The Sharing Group Discussion on Tawaswswul through an Intermediary

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following discussion, on The Sharing Group, was about a query by Sister Sabrina Michelle, on the 19th January 2017: “Is this not shirk?”

Sister Andra Riddle Goddard: Yeah, no one can help any of us on the Day of Judgement.  Just us, our deeds, and God. No intercession.

Brother Denis Skendaj: Intercession may be a “weak” thing to do, but that does not mean it is shirk.

Brother Mike Cucuz: It is called tawaswswul, and we have clear guidance from the Prophet (s.a.w.) that it is not shirk, and is permissible.

Brother Imraan Sumar: But our “deeds” implies a direct kind of causation.  What does it mean, in the narrations, that our actions might meet us in our graves, or speak for or against us on Judgement Day, and so on?  It seems like a form of intercession by something other than us, if our actions seem both entirely our own yet metaphysically unbounded to us on that fateful Day?  I am not saying I have any answers; I am just posing the question.

Brother Waqas Sarwar: No.  It is not.

Brother Zain Aly Trook: No shirk.  How is this associating partners with Allah (s.w.t.) and how is it worship of anything besides Allah (s.w.t.)?  It is tawaswswul, which is lawful within Sunni jurisprudence.  Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis can explain this way better than I can.

Brother Abdul Hussain: Last time I checked, asking for things via supplication from people, regardless of religiosity instead of Allah (s.w.t.), equates to shirk, so hence the original poster felt that this is shirk, and I do understand that viewpoint - after all, you would not be saying, “Ya ‘Ali”, or “Ya Husayn”, would you?  I am welcome to countering viewpoints on this view.

I feel that any du’a at-tawaswswul, as posted here is something I am not comfortable with as to me, it sounds like something that would seem shirk.  That said, I might actually be, or am actually incorrect on this stance, so I will continue to do further research on the subject matter at hand, but until then, I am staying away from implementing this due to the aforementioned reasons.

Brother Zain Aly Trook: Perhaps these articles will help:

This last one is an entire archived post from right here on TSG, regarding shirk.

Brother Imraan Sumar: Those are the opening lines of the du’a: “O Allah, I beseech Thee, and turn towards Allah with Your Help, through Thy Prophet, the Prophet of Mercy, Muhammad, may Allah Bless him and his progeny, and Grant them peace.”  It is an address to God via the awliya’.  Sure, we can lose sight of that, but there is no question He is the one addressed.

Brother Mike Cucuz: Brother Abdul Hussain, I am very curious how you can believe that tawaswswul is shirk, but having a name of “slave of Husayn” is not?  Do you not see the irony in this?  Such a name is normally only found among Shi’ah, for whom tawaswswul is a much larger part, and there is more permissibility as to what is acceptable as tawaswswul, than Sunnis.  If you are Sunni, technically your name is shirk as it pushes beyond what is acceptable as tawaswswul.  If you are Shi’ah, I do not understand how you could be following Ja’fari scholars in not accepting the permissibility of tawaswswul.

Brother Abdul Hussain: I am glad you asked, Brother Mike Cucuz, so let me answer your questions:

I know that my birthname is controversial for the reasons you have mentioned, so hence I have a chosen name in parentheses, “Abdul Kareem.”  Please take a look at my profile before you even ask questions as to why my name is controversial.  Naming people with controversial names usually happens when one does not have a good grasp of the Arabic language and only name people based on how nice it sounds, and I know people, especially Bangladeshis, who had their names changed for this reason.

I am not a Shi’ah, and I do not like to pigeonhole myself into any particular sect - I am only a Muslim - simple as that.  I am not here to entertain the “divide and conquer” mentality that has been biting the Muslim community in the backside ever since Islam was a finalised religion.

The reason why I initially felt that du’a at-tawaswswul felt like shirk, is because, I admittedly, felt that calling directly for people to intervene in supplication, in the wording of the picture that the original poster has posted, is something that felt like as if I was asking them directly for assistance in place of God, which is, perhaps, a misguided view, and I promised to myself that, insha’Allah, I would do further research on the matter, but from what I have seen, asking for intervention is good, but asking for god-like help is moronic, and I need to be able to differentiate the two in the Islamic context, but that has admittedly been made difficult by my overdefensive mentality on Islam.

Brother Mike Cucuz:  Thanks for the reply.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: No.  Shirk is to confuse the means and the Giver.  Here, the means is Sayyidina Fathimah as-Zahrah (r.a.), while the Giver is Allah (s.w.t.).  Our religion is more nuanced than that.

Brother Abdul Hussain: Jazakallah Khayran for the clarification, Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis.

Sister Andra Riddle Goddard: I am still confused.  So, someone can intercede at the Day of Judgement?

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Of course.  Even you.  Would you not like to intercede for your family and friends as well?  That is the privilege of being Muslim.

Brother Abdul Hussain: Everyone would like to intercede for others for the sake of Allah (s.w.t.), but what threw me off was the wording of the du’a at-tawaswswul, which to me, sounds like shirk.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The words are not as important as the intent.  A man can say, “Allahu Akbar,” and by that, commit shirk.

Brother Abdul Hussain: True point - exempli gratia: “Allahu Akbar”, uttered by a Satanist, would refer to Satan being his god.  Come to think of it, I am starting to understand this better now.

Brother Hisham Mstfa: Many would call it such.  As Brother Terence says, the person still believes all power comes from God.  Given that position I do not think I am qualified to say.  I have heard some jurists thought it was haram, but not shirk, while others differ.  Some few Sunni and some Shi’ah, believe it is okay.  Those that do believe the called to be able to hear,  and not very strong opinion in my understanding, to grant intercession, and only God Knows if Sayyidina Fathimah (r.a.) would be in a good position with God, and will intercede for the person asking, which is unlikely; no evidence for such as I am aware of.

I feel it is a very weak, and very dangerous, opinion, and it could lead to reliance on others than Allah (s.w.t.).  Indeed, this is the process to sainthood just like in Catholicism, one step away.  Catholics also believe all power resides in God, but that saints have been deputised to intercede for them now.  One of the strongest themes in Islam that purifies it amongst other religions is our direct access to our Creator. God Loves us to turn to Him often and always.  I fear, if this is not shirk, that it would not be pleasing to Him.  Even the most wretched, sinful person can be elevated to the highest station simply by turning directly to God.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: It is an ijma’ and an established doctrine in Sunni Islam, so it is not a “weak” position.  The only people who say it is weak mostly belong to the Wahhabi sect.

Brother Hisham Mstfa: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, I have never heard it is ijma’.  Evidence, please.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The only Shafi’i scholar that I know who said it is not an ijma’, is Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller.  The rest said otherwise.  I am taking their position over him. So, yes, it is an ijma’.

Now, since we are on the issue of ijma’, are you aware of how many types of ijma’, there are?  Ijma’ does not mean every single scholar must agree on something.  If that were so, then there is no ijma’ on virtually any position in Islam. You cannot mention one dissenting view and then say there is no ijma’ on anything.  The general ijma’ is on the overwhelming consensus of the time.

In the Maliki madzhab, ijma’ refers specifically to the ijma’ of the people of Madina from the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  Then, there is the ijma’ of the swahabah, which is the strongest form of ijma’ required.  An example would be the praying of swalah at-tarawih in jama’ah, for 20 raka’at.  Then there is the ijma’ of a geographic region, the ijma’ of a specific zaman, the ijma’ within a madzhab.  Which ijma’ are you talking about that is “invalid”?

Brother Ariffin Yeop: If this is shirk , asking a doctor for help is also shirk.

Brother Hamayoon Sultan Qurayshi: There is that old example of a Wahhabi swimming in the sea and a Sunni walking by.  The Wahhabi starts to struggle and calls the Sunni to help.  The Sunni refuses to move and tells the Wahhabi to ask Allah (s.w.t.) to help, not him.

Sister Jeannie Fatimeh Graham: This is beautiful, and I do not consider it shirk.  I never understand why people care if others use such supplications.  Those who like them and use them and know in their own hearts that they are not committing shirk are not bothering you - so let it be.  Those who think this is shirk should just ignore.  I presume no one is forced to use the supplication.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The following is taken from Tawaswswul: Supplicating Allah (s.w.t.) through an Intermediary, by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, 1995 and is extracted from Reliance of the Traveller.

