Is it bidat to make dua to Allah through the waseelah of Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam?
Praise be to Allah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our own nafs and from our evil deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides, none can lead him astray, and whomsoever Allah sends astray none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, the Alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam is His slave and Messenger.
We have had some questions regarding waseelah and tawassul which prompted us to write a detailed answer. May Alllah accept and be pleased. Aameen.
Waseelah means ‘المنزلة عند الملك’ a high position in the king’s eye.
(الكتاب : القاموس المحيط المؤلف : الفيروزآبادي الوسِيلَةُ والواسِلَةُ المَنْزِلَةُ عند المَلِكِ،
الكتاب : معجم لغة الفقهاء الوسيلة: بفتح فكسر ج وسائل ووسل مص وسل، الواسطة، المنزلة عند الملك.* ما يتقرب به إلى الغير لنيل رضاه، الوصلة. ومنه * (يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتقوا الله وابتغوا إليه الوسيلة))
Tawassul means “to make a request or supplicate through a means”.
If you wanted something from the king and you go through the minister it is hoped that the king will listen and fulfil your need.
It is permissible to ask a pious person to make dua for you and it is permissible for one to request Allah Ta’ala to accept his du’aa through the blessing of some deeds or the rank of certain individuals as this may be closer to acceptance.
Different types of Waseelah and Tawassul
- To make Tawassul with the names and attributes of Almighty Allah: this is allowed and is supported by the following verse, ‘And Allah has beautiful names, so call unto Him through them.’ (Surah A’araaf v.180)
- To make Tawassul to Almighty Allah that He accepts the Duaa due to one having performed a certain good deed is permissible and unanimously accepted. It is supported by the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari in which three people were trapped in a cave. Each of them made Duaa to Allah Taala to move the obstructing rock and they requested Allah Taala to accept their duaas due to some good deed that each of them had done.
- Tawassul by supplicating to Allah Ta’ala through the rank and position of certain individuals, alive or deceased, in the sight of Almighty Allah. This includes the Prophets alayhimus salaam, the martyrs and any other pious servant of Allah. For example; if one says, ‘Oh Allah, I beseech you to accept my du’aa due to the status of Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam in Your eyes, this form of Tawassul is permissible according to the vast majority of the Ulama and it has in fact remained part of their practise.
The third type is disputed upon and our view is that it is permissible, therefore let us present some proofs and the answers to the objections made against this view.
Evidence of Tawassul in the Holy Quran
(1) In Surah Al Baqarah, Allah Ta’la says,
“And when there came to them a Book from Allah confirming what is with them, although beforehand they had prayed for victory against those without faith…..” (Surah Al Baqarah verse no. 89)
(i) In the commentary of this ayah, it is written in Tafseer-e-Jalalain that they were praying for victory over those who disbelieved saying, “O Allah, help us against them with the Prophet who will be sent at the end of time!”
(ii) According to Tafseer-e-Uthmani, the commentary of this ayah is that ‘Before the revelation of the Quran, the Jews, when vanquished by the infidels, prayed to God: ‘Give us victory and dominance over these infidels by the grace of the Last Prophet and the Book which will be given to Him.’
Someone may object to this by saying that this was an act of the Jews; hence it cannot be used as evidence for Muslims. However, Allah has mentioned this event in the Qur’an and did not condemn this; therefore this demonstrates that if it were impermissible the Holy Qur’an would not have mentioned it.
(iii) Allama Aaloosi rahmatullahi alayhi writes in his Tafseer; ‘Roohul Ma’ani’
This ayah was revealed regarding Banu Quraizah and Banu Nazeer, who used to ask Allah for victory against Aus and Khazraj by the means of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, and this was done before he was born. They used to say,
“Oh Allah we beseech you by the rights of that Prophet of yours whom you have promised to send us towards the end of time, that you give us victory over our enemy today”
This has also been narrated by Tafseer-e-kashaf and Khazin.
