Monday, 27 October 2014

Seeking Istighatsa', Help, from the Prophet (s.a.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following are examples of istighatsa’, using intermediaries and intercessors, by means of the Prophet (s.a.w.) during his life.

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, “My life is a great good for you; you will relate about me and it will be related to you.  And my death is a great good for you; your actions will be presented to me,” meaning that it will be presented him in his grave, “and if I see goodness, I will praise Allah, and if see other than that, I will ask Forgiveness of him.”

This hadits is cited by Qadhi ‘Iyadh (r.a.) in his ash-Shifa’.  Imam as-Suyuthi (q.s.) wrote in his Manahil asw-Swafa fi Takhrij Ahadits ash-Shifa’, “ibn Abi ‘Usamah cites it in his Musnad from the hadits of Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah al-Mazni, and al-Bazzar from the hadits of ibn Mas`ud with a swahih chain.”

Imam ibn Majah (r.a.) recorded in his Shifa’ Sharif, ‘Utsman ibn Haniff (r.a.) said that a blind man came to the court of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, “O Messenger of Allah!  Pray for me that I may regain my sight.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Go and perform ablution and then two raka’at of swalah an-nawafil, then recite this du’a: ‘O Allah, I ask you and turn to You with Your prophet, Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy; O Muhammad, I turn with you to my Lord regarding my present need with your intercession concerning the return of my sight.’”

In another hadits, it is recorded that one night, the Prophet (s.a.w.) was taking his wudhu’ to perform his tahajjud at the home of Maymunah (r.a.).  He was heard to proclaim “Labbayk,” meaning, “Here I am,” and “Nuswirtu,” also three times, meaning “I helped you.”  Maymunah (r.a.) asked the Prophet (s.a.w.) whom he had been talking to since there was no one present.  He replied, “I was talking to a person called Rajiz from the tribe of Bani Ka’b.  He asked for help from me against the Quraysh.”

Maymunah (r.a.) said that when she finished swalah al-fajr, the next morning, she heard Rajiz (r.a.) calling out in the streets of Madina, “Ya Rasulullah!  Help us and call the servants of Allah to help us.”

Shaykh Yusuf an-Nabhani (q.s.) cited two ahadits in this respect with their full wording in the chapter of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) ‘ilm al-ghayb in his encyclopedia of the Prophetic miracles, Hujjatullah ‘ala al-‘Alamin bi Mu’jizat Sayyid al-Mursalin.

Rajiz (r.a.) was the poetry champion of Banu Ka’b, one of the sub-tribes of the Khuza’ah.  The Quraysh had helped the Banu Bakr against them.  The latter had allied themselves with the Quraysh on the day of the truce of Hudaybiyyah the Khuza’ah had allied themselves with the Prophet (s.a.w.) and he had become duty-bound to defend them.  The support of the Quraysh for the Banu Bakr against the Khuza’ah was therefore a violation of their truce with the Prophet (s.a.w.).  This incident was the catalyst for the conquest of Makkah.

Shaykh ibn Ishaq (r.a.) said, as found in Imam ibn Hisham’s (r.a.) Sirah, that when the Banu Bakr and the Quraysh defeated the Khuza’ah and looted them, violating the terms of the solemn pact to which they had agreed with the Prophet (s.a.w.), by warring with the Khuza’ah, his formal allies, ‘Amr ibn Salim al-Khuza’i (r.a.), one of the Banu Ka’b there, rode out until he came to see the Prophet (s.a.w.) in Madina.  His coming gave the impetus for the conquest of Makkah.  He stood before the Prophet (s.a.w.) as the latter sat in the mosque, in full sight of the people, and declaimed the following:

“Lord!  I am appealing to Muhammad,
By the time-honored pact of both our fathers.
You were a father and we, a son;
Then we entered Islam and remained loyal.
Help us, and may Allah Help you always!
Summon His servants, they shall come in arms,
Among them, the Prophet, mobilized
If he is wronged, his face glowers.
In his legion he marches, a sea, foaming.
Quraysh broke its treaty with you!
They violated the truce they pledged you,
Made me as good as dead and buried!
They claimed I could not call on anyone,
Although they are meaner and less by far!
They snared us at Wathir during our vigils,
And slew us as we bowed and prostrated.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “In your defense, ‘Amr ibn Salim!”  Then, the Prophet (s.a.w.) glimpsed a cloud in the sky and said, “Truly, this cloud is initiating the victory of the Banu Ka’b.”  Then he geared himself for the conquest of Makkah and conquered it.

Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) recorded, in his al-Iswabah, slightly different wording for this hadits, stating, “yastarh imuni”, “invoking my mercy.”  This hadits is narrated from Umm al-Mu’minin, Maymunah (r.a.) by Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) in his Mu’jam al-Kabir and Mu’jam as-Saghir, and Imam at-Taymi in his Dala’il.  However, both of them with a slightly weak chain because of Shaykh Yahya ibn Sulayman al-Madini (r.a.), as expounded by Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.).  Imam ibn ‘Adi in his al-Kamil wrote, “He narrated reports from Malik and the Madinans, most of which are valid.”  It was also narrated by Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.).

These ahadits demonstrate that the Prophet (s.a.w.) is observing his ummah; that it is permissible to call upon the Prophet (s.a.w.) for help; that Prophet (s.a.w.) can hear the call of his ummah; and Prophet (s.a.w.) can help those in distress regardless of distance.


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