Is Orthodox Shahada Shirk?

By Kaleef K. Karim • May 16, 2013

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

It has come to my attention from some Hadith-rejecters they say that we Muslims (Sunnah) are committing shirk for testifying that Muhammed (pbuh) is a Messenger of God. The correct Shahada is below according to them. Surah 3:18 Allah witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge – [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise. The way to say the Shahada, a translation is below: “Lā ʾilāha ʾillā l-Lāh, Muḥammadur rasūlu l-Lāh” in English it means: “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.” According to these self made Scholars they say that we are committing Idolatry (Shirk) for saying them words. There claims are so ridiculous they go as far as to say that we are exactly like the Christian Trinitarians. They conclude because we use the name of Muhammed in the declaration of faith, we equal Muhammed (pbuh) with God, I don‟t know where they got this idea from. It is clear from a number verses that we have to believe in the Messenger to be become a believer. Another thing to note is, just because the name of Muhammed (pbuh) is in the Shahada it does not mean we are making Muhammed (pbuh) equal to God. Example If I said:- “A man and a dog were walking through the park”. Am I showing equality between the two? The answer will be NO!

The subject now I will deal with is what is Shirk (sin of idolatry or polytheism, i.e. the deification or worship of anyone or anything other than the singular God, or more literally the establishment of partners placed beside God)? I will let the Quran explain clearly what is meant by Shirk. Check out the following verses:

(A) Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. [Quran 4: 48]

(B) Verily! Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners (in worship) with Him, but He forgives whom He wills sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, has indeed strayed far away. [Quran 4:116]

(C) Say (O Muhammad): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah (Alone), and that we associate

no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” [Quran 3:64]

(D) Surely, they have disbelieved who say: “Allah is the Messiah [‘Îsa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary).” But the Messiah [‘Îsa (Jesus)] said: O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode . And for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers.[Quran 5:72] I think there is enough verses there that explains clearly to these liars that ascribing partners is when you worship that person. When you seek his help instead of Allah, when you are in need, you dont pray to God but instead to someone else. That is what Shirkmeans. Since these lying deceiving cons have called us Mushriks (idol worshippers), I have a question: Can someone show me one proof, in any Authentic Hadith where we are commanded to worship Muhammed (pbuh) instead of God? Can anyone show me where we are told in any Authentic Hadith to seek prophets Muhammed (pbuh) help when we supplicate (prayer) instead of God?

A recommended article below should be read for people that are NOT familiar with what Shirk means: IslamQA Proof that prophet Muhammed (pbuh) name has to be said in the Shahada. One thing before I start, to make clear, just because the name of Muhammed (pbuh) is not in 3:18 it does mean that it is not said somewhere else in the Quran, we dont need word for word. The following verses proof that Muhammed (pbuh) has to be said in the Shahada: (A) Allah says: Only those are the believers who have believed in Allaah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allaah. Those! They are the truthful” [Quran 49:15] (B) Believe in Allah and His messenger, and spend of that whereof He hath made you trustees; and such of you as believe and spend (aright), theirs will be a great reward. [Quran 57:7]

(C) O ye that believe! fear Allah and believe in His apostle and He will bestow on you a double portion of His Mercy: He will provide for you a light by

which ye shall walk (straight in your path) and He will forgive you (your past): For Allah is Oft-Forgiving. Most Merciful. [Quran 57:28] (D) Ye should believe in Allah and His messenger, and should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if ye did but know. [Quran 61:11] (E) So believe in Allah and His messenger and the light which We have revealed. And Allah is Aware of what ye do. [Quran 64:8] (D) Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah…[Quran 48:29] (E) When the hypocrites come to you, [O Muhammad], they say, “We testify that you are the Messenger of Allah.” And Allah knows that you are His Messenger, and Allah testifies that the hypocrites are liars.They have taken their oaths as a cover, so they averted [people] from the way of Allah . Indeed, it was evil that they were doing. That is because they believed, and then they disbelieved; so their hearts were sealed over, and they do not understand. [Quran 63:1-3]

What I want know is why Allah is saying They have taken their oaths as a cover (Junnatan)? What does Allah mean They have taken their oaths as cover? Are they hiding something? Lets take a closer a look at the word junnatan (cover) to get the full meaning what Allah meant. Edward Lane explains:

[1] As you have read Edward Lane explains that the word means: they were hiding, concealing something in their hearts. According to the following commentators they inwardly didn‟t believe in the Messenger.

Commentary on chapter 63: verses 1-3 of the Quran by Muslim and Non-Muslim sources: E. M. Wherry says: “These verse allude to the hypocritical and secretly disaffected inhabitants of Madina”[2] Tafsir al-Jalalayn: When the hypocrites come to you they say, with their tongues, in contradiction of what is in their hearts: „We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of God.‟ And God knows that you are indeed His Messenger, and God bears witness, He knows, that the hypocrites truly are liars, in what they conceal, that which is contrary to what they say.

Ibn Katheer says the following on the verse: (When the hypocrites come to you, they say: “We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah.”) meaning, `when the hypocrites come to you, they announce this statement and pretend to believe in it.‟ Allah informs that there is no substance to their statement, and this is why He said, (Allah knows that you are indeed His Messenger,) then said, (And Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars indeed.) meaning, their claims, even though it is true about

the Prophet. But they did not believe inwardly in what they declared outwardly, and this is why Allah declared their falsehood about their creed. Allah‟s statement, (They have made their oaths a screen. Thus they hinder (others) from the path of Allah.) meaning, the hypocrites shield themselves from Muslims when they falsely and sinfully swear to be what they are not in reality. [3]

The verse (63:1-3) is very clear what Allah meant. This shows and proves that people at the time of prophet Muhammed (pbuh) used to testify that he was Messenger of Allah, but Allah rebukes them for lying deep inside. In their hearts they didn‟t believe in him. Another thing to note is Allah didn‟t rebuke them for TESTIFYING that he is a Messenger of Allah but rebuking them what they concealed in their hearts, in other words they were liars, they didn‟t believe in the Messenger at all. I think you got the full picture what Allah really meant in them verses. I have seen some Hadith-rejecters use 63:1 against Orthodox Muslims and saying that it is aimed at us for saying Muhammed (pbuh) in the declaration of faith and they conclude that Allah is calling us (Muslims) the hypocrites. They are bunch of liars. If anyone has a sense, they would know from them verses, they are in no way aimed Orthodox Muslims. Actually this gives prove without shadow of a doubt that people who wanted to become Muslim said the Muhammed (pbuh) name in the declaration if faith (Shahada). The commentators make it even more clear that the hypocrites in reality were NOT Muslim at all, they were fake. What they said outwardly, was in fact not true what they concealed in their hearts. Chapter 48: verses 28-29 is another verse that proves that Muhammed (pbuh) is said in the Shahada. Even if some Hadith-rejecters are still not satisfied. Well explain to me why Allah said: “They have taken their oaths as a cover (Junnatan)?” If Allah is rebuking the Muslims according to you Quranists, then why did Allah NOT say “why are you people uttering Muhammed in the declaration of faith?” Why is it Allah rebuking them and saying “they have taken their OATHS as COVER (Junnatan)?” I want some answers from you Hadith-rejecters. I will conclude from this section: All the evidence I showed, supports my arguments very strongly that Muhammed (pbuh) name was said in the declaration of faith in his time.

