Does Allah pray? – Addressing a common Missionary argument.
So I just spent the last 2 weeks preparing a 85 plus powerpoint lecture about the subject of “Does Allah pray?” And in it I approach the topic from almost every angle possible. But in reality the only reason I’m doing this is because our Missionary friends don’t really understand the concept of the Salaf and the weight to which the statements of the first 3 generations hold on our religion. But in all honesty any Muslim with a mustard seed of knowledge will know that this one quote will destroy the argument that the Salat of Allah means anything other than that Allah mentioning the person in high regard.
So the narration I’m about to present is from a man named:
أبو العالية: رفيع بن مهران
Abu al-’Aaliyah Rafeea’h bin Mahraan.
So who is Abu al-’Aaliyah?
He is a scholar of Islam who learned under the companions of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He was born during the lifetime of the prophet Muhammad (saws) but since he was young he didn’t manage to become Muslim until the Califate of Abu Bakr.
So he’s considered from the التابعين Tabi’een, meaning those that met the companions of the prophet Muhammad (saws). And this isn’t just an average person, this man met everyone from the great companions for example:
قال أبو عمرو الداني : أخذ أبو العالية القراءة عرضا عن أبي ، وزيد ، وابن عباس.
“It is narrated from Abu ‘Amro ad-Daani: Abu Al-’Aaliyah took his recitation (of the Quran) from Ubai (ibn Ka’ib), and Zaid, and Ibn Abaas.
عن حفصة بنت سيرين ، قالت : قال لي أبو العالية : قرأت القرآن على عمر – رضي الله عنه- ثلاث مرار
It was narrated from Hafsah bint Sireen who said: Abu Al-’Aaliyah told me: “I recited the Quran to ‘Umar (ra) three times.
قال أبو بكر بن أبي داود : وليس أحد بعد الصحابة أعلم بالقرآن من أبي العالية
Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawud said: There is no one after the Sahabah more knowledgeable about the Quran than Abu Al-’Aaliyah.
Suffice it to say Abu Al-’Aaliyah is the most credible source of Tafsir for the Quran after a direct quote from either the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) or the companions. So what does he says about the verse?
عن أبي العالية في قوله: (إن الله وملائكته يصلون على النبي)
It was narrated from Abu al-’Aaliyah about the verse:
قال : صلاة الله – عز وجل عليه – ثناؤه عليه،
For which he said: Allah’s Salat (means) speaking highly of him.
وصلاة الملائكة عليه الدعاء، ( أي يدعون للناس ويستغفرون لهم )
And the Salat of the Angels is that they make Du’ah for him.
(Meaning they pray and (ask Allah) to forgive them.)
الألباني( صحيح ) أنظر: فضل الصلاة على النبي [1 / 79 ].
[And this narration was authenticated by Shaykh Al-Albani as Saheeh]
Now let me be honest, this is a mic drop type of quote. If a person cannot understand the weight of this statement, then there is no hope for them. They simply don’t understand how religion and narrations work. So you’re better off first teaching them the fundamentals of Hadeeth, and the status of the Sahabah before you touch upon these subjects.
Hope this helps everyone who faces this argument in the future. And inshallah I should be releasing my first lecture in about a week, so be on the look out for that as well.
Jizak Allah Khair.