Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

How many lords do Muslims really have?

More examples of the Quran violating Islamic Tauhid

Sam Shamoun

According to the Quran, all Muslims (in fact, all creatures) are the slaves of Allah, a point that it repeatedly makes:

Say (O Muhammad) to 'Ibadi (My slaves) who have believed, that they should perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and spend in charity out of the sustenance We have given them, secretly and openly, before the coming of a Day on which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending. S. 14:31 Hilali-Khan

Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan doth sow dissensions among them: For Satan is to man an avowed enemy. S. 17:53 Y. Ali

Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses): My servants the righteous, shall inherit the earth. S. 21:105 Y. Ali

They worked for him what he desired, (making) high rooms, images, basins as large as reservoirs, and (cooking) cauldrons fixed (in their places). "Work you, O family of Dawud (David), with thanks!" But few of My slaves are grateful. S. 34:13 Hilali-Khan

They shall have coverings of Fire, above them and covering (of Fire) beneath them; with this Allah does frighten His slaves: "O My slaves, therefore fear Me!" Those who avoid At-Taghut (false deities) by not worshipping them and turn to Allah in repentance, for them are glad tidings; so announce the good news to My slaves,” S. 39:16-17 Hilali-Khan

'O My servants, today no fear is on you, neither do you sorrow' -- S. 43:68 Arberry

The Quran even says that this is the highest relation any one can have with Allah:

And they say: "The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a son (or offspring or children) [as the Jews say: 'Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, and the Christians say that He has begotten a son ['Iesa (Christ)], and the pagan Arabs say that He has begotten daughters (angels, etc.)]." Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins, That they ascribe a son (or offspring or children) to the Most Beneficent (Allah). But it is not suitable for (the Majesty of) the Most Beneficent (Allah) that He should beget a son (or offspring or children). There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Beneficent (Allah) as a slave. S. 19:88-93 Hilali-Khan

And they say: "The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a son (or children)." Glory to Him! They [those whom they call children of Allah i.e. the angels, 'Iesa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), 'Uzair (Ezra), etc.], are but honoured slaves. S. 21:26 Hilali-Khan

The reason why believers are said to be Allah’s slaves is because he is their lord, in fact the only lord there is. In other words, to be a slave of Allah basically means that Allah is a person’s lord, just as the following texts indicate:

How many generations We have destroyed after Noah! Thy Lord suffices as one who is aware of and sees the sins of His servants. S. 17:17 Arberry

There is a party of My servants who said, "Our Lord, we believe; therefore forgive us, and have mercy on us, for Thou art the best of the merciful." S. 23:109 Arberry

If you are unthankful, God is independent of you, yet He approves not unthankfulness in His servants; but if you are thankful, He will approve it in you. And no soul laden bears the load of another. Then to your Lord shall you return, and He will tell you what you have been doing. He knows the thoughts within the breasts. S. 39:7 Arberry – cf. 17:30, 65; 41:46

The Quran also claims that Allah has not permitted a believer to take or call someone other than Allah his/her lord, nor has he allowed them to be the slaves of someone other Allah:

It is not (possible) for any human being unto whom Allah had given the Scripture and wisdom and the prophethood that he should afterwards have said unto mankind: Be slaves of me instead of Allah (‘ibadan lee min dooni Allah); but (what he said was): Be ye faithful servants of the Lord by virtue of your constant teaching of the Scripture and of your constant study thereof. And he commanded you not that ye should take the angels and the prophets for lords. Would he command you to disbelieve after ye had surrendered (to Allah)? S. 3:79-80 Pickthall

As such, if a person is a true believer then s/he cannot be someone else’s slave or own a slave since this would basically entail taking someone other than Allah as one’s lord.

In fact, this is precisely the very reason why Muhammad spoke out against calling a person his/her slave (abd) or lord (rabb):

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "You should not say, ‘Feed your lord (Rabbaka), help your lord in performing ablution, or give water to your lord’, but should say, ‘my master (e.g. Feed your master instead of lord etc.), (Saiyidi),’ or ‘my guardian (Maulai),’ and one should not say, 'my slave (Abdi),’ or ‘my girl-slave (Amati),’ but should say, 'my lad (Fatai), my lass (Fatati),’ and ‘my boy (Ghulami).’" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 728)

Narrated AbuHurayrah:
The Prophet said: None of you must say: "My slave" (abdi) and "My slave-woman" (amati), and a slave must not say: "My lord" (rabbi or rabbati). The master (of a slave) should say: "My young man" (fataya) and "My young woman" (fatati), and a slave should say "My master" (sayyidi) and "My mistress" (sayyidati), for you are all (Allah’s) slaves and the Lord is Allah, Most High. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 4957)

This also accounts for why Muslims are forbidden from adopting names which signify that they are slaves to someone other than Allah, e.g. a Muslim can never call himself “the slave of Muhammad,” “slave of the prophet/messenger,” etc.,

5. Maintaining the unity of Allaah’s names also means that Allaah’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’oof and Raheem are allowable names for men because Allaah has used some of them in their indefinite forms to refer to the Prophet …

"A messenger has come to you from among yourselves to whom anything which burdens you is grievous. He is full of concern for you and is full of pity (Ra’oof) and full of mercy (Raheem)."