This last section is to do with Abu Huraira getting struck by Umar for saying the Shahada by adding the name of Muhammed (pbuh) in it; this is according to the hadith-rejecters. I will show the exact evidence what really happened. This is the quote from one website, what they have written. According to these Hadith-rejecters the Shahada with the name of Muhammed (pbuh) added to 3:18 was made by Abu Huraira. Quote from the website:

“The Shahadah testimony that is recited by the Sunnis originates from a fictional character by the name of Abu Hurairah and is recorded in the fake „hadith‟. The hadith given below is from “Mishkat-ul-Masabih”, translation by Maulana Fazlul Karim, Volume 1, Chapter 1, no.27. (Published by the Book House, Lahore, Pakistan). As there are many versions of this hadith, the

collections of Tirmidzi should also be read.The fake hadith regarding the Shahadah says: One day Abu Hurairah went to the people and told them that the Messenger had authorized him to go and tell them to recite the Shahadah “ash hadu anlaa ilaha illallhu wa ash hadu anna muhammadar-rasulullah”. Another version reads ” muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu”. The first person Abu Hurairah came across to give the Shahadah was Saidina Omar (later the second caliph). When Omar heard it he promptly punched Abu Hurairah in the chest and knocked him to the ground. Then Omar put his foot on Abu Hurairah‟s neck and asked him how dare he utter such a blasphemy.”

Now I will show/prove what actually happened:

Abu Hurairah: We were sitting around the prophet, and Abu Bakr and Omar were in company, when the prophet rose up from our midst and went out, and delayed his return: and we feared his being alone, and became anxious lest any harm should happen to him from his enemies. So we all got up and being the first to show anxiety, I came out to look for him, till I reached the garden wall of an Ansari of the tribe of Bani Najjar. I walked round the wall hoping to find an entrance, but did not find any, when at last I saw a drain leading into the garden from a well outside. I made myself small and entered and waited upon the prophet. He said “is it Abu Huraira?” I said, “Yes, O apostle of Allah.” He said “How have you come?” I said, “You were amongst us, when you stood up and walked away, and delayed returning: at which we were alarmed lest any accident should happen to you while you were away from us, and we grew anxious, I being the first to do so. So I came to this garden and contracted myself like a fox entering his hole, and the rest are following me,” The prophet said “ Take these my shoes, and whoever meets you behind this garden-wall and bears witness that there is no god but Allah, believing in it from his heart give him the glad tidings of paradise.” The first person I met was Omar who said, “What shoes are these, O Abu Huraira?” I said, “These are the shoes of the prophet who has sent them by me in order that whomsoever I meet and he bears witness with sincere heart that there is no god but Allah, I should give him the joyful news of paradise.” Upon which Omar struck me on the breast, so that I fell down on my back and said, “Go back.” I went back to the prophet and sought his protection with tears, while Omar followed close after. The prophet said, “What is the matter with you, O Abu Huraira? I said, I met Umar and gave him your message , whereupon he struck me on the breast, so that I fell down on my back, and told me to go back.The prophet then said, What made you do it, O Omar? Omar replied, O apostle of Allah, may my father and mother be thy sacrifice! Didst thou send Abu Huraira with thy shoes with the MESSAGE that he should give assurance of paradise to anyone he meets, who bears witness from his heart that there is no god but Allah? The prophet said Yes. Omar said Do not do so, for I am afraid that people rest content with this alone and abandon the active pursuit of righteousness. Therefore leave them alone, so that they may follow practical injunctions of religion. Thereupon the prophet said Leave them to it then.[4]

The Hadith above from the same book Mishkat Masabih in the same page says the following:

“The inordinate length of the tradition and the petty details such as their anxiety and alarm with any apparent cause, not finding a way into the garden except through a drain, the sending of shoes for no apparent reason and the thrust of Omar, cast doubt on this report.As you have read Omar never struck Abu Huraira because he added the name of the prophet (pbuh) in the Shahada, he struck him because people would just be content with that alone and stop praying or doing any righteous deed. There is doubt in this Hadith if it is even authentic as stated earlier.



[1] Edward Lane Lexicon Volume 2. page 403

[2] E.M. Wherry Volume 4, page 148


[4] Mishkat Masabih translated by A.N Mathew volume 1 number 28 and 29


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