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Allah said Muhammad was sent for guiding people to Islam; He also said, Muhammad was not to guide.


The purpose of this article is to analyze the role of Muhammad according to Allah. Allah, the God of Islam, loved Muhammad and gave validity to his every action – savage or morally repulsive. The Quran is full of incidents where kafirs posed questions to Muhammad and Allah rushed to his rescue with ‘holy verses’. So, it would be interesting to note how Allah himself viewed the role of Muhammad as a guide to humanity.

So, let us begin with Surah Al-Baqarah:

Quran 2.272:

Yusuf Ali: It is not required of thee (O Messenger), to set them on the right path, but Allah sets on the right path whom He pleaseth. Whatever of good ye give benefits your own souls, and ye shall only do so seeking the "Face" of Allah. Whatever good ye give, shall be rendered back to you, and ye shall not Be dealt with unjustly.

Pickthall: The guiding of them is not thy duty (O Muhammad), but Allah guideth whom He will. And whatsoever good thing ye spend, it is for yourselves, when ye spend not save in search of Allah's Countenance; and whatsoever good thing ye spend, it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged.

Shakir: To make them walk in the right way is not incumbent on you, but Allah guides aright whom He pleases; and whatever good thing you spend, it is to your own good; and you do not spend but to seek Allah's pleasure; and whatever good things you spend shall be paid back to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.

Here, we read a recurrent theme of the Quran: “Allah guides whom he pleases and leaves astray whom he pleases”. But of note is the beginning of this ayat: “The guiding of them is not thy duty (O Muhammad)”. This means that guiding people to the ‘right’ (read wrong) path is not required of Muhammad, because Allah is taking care of that. One thing must be kept in mind that this is the opinion of Allah himself.

Now let us read 13:7:

Quran 13.7:

YUSUF ALI: And the Unbelievers say: "Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?" But thou art truly a warner, and to every people a guide.

PICKTHALL: Those who disbelieve say: If only some portent were sent down upon him from his Lord! Thou art a warner only, and for every folk a guide.

SHAKIR: And those who disbelieve say: Why has not a sign been sent down upon him from his Lord? You are only a warner and (there is) a guide for every people.

Whenever the kafirs asked Muhammad difficult questions, Allah rushed in with an answer.

But wait! What do we read here? Here Allah states that “Muhammad is a guide to EVERY people”. It is not hard to conclude that 2:272 and 13:7 contradicts. It seems that Islam’s Allah, the so-called creator of everything, including confusion, is himself confused about the role of Muhammad as a guide to humankind.

As Muslims start fuming like a chimney, let us quickly move on to another ‘clear’ verse:

Quran 28.56:

YUSUF ALI: It is true thou wilt not be able to guide every one, whom thou lovest; but Allah guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance.

PICKTHALL: Lo! thou (O Muhammad) guidest not whom thou lovest, but Allah guideth whom He will. And He is Best Aware of those who walk aright.

SHAKIR: Surely you cannot guide whom you love, but Allah guides whom He pleases, and He knows best the followers of the right way.

Note how the translation of Ali contradicts that of Shakir and Pickthall. A miracle indeed!

If Yusuf Ali is correct, then 28:56 is similar to 13:7, while if Shakir is correct then 28:56 reaffirms 2:272. Whatever the case, the contradiction still persists.

That guiding people to Islam is indeed a duty of Muhammad is clear from various verses of the Quran:

Quran 32.3:

YUSUF ALI: Or do they say, "He has forged it"? Nay, it is the Truth from thy Lord, that thou mayest admonish a people to whom no warner has come before thee: in order that they may receive guidance.

PICKTHALL: Or say theYusuf Ali: He hath invented it? Nay, but it is the Truth from thy Lord, that thou mayst warn a folk to whom no warner came before thee, that haply they may walk aright.

Shakir: Or do they say: He has forged it? Nay! it is the truth from your Lord that you may warn a people to whom no warner has come before you, that they may follow the right direction.

Quran 62.2:

Yusuf Ali: It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom,- although they had been, before, in manifest error;-

Pickthall: He it is Who hath sent among the unlettered ones a messenger of their own, to recite unto them His revelations and to make them grow, and to teach them the Scripture and wisdom, though heretofore they were indeed in error manifest,

Shakir: He it is Who raised among the inhabitants of Mecca a Messenger from among themselves, who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom, although they were before certainly in clear error,

Quran 65.11:

Yusuf Ali: A Messenger, who rehearses to you the Signs of Allah containing clear explanations, that he may lead forth those who believe and do righteous deeds from the depths of Darkness into Light. And those who believe in Allah and work righteousness, He will admit to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever: Allah has indeed granted for them a most excellent Provision.

PICKTHALL: A messenger reciting unto you the revelations of Allah made plain, that He may bring forth those who believe and do good works from darkness unto light. And whosoever believeth in Allah and doeth right, He will bring him into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein to abide for ever. Allah hath made good provision for him.

SHAKIR: A Messenger who recites to you the clear communications of Allah so that he may bring forth those who believe and do good deeds from darkness into light; and whoever believes in Allah and does good deeds, He will cause him to enter gardens beneath which rivers now, to abide therein forever, Allah has indeed given him a goodly sustenance.

From these verses, it is amply clear that role assigned to Muhammad by Allah is indeed that of a guide. Indeed, all the prophets including Muhammad were nothing but guide to people:

Quran 32.24

YUSUF ALI: And We appointed, from among them, leaders, giving guidance under Our command, so long as they persevered with patience and continued to have faith in Our Signs.

PICKTHALL: And when they became steadfast and believed firmly in Our revelations, We appointed from among them leaders who guided by Our command.

SHAKIR: And We made of them Imams to guide by Our command when they were patient, and they were certain of Our communications.

In conclusion, I must say that it is amazing to note how Allah manages to make a fool of Himself at every opportunity.