Why Do Muslims Pray for Muhammad (peace be upon him)?


Question:

Why do Muslims pray for Muhammad (peace be upon him) doesn’t that mean he needs prayers or forgiveness from God? This is a claim that often comes up in conversations with Christian missionaries.

Answer:

The primary reason we send salutations of peace and blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) is due to this verse in the Qur’an:

“Indeed, Allah showers His blessings upon the Prophet, and His angels pray for him. O believers! Invoke Allah’s blessings upon him, and salute him with worthy greetings of peace.” – Qur’an 33:56 (translation by Dr. Mustafa Khattab – The Clear Qur’an).

Due to God commanding Muslims to do so, that is the most significant reason for us to convey salutations (praise) upon him. On the other hand, conveying these salutations do not necessarily imply a lack of good on his part or some moral deficiency, this can also be seen in the Lord’s Prayer in the New Testament:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” – Matthew 6:9 (NIV).

“Father, hallowed be your name…” – Luke 11:2 (NIV).

In these passages, “hallowed” refers to respect, honour, glory and to salute (see the Cambridge English Dictionary). No one argues that God lacks respect, honour, glory or needs our salutations, rather these praises are done out of respect, love and admiration. The same in this case applies to the Prophet (peace be upon him), he does not lack these qualities, but rather we have a deep love, admiration and respect for him that is expressed when we convey prayers upon him.

and God knows best.

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