Myth: Allah prays to Muhammed

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

One of the most ridiculous claims Christian Missionaries have made is that “Allah prays to Muhammed.” In other words Allah worships the Prophet. They say the words:

“Inna Allaha wamalaikatahu Yusalloona AAala alnnabiyyi ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo salloo AAalayhi wasallimoo tasleeman”,

Translation: “Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation.”

Critics say the word “blessing” (salla) is the wrong translation. Critics like to use this translation: “Lo! Allah and His angels pray upon the prophet. Oh yea who believe, pray on him and salute him with peace.”

What critics don’t understand is that one Arabic word can have many meanings. One word could be used for humans it could mean one thing and the same word could be used for God and has a different meaning. In Islam when ever the name of the prophet (pbuh) is mentioned we say “sallallahu `alayhi was-sallam” it means: “peace be upon him.” This is nothing about “worshipping” Muhammed, it is just asking the Almighty to send “blessings” on him just as we are commanded to send “blessings” on Prophet Abraham. But the ignominious Missionaries say “No you are worshipping Muhammed.” This is just just a lie, far from the truth. They have no evidence anywhere in the Quran or any Authentic Hadith, where Allah commands the “worship” of Muhammed. You wont find it any where except in Anti-Islamic sites. The verse the missionaries talk about as Allah “praying to Muhammed”(pbuh) is Chapter 33 verse 56 of the Quran. Let me now directly address their erroneous fictitious arguments.

 Muslim & Non-Muslim Translators of the Quran for chapter 33: verse 56:

1. Muhammad Asad Verily, God and His angels bless the Prophet: [hence,] O you who have attained to faith, bless him and give yourselves up [to his guidance] in utter self-surrender!

2. M. M. Pickthall Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation.

3. Shakir Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.

4. Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938) God and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.

5. Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar Truly, God and His angels give blessings to the Prophet. O those who believed! Give your blessings to him and blessings of peace and invoke peace for him.

6. Wahiduddin Khan God and His angels bestow blessings on the Prophet. O believers, you also should invoke blessings on him and give him greetings of peace.

7. Abdel Haleem God and His angels bless the Prophet- so, you who believe, bless him too and give him greetings of peace.

8. Ahmed Ali God and His angels shower their blessings on the Prophet. O believers, you should also send your blessings on him, and salute him with a worthy greeting.

9. Aisha Bewley Allah and His angels call down blessings on the Prophet. You who have iman! call down blessings on him and ask for complete peace and safety for him.

10. Ali Quli Qara’i Indeed Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who have faith! Invoke blessings on him and invoke Peace upon him in a worthy manner.

11. Hamid S. Aziz Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! Call for Divine blessings on him and salute him with a becoming salutation.

12. Syed Vickar Ahamed Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you who believe! Send your blessings on him (the Prophet), and salute him with all respect.

13. Umm Muhammad (Sahih International) Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.

14. Farook Malik Indeed Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O believers, call for Allah’s blessings on him and saLute him with all respect.

15. Dr. Munir Munshey Indeed Allah and His angels send their blessings upon the prophet. Oh you who believe! Send your salutes and your sincere greetings upon him.

16. Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri Surely, Allah and (all) His angels send blessings and greetings on the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). O believers! Invoke blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation of peace abundantly (and fervently).

17. Bilal Muhammad (2013 Edition) God and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe, send blessings on him, and salute him with greetings.

18. Maududi Allah and His angels bless the Prophet. Believers, invoke blessings and peace on him.

19. Bijan Moeinian God and His angels shower the Prophet (Mohammad) with their blessings. If you are a believer, you, too, should respect him and follow his orders to the point.

20. Faridul Haque Indeed Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet; O People who Believe! Send blessings and abundant salutations upon him. (Everlasting peace and unlimited blessings be upon the Prophet Mohammed.)

21. Maulana Muhammad Ali Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet. O you who believe, call for blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.

22. Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi) Indeed Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet; O People who Believe! Send blessings and abundant salutations upon him. (Everlasting peace and unlimited blessings be upon the Prophet Mohammed.)

23. Amatul Rahman Omar Verily, Allah and His angels bless this Prophet. Believers! you (also) invoke Allah’s blessings upon him and salute (him) with the salutation of peace.

Non-Muslim translators of the Quran:

1. Arthur John Arberry God and His angels bless the Prophet. O believers, do you also bless him, and pray him peace.

2. George Sale Verily God and his angels bless the prophet: O true believers, do ye also bless him, and salute him with a respectful salutation.

3. John Medows Rodwell Verily, God and His Angels bless the Prophet! Bless ye Him, O Believers, and salute Him with salutations of Peace.

4. N J Dawood The Prophet is blessed by God and His angels. Bless him, then, you that are true believers, and greet him with a worthy salutation.

So far I have shown 23 Muslims and 4 Non-Muslims scholars who have dedicated nearly whole their life’s in the Arabic language and all agree that “Salla” in chapter 33 verse 56 means “blessing.”

We will go further now and investigate what does “صلى الله عليه وسلم” or specifically what “Salla” means. Does it mean “pray” (worship) or “blessing?”

