Is tawassul permissible according to verses and hadiths?
Is tawassul permissible according to verses and hadiths?
Submitted by on Tue, 17/04/2018 - 12:40
Dear Brother / Sister,
TAWASSUL IS PERMISSIBLE
1- THE TAWASSUL OF THE SONS OF HZ YAQUB
The Tawassul of the Sons Hz Yaqub to him
The Chapter of Yusuf, Verse 97
An important illness of our age is to put forward views that are contrary to the creed of Ahl as-Sunnah by opposing the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah in order to spread perverted views. Many people oppose the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah without any evidence and ground, and virtually declare war against them due to this illness. What is really grievous is that ordinary people who do not know the evidences of their creed believe in those people and leave the circle of Ahl as-Sunnah, though unintentionally. It is such a harm that it cannot be imagined.
Tawassul means to use as an intermediary/means. For example, when a person asks forgiveness, help or something else from Allah, he says for the sake of such and such a person or wants for the sake of that person.
The issue of tawassul is an issue that is accepted by Ahl as-Sunnah scholars; it is permissible not wajib (obligatory) in Ahl as-Sunnah creed. That is, a person can make tawassul if he wishes, or he can ask directly from Allah.
Tawassul is certain by many evidences in the Quran, hadiths and lives of the Companions and it is permissible in Ahl as-Sunnah creed. However, some opponents of Ahl as-Sunnah deny tawassul and accuse those who use tawassul of shirk (polytheism). According to them, those who ask something from Allah by saying for the sake of the Prophet or for the sake of a righteous slave fall into polytheism; that is, they are polytheists.
In this work, it will be explained through verses, hadiths and consensus (ijma) that tawassul is permissible and it will be shown how wrong those who do not accept it are. We hope that the ummah of Muhammad will be protected from the evil of the people of bid’ah thanks to this work.
We will be the guests of two imaginary friends and listen to their conversation in order to understand the issue better. Anyone who watches this work by relying on his mind and conscience as a judge will believe that tawassul is permissible. Help and success come from Allah. Now we start to listen to the conversation of those two friends:
B- I do not believe in tawassul. There is nothing like that in verses and hadiths. I do not understand how you conclude it. How can you leave Allah and ask help from others?
A- In fact, you believe in what you want to believe. When I tell you about the issue through verses, hadiths and consensus soon, you will understand the issue better.
B- You mean there are verses about tawassul and you will show them to me. Besides, I do not accept that it exists in hadiths.
A- All right! Before I show you my evidences regarding the issue, I would like something from you.
B- All right. I am listening.
A- You will accept that it is necessary to talk based on evidences about a controversial issue and it is necessary to accept a judge in order to find out the truth.
B- All right! We will speak with evidences but who will be the judge?
A- Let mind and conscience be the judge between us. Let us talk to each other in order to discover the truth, not stubbornly. Let us not oppose each other stubbornly regarding what intellect and reason accept.
B- All right! Let mind and conscience be the judge. I will captivate your mind and conscience and free you from this illness.
A- Let us start! I say, "Let the one who is right win." And I want you to listen to these words well:
Tawassul means to use as an intermediary/means. It means (for a person) to use a righteous person as a means in order to attain Allah’s pardoning, help or something else between him and Allah. “To ask for the sake of…” and to say “for the sake of such and such a person” is tawassul.
B- That is what I cannot accept. Why should we ask for the sake of others?
A- If you show patience a bit, you will understand it.
Tawassul is permissible not wajib (obligatory) in Ahl as-Sunnah creed. That is, a person can make tawassul if he wishes, or he can ask directly from Allah.
Tawassul is permissible in Ahl as-Sunnah creed but some opponents of Ahl as-Sunnah and people like you deny tawassul and accuse those who use tawassul of falling into shirk. That is, according to them and to you, all members of Ahl as-Sunnah, from ordinary people to mujtahids, fall into polytheism; that is, they are polytheists. Is this not a very serious accusation?