(2) Allah Most High says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا الله وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُوا فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ (35)
“O you who believe! Fear Allah and seek a means (waseelah) to him” (Surah al-Ma’ida, V: 35)
The word “Waseelah” (a means of approach) in its general indication includes Tawassul (intercession) by persons, and through actions.
(3) In Surah Nisaa’ Allah explains:
“We did not send a messenger but that he should be obeyed by Allah’s permission; and had they, when they had done injustice to themselves, come to you and asked Allah for forgiveness, and the messenger (also) had asked pardon for them, surely, they would have found Allah oft-returning, merciful” (Suarah Nisaa V: 64)
Here it has been made clear that the presence of the Prophet of Allah (swt) has been a way for the people to use as a means of approach in asking forgiveness.
(4) Allah Ta’la has praised those who supplicate through a means in his Holy Quran in Surah Al Isra (ayah no. 57);
“Those whom they call upon do seek (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (striving) which of them is nearest: they hope for His mercy and fear His wrath: for the wrath of thy Lord is something against which one should take guard.”
(5) Imam Tabari, Hafidh Ibn ul Qayyum al Jawzi, Hafidhh Ibn Kathir and Qadi Shawkani write that before the birth of the Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), the Jews would make the Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, a Waseela in their supplications, when asking Allah to defeat their enemies in battle. (Tafsir Ibn Jareer, Tafsir Ibn Kathir & Tafsir Fath ul Qadeer Shawkaani. Ibn Qayyum. Under, verse Baqarah 89 and Hadaya-tul-Hayara page 95 by Hafidhh Ibn Qayyum al Jawzi)
Evidence of Tawassul from the Ahādīth
There are numerous proofs that support the permissibility of Tawassul through individuals
(1) Narrated by Abdullah bin Dinar;
My father said, “I heard Ibn ‘Umar reciting the poetic verses of Abu Talib:
“And He is of a white complexion (i.e. the Prophet) through whose face rain of the clouds is sought and who is the refuge of the orphans and is the guardian of widows.”
In another narration Ibn ‘Umar said, “The following poetic verse occurred to my mind while I was looking at the face of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam while he was praying for rain. He did not get down until the rain water flowed profusely from every roof-gutter:
“And He is of a white complexion (i.e. the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) through whose face rain is sought from the clouds and who is the refuge of the orphans and is the guardian of widows.
And these were the words of Abu Talib.” (Bukhari Volume 2, Book 17, Number 122)
(2) It is permissible to invoke Allah for the sake of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, since Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam is the leader of the children of Adam. There is a Hadith (hasan and sahih) related by both Tirmidhi and Ahmad ibn Hanbal on the authority of ‘Uthman bin Hunayf radhiallaahu anhu, which says that:
‘Once a blind person came to Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam and said, ‘Ya Rasulallah! “Ask Allah to cure me.’ Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam replied, ‘If you wish I will make Du’aa otherwise you may be patient and this is better for you.’ The man said, ‘Make Du’aa’. Rasulullahsallallaahu alayhi wasallam then commanded him to make Wudhu properly, perform two rakats salah and then he recite the following Du’aa,
‘Oh Allah, verily, I ask of you and I turn to you through your prophet Muhammad, the prophet of mercy sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, O Muhammad, verily, I have turned to my Lord through you so that my need be fulfilled. Oh Allah, accept his intercession on my behalf and fulfil my need.”
(Musnad Ahmad vol.4 pg.138; Sunan Tirmidhi; Sunan ibn Majah; Mustadrak Haakim and others). Imaam Tirmidhi, ibn Khuzaymah and Haakim have classified this Hadith as authentic.
The words, ‘I turn to you through your Prophet’ clearly prove tawassul through the position of a person. Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam also told him that he should make the same supplication whenever he needed to. (al-Raddul Muhkamul Mateen pg.145)
Imam Bayhaqi has also written this narration but included an additional element of the hadith that states Uthman bin Hunayf reported that the blind man followed what the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] said and when he returned, his sight was restored. (chapter on Al-Mo’jizaat). The hadith is mentioned below.