Supplicating Allah (s.w.t.) by means of an intermediary, whether it be a living person, dead person, a good deed, or a name or Attribute of Allah (s.w.t.).  The scholar, Imam Yusuf ar-Rifa’i (q.s.) said, “I here want to convey the position, attested to by compelling legal evidence, of the orthodox majority of Sunni Muslims on the subject of supplicating Allah through an intermediary, and so I say that since there is no disagreement among scholars that supplicating Allah through an intermediary is in principle legally valid, the discussion of its details merely concerns derived rulings that involve interschool differences, unrelated to questions of belief or unbelief, monotheism or associating partners with Allah; the sphere of the question being limited to permissibility or impermissibility, and its ruling being that it is either lawful or unlawful.  There is no difference among groups of Muslims in their consensus on the permissibility of three types of supplicating Allah through an intermediary: Tawaswswul through a living righteous person to Allah (s.w.t.), as in the hadits of the blind man with the Prophet (s.a.w.) as we shall explain; the tawaswswul of a living person to Allah (s.w.t.) through his own good deeds, as in the hadits of the three people trapped in a cave by a great stone, a hadits related by Imam al-Bukhari in his Swahih; and the tawaswswul of a person to Allah (s.w.t.) through His Dzat, Names, Attributes, and so forth.

Since the legality of these types is agreed upon, there is no reason to set forth the evidence for them.  The only area of disagreement is supplicating Allah (s.w.t.) through a righteous dead person.  The majority of the orthodox Sunni community hold that it is lawful, and have supporting hadits evidence, of which we will content ourselves with the ‘Hadits of the Blind Man’, since it is the central pivot upon which the discussion turns.”

Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.) related, through his chain of narrators, from Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.), that a blind man came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, “I have been afflicted in my eyesight, so please pray to Allah for me.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Go make ablution, perform two raka'at of prayer, and then say, ‘Oh Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy; O Muhammad, I seek your intercession with my Lord for the return of my eyesight.’”  And in another version: “for my need, that it may be fulfilled.  O Allah, grant him intercession for me.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) added, “And if there is some need, do the same.”

Scholars of shari’ah infer from this hadits the recommended character of the prayer of need, in which someone in need of something from Allah (s.w.t.) performs such a prayer and then turns to Allah (s.w.t.) with this supplication together with other suitable supplications, traditional or otherwise, according to the need and how the person feels.  The express content of the hadits proves the legal validity of tawaswswul through a living person as the Prophet (s.a.w.) was alive at that time.  It implicitly proves the validity of tawaswswul through a deceased one as well, since tawaswswul through a living or dead person is not through a physical body or through or through a life or death, but rather through the positive meaning, ma’na thayyib, attached to the person in both life and death.  The body is but the vehicle that carries that significance, which requires that the person be respected whether dead or alive; for the words, “O Muhammad,” are an address to someone physically absent - in which state the living and dead are alike - an address to the meaning, “Dear to Allah (s.w.t.),” that is connected with his spirit, a meaning that is the ground of tawaswswul, be it through a living or dead person.

Moreover, Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.), in his al-Mu’jam asw-Swaghir, reported a hadits from Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) that a man repeatedly visited Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn ‘Affan (r.a.) concerning something he needed, but Sayyidina ‘Utsman (r.a.) paid no attention to him or his need.  The man met Sayyidina ibn Hunayf (r.a.) and complained to him about the matter - this being after the death, wisal, of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and after the caliphates of Sayyidina Abu Bakr (r.a.) and Sayyidina ‘Umar (r.a.) - so Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.), who was one of the companions who collected ahadits and was learned in the Religion of Allah (s.w.t.), said, “Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution, then come to the mosque, perform two raka'at of prayer therein, and say, ‘O Allah, I ask You and turn to You through our Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad, I turn through you to my Lord, that He may Fulfill my need,’ and mention your need.  Then come so that I can go with you,” meaning to the caliph Sayyidina ‘Utsman (r.a.).

So, the man left and did as he had been told, then went to the door of Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn ‘Affan (r.a.), and the doorman came, took him by the hand, brought him to Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn ‘Affan (r.a.), and seated him next to him on a cushion.  Sayyidina ‘Utsman (r.a.) asked, “What do you need?” and the man mentioned what he wanted, and Sayyidina ‘Utsman (r.a.) accomplished it for him, then he said, “I had not remembered your need until just now,” adding, “Whenever you need something, just mention it.”

Then, the man departed, met Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.), and said to him, “May Allah Reward you!  He did not see to my need or pay any attention to me until you spoke with him.”

Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) replied, “By Allah, I did not speak to him, but I have seen a blind man come to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and complain to him of the loss of his eyesight.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Can you not bear it?”

And the man replied, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not have anyone to lead me around, and it is a great hardship for me.’

The Prophet (s.a.w.) told him, “Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution, then pray two raka'at of prayer and make the supplications.’”  Sayyidina ibn Hunayf (r.a.) went on, “By Allah, we did not part company or speak long before the man returned to us as if nothing had ever been wrong with him.”

This is an explicit, unequivocal text from a companion proving the legal validity of tawaswswul through the dead.  The account has been classified as swahih by Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.), Imam al-Mundziri (r.a.) and Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.).

Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.) stated that the hadits of the blind man is, “a hadits that is well or rigorously authenticated but singular, being unknown except through his chain of narrators, from the hadits of Abu Ja’far, who is not Abu Ja’far Khatmi,” which means that the narrators of this hadits, despite “Abu Ja’far” being unknown to Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.), were acceptable to the degree of being well or rigorously authenticated in either case.

But scholars before Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.) established that “Abu Ja'far,” this person unknown to Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.), was Shaykh Abu Ja’far Khatmi (r.a.) himself.  Imam ibn Abi Khaytsamah (r.a.) said, “The name of this ‘Abu Ja’far’, whom Hammad ibn Salamah related from, is ‘Umayr ibn Yazid, and is the Abu Ja'far that Shu’bah related from,” and then he related the hadits by the channel of transmission of Sayyidina ‘Utsman (r.a.) from Shaykh Shu’bah (r.a.) from Shaykh Abu Ja’far (r.a.).

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), after relating the hadits of Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.), said, “All scholars say that he is Abu Ja’far Khatmi, and this is correct.”

The ahadits master, Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.), noted in Taqrib at-Tahdzib, that he was Shaykh Abu Ja’far Khatmi (r.a.), and that he is reliable, swaduq.

Imam ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (r.a.) likewise said that he was Shaykh Abu Ja’far Khatmi (r.a.), in al-Isthi’ab fi Ma’arifah al-Aswhab.  Moreover, Imam Bayhaqi (r.a.) related the hadits by way of Imam Hakim (r.a.) and confirmed that it was rigorously authenticated, swahih.  Imam Hakim (r.a.), related it by a chain of transmission meeting the standards of Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) and Imam Muslim (r.a.), which the ahadits master, Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.) confirmed, and Imam ash-Shawkani (r.a.) cited as evidence.  The meaning of this is that all the men of the hadits’ chain of transmission are known to top a’immah of ahadits.

This hadits was recorded by Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.), in his al-Tarikh al-Kabir; by Imam ibn Majah (r.a.), in his Sunan, where he said it was swahih; by Imam an-Nasa’i (r.a.), in Amal al-Yawm wa al-Laylah; by Imam Abu Nu’aym (r.a.), in Ma’arifah asw-Swahabah; by Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.), in Dala’il an-Nubuwwah; by Imam al-Mundziri (r.a.), in at-Targhib wa at-Tahrib; by Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.), in Majma’ az-Zawa’id wa Manba’ al-Fawa’id; by Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.), in al-Mu’jam al-Kabir; by Imam ibn Khuzaymah (r.a.), in his Swahih; and by others.  Nearly fifteen ahadits masters, authorities with more than 100,000 ahadits and their chains of transmission by memory, have explicitly stated that this hadits is swahih.  As mentioned above, it has come with a chain of transmission meeting the standards of Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) and Imam Muslim (r.a.), so there is nothing left for a critic to attack or slanderer to disparage concerning the authenticity of the hadits.  Consequently, as for the permissibility of tawaswswul, through either a living or dead person, it follows by human reason, scholarship, and sentiment, that there is flexibility in the matter.  Whoever wants to, can either take tawaswswul or leave it, without causing trouble or making accusations, since it has been this thoroughly checked.

It is well to review some salient features of the proof that was given, such as that there are two ahadits, Imam at-Tirmidzi’s (r.a.) “Hadits of the Blind Man” and Imam ath-Thabarani’s (r.a.) “Hadits of the Man in Need” to whom Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) related the story of the blind man, teaching him tawaswswul that the Prophet (s.a.w.) had taught the blind man.

Imam at-Tirmidzi’s (r.a.) hadits is swahih, being the subject of the above investigation of its chain of narrators, the authenticity of which is established beyond a reasonable doubt and attested to by nearly fifteen of the foremost ahadits specialists of Islam.  The hadits explicitly proves the validity of tawaswswul, through a living intermediary as the Prophet (s.a.w.) was alive at the time.  The hadits implicitly shows the validity of supplicating Allah (s.w.t.) through a deceased intermediary as well.  Perhaps the most telling reason is that everything the Prophet (s.a.w.) ordered to be done during his lifetime was legislation valid for all generations until the end of time unless proven otherwise by a subsequent indication from the Prophet (s.a.w.) himself.  The tawaswswul he taught during his lifetime not requiring anything else to be generalised to any time thereafter.

