The Quran doesn’t authorize any added name in shahada

(Reason 3 of ‘22 serious reasons shahada should contain no name except God’s’)

The Quran doesn't authorize any added name in shahada

As a revelation that describes itself as self-explaining, fully detailed, complete, and with lessons easy-to-learn – the Quran should be, according to the Quran itself, the only authority of Islam and the only divine source of law.

Then we need to see what the Quran, the only legitimate authority of Islam, has to say about the authorization of human names in shahada.

After all, is it not the Quran the ultimate criterion (furqan, 25:1) whereby we must discern the true from the false?

The only shahada authorized

On one hand, the Quran demands humans to bear witness toLa Ilaha Illa Allah’ (the original shahada), which is specifically stated as the only divinely authorized shahada:

GOD BEARS WITNESS (shahada) that there is no god but He (‘La ilaha illa Allah’), and so do the FORCES and THOSE OF KNOWLEDGE, upright with equity: there is no god but He, the Almighty, the Wise. 3:18

On the other hand, the Quran discourages humans to bear witness to ‘Muhammadur rasulullah’ (the sectarian addition to shahada), because, as emphasized time and again, God’s own testimony regarding this is sufficient, thus requiring no human to share it (4:79, 4:166, 6:19, 10:28-29, 13:43, 17:94-96, 29:52, 41:47-48, 41:53, 46:8, 48:28-29, 63:1):

GOD BEARS WITNESS concerning what He has revealed to you. He has revealed it with His knowledge. And the FORCES bear witness as well, BUT GOD IS ENOUGH AS WITNESS. 4:166

Please read these two verses in comparison. The verse 3:18 asserts that bearing witness to God’s oneness is ‘the true shahada of God, the Forces and those of knowledge’. In contrast, the verse 4:166 maintains that, though God and also the Forces bear witness to the truth of Muhammad’s messengership, it is God’s own witness that is enough in this regard.

Thus, while 3:18 includes humans as bearing witness to ‘La Ilaha Illa Allah’, 4:166 clearly excludes humans, since humans are NOT to bear witness to ‘Muhammadur rasulullah’.

No other name has ever been authorized to be associated with God’s name

The Quran also insists that God has NEVER authorized names of others to be associated with His name:

Why argue with me about names which you have nominated, you and your forefathers, for which no authority God sent down? 7:71

Yet you are not afraid of associating with God, for which no authority God sent down! 6:81

What you worship besides Him are but names which you have nominated, you and your forefathers, for which no authority God sent down. 12:40

Is He not the one who stands over every self, seeing all its actions (will He need any intermediary)? Yet they set up associates with God. Say: “Name them.” 13:33

Do you know any who can be named along with Him? 19:65

This lack of authorization is further confirmed by a few simple observations. There is not a single verse throughout the Quran that asks people to bear witness about Muhammad or any other messenger along with bearing witness about God. Nor is there any example of a messenger exhorting people to testify that ‘there is no god but God and that he (e.g. Abraham, Moses or Jesus) is His messenger’.

God was not forgetful when He omitted all other names from shahada

In line with this strong Unitarian spirit, while the declaration ‘There is no god but God’ is stated throughout the Quran most clearly, consistently and constantly, it NEVER appears in conjunction with a name other than God’s.

One may ask: Why is there NO mention of Muhammad or any other name at all, not even in a single instance, out of all those over 38 recurrences that precisely declare the unity of the Divine?

Did God somehow forget to mention it? But this is not possible because: And never does thy Sustainer forget. 19:64.

Or, did God somehow make a mistake? But, again, this is not possible because: My Sustainer does not err, nor does He forget. 20:52.

It is interesting to observe how the Quran effectively deals with this particular issue. It affirms that God, who never forgets and never errs (19:64, 20:52), is not unmindful and not mistaken when He persistently excludes Muhammad’s as well as all others’ names from shahada:

Unto Him belongs all that lies open before us and all that is hidden-from us and all that is in-between. And never does thy Sustainer forget./ The Sustainer of the Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them! Serve, then, Him alone, and remain steadfast in His service! Do you know any who can be named along with Him? 19:64-65

Is He not the one who stands over every self, seeing all its actions (will He need any intermediary)? Yet they set up associates with God. Say: “Name them. Or, are you informing Him of what He does not know on Earth, or is it a mere show of words?” 13:33

If some people still require adding another name to God’s name despite all these clear messages, it simply implies that they consider the Quranic shahada as incomplete, while they are trying to remind God of what He has forgotten – all those 38 plus times! It indicates their unawareness about the divine wisdom that deliberately excluded all ‘others’ from shahada. And their desire to teach God.

But trying to teach God is the zenith of ignorance and arrogance! And here we have a warning about it: Say: Are you teaching God about your system while God knows everything in the Heavens and the Earth? And God is knower of everything. 49:16 (cf. 10:18, 13:33).

So it is divine wisdom that deliberately excluded all ‘others’ from shahada

The Quran doesn’t include in shahada any name other than God’s due to a most obvious reason:

Bearing witness about a selected creature, IN ASSOCIATION WITH bearing witness about the Creator, exalts the creature – somehow and to some extent – to the rank of the Creator and, therefore, presents as a case of ‘ASSOCIATION’ or ‘shirk’ (19:65), the only unforgivable sin in Islam (4:48; cf. 4:116, 39:65, 6:88).

Thus, according to the Quranic criterion, considering God alone as insufficient (39:36), or considering the mention of ‘OTHERS’ along with God as important (39:45), is a sign of idolatry:

Is God not sufficient for His servant? They frighten you with others beside Him. 39:36

When God Alone is mentioned, the minds of those who do not acknowledge the End are filled with aversion; and when others are mentioned beside Him, they rejoice! 39:45

And God has said, “Do not take-up two gods, two. There is only One god, so it is Me, only Me, that you shall revere.”/ And to Him is what is in the Heavens and the Earth, so to Him shall be the obedience. Would you then pay reverence to someone other than God? 16:51-52

This is because when God Alone was mentioned, you rejected, but when associates were included besides Him, you acknowledged. 40:12

And, because no such association of God with ‘OTHERS’ is authorized by the Divine, it must lead to most serious consequences. This becomes evident when we observe how the extended, sectarian shahada – which promotes the idolatrous concept of Muhammad’s co-authorship with God in divinity and divine legislation, further exercised through countless hadiths – has eventually contributed to the dangerous breeding of so many serious ills and failures of the Muslim societies of the past and the present (7:182, 185; cf. 68:44):

And He has inspired to you and to those before you, that if you set up associates, He will nullify all your work and you will be of the losers. 39:65

And if they set up associates, then all that they had worked would fall away from them. 6:88

We shall throw dread into the hearts of those who rejected, because of what they have associated besides God, for which He has never sent down any authority; and their destiny is the fire; what a miserable abode for the transgressors! 3:151 (cf. 2:38)

We are asked to uphold the correct shahada

Thus it is obvious why the Quran so insistently calls to uphold the correct shahada about God’s absolute oneness and why it calls to avoid any additional ‘shahada’ that bears witness about any creature besides the Creator:

And those who stand by their witness (e.g. to God’s oneness; cf. 7:172);/ And those who protect their communication (from idols; cf. 14:35). 70:33-34

Now, bearing witness about ‘others’ besides God also means bearing unauthorized, and therefore, false witness. This creates ‘semidivine’ authorities (‘vain talk’, cf. hadiths, 6:112), which presents as an obstacle in the understanding of the divine messages:

And those who do not call on any other god with God …/ And those who do not bear false witness, and if they pass by vain talk they pass by with dignity./ And who, when they are reminded of their Sustainer’s messages, fall not upon them deaf and blind of reason. 25:68, 72-73

Although the original, Quranic shahada ‘La Ilaha Illa Allah’ is the only divinely authorized shahada, which by definition cannot have in it any name except God’s name, sectarian innovators distorted this core principle of Islam by adding to it names of sanctified humans. They replaced pre-Islamic Meccan idols Laat, Manat and Uzza with their new idols Muhammad, Ali and so on.

Summary

The Quran doesn’t authorize any added name in shahada

We need to see what the Quran – the sole authority of Islam and the ultimate criterion – has to say about the authorization of human names in shahada.

On one hand, the Quran DEMANDS humans to bear witness to ‘La Ilaha Illa Allah’ (the original shahada), which is specifically stated as the only divinely authorized shahada (3:18). On the other hand, the Quran DISCOURAGES humans to bear witness to ‘Muhammadur rasulullah’ (the sectarian addition to shahada), because, as emphasized time and again, God’s own testimony regarding this is sufficient, thus requiring no humans to share it (4:166).

The Quran also insists that God has NEVER authorized names of others to be associated with His name (7:71, 6:81, 12:40, 13:33, 19:65). This is further confirmed by the fact that there is not a single verse throughout the Quran that asks people to bear witness about Muhammad or any other messenger along with bearing witness about God.

In line with this strong Unitarian spirit, the Quran affirms that God, who never forgets and never errs, is not unmindful and not mistaken when He persistently excludes all ‘others’ from shahada, in all the related verses (19:64-65, 20:52, 13:33).

If some people still require adding another name to God’s name despite all these clear messages, it simply implies that they consider the Quranic shahada as incomplete, while they are trying to remind God of what He has forgotten – all those 38 plus times! It indicates their unawareness about the divine wisdom that deliberately excluded all ‘others’ from shahada. And their desire to teach God (49:16, 10:18, 13:33).

According to the Quranic criterion, considering God alone as insufficient (39:36), or considering the mention of ‘OTHERS’ along with God as important (39:45), is a sign of idolatry (39:36, 39:45, 16:52, 40:12). And, because no such association of God with ‘OTHERS’ is authorized by God, it must lead to most serious consequences (39:65, 6:88, 3:151, 2:38).

This becomes evident when we observe how the extended, sectarian shahada – which promotes the idolatrous concept of Muhammad’s co-authorship with God in divinity and divine legislation, further exercised through countless hadiths – has eventually contributed to the dangerous breeding of so many serious ills and failures of the Muslim societies of the past and the present (7:182, 185; cf. 68:44).

Thus it is obvious why the Quran so insistently calls to uphold the correct shahada about God’s absolute oneness and why it calls to avoid any additional ‘shahada’ that bears witness about any creature besides the Creator (70:33-34, 7:172, 14:35; 25:68-73).