(3) Imam Tabrani narrates: A person came to Uthman Ghani radhiallaahu anhu with regards to seeking some assistance, but he was unable to attract the attention of the Khalifah on every attempt. The same person met Uthman bin Haneef radhiallaahu anhu, and told him his problem. Uthman bin Hunayf gave him some advice which was: ‘Perform Wudhu, pray two rak’at Nawaafil and then supplicate in this way: “Ya Allah, I ask You through the Waseela of Your Messenger Muhammadsallallaahu alayhi wasallam. The person acted accordingly and again went to Uthman bin Affanradhiallaahu anhu who helped him with his work and also said ‘If you ever need my help in future, I will be there for you.”
Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyya after writing this narration comments: ‘Maqdasi states that this narration is Sahih and Hakim declares that it fulfils the conditions of Bukhari,’ Hafidhh Ibn Tayymiah goes on to say: ‘The opinion of Uthman bin Hunayf is that it is permitted to supplicate in this way even after our Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam passed away. But since this is not evident from any other companion it does not prove that it is Wajib.’ (Al-waseela Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyah page 98)
The above hadeeth is mentioned in Mu’jamus sagheer by Imam Tabrani and he says, ‘this hadeeth is saheeh.’ Allamah Munziri says the same thing in At-Targheeb Wat Tarheeb, volume 1, page 242. Allamah Subki says in Shifa us Siqam (page 125) that tawassul is permissible after the demise of the Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam, and this is also mentioned in Wafaul Wafa (volume 2, page 420).
(4) It is narrated by Mus’ab bin Sa’ad radhiallaahu anhu: “Once Sa’d (bin Abi Waqqas) radhiallaahu anhu thought that he was superior to those who were below him in rank. On that the Prophetsallallaahu alayhi wasallam said, “You gain no victory or livelihood except through (the blessings of) the poor amongst you.” (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 76, Number 145)
(5) It is narrated in Mishkatul Masabeeh;
‘He [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] used to seek Allahs assistance by means of the destitute ones from amongst the Muhajireen.’ (Mishkatul Masabeeh Kitabur riqaq)
(6) It is narrated by Abu Darda radhiallaahu anhu in Mishkat:
The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said, “Search for me among your weak ones, because your livelihood is given to you [or he said you are assisted] through the weak among you.”
(7) It is narrated by Ibn ‘Umar radhiallaahu anhu:
The Prophet said, “While three people were walking, rain began to fall and they had to enter a cave in a mountain. A big rock rolled over and blocked the mouth of the cave. They said to each other, ‘Invoke Allah with the best deed you have performed (so Allah might remove the rock)’. One of them said, ‘O Allah! My parents were old and I used to go out for grazing (my animals). On my return I would milk (the animals) and take the milk in a vessel to my parents to drink. After they had drunk from it, I would give it to my children, family and wife. One day I was delayed and on my return I found my parents sleeping, and I disliked it to wake them up. The children were crying at my feet. That state of affairs continued until it was dawn. O Allah! If You regard that I did it for Your sake, then please remove this rock so that we may see the sky.’ So, the rock was moved a bit.
The second said, ‘O Allah! You know that I was in love with a cousin of mine, like the deepest love a man may have for a woman, and she told me that I would not get my desire fulfilled unless I paid her one-hundred Dinars (gold pieces). So, I struggled for it till I gathered the desired amount, and when I sat in between her legs, she told me to be afraid of Allah, and asked me not to deflower her except rightfully (by marriage). So, I got up and left her. O Allah! If You regard that I did it for Your sake, kindly remove this rock.’ So, two-thirds of the rock was removed.
