Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Muslims at the service of Allah and Muhammad his associate

Sam Shamoun

According to the Islamic sources the pagans of Mecca would observe rites in connection with the Kabah (hajj, umra) which Muslims claimed were originally instituted by Abraham and Ishmael. One of these pagan practices included crying out to Allah, acknowledging both his sovereignty and their service to him:

They say that the beginning of stone worship among the sons of Ishmael was when Mecca became too small for them and they wanted more room in the country. Everyone who left the town took with him a stone from the sacred area to do honour to it. Whenever they settled they set it up and walked round it as they went round the Ka‘ba. This led them to worship what stones they pleased and those which made an impression on them. Thus as generations passed they forgot their primitive faith and adopted another religion for that of Abraham and Ishmael. They worshiped idols and adopted the same errors as the peoples before them. Yet they retained and held fast practices going back to the time of Abraham, such as honouring the temple and going round it, the great and little pilgrimage, and the standing on ‘Arafa and Muzdalifa, sacrificing the victims, and the pilgrim cry at the great and little pilgrimage, while introducing elements which had no place in the religion of Abraham. Thus, Kinana and Quraysh used the pilgrim cry: ‘At Thy service, O God [Allahumma], at Thy service!’ At Thy service, Thou without an associate but the associate that Thou hast. Thou ownest him and what he owns.’ They used to acknowledge his unity in their cry and then include their idols with God, putting the ownership of them in His hand. God said to Muhammad: ‘Most of them do not believe in God without associating others with Him,’ i.e. they do not acknowledge My oneness with knowledge of My reality, but they associate with Me one of My creatures. (The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth impression 1995], pp. 35-36; bold and underline emphasis ours)

The Meccans would also cry out to some of the other gods that they worshiped such as Manat:

[Azr. i. 73. ‘Amr b. Lu’ayy set up Manat on the sea-shore near Qudayd. Azd and Ghassan went on pilgrimage to it and revered it. When they had made the compass of the Ka‘ba and hastened from ‘Arafat and completed the rites at Mina they did not shave their hair until they got to Manat, to whom they would cry Labbayki. ... (Ibid., p. 39; bold emphasis ours)

Amazingly, Muhammad took all of these pagan rituals and repackaged them under the guise of Abrahamic monotheism. He even included the pagan chanting of Labbayka!

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: The Talbiya of Allah's Apostle was: ‘Labbaika Allahumma labbaik, Labbaika la sharika Laka labbaik, Inna-l-hamda wan-ni'mata Laka walmulk, La sharika Laka’ (I respond to Your call O Allah, I respond to Your call, and I am obedient to Your orders, You have no partner, I respond to Your call All the praises and blessings are for You, All the sovereignty is for You, And You have no partners with you. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 26, Number 621)

The assertion that these practices were initially started by Abraham and Ishmael proved expedient since Muhammad could then use it to justify including rituals which the pagans were observing into his own religion.

However, Muhammad did not manage to completely eliminate the paganism of his respective tribe. Instead, he ended up replacing the polytheism of the Meccans with a new, albeit more subtle, form of idolatry, one which directly involved him!

For instance, even though Muhammad and his followers chanted that Allah has no associates, the reality is that he replaced the partners which the pagans ascribed to Allah with himself. Muhammad basically turned himself into Allah’s partner in all matters pertaining to faith, politics, economics etc.

Muhammad in the Quran repeatedly told Muslims that Allah expected them to accept whatever he and Allah commanded and decided on. Muhammad demanded that his followers obey him even as they obey Allah:

And obey Allah AND the Messenger (Muhammad) (Allaha WA al-rasoola) that you may obtain mercy. S. 3:132 Hilali-Khan

O you who believe! Obey Allah AND obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah AND His Messenger (Allaha WA al-rasoola), if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. S. 4:59

Those are God's bounds. Whoso obeys God AND His Messenger (Allaha WA rasoolahu), He will admit him to gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein dwelling forever; that is the mighty triumph. But whoso disobeys God, AND His Messenger (Allaha WA rasoolahu), and transgresses His bounds, him He will admit to a Fire, therein dwelling forever, and for him there awaits a humbling chastisement. S. 4:13-14 Arberry

Amazingly, one particular text mentions obedience to Muhammad without any reference to obeying Allah!

