"There is no god but God
and Muhammad is His servant and His messenger"
Islamic exegisists have always maintained that the confession of faith, the "shahada", reads as:
"I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger."
These exegisists are misleading those who claim to be Muslims, and those who claim to be Muslims are, by following these exegisists, buying hell for salvation. Hell, they should remember, is forever.
These exegisists refuse to accept the clear injunctions of the Quran and insist on reiterating their corrupted confession of faith and associating the name of Muhammad with that of God.
In fact, based exclusively on the Quran, the confession of faith as expounded by the exegisists leads to perdition, if only they knew. Ibliss has so adorned their idolatry in their eyes that they are absolutely convinced of the rightness of their ways in spite of the Quran.
In the first place, God Himself lays down the confession of faith that is acceptable to Him. In Chapter 3, 'Ali-I'mran, at verse 18, God, in His infinite mercy, gives us the right confession of faith.
[3:18] God bears witness that there is no god but Him and so do the angels and those possessed of knowledge. In justice, there is no god but Him, He is the exalted, the wise.
This is the confession that God Himself bears witness to. It makes no mention of any human being Muhammad included. It must therefore stand as the confession which God sanctions for His servants and they have absolutely no right to deviate from it.
As for "...and Muhammad is His servant and His messenger." this is a statement of absolute fact. Anyone refusing to accept Muhammad as a messenger of God and the seal of His prophets falls outside the pale of Islam. The correct answer to the question 'is Muhammad a messenger of God and the last of the prophets?' is 'with certitude he is!'. It is not part of the confession of faith as dictated by God, but merely a statement of fact.
Secondly, in Chapter 2, Al-Baqara, at verse 285 God defines the believer:
 The messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord and so have the believers; each has believed in God, His angels, His scriptures and His messengers. 'We do not differentiate among His messengers' and they said 'we heard and we obeyed; we seek your forgiveness, Our Lord, and unto You is our destiny'.
Thus the believers have five attributes:
- they believe in God,
- they believe in His angels,
- they believe in His books,
- they believe in His messengers and, finally,
- they do not differentiate among the messengers whom they claim to believe in. Anyone who differentiates among the messengers is, ipso facto, not a believer.
These are the very words of God, uttered through the lips of His messenger Muhammad, and, moreover, they are a direct order from our creator to us.
Those who still insist that the confession of faith contains the words 'and Muhammad is His messenger' should go back to the Quran and read carefully 2:285, and more importantly they should examine their souls and seek God's guidance and His mercy.
Undoubtedly, these exegisists are motivated by their love of Muhammad and are sincere, but their sincerity is misguided. They should reflect with great care on their love of Muhammad; the Christians love Jesus at least as much as the Muslims love Muhammad, but where did this love lead? Jesus, like Muhammad, will, on the Day of Judgment, disown those who purported to love him, those whose love for him caused them to place him beside God and, unwittingly worship him.
Their love for Muhammad, if it were subordinated to the love of God, would not have caused them to lose sight of Muhammad's Lord and His words. Their love should be foremost for the message and then for the messenger. They would then have things in their correct perspective and would be rightly guided.
They argue that '..and Muhammad is His servant and His messenger' does not constitute differentiation. But it does! When did any of them ever aver in the confession of faith that '.. Saleh is His servant and messenger'? Never. In fact, any intrepid soul who would stand in public - anywhere in the so called Islamic World - and avow 'La Ilaha Illallah, Musa rasulullah' (there is no god but God and Moses is His messenger!) would at best be accused of insanity, but would more likely spend the night in hospital if not in his grave. Every day Muhammad is referred to as 'Sayidul mursaleen' (the master of those who were sent by God to guide mankind), how many of these so called believers object? This is blatant differentiation and anyone denying that should be honest with himself and truthful, in view of the gravity of the consequences. Hell is forever.
Some exegisists will go so far as to argue that because Muhammad is our prophet we are justified incorporating his name in the confession of faith, this positively identifies us as his followers as distinct from the followers of any other prophet, moreover, they add, God Himself prefers Muhammad over all His creatures.
This argument does not stand. The order not to discriminate is directed at the believers and was delivered through the mouth of Muhammad no less, as was the confession of faith sanctioned by God. God, at chapter 3, Ali-I'mran, verse 84, directly commands us:
[3:84] Say 'we believe in God and what was sent down to us and what was revealed to Ibraheem and Isma'eel and Iss-haq and Ya'qub and the patriarchs and what was given to Musa and I'ssa and what was given to the prophets by their Lord, we do not differentiate among any of them and we are submitters unto Him'.
As for God preferring Muhammad over all else, there is simply no basis for that in the Quran. It does not necessarily follow that being the last prophet has more significance than being the first prophet or the 'father of the prophets'. True, God does prefer certain messengers to others but He does not anywhere state that Muhammad is favoured above others. In fact, in those verses referring to God's preference, He speaks of Moses and of Jesus symbolically and mentions David by name. From this one might infer that God favours David over all the others, but then again God is not answerable to us. We were commanded not to differentiate and we are required to obey without question.
Even if God did prefer Muhammad over the other messengers, His order to us is clear and unequivocally prohibits us from differentiating among the messengers. Willful failure to obey an order of God bears terrible and irreversible consequences. Read the Quran, it makes that abundantly clear.