Then the third man said, ‘O Allah! No doubt You know that once I employed a worker for one Faraq (three Sa’s) of millet, and when I wanted to pay him, he refused to take it, so I sowed it and from its yield I bought cows and a shepherd. After a time that man came and demanded his money. I said to him: Go to those cows and the shepherd and take them for they are for you. He asked me whether I was joking with him. I told him that I was not joking with him, and all that belonged to him. O Allah! If You regard that I did it sincerely for Your sake, then please remove the rock.’ So, the rock was removed completely from the mouth of the cave. (sahih al bukhari volume 1 page 295, book of transactions)
(8) It is narrated by Abu Saeed Al Khudri radhiallaahu anhu;
“Whosoever leaves the house for salah and says: ‘Oh Allah I ask You by the rights the seekers have upon you, and I ask You by the right of this, my walking…”
(reported by Ibne Majah, Musnade Ahmed volume 3 page 21,Tabrani volume 2 page 990, Baihaqi volume 1 page 47) Imam Ibne Hajar has classified this Hadith as hasan in Natāijul afkar.
Here the words (بحق السائلين) ‘by the rights of those who ask’ are mentioned and this includes all those who are alive as well as those who have passed away.
(9) On the authority of Anas Ibn Malik radhiallaahu anhu who said:
“When Fatima binte Asad, mother of Hadhrat Ali radhiallaahu anhu passed away the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam entered upon her and sat by her head. He remarked, “May Allah Ta’la have mercy on you my mother! You were my mother after my mother, you fed when I was hungry, clothed me when I was naked, denied yourself the finer things and furnished me with them so that you may gain the grace of Allah Ta’la and (success) in the abode of hereafter. He [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] then ordered that she be washed three times. When the water mixed with camphor was brought, He [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] poured it (over her) with his own hands then removed his upper garment and clothed her with it. Then the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallamshrouded her with a cloak and sent for Usamah Ibn Zayd radhiallaahu anhu, Abu Ayyub Al-Ansariradhiallaahu anhu, Umar Ibn Khattab radhiallaahu anhu, and a coloured slave so that they may dig her grave. When they had reached the lahd (the niche in which the body is placed) the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam dug it with his own hands and removed the soil from it. When He [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] had finished, He [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] lied down in the lahd and said; “By He who grants life and imparts death, who is ever-living and does not die, forgive my mother Fatima binte Asad and instruct and dictate her the hujjat (answer to the questions of munkar and nakeer) and expand her gave for her, by the haqq (right) of your Prophet and those (Prophets) who came before me, because You are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. He [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] then prayed her janazah salah. Then the Messenger sallallaahu alayhi wasallam along with Hadhrat Abbas radhiallaahu anhu and Abu Bakr radhiallaahu anhuplaced her in the niche”.
(Tabrani in Al-Awsat and Al-kabir, Samhudi in wafaul wafa)
(10) Hafidh Ibn Kathir writes that the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said that seven people will always remain in my Ummah whose dua will be readily accepted. Through them Allah will provide rain, help, and food for the Ummah. Another hadith states that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] said that thirty abdaal (saints) will always stay in my Ummah, and with their waseela, Allah Almighty will provide rain, help and food. Qatadah says, “I have great hope that Hasan al Basri is one of them.” (Tafsir ibn Kathir Surah Al-Baqarah under Verse 252).
(11) Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim write that the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said, “A time will come when the non-believers will fight the Muslims. It will be asked; is there anyone in the army who has seen the Prophet? They will reply yes and will win the war. Another time will come when there will be another war with the non-believers and the question will be asked; have you anyone in the army who has seen the companions of the Prophet? They will reply yes and will win the war. Another time will come and a question will be asked; is there anyone in the army who has seen the person who has seen the companions? They will reply yes, and will win the war. [Bukhari and Muslim chapter on Fada’il Sahaba] Ibn Hajar Asqalani writes that these three wars will be won by the Muslims with the waseela of the Sahabah, tabi’ee and taba tabi’ee. This hadith is also verified by another hadith, where Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said: “My time is the best, then the companions time is the best, then the people who have seen the companions’ companions time is the best.” [Fathul Bari chapter on Jihad]
Abu Ya’la Al Musali has related a similar hadith in his musnad:
(12) Many people consider the tawassul of the dead to be impermissible and the only proof that can be presented is mentioned below;
In the Hadith recorded by Imam al-Bukhari and others, it is stated that at the time of Istisqaa (praying for rain) Hadhrat Umar radhi Allahu Anhu made Tawassul through the uncle of the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, namely Sayyiduna Abbas radhi Allahu Anhu,
Umar Ibn Khattab used to pray to Allah resorting to and through Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib during drought to get rainfall. He used to say: “O Allah we always did beseech you by petitioning through your Prophet (s.a.w) and you used to send us rain. Now we beseech you by petitioning through the Uncle of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. So let the rain fall. He says: “The people would get rain.” (Bukhari Volume 2, Book 17, Number 123)
- Firstly, the usool (principle) of the muhadditheen and the fuqaha (jurists) is that ‘leaving something out is not daleel of impermissibility.’
