As Salamu ‘alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu to Muslims and Greetings to all others!
Istighatha (seeking help) from Prophets and Awliya has been a matter of dispute between Ahlus Sunnah (Sufis) and the Ghayr Muqalideen since a long time. On the other hand the Muqalid Deobandis are also confused on this matter although their akabireen like Ashraf Ali Thanvi have proven Jawaz of Istighatha for people who have “SOUND AQIDA” which means that even Deobandi big scholars not only accepted this deep reality but rather practiced upon it.
The Salafis accept that Ahlus Sunnah (barelvis) are more sound in their approach and they (barelvis) do not use double standards like deobandis who try to attest this same concept for their own Akabireen but call it shirk just in opposition of Barelvis. The Salafis have fully realized that deobandis also keep this same belief but they hide it from people whereas Barelvis are at least honest in this regard who strictly and proudly follow their sound aqaid.
There have been many proofs cited from Qur’an, Sunnah and “CLASSICAL SCHOLARS” such as Sheikh ul Islam Taqi ud-din al-Subki (rah), Imam Shams ud-din Ramli (rah) and others who established Istighatha from Anbiya/Awliya. Refer to our artucle on ahlus-sunna website: http://www.ahlus-sunna.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=87&Itemid=149
Imam al-Ramli (rah)’s verdict was so difficult upon authors of system of life website that one of it’s major authors had no option but to declare this great Faqih as Mushrik (Naudhobillah), however with the Grace of Allah he was made to rub his nose on the floor and give open repentance in front of public after being soundly refuted by us Ahlus Sunnah.
Ahlus Sunnah fully agrees that Istighatha is a deep and complicated concept which if understood wrongly then It can even lead to Shirk,whereas Salafis do not realize that their verdict of Shirk on great scholars & sufis has actually made them (salafis) as Mushrikeen themselves.
But the crucial point is how to bring reconciliation between both these groups? According to my knowledge (author: Aamir Ibrahim) I have found perfect reform through the verdict given by Shah Abdul Aziz Muhadtih Dhelvi (rah) who is not only an authority in Ahlus Sunnah but also according to Wahabis and Deobandis. I have confronted Wahabi scholars who said to the extent that their “IJAZA IN HADITH” reaches back to Prophet (Peace be upon him) through Shah Abdul Aziz Muhadith Dhelvi (rah), this means that their Ahle-e-Hadihiyat is dependant upon the great Shah Sahab who was by the way a staunch Hanafi Muqalid.
Shah Sahab beautifully analyzes this issue by taking into consideration both extremes. If these following 2 verdicts of Shah Sahab are read with full honesty then both sides will understand that Istighatha has been “EXPLOITED” whereas in reality It is not how hindus worship idols nor is it something which “SOME” ignorant people follow at shrines. Remember my purpose behind this thread is to bring unity between Muslims on the “MOST HEATED DEBATE ISSUE ON WHICH MUSLIMS HAVE BEEN USELESSLY FIGHTING” Insha’Allah once this issue is settled then even clash between Wahabis and Ahlus Sunnah can be eliminated bi izn-e-ILAHI.
Mr. Asim who is self proclaimed leading debater of Wahabi sect and author of many articles at system of life website, he is on record that I along with Ahlus Sunnah are not wrong to seek intercession of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and that those scholars who do Istadlal from hadiths of intercession are absolutely right, like for example Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (rah), Sheikh ul Islam al-Subki (rah), al-Nawawi (rah) and others. So the articles against Tawassul by their authors are clear proof of Salafi dishonesty although on telephone their leading author has categorcially accepted Tawassul.
Insha’Allah these following 2 verdicts could also be a turning point for salafis but the condition is “HONESTY”
Verdict # 1 (From Shah Abdul Aziz Muhadith dhelvi who was author of a great book called “Tuhfa Athna Ashriyyah”).
Translation: (Shah Abdul Aziz Muhadith Dhelvi Rahimahullah explains): One says: ‘Oh Allah! For the sake of this person upon whom you have bestowed your mercy, ease my hardship,
One says like this: “O ALLAH’S SERVANT AND HIS FRIEND” do intercession in my regard, ask for my need in the court of Allah so that He fulfills it.
We should know that the man in-between is nothing but an intercessor, whereas the Qadir, the granter and Mawsul is Allah (alone), and in this way there is “NO POSSIBILITY” of it being shirk at all, “THE REJECTER OF THIS FOLLOWS ONLY HIS WHIMS, OBVIOUSLY IT IS ALLOWED WITHOUT DISPUTE” that Wasila could be sought from Saliheen and friends of Allah when they are alive and that they should be asked to make dua, THEN WHY would it be prohibited that they should be asked for help “AFTER THEIR PASSING AWAY”
(Note: Before this, Shah Abdul Aziz had shown Hujjat ul Islam, Imam al- Ghazzali – Rahimuhullah’s verdict that one who is asked for help in life is also asked for help after his death).
The arwah of Kamileen (truly sincere ones) do not have a difference due to life and death except for the fact that “AFTER DEATH THEIR ARWAH BECOME MORE STRONGER” , in Sharah of Mishkaat (by Mullah Ali Qari) and Sharah us Saudoor by Imam Jalal ud-din as-Suyuti this has been explained in detail and in these books the ahadith have been mentioned with multiple chains in this regard [Fatawa-e-Azizi, Page No. 192, Published by H.M. Saeed company, Karachi, Paskistan]
This above verdict is exactly the belief of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jam’ah and we do not believe in any way that “doer, Mawsul and helper” is anyone other than Allah. The help from Anbiya and Awliya is “Secondary causation” who present “THE PLEA ONTO ALLAH WHO ACTUALLY FULFILLS IT NOT THE NABI OR WALI”
We also strongly believe that Prophets and Saints do not have independent powers rather they are simply our means towards the Lord Almighty and taking means towards Allah is allowed without any doubt.
Now let me come towards a very important verdict which would make many things clear both to Salafis and some ignorant Sunnis who do not practice Shariah properly. This verdict is especially important for Salafis who do not distinguish between asking help from Idols and Prophets/Awliya (Naudhobillah)
Verdict # 2
Question: Some Idol-worshipper asked for help from an idol, a scholar forbade him by saying that he should not commit shirk, the idol-worshipper said in return, If I believe that the idol is co-partner with Allah and I worship it due to this factor then It will be shirk, whereas If my belief is that the Idol is some creation and this is why I “WORSHIP” it then why would it be shirk? The scholar replied: It has come as Mutawatir in Quran that Help should not be sought from Ghair Ullah, at this the Idol-worshipper replied: why do human beings then ask one another for help?
The scholar replied: The men are alive and asking them is not forbidden, whereas your idols such as Kanhiya, Kalka etc… are dead, they are not capable of doing anything, hearing this the Idol-worshipper replied again: But you people ask the Ahlul Quboor for help and intercession, hence this constitutes that you also do shirk, In summary the same way you take people of graves in exactly the same way we take the “PICTURES” of Kanhiya, Kalka etc… therefore literally there is no power held by people of graves and idols, but If you say that people of graves have Batini power due to which they can help us then note that help is even given by idols at certain times, If you say that you only want Shaf’aat through the people of graves then we also only want Shaf’aat from the idols
Answer: “IN THIS QUESTION THERE IS DOUBT BEING CREATED (BY IDOL WORSHIPPER)” at certain instances, we should be aware of them; Now Insha’Allah with the grant of Allah the answer to this question will be made clear
1. First of all, asking for help is something different whereas worship is something totally different, the ordinary Muslims have this problem that they seek help from people of graves in ways which is against shariah, “BUT STILL THEY DO NOT WORSHIP THEM” whereas the idol-worshippers not only ask for help from idols but they worship them too, Worship means that one should prostrate to someone (with ibadah), or one circulates around something with the intention of worship, one does wird of some name to get closer, or one slaughters any animal on that name, or one calls himself a creation of someone, hence any ignorant who does such a thing to people of graves such as he prostrates to people of graves (with ibadah) then he will become kafir and shall be expelled from Islam.
2. The second thing to be noted from the question is that “Beseeching for help” is of 2 types, first is that a Makhlooq asks another Makhlooq, for example the servants ask a certain Ameer or king for help, the Awaam un naas ask help from Awliya in a way i.e. the awliya should make dua in the court of Allah so that by Allah’s order our certain problem is solved, “TO ASK HELP IN THIS FASHION WHETHER FROM SOMEONE ALIVE OR DEAD IS PERMITTED” .
3. The third way is of asking help for things which are specifically in Qudrah of Allah, such as to grant a boy, send rainfall, cure diseases, increase the life span and other such things which are Khaas in Allah’s Qudrah, if for these things someone asks any Makhlooq and his ”INTENTION IS NOT” that the Makhlooq makes dua in court of Allah so that through Allah’s order our problem is solved, then this is Mutlaqqan haram rather Kufr or If someone asks from Awliya in this non-permitted way considering them to have personal complete Qudrah “WHETHER THEY ARE ALIVE OR DEAD THEN SUCH A PERSON HAS LEFT ISLAM”
The Idol-worshippers also ask help from their false deities in this non-permitted way, and they consider this prohibited matter as allowed, Note that it is known from the question that “THE IDOL-WORSHIPPER CLAIMS THAT HE ONLY ASKS FOR INTERCESSION THROUGH IDOLS” just like you people ask for intercession from Prophets and Awliya, we should know that this Kalaam (of idol-worshipper) “IS NOT EMPTY FROM DECEPTION AND FRAUD, BECAUSE THE IDOL-WORSIPPERS NEVER SEEK INTERCESSION, RATHER THEY DO NOT EVEN KNOW THE MEANING OF INTERCESSION” nor is their intention based on intercession.
Intercession means to make Sifarish i.e. one person for the fulfillment of another asks the third, the idol-worshippers do not think like this nor do they say to the idols that they should do our Shaf’aat in court of Allah, rather these people specifically want their problems to be solved by idols, and what this idol-worshipper said that the way you consider people of graves, we also consider our pictures of Kanhiya and Kalka, then this is also “WRONG UPON WRONG” because it is proven that the body is put in grave after death, “WITH THIS BODY THE LINK OF RUH REMAINS” because the Ruh had stayed in body for a long time, the idol-worshippers do not do Tadhim of their graves (rather they have no graves), they declare the pictures/stones/trees/rivers as a pictures of Falana, whereas the Ruh of it has no link with these things…
The people of graves who are asked for help, their traits are well known, they have become of upright/saliheen whereas (idols) like Sateela, Masaani are meaningless names, their existence is not proven, rather the idol-worshipers have just made an imaginary existence of them.
The people of graves are asked for help in the form of dua i.e. they may present our dua in the court of Allah so that our problem is solved, whereas the people who worship Sateela etc… these people believe that they have a constant independent power to help which is clearly Kufr Naudhobillah Min Dhalik.
– End of Fatwa – [Fatawa al Azizi, Page No. 174-177]
This verdict should make it absolutely clear that Muslims cannot be compared to idol-worshippers nor is Istighatha practiced by Muslims is by any means comparable to idolatry.
If reform and accord is brought on this issue then insha’Allah Wahabis will accept other true concepts of Ahlus Sunnah too. Our approach should be modest and linient so that many people can come towards Ahlus Sunnah like many of my friends (even converts) have Alhamdolillah left Wahabism and chosen Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah.