Submitting To Muhammad

Islam means “SUBMISSION.”

Submission to whom? Is it really submission to Allah alone? Muslims will no doubt respond with a resounding “Yes!”

But the Qur’an says otherwise.

Qur’an 4:65
“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad SAW) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” (Hilali & Khan)

“But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in willing] submission.(Sahih International)

This verse explicitly teaches that Muslims cannot have faith and cannot even be called “Muslim” unless they submit in full and willing submission to Muhammad.

Tafsir Ibn Abbas clarifies:
“(But nay, by your lord) Allah swore by Himself and by the age of Muhammad, (they will not believe) in secret nor deserve to be called believers when alone (until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves) in their hearts (no dislike) no doubt (of that which thou decidest) between them, (and submit with full submission) totally submit to you.”

Do Muslims submit to Muhammad? I have asked many Muslims if they submit to their prophet. The standard response is that they only submit to Allah, not to Muhammad.

How does one obey and follow Muhammad without submitting to him? Does it mean you obey him unwillingly? Surely, it must be that Muslims obey Muhammad because they love and submit to his authority.

According to the above commentary:
Allah swears that Muslims do not even deserve to be called “believers” if they fail to “totally submit” to the authority of Muhammad. They immediately become apostates if they do not submit to Muhammad.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir for Qur’an 4:65, which commands submission to Muhammad, narrates the fate of a man who refused to submit to Muhammad’s authority.
‘Umar went to his house and emerged from it holding aloft his sword. He struck the head of the man who rejected the Prophet’s decision with the sword and killed him.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir 4:65

Capital punishment/beheading is prescribed for any Muslim who do not submit to Muhammad.

So is it truly submission to Allah alone? The answer is an emphatic “NO!”

Just as the shahadah is a statement of allegiance and devotion to two beings, Islam itself, in essence, is submission to two beings: Allah and Muhammad.

You must submit to both Allah and Muhammad. They function in tandem. If you were to just submit to Allah and fail to submit to Muhammad, you could not even be a Muslim. Submission to Allah alone is not good enough.

Muhammad proclaimed that the earth itself belonged to him and Allah.
“…You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle…”
Sahih Muslim 1765

In contrast, the Bible declares, “The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.

Psalm 24:1

Muhammad’s words are the words of Allah. Muhammad’s commands are the commands of Allah. Muhammad’s laws are the laws of Allah. The laws of Islam hinge on Muhammad. His recitations became the Qur’an. His words and commands became the ahadith. His actions became the Sunnah. The Qur’an describes this “symbiosis” between Allah and his Messenger in many ways.

If you obey Muhammad, you obey Allah. If you disobey Muhammad, you disobey Allah. Submit to Allah and his Messenger. If you submit to Muhammad, you submit to Allah. If you do not submit to Muhammad, you do not submit to Allah.

Qur’an 4:80 declares: “He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah….”

Submission and obedience to Muhammad is paramount for all Muslims.

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