- Hadhrat Umar used Hadhrat Abbas to show people the status of the Prophet’s family within the society and teach people to respect them, as Ibn Hajar said in explanation of the report of Hadhrat Anas:”It is desirable to seek the intercession of saintly people and the relatives of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, and it shows Hadhrat Abbas’s great merit and that of `Umar due to the latter’s humbleness before al-`Abbas and his recognition of his due right.” (Fathul Bari, volume 3, page 632, beirut)
- Hadhrat Umar radhi allahu anhu did this to make it clear that it was permissible to seek intercession through others besides the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, i.e. the people of righteousness and good whose barakah is hoped for. This is why we read in Fath-ul-Bari, after the story of Umar seeking intercession through Hadhrat Abbas radhi allahu anhu: “We can deduce from the story of Hadhrat Abbas that it is recommended to seek the intercession of the people of righteousness and good, and the people of the House of the Prophet.”
- The use of the Prophet’s uncle shows that tawassul is essentially through the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, as the importance of Hadhrat Abbas radhi allahu anhu in this respect is only in his relationship to the Prophet as ‘Umar himself states with the words “the uncle of your Prophet” and as Hadhrat Abbas radhi allahu anhu states:”O Allah, The people have turned to you by means of me because of my position in relation to your Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam.”Mentioned from al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar’s narration in al-Ansab by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (2:497).
- Imam Hakim has mentioned in his Mustadrak that Hadhrat Umar radhi allahu anhu addressed the people:”O’ people, verily the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam would hold Hadhrat Abbas radhi allahu anhu in very high esteem as a son would his father, so follow the Prophetsallallaahu alayhi wasallam in [his relationship towards] his uncle and make him a means to Allah in whatever befalls you.” (Musatadrak-e-Hakim Volume 3 Page 334)
An objection raised by Ibn Taymiah (ra) and answers
Allamah Ibn Taymiah rahmatullahi alayhi has written that it is not permissible to do tawassul of anyone who has passed away. For example, it is not permissible to say that ‘because of the blessings this person has, or I am asking though the waseelah of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam or the barkat of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr radhi allahu anhu.’
Many scholars have pointed out that Ibn Taymiah was the first person to reject tawassul. Those who came before him unanimously agreed upon this. Several scholars have written refuting the view of Ibn Taymiah:
- Allamah Ibn Abideen writes; ‘Imam Subki (ra) has written that it is permissible to make waseelah of the Prophet to Allah and there was no one amongst the predecessors who rejected this belief until Ibn Taymiah(ra). So he has started such a bid’ah that no scholar before him has done or said. (Raddul Muhtar volume 5 page 350 and Taskeeenus Sudoor page 399)
- Allamah Subki writes; “Suffice to say that (the view) of rejection held by Ibn Taymaih (ra), has never been mentioned by other Muslim scholars prior to him ” (Shifaus siqaam page 120 as in Taskeenus Sudoor page 399)
- Allamah Aaloosi Bhagdadi (ra), the author of Tafseer Ruhul Ma’ani has written the same thing in his tafseer (volume 6, page 126).