B- Yes, it is a bit serious but there is nothing else to do. I think tawassul is not permissible. Why are others used as intermediaries instead of asking directly from Allah?
A- When I absolutely prove why tawassul is permissible without leaving any blind spots, you will also accept this view.
B- I wonder about your evidences a lot. This view is not a view that can be accepted but I will listen to you; so start telling me.
A- You are right. Let us not beat about the bush and move on to our first evidence from the Quran that tawassul is permissible. Help and success come from Allah.
In verse 97 of the chapter of Yusuf, Hz. Yaqub’s sons say,
“O our father! Ask for us forgiveness for our sins, for we were truly at fault …”
Thereupon, Hz Yaqub says,
“Soon will I ask my Lord for forgiveness for you: for he is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Now, we will analyze this verse a bit and I will ask you some questions.
B- Go on. Ask.
A- My first question is as follows: Hz. Yaqub’s sons asked their father, “O our father! Ask for us forgiveness for our sins.” Is this not a tawassul?
B- Er. Is it tawassul?
A- It is definitely tawassul. For, tawassul means (for a person) to put a righteous person between him and Allah to attain Allah’s pardoning or something else that he wants. Hz. Yaqub’s sons applied to their father for tawassul in order to attain Allah’s pardoning and put Hz. Yaqub between them and Allah. This is clear tawassul.
You call tawassul shirk. Were Hz. Yaqub’s sons so ignorant as not to be able to distinguish between shirk and tawhid (oneness)? Did they not learn that tawassul was not permissible though they were taught oneness by Hz. Yaqub throughout their lives? Do you know though they do not know?
B- You surprised me but was not this something peculiar to them and that period?
A- The principles of creed are the same for all prophets. The difference is only related to issues about deeds. That is, if something is permissible for them in terms of creed, it is also permissible for us. Since they applied to their father for tawassul, tawassul must permissible. If tawassul is permissible for them, it is permissible for us too.
A- My second question is as follows: Suppose that Hz. Yaqub’s sons did not know that tawassul was not permissible and applied to their father for tawassul. Was it not necessary for Hz. Yaqub to prevent them from it and say to them: “O my sons! Tawassul is shirk. Do not put me between Allah and you! Ask from Allah directly!”? Yes, if tawassul had not been permissible, Hz. Yaqub would have warned them. However, he did not warn them in the verse. Let alone warning, he accepted the tawassul of his sons by saying, “Soon will I ask my Lord for forgiveness for you.”
B- Very interesting. I have read those verses before but I have not looked at them from this viewpoint.
A- Could a prophet like Hz. Yaqub not understand oneness as much as you did? Was tawassul shirk and did Hz. Yaqub not know about it? Is it possible for a prophet not to know what is shirk and what is belief?
B- It is definitely not possible.
A- There are two ways in front of you now. Choose either one you wish:
The first way is to insist that tawassul is shirk. If you prefer this way, you will have to accept that Hz. Yaqub and his sons were polytheists. For, his sons applied to Hz. Yaqub for tawassul and he accepted this tawassul. There is no doubt about it. If tawassul is shirk, Allah’s prophet fell into polytheism with his sons. Will you accept this possibility? Can a person who has even very little belief accept such a possibility?
B- No. However, I will look at those verses again.
A- Of course you can. In fact, those problems occur because we look at the Quran indiscriminately. If you cannot accept this possibility, you will have to accept the second way, which shows that tawassul is permissible.
Here are two ways for you. We follow the second way as the members of Ahl as-Sunnah. We accept tawassul as permissible and say that Allah’s prophet and his sons are free from polytheism. It is up to you to choose.
B- I will not surrender to only one evidence. Do you have any other evidences? Do not expect that I will be persuaded by only one evidence.
A- I have a lot more to say and many evidences to show. I want only one thing from you: Listen to the voice of your mind and conscience. We will stop talking about the first evidence here and move on to the second evidence from the Quran:
THE TAWASSUL OF THE COMPANIONS TO THE PROPHET (PBUH)
2-) The Tawassul of the Companions to the Prophet (pbuh)
The chapter of an-Nisa, verse 64
A- The second evidence from the Quran with which we will show that tawassul is permissible is verse 64 of the chapter of an-Nisa. The following is stated in that verse:
B- Yes. I am listening to you.
