Do Muslims Pray “In the Name of Muhammad”?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
Short Answer: No, absolutely not. Muslims do not worship Muhammad like some Christians worship Jesus. He was only a man, a very good man, but a man, nonetheless. We only ever pray to God, using God’s name(s).
Due to the fact that most, if not all, Christians pray in the name of Jesus, coming from the Christian perspective, it is a logical parallel to make.
The assumption is that Muhammad is to Muslims as Jesus is to Christians, so why wouldn’t Muslims pray in Muhammad’s name?
Is Prophet Muhammad the Muslim equivalent of Jesus?
In short: NO
Within the views of most of Christianity, Jesus is seen as something of an incarnation of God.
Christians believe Jesus to be the son of God, yet also God Himself. He is divine.
This is not how Muslims view either Muhammad (pbuh) nor Jesus.
To us, Jesus and Muhammad (pbuh) are both exceptionally important to the religion.
They are viewed as being messengers of God, prophets chosen to spread His message.
There is no way to understate just how vital these men (and many other Prophets mentioned in the Bible) are to Islam.
However, they are just that: men. The best of men, yes, but mortal men, nonetheless.
They are just as human as the rest of us.
Who do Muslims pray to?
The most important tenet of Islam is: la ilaha illa Allah wa Muhammadun rasool-Allah. This means “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his messenger.”
There are two separate points of importance in this statement.
First and foremost: la ilaha illa Allah There is no god but Allah.
(As a side note, “Allah” is simply the Arabic translation of big-G God in English. Arab Christians use the word “Allah,” too!)
One cannot be Muslim without holding this belief.
Monotheism is the absolute central tenet of Islam. The only divine being that exists is Allah; the One God.
Allah has no partners; He has no sons. The Christian trinity – although it is understood that Christians believe in only one God – is not compatible with Islamic beliefs.
The second important point is: Muhammadun rasool-Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
He is the final messenger of Allah. Prophets and messengers are of vital importance in Islam, but they are not divine.
They are not God-like. Muslims pray to God and to God only.
When Muslims pray, it is very simply between the person praying and Allah. We don’t pray in any of the Prophets’ names.
We don’t pray for saints or deceased loved ones to pray for us.
In Islam, we do not bow down to Creations/creatures; we do not bow down to a priest, nor a photograph, nor cross (+), nor a statue, nor prophets. We only bow down and only worship the one and only one supreme creator (Allah)
Allah knows Best