- Some people may question the statement of Allamah Subki to be harsh and due to prejudices against Ibn Taymiah but Allamah Abdul Hay Lakhnawi (ra) who has written that, “The rejection by Allamh Subki was not due to prejudices, rather he is correct in his statements which have been accepted and given as evidence by great scholars” (At ta’leeqats Sunniyyah page 196 as Taskeenus Sudoor page 400)
Evidence of Tawassul from the Ulama
Hereunder follows a list of some of the many illustrious Ulama of the past who had practised upon Tawassul through the rank of the pious, deceased or alive:
(1) Imaam Shaafi’ee rahmatullahi alayhi would make Tawassul at the grave of Imaam Abu Hanifa [ra]. (Taarikh Baghdaad). Allaamah al-Kawthari has classified this incident as authentic. (Maqaalaatul Kawthari pg.381)
Ali ibn Maimoon says, “I heard Imam Shafee saying, ‘I take blessings from Imam Abu Hanifah and come to visit his grave everyday whenever I am in need. I perform two rakats, then come and ask Allah for my need near his grave and my needs are fulfilled’”
(2) Khalifah Mansoor came to Imam Malik rahmatullahi alayhi when he travelled for Hajj and came for ziyarat of our Nabi sallallaahu alayhi wasallam and him (after completing salam at the Rawdha when intending to make dua) ‘Where shall I face during supplicating, towards the Qiblah or towards our Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam?’ Imam Malik rahmatullahi alayhi replied,
“Why should you turn your face away from your Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam when He is your means and your father Adam (as)‘s means to Allah? Rather you should face the Prophetsallallaahu alayhi wasallam and ask for his intercession, so Allah will accept his intercession.”
Imam Qadhi Iyādh narrates this in Ash-shifa (volume 2 page 92). Hadhrat Adam(as)’s narration is mentioned by Imam Baihaqi rahmatullahi alayhi in Dalāilun Nabuwwa (volume 5, page 489).
(3) It is narrated by Hadhrat Umar ;
When Adam alayhis salaam made a mistake, he made Du’a like this: ‘ O Allah forgive my mistake with the Waseela of Muhammad, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace). Allah asked the Prophet Adam peace be upon him, how he knew about Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
Adam, peace be upon him, answered “when you created me, I lifted my head and saw: LA ILA HA ILLALLAHU MUHAMMDUR RASU LULLAH written on the throne. Therefore I knew that this person must be of a very high status. Otherwise you would not have written his name with yours.” Allah Ta’ala then said I have forgiven you. He will be the last Messenger in your children and if it was not for Muhammad, I would not have created you.”
Other scholars have also written this narration, such as Hafidhh Suyuti, Bayhaqi in dalailun nabuwwah (volume 5, page 489), Tabrani in ausat (no. 6498), Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyya, Hakim (volume 2, page 615) Have clarified it as saheeh, as well as Tareekh Ibn Kathir in story of Adam.
(4) Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal rahmatullahi alayhi has also encouraged making Tawassul through Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam in ones duas. (Fataawa ibn Taimiyyah vol.1 pg.263)
(5) Abul-Jawzaa – Aws ibn Abdullah radhiallaahu anhu reports that once, the people of Madinah were experiencing a severe drought. They complained to Sayyidatuna Aaisha radhiallahu anha. She advised them that they should make a hole in the roof above the grave of Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam so that the grave is exposed to the skies. He says, ‘When they made a hole, heavy rains came down and crops also began to grow.’ (Sunan Darimi vol.1 pg.56)
(6) Allamah Nawawi rahmatullahi alayhi has mentioned that from among the etiquettes of visiting the grave of Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam is that one should make Tawassul through Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam to Allah Ta’ala for the acceptance of his Du’aas.
Thereafter, Allamah Nawawi states, ‘…and one of the best things that one should do is what has been related by Allaamah al-Mawardi [ra], al-Qaadhi Abu Tayyib [ra] and all our Ulama and they have all regarded it as commendable, and that is the incident of Imaam al-Utabi [ra] that he said,
‘I was once seated by the grave of Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, when a Bedouin came and said, ‘Peace be upon you, Messenger of Allah. O Messenger of Allah, I have heard Almighty Allah say in the Qur’aan:
“And if they, when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you and begged Allah’s forgiveness and the messenger also begged forgiveness for them, indeed they would have found Allah All-Forgiving Most Merciful.” (Al-Nisaa: 64)
Hence, I have come to you in a state that I seek forgiveness of my sins by seeking Your intercession to my Lord.’ Thereafter he recited a few couplets and departed.