And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat and obey the Messenger (Muhammad) that you may receive mercy (from Allah). S. 24:56 Hilali-Khan

It is clear from this text that Muhammad thought that obeying him was tantamount to obeying Allah, which is precisely what this next passage states:

He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad), has indeed obeyed Allah, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad) as a watcher over them. S. 4:80

Muhammad even threatened them with Allah’s wrath and displeasure if they failed to perfectly obey all of Muhammad’s orders:

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah AND His Messenger (Allaha WA rasoolahu) have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah AND His Messenger (Allaha Wa rasoolahu), he has indeed strayed in a plain error. S. 33:36

And they say: We believe in Allah AND the messenger, and we obey; then after that a faction of them turn away. Such are not believers. And when they appeal unto Allah AND His messenger (Allahi WA rasoolihi) to judge between them, lo! a faction of them are averse; But if right had been with them they would have come unto him willingly. Is there in their hearts a disease, or have they doubts, or fear they lest Allah AND His messenger should wrong them in judgment? Nay, but such are evil-doers. The saying of (all true) believers when they appeal unto Allah AND His messenger (Allahi WA rasoolihi) to judge between them is only that they say: We hear and we obey. And such are the successful. He who obeyeth Allah AND His messenger (Allaha WA rasoolahu), and feareth Allah, and keepeth duty (unto Him): such indeed are the victorious. They swear by Allah solemnly that, if thou order them, they will go forth. Say: Swear not; known obedience (is better). Lo! Allah is Informed of what ye do. Say: Obey Allah AND obey the messenger. But if ye turn away, then (it is) for him (to do) only that wherewith he hath been charged, and for you (to do) only that wherewith ye have been charged. If ye obey him, ye will go aright. But the messenger hath no other charge than to convey (the message) plainly. S. 24:47-54

They ONLY are the true believers who believe in Allah AND His messenger (Allahi WA rasoolihi) and, when they are with HIM on some common errand, go not away until they have asked leave of HIM. Lo! those who ask leave of THEE, those are they who believe in Allah AND His messenger (Allahi WA rasoolihi). So, if they ask THY leave for some affair of theirs, give leave to whom THOU WILT of them, and ask for them forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Make not the calling of the messenger among you as your calling one of another. Allah knoweth those of you who steal away, hiding themselves. And let those who conspire to evade orders beware lest grief or painful punishment befall them. S. 24:62-63

Muhammad went so far as to warn his followers not to annoy him since Allah would curse anyone who does so:

Verily, those who annoy Allah AND His Messenger (Allaha WA rasoolahu) Allah has cursed them in this world, and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating torment. S. 33:57

If this weren’t bad enough Muhammad had the audacity to claim that a believer must fully submit to his decisions with total submission:

But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge IN ALL DISPUTES between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. S. 4:65

What this means is that Islam is actually the religion of submitting to both Allah AND Muhammad!

It gets worse. Muhammad had the audacity to make the worship of Allah take a back seat to obeying him, and even used the Quran to justify it!

CXLII: "O you who believe! Respond to Allah, AND to the Messenger, when He calls you to what will bring you to life! Know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that you will be gathered to Him." (8:24)

4370. It is related that Sa'id b. al-Mu'alla said, "I was praying and the Messenger of Allah passed by called me, but I did not answer until I had finished praying. Then I went to him and he said, 'What kept you from coming to me? Does not Allah say, "Respond to Allah, AND to the Messenger, when He calls you to what will bring you to life!" (8:24)?' Then he said to me, 'I will teach you a sura which is the greatest of the suras in the Qur'an before you leave.' The Prophet was about to leave, so I reminded him."

