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Myth #7: Muhammad initially permitted idol worship

Did Prophet Muhammad initially permit idol worship?

Addressing this fabricated incident, esteemed historian and Islamic scholar Mirza Bashir Ahmad cites accepted and ancient scholars, concluding: [1]

… this story is entirely a fabrication, and its forgery is clearly evident from every rational aspect.  Hence, the great Muhaddithin and leaders of Hadith, such as ‘Allamah ‘Ainī, Qazi ‘Ayad and ‘Allamah Nawawi have expounded with conclusive argumentation that this occurrence is false and nothing more than a fabricated Hadith. Thus, ‘Allamah ‘Aini writes in debate of this issue: ‘This story is evidently negated, both in light of narration and common sense.’ [2]

Then, Qazi ‘Ayad writes:

‘Prudent and reliable individuals have not accepted this narration due to the fact that the narration of this story is confusing, and its authenticity is very weak.  Moreover, the manner of its narration is also weak and feeble. In addition, no narrator has successfully traced this narration to the Holy Prophet or any of his companions.’ [3]

Furthermore, ‘Allamah Nawawi writes:

‘Nothing of this narration is correct, neither in the aspect of narration nor in the aspect of common sense.’ [4] On the other hand, many scholars of Hadith have not even made mention of this occurrence. For example, the Sihah Sittah (the six authentic books of traditions realted to the Prophet) has not even hinted towards it, though mention of the recitation of Surah Al-Najm and the prostration of the Quraish is present in it. It is apparent that this narration passed the eyes of the scholars of traditions concerning the Holy prophet (Muhaddithin), who rejected it with belief of its forgery and unreliability. In the same manner, many greatcommentators of the Holy Qur’an, such as Imam Razi, have declared this instance vain and devoid of truth. [5]  Moreover, among the mystics, sagacious ones, the like of Ibni ‘Arabi, have stated, ‘There exists no truth in this occurrence.’ [6]

Thus, no such verse was revealed that compromised worship of one God.


[1] Mirza Bashir Ahmad, Seal of the Prophets, Volume 1, 209-11 (2011) available at

[2] ‘Umdah al-Qārī Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, Vol. 19, pg. 313, Kitāb Tafsīr al-Qur’ān, Sūrah al-Qamar, Under the verse “Fasjudū lillāhi wa‘budūhu” [Al-Najm (53:63)], Dār al-Iḥyā’ al-Turāth al-‘Arabī, Beirut, Lebanon, Edition 2003.

[3] Sharḥ al-‘Allāmah al-Zurqānī ‘ala al-Mawāhib al-Ladunniyyah, By Muḥammad bin ‘Abdul-Bāqī Al-

Zurqānī, Vol. 2, pg. 25, Bāb Dukhūl al-Sha‘b wa Khabri al-Ṣaḥīfah, Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah,

Beirut, Lebehon, First Edition (1996) (emphasis added).

[4] Al-Minhāj bi Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim bin Al-Ḥajjāj, p. 533, Kitāb al-Masājid wa Mawāḍi‘ al-Ṣalāh, Bāb Sujūd al-Tilāwah, Dār Ibn Hazm, First Edition (2002).

[5] Al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr, By Imām Muḥammad bin ‘Umar bin Al-Ḥusain Fakhr al-Dīn Al-Rāzī, Vol. 23, pg. 44-48, Tafsīr Sūrah al-Ḥajj, Verse 53, Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition (2004).

[6] Sharḥ al-‘Allāmah al-Zarqānī ‘ala al-Mawāhib al-Ladunniyyah, By Muḥammad bin ‘Abd al-Bāqī Al-

Zarqānī, Vol. 2, pg. 25, Bāb Dukhūl al-Sha‘b wa Khabr al-Ṣaḥīfah, Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah,

Beirut, Lebehon, First Edition (1996).

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