The Quran relates the testimony ‘Muhammadur rasulullah’ to hypocrisy

(Reason 8 of22 serious reasons shahada should contain no name except God’s’)

the-quran-relates-the-testimony-muhammadur-rasulullah-to-rejection-and-hypocrisy


We cannot bear witness to something without really having it witnessed

One cannot bear witness about the mission of a messenger who belonged to a past generation. It is because, to bear witness to something, one has to really witness it, i.e. to be present during its happening. Apparently, even Muhammad himself was not in a position to bear witness about the messengership of his predecessors, as he was not present during their lifetime:

And you were not present on the western slope when We decreed the command to Moses, nor were you among those who witnessed. 28:44 (cf. Or, were you then witnesses when death approached Jacob …? 2:133).

Likewise, though Muhammad’s mission was witnessed by many of his contemporaries including Jews and Christians (3:70, 81, 86; cf. 33:7), it cannot be witnessed by post-Muhammadan generations, simply because they did not live during his prophetic ministry.

Therefore, while we can easily acknowledge Muhammad’s messengership, we are not supposed to bear witness to it, as we did not actually witness it.

Now, from a legal perspective, bearing witness to something without really having it witnessed is pretence and dishonesty. This may explain why the Quran itself relates bearing witness about the messengership of Muhammad to hypocrisy, as we will observe below.

Hypocrites bear witness that Muhammad is God’s messenger

Among the companions of the Prophet there were all sorts of people, including hypocrites. Because not all the hypocrites were known to the Prophet (9:101), the Quran provides him with a clue about how to identify them:

The Quran informs that hypocrites can be readily recognized since they are ‘marked out’: Most certainly God marks out those who acknowledge and MARKs out those who are hypocrites. 29:11.

However, their MARK, whereby hypocrites are exposed, is not their look but their ‘twisted SPEECH’: And if We wished, We would show them to you so you would recognize them by their looks. However, you can recognize them by the TWIST of their speech. 47:30.

Eventually the Quran even discloses this ‘twisted SPEECH’ – this mark – which exposes the hypocrites (63:4). Revealed in an elliptical way, this is, precisely, ‘Ashhadu anna muhammadan rasulullah’ (‘I bear witness that Muhammad is God’s messenger’):

When the hypocrites come to you they say, “We bear witness that you are indeed God’s messenger.” And God knows that you are indeed His messenger, and God bears witness that the hypocrites are indeed fabricators/liars. 63:1

Thus when ‘hypocrites’ come to Muhammad (or, figuratively, come across the issue of Muhammad) and insist that they ‘bear witness that he is God’s messenger’, they in fact expose themselves as hypocrites. The verse argues that what the hypocrites proclaim is vain talk, because God – who indeed knows and suffices as witness that Muhammad is His messenger – does not need anyone affirm back to Him, with any uncalled-for pseudo-confession of faith, what He already knows about His own messenger. Furthermore, expounding the issue through interrelated verses, The Quran links the added shahada to rejection.

Oddly, this testimony about Muhammad’s messengership, this ‘twisted SPEECH’ of the ‘hypocrites’, constitutes the second part of the so-called ‘full shahada’, which, also known as Abu Hurairah’s shahada, is at present recurrently recited by most of the Muhammadans!

Now, if hypocrites could be recognized by their public declaration of this twisted testimony, then this must have differentiated them from the true Muslims who felt no necessity to bear witness about the messenger (note: We have sent you as a messenger to the people and GOD IS ENOUGH as a witness. 4:79), since, as the Quran informs in the next verses, people showed their allegiance to Muhammad by simply saying “Obedience” and then following his instructions (4:79-81). This oath of allegiance was not the shahada – because those, including Jews, who pledged allegiance to Muhammad did so not for Islam, but for taking sides in an emerging war, like Sweden joining NATO because of Russia invading Ukraine.

In other words, it was not the genuine companions of the Prophet who were proclaiming this unnecessary shahada, but it was only the hypocrites who were doing so in order to mask their deception. Let us read this verse, once again:

And if We wished, We would show them to you so you would recognize them by their looks. However, you can recognize them by the TWIST of their speech. 47:30

Rendered above as TWIST, the word ‘lahn’ has a plethora of meanings: intent, inaccuracy, twist or distortion in speech; oblique or ambiguous mode of speech; an inclining of speech to obliqueness, etc (Lane’s lexicon). If we apply these connotations to the speech of hypocrites as stated in 63:1 (“We bear witness that you are God’s Messenger.”), it becomes evident that it is not the correct shahada but a distorted and incorrect speech made by the hypocrites with devious intent.