This is related from Abu Sa'id, a man of the Companions of the Prophet. He said "It is: 'Praise be to Allah, the Lords worlds,' the Seven Oft-Repeated ones." (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 68. Book of Tafsir; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Muhammad actually expected this person to stop his prayers in order to heed his call!

The above episode shows that Muhammad used Allah to get people to submit to his whims and desires. In fact, this incident proves that when you really come right down to it Islam is actually a religion which places Muhammad ahead of Allah, and that Allah was simply there to make sure people did what Muhammad wanted.

With that said it is evident from all of these texts that Muhammad made himself out to be Allah’s associate, his partner, in such vitally important matters as salvation.

This fact becomes all the more evident when we note that in some of the above passages Muhammad used the Arabic conjunction wa (“and”) to link obedience to both Allah and himself. According to Muslim scholars this conjunction is used to affirm partnership and coequality:

Qatada said, “Allah exalted his fame in this world and the Next. There is no speaker, witness nor anyone doing the prayer who fails to say, ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.’”

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri related that the Prophet said, “Jibril came to me and said, ‘My Lord and your Lord says, “Do you know how I have exalted your fame?”’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘“When I am mentioned you are mentioned with Me.”’”

Ibn ‘Ata quoted a hadith qudsi saying, “I completed belief with your being mentioned with Me.” And another one which says, “I have made your mention part of My mention so whoever mentions Me, mentions you.”

Ja'far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq, “No one mentions you as the Messenger but that he mentions Me as the Lord.”

The fact that mention of the Prophet is directly connected to mention of Allah also shows that obedience to the Prophet is connected to obedience to Allah and his name to Allah's name. Allah says, “Obey Allah and His Messenger” (2:32) and “Believe in Allah and His Messenger.” (4:136) Allah joins them together using the conjunction wa WHICH IS THE CONJUNCTION OF PARTNERSHIP. IT IS NOT PERMITTED TO USE THIS CONJUNCTION IN CONNECTION WITH ALLAH IN THE CASE OF ANYONE EXCEPT THE PROPHET.

Hudhayfa said that the Prophet said, “None of you should say, ‘What Allah wills and (wa) so-and-so wills.’ Rather say, ‘What Allah wills.’ Then stop and say, ‘So-and-so wills.’”

Al-Khattabi said, "The Prophet has guided you to correct behaviour in putting the will of Allah before the will of others. He chose ‘then’ (thumma) which implies sequence and deference as opposed to ‘and’ (wa) WHICH IMPLIES PARTNERSHIP.”

Something similar is mentioned in another hadith. Someone was speaking in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, “Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has been rightly guided, and whoever rebels against them both (joining them together by using the dual form)...” The Prophet said to him, “What a bad speaker you are! Get up! [Or he said: Get out!]”

Abu Sulayman said, “He disliked the two names being joined together in that way BECAUSE IT IMPLIES EQUALITY.” ... (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. 7-8; capital emphasis ours)

The Muslims went so far as to say that Allah actually made Muhammad one of the two pillars of Islamic monotheism and that Allah even wrote the Islamic confession of faith on the door of Paradise!

“... He coupled his name with His own name, and his pleasure with His pleasure. He made him one of the two pillars of tawhid.” (Ibid., p. 27; bold emphasis ours)

Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Written on the door of the Garden is: I am Allah. There is no god but Me. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. I will not punish anyone who says that.” (Ibid., p. 90)

Thus, Muhammad made himself Allah’s associate and partner, and in so doing Muhammad has taken the place of the idols worshiped by the pagans.

Muhammad, therefore, ended up committing the unpardonable sin of shirk, i.e. the sin of associating partners with Allah. Moreover, by demanding that all Muslims must obey him in the same way that they obey Allah Muhammad has essentially turned them into mushrikin or idolators.

Basically, Muhammad’s insistence that his followers fully submit to him in the same way they submit to Allah, along with his use of the conjunction wa to make such a demand, is an expression violation of tauhid al-rububiyah or of Allah’s sole unique sovereignty.