A- “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.”
We will analyze this verse a bit and I will ask you and those who deny tawassul some questions.
The following is stated at the beginning of the verse: “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, that is, when they committed sins, come unto thee.” Is the meaning of it not if only “they had applied tawassul to you”?
B- I do not know. It looks like tawassul?
A- Do you remember what tawassul is?
B- Tawassul means for a person to put a righteous person between him and Allah in order to attain his wish.
A- What is the wish of the people mentioned in the verse?
B- Asking Allah’s forgiveness.
A- How many conditions does God Almighty lay for them to attain forgiveness?
I will tell you. He lays 3 conditions. The 1st condition: To go to the Prophet, that is, to apply to him for tawassul. The 2nd condition: Asking forgiveness from Allah. The 3rd condition: The Prophet’s asking forgiveness for them, that is, accepting their tawassul.
This verse does not only state that tawassul is permissible but it also encourages tawassul. Now I want to ask you and the others who deny tawassul:
Have you ever not read verse 64 of the chapter of an-Nisa? Is the meaning of the verse “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee” not “If they had only applied to you for tawassul”? If not, why should they go the Prophet? Why does the Quran encourage them to go to the Prophet? If tawassul were not permissible, would it not be necessary for them to repent alone, not to go to the Prophet to ask for forgiveness; and if they did, was it not necessary for the Quran to condemn them?
B- I do not know what to say now. The verse is very clear but I am astonished.
A- Listen to the voice of your mind and conscience. Yes, the verse is clear. The Quran does not condemn them for coming to the Prophet but for not coming, that is, for not applying to him for tawassul. Is it not a clear evidence for the permissibility of tawassul?
B- How can I explain the verse “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee” if I say it is not? They could have repented on their own but the verse told them that it was necessary for them to go to the Prophet. It is very interesting.
A- My 2nd question is this: With the statement “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”, it is laid as a condition for the Prophet to accept their tawassul. If tawassul were not permissible, would Allah have laid it as a condition for the Prophet to accept their tawassul and ask forgiveness for them? That is, did Allah order the Prophet to accept a deed that is regarded as shirk – God forbid?
B- God forbid. I do not say something like that.
A- However, if you say, “tawassul is not permissible”, you will have to accept that Allah ordered the Prophet to accept shirk and even to commit shirk. This is the meaning of saying tawassul is shirk. No sane man with a conscience can accept it.
B- You are right. If tawassul were not permissible, Allah would not have laid it as a condition for the Prophet to accept their tawassul and ask forgiveness for them.
A- As I said at the beginning, we do not believe in something that has no evidence. When we say tawassul is permissible in Ahl as-Sunnah belief, we accept it based on many evidences like that one.
B- I cannot find anything to say in the face of this evidence. You have presented a really strong evidence.
A- My 3rd question is as follows: You say, “Tawassul is shirk.”
B- I used to say so but in the face of this evidence, it frightens me to say, “Tawassul is shirk.” For, if tawassul is shirk, I will have to accept that Allah ordered the Prophet to accept shirk and even to commit shirk. I confess that you drove me into a corner.
A- If tawassul is shirk, God forbid, the penalty for shirk is to stay in Hell forever. However, the following is stated for those who were ordered to apply to the Prophet for tawassul in the verse that we are analyzing: “If they had only 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.” If tawassul were shirk, how would they have found God Almighty Oft-returning, Most Merciful?
The meaning of finding Allah Oft-returning, Most Merciful is that Allah will forgive them. If tawassul is shirk, why does Allah become manifest with the names at-Tawwab and ar-Rahim? Why does He encourage this shirk though He does not forgive the other kinds of shirk?
How do you not see this verse, which encourages tawassul clearly, and how do you deny tawassul?