The authenticity of Imam ath-Thabarani’s (r.a.) hadits is not discussed by the article in detail, but deserves consideration, since the hadits explicitly proves the legal validity of tawaswswul through the deceased, for Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) and indeed all the companions, by scholarly consensus, ijma', were legally upright, 'udul, and are above being impugned with teaching someone an act of disobedience, much less idolatry, shirk.  The hadits is swahih, as Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) explicitly stated in his al-Mu’jam asw-Swaghir.  Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, wishing to verify the matter further, to the hadits with its chain of narrators to hadits specialist, Shaykh Shu’ayb Arna’ut, who after examining it, agreed that it was swahih as Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) indicated, a judgement which was also confirmed to the translator by the Moroccan ahadits specialist, Imam ‘Abdullah Muhammad Ghumari (r.a.), who characterised the hadits as “very rigorously authenticated,” and noted that ahadits masters, Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) and Imam al-Mundziri (r.a.) had explicitly concurred with Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) on its being swahih.  The upshot is that the recommendedness of tawaswswul to Allah (s.w.t.) - through the living or the dead - is the position of the Shafi’i school, which is why both our author Imam ibn Naqib al-Miswri (r.a.); and Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.), in his al-Adzkar, and al-Majmu’; explicitly record that tawaswswul through the Prophet (s.a.w.) and asking his intercession are recommended.

The Hanafi scholar, Imam Muhammad al-Hamid (r.a.) said, in Rudud ‘ala al-Bathil wa Rasa’il ash-Shaykh Muhammad al-Hamid, “As for calling upon the righteous,” referring to when they are physically absent, as in the words, “O Muhammad,” in the above hadits, “tawaswswul to Allah (s.w.t.) through them is permissible, the supplication being to Allah Most Glorious, and there is much evidence for its permissibility.

Those who call on them intending tawaswswul cannot be blamed.  As for someone who believes that those called upon can cause effects, benefit, or harm, which they create or cause to exist as Allah Does, such a person is an idolater who has left Islam - Allah be our refuge!  This then, and a certain person has written an article that tawaswswul to Allah Most High through the righteous is unlawful, while the overwhelming majority of scholars hold it is permissible, and the evidence the writer uses to corroborate his viewpoint is devoid of anything that demonstrates what he is trying to prove.  In declaring tawaswswul permissible, we are not hovering on brink of shirk or coming anywhere near it, for the conviction that Allah (s.w.t.) Alone has Influence over anything, outwardly or inwardly, is a conviction that flows through us like our very lifeblood.  If tawaswswul was shirk, or if there were any suspicion of idolatry in it, the Prophet (s.a.w.) would not have taught it to the blind man when the latter asked him to supplicate Allah for him, though in fact he did teach him to make tawaswswul to Allah through him.  And the notion that tawaswswul is permissible only during the lifetime of the person through whom it is done but not after his death is unsupported by any viable foundation from Sacred Law.”

Brother Hisham Mstfa: I read Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller’s opinions and evidences years ago and arrived at the position I stated above.  So, there is certainly not ijma’ on this matter, according to your first referenced post above, Brother Terence.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Really?  The following are examples of intercession, tawaswswul, by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and others, from the Qur’an and ahadits, to clearly show that it is a valid doctrine and practiced by the pious.  As such, there is no basis within the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah to reject tawaswswul.

Maryam’s (a.s.) place of worship was used as a means of approach, a wasilah, by Zakariya (a.s.).  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:

سُوۡرَةُ آل عِمرَان
فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ۬ وَأَنۢبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنً۬ا وَكَفَّلَهَا زَكَرِيَّا‌ۖ كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيۡهَا زَكَرِيَّا ٱلۡمِحۡرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزۡقً۬ا‌ۖ قَالَ يَـٰمَرۡيَمُ أَنَّىٰ لَكِ هَـٰذَا‌ۖ قَالَتۡ هُوَ مِنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَرۡزُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ بِغَيۡرِ حِسَابٍ (٣٧)

Right graciously did her Lord Accept her: He Made her grow in purity and beauty; to the care of Zakariya was she assigned.  Every time that he entered (her) chamber to see her, he found her supplied with sustenance.  He said, “O Mary!  Whence (comes) this to you?”  She said, “From Allah: for Allah Provides sustenance to whom He Pleases, without measure.” (Surah Ali ‘Imran:37)

In the very next verse, Allah (s.w.t.) Mentions Zakariya’s (a.s.) prayer at this very spot:

سُوۡرَةُ آل عِمرَان
هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَڪَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ ۥ‌ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبۡ لِى مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً۬ طَيِّبَةً‌ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ ٱلدُّعَآءِ (٣٨)

There did Zakariya pray to his Lord saying, “O my Lord!  Grant unto me, from Thee, a progeny that is pure; for Thou art He that Heareth prayer!” (Surah Ali ‘Imran:38)

The Qur’an Itself eliminated uncertainty by using the word, “hunalika, “there”.  We know, from the Qur’an, that Zakariya (a.s.) routinely woke up in the later part of the night to pray.  And once he heard of the miracle of the fruits from Maryam (a.s.), by inspiration, he chose specifically the chamber in which Maryam (a.s.) lived.  If he had offered his prayer there by accident and not by intent, the insertion of “hunalika” would have been superfluous.  The Qur’an is never superfluous.  This is confirmation that a sacred spot can also serve as a source of intermediation.

In another story of the Qur’an, a blessed shirt which had touched a blessed body was used as a means to cure.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:

سُوۡرَةُ یُوسُف
ٱذۡهَبُواْ بِقَمِيصِى هَـٰذَا فَأَلۡقُوهُ عَلَىٰ وَجۡهِ أَبِى يَأۡتِ بَصِيرً۬... (٩٣)

“Go with this my shirt, and cast it over the face of my father: he will come to see (clearly) ...” (Surah Yusuf:93)

The Qur’an Affirmed its correctness:

سُوۡرَةُ یُوسُف
فَلَمَّآ أَن جَآءَ ٱلۡبَشِيرُ أَلۡقَٮٰهُ عَلَىٰ وَجۡهِهِۦ فَٱرۡتَدَّ بَصِيرً۬ا‌ۖ ... (٩٦)

Then when the bearer of the good news came he cast (the shirt) over his face, and he forthwith regained clear sight … (Surah Yusuf:96)

This verse clearly proves that intermediation through any object associated with the prophets and the saints does not negate Divine Unity.  In this case, the sender of the shirt is a prophet, the one benefiting is also a prophet and the one who is describing the act, are all parts of a sacred phenomenon Authenticated by the Qur’an Itself.  Therefore, to express any doubts and reservations about its authenticity is to deny the Qur’an Itself.

It is recorded, in Swahih Muslim, that Sayyidina ‘Abdullah (r.a.), the freed slave of Sayyidatina Asma’ (r.a.), reported that Sayyidatina Asma’ (r.a.) sent him to Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (r.a.) asking, “The news has reached me that you prohibit the use of three things: the striped robe, saddle cloth made of red silk, and the fasting in the holy month of Rajab.”

Sayyidina ibn ‘Umar (r.a.) replied, “So far as what you say about fasting in the month of Rajab, it is about one who observes continuous fasting.  And so far as what you say about the striped garment, I heard ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab say that he had heard from Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.), ‘He who wears silk garment has no share for him,’” meaning a share in the Hereafter, “and I am afraid it may not be that striped garment; and so far as the red saddle cloth is concerned, that is the saddle cloth of ‘Abdullah and it is red.”

Sayyidina ‘Abdullah (r.a.) went back to Sayyidatina Asma’ (r.a.) and informed her, whereupon she said, “Here is the cloak of Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.).”  And she brought out to him a cloak made of Persian cloth with a hem of brocade, its sleeves bordered with brocade and said, “This was Allah’s Messenger’s (s.a.w.) cloak with ‘Aishah until she died, and when she died. I got possession of it.  The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) used to wear that, and we washed it for the sick and sought a cure thereby.”

There is a direct and explicit order of the Prophet (s.a.w.) recorded in Sunan ibn Majah to make tawaswswul upon the Prophet (s.a.w.).  It was narrated from Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) that a blind man came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, “Pray to Allah to Heal me.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “If you wish to store your Reward for the Hereafter, that is better, or if you wish, I will supplicate for you.”

He said, “Supplicate.”  So, he told him to perform ablution and do it well, to pray two raka'at and to say this supplication: “Allahumma innii as’aluka wa atawajjahu ilayka bi nabiyyika Muhammad, nabiyyi rahmati.  Ya Muhammad inni atawajjahu bika ilaa rabbii fii haajati hadzihi li tuqdhaa lii Allahumma fashaffi’hu fiyya,” “O Allah, I ask of You and I turn my face towards You by virtue of the intercession of Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy.  O Muhammad, I have turned to my Lord by virtue of your intercession concerning this need of mine so that it may be met.  O Allah, Accept his intercession concerning me.”

