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Asking from the Awliya and Tawassul




1. Can we ask dua from the awliya ( that passed away )

2.My question is regarding Saints (aWLIYA )

Is it possible they have knowledge not of the unseen or the future but events that have taken place already, but not near them?My family regularly visit Saints both deceased and alive, I have heard stories about how one saint refused to read Jummah behind someone because on their travels they releaved themselves and didnt renew Wudhu. etc, many events like this.

Is this classed as Ghaib?

I am trying to understand the dedication to saints/Peer in the indo/pak region and why it is only there and if I should follow it.

( Question published as received )


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh


It is not permissible to ask the Awliya to fulfill ones Duas. However, it is permissible for one to ask Allah (Subhanah WaTa’ala) through the Wasila of the Awliya. This is done by asking Allah (Subhanah WaTa’ala) to fulfill ones such and such Dua through the love that one has for the Awliya. Thus, one is not directly asking the Awliya, rather he is, in essence, asking from Allah (Subhanah WaTa’ala) who alone is capable of fulfilling Duas.

The anbiyā, martyrs and close servants of Allah Ta’ala are alive in their graves. However, their life is different from the life of the living.  It is incorrect to believe that the awliyā (friends of Allah Ta’ala) have the ability to accept people’s prayers etc. It is also incorrect to ask ones needs directly from the deceased.

Fatāwa Mahmoodiyyah 1/539 Jamia Fārooqiyyah Karachi

 A person can supplicate directly to Allah Ta῾āla without any intermediary and without the intercession of anyone. Allah Ta’ala says:


وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِى عَنِّى فَإِنِّى قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِى وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِى لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

“And when my servants ask you about Me, of course, I am near. I respond to the call of one when

he prays to Me; so they should respond to Me and have faith in Me so that they may be on the right path.”

(Quran, 2:186)


A person can also adopt tawassul (means) in making make duā. The means could be through one of the names or attributes of Allah, it could be a righteous deed one has done, or through a pious person, whether he is alive or has passed away as long is it not done in an impermissible way.


The basis for tawassul are the following.


Allah says in Sūrah Al-Māidah:


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُوا فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“O you who believe! Fear Allah and seek a means (wasīla) to him” (Quran, 5:35)


It is stated in a hadīth,


أن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه كان إذا قحطوا استسقى بالعباس بن عبد المطلب فقال : اللهم إنا كنا نتوسل إليك بنبينا فتسقينا ، وإنا نتوسل إليك بعم نبينا فاسقنا ، قال فيسقون

Whenever drought threatened them, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, used to ask Al-Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib to invoke Allah for rain. He used to say, “O Allah! We used to ask our Prophet to invoke You for rain, and You would bless us with rain, and now we ask his uncle to invoke You for rain. O Allah ! Bless us with rain.”

So it would rain.


In the time of Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), a blind person came and requested Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) to make duā to cure him. Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) asked him to make wudū and then make the following duā [1][vi]:


اللهم إني أسألك وأتوجه إليك بنبيك محمد نبي الرحمة إني توجهت بك إلى ربي في حاجتي هذه لتقضى لي اللهم فشفعه

‘Oh Allah, verily, I ask of you and I turn to you through your Prophet, Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy, (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), verily, I have turned to my Lord through you (Muhammad) so that my need be fulfilled. Oh Allah, accept his intercession on my behalf.’


It is clear from the above references of Quran and Ahadīth that tawassul is permissible. However in doing tawassul, it is important that one is making du῾ā’ to Allah and no one else.


The waseela, a good deed or pious person is a means to attract Allah’s mercy. One is not making dua to the pious person.


It is not like calling a prime-minister to reach the president. In dua we reach Allah directly and merely refer to the good deed or a pious as a means to invoke Allah’s mercy.


A saint refers to a waliyyullah (friend of Allah) or a person who is known to have a very close relationship with Allah Ta’āla.Peers are often from amongst the awliyāullah (friends of Allah) as well. The ahādīth make mention of such people and their status in the eyes of Allah Ta’āla[1]. It is because of this relationship that Allah Ta’āla blesses some of His servants by granting them partial knowledge of the unseen.

In order to fully comprehend the intricacies of the unseen, it is best to first understand the different forms of knowledge attributed to al-Ghaib.

The word “Ghaib” can be categorized into two types of knowledge:

(1) Intrinsic (also known as “Haqīqī” and “‘Ilm adh-Dhātī”): This refers to the knowledge of the unseen gained without any medium. This type of knowledge is exclusive to Allah Ta’āla and is also the true and total knowledge of the unseen.

(2) Attributive (also known as “Idhāfī” and ‘Atāī): This refers to that knowledge of the unseen which Allah Ta’āla grants his servants through different means such as wahy (revelation) revealed to a prophet. This is also called “Anbā ul-ghaib” or “news of the unseen”. This type of knowledge is limited to what Allah Ta’āla decides to reveal to a person. Examples of this knowledge have been cited numerous times throughout books of ahādīth, history and even in the Qurān itself.[2]

This second type of knowledge of the unseen is sometimes granted to the pious saints as well through various means such as Ilham (divine inspiration) or Kashf (disclosure of the unseen).[3] This could include a warning of a calamity, the knowledge of people’s sins, and even events of the past. This knowledge does not fall under the true definition of ‘Ilm al-Ghaib because acquisition of such knowledge involves a medium.[4] Knowledge of the unseen in its real sense is knowledge without the mediation of a physical cause.[5]

While saints may be inspired with ‘Ilm ul-Ghaib, it is important to understand that a true saint is one who possesses the following qualities:

(1) Sincere love for Allah Ta’āla

(2) Sincere love for the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)

(3) Full adherence to the commands of Allah Ta’āla

(4) Full adherence to the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)

(5) Extreme dislike for all things averting one from the remembrance of Allah Ta’āla[6]

(6) Sitting in the company of such a person cultivates the love of Allah and his Rasul in one’s heart and consciountises him of preparing for life after death and accountability to Allah.

It is incorrect to use ‘Ilm ul-Ghaib as a sole measure to determine one being a saint.[7] There were many people in the past who claimed to be saints and dragged people away from the correct path. As long as the person claiming to be a saint matches the qualities outlined above, one may benefit from his spirituality.

May Allah Ta’ālā grant you His nearness and keep you steadfast on His deen.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Sohail ibn Arif
Student, Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.



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