B- I want to confess something. This is the first time I have heard these verses but do the so-called professors who do not accept tawassul not know these verses? They go on television and deny tawassul but they never mention these verses.
A- Unfortunately, the Quran is somewhere and they are in another place. They also know these verses very well but their aim is different. They interpret the Quran based on their narrow views, go astray and make others go astray. This is their only aim: to deviate people from the way of the Quran. They do their best to realize it and they oppose Ahl as-Sunnah belief.
B- If it is so, the situation is grave. A question has come to my mind about this verse: Why was tawassul to the Prophet laid as a condition in this verse though it is permissible to repent alone?
A- The answer to this question is as follows: Although it is enough for a person to repent on his own, a person cannot repent truly; when the Prophet’s asking forgiveness for them is added to their repentance, their repentance will be more likely to be accepted. Therefore, they were ordered to apply to the Prophet for tawassul.
Now I want to address those who deny tawassul: There are two ways in front of you; choose the one you wish:
The 1st way is to insist that tawassul is shirk. However, in that case, it is necessary to remove this verse, which orders tawassul to the Prophet, from the Quran or to ignore this verse. Otherwise, you will have to accuse those who went to the Prophet to be forgiven, that is, those who applied to the Prophet for tawassul acting upon the order of this verse of shirk. That is, you will have to call those who fulfill the order of Allah mushriks.
There is more. The Prophet asked forgiveness from Allah for them upon the order of Allah. In that case, you will have to accuse the Prophet of shirk – God forbid – too since he accepted tawassul for them.
In that case, both the Companions and the Prophet committed a deed that was shirk and this deed was – God forbid – ordered by Allah according to you. You correct the mistakes of Allah, the Prophet and the Companions. There are no people other than you who are people of tawhid (oneness). If you can accept this, follow this way.
B- It is not possible to follow this way. For, it is stated in the verse that they should go to the Messenger of Allah when they committed sins and that the Messenger of Allah should ask forgiveness for them. If tawassul were really shirk, Allah would not order something that was shirk. And as you said, both the Companions and the Prophet would commit a deed that was shirk, which is impossible to accept. What is the 2nd way?
A- The 2nd way is to accept that tawassul is permissible. This is the true path and the way that the Quran encourages. As the members of Ahl as-Sunnah creed, Alhamdulillah we are on this way. May our Lord not deviate us from this way because this is the way of the Quran.
B- You are right. You have really astonished me. However, I also have some questions regarding the issue.
A- Before your questions, I want you to listen to all evidences carefully.
B- In fact, I wonder about the other evidences.
A- Let us end the 2nd evidence from the Quran about the permissibility of tawassul here and move on to the 3rd evidence.
3-) The Tawassul of the Nation of Hz. Musa to him
The chapter of al-Baqara, verses 60 – 61 – 67
A- I will show you several tawassuls of the nation of Hz. Musa (Moses) to him in the 3rd Quranic evidence about the permissibility of tawassul. As you will see soon, his nation applied to Hz. Musa for tawassul regarding several issues and Hz. Musa accepted all of those tawassuls.
B- You mean Sons of Israel used Hz. Musa as an intermediary to attain their wishes and Hz. Musa accepted it. Is that right?
A- Yes, exactly. For instance, it is stated in verse 61 of the chapter of al-Baqara that his nation went to Hz. Musa and said, “O Moses! We cannot endure one kind of food (always); so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth groweth.”
As it is seen, his nation applied to Hz. Musa for tawassul by saying, “Beseech thy Lord for us!” This is a tawassul.
In the face of this tawassul, Hz. Musa did not accuse them of shirk and said to them, “Go ye down to any town, and ye shall find what ye want.”
With the statement “We cannot endure one kind of food”, a previous tawassul of them is indicated: When his nation went to Hz. Musa and said, “Pray to Your Lord to give us sustenance”, Hz. Musa accepted this tawassul and prayed for his nation. As it is stated in verse 57 of the chapter of al-Baqara, “We sent down to you Manna and quails” these two food items were sent down to them from the sky.