Imam Abu Ishaq (r.a.) said this hadits is swahih.  Imam at-Tirmidzi, in al-Jami asw-Swahih, declared it hasan swahih gharib.  It is also found in Imam an-Nasa’i’s (r.a.) ‘Amal al-Yawm wa al-Laylah; Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s (r.a.) Musnad; Imam Hakim’s (r.a.) al-Mustadrak asw-Swahihayn, where he declared it swahih; Imam an-Nawawi’s (r.a.) al-Adzkar; Hafizh ibn Katsir’s (r.a.) al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah; and Imam ibn Hajr al-Haytsami’s (r.a.) al-Jawhar al-Munazhzham.  Besides, Imam ibn Majah (r.a.), Imam Hakim (r.a.) and Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.) declared it a swahih while Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.) graded it hasan swahih gharib.

Similarly, another hadits narrated by Imam Hakim (r.a.) is present in different words.  Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) said he was present in the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) company when a blind man called on the Prophet (s.a.w.) and complained about the loss of his eyesight.  He added, “O Messenger of Allah, there is no one to guide me and I am in great trouble.”

On hearing his complaint, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Bring an earthen pot for ablution, then perform the ablution and offer two cycles of optional prayer.  Then say, ‘O Allah, I appeal to You, and submit to You through the mediation of Your merciful prophet, Muhammad (s.a.w.).  O Muhammad, through your mediation, I submit myself to your Lord that He should Give light to my eyes.  O Allah, Acknowledge his intercession in my favour and Accept my supplication also in my favour.”

Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) said, “I swear by Allah that we had neither left the company nor had we carried on a long conversation that the man entered, and it seemed as if he had never been blind.”  This hadits is found in Imam an-Nasa’i’s (r.a.) ‘Amal al-Yawm wa al-Laylah; Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s (r.a.) Musnad; Hafizh ibn Katsir’s (r.a.) al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah; Imam as-Suyuthi’s (r.a.) al-Khaswa’isw al-Kubra’; Imam al-Qasthalani’s (r.a.) al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah; and Imam al-Bayhaqi’s (r.a.) Dala’il an-Nubuwwah.

Imam ash-Shawkani (r.a.), while authenticating tawaswswul, explained the saying of Imam ibn al-Jawzy (r.a.) that one should ask Allah (s.w.t.) through the intermediary of the prophets and the pious servants of Allah (s.w.t.).  He said, “I say that to seek intercession with Allah through the prophets and righteous is proven as is narrated by at-Tirmidzi who called it hasan swahih gharib, and also narrated by an-Nasa’i, ibn Majah and ibn Khuzaymah in his Swahih.  al-Hakim said, ‘It is swahih on the criteria of al-Bukhari and Muslim, the hadits of ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) that a blind man came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, ‘I've been afflicted in my eyesight, so pray to Allah for me.’

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, ‘Go perform ablution, perform two raka'at of swalah and then say, ‘O Allah! I ask You and turn to you through my prophet, Muhammad.’’

This hadits is mentioned in the book of swalat al-hajat.  And regarding tawaswswul through righteous people, it is proven from Swahih,” referring to Swahih al-Bukhari, “that the swahabah used to seek rain through ‘Abbas (r.a.), the uncle of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  Sayyidina ‘Umar (r.a.) said, ‘O Allah we turn to you through the means of the Prophet's uncle.’’”  This is written in Tuhfat adz-Dzakirin.

Imam ash-Shawkani (r.a.) also said, “And in this hadits is the proof on permissibility of seeking intercession to Allah through the Prophet (s.a.w.) but with the belief that Allah (s.w.t.) is the One Who Grants or Takes; whatever He Wills Happens and whatever He does not Will cannot happen.”

Some people say that the above ahadits only proves tawaswswul through the Prophet (s.a.w.) during his life.  Here is another swahih hadits to establish that the swahabah took the wasilah of the Prophet (s.a.w.) even after his passing.  Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) narrated an incident where a person repeatedly visited Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn ‘Affan (r.a.) when he was the caliph concerning something he needed but Sayyidina ‘Utsman (r.a.) had paid no attention to him.  The man went to Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) and complained to him about the matter.  Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) said, “Go to the place of wudhu, then come to the masjid.  Perform two raka’at and then say, ‘O Allah!  I ask you and turn to you through our prophet, Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy.  O Muhammad!  I turn through you to my Lord, that He Fulfill my need,’ and mention your need.  Then come so that I can go with you.”

So, the man did as he had been told, and then went to the door of Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn ‘Affan (r.a.).  The doorman came, took him by the hand, and brought him to Sayyidina ‘Utsman (r.a.) and seated him next to him on a cushion.  Sayyidina ‘Utsman (r.a.) asked him, “What do you need?” and the man mentioned what he wanted, and Sayyidina ‘Utsman (r.a.) accomplished it for him.

Imam al-Mundziri (r.a.) said that Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.), after narrating it, said, “This hadits is swahih.”  This is recorded in at-Targhib wa Tarhib.  Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) also accepted the authentication of Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) in his Majma’ az-Zawa’id.  Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) declared it swahih in his Qa’idah al-Jalilah fi at-Tawaswswul wa al-Wasilah.

Imam Muhammad ibn Yusuf asw-Swalihi (r.a.) wrote an entire chapter on this issue in Sabl al-Hadi.  Regarding tawaswswul through the Prophet (s.a.w.) after his passing, it is narrated by Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) and Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) with a continuous chain and tsiqah narrators, the hadits of Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) that a man came to Sayyidina ‘Utsman ibn ‘Affan (r.a.) regarding his hajat until the end of same hadits.

Sayyidina Malik ad-Dar (r.a.), the treasurer of Sayyidina ‘Umar (r.a.) related, “The people were gripped by famine during the tenure of ‘Umar.  Then a man walked up to the grave of Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah!  Ask for rain from Allah for your ummah is in dire straits.’

Then he saw the Prophet (s.a.w.) in dream.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) said to him, ‘Go over to ‘Umar, give him my regards and tell him that the rain will come to you.  And tell ‘Umar that he should be on his toes, he should be on his toes.’

He went over to see ‘Umar and passed on to him the tidings.  On hearing this, ‘Umar (r.a.) broke down crying.  He said, ‘O Allah, I exert myself to the full until I am completely exhausted.’”

This hadits is found in al-Muswannaf ibn Abi Shaybah.  It is authenticated as swahih by Hafizh ibn Katsir (r.a.) in al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah, Imam al-Qasthalani (r.a.) in al-Mawahib-al-Laduniyyah and Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) in Fi Iqtidha asw-Swirath al-Mustaqim.  Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) wrote in Fath al-Bari that Imam ibn Abu Shaybah (r.a.) transmitted it with a swahih chain the narration from Sayyidina Abi Swalih as-Sam’an (r.a.) from Sayyidina Malik ad-Dar (r.a.), the treasurer of Sayyidina ‘Umar (r.a.).

The Wahhabi heretic, Naswir ad-Din al-Albani, tried to disparage the chain by claiming that Sayyidina Malik ad-Dar (r.a.) and Sayyidina Abu Swalih as-Sam’an (r.a.) being present in the chain of this hadits are unknown narrators who did not exist.  The reality is otherwise.  Imam ibn Sa’ad (r.a.) said, in ath-Thabaqat al-Kubra, “Malik ad-Dar was a slave freed by ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab.  He reported traditions from Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq and ‘Umar, and Abu Swalih Sam’an reported traditions from him.  He was ma’ruf.”  In ahadits terminology, this means he was a widely recognised transmitter.

Imam ibn Hibban (r.a.) attested to the trustworthiness and credibility of Sayyidina Malik ad-Dar (r.a.) in Kitab ats-Tsiqat.  He said, “Malik ibn ‘Iyadh ad-Dar has taken traditions from ‘Umar Faruq and Abu Swalih as-Sam’an and he was a slave freed by ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab.”

Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.) said about Sayyidina Malik ad-Dar (r.a.) in Tajrid Asma' asw-Swahabah, “He was a slave freed by ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab.  He has taken traditions from Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq.”

Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) said, “Malik ibn ‘Iyadh, a slave freed by ‘Umar, was known as Malik ad-Dar.  He had seen the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and heard traditions from Abu Bakr.  He has taken traditions from Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq ‘Umar Faruq, Mu‘adz, Abu ‘Ubaydah and Abu as-Sam’an and his two sons, ‘Awn and ‘Abdullah, have taken traditions from him.  And Imam al-Bukhari in at-Tarikh al-Kabir, through reference to Abu Swalih, has acknowledged a tradition from him that ‘Umar is reported to have said during the period of famine, ‘I do not shirk responsibility, but may I be made humbler.’”

Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.), in Kitab al-Adab al-Mufrad, wrote that Imam Abu Nu’aym (r.a.) related that Shaykh Sufyan (r.a.) related from Shaykh Abu Ishaq (r.a.) from Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Sa’d (r.a.), who said Sayyidina ibn ‘Umar (r.a.) had numbness in his leg, whereupon a man said to him, “Remember the most beloved of people to you.”

So, he said “Ya Muhammad,” and it was cured.  Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari (r.a.) wrote in Sharh ash-Shifa’ that Sayyidina ibn ‘Umar (r.a.) expressed his love in the form of istighatsa’, seeking help.

Imam Dawud ibn Abu Swalih (r.a.) said, “One day, Marwan came, and he saw that a man was lying down with his mouth turned close to the Prophet’s grave.  Then he said to him, ‘Do you know what you are doing?’  When he moved towards him, he saw that it was Abu Ayyub al-Answari.

He said, ‘Yes.  I have come to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and not to a stone.  I have heard it from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) not to cry over religion when its guardian is competent.  But, shed tears over religion when its guardian is incompetent.’”  In al-Mustadrak asw-Swahihayn, Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) declared it swahih.  Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.) agreed with him.  Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) recorded it with a swahih chain of transmission in his Musnad.

Adam (a.s.) requested intermediation through the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).  Sayyidina ‘Umar (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “When Adam committed his mistake, he said, ‘O my Lord, I ask you to Forgive me for the sake of Muhammad.’

Allah Said, ‘O Adam, and how do you know about Muhammad whom I have not yet Created?’

Adam replied, ‘O my Lord, after You Created me with Your Hand and Breathed into me of Your Spirit, I raised my head and saw written on the heights of the Throne, ‘Laa Ilaha Illa Allah Muhammadar Rasulullah.’  I understood that You would not Place next to Your Name but the Most Beloved of Your Creation.’

Allah Said, ‘O Adam, I have Forgiven you, and were it not for Muhammad I would not have Created you.’”  Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) narrated it in al-Mustadrak asw-Swahihayn.  It was transmitted through many chains and was cited by Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) and Imam Abu Nu`aym (r.a.) in Dala'il an-Nubuwwah.  Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) cited it in his Swaghir with another chain containing sub-narrators unknown to Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) as he stated in Majma’ az-Zawa’id.  Imam ibn ‘Asakir (r.a.) narrated it on the authority of Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.), and most of these narrations were copied in Imam al-Qasthalani's (r.a.) al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah.

This hadits was declared swahih by Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) in al-Mustadrak asw-Swahihayn, although he acknowledged Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam (r.a.), one of its sub-narrators, as weak.  However, when he mentioned this hadits, he said, “Its chain is sound, and it is the first hadits of ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam which I mention in this book.’”  Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) also declared swahih another version through Sayyidina ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.).

Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) recorded that Sayyidina ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) narrated that Allah (s.w.t.) Inspired ‘Isa (a.s.) Saying, “O ‘Isa, believe in Muhammad, and whosoever form your ummah finds him, should believe in him.  If I had not Created Muhammad, then I would not have Created Adam.  If not for him, I would not have Created Paradise and Hell.  When I Made the Throne on water, it started to shake.  I Wrote ‘Laa Ilaha Illa Allah Muhammadar Rasulullah.’  Due to which, it became still.”

Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) in al-Mustadrak asw-Swahihayn, said, “This hadits has a swahih chain.”

Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.), in his Mu'jam al-Awsath, recorded that Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) said, “When Adam committed the error, he submitted, ‘O Lord, I beg You to Forgive me through the mediation of Muhammad.’

Then Allah Said, ‘O Adam!  How did you recognise Muhammad as I have not Created him yet?’

He replied, ‘O Lord, when You Created me with Your Divine Hand and Breathed Your Soul into me, I raised my head and saw, ‘Laa Ilaha Il Allah Muhammadar Rasulullah’ inscribed on each pillar of the Throne.  I discovered that with Your Name, the name of only Your Most Beloved of all the creatures can be associated with you.’

At this, Allah Said, ‘O Adam, you have said it correctly.  Of all the creatures, I Love him the most.  When you offered your prayer through his mediation, I Forgave you.  And if Muhammad were not there, I would not have Created even you.’”

Imam al-Bulqini (r.a.) declared this hadits of Adam’s (a.s.) tawaswswul to be sound in his Fatawa.  Imam as-Subki (r.a.) confirmed Imam al-Hakim’s (r.a.) authentication in Shifa’ as-Siqam fi Ziyarat Khayr al-Anam.  Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s (r.a.) rejection and criticism of this hadits was known to Imam as-Subki (r.a.) but he rejected it, as saying that his extreme weakening of Shaykh ibn Zayd (r.a.) was exaggerated.

Qadhi ‘Iyadh (r.a.) considered it swahih and famous because he recorded it in his ash-Shifa’ under the chapter, ‘Swahih and Famous Narrations,’ and he says that Imam Abu Muhammad al-Makki (r.a.) and Imam Abu al-Layts as-Samarqandi (r.a.) mentioned it.  Qadhi ‘Iyadh (r.a.) wrote, “It is said that this hadits explains the verse: “And Adam Received words from his Lord and He Relented towards him.’”

سُوۡرَةُ البَقَرَة
فَتَلَقَّىٰٓ ءَادَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ كَلِمَـٰتٍ۬ فَتَابَ عَلَيۡهِ‌ۚ ... (٣٧)

Then learnt Adam from his Lord, words of inspiration and his Lord turned toward him ... (Surah al-Baqarah:37)

Imam ibn al-Jawzy (r.a.) also considered it swahih as he cited it in the first chapter of al-Wafa’ bi Ahwal al-Muswthafa, in the introduction of which he wrote, “I do not mix the sound ahadits with the false.”

Although he knew of Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Zayd’s (r.a.) weakness as a narrator; he also mentioned the version of Sayyidina Maysarah al-Fajr (r.a.) whereby the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “When Satan deceived Adam and Eve, they repented and sought intercession to Allah with my name.”

Imam ibn al-Jawzy (r.a.) also wrote, in the chapter concerning the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) superiority over the other prophets, in the same book, “Part of the exposition of his superiority to other prophets is the fact that Adam asked his Lord through the sanctity of Muhammad that He Relent towards him, as we have already mentioned.”

Imam as-Suyuthi (r.a.) cited it in his Qur’anic commentary, ad-Durr al-Mantsur, in al-Khaswa’isw al-Kubra’, and in ar-Riyadh al-Aniqa fi Sharh Asma’ Khayr al-Khaliqah, where he said that Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) considered it sound.  This is due to the fact that Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) said in the introduction to the Dala’il that he only included sound narrations in his book, although he also knew of and explicitly mentioned Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Zayd’s (r.a.) weakness.  Hafizh ibn Katsir (r.a.) mentioned it after Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) in al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah, where he also pointed the weakness of Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam (r.a.).  Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) in Majma’ az-Zawa’id, Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) himself and Mulla ‘Ali Qari (r.a.) in Sharh ash-Shifa’ show that its chains have a weakness in them.  The weakness of Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Zayd (r.a.) was known by all of them including Imam ibn al-Jawzy (r.a.), Imam as-Subki (r.a.), Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) and Imam Abu Nu’aym (r.a.), and yet all these scholars retained this hadits for consideration in their books.

Three scholars did reject it outright.  They are Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), in Qa’idah Jalilah fi at-Tawaswswul, and his two students, Shaykh ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi (r.a.), and Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.).  Imam al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) reported Imam ibn Hibban’s (r.a.) saying that Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Zayd (r.a.) was a forger in Lisan al-Mizan.  At the same time, Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) elsewhere quoted it and the version through Sayyidina Maysarah (r.a.) and said, “These two are like the tafsir of the authentic ahadits.”

The contemporary Makkan hadits scholar, Shaykh ibn ‘Alawi al-Maliki (r.a.) said, “This indicates that ibn Taymiyyah found the hadits sound enough to be considered a witness for other narrations, because the forged and the false are not taken as witness by the people of hadits.”  Shaykh al-Maliki (r.a.) also quoted Imam adz-Dzahabi’s (r.a.) unrestrained endorsement of the ahadits in Imam al-Bayhaqi's (r.a.) Dala’il an-Nubuwwah, “You must take what is in it, for it consists entirely of guidance and light.”

The hadits of Sayyidina Maysarah (r.a.) is as follows.  Sayyidina Maysarah (r.a.) narrated, “I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, when were you a prophet?’”, meaning if he was a prophet first.

