Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Muslim Christ Trumps the Prophet of Islam Again!

Examining Muhammad’s and Jesus’ Roles as Intercessors Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun


The amount of Islamic data that exists to prove that Jesus Christ is superior to Muhammad is simply vast. In fact, the more we dig into the Islamic sources, the more evidence we uncover showing how Christ outshines anything the Quran and hadith have to say about the founder of Islam.

In this article, we shall produce some additional information which depicts Christ as being greater and better than Muhammad.

Allah rejects the intercession of his creatures

The Quran testifies that no creature will intercede before Allah since he is the only intercessor there is:

Allah it is He Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them in six Days. Then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). You (mankind) have none, besides Him, as a Wali (protector or helper etc.) or an intercessor. Will you not then remember (or be admonished)? S. 32:4 Hilali-Khan

It further states that on the Day of Judgment no one will be able to help another person:

Again, what will explain to thee what the Day of Judgment is? (It will be) the Day when NO SOUL shall have power (to do) aught for another: For the command, that Day, will be (wholly) with God. S. 82:18-19 Yusuf Ali

This explains why the Muslim scripture exhorts Muhammad’s followers to turn to Allah alone, and not to any creature:

And to your Lord (Alone) turn (all your intentions and hopes and) your invocations. S. 94:8 Hilali-Khan

This is how another translation renders this passage:

And make your Lord your exclusive object. Shakir

And here is how some of the Islamic expositors interpreted this particular verse:

(And strive to please thy Lord) and ask your needs from your Lord'. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs)

“The saying of Allah (And to your Lord turn all your invocations). Allah mentions: ‘O Muhammad direct your fervent desires to your Lord, and not to any one from the creation since the mushrikin from your people have made their fervent desires to gods and their associates.’ The people of Tafsir have also said similar to what we have just mentioned.” (Tafsir al-Tabari, Q. 94:8)

The Quran even warns that some of the very objects that others have turned to for help or intercession will end up disowning them on the last day:

If you call upon them, they will not hear your prayer, and if they heard, they would not answer you; and on the Day of Resurrection they will disown your partnership. None can tell thee like One who is aware. S. 35:14 Arberry

The Muslim scripture explains that the reason why these entities can’t help anyone is because they are in the same boat with the rest of creation in that they too hope that Allah will show them mercy and are fearful of his wrath:

Say: “Call on those - besides Him - whom ye fancy: they have neither the power to remove your troubles from you nor to change them. Those whom they call upon do desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord, - even those who are nearest: they hope for His Mercy and fear His Wrath: for the Wrath of thy Lord is something to take heed of.” S. 17:56-57 Y. Ali

This implies that these specific individuals whom others call on to intercede for them do not have any power or influence with Allah.

According to the Muslim expositors, the above passage includes both prophets and angels:

Say, to them: ‘Call on those whom you assumed, to be gods, besides Him, such as the angels, Jesus and Ezra (‘Uzayr); yet they have no power to rid you of misfortune nor to transfer, it to [persons] other than you. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn)

(Say: "Call upon those whom you pretend) Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, "The people of Shirk used to say, ‘we worship the angels and the Messiah and `Uzayr,’ while these (the angels and the Messiah and `Uzayr) themselves call upon Allah.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

This would naturally include Muhammad who expressly admitted that he couldn’t help or benefit anyone, since he himself was uncertain of his own salvation and standing before his god:

Say (O Muhammad): “I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghaib (unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.” S. 7:188 Hilali-Khan

Say (O Muhammad): “I am not a new thing among the Messengers (of Allah) (i.e. I am not the first Messenger) nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner.” S. 46:9

Muhammad is even told by his lord that he cannot deliver anyone from hell:

Is, then one against whom the Word of punishment justified (equal to the one who avoids evil). Will you (O Muhammad) rescue him who is in the Fire? S. 39:19 Hilali-Khan

The hadiths elaborate and highlight Muhammad’s insecurities and inability to profit anyone:

Narrated 'Um al-'Ala:
An Ansari woman who gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet that the Ansar drew lots concerning the dwelling of the Emigrants. 'Uthman bin Maz'un was decided to dwell with them (i.e. Um al-'Ala's family), 'Uthman fell ill and I nursed him till he died, and we covered him with his clothes. Then the Prophet came to us and I (addressing the dead body) said, "O Abu As-Sa'ib, may Allah's Mercy be on you! I bear witness that Allah has honored you." On that the Prophet said, "How do you know that Allah has honored him?" I replied, "I do not know. May my father and my mother be sacrificed for you, O Allah's Apostle! But who else is worthy of it (if not 'Uthman)?" He said, "As to him, by Allah, death has overtaken him, and I hope the best for him. By Allah, though I am the Apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me," By Allah, I will never assert the piety of anyone after him. That made me sad, and when I slept I saw in a dream a flowing stream for 'Uthman bin Maz'un. I went to Allah's Apostle and told him of it. He remarked, "That symbolizes his (good) deeds." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 266; *)


Narrated Abu Huraira:
When Allah revealed the Verse: "Warn your nearest kinsmen," Allah's Apostle got up and said, "O people of Quraish (or said similar words)! Buy (i.e. save) yourselves (from the Hellfire) as I cannot save you from Allah's Punishment; O Bani Abd Manaf! I cannot save you from Allah's Punishment, O Safiya, the Aunt of Allah's Apostle! I cannot save you from Allah's Punishment; O Fatima bint Muhammad! Ask me anything from my wealth, but I cannot save you from Allah's Punishment." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 51, Number 16; *)

Muhammad defies the Quran and contradicts his own teachings

However, Muhammad went against the directives of the Quran by claiming that at the last day he will save Muslims from hellfire by his intercession:

CCIII: "Descendants of those We carried with Nuh. He was a grateful slave." (17:3)

4435. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "The Messenger of Allah was given some meat and was offered the leg, which he liked, and ate some of it. Then he said, 'I will be the master of people on the Day of Rising. Do you know what that will entail? Allah will gather people, the first and the last on the same plain so that an observer will be able to see them and a speaker make them hear. The sun will be brought near to them and people will experience such sorrow and distress that they will not be able to bear or endure it. The people will say, 'Do you not see what has come to you? Why do you not look for someone to intercede with your Lord on your behalf?' People will say to one another, 'You must have Adam!' They will come to Adam and say, 'You are the father of mankind. Allah created you with His hand and breathed some of His spirit into you and He ordered the angels to prostrate to you. He made you dwell in the Garden. Will you not intercede with your Lord on our behalf? Do you not see what we are suffering?' Adam will say, 'My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again. He forbade me the Tree and I disobeyed. O my soul! My soul! My soul! Go to someone else. Go to Nuh.'

"They will go to Nuh and say, 'O Nuh! You are the first of the Messengers to be sent to the people of the earth and Allah called you a thankful slave. Intercede with your Lord on our behalf Do you not see what has happened to us?' He will say, 'My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again. I made a supplication on behalf of my people. O my soul! My soul! My soul! Go to someone else! Go to Ibrahim.'

"They will go to Ibrahim and say, 'O Ibrahim! You are the Prophet of Allah and His close friend among the people of the earth. Intercede with your Lord on our behalf. Do you not see what we are suffering?' He will say to them, 'My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again. I told three lies (And Abu Hayyan mentioned them in the hadith.) O my soul! My soul! My soul! Go to someone else. Go to Musa.'

"They will go to Musa and say, 'O Musa, you are the Messenger of Allah. Allah preferred you with His message and His Word above all other people. Intercede with your Lord for us. Do you not see what we are suffering?' He will say, 'My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again. I killed a soul which I was not commanded to kill. Go to someone else. Go to 'Isa.'

"They will go to 'Isa and say, 'O 'Isa! You are the Messenger of Allah and His Word which He cast to Maryam and a spirit from Him. You spoke to people while in the cradle. Intercede with your Lord on our behalf. Do you not see what we are suffering?' 'Isa will say, 'My Lord is angry today with such anger as has never existed before nor will again,' and he did not mention a sin. 'O my soul! My soul! My soul! Go to someone else. Go to Muhammad.'

"They will come to me and say, 'O Muhammad! You are the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. Allah has forgiven you your past and future wrong actions. Intercede with your Lord on our behalf. Do you not see what we are suffering?' I will go and arrive under the Throne and fall down in prostration to my Lord, the Mighty and Exalted. Then Allah will inspire me with some words to praise and laud Him with which He will have inspired no one before me. Then it will be said, 'O Muhammad, raise your head. Ask and your request will be granted. Intercede and your intercession will be accepted. Lift your head!' I will lift my head and say, 'O my Lord, my community! O my Lord, my community!' It will be said, 'O Muhammad, bring in by the right-hand gate of the gates of the Garden those of your community who will not be subjected to any reckoning, and the rest of your community can share the other gates with other people.'" Then he said, "By the One in whose hand my soul is, the distance between the two gateposts of the gates of the Garden is as far as between Makka and Hajar or Makka and Busra." (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 68. Book of Tafsir; *)


“… So they will come to me, and I will ask my Lord's permission to enter His House and then I will be permitted. When I see Him I will fall down in prostration before Him, and He will leave me (in prostration) as long as He will, and then He will say, ‘O Muhammad, lift up your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask (for anything) for it will be granted.’ Then I will raise my head and glorify my Lord with certain praises which He has taught me. Allah will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people) I will take them out and make them enter Paradise.” (Qatada said: I heard Anas saying that), the Prophet said, “I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, and then I will return and ask my Lord for permission to enter His House and I will be permitted.