Muslim scholars claim that this category of Islamic monotheism is violated whenever a person ascribes a partner or makes himself an associate with Allah in Allah’s unique, exclusive dominion or authority.

Shirk in Rububiyah

This category of shirk refers to either the belief that others share Allah’s Lordship over creation as His equal or near equal, or to the belief that there exists no Lord over creation at all. Most religious systems fall into the first aspect of Shirk in Rububiyah while it is the philosophers and their man-made philosophies that tend to fill the second aspect...

Christian belief states that the one God reveals himself in three persons of Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit. These three persons are nevertheless regarded as a unity, sharing one ‘substance’. Prophet Jesus is elevated to divinity, sits on the right hand of God and judges the world. The Holy Spirit, who in the Hebrew Bible is the means by which God exercises His creative power, in Christian thought becomes a part of the Godhead. Paul made the Holy Spirit the alter ego of Christ, the guide and help of Christians, first manifesting itself on the day of Pentecost. Consequently, Shirk in Rububiyah occurs in the Christian belief that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God’s partners in all of His dominion, in their belief that Jesus alone pronounces judgment on the world, and in their belief that Christians are helped and guided by the Holy Spirit. (Dr. Abu Ameenah Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) [International Islamic Publishing House, 2nd edition 2005], Chapter Two. The Categories of Shirk, Shirk in al-Asma’ was-Sifat, 1. Shirk by association, pp. 45, 46; underline emphasis ours)

Just in case a Muslim wants to deny that Muhammad’s demand to obeyed in the same way that Allah is turns him into another lord besides his own deity, and that this in turn violates tauhid al-rububiyah, notice what Muhammad said concerning the meaning of Q. 9:31:

<They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah, and the Messiah, son of Maryam> [9:31].

Imam Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Jarir At-Tabari recorded a Hadith via several chains of narration, from 'Adi bin Hatim who became a Christian during the time of Jahiliyyah. When the call of the Messenger of Allah reached his area, 'Adi ran away to Ash-Sham, and his sister and several of his people were captured. The Messenger of Allah freed his sister and gave her gifts. So she went to her brother and encouraged him to become Muslim and to go to the Messenger of Allah. 'Adi, who was one of the chiefs of his people (the tribe of Tai') and whose father, Hatim At-Ta’i, was known for his generosity, went to Al-Madinah. When the people announced his arrival, 'Adi went to the Messenger of Allah wearing a silver cross around his neck. The Messenger of Allah recited this Ayah;

<They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah>.

‘Adi commented, "I said, ‘They did not worship them.’" The Prophet said,

((Yes they did. They (rabbis and monks) prohibited the allowed for them (Christians and Jews) and allowed the prohibited, and they obeyed them. This is how they worshiped them.)) ...

<They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah...>

that the Christians and Jews obeyed their monks and rabbis in whatever they allowed or prohibited for them...” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Surat Al-A'raf to the end of Surah Yunus, abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; First Edition: May 2000], Volume 4, pp. 409-410; bold emphasis ours)

According to Muhammad’s logic the Jews and Christians took their religious leaders as their lords besides on Allah because they obeyed their instructions which expressly violated God’s commands. Muhammad believed that whenever a person follows the teachings of his/her religious guide which prohibit what God has made lawful or permit what God has deemed unlawful s/he is guilty of taking that religious authority as a lord in place of God.

Ironically, this is precisely what Muhammad did! Muhammad forbade his son-in-law Ali from marrying another woman even though he had every right to do so!

2943. It is related from 'Ali ibn al-Husayn that when they arrived in Madina from Yazid ibn Mu'awiya after the killing of Husayn ibn 'Ali, may Allah have mercy on him, al-Miswar ibn Makhrama met him and asked him, "Do you need anything from me which you order me to do?" He said to him, "No." He said to him, "Will you give me the sword of the Messenger of Allah? I am afraid that the people will take it from you by force. By Allah, if you give it to me, it will never be taken from me until I breathe my last!"