“He replied, ‘When Allah Created the earth ‘Then Turned He to the heaven, and Fashioned it as seven heavens, and Created the Throne.  He Wrote on the leg of the Throne, ‘Muhammad the Messenger of Allah is the Seal of Prophets.’  Then Allah Created the Garden in which He made Adam and Hawa dwell, and He Wrote my name on the gates, its leaves, its domes and tents, at a time when Adam was still between the spirit and the body.  When Allah Most High Instilled life into him, he looked at the Throne and saw my name, whereupon Allah Informed him that, ‘He is the liege-lord of all your descendants.’  When Satan deceived them both, they repented and sought intercession to Allah with my name.’”

Imam Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Swalihi (r.a.), a student of Imam as-Suyuthi (r.a.), said in Subul al-Hadi wa ar-Rashad, “This hadits is narrated by ibn Jawzy and the chain is strong and there is nothing wrong in it.”

It is evident that Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) considered the meaning that the Creation of everything is for the sake of the Prophet (s.a.w.) as true and correct.  He declared in his Majmu’at al-Fatawa, in the volume on taswawwuf, “Muhammad is the Chief of the Children of Adam, the Best of Creation, the noblest of them in the Sight of Allah.  This is why some have said that ‘Allah Created the Universe due to him,’ or that, ‘Were it not for him, He would have neither Created a Throne, nor a Footstool, nor a Heaven, earth, sun or moon.’  However, this is not a hadits on the authority of the Prophet, neither is it swahih nor is it weak and it has not been narrated by any person of knowledge in hadits either from the Prophet or swahabah, but it may be explained from a correct aspect.”

Since the best of the righteous of the children of Adam is Muhammad, Creating him was a desirable end of Deep-Seated Purposeful Wisdom, more than for anyone else, and hence the completion of Creation and the fulfillment of perfection was attained with Muhammad (s.a.w.).  The Chief of the Children of Adam is Muhammad (s.a.w.), Adam and his children being under his banner.  He said, ‘Truly, I was Written as the Seal of the Prophets with Allah, when Adam was going to-and-fro in his clay," that is that his prophethood was Decreed and Manifested when Adam was Created but before the breathing of the Spirit into him, just as Allah Decrees the livelihood, lifespan, deeds and misery or happiness of the slave when He Creates the embryo but before the Breathing of the spirit into it.

Since man is the seal and last of all Creation, and its microcosm, and since the best of man is thus the best of all Creation absolutely, then Muhammad, being the Pupil of the Eye, the Axis of the Mill, and the Distributor to the Collective, is as it were the Ultimate Purpose from amongst all the purposes of creation.  Thus, it cannot be denied to say that, ‘Due to him, all of this was Created,’ or that, ‘Were it not for him, all this would not have been created,’ so if statements like this are thus explained according to what the Book and the sunnah indicate, it is acceptable.”

Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.), Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.), Imam ibn al-Mundzir (r.a.) and Imam as-Suyuthi (r.a.) narrated this tradition through Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.) and Sayyidina ‘Ali (k.w.) that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Adam was just about to repent for his act of disobedience that he suddenly recalled in his state of anxiety that he had seen ‘Laa ilaha illa Allah Muhammadar Rasulullah Inscribed on the Throne at the time of his birth.”  It obviously meant that the distinction the Prophet (s.a.w.) possesses is denied to others.  That is the reason his name was Inscribed along with Allah’s Own name.  At this, he added these words of intermediation to his prayer for Divine Forgiveness: “O Allah, I beg Your Forgiveness through the mediation of Muhammad (s.a.w.).”

The tradition related by Imam ibn al-Mundzir (r.a.) has the following words: “O Allah, I beg Your Forgiveness through Your beloved and most honoured servant, Muhammad and through his distinction You have Blessed him with.”

Imam ad-Darimi (r.a.) related, in his Sunan, from Sayyidina Abu al-Jawza’ Aws ibn ‘Abdullah (r.a.), the people of Madina were in the grip of a severe famine.  They complained to Sayyidatina ‘Aishah (r.a.).  She told them to go towards the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) grave and open a window in the direction of the sky so that there is no curtain between the sky and the grave.  The narrator says they did so.  Then it started raining heavily; even the lush green grass sprang up and the camels had grown so fat it seemed they would burst out due to the over piling of blubber.  So, the year was named the year of greenery and plenty.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Alawi al-Maliki (r.a.) wrote, in Shifa’ al-Fu’ad bi Ziyarat Khayr al-‘Ibad, “This tradition has a good chain of transmission; rather, in my opinion, it is sound.  The scholars have also acknowledged its soundness and have established its genuineness on the basis of almost equally credible evidence.”

This hadits has also been cited in Imam ibn al-Jawzy’s (r.a.) al-Wafa’ bi Ahwal al-Muswthafa, Imam as-Subki’s (r.a.) Shifa’ as-Siqam fi Ziyarat Khayr al-Anam, Imam al-Qasthalani’s (r.a.) al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah and by Imam az-Zurqani (r.a.) in his Commentary.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) was also a source of intermediation for the Jews:

سُوۡرَةُ البَقَرَة
وَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمۡ كِتَـٰبٌ۬ مِّنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ۬ لِّمَا مَعَهُمۡ وَكَانُواْ مِن قَبۡلُ يَسۡتَفۡتِحُونَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُم مَّا عَرَفُواْ ڪَفَرُواْ بِهِۦ‌ۚ فَلَعۡنَةُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَى ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ (٨٩)

And when there comes to them a Book from Allah, confirming what is with them. ― although from of old they had prayed for victory against those without faith ― when there comes to them that which they (should) have recognised, they refuse to believe in it; but the Curse of Allah is on those without faith. (Surah al-Baqarah:89)

Imam al-Qurthubi (r.a.) related from his al-Jami‘ li Ahkam al-Qur’an, the tradition through ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.): “The Jews of Khaybar were often at war with the Ghathfan.  When they confronted each other, the Jews were defeated.  They attacked again, offering this prayer, ‘O Lord, we beg You through the mediation of the Unlettered Prophet about whom You have Promised us that You will Send to us at the end of time.  Please help us against them.’”  ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) added, “Whenever they faced the enemy, they offered this prayer and defeated the Ghathfan.  But when the Prophet (s.a.w.) was Sent, they denied him.  So, Allah the Exalted Revealed the verse, ‘From of old they had prayed for victory against those without faith,’ that is, through your mediation, O Muhammad.’”

Imam Mahmud al-‘Aluwsi (r.a.) wrote, in Ruh al-Ma’ani, about this verse, “This was Revealed about Banu Qurayzah and Banu Nadhir who used to pray for victory over Aws and Khazraj before Allah’s Messenger’s prophethood.  ibn ‘Abbas and Qatadah have given expression to the same reality.  It means that they prayed to Allah through his mediation for victory over the polytheists as also stated by as-Suddiy: when the war raged between them and the polytheists, they opened the Torah and placed their hand on the spot where the Prophet (s.a.w.) was mentioned and prayed, ‘O Allah, we pray to You through the mediation of Your Prophet You have Promised to us to Send him at the end of time; today grant us victory over our enemies.’  So, they were Made victorious.”

Imam Jalal ad-Din Mahalli (r.a.) and Imam Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuthi (r.a.) wrote, in Tafsir al-Jalalayn, “The Jews used to pray in these words: ‘O Allah, Grant us victory through the mediation of the Prophet who is to appear at the end of time.’”

Hafizh ibn Katsir (r.a.) wrote in his Tafsir, “The Jews used to pray for victory over the Arab polytheists through the mediation of Muhammad (s.a.w.).”

Imam as-Suyuthi (r.a.) narrated two traditions in ad-Durr al-Mantsur on the authority of ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) in this context as follows: “The Jews of Banu Qurayzah and Banu Nadhir used to pray for victory over the disbelievers and the infidels before the Prophethood of Muhammad.  They said, ‘O Allah, Bless us with victory through the mediation of the Unlettered Prophet, and they were Blessed with victory.’

The Jews of Madina, before the arrival of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), in their war against the Arab disbelievers – Asad, Ghathfan, Juhaynah and ‘Udzrah – prayed for victory over them and sought help by invoking the name of Allah’s Messenger.  They said, ‘O Allah, our Lord, Grant us victory over them through the name of Your Prophet and through Your Book to be Revealed to him whose Prophethood You have Promised us at the end of time.’”

Similar ahadits had been narrated by Imam ‘Abdullah ibn Muslim ibn Qutaybah (r.a.), in Tafsir Gharib al-Qur’an; Imam ibn Jarir ath-Thabari (r.a.), in Jami‘ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an; Imam al-Baghawi (r.a.), in Ma‘alim at-Tanzil; Imam Abu al-Fadhl al-Mibadi (r.a.), in Kashf al-Asrar wa ‘Uddat al-Abrar; Imam ibn al-Jawzy (r.a.), in Zad al-Maswir fi ‘Ilm at-Tafsir; Imam Mujahid ibn Jubayr (r.a.), in his Tafsir; Imam al-Baydawi (r.a.); in his Tafsir, Imam an-Nasafi (r.a.), in al-Madarik; and many, many others.