“When I will see Him I will fall down in prostration before Him and He will leave me in prostration as long as He will let me (in that state), and then He will say, ‘O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask, your request will be granted.’” The Prophet added, “So I will raise my head and glorify and praise Him as He has taught me. Then I will intercede and He will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people). I will take them out and let them enter Paradise.” (Qatada added: I heard Anas saying that) the Prophet said, “I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, and I will return for the third time and will ask my Lord for permission to enter His house, and I will be allowed to enter.

“When I see Him, I will fall down in prostration before Him, and will remain in prostration as long as He will, and then He will say, ‘Raise your head, O Muhammad, and speak, for you will be listened to, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask, for your request will be granted.’ So I will raise my head and praise Allah as He has taught me and then I will intercede and He will put a limit for me (to intercede for a certain type of people). I will take them out and let them enter Paradise.” (Qatada said: I heard Anas saying that) the Prophet said, “So I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, till none will remain in the Fire except those whom Quran will imprison (i.e., those who are destined for eternal life in the fire).” The narrator then recited the Verse:-- "It may be that your Lord will raise you to a Station of Praise and Glory.' (17.79) The narrator added: This is the Station of Praise and Glory which Allah has promised to your Prophet. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 97, Number 532v; *)

Ironically, even though Jesus is depicted as being sinless, whereas Muhammad is shown to be a sinner like the rest, the latter is depicted as being qualified to intercede! One would think that Christ would be more qualified for this task in light of his sinlessness.

These reports clearly go against the express statements of the Quran that we cited earlier, which say that no creature will be able to intercede for another. They further contradict the following passage which teaches that individuals will only be calling upon Allah to save them from the torment of the last hour:

Say (O Muhammad): "Tell me if Allah's Torment comes upon you, or the Hour comes upon you, would you then call upon any one other than Allah? (Reply) if you are truthful!" Nay! To Him Alone you call, and, if He will, He would remove that (distress) for which you call upon Him, and you forget at that time whatever partners you joined with Him (in worship)! S. 6:40-41 Hilali-Khan

Hence, instead of exhorting Muhammad’s followers to seek after Allah for help, the narrations which we cited above are actually encouraging Muslims to take Muhammad as their savior and hope in place of their god!

This shows that Muhammad has pretty much supplanted the Islamic deity since these particular reports present him as being even more merciful and compassionate than Allah. They instill the idea that Muslims better not approach Allah without Muhammad since his intercession is the only hope they have that their god will accept them.

In other words, these hadiths depict Allah as being so wrathful and vengeful that Muslims dare not approach him directly at the last day. Muhammad, however, is pictured as being so merciful and loving that Muslims can be assured of the fact that if they come to their prophet on that day he won’t turn his back on them, but will go before Allah in order to make sure that his god is pleased with all of them.

This, too, goes against the direct statements of the Quran which state that Allah is the most of merciful of all those who show mercy:

Moses prayed: "O my Lord! forgive me and my brother! admit us to Thy mercy! for Thou art the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!" S. 7:151 Y. Ali – cf. Q. 12:64, 92; 21:83

How, then, can Muhammad be more merciful than his own deity?

But that’s not all. Muhammad’s (contradictory) teaching that on the Day of Judgment Allah will allow him to intercede for Muslims in order to save them from the eternal tortures of hell, not only likens the Muslim god to creation, it also makes him out to be an impotent, biased and unjust tyrant. As the following Muslim scholar explains:

2. Comparing the Creator to the created. An example of this is the comparison that extreme Sufi groups give when justifying their shirk. They state, “Just like an average person cannot approach a mighty king except through a minister or person of power, so too it is not possible for a sinful person’s du’a to be answered until he goes through a prophet or saint.” Thus, they compare Allah to a king. Ibn Taymiyyah, in a lengthy discussion, shows the fallacy of this comparison by pointing out that such intermediaries between laymen and a king perform one of three functions. Firstly, they can act as informers, informing a just and pious king of the needs of the people, since such laymen would not typically have access to the king. And of course this function is not needed for Allah, since He is aware of the most secret of secrets. Secondly, such intermediaries might act as helpers, for a king cannot personally take care of all the affairs of his people. So these ministers and intermediaries can be assistants in the execution of the king’s affairs. Once again, this analogy does not apply to Allah, since Allah does not need any help, nor can any object ‘help’ Allah in any matter. Thirdly, it is possible that a king will not fulfill a request except to please a particular person. Thus, if a person of no status were to ask such a king, he would not be responded to unless a person of status interceded his behalf. And such a king, by all standards, is an unjust and tyrannical monarch, for he does not respond to requests except for personal benefit. Therefore, this too cannot be applied to Allah, for He is the Most Merciful, and His Justness encompasses all matters. So Ibn Taymiyyah proves that, in reality, this analogy is a proof against those who seek to use it, even though at first glance it might seem to represent proof for them. (An Explanation of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab’s Kashf al-Shubuhat - Critical Study of Shirk, translation and commentary by Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi [Al-Hidaayah Publishing & Distribution, Birmingham, UK], 7. The Causes of Shirk, Incorrect Comparisons, p. 50; bold emphasis ours)

This means that Muhammad demeaned and degraded his own god since his teaching on intercession depicts Allah as an unrighteous, ignorant, imperfect, weak, and partial king.

Muhammad positioning himself as an intercessor further implies that he and his god are both guilty of committing shirk, or the unpardonable sin of ascribing a partner with Allah:

Ibn Taymiyyah explains: “Whoever affirms intermediaries between creation and Allah, similar to the intermediaries that exist between kings and their peoples, is a mushrik. Rather this is the essence of the religions of the pagans and the idol-worshippers. They would justify (their shirk) by saying: ‘These are the figures of prophets and pious people, and these are only means that we use to come closer to Allah.’ And this was the shirk that Allah rejected from the Christians as well.”

The last point in the initial argument (that these objects enjoy high status with Allah) is not explicitly refuted by the author here. This argument can, however, be refuted in a number of ways:

1. The status does not give them the right that Allah respond to their requests. No object, no matter how noble, has a right over the Creator on any regards. Such a right, if it existed, would contradict the total Rububiyyah of Allah over the creation. How can someone whom Allah created demand something, and expect a response, from Allah Himself? In fact, even the Prophet, who by consensus is the most noble of all the creation, does not have this right over Allah. In one hadith, he said:

“I asked my Lord for three things, but He gave me two of them, and prevented me from one. I asked my Lord that my nation not be destroyed by a drought, so He gave it to me. And I asked Him that my nation not perish by drowning, so He gave me that. And I asked Him that fighting not occur between them, but He did not give it to me.”135

So if even the du‘a of the Prophet does not carry the guarantee of an answer, then what is the status of the du‘a of someone less than he?

2. Even on the supposition that this right existed, the Qur’an explicitly mentions that calling out to other than Allah is shirk. Therefore, even if we hypothetically accepted the adversary’s premise that these prophets and saints have a right over Allah that their requests be answered, we can respond by stating that Allah labelled asking dead prophets and saints as a sin that He will not forgive. (Qadhi, An Explanation of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab’s Kashf al-Shubuhat, 13. An Explanation of Kashf al-Shubuhat, The Clearing of Doubts, p. 120; bold emphasis ours)

135. Reported by Muslim (# 2890) and others. (Ibid.; bold emphasis ours)

What could be a greater act of shirk than calling out to and seeking the aid of a finite imperfect creature on the Day of Judgment, instead of looking to Allah for hope and salvation?

As such, Muhammad’s claim to intercession turns both him and his god into idolaters (mushrikun), and therefore places them among the disbelievers (kafirun/kufaar). In the words of the so-called Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah:

“If he says, I am asking him because he is closer to Allah, so that he can intercede for me with regard to these matters, because I am seeking Allah’s help through his virtue, just as people seek the ruler’s help through those who are close to him – this is also like the actions of the mushrikin and Christians, who claim that they take their priests and monks as intercessors and ask them to intercede for them with their requests.” (Majmu’ al-Fatawa, 27/72-75)


“Whoever regards the angels and Prophets as intermediaries whom he calls upon, puts his trust in and asks them to bring that which will benefit him and ward off harmful things, such as asking them to forgive sins, guide them, relieve them of distress and meet their needs, is a kaafir, according to the consensus of the Muslims.” (Majmu’ al-Fatawa, 1/124)

If the readers are wondering how this makes Allah a mushrik and a kafir, the answer is rather simple: By accepting Muhammad’s intercession Allah is actually encouraging his followers to turn to a creature for salvation, thereby violating his very own instructions as found in both the Quran and specific ahadith.

In other words, Allah is actually encouraging and promoting shirk!

It is time now to turn our attention to the one figure which the Islamic sources testify is the only person qualified to intercede and save others. Please proceed to Part 2.