By: Siraj Islam
Apart from La ilaha illa Allah (‘There is no god but God’), no other shahada is approved by the Quran (3:18-19, 4:166).
And absolutely no authority is given nowhere to whatsoever association of other name/s with God’s (Do you know any who can be named along with Him? 19:65; 3:18-19, 3:151, 7:71, 12:40, 19:65, 28:88, 39:45, 40:12).
To our observation, the Quran doesn’t include in shahada any name other than God’s due to the following 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 thus presents as a case of association or shirk (19:65), the only unforgivable sin (4:48; cf. 4:116, 39:65, 6:88). This association diverts a mind away from the Straight Path of God alone, whereon is the sole focus of the Quranic shahada, the guiding principle of Islam (3:18-19).
Then the extended shahada, where one bears witness about Muhammad in association with bearing witness about God, evolved as a violation to this monotheistic concept.
Because no such formula is approved by the Quran, it must be an innovation and a later development.
It must have been formulated by Muhammadans after the Prophet’s death and during the first decades of the Islamic era in a specific environment – under the pressure of various socio-economic, political and psycho-theological factors – in order to serve, on the first place, specific purposes of various interest groups of that time.
Now, while proclaiming the precise formula ‘There is no god but God, Muhammad is God’s messenger’ – which binds and couples the testimony of God’s oneness with the testimony of Muhammad’s messengership in an interwoven formula – many Muslims of earlier generations somehow perceived God and Muhammad as two reciprocal mates of a divine pair.
Thus, by binding, coupling, interweaving and mingling Muhammad with God, they subconsciously fabricated in their fantasy an idolatrous concept of a very intimate, special, dual relationship between their fictional, mocked God and their imaginary, legendary Muhammad.
With time they eventually converted their cult leader into an idol, an associate and a terrestrial counterpart with God (warning! 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.” 16:51).
Then, also in daily practice, by bearing witness about Muhammad in association with bearing witness about God, one turns Muhammad the human into an associate with God and, therefore, a secondary authority in divinity and divine legislation (6:19, 6:106, 6:150, 16:35).
This supposed co-authorship of Muhammad with God gives manmade books of hadith hearsays a green light and a divine status besides the Quran, while seriously violating a most important instruction of the Quran: Do not uphold any other hadith but the Quran only (So, in which HADITH after God and His messages will they believe? 45:6; 7:185, 77:50; cf. The Quran prohibited hadiths).
Then this makes one to blindly accept Hadith (words and deeds attributed to Muhammad) as divine and to follow it as a secondary source of Islam (warning! Or do you have another book which you study?/ In it, you find all that you may wish to find? 68:37-38; warning! Or have We given them a Book wherefrom they are taking clarification? Nay, but what the transgressors promise one another is nothing but delusion. 35:40; cf. 6:112, 2:169).
From then on, any manmade teaching or any idea or opinion of a particular interest group can be made ‘divine’ by falsely attributing it to Muhammad through one or more fabricated hadith hearsays.
This creates false religions and thereby diverts people from the right path of Islam. And this is exactly what happened with Islam during the Umayyad and the earlier parts of the Abbasid period.
Since then, this supposed co-authorship of Muhammad with God in divinity and divine legislation, thus illegitimately exercised through countless hadiths, has been seriously interfering in the divine authority of the Quran (17:42-43) and hence creating great confusion among the people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
And this has eventually contributed to the downfall of the ‘Islamic civilization’ of the past as well as 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 appears that all the corruption in Islam somehow started with the manmade extension of the Quranic shahada.
The traditionally perceived ‘divinity’ of Muhammad – an un-Quranic and anti-Quranic concept – remains constantly ‘established’ in mind as it is continuously ‘certified’ by bearing witness about Muhammad in association with bearing witness about God.
Formulized as ‘full shahada’, this ongoing psychological exercise turns Muhammad the human into an associate with God and so into a human god and so a second author in divinity and divine legislation.
Then this makes generations of Muslims to blindly follow hadith as a secondary authority of Islam and thus to remain misguided by the vicious cycle of various pseudo-islams and their unending consequences.