['Ali said,] "When 'Ali ibn Abi Talib proposed to the daughter of Abu Jahl while he was married to Fatima I heard the Messenger of Allah addressing the people about that on this minbar of his and on that day I had reached puberty. He said, 'Fatima is from me and I fear that she will be tested in her deen.' Then he mentioned an in-law of his from the Banu 'Abdu Shams and praised him as an in-law, and said, 'He spoke to me and told the truth. He promised me and kept his promise. I do not make the lawful unlawful and I do not make the unlawful lawful BUT, by Allah, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah and the daughter of the enemy of Allah will not be joined together.'" (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 62. Book of Khumus)


1999. ‘Ali bin Husain said that Miswar bin Makhramah told him that ‘Ali bin Abu Talib proposed to the daughter of Abu Jahl, when he was married to Fatimah the daughter of the Prophet. When Fatimah heard of that she went to the Prophet and said: "Your people are saying that you do not feel angry for your daughters. This ‘Ali is going to marry the daughter of Abu Jahl." Miswar said: "The Prophet stood up, and I heard him when he bore witness (i.e., said the Shahadah), then he said: ‘I married my daughter (Zainab) to Abu-As bin Rabi’, and he spoke to me and was speaking the truth. Fatimah bint Muhammad is a part of me, and I hate to see her faced with troubles. By Allah, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah and the daughter of the enemy of Allah will never be joined together in marriage to one man.’”

He said: So, ‘Ali abandoned the marriage proposed. (Sahih) (English Translation of Sunan Ibn Majah - Compiled by Imam Muhammad Bin Yazeed Ibn Majah Al-Qazwini, From Hadith No. 1783 to 2718, Ahadith edited and referenced by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair 'Ali Za'i, translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab (Canada), final review by Abu Khaliyl (USA) [Darussalam Publications and Distributors, First Edition: June 2007], Volume 3, Chapter 56. Jealousy, pp. 142-143; underline emphasis ours)

Muhammad had absolutely no authority to prohibit Ali from marrying Abu Jahl’s daughter and the fact he did so means that, according to Muhammad’s own reasoning, he made himself out to be another lord besides Allah. Moreover, by obeying Muhammad’s orders over against Allah’s, thereby prohibiting for himself what Allah had made lawful to him, Ali ended up taking Muhammad as his lord. In doing so Ali ended up sinning against Allah for committing shirk!

For more on this topic we recommend this article.

However, the problems are far from over. Not only did Muhammad make himself a partner in Allah’s exclusive Lordship or authority over his creatures there were certain situations where Muhammad went so far as to make his god subservient to his wishes and desires!

For example, Allah acquiesced to Muhammad’s wishes to pray towards Mecca:

O Muhammad, many a time We noticed you turning your face towards heaven; now We will make you turn towards a Qiblah THAT WILL PLEASE YOU. Turn your face during Salah towards the Sacred Mosque (Ka'bah); wherever you are turn your face in that direction. The people of the Book know this to be the truth from their Rabb. Allah is not unaware of what they do. S. 2:144 F. Malik

Allah also gave in to Muhammad’s craving for women by permitting his prophet to wed more wives than what was allowed for the rest of his followers. Muhammad was also allowed to ignore or neglect any particular wife he wanted, and spend more time with any of the women he preferred.

