Seeking Assistance from the Dead
The difference between the ‘Aqeedah of the Salaf as-Salih and the ‘Aqeedah of the grave worshipping Soofis
Abbas Abu Yahya
The grave worshipping Soofis promote matters of Shirk and innovation by way of the media, and from those matters is Isteegatha (seeking closeness to Allaah) from the dead of the Prophets, and the righteous people. This is a refutation against their falsehood and their trickery of the worshippers by mentioning what is ambiguous from the texts of Islaam, and using weak hadeeth and narrations, and their own understanding of the authentic hadeeth other than the understanding of the Salaf as-Salih. This refutation also contains the position of the Salaf as-Salih regarding this issue, according to the ‘Aqeedah of the Salaf as-Salih, and all capability is from Allaah.
Isteegatha linguistically means requesting aid and victory.
The Sharia’ definition: There is no difference with the linguistic meaning, since it means requesting help and relief from distress.
And Isteegatha is a type of Dua’(supplication), and Dua’ is worship, as has been mentioned in the hadeeth of an-Numaan bin Basheer who said that the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– said : ‘Dua’ is worship.’ Narrated by Ahmad and Tirmidhee and he said the hadeeth was hasan saheeh.
From the principles of the Sharia’ is that all worship, whether apparent or internal, is prohibited until there is an evidence from the Sharia’ that makes the action permissible.
Once this is understood, then know – may Allaah have mercy upon you, and may He direct you to His obedience – that making Isteegatha from the people is divided into two sections according to the Salaf:
The first : The Isteegatha which is permissible : and that is seeking assistance in the time of need from a living person, with that which he has the ability to help with, without having to lower oneself to that person, or with humiliation in any form, or having submission in the same way that you ask from Allaah Ta’ala.
From amongst the evidences that show the permissibility of this type of Isteegatha is:
a) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala regarding the story of Musa – alayhi as-sallam – : <<The man from his (own) party asked him for help against his foe>>
b) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<Help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and transgression.>>
The Second: The Isteegatha which is prohibited, is of two types:
a) Seeking assistance from living people with that which only Allaah Ta’ala has the ability to help with, and there is agreement amongst the scholars, that this is prohibited.
And from amongst the evidences for this issue, is the saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<And invoke not besides Allaah, any that will neither profit you, nor hurt you…..>>
b) Making Isteegatha with the dead, from the Prophets or the righteous people.
And from the proofs of this prohibition is the following:
1) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<And if My slaves ask you about Me, then I am close, and I answer the Dua’ of the caller if he supplicates to Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright. >>
So ponder – may Allaah look after you – about when the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– was faced with questions, and the answer would come from Allaah Ta’ala, and Allaah Ta’ala would make the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– an intermediary to convey the answer, so Allaah would say to him : <<Say….>> meaning O Muhammad tell them. The following are examples of that:
1) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you about the new moons. Say: these are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage. >> 2:186
2) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala : <<They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months (i.e. 1st, 7th, 11th and 12th months of the Islaamic calendar). Say, “Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allaah is to prevent mankind from following the Way of Allaah, to disbelieve in Him,>> 2:217
3) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you (O Muhammad ) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: ‘In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.’ >> 2:219
4) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you what they should spend. Say : whatever you spend of good>> 2 : 215
5) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you for a legal verdict. Say: ‘Allaah directs (thus) about AlKalâlah (those who leave neither descendants nor ascendants as heirs) >>
6) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you what is lawful for them as food. Say : lawful unto you are all kinds of halaal food. >> 5:4
7) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): ‘When will be its appointed time?’ Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (Alone). >>
8) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you about the spoils of war. Say: the spoils of war are for Allaah and the Messenger>> 8: 1
So, the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– was an intermediary to convey the message directed to him from Allaah Ta’ala by His saying : <<Say…>>, except in the issue of Dua’. Indeed Allaah Ta’ala did not make the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– an intermediary for Dua’, but Allaah Ta’ala Himself undertakes the answering of the Dua’ directly without saying: <<Say…>>
When the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– was asked: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, is our Lord close so we can have intimate discourse with Him, or is He far, so that we have to call in a loud voice?’ Then Allaah revealed: <<And if My slaves ask you about Me, then I am close, and I answer the Dua’ of the caller if he supplicates to Me.>>
Narrated by Abdullaah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal in his book ‘Kitab as-Sunnah’1/ 277 and Ibn Hibban in his book ‘ath-Thiqaat’8/436, and at-Tabari mentioned it as a reason for the revelation of the Ayaah in his Tafseer book 2/158, and Ibn Katheer in his Tafseer book 1/219, and Qurtubi in his Tafseer book 2/308, and he mentioned it as a reason for it being revealed, on the authority of Hasan al-Basari – may Allaah have mercy upon him.
And this is a divine indication that Allaah does not love that, nor is a slave in need of intermediaries or intercessors when he supplicates to his Lord Azza wa Jaal, rather he supplicates to Allaah directly and the saying of Allaah Ta’ala <<So let them obey Me >> means : that they supplicate to Me.
2) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<Say O Muhammad: I do not possess anything for myself that will benefit me nor harm me.>>
so indeed this Ayaah clearly explains that he (the Messenger of Allaah) does not control for himself that which will benefit him nor that which will harm him, so how can he possess that for anyone else.
And what confirms this point is the saying of the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– : ‘O Fatima daughter of Muhammad, O Safiya, daughter of AbdulMuttalib, O tribe of AbdulMuttalib, I do not possess anything for you from Allaah, but ask me whatever you want from my wealth.’ Narrated by Muslim.
3) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<Say (O Muhammad): ‘Call unto those besides Him whom you pretend [to be gods like angels, Iesa (Jesus), ‘Uzair (Ezra), etc.]. They have neither the power to remove adversity from you nor even to shift it from you to another person.’ >>
Some of the Salaf said that this Ayaah was revealed about groups of people who used to supplicate to al-Azeez, the Messiah and the angels.
So if a person says that those people used to worship them (angels, prophets etc.) and not worship Allaah, but as for us then we don’t worship them, rather, we take them as intermediaries and intercessors with Allaah !!
Then the answer to them is: This statement of yours, is like the statement of the Mushrikeen at the time of the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.
The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<We do not worship them except that they bring us closer to Allaah>> and in spite of what they said, their claim was not accepted, nor did it benefit them, and the Messenger of Allaah fought against them.
4) A fundamental principle is that the dead are not like the living, Allaah Ta’ala says: <<The living and the dead are not the same>> fundamentally the dead do not hear the living.
Allaah Ta’ala said: <<And you do not make those in the graves to hear.>> except where the evidence shows exceptions to this principle, and here are some examples:
a) When the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– spoke to the dead of the Mushrikeen after the battle of Badr, while they were in the well before they were buried.
And about this Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdasee – may Allaah have mercy upon him – said: ‘and this was a miracle of the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– and a matter that was specific to him, so you cannot use for anyone other than him.’ Taken from ‘Kitaab al-Mughnee’10/63.
b) The dead hear the footsteps of his companions.
c) The soul of the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– is returned to him so that the angels can convey to him the Sallam of anyone who sends Sallam upon him.
d) When the dead person hears the Sallam of the one who sends Sallam to him at his grave. This is according to those who authenticate this hadeeth.
There is no evidence to show that the dead person hears the living person who asks of him and makes a request from him, and if there is no evidence for this then the principle is that the issue remains as it is, that the dead cannot hear the living.
And the fundamental principle is that the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– is human, and the origin regarding the issue of death, is that he is like the rest of mankind. Allaah Ta’ala says: <<Indeed you will die, and indeed they will die>> except for what the evidence exempts, that the earth does not eat up his body and that his soul is returned to him in the grave to receive the Sallam of the one who sends Sallam to him, and that the actions of his Ummah are presented to him, and this is according to those who authenticate the hadeeth.
Since the dead not being able to hear the living has been established about the leader of the sons of Adam – alayhi as-Sallam – then this more readily applies to other than the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. If this is established that the Prophets do not hear the question of the one asking the question, then ponder over the saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<And who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besides Allaah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them?>>
5 – The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<So when you have finished, then stand up for Allaah’s worship. And to your Lord turn all your invocations>> and He did not say ‘Turn your invocations to the Prophets and the righteous people.’
Imaam at-Tabaree, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, ‘The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<And to your Lord turn all your invocations>> Allaah mentions is : O Muhammad direct your fervent desires to your Lord, and not to any one from the creation since the Mushrikeen from your people have made their fervent desires to gods and their associates. The people of Tafseer have also said similar to what we have just mentioned.
Taken from the book Tafseer at-Tabaree 30 / 237.
6 – Indeed what the Companions – radi Allaahu anhum – knew and understood is that the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– was not made as someone from who aid was sought after his death nor was he taken as an intermediary, and this is confirmed by what has been narrated by al-Bukhari 1 / 342 and others have also narrated this.
On the authority of Anas – radi Allaahu anhu – and then on the authority of Umar bin al-Khattab – radi Allaahu anhu – if there was a drought, he would request rain by asking al-Abbas bin AbdulMuttalib, and he would say : ‘O Allaah indeed we used to come closer to You (make Tawassul) with Your Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– and You would give us rain, and indeed we come closer to You with his uncle, so give us rain,’ then the rain would come down.
So, if you dear brother, dear reader, being unbiased, ponder that Umar and the senior Companions did not regard the permissibility of (Tawassul) coming closer to Allaah nor seeking assistance with the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– after his death, compared to when he was alive, in fact in their request for rain they used to make Tawassul with the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, but after he passed away they did not make Tawassul with him. Indeed Umar – radi Allaahu anhu – said in his authentic, well-known and established supplication, agreed upon by the people of knowledge, which was said in the presence of the Muhajiroon and the Ansaar in the famous year of the Great Drought. When the drought became severe and the people requested rain, he said : ‘O Allaah we used to, if we suffered from a drought, we used to make Tawassul with Your Prophet, and You used to give us rain, and now we make Tawassul to You with his uncle, so give us rain , and they were given rain.’
This well known supplication was accepted by all the Companions, not one of them denied it. This is one of the clearest examples of (Ijma’Sakootee) silent agreement.
Therefore, if Tawassul with the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– after his death was like the Tawassul during his lifetime, they would have said, why are we making Tawassul with al-Abbas while we don’t make it with the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, who is the best and greatest of creation with Allaah? Since not one of them said this, then this shows us that they knew Tawassul was only during the lifetime of the Prophet , and after his passing away, Tawassul is with the Dua’ of the righteous living people.
The Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– did not order any one of his Companions. if they had a need or were afflicted with a problem, that they turn to him and they seek assistance from him after his death. In fact the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– said to Ibn Abbas – radi Allaahu anhu – : ‘If you ask of anyone, then ask Allaah, and if you seek help, then seek help from Allaah.’
Narrated by at-Tirmidhee and he said the hadeeth is hasan saheeh.
And there is other evidence which shows that Isteegatha with the dead from the Prophets and the righteous people is not allowed according to Islaam.
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace
and blessings be upon our final
Prophet Muhammad, his
family, his companions
and all those who
Taken from www.sahab.net