As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 2


Invoking others besides Allah is Shirk Page 2

Words of Shaikh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz (rahimahullah)

As far as the dead are concerned, one should neither ask them for Shifa'ah nor anything else,*6 and this (ruling) is the same for the Prophets and non-Prophets because it is not legislated. Moreover, the deeds of the dead have been cut except those (deeds) which the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) has informed us of. It is reported in Saheeh Muslim from Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, 'When a man dies, all his good deeds come to an end, except in three cases; the charity of continuous blessings, beneficial knowledge that he has left behind and a righteous child who prays for him.' [Saheeh Muslim (no. 4005), Sunan Abu Dawood (no. 2874)]

It was allowed to ask Allah's Messenger to intercede during his life time and it will be made permissible on the Day of Judgment, because Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) had the ability to do so (i.e. make intercession during his life time and) it is allowed for him to approach (his Lord) and make intercession (on the Day of Judgment).*7 And it is known that in the world it is not exclusive to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) (to make intercession), but it is common for everybody. So, it is allowed for a Muslim to say to his brother, 'Intercede for me to Allah in such and such matter' meaning make duaa to Allah for me. And it is allowed for one, who is approached (with such a request), to make duaa to Allah and intercede for his brother in matters which are permissible.*8 (However) On the Day of Judgment, it will not be allowed for anyone to intercede except with the permission of Allah, as Allah say, 'Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission?' [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 255]

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Translator's Notes

*6: Awliya cannot ward off calamities and hardships even from their own selves

Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, 'Those who are most afflicted among the people are the Prophets, then the best, then the (next) best. One is afflicted in accordance with (the strength of) his Deen. If his Deen is firm, his affliction is hard, and if his Deen is weak, his affliction is light. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks among the people without any sin.' [Saheeh al-Jamee (993) Musnad Ahmad and at-Tirmidhee]

In light of this hadeeth, we understand that the pious servants of Allah (i.e. the awliya) are also afflicted with calamities and hardships and more so than the common believers, and they are incapable of warding off afflictions even from themselves during their lifetimes, let alone be of any avail to others. Calling upon them for help or assistance in times of difficulties or hardships is futile for it is Allah who tests people with adversity and it is He Alone who can ward it off. Allah says in the Qur'aan, 'Who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them?' [Soorah al-Ahqaf (46): 5]

Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said in his advice to Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu), 'I'hfath (remember or observe the commands of) Allah and He will Ya'hfath (direct His care and aid at) you. I'hfath Allah and you will find Him with you (by His Aid, Knowledge and Protection). When you invoke, invoke Allah alone, and when you ask for help, ask Allah alone. Know that if the nation (meaning mankind and Jinn) came together to bring you benefit, they can never bring you any benefit except that which Allah has written for you. And if they came together to harm you, they will never be able to harm you, except what Allah has written for you. The pens have already been raised (i.e., stopped writing) and the pages have dried.' [Musnad Ahmad and at-Tirmidhee]

*7: Tawassul by Means of Supplication made by a Righteous Person who is alive
This practice is known as Tawassul by means of a supplication made by a righteous person who is alive. Anas Ibn Malik (radhi allahu anhu) narrates from Umar Ibn Khattab (radhi allahu anhu) that when the people suffered from drought he used to ask Abbas Ibn Abdul-Mutallib (radhi allahu anhu) to invoke Allah for rain on their behalf. He used to say, O Allah we used to request our Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) to supplicate to You for rain, and You would bless us with rain. Now, we ask the uncle of our Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) to supplicate to You, so grant us rain. [Saheeh al-Bukharee]

Also the noble tabi'e, Sulaym Ibn Aamir al-Khabairee, reported, The sky withheld any rain, so Muawiyah Ibn Abee Sufyan and the people of Damascus went out to pray for rain. When Muawiyah sat upon the minbar (pulpit) he said, 'O Allah! We are today asking the best and most noble amongst us to supplicate to You for us, O Allah, today we put Yazeed Ibn al-Aswad al-Jurashee forward to supplicate to You for us.' Then Yazeed raised his hands and so did the people, and it rained until people could hardly reach their houses. [Reported by al-Hafidh Ibn Asaakir in his Tareekh (18/151/1)]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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