A closer look into the twisted shahada of the hypocrites

The verse 63:1 is the only instance in the Quran where Muhammad is included in ‘shahada’, and this is, ironically, as a speech uttered by the hypocrites.

Here we observe three important phrases, interconnected in a curious syntax:

  • The hypocrites … say, “We bear witness that you are indeed God’s messenger.”
  • God KNOWS that you are indeed His messenger
  • God bears witness that the hypocrites are indeed fabricators/liars

One may ask: Why does the verse – where ‘bear witness appears at the start and the end – use the verb ‘knows’ in the middle? In other words, why does it say ‘God knows that you are indeed His messenger’ instead of saying ‘God bears witness that you are His messenger’, i.e. in the way the hypocrites say?

Clearly, this interpolation of the word ‘knows’ here is deliberate rather than coincidence. If the verse stated that ‘God bears witness that Muhammad is God’s messenger’ in this particular context – which deals with ‘the testimony of hypocrisy’ (‘I bear witness that Muhammad is God’s messenger’) – it would suggest that the latter is a part of the actual testimony of faith. However, this careful choosing of ‘God knows’ here, instead of ‘God bears witness’ (cf. 4:166), indicates that the testimony ‘Muhammadur rasulullah’ is in fact related to hypocrisy and is not part of the divinely authorized shahada.

Besides, the reappearance of ‘bear witness’ (God bears witness that the hypocrites are indeed fabricators/liars) is certainly meant to negatively spotlight the ‘bear witness’ part of the forged testimony and thereby to refute it.

The Quran asks the followers of Muhammad to know the veracity of his messages (47:2). But nowhere does it ask them, not even once, to publicly bear witness to his messengership, because God is enough as witness that Muhammad was God’s messenger.

This supports our observation that, in the Quran, ‘Muhammad is God’s messenger’ is a statement of fact (a part of one of the ‘articles of iman’, i.e. recognizing all messengers as equal; 4:136, 2:177, 2:285), but not a part of the shahada (the testimony about God’s oneness, which is the core of Islam or submission to one God alone; 3:18, 3:52-53, 3:81-83, 5:111, 7:172, 33:7).

Summary

The Quran relates the testimony ‘Muhammadur rasulullah’ to hypocrisy

Although Muhammad’s mission was witnessed by many of his contemporaries (3:70, 81, 86; cf. 33:7), it cannot be witnessed by post-Muhammadan generations as they did not live during his prophetic ministry (28:44, 2:133). And probably because bearing witness to something without really having it witnessed is pretence and dishonesty, bearing witness about Muhammad is obliquely discouraged by the Quran as hypocrisy.

It is important to note that the only instance in the Quran where Muhammad is included in ‘shahada’ is, ironically, a speech uttered by the hypocrites (63:1). This is apparently that ‘twisted speech’ (47:30), or that specific ‘mark’, whereby hypocrites can be recognized and differentiated from the true acknowledgers (29:11). Oddly, this ‘testimony of hypocrisy’ (‘I bear witness that Muhammad is God’s messenger’) constitutes the second part of the so-called ‘full shahada’, which, also known as Abu Hurairah’s shahada, is now recurrently recited by most of the Muhammadans!

Now, if hypocrites could be recognized by their public declaration of this twisted testimony, then this must have differentiated them from the true Muslims who felt no necessity to bear witness about the messenger (4:79), since, as the Quran informs in the next verses, people showed their allegiance to Muhammad by simply saying “Obedience” and then following his instructions (4:79-81). This oath of allegiance was not the shahada – because those, including Jews, who pledged allegiance to Muhammad did so not for Islam, but for taking sides in an emerging war.

Now, if hypocrites could be recognized by their public declaration of this twisted testimony, then this must have differentiated them from the true Muslims who felt no necessity to bear witness about the messenger (4:79), since, as the Quran informs in the next verses, people showed their allegiance to Muhammad by simply saying “Obedience” and then following his instructions (4:79-81). This oath of allegiance was not the shahada – because those, including Jews, who pledged allegiance to Muhammad did so not for Islam, but for taking sides in an emerging war.

The Quran argues that what the hypocrites proclaim is vain talk, because God – who indeed knows and suffices as witness that Muhammad is His messenger – does not need anyone affirm back to Him, with any uncalled-for pseudo-confession of faith, what He already knows about His own messenger (63:1). Furthermore, expounding the issue through interrelated verses, The Quran links the added shahada to rejection.

The Quran asks the followers of Muhammad to know the veracity of his messages (47:2). But nowhere does it ask them, not even once, to publicly bear witness to his messengership, because God is enough as witness that Muhammad was God’s messenger.