Allah even went so far as to warn the Muslims that they were not to annoy Muhammad by intending to marry any of his widows after Muhammad’s demise:

O Prophet (Muhammad)! Verily, We have made lawful to you your wives, to whom you have paid their Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), and those (captives or slaves) whom your right hand possesses - whom Allah has given to you, and the daughters of your 'Amm (paternal uncles) and the daughters of your 'Ammah (paternal aunts) and the daughters of your Khal (maternal uncles) and the daughters of your Khalah (maternal aunts) who migrated (from Makkah) with you, and a believing woman if she offers herself to the Prophet, and the Prophet wishes to marry her; a privilege for you only, not for the (rest of) the believers. Indeed We know what We have enjoined upon them about their wives and those (captives or slaves) whom their right hands possess, - in order that there should be no difficulty on you. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive whom you will. And whomsoever you desire of those whom you have set aside (her turn temporarily), it is no sin on you (to receive her again), that is better; that they may be comforted and not grieved, and may all be pleased with what you give them. Allah knows what is in your hearts. And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, Most Forbearing. It is not lawful for you (to marry other) women after this, nor to change them for other wives even though their beauty attracts you, except those (captives or slaves) whom your right hand possesses. And Allah is Ever a Watcher over all things. O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet's houses, except when leave is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse, without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet, and he is shy of (asking) you (to go), but Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allah's Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily! With Allah that shall be an enormity. S. 33:50-53

As we said earlier it seems that Allah’s primary focus was to grant Muhammad his desires and wishes, an observation which even Muhammad’s child bride made since this is what she said after a woman offered herself to her husband:

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 wishes and desires.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 311)

How right she was!

Thus, both Allah and Muhammad were at the service of each other. Not only was Muhammad committed to the service of his god but Allah himself was determined to be at the service of his own prophet!

In light of our examination it is clear that even though Muhammad may have eradicated the particular idolatry of his tribe he did not, however, erase polytheism completely. Instead, Muhammad replaced the paganism of the Meccans with himself, by turning himself into Allah’s partner and associate.

Therefore, the Muslims are no different than the pagans since even though they acknowledge Allah’s unity in their cry they too have an idol with their god, namely Muhammad. And much like the disbelieving polytheists, Muslims do not and cannot believe in Allah without associating others with him, i.e. they do not acknowledge the unity of their god without associating Muhammad, a mere fallible and imperfect creature, with him.

Thus, Muslims should revert back to the cry of the pagans of Mecca since it is clear that their god has taken Muhammad as his associate. The Muslim chant should actually go something like this:

At your service, O Allah, at your service, You who have no associate except the associate that you have, namely Muhammad. You own him and what he owns. And at your service, O Muhammad, at your service.

Astonishingly, this is precisely how Muhammad’s followers addressed him! According to several of the so-called sound ahadith there were certain times when Muhammad’s companions would shout out Labbaik in response to their prophet’s call to them:

Narrated Abdullah bin Kab:
... So he lifted the curtain of his room and called Ka'b bin Malik saying, "O Ka'b!" He replied, "Labbaik! O Allah's Apostle!" ... (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 49, Number 873)

Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ashari:
... On that he said to me, "O Abdullah bin Qais!" I said, "Labbaik, O Allah's Apostle!" ... (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 516)

At other times they would cry out Labbaik and Sadaik:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Once Mu'adh was along with Allah's Apostle as a companion rider. Allah's Apostle said, "O Mu'adh bin Jabal." Mu'adh replied, "Labbaik and Sa'daik, O Allah's Apostle!" Again the Prophet said, "O Mu'adh!" Mu'adh said thrice, "Labbaik and Sa'daik, O Allah's Apostle!" ... (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 130)

Narrated Anas:
... When they (i.e. Muslims) fled, the Prophet said, "O the group of Ansari." They replied, "Labbaik, O Allah's Apostle and Sadaik! We are under your command." Then the Prophet got down (from his mule) and said, "I am Allah's Slave and His Apostle." Then the pagans were defeated. The Prophet distributed the war booty amongst the Tulaqa and Muhajirin (i.e. Emigrants) and did not give anything to the Ansar. So the Ansar spoke (i.e. were dissatisfied) and he called them and made them enter a leather tent and said, Won't you be pleased that the people take the sheep and camels, and you take Allah's Apostle along with you?" The Prophet added, "If the people took their way through a valley and the Ansar took their way through a mountain pass, then I would choose a mountain pass of the Ansar." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 622)