The exegisists have several more stock arguments, all based on the same two premises, firstly that Muhammad brought us the Quran, which is our scripture, he therefore holds a special place with us, and secondly God favours Muhammad over all His creation.
Neither of these premises justify discrimination in favour of Muhammad since that is specifically prohibited, and certainly cannot support the great calumny indulged in by all Muslims which is the changing of the confession of faith, as sanctioned by God, to include Muhammad.
God's words are neither incomplete or inaccurate, nor are they haphazard. Had He, in His infinite wisdom, wanted a confession of faith to include Muhammad, Moses, Jesus or anyone else He would have enunciated one just as clearly as that stated at chapter 3, Ali-I'mran, verse 18.
The absence of any names other than God's in the confession of faith is deliberate and not open to argument. God did not forget to include Muhammad or anyone else for that matter, nor, be He exalted, did He err. That confession of faith is perfect since it conforms with God's will as revealed in the Quran.
The stock argument that the confession of faith at 3:18 applies to God but not to us is, to say the least, disingenuous. God states that He as well as the angels and those possessed of knowledge, bear witness that there is no god but Him. Those possessed of knowledge are human, so where do the proponents of this argument wish to place us? Moreover, we would adduce our previously stated counter-argument that God's words are complete and accurate nor does He err. He does not anywhere state that it does not apply to us nor does He give us another confession of faith. The confession of faith that God Himself accepts is absolutely binding upon us and is ipso facto perfect. Only the disbeliever would find it not acceptable as is or would want to alter it in any way.
Another argument that is put forth is that discrimination as stated in 2:285 and 3:84 means failing to admit that all are messengers of God. This argument is demonstrably false since the verse speaks to the believers and defines them as believing in all the messengers. It is these same believers who already admit all the messengers who are commanded not to discriminate among them.
Finally, the strangest argument of all: "we are not discrimina-ting in favour of Muhammad, we are simply expressing our special relationship with him, he, after all, brought us the Quran without which we would be idolaters".
A special relationship with Muhammad is tantamount to preference particularly in this context. It is not possible to express preference without first expressing difference. When two things are the same one cannot say that one is better than the other since both are the same, that is, there is no difference between them. If, on the other hand, they are not the same, that is, there is a difference between them, then and only then may one say that one is better than the other. Thus differentiation must precede preference. It is therefore a nonsense to talk of a special relationship with Muhammad and at the same time deny differentiating in his favour.
We have presented evidence, based exclusively on the Quran, beyond reasonable doubt, that those who insist upon including Muhammad's name in the confession of faith are, in fact, discriminating in his favour and are therefore not believers.
What, then, are they? Again the Quran tells us. Chapter 63, Al-Munafiqoon, verse 1 states:
[63:1] When the hypocrites come to you they say 'We bear witness that you are the messenger of God' God knows that you are His messenger, and God bears witness that the hypocrites are liars.
It is significant that God uses the term knows that Muhammad is His messenger. He does not use the phrase bears witness. This further reinforces the concept that it is a fact that Muhammad is God's messenger but not the confession of faith. Had it been the confession of faith God would have said "God bears witness that you are His messenger." He does not; it is the Hypocrites who bear witness that Muhammad is God's messenger whereas God knows that Muhammad is His messenger and bears witness that the Hypocrites are liars.
Some misguided people claim that the two parts of the confession of faith are in the Quran with the second part, 'Muhammad is His messenger', is stated at chapter 63, Al-Munafiqoon, verse 1.
They should read it more carefully. They will find that the phrase 'bear(s) witness' is used, in connection with Muhammad, only by the hypocrites, not by God as explained above. God does bears witness that they are liars though.
Thus if they insist on this verse to support their claim, they are in fact using the confession of faith of the hypocrites who are, by God's testimony, liars.
Only the hypocrites insist on adding a second testimony '........ and Muhammad is His messenger' to the Quranic testimony. God further describes them at 63:3 as follows:
[63:3] This is because they believed, then disbelieved. Thus their minds were blocked so they do not understand.
The hypocrites are believers whose faith is tainted with disbelief. They have thus willfully destroyed their capacity to reason.
At chapter 4, An-Nissa', verse 140 God says
[4:140] ...God will gather the hypocrites and the disbelievers together in Hell
All the other verses referring to the hypocrites promise them Hell for ever.
God has spoken. He has issued His commands; they are clear and they are just. Do not discriminate among His messengers, your relationship with them notwithstanding. If you do, you are not just disobeying God's commands but you are, by definition, not a believer.
God nowhere in the Quran commands us to bear witness that Muhammad is His messenger but He does, however, command us to accept him as the messenger and to believe him and encourage and support him and follow the light that was sent down to us with him.
Finally, consider carefully the words of chapter 6, Al-An'am, verse 19
[6:19] Say, 'What testimony is of greatest import?' Say 'God's. He is witness between me and you and this Quran was inspired to me to serve as a warning to you and anyone it may reach that you bear witness that there are other gods beside God.' Say 'I do not bear witness', Say 'He is the One God and I disown those whom you associate.'
This verse confirms that God's witness is the most weighty and God's witness, as regards the confession of faith, is clearly stated at 3:18 "God bears witness...!" Do they still insist upon changing the confession of faith that God Himself bears witness to? and do they still insist on associating others with Him?
Only the intelligent will take heed.