s pleasure becomes Muhammad’s pleasure and Muhammad’s pleasure becomes Allah’s!

To put this simply, the verse is essentially saying that whatever pleases Muhammad pleases his god and vice-versa.  

In fact, it is clear from other passages that Allah seems to have gone out of his way to make sure that his messenger was satisfied and happy.

For instance, in order to please him Allah made sure to make Muhammad rich:

Your Lord will give you and you will be pleased. Did he not find you an orphan and He sheltered you? He found you lost, and He guided you? He found you in need, so He gave you riches? S. 93:5-8 QRT

Here is how N. J. Dawood renders this text:

Did He not find you poor and enrich you? Dawood

Allah also changed the prayer direction just so that Muhammad would be happy:

We have seen thee [O Prophet] often turn thy face towards heaven [for guidance]: and now We shall indeed make thee turn in prayer in a direction which will fulfil thy desire. Turn, then, thy face towards the Inviolable House of Worship; and wherever you all may be, turn your faces towards it [in prayer]. S. 2:144 Asad

Here, again, is how Dawood translates it:

“Many a time have We seen you turn your face towards the sky. We will make you turn towards a kiblah that will please you…”

Allah even allowed Muhammad to have more wives than his own followers, and permitted him to have any woman that offered herself freely without having to pay a dowry. Muhammad was also given the freedom to visit whichever wife he so desired, and even postpone seeing any one of them if he so wished:

O prophet, We have made lawful for you the wives to whom you have already given their dowry, and the one who is committed to you by oath, as granted to you by God, and the daughters of your father's brothers, and the daughters of your father's sisters, and the daughters of your mother's brothers, and the daughters of your mother's sisters, of whom they have emigrated with you. Also, the acknowledging woman who had decreed herself to the prophet, the prophet may marry her if he wishes, as a privilege given only to you and not to those who acknowledge. We have already decreed their rights in regard to their spouses and those who are still dependants. This is to spare you any hardship. God is Forgiver, Compassionate. You may postpone whom you will of them, and you may receive whom you will. Whomsoever you seek of those whom you have set aside then there is no sin upon you. Such is best that they may be comforted and not grieve, and may all be pleased with what you give them. God knows what is in your hearts. God is Knowledgeable, Compassionate. S. 33:50-51 QRT

Thus, whereas Muhammad’s followers could only have up to four wives, if they could treat all of them fairly, and had to pay them their dowries, 

If you fear that you cannot treat orphans with fairness, then you may marry other women who seem good to you: two, three, or four of them. But if you fear that you cannot maintain equality among them, marry one only or any slave-girls you may own. This will make it easier for you to avoid injustice. Give women their dowry as a free gift; but if they choose to make over to you a part of it, you may regard it as lawfully yours. S. 4:3-4 Dawood

Muhammad, on the other hand, didn’t have to follow such rules and restrictions.

What makes this rather interesting, if not outright comical, is that Muhammad’s child bride started to take notice that the Islamic deity seemed to be going out of his way to make sure that Muhammad’s desires and wishes were being fulfilled:

Narrated Aisha: I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah’s Apostle and I used to say, “Can a lady give herself (to a man)?” But when Allah revealed: “You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily).” (33.51) I said (to the Prophet), “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your desire and wishes.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 311)

Can it get any clearer than this that Allah not only made Muhammad’s pleasure his top priority, but also made it his very own, which explains why he used the singular yurduhu to command his followers to make sure that they do whatever it takes to please both himself and his messenger?

Ironically, surah 9 is also the same chapter which exhorts Muslims to love Muhammad just as much as they love Allah, more so than anyone or anything else, and even concludes by ascribing some of the very names of the Islamic deity to him!

Say, "If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your spouses, your clan, and money which you have gathered, a trade in which you fear a decline, and homes which you enjoy; if these are dearer to you than God AND His messenger and striving in His cause, then wait until God brings His decision. God does not guide the wicked people." S. 9:24 QRT

A messenger has come to you from yourselves, concerned over your suffering, anxious over you, towards those who acknowledge he is kind, compassionate (raoof raheemun). S. 9:128

Here is how the late Muhammad Asad rendered this last verse:

INDEED, there has come unto you [O mankind] an Apostle from among yourselves: heavily weighs - upon him [the thought] that you might suffer [in the life to come]; full of concern for you [is he, and] full of compassion and mercy towards the believers.

The words raoof raheemun appear only five other times, and always in relation to the Islamic deity:

God has pardoned the prophet and the emigrants and the supporters that followed him in the darkest moment, even though the hearts of some of them nearly deviated, but then He pardoned them. He is towards them Kind, Compassionate. S. 9:117 QRT

All this is from God 's favor upon you and His mercy. God is Kind, Compassionate. S. 24:20 QRT – cf. Q. 16:7, 47; 59:10

Interestingly, there are certain Muslim sources which candidly admit that the text of Q. 9:128 explicitly testifies that Allah has given Muhammad some of his own divine characteristics:

“… the objectification of Muhammad reaches its peak in Surah 9, which is indubitably one of the latest Madinan surahs. It repeatedly refers to ‘Allah and His Messenger’ (9.1, 3, 7, 16, 24, 29 etc.) and the penultimate ayah (9.128) describes the Messenger as ‘all-pitying all-merciful’, qualities which are elsewhere ascribed to Allah.” (Neal Robinson, Discovering the Qur’an: A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text, 2nd edition, [Georgetown University Press, Washington, D.C. 2003], p. 244)


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) (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; capital, bold and 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

… 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) (Ibid., Chapter Three. On The Sound And Well-Known Traditions Related About The Immense Value Placed On Him By His Lord, His Exalted Position And His Nobility In This World And The Next, pp. 126-127; capital and bold emphasis ours)

Thus, not only is Muhammad’s pleasure bound up with Allah’s pleasure, he is also united with his god in the love which Muslims are to render to their deity, and even shares in some of the divine qualities which the Quran only ascribes to the Muslim god himself!

So much for the argument that Islam is a strict monotheistic religion that rejects all forms of idolatry and creature worship. The evidence from the Islamic sources clearly refutes such a notion since it is rather evident that Islam has transformed Muhammad into another god besides Allah.

The fact is that Islam depicts Muhammad as sharing in some of the qualities, functions, glory, honor and worship that belong exclusively to the Muslim deity. As such, Islam is the very thing it condemns and (in some cases) falsely accuses other religions of, namely, associating a creature with the Creator.

In essence, Islam commits the one transgression which it plainly says will never be forgiven, that being the sin of association, called shirk in Arabic:

God does not forgive to have partners set up with Him, but He forgives other than that for whom He pleases. Whoever sets up partners with God has indeed strayed a far straying. S. 4:116 – cf. Q. 4:48; 2:22; 6:84-88; 39:65

It is time for Muslims to accept reality and admit to the fact that Islam is the religion of complete submission to and the worship of Allah and his associate Muhammad.

Related Articles

To the Believers Is He Most Kind and Merciful: A Case Study in Shirk
Surah 9:128 and Bassam's "Giant" Problem