1. Dr R. Baalbaki says:
“صلى الله عليه وسلم means: God’s blessing and peace be upon him”[1]


2. Hans Wehr:

“salaam abbreviation of eulogy following the name of the of the Prophet Muhammed: صلى الله عليه وسلم (salla, salaam)God bless him”[2]


3. John Penrice says:
“ala it means to pray for, also to bless, as in the formula صلى الله عليه وسلم, God bless and keep him”[3]


4. Hanna E. kassis explains:

“Salla VB. to bless”

Then she translated 33:56 and said:

“33:56 God and his Angels bless the prophet, O believers, do you also bless him”.[4]


5. Donald Morgan explains what “صلى الله عليه وسلم” means:

Salla[5]


6.Juan E. Campo writes:
“The four letters p-b-u-h combine to form an acronym for the phrase ‘peace be upon him’, which is the English rendering of the Arabic ‘alayhi as-salam’.
Invoking peace on another is the signature greeting used by Muslims. According to the Quran, Angels use it when greeting the blessed in paradise (for example 16:32) and people use it in greeting God’s servants. The ‘peace be upon him’ is also invoked by the Quran for the prophets including Abraham, Moses, Aaron and Elias”.

Juan E. Campo  goes further and explains:

“The Peace blessing (salama) for Muhammed as the prophet of Islam is an abbreviated rendering of an Arabic formula known as Tasliya. It consists of the invocation Salla Allahu alayhi wa-sallam (God bless him and grant him peace), which is in reverence to Muhammed... Invoking blessing and peace upon Muhammed is considered to be an expression of devotion that is endorsed by the Quran, which states ‘God and the Angels bless the prophet. O you believers! Bless him and greet him’ (Quran 33:56).[6]


7. John L. Esposito defines  “صلى الله عليه وسلم”  as the following:

“salla Allah alayhi wa-salaam: peace and blessings be upon him (abbreviation). Epithet used by pious Muslims in speech and writing as a sign of respect and honour after the name of a Prophet or holy person, especially Muhammed.”[7]


8.John Wortabet says:

Salaama (Peace), abbreviation of the formulaصلى الله عليه وسلم’.”
[8]

9. Edward Lane one of the greatest translators of the Arabic-English language says the following on 33:56:
salla[9]

Edward Lane makes it abundantly clear that “Salla” in chapter 33:56, on the Prophet means to send blessings on him and it does NOT have any other meaning but that.


10. Commentary on 33:56 by a very well Christian Missionary named E. M. Wherry.
Verily God and his angels bless the prophet. O true believers, do ye also bless him, and salute him with a respectful salutation.

Wherry writes in his footnote the following on the passage:
“Salute him and hence the Muhammadans seldom mention his name without adding, “on whom be the blessing of God and peace! Or the like the words.” [10]


There you have it, they all anonymously agreed that Quran 33:56 is about Allah sending”blessings” on the Prophet. The assumption by Christian missionaries that somehow Allah worships the Prophet is an outright lie. One word can be applied to God and next the same word can be used for a human being, yet they can have two different meanings depending on context. The evidences shown is quite clear that Allah sends ‘blessings’ on the Prophet.


References:

[1] Dr Rohi Ballbaki. A mdern Arabic-English Dictionary. Page 698
[2] Hans Wehr. A Dictionary of Modern written Arabic. Page 523
[3] John Penrice. A Dictionary And Glossary of the Koran. Page 85
[4] Hanna E. Kassis. A concordance of the Quran page 1192
[5] An Arabic-English Vocabulary page 155, by D.A Cameron
[6] Juan E. Campo, Encyclopaedia of Islam page 547 & 548
[7] John L. Esposito, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. page 274
[8] William Thomson Wortabet, John Wortabet, Harvey Porter, Arabic-English dictionary (1984)  page 353
[9] Edward Lane Lexicon, volume 4, page 1720
[10] E M Wherry. A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran Volume 3 (Sales Translation With Notes and Emendations) 1885. page 326)

A Beautiful article written by Br. Ibn Anwar on this subject. Click on the link below for more Info: http://unveiling-christianity.org/2012/03/20/does-allah-pray-if-yes-then-who-does-he-pray-to/

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3 Responses »

  1. Hi Mark

    The literal meaning of it is “Allah and his Angels send BLESSINGS on him, O you who believe, send Blessings (Salla) on him.”

    So the best word if Translated from Arabic to English is “Blessing,” that fits well with the context.

    Peace

  2. then why is it when you do salla muslims say it is prayer?they never say let us do sallah which means blessings,,
    Salla = Pray or worship?
    Allahu = Allah (obviously)
    aleihi = upon him?
    Wa Salam = peace

    • Hi Rico Nobal

      Arabic language one word can have to 30 meanings.

      I will give you example. In Hebrew Shachah means Worship or bow down in respect.

      We see Moses gave Shachah

      So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down (Shachah) and kissed him. They greeted each other and then went into the tent.

      Now Shachah when it used for God it is always WORSHIP. Are we supposed say now that Moses is a pagan for worshipping his Father In Law?
      You see when a word is used for God, it can only have that meaning and when it is used for Humans it has another meaning.

      So the Arabic word fits well when Salla is used for the prophet it only means ‘Blessing’

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