Encyclopedia of Islamic Myths:
Mohammed worshipped idols

Click to View

Islam: Truth or Myth? start page



Muslims falsely claim Muhammad never worshipped Idols. Another Arab myth.

  1. Even though their principal shrines lay north and east of Mecca, al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat were all worshiped by the Quraysh of Mecca, and at least al-Uzza numbered no less than Muhammad himself among her worshipers. (The Hajj, F. E. Peters, p 3-41, 1994)
  2. Muslim tradition insists that he had no dealing with the pagan cults of his native city. This seems unlikely, and there are clear indications in his later life to suggest that, like everyone else, he practised the religion of his fathers. We are told elsewhere that he sacrificed a sheep to the goddess al- 'Uzza. One little-known tradition has him offering meat which had been sacrificed to idols to a monotheist, who refused it and rebuked him. He is said to have belonged to the hums, a brotherhood which practised its own special rites at Meccan ceremonies and observed additional taboos. (Mohammed, Maxime Rodinson, 1961, translated by Anne Carter, 1971, p 38-49)
  3. I was told that the apostle of Allah said, as he was talking about Zayd son of 'Amr son of Nufayl, 'He was the first to upbraid me for idolatry and forbade me to worship idols. I had come from al-Ta'if along with Zayd son of Haritha when we passed Zayd son of 'Amr who was in the highland of Mecca. Quraysh had made a public example of him for abandoning his religion, so that he went out from their midst. I sat down with him. I had a bag containing meat which we had sacrificed to our idols -- Zayd b. Haritha was carrying it -- and I offered it to Zayd b. 'Amir -- I was but a lad at the time -- and I said, "Eat some of this food, my uncle." He replied, "Surely it is part of those sacrifices of theirs which they offer to their idols?" When I said that it was, he said, "Nephew mine, if you were to ask the daughters of 'Abd al-Muttalib they would tell you that I never eat of these sacrifices, and I have no desire to do so." Then he upbraided me for idolatry and spoke disparagingly of those who worship idols and sacrifice to them, and said, "They are worthless: they can neither harm nor profit anyone," or words to that effect.' The apostle added, 'After that I never knowingly stroked one of their idols nor did I sacrifice to them until God honoured me with his apostleship. (Islam, Alfred Guillaume, p 26-27)


Written by Brother Andrew


Click to View