Muslims Pray to the Prophet Muhammad?
Since there are Christians who know that they are polytheists, and don't follow true monotheism by their beliefs concerning Jesus, they try to throw these same things against the Muslim as a way to reprieve themselves.
One such Christian is Sam Shamoun, for instance the missionary actually claims that Muslims are commanded to pray to the prophet Muhammad, and that we do in fact pray to the blessed prophet. His claims can be found here:
Praying Directly to Muhammad
In the five daily Islamic prayers Muslims perform what is commonly referred to as the tashahhud, the part of the prayer where a Muslim testifies concerning his belief in Allah and Muhammad. What makes this rather interesting is that this practice involves praying to Muhammad!
Narrated Shaqiq bin Salama:
'Abdullah said, "Whenever we prayed behind the Prophet we used to recite (in sitting) 'Peace be on Gabriel, Michael, peace be on so and so. Once Allah's Apostle looked back at us and said, 'Allah Himself is As-Salam (Peace), and if anyone of you prays then he should say, At-Tahiyatu lil-lahi wassalawatu wat-taiyibatu. As-Salamu 'ALAIKA aiyuha-n-Nabiyu wa rahmatu-l-lahi wa barakatuhu. As-Salam alaina wa ala ibadil-lah is-salihin. (All the compliments, prayers and good things are due to Allah: peace be on YOU, O Prophet and Allah's mercy and blessings be on you. Peace be on us and on the true pious slaves of Allah). (If you say that, it will be for all the slaves in the heaven and the earth). Ash-hadu an la-ilaha illa-l-lahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluhu. (I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I also testify that Muhammad is His slave and His Apostle)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 12, Number 794)
Ibn 'Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah used to teach us tashahhud just as he used to teach us a Sura of the Qur'an, and he would say: All services rendered by words, acts of worship, and all good things are due to Allah. Peace be upon YOU, O Prophet, and Allah's mercy and blessings. Peace be upon us and upon Allah's upright servants. I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. In the narration of Ibn Rumb (the words are): "As he would teach us the Qur'an." (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 0798)
In the above reports Muhammad made himself a part of the Islamic worship, commanding Muslims to mention and even speak to him directly in prayer!
You know what I love? I love it when someone quotes specific texts, and then tries to make an argument out of those texts when the very same texts that are being quoted serve as a rebuttal to the arguments that are trying to be made! This is exactly the case here.
I really don't know if Shamoun is just being willfully and purposely ignorant and silly, or if in actuality he actually has a reading problem compounded with a thinking problem. If it is the latter then I am seriously starting to worry about Shamoun, and I really do mean that.
So Shamoun claims Muslims pray to the prophet Muhammad, in fact he says we DIRECTLY pray to the prophet of Islam. I will simply use the same texts he quotes to refute his absurd claims, which is why I am loving this.
So let us now quote the tashahhud piece by piece, this way you will see how the tashuhhud time and time again completely destroys Shamoun's thesis. So to proceed.
Ibn Abbas has been reported to have said:
The Messenger of Allah used to teach us tashahhud just as he used to teach us a Sura of the Qur'an, and he would say: ALL services rendered by words, ACTS OF WORSHIP, and all good things are due to Allah
The very first part of the tashahhud conclusively refutes Shamoun. Notice what we are commanded to say, we are commanded to say that ALL ACTS OF WORSHIP belong to Allah! No where does the text say that acts of worship belong to Allah AND the prophet Muhammad?
I could simply end my article right here and now, but I won't, as the Tashahhud simply crushes Shamoun's thesis so bad I am compelled to continue.
So therefore the Tashahhud makes it clear that all worship is for Allah, not for Allah and Muhammad, hence I want to know from where did Shamoun get the idea that we pray or that our worship is directly for the prophet Muhammad?
Now to the next part of the Tashahhud:
Peace be upon YOU, O Prophet, and Allah's mercy and blessings.
So sending peace upon the prophet, and invoking Allah's mercy and blessings upon the prophet Muhammad means we are praying to the prophet Muhammad? I really don't know from where this missionary gets such ideas!
Shamoun has to show how sending peace upon the prophet is prayer, in fact the fact we invoke ALLAH to send the mercy and blessings to the prophet refutes Shamoun's assertion. In fact it gets even worse for Shamoun when we continue to read the Tashahhud which says:
Peace be upon us and upon Allah's upright servants
So I guess I worship myself too, and I worship all the other Muslims as well! Just because I say peace be upon us (including myself) and to other Muslims, it means I worship them, because according to Shamoun sending our peace to the prophet Muhammad means we are praying directly to him, as well as worshipping him!