Imaam al-Utabi rahmatullahi alayhi states, ‘I then fell asleep and I saw Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam instructing me by the words, ‘O Utabi, go to that Bedouin and give him the glad tidings that Almighty Allah has forgiven him.’ (Refer al-Majmoo vol.8 pg.456 – Cairo and Manaasikul-Imaam-Al-Nawawi pg.498-499 Maktabah Salafia).
This incident has been related by many Ulama in their respective compilations. Some of them are: Haafiz Ibn-Katheer in his Tafseer, Allamah Abu-Muhammad ibn Qudaamah in Al-Mughni vol.3 pg.556, Imaam Abul-Faraj in Al-Sharhul-Kabeer vol.3 pg.495, etc. None of them have said that this type of action is shirk.
(7) A similar story is narrated by Allamah Qurtubi rahmatullahi alayhi under the same verse. In there a Bedouin came after three days of the burial of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. Thereafter he threw himself near the grave of the Prophet and said, “O’ Prophet of Allah, we have listened to you and You have accepted the call of Allah and we have heard and accepted your call. Allah has revealed to You (and he recited the same verse as above Surah Nisaa ayat 64), Verily I have done injustice to myself and now come to You in order that you ask forgiveness from me (to Allah). A voice came from the grave that you have been forgiven. (Qurtubi)
This verse is a proof of permissibility of intercession and waseelah through the Prophet in all conditions.
Shaikh Albani writes the views of the scholars after a long discussion on waseelah; “Imam Ahmed claims it permissible to do tawassul through the Prophet only while others such as Imam Shaukani claim its permissibility to do tawassul through other Prophets and pious people.” (Commentary on Aqqedatut Tahawi page 46)
Imam Shaukani has claimed Ijma’ of the Sahabah to do tawassul of the Prophet as well as other pious people. (Tuhfatuz zakireen page 37)
Lastly, we would like you to keep in mind that this permissibility is in regard to one who asks Allah Ta’ala for his needs and he uses some honourable personality as his Waseela, without thinking or believing that the person is being supplicated to or that he will fulfil his need. However, if one asks directly from the deceased and he believes that the Anbiyaa alayhimus salaam and the pious rahimahumullah independently possess the power to provide, then this would be Shirk (polytheism) because he is now ascribing partners to Allah in the quality of ‘Providing’.
Also there is no doubt that performing salatul hajat and supplicating through the dua which the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam taught would be a more preferred option. However, our aim is to say that Tawassul is also allowed, and it is not haram as long as one stays in the boundaries of shariah.
Shaikh Yunus Sahebs view on Waseelah and Tawassul
A book by the name of Al-Yawaqeetul Ghaliyah has been published recently. In it are answers to questions put forward before the Shaikhul Hadeeth of Saharanpur, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammed Yunus Jonpuri Saheb Damat Barakatuhum. In reply to a similar question he writes on page 57:
“There are three categories of asking for help through the deceased:
(1) One supplicates to Allah and says, ‘Oh Allah through the means of this person fulfil my need.’ There is no harm in saying this and to support this we have the story of Uthman bin Hunaif (radhiallaahu anhu). (Musnad Ahmad vol.4 pg.138; Sunan Tirmidhi; Sunan ibn Majah; Mustadrak Haakim and others).
(2) To ask directly from the deceased for your need. To do this is haram and it’s shirk.
- Allah Ta’ala says in surah al fatiha, ‘إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ (5)’.
- Our Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] said to Hadhrat Ibn Abbas radhiallaahu anhu;
‘When you ask, ask Allah and when you need help, seek help from Allah’
Also Dua is an Ibadah (form of worship) as mentioned in the understated hadith of Anas ibn Malikradhiallaahu anhu. So when a person makes dua to a deceased person, it is as though he/she is worshipping him/her therefore it would be classed as shirk.
