Mohammed, First Among Equals
It is common for Muslims scholars, or Muslims in general, to claim that Islam equally recognizes all prophets of the Abrahamic religions without making any distinction between them. They are more likely to make such claims on television or when there are Westerners in the audience, to promote Islam as a soft and tolerant religion. When necessary, they support their claim by referring to verse 2: 285 towards the end of surat al baqara, which is a Muslims’ favourite because its rhyme makes it easy to memorize and read in the daily prayers.
Q. 2: 285 “The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and so have the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], “We make no distinction between any of His messengers….”
The verse describes the believers as people who believed in Allah, his angels, his books and his messengers. The verse makes it a condition that the believers must equally believe in all of Allah’s messengers without making any distinction between them. In other words, that belief is a requirement for Muslims to deserve the title of a believer. In so doing, the verse established the ‘principle of equality between the prophets’.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take Mohammed long to make a joke of the above verse. He soon released other verses and numerous hadiths that contradicted the verse and made it completely meaningless.
Religion of Love
There are many verses in the Quran and many hadiths that teach Muslims how to speak to, respect and revere Mohammed. Even speaking to his wives and treating them was regulated in the Quran. Other verses teach Muslims not to spend too much time when visiting Mohammed, and leave once they had their meals.
In addition to all that, Mohammed made it part of the Islamic faith that Muslims must love him more than anything else. Read the following hadiths (translations mine):
“None of you is a true believer until he loves me more than he loves his parents and his children” (Bukhari 1/58)
He later upgraded this already high level of love in the following hadith:
“…none of you becomes a true believer until he loves me more than he loves his parents, his children and all mankind put together” (Bukhari 1/58, Muslim1/67)
Assuming that humans’ self-love exceeds any other kind of love, Omar once mentioned to Mohammed that he loved him more than anything else except his own soul. Mohammed wasn’t satisfied with Omar’s love, “I swear by Allah, not (satisfied) until you love me more than you love yourself”, he responded. Omar quickly corrected his statement and said “ I swear by Allah that I love you more than I love myself”. “Now, Omar” (meaning now you got it right) said the prophet PBUH. (Bukhari11/523)
There are many other similar hadiths about the importance of this love and they are all authentic. As usual, Mohammed did not forget to employ the Quran to emphasize the importance of this kind of love in a number of verses. Verse 33:6 makes it clear enough that all believers must consider Mohammed more important to them than themselves.
Q. 33:6 “The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves…”
In verse (9:24) a Muslim’s love to Mohammed is treated as equal to his love to Allah and certainly exceeds his love to all of the following: Fathers, sons, brothers, wives, relatives, wealth… you name it!
Q. 9:24 “Say, if your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.”
But verse 33: 56 takes Mohammed’s importance to a new dimension. According to the verse, Allah and his angels pray upon Mohammed. This privilege doesn’t extend to Allah’s other messengers, so much for equality! The Muslims’ interpretation of the word ‘yusalli’, is to bless but reflects a degree of uncertainty. The word yusalli, like so many others in the Quran, is not Arabic, which most Muslims do not even know. Yusalli is a Syriac word and means to ‘bend’ as a gesture of respect, or to ‘ask’ for blessings. The dilemma is:
How can Allah bend to Mohammed as a gesture of respect (the first meaning)? OR,
How can Allah ask for blessings to Mohammed? Ask whom? (The second meaning)
In all cases, it is beyond the bounds of possibility that Allah, who is the creator of the entire universe, would do something like that to a tiny object of his creation. If Allah liked Mohammed that much, why didn’t he create all mankind like him? Was it too hard? too expensive? Or was it because he already created hell and didn’t want that effort to be a wasted time?
Q. 33:56 “Allah and His angels prays for blessing upon the Prophet, O you who have believed, ask Allah to pray for blessing upon him …”
After mentioning the name of any messenger of Allah, the Muslims say ‘alayhi alsalam’ (meaning “peace be upon him”) as a gesture of reverence and respect, but this level of praise is not good enough for Mohammed. As a result of the above verse, it is the duty of every Muslim to say “Salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam” whenever Mohammed’s name is mentioned. This translates to “prayers and peace be upon him”, which is abbreviated to PBUH. The proper abbreviation should be PPBUH, but to avoid the controversy which the word “pray” may cause, the crafty Muslims omitted it altogether for the English speakers.
Many readers may have noticed that devout Muslims do not start speaking, or answer questions, in public before saying lengthy prayers praising Mohammed. Such praise often involve describing Mohammed as: ‘ashraful mursaleen’, meaning most honored messenger (so much for equality). Most Muslim scholars agree that Mohammed’s image must be defended at all cost. Defending other prophets is not an Islamic concern. In fact, Muslims scholars believe that standing for Mohammed is more important than standing for Allah because the latter can defend himself, but dead Mohammed cannot.
Next time the Muslims go to the streets or commit mass murders in response to a cartoon depicting Mohammed, you know why- it is all in Islam.