Afterwards, his nation was tired of eating meat and dessert; so, they applied to Hz. Musa for tawassul and said, “We cannot endure one kind of food (always); so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth groweth.”
B- Yes, it was possible for them to pray to Allah themselves to produce for them what the earth groweth.
A- This did not take place only once. It was repeated several times. Another tawassul of his nation to Hz. Musa was to pray Allah for water. Hz. Musa accepted this tawassul too. The following is stated in verse 60 of the chapter al-Baqara: “And remember Moses prayed for water for his people; We said: ‘Strike the rock with thy staff.’ Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs.” As it is seen and as it is expressed in the verse, Hz. Musa accepted his nation’s tawassul and asked water from Allah; Allah granted them water with the blessing of the prayer of Hz. Musa.
B- That is, they themselves did not ask for water. They used Hz Musa as an intermediary. Hz. Musa did not reject them and God Almighty did not warn them due their statement.
A- Yes, exactly. How can you see something wrong in a deed about which Allah did not warn, accepted the prayer and Hz. Musa did not see any drawbacks? How can you describe it as shirk? You see what kind of a crime those who say tawassul is shirk commit with their statement.
Another tawassul of his nation to Hz. Musa was to ask him to pray to Allah in order to be protected from the sun. Hz. Musa accepted this tawassul and a cloud was sent to his nation to provide shade. The following is stated in verse 57 of the chapter of al-Baqara: “And We gave you the shade of clouds.”
Another tawassul of his nation to Hz. Musa is mentioned in the story that starts in verse 67 of the chapter of al-Baqara. They applied Hz. Musa for tawassul regarding a case of murder. They went to Hz. Musa several times for tawassul and said to him, “Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord …” Hz. Musa accepted each tawassul of them and fulfilled their wishes.
There are some other tawassuls of his nation to Hz. Musa but it is enough for now. Our issue is to show that the nation of Hz. Musa applied to him for tawassul and that Hz. Musa prayed to Allah for them. You can refer to tafsir books for more detailed information.
Now let us analyze a bit on these verses, which we mentioned for tawassul and ask those who deny tawassul some questions.
The question we will ask those who deny tawassul is as follows: Is it not a tawassul that his nation went to Hz. Musa as it is stated in verse 61 of the chapter of al-Baqara and said to him, “We cannot endure one kind of food (always); so beseech thy Lord for us”? This is a clear tawassul. For tawassul means for a person to put a righteous person between him and Allah in order to attain his wish. The nation of Hz. Musa did this and put Hz. Musa between them and Allah. Is it not tawassul?
B- You are right. If tawassul were not permissible, Hz. Musa would have said to them, “Do not apply to me for tawassul. Do not put me between Allah and you. This is shirk.”
A- Yes, if tawassul were haram, Hz. Musa would have spoken like that. However, he did not speak like that and accepted their tawassul.
Now I ask those who deny tawassul! Did Hz. Musa, who is one of the ulul-azm prophets, not know what was shirk and what was unbelief? Was he – God forbid –too ignorant to distinguish between belief and shirk? Would Hz. Musa have accepted their tawassul, if tawassul were shirk? Suppose that he made a mistake and accepted it. Was it not necessary for Allah to warn him in that case? Let alone warning, Allah Almighty accepted each prayer that Hz. Musa made for his nation and granted them everything that they wanted through tawassul for the sake of Hz. Musa.
His nation applied to Hz. Musa for tawassul for water; Hz. Musa accepted it and asked water from his Lord; God Almighty gushed forth twelve springs for the sake of his prayer.
His nation applied to Hz. Musa for tawassul for food; Hz. Musa accepted it and asked food from his Lord; God Almighty sent down Manna and quails from the sky, and produced vegetables from the earth for the sake of his prayer.
His nation also applied to Hz. Musa for tawassul for shade; Hz. Musa accepted it and asked shade from his Lord; God Almighty sent down a cloud as shade for the sake of his prayer. His nation applied to Hz. Musa for tawassul for a few more times; Hz. Musa accepted all of them and prayed to his Lord; God Almighty fulfilled the wish of his nation for his sake.