It is narrated by Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar that Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) said, “Whoever visits my grave after my death it is same he has visited me in my life.”

Imam ibn Qudamah (r.a.) wrote, in al-Mughni, “It is recommended to do ziyarah of Prophet’s (s.a.w.) grave as it is narrated by ad-Daraquthni with his Isnad from ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, ‘Whosoever performs the hajj after my death, then he should visit my grave because it is as if he has visited me during my life.’  And he also narrated that, ‘Whosoever visits my grave then my intercession becomes wajib for him.’”  Imam al-Bahuti al-Hanbali (r.a.) also said this in his al-Kashf al-Qannah.

Qadhi ‘Iyadh (r.a.) said in his ash-Shifa’, in the chapter, ‘The Order of Visiting the Grave of the Prophet (s.a.w.) & the Virtue of the One Visiting & Sending Salam, “It should be known that visiting the grave of the Prophet (s.a.w.) is well known for all Muslims and they have ijma’ over it.  It has such a virtue that it has been prescribed to us as it comes in the hadits of ‘ibn Umar.”

It is also known that there is intermediation through the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) request for Forgiveness after his death.  It is attributed to Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud (r.a.) that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) is reported to have said, “My life is blissful for you because you hear traditions from people and relate them to others and my death is also blissful for you because your deeds will be presented to me.  If I see the virtues prevail, I will be grateful to Allah, and if I see the vices prevail, I will pray for your Forgiveness from Allah.”

Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) transmitted it in Majma‘ az-Zawa’id and said that this hadits had been reported by Imam al-Bazzar (r.a.), in his Musnad and its sub-narrators are all of swahih hadits.  Imam al-‘Iraqi (r.a.) has confirmed the soundness of its transmission in his book, Tarh at-Tatsrib fi Sharh at-Taqrib.  Imam ibn Sa‘d (r.a.) recorded it in ath-Thabaqat al-Kubra’.  Qadhi ‘Iyadh (r.a.) inscribed this tradition in ash-Shifa’, Imam as-Suyuthi (r.a.), recording it in al-Khaswa’isw al-Kubra’ and Manahil asw-Swifa fi Takhrij Ahadits ash-Shifa’, commented that Imam ibn Abu Usamah (r.a.), in his Musnad, reproduced it through Imam Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah al-Muzani (r.a.).  Imam ibn Bazzar (r.a.), in his Musnad, relied on its narration by ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud (r.a.) with a sound chain of transmission.  It has been endorsed by Imam Khafaji (r.a.) and Mulla ‘Ali Qari in their commentaries on ash-Shifa’, Nasim ar-Riyadh and Sharh ash-Shifa’ respectively.

Imam ibn al-Jawzy (r.a.) reproduced it in al-Wafa’ bi Ahwal al-Muswthafa from Sayyidina Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah (r.a.) and Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik (r.a.).  Imam as-Subki (r.a.) copied this tradition in Shifa’ as-Siqam fi Ziyarat Khayr al-Anam from Sayyidina Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah al-Muzani (r.a.) and Imam ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi (r.a.), in as-Sarim al-Munki, authenticated its veracity.  Imam ibn al-Bazzar’s (r.a.) hadits has also been recorded by Hafizh ibn Katsir (r.a.) in al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah.  Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) also narrated it through Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah al-Muzani (r.a.) in al-Mathalib al-‘Aliyah.  Imam an-Nabhani (r.a.) related it in Hujjatullah ‘ala al-‘Alamin fi Mu‘jazat Sayyid al-Mursalin.

As it is reported by Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn Shu‘ayb (r.a.) that his grandfather said, “We were present in the company of the Prophet (s.a.w.) when messengers from Hawazin came and said, ‘O Muhammad!  We belong to the same origin and tribe, and the trouble we are facing is not hidden from you, therefore, have mercy on us.’

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, ‘Opt one of the two choices; either take away your property and wealth or have your women freed.’  They opted for their women and children.  Then the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) added, ‘As far as my share and the share of ‘Abd al-Muththalib and his children are concerned, I have already given it to you.  But when I perform the noon prayer, you should all stand up and say, ‘Through the means of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), we seek help for our women and children from believers.’”  The narrator says that when people had finished their prayer, they repeated the same words as the Prophet (s.a.w.) had advised them.  This is recorded by Imam an-Nasa’i (r.a.) in his Sunan.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) also supplicated through the mediation of his own and other prophets’ maqam.  It is narrated by Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik (r.a.), “When the mother of ‘Ali ibn Abu Thalib, Fathimah bint Asad ibn Hashim, died, Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) called on her and sat down by the head of the bed and said, ‘O dear mother, may Allah have Mercy on you.  After my mother, you were the one I regarded as my mother.  When I was hungry you fed me to the point of saturation while you yourself remained hungry.  Then you helped me put on clothes and instead of eating yourself, you gave me nice things to eat.  You did all this for Allah’s Pleasure and for a good Reward in the Hereafter.’  Then he commanded for her to be bathed three times.  When camphor water was brought, Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) poured some water into his hands.  Then Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) took off his shirt and clothed her with it and used his own sheet of cloth as her kaffan.  Then Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) sent for Usamah ibn Zayd, Abu Ayyub al-Answari and ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab and the African slave to dig up the grave.  So, they dug her grave.  When they reached near the lahd, Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) dug it up and drew the soil out with his own hands.  When he finished, Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) entered and lay down in it, and said, ‘It is Allah Who Controls life and death, and He is Ever-Living and will never die.  O Allah, Forgive my mother, Fathimah bint Asad, and Help her answer properly at the time of questioning and through the mediation of Your Prophet and the former prophets, make her grave capacious.  Surely You are Infinitely Merciful.’  Then he repeated, ‘Allah is Great,’ four times.  Then he, ‘Abbas and Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq lowered her into the grave.”  This is recorded by Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) in Mu'jam al-Awsath.  Imam ibn Hibban (r.a.) and Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) declared him tsiqah, trustworthy.  Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) also cited it in Majma‘ az-Zawa’id.  Imam ibn al-Jawzy (r.a.) recorded it in al-‘Ilal al-Mutanahiyyah, Imam Abu Nu‘aym (r.a.) in Hilyat al-Awliya’ wa Thabaqat al-Aswfiya’.  Imam Mahmud Sa‘id Mamduh (r.a.) graded it hasan in his Raf‘ al-Minarah.

Imam ibn Hajr al-Haytsami (r.a.) wrote an entire book, Jawhar al-Munazhzham fi Ziyarat al-Qabr al-Mukkaram, on the virtues of visiting the grave of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  In it, he refuted Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), saying, “Amongst the evil deeds of ibn Taymiyyah, something which nobody before him in this world proclaimed, is his rejection of istighatsa’ and tawaswswul through Prophet (s.a.w.).  This tawaswswul through Prophet (s.a.w.) is hasan in all conditions whether before his creation, after it, also in this world and on Day of Judgement.”

There are innumerable more ahadits and commentaries of the pious predecessors proving that the intercession of the Prophet (s.a.w.), the prophets, the awliya’ and the pious is a valid practice of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa ‘al-Jama’ah.  If this sample is not enough to convince someone, then surely such a person has a heart closed to the love of the pious predecessors and the affection of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).  May Allah (s.w.t.) Guide such a one.

Brother Abdul Hussain: Well, this is food for thought - and this post is bookmarked, as I need to do further reading on this.  Jazakallah khayran to everyone here.

Sister Sabrina Michelle: To me, when you know Surah al-Fatihah, and still send prayers  to others is to believe they can help you.

Brother Zain Aly Trook: Define “dead”, Sister Sabrina Michelle.

Sister Vivi YZ: The Qur’an States:

سُوۡرَةُ البَقَرَة
وَلَا تَقُولُواْ لِمَن يُقۡتَلُ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ أَمۡوَٲتُۢ‌ۚ بَلۡ أَحۡيَآءٌ۬ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَشۡعُرُونَ (١٥٤)

And say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah, “They are dead.”  Nay, they are living, though ye perceive (it) not. (Surah al-Baqarah:154)

Brother Sri Nahar: Sister Sabrina Michelle, you need to leave the Protestant mode of thinking outside the door when you become a Muslim.

Sister Vivi YZ: Another verse:

سُوۡرَةُ آل عِمرَان
وَلَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ قُتِلُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ أَمۡوَٲتَۢا‌ۚ بَلۡ أَحۡيَآءٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ يُرۡزَقُونَ (١٦٩)

Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s Way as dead.  Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the Presence of their Lord. (Surah Ali ‘Imran:169)

Brother Abdul Hussain: Looks like this has, insha’Allah, blown any doubts anyone has had regarding intercession out of the water.

Brother Marquis Dawkins: This is one of those subjects that bridges Christianity and Islam.  I wondered how, if Jesus (a.s.) was a Muslim, why would he say things like this:

John 15:7
7 “As long as you live on in me, and my words live on in you, you will be able to make what request you will, and have it granted.”

Then I spoke to Brother Terence and was relieved to find the same, or similar, concept in Islam.  The point being you are not asking Jesus (a.s.) for the blessing, but God through his name.

Brother Fahmy Muhd: Why is there a need for tawaswswul when you can speak to God directly?  I am not familiar with this topic.

Brother Brandon Tan: To put it simply, it is not a need.  It is Permitted.

Brother Mike Cucuz: Because Allah (s.w.t.) Bestows, and Withholds, blessings on whomsoever He Chooses.  So, if you know a certain person is beloved by Allah (s.w.t.) to the point where Allah (s.w.t.) Constantly Bestows Blessings on him, than you would think you would have a better chance of receiving what you are asking for if one of Allah’s (s.w.t.) Favourites asked Him, instead of just you.

Sister Vivi YZ: here is an excellent reference: Salafi Tampering of Riyadh asw-Swalihin.

Brother Adam Badi: No.  If I ask you to give me a hand to lift something, is it shirk because I should have asked Allah (s.w.t.)?

Sister Vivi YZ: Here are verses on intercession in the Qur’an:

سُوۡرَةُ البَقَرَة
مَن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يَشۡفَعُ عِندَهُ ۥ (٢٥٥)

... Who is there can intercede in His Presence except as He Permitteth? ... (Surah al-Baqarah:255)

سُوۡرَةُ النِّسَاء
وَلَوۡ أَنَّهُمۡ إِذ ظَّلَمُوٓاْ أَنفُسَهُمۡ جَآءُوكَ فَٱسۡتَغۡفَرُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱسۡتَغۡفَرَ لَهُمُ ٱلرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ ٱللَّهَ تَوَّابً۬ا رَّحِيمً۬ا (٦٤)

... If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. (Surah an-Nisa’:64)

سُوۡرَةُ التّوبَة
إِنَّ صَلَوٰتَكَ سَكَنٌ۬ لَّهُمۡ‌ۗ (١٠٣)

...  Verily thy prayers are a source of security for them ... (Surah at-Tawbah:103)

سُوۡرَةُ یُونس
مَا مِن شَفِيعٍ إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعۡدِ إِذۡنِهِۦ‌ۚ (٣)

... No intercessor (can plead with Him) except after His Leave (hath been Obtained) … (Surah Yunus:3)

سُوۡرَةُ یُوسُف
قَالُواْ يَـٰٓأَبَانَا ٱسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا خَـٰطِـِٔينَ (٩٧)

They said. “O our father!  Ask, for us, Forgiveness for our sins, for we were truly at fault." (Surah Yusuf:97)

سُوۡرَةُ طٰه
يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ لَّا تَنفَعُ ٱلشَّفَـٰعَةُ إِلَّا مَنۡ أَذِنَ لَهُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ وَرَضِىَ لَهُ ۥ قَوۡلاً۬ (١٠٩)

On that Day shall no intercession avail except for those for whom Permission has been Granted by (Allah) Most Gracious and whose word is Acceptable to Him. (Surah ThaHa:109)

سُوۡرَةُ الاٴنبیَاء
وَقَالُواْ ٱتَّخَذَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ وَلَدً۬ا‌ۗ سُبۡحَـٰنَهُ ۥ‌ۚ بَلۡ عِبَادٌ۬ مُّكۡرَمُونَ (٢٦) لَا يَسۡبِقُونَهُ ۥ بِٱلۡقَوۡلِ وَهُم بِأَمۡرِهِۦ يَعۡمَلُونَ (٢٧) يَعۡلَمُ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِيہِمۡ وَمَا خَلۡفَهُمۡ وَلَا يَشۡفَعُونَ إِلَّا لِمَنِ ٱرۡتَضَىٰ وَهُم مِّنۡ خَشۡيَتِهِۦ مُشۡفِقُونَ (٢٨)

And they say, “(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten offspring.”  Glory to Him!  They are (but) servants Raised to honour.  They speak not before He speaks, and they act (in all things) by His Command.  He Knows what is before them, and what is behind them, and they offer no intercession except for those who are Acceptable, and they stand in awe and reverence of His (Glory). (Surah al-Anbiya’:26-28)

سُوۡرَةُ سَبَإ
وَلَا تَنفَعُ ٱلشَّفَـٰعَةُ عِندَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا لِمَنۡ أَذِنَ لَهُۚ ۥ (٢٣)

“No intercession can avail in His Presence, except for those for whom He has Granted Permission.” … (Surah Saba’:23)

سُوۡرَةُ الزّخرُف
وَلَا يَمۡلِكُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ ٱلشَّفَـٰعَةَ إِلَّا مَن شَہِدَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُونَ (٨٦)

And those whom they invoke besides Allah have no power of intercession;― only he who bears witness to the truth and they know (Him). (Surah az-Zukhruf:86)

سُوۡرَةُ النّجْم
۞ وَكَم مِّن مَّلَكٍ۬ فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ لَا تُغۡنِى شَفَـٰعَتُہُمۡ شَيۡـًٔا إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعۡدِ أَن يَأۡذَنَ ٱللَّهُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيَرۡضَىٰٓ (٢٦)

How many so ever be the angels in the heavens, their intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has Given leave for whom He Pleases and that he is Acceptable to Him. (Surah an-Najm:26)

سُوۡرَةُ محَمَّد
فَٱعۡلَمۡ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ وَٱسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لِذَنۢبِكَ وَلِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَـٰتِ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمۡ وَمَثۡوَٮٰكُمۡ (١٩)

Know, therefore, that there is no god but Allah, and ask forgiveness for the fault, and for the men and women who believe: for Allah knows how ye move about and how ye dwell in your homes. (Surah Muhammad:19)

Brother Hisham Mstfa: What I find troubling about this issue is the following.  The text of these other ud’iyyah does not match the format of the supplication of the blind man in the only hadits that is used to legitimise this practice.  Apart from some modern scholars, I cannot find any of the past notable scholars supporting this practice; yes, some early notable scholars authenticate this ahad hadits as sound, but they do not go on to suggest in any way the practices referred to in this thread are legitimate.  And they do not talk about them.  To get from this one specific supplication to asking anyone for their intercession for a miracle in the present is a long stretch since there is a lot of intellectual acrobatics to make an analogy from this one specific du’a about the Prophet (s.a.w.) to asking any dead person for something, and qiyas has limits.

The hadits talks about a blind man being healed through that supplication. If we were to assume the hadits means you can ask people, dead or alive, for “impossible” cures, then that means anyone can ask for an alive person’s intercession for a miracle from Allah (s.w.t.).  For example, like one saying, “Oh so and so,” who is alive but cannot hear me as they live in Timbuktu, “cure me and intercede for me”.  This is clearly not something we practice.  This form of tawaswswul, as per the reading of the prayer to Sayyidina Fathimah (r.a.) is not like asking Allah (s.w.t.) through the merits of a something elevated.  It is asking someone to do something.

I find many people are critical of ahadits and aspects of jurisprudence, but they do not apply the same scepticism to this matter.  There is no certainty anyone can intercede for us except Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.).  Others may be able to, but we are not told who, and there may be a reason for that.  Nor do we know that these people will even want to intercede for us just because we ask.  For people who are not aware of issues of worship, this could be more dangerous even from the views of proponents of this practice.  If you read the text literally, without the belief in tawhid, then it would be shirk.  Shirk is very close.

Finally, but probably most importantly, the weight of evidence of turning to Allah (s.a.w.) alone is enormous compared to this one hadits.  We do not need intermediaries between us and our Creator.  The cry of a wretched sinner is most beloved to Allah (s.w.t.).  We can go straight to Him.  Why go anywhere else?

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: If you had actually studied ahadits, then you would be aware that in issues of fadha’il al-‘amal, ahad narrations are acceptable for supplication and sirah, as long as they do not contradict the Qur’an, ‘aqidah or a stronger narration.  In ifta’, however, an ahad narration is not sufficient to formulate a general fatwa in issues of mu’amalah.  It must be swahih.  The thing about Wahhabis like you, is that even when evidence is given, you still doubt.  That is the essence of your kufr.

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: Your questions are valid in some respects and there may be some disliked here, but that does not establish this sort of prayer is shirk.  That is an enormous accusation.  Bid’ah, probably; haram, a possibility; but your line of argument can never be stretched to shirk.  And that is the issue here.  But I think that this is a wonderful prayer even with your line of argument.


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