Narrated Muadh:
While I was a companion rider with the Prophet he said, "O Mu'adh!" I replied, "Labbaik wa Sa'daik." He repeated this call three times and then said, "Do you know what Allah's Right on His slaves is?" I replied, "No." He said, Allah's Right on His slaves is that they should worship Him (Alone) and should not join partners in worship with Him." He said, "O Mu'adh!" I replied, "Labbaik wa Sa'daik." He said, "Do you know what the right of (Allah's) salves on Allah is, if they do that (worship Him Alone and join none in His worship)? It is that He will not punish them." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 74, Number 283)

Narrated Abu Dhar:
... The Prophet pointed out with his hand to illustrate it and then said, "O Abu Dhar!" I replied, "Labbaik wa Sa'daik, O Allah's Apostle!" ... (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 74, Number 285)

Narrated Mu'adh bin Jabal:
While I was riding behind the Prophet as a companion rider and there was nothing between me and him except the back of the saddle, he said, "O Mu'adh!" I replied, "Labbaik O Allah's Apostle! And Sa'daik!" He proceeded for a while and then said, "O Mu'adh!" I said, "Labbaik and Sa'daik, O Allah's Apostle!" He then proceeded for another while and said, "O Mu'adh bin Jabal!" I replied, "Labbaik, O Allah's Apostle, and Sa'daik!" He said, "Do you know what is Allah's right on His slaves?" I replied, "Allah and His Apostle know better." He said, "Allah's right on his slaves is that they should worship Him and not worship anything besides Him." He then proceeded for a while, and again said, "O Mu'adh bin Jabal!" I replied. "Labbaik, O Allah's Apostle, and Sa'daik." He said, "Do you know what is (Allah's) slaves' (people's) right on Allah if they did that?" I replied, "Allah and His Apostle know better." He said, "The right of (Allah's) slaves on Allah is that He should not punish them (if they did that)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 507)

What makes this all the more amazing is that this is precisely how Muhammad said the prophets and believers will address Allah!

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
The Prophet said, "Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection), 'O Adam.' Adam will reply, 'Labbaik wa Sa'daik', and all the good is in Your Hand’ ..." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 567)

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Allah's Apostle said, "Noah will be called on the Day of Resurrection and he will say, 'Labbaik and Sa'daik, O my Lord!' Allah will say, 'Did you convey the Message?' Noah will say, 'Yes.'... (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 14)

Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri:
The Prophet said, "Allah will say to the people of Paradise, 'O the people of Paradise!' They will say, 'Labbaik, O our Lord, and Sa'daik, and all the good is in Your Hands!' ..." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 609)

Muhammad said that he himself will address Allah in this same manner:

... The Prophet said, "O Lord, my followers are weak in their bodies, hearts, hearing and constitution, so lighten our burden." On that the Irresistible said, "O Muhammad!" the Prophet replied, "Labbaik and Sa'daik." Allah said, "The Word that comes from Me does not change, so it will be as I enjoined on you in the Mother of the Book." Allah added, "Every good deed will be rewarded as ten times so it is fifty (prayers) in the Mother of the Book (in reward) but you are to perform only five (in practice)" ... (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 608)

In light of these examples is there any doubt left that Islam is all about Muslims serving both Allah and Muhammad? Isn't it abundantly clear that Muhammad expected his followers to serve and submit to him in the same way that they serve and submit to their god?

To those who by the grace of the true God have been given eyes to see and ears to hear the answer to these questions is plain and obvious.

Further reading

The Deification of Muhammad
Is Allah the Only Judge and Forgiver of Sins?
Islamic Associates Inc.
Revisiting the Issue of Islam's Second God
Do Muslims Worship Muhammad?
Examining the Islamic Testimony of Faith in light of Quranic Exegesis
How Many lords do Muslims really have?
Is Allah the only sovereign or isn't he?
Muhammad the Prophet of Shirk
Revisiting the Issue of Islamic Monotheism
Muhammad’s Inconsistency