Is it wrong to refer to Allah and one of His creatures with the same pronoun?

Sheikh Salman al-Odah|
Question: I was giving a lecture on an Islamic topic, and happened to say: "Allah and His messenger are innocent of what those people ascribe to them." Some people objected to my saying this, telling me it is wrong to refer to Allah and one of His creatures with the same pronoun. Are their objections correct?

Answered by Sheikh Salman al-Oadah

It is permissible to mention Allah's name along with someone else or something else in the same sentence, whether through a shared pronoun or by other means. We see this quite often in the Quran and Sunnah. The name of Allah is mentioned in conjunction with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in what could easily be more than four thousand places.

However, if a certain phrase where Allah's name is mentioned along with someone else's has a chance of giving people the impression that the other entity is on the same level as Allah or as a partner to Allah, then it should be avoided, even if the statement's real meaning is innocent. It is better to avoid confusion.

What would be best is for the speaker to take the occasion as an opportunity to explain this issue properly, so people can be clear on the matter.

The only time it is prohibited to mention Allah's name along with someone or something else � whether by use of a conjunction like "and" or by a shared pronoun, or by any other means of grouping words  is where it conveys the meaning that someone or something else is equal to Allah, like sharing in His being Creator, or in His omnipotence, or in His will, or in His deeds.

Once a man said to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): "As Allah wishes and as you wish."

The Prophet (peace be upon him) corrected the man, instructing him to rather say: "As Allah wishes, and then as you wish." [Sunan Ibn Majah (2108)]

This phrase is clear that the will of a human being is subordinate to Allah's will and dependent upon it.

In cases where a prohibited meaning is neither intended nor implied, then it is permissible to mention Allah along with something else in the same phrase.

One of the countless examples of this is where Allah says in the Qur'an: "It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision. If any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path. " [Surah al-Ahzab: 36]

And Allah knows best.
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