B- I confess that the other evidences astonished me but now I confess that my view was so wrong and even a big slander. I thank Lord since He showed me what is true and I ask Him to forgive me.
A- Amin. May Lord forgive you for the sake of His beloved slaves!
It seems that we have not read the Quran. In fact, the statement tawassul is shirk is not my statement. I regarded it a reasonable statement because I was affected by a few people to whom I listened and whose books I read. Did they not know those verses? How can they say tawassul is shirk after seeing so many tawassuls? Suppose that they do not have enough knowledge. Do they not have any intellect? A person who has some intellect can deduce that tawassul is permissible form those verses. Do they have any other purposes? Do they work for another movement? How can they do it knowingly?
A- Anyway, Allah will call them to account. They will be questioned and punished by Allah for harming the belief of this ummah. Now let us see what they will have to accept when they deny tawassul.
A person who says, “Tawassul is shirk” will have to accuse Hz. Musa of shirk. For, accepting a sin is a sin and accepting shirk is shirk. If tawassul were shirk, Hz. Musa – God forbid – fell into shirk because he showed consent to the shirk of his nation. O those who deviate from the path of Ahl as-Sunnah! Can you accept that Hz. Musa fell into shirk? If you say no, how can you regard tawassul as shirk? Have you noticed in what kind of a deadlock you are?
B- The issue is not about Hz. Musa’s accepting his nation’s tawassul only. In addition, Allah Almighty also accepted Hz. Musa’s tawassul and showed consent to his praying to Him. Then, accepted Hz. Musa’s prayer.
A- If tawassul were shirk, was it not necessary for Allah to warn Hz. Musa? Did Allah also show consent to shirk? That is, Hz. Musa could not understand that tawassul was shirk – God forbid – and Allah could not now it but you did. Is that right?
We shiver when we say those statements but we utter them fearing our Lord and asking for forgiveness in order to show what the result of the creed of those people is. Are you not afraid of this result caused by your creed? Will you insist on not repenting? Are your hearts so dead? Are your consciences so insensible? We refer you to Allah and end the 3rd Quranic evidence about the permissibility of tawassul here. Now we will move on the 4th evidence.
4-) The Tawassul of Sons of Israel to the Ark
The chapter of al-Baqara, verse 248
A- The 4th Quranic evidence about the permissibility of tawassul is the incident mentioned in verse 248 of the chapter of al-Baqara. The summary of the story is as follows: Sons of Israel went to their prophet and asked him to send them a king. They promised that they would fight in the way of Allah with this prophet. Allah sent them a person called Talut as their king. However, Talut was poor; therefore, Sons of Israel did not want to accept him as the king. They said they deserved to be the king more than Talut. Thereupon, their prophet said to them: “A Sign of his authority is that there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant, with (an assurance) therein of security from your Lord …”
B- Security (sakina) in the ark. What does sakina mean?
A- Sakina: means material and spiritual abundance. That ark had such sakina. Sons of Israel attained Allah's mercy and barakah (abundance) with that ark. According to what is stated in tafsirs of Fakhrurrazi, Abussuud, Hazin, Qurtubi and Alusi, when Sons of Israel went astray and disobeyed God Almighty, He inflicted the tribe of Amaliqa upon them. This tribe took the ark from them. Afterwards, God Almighty sent the ark to Sons of Israel through His angels as a sign of the kingdom of Talut. The phrase carried by angels mentioned in the verse shows that the ark was brought to them by angels who carried it. We refer the details of the story to tafsir books.
B- It sounds like a nice story. I will definitely read it.
A- What we need to know here is this: There is an ark with which Sons of Israel makes tabarruk. They attain sakina, that is, blessings and abundance, due to this ark. Afterwards, this ark is removed from them due to their sins. Afterwards, it is returned to Sons of Israel by being carried by angels as a sign of the kingdom of Talut. Let us analyze this ark, which is a means of barakah, in detail:
An ark, that is a piece of wood, can bring about material and spiritual barakah and blessings with divine permission.