This right here proves how silly Shamoun is, and how he doesn't know how to think properly.
The ending of the Tashahhud says:
I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
There you have it. That is the Tashahhud, where in any of that are Muslims directly worshiping and praying to the prophet Muhammad? Really, I would like to know where, I just prayed 30 minutes ago, and I pronounced the Tashahhud, I want to know where in that prayer I made was I directing my prayer to the prophet.
The fact is that NO WHERE in the Tashahhud is a direct prayer or act of worship made to the prophet. Just as we send our peace upon the prophet, we send our peace to ourselves and the Muslim Ummah. I guess we are all gods then according to this missionary polytheist.
The missionary is not content with making a fool out of himself but goes to do further damage when he lies upon the scholars as well, for instance he writes:
Realizing the idolatrous implication of such a practice there are certain Muslims, particularly of the Salafi type such as the late Shaykh Muhammad Nasir ad-Deen al-Albani and Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, who claim that this is not the way a Muslim is to perform tashahhud now that Muhammad is dead. They assert that saying "Peace be upon you, Prophet" was only valid as long as Muhammad was alive but that after his demise a Muslim is to follow the example of Muhammad's companion Ibn Masud who stated:
Narrated Ibn Mas'ud:
Allah's Apostle taught me the Tashah-hud as he taught me a Sura from the Quran, while my hand was between his hands. (Tashah-hud was) all the best compliments and the prayers and the good things are for Allah. Peace and Allah's Mercy and Blessings be on you, O Prophet! Peace be on us and on the pious slaves of Allah, I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and I also testify that Muhammad is Allah's slave and His Apostle. (We used to recite this in the prayer) during the lifetime of the Prophet, but when he had died, we used to say, "Peace be on the Prophet." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 74, Number 281)
I want everyone to notice Shamoun's deceptive comment when he writes:
Realizing the idolatrous implication
The missionary claims that Sheikh Albani, and Bilal Phillips realized that saying such a thing was idolatry, yet when Shamoun speaks about their positions we see that Shamoun yet again refutes himself!
If you notice what the missionary said, Sheikh Albani and Bilal Phillips only now argue on how we are supposed to correctly PRONOUNCE the Tashahhud, saying rather than say peace be upon you, we should say peace be on the prophet.
So Sheikh Albani and Bilal Phillips are arguing on PRONUNCIATION, it has nothing to do with whether it is idolatry or not.
If Sheikh Albani and Bilal Phillips believed the Tashahhud was idolatry the two men would have disputed the entire Tashahhud during the life time of the prophet, and they would have said it was wrong, and a fabrication. Yet the two men do not argue that, rather they affirm that the Tashuhhud used to be pronounced as such during the life time of the prophet, but now since the prophet is dead, they say the pronunciation should be different, and changed from YOU to PROPHET.
So the missionary completely fabricates an amazing lie against Sheikh Albani and Bilal Phillips. The two men would think that Shamoun is crazy and out of his mind if they had met him face to face and had they heard him say such a silly thing.
So that's that.
And Allah Knows Best!
The rest of Shamoun's article has to do with Sufism; he quotes several Sufi scholars to try and back their Sufi beliefs up. All of which is a bit ironic as Shamoun knows that most Muslims don't hold to a Sufi belief, it would be like me quoting a Catholic against Shamoun, it makes no sense. I don't agree with the Sufi position, but none the less those same Sufis he quotes would still refute Shamoun if they heard his arguments and tell him he is lying against them. I know many Sufis who believe that Shamoun is both a liar, and very stupid. I have many readers who are of the Sufi school of thought as well, and they thoroughly enjoy watching me dismantle and crush Shamoun's false lies. In fact it is ironic that Shamoun keeps quoting Sheikh Haddad, a prominent Sufi scholar, the very same scholar who often attacks Christianity for Shirk and so on. So very good Shamoun, keep quoting Sheikh Haddad, as it will do a fine job of exposing your own faith when people want to go and read Haddad's works.
Last but not least although I do not agree with my Sufi brothers and sisters, I consider them to be my fellow Muslims none the less, and we all agree that the hell fire awaits Shamoun for his constant attacks and insults against Islam, Allah, and the prophet Muhammad.