- It is narrated by Hadhrat Anas radhiallaahu anhu,
‘Supplication is the essence of worship’
In another version, “الدعاء هو العبادة” “Dua is Ibadah”
(3) In the third scenario, where he requests the person in the grave that he supplicate to Allah on his behalf so that his needs are fulfilled, is dependent on whether the deceased are able to hear him or not. Due to the conflicting evidence this issue is controversial. Hence, if they are able to listen then this action/request of supplication will be permissible. However, if they don’t then the action would be deemed futile.”
Note: Some ulama say that the deceased do not hear those who come to visit them and say salam to them. However, others say that when permitted the deceased hear and understand what is being said to them i.e. they do not necessarily hear everything at all times. However, when Allah allows them, they can hear and sometimes respond as well.
In Sahih Al Bukhari Sayyiduna Ibn Umar radhiallaahu anhu’s hadith says
“Whatever I say, you do not hear more than them. However they cannot reply.” i.e. they equally heard what I said to them.
This ikhtilaf is with regards to those other than the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. However, with regards to the prophets alayhimussalam their hearing and replying has been proven through the Ahaadeeth.
Imam Baihaqi narrates in Shuabul-Iman from Abu Hurayrah radhiallaahu anhu that Rasulullahsallallaahu alayhi wasallam said;
‘Whosoever confers blessings upon me near my grave, I hear it, and whosoever confers from a distance, it is delivered to me.’
Shailkh Yunus Sahib says: “When the Jumhoor are of the opinion that the Prophets hear, then what haram is there in saying; “Ya Rasulullah! Please pray for me.” This has happened during the time of the Sahabas as well.
Ibne Abi Shaibah narrates from Abu Salih As-Samman, from Mailk Ad-Daar, who was the treasurer of Hadhrat Umar radhiallaahu anhu, “The people were struck by drought. A man came to the grave of Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam and said;
“Ya Rasulallah! Pray for rain for your ummah because they are destroyed”
So the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam came to him in a dream and said:
“Go to Umar and tell him that rain will come, and tell him ‘be intelligent be intelligent’”
So he came to Hadhrat Umar radhiallaahu anhu and related everything along with the dream. Umarradhiallaahu anhu began to cry and said: “My Rabb! I will not wane except if I am disabled from something.”
(Narrated by Ibne Hajar Al-Asqalani in Al-Isabah volume 3 page 484, Al-Wafa page 441, Ibne Hajar in Fathul Bari volume 4 page 414, Muntakhabul Kanz volume 3 page 323, Ibne Abdul-Bar in Al-Isteeab volume 2 page 429, Shah Waliullah in Qurratul-ayn Fi Tafdheelish-Shaikhain page 19)
This story is narrated my Hadhrat, Shaikh Zakariyya rahmatullahi alaihi in Fadhaile Hajj as well. Hafiz Ibne Hajar has narrated this from Ibne Abi Shaibah with a saheeh chain.
Shaikh Yunus sb says; “If this was something not allowed then Umar radhiallaahu anhu would have rebuked the man who said those words at the Prophet’s grave, just as he rebuked Uthmanradhiallaahu anhu from the mimbar when Uthman radhiallaahu anhucame on Friday without having performed the ghusl of Friday.”
He says: “Then I saw in Sharh Al-Mawahib Al-Ladunniya that this man was Bilal Ibn Al-Haarith Al-Muzani As-Sahabi radhiallaahu anhu.”
This strengthens the point. Because a sahabi did this at the grave of Rasulallah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam and it is He sallallaahu alayhi wasallam who told him to go and inform Hadhrat Umarradhiallaahu anhu.
I have tried my best to deal with this topic. If I have done well, it is by the help of Allah, and if I have made any mistakes, they are from me and from the shaytaan.
I ask Allah to show us the truth as truth and help us to follow it; I ask Him to show us falsehood as falsehood, and to help us to avoid it. And I ask Him to help us to be sincere in word and deed, and to help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.
May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companions, and grant them peace.