But ar-Ra’oof (the One Most Full of Pity) and ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful) can only be used to refer to men if they are preceded by ‘Abd as in ‘Abdur-Ra’oof or ‘Abdur-Raheem, since the definite form they represent a level of perfection which only belongs to God. Similarly, names like ‘Abdur-Rasool (slave of the messenger), ‘Abdun-Nabee (slave of the Prophet), ‘Abdul-Husayn (slave of Husayn), etc., where people name themselves slaves to other than Allaah are also forbidden. Based on this principle, the Prophet forbade Muslims from referring to those put under their charge as ‘Abdee (my slave) or Amatee (my slave girl). (Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) [Islamic Book Service, New Delhi, India, Reprint Edition: 2004], 1. Chapter on the Categories of Tawheed, pp. 14-15: see pp. 31-32 of the following online version of Philip’s book)

Moreover, since Allah is the only true lord all his servants/slaves are required to serve him alone:

And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the neighbor of (your) kin and the alien neighbor, and the companion in a journey and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess; surely Allah does not love him who is proud, boastful; S. 4:36 Shakir

(Saying): Serve (ta‘buduu) none but Allah. Lo! I am unto you from Him a warner and a bringer of good tidings. S. 11:2 Pickthall

That ye serve (ta‘buduu) none, save Allah. Lo! I fear for you the retribution of a painful Day. S. 11:26 Pickthall

Thy Lord has decreed you shall not serve (ta‘buduu) any but Him, and to be good to parents, whether one or both of them attains old age with thee; say not to them 'Fie' neither chide them, but speak unto them words respectful, S. 17:23 Arberry

O My servants who believe! surely My earth is vast, therefore Me alone should you serve (fa'budun). S. 29:56 Shakir

Say: What! Do you then bid me serve (a‘budu) others than Allah, O ignorant men? … Nay! but serve (fa‘bud) Allah alone and be of the thankful. S. 39:64, 66 Shakir

And when Abraham said to his father and his people, 'Surely I am quit of that you serve (ta’budoona), except Him who originated me; and He will guide me.’ S. 43:26-27

And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me (liya‘budun). S. 51:56 Shakir

One of the acts of service that Muslims are required to give to Allah in recognition that he is their only lord and that they are his slaves is prostration:

And of His signs are the night and the day, the sun and the moon. Bow not yourselves (la tasjudoo) to the sun and moon, but bow yourselves (wa-osjudoo) to God who created them, if Him you serve (ta-abudoona). S. 41:37 Arberry

Rather prostrate yourselves (fa-osjudoo) before Allah and serve (wa-oabudoo). S. 53:62 Pickthall

This is where the problem begins for both the Quran and the Muslims.

Muhammad and his slaves

In light of the above data we would expect that Muhammad would surely have been the first to free his slaves, and all the slaves in the area which were ruled by him. But, on the contrary he kept slaves, and made slaves, and sold people into slavery, etc. In fact, Not only did Muhammad not abolish slavery, Islam incorporates so many laws for the system of slavery, that it is an integral part of sharia and jihad (1, 2, 3, 4).

But be that as it may, there is another element which flies in the face of what has been outlined above.

There are two passages in the Quran where Muhammad is commanded to address Muslims as his own slaves!

Say: O my servants who believe! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord; for those who do good in this world is good, and Allah's earth is spacious; only the patient will be paid back their reward in full without measure. Say: I am commanded that I should serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience. S. 39:10-11 Shakir

Say: "O 'Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." S. 39:53 Hilali-Khan

The word “say” clearly means that it is Muhammad who is speaking the words which follow immediately after. Thus, it is Muhammad who is saying, “O my slaves,” thereby identifying his followers as his very own slaves!

Therefore, since Muslims are the slaves of Muhammad this means that Allah is not the only lord that Muslims have… Muhammad is also their lord!

Please read the article “Another Stray Say: Are Muslims the Slaves of Muhammad?” for further discussion of these specific texts and their implications on the deity of Muhammad.

Adam – The Lord of the angels and jinn

The Quran even mentions that Allah commanded his angels and Satan to prostrate or bow down to Adam:

And when we said to the angels, "Bow down and worship (osjudoo) Adam," then worshipped they all] (fasajadoo), save Eblis. He refused and swelled with pride, and became one of the unbelievers. S. 2:34 Rodwell

Remember] when we said unto the angels, worship (osjudoo) ye Adam: And they [all] worshipped [him] (fasajadoo), except Eblis, [who] was [one] of the genii, and departed from the command of his Lord. Will ye therefore take him and his offspring for [your] patrons besides me, notwithstanding they are your enemies? Miserable [shall such] a change [be] to the ungodly! S. 18:50 Sale

However, as we saw above such bowing or prostration is an act which Muslims are required to render to Allah alone in recognition that he alone is their lord and that they are all his slaves. Therefore, by bowing to Adam the angels were basically acknowledging Adam as their lord!

Here is a quick summary of the problematic teachings of the Quran concerning Allah’s sole, unique sovereignty.

The Quran teaches that all Muslims are the slaves of Allah.

The reason why they are his slaves is because he is their one and only lord.

This implies that to become someone’s slave is to make that person one’s very own lord.

As such, Muslims cannot be the slaves of anyone else since they cannot have any other lord besides Allah.

Being Allah’s slaves means that Muslims are required and expected to serve or worship Allah alone.

Prostration or bowing down is an act which is to be rendered only to Allah in recognition of the fact that he alone is lord.

However, according to the Quran Muslims are also the slaves of Muhammad which makes him their lord!

This means that Muhammad is another lord besides Allah.

The Quran further says that Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam.

Since prostration is an act of service and worship that slaves/servants are supposed to render to their lord, in recognition that the person to whom such service is given is lord over them, this means that the angels were basically worshiping Adam as their lord, or as another lord besides Allah!

Finally, let us not forget that it was Allah who commanded Muhammad to address Muslims as “my slaves,” i.e. Muhammad’s slaves, and ordered the angels to bow down in worship to Adam.

This means that Allah did in fact command his servants to take the prophets as their lords, thereby contradicting Q. 3:80 which says that Allah would never do that!

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