Many people have started to use this phrase in defence of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and they have made it a slogan of their boycott on countries which supported those who impugned our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
There is no doubt about the good intention behind the use of this phrase, but there is a problem with regard to its meaning, which is that it mentions an exception but it does not mention from what the exception is.
No matter what the exception is from, the meaning of the phrase is still not acceptable. The apparent meaning is that we may accept or remain silent about the insults of anything except the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and this meaning is false (invalid)., because we do not should not remain silent about insults to Allaah or the Qur’aan or Islam or any of the Prophets and Messengers or the angels or the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) or the Mothers of the Believers (may Allaah be pleased with them) or our fellow believers. Thus it is clear that the meaning of this phrase is not correct, and this is what has made some of our scholars issue fatwas stating that is it not permissible.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: Recently it has become popular to write the words “Except the Messenger of Allaah”. Do you think it is permissible to use this phrase?
I do not think it is permissible to use this phrase, because it does not convey a proper meaning. In my view it is akin to the Sufis saying “Allaah, Allaah.” But we know that what is meant by what they write is “Anything except the Messenger of Allaah, so do not even come near his status and sanctity. This is what is meant by those who write it, but if we look at the implication of the phrase “except the Messenger of Allaah”, the meaning becomes, “Revile everything except the Messenger of Allaah”! Is this correct? Are these proper words?
Revile everything except the Messenger of Allaah – this is wrong.
End quote from Sharh Muqaddimat Usool al-Tafseer – fourth lesson, first question.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Abbaad (may Allaah preserve him) was asked to comment on this phrase.
He replied: As for the phrase “except the Messenger of Allaah”, this is an incorrect phrase, and the exception should be mentioned. No doubt insulting Allaah is worse than insulting the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), so this phrase is not proper and is not valid. End quote.
Sharh Sunan Ibn Majaah
And Allaah knows best.