B-. So, a piece of wood is a cause of barakah and blessings. It is very interesting. I would have denied it if I had not heard the clear expression in the verse: ”…with (an assurance) therein of security from your Lord”.
A- Yes, exactly. It is clearly stated in the verse. Those who use it for tawassul benefit from its barakah and blessings. Allah also wants people to use it for tawassul and to show respect to it.
B- I see. It is difficult to accept it logically but it is clearly stated in the verse.
A- If you and those who deny tawassul had lived in that age, you would have called those who used the ark for tawassul mushriks and have burnt down the ark.
B- Yes, probably.
A- The point that those who deny tawassul cannot understand is as follows: Barakah and blessings do not belong to the ark. They were placed in it by Allah. Every barakah, boon and grant come from the treasure of Allah. There is nobody except Him that can own grant. However, Allah does things based on reasons/causes in this world of wisdom. He places fruit on the branch of the tree. He sends milk through the udders of cows. He sends down water through clouds. He presents us with vegetables through the ground, etc. Every boon comes to us through a reason. Real belief does not necessitate denying the cause but seeing Allah’s hand of mercy on that cause. A person who denies the cause is deprived of mercy.
B- In fact, when we look at it like that, I see that you are right. There are so many effects that happen due to so simple causes in the world. We do not attribute those effects to causes. We attribute them to Allah. There is no drawback to using the ark for tawassul and to show respect to it as long as we attribute the blessing and barakah to Allah. Besides, it is Allah who sends down sakina. Is that right?
A- Yes, exactly. In the verse that we interpreted, the ark that is mentioned is only a means. The sakina in the ark does not belong to it. The owner of it is only Allah. However, Allah made that ark a reason and a means for His barakah and blessings. Then, what is necessary to do here is not to burn the ark on behalf of oneness but to show respect to the ark on behalf of Allah and to attribute the sakina coming with it to Allah. This is both oneness and intellect.
B- You are right.
A- What do those shallow-brained people who deny tawassul say when they see us visit the honorable beard of the Prophet?
B- They accuse you of falling into shirk.
A- Now I ask them the following question: Allah can place blessing and abundance in an ark, a piece of wood and make it a means of His mercy. Why should He not place blessing and abundance in the hair of His most beloved slave? When we visit the honorable beard of the Prophet, we regard it as a means. It is not the real owner of blessing and abundance. Every blessing and abundance come from the treasure of Allah. However, Allah sends blessing to His slaves sometimes through a beard, sometimes through a tree, sheep and cloud in this material world and sometimes through a different reason.
B- You are right. I think oneness does not mean to deny causes. Oneness means to see Allah, who create the causes, on the causes. It is really grave to be accused of shirk though it is real oneness.
A- I will summarize the issue. As it is stated in verse 248 of the chapter of al-Baqara, Allah placed sakina in an ark. Sons of Israel showed respect to that ark and used it for tawassul in order to receive that sakina. This tawassul was Allah’s command to them.
If tawassul were haram, Allah would not have placed sakina in that ark, would not have asked them to use it for tawassul and would not have returned the ark to them as a sign of the kingdom of Talut after they lost the ark.
B- He could have sent down blessing and abundance directly but He used that ark as a means of sakina. In fact, do those who deny tawassul mean this: We call it shirk because as blessing and abundance come through that ark, people will attribute it to the ark, not Allah
A- It is shirk to attribute the blessing and abundance to that ark. It is shirk to remove Allah in tawassul. We do not object to it. However, that ark is a cause; it is not shirk but oneness to say the owner of the blessing and abundance is Allah.
B- In that case, those people do wrong and make an ugly accusation.
A- Since it is possible to use even an ark as tawassul as long as you attribute the result to Allah, why should we not use prophets or saints, whose value is much more than the ark in the eye of Allah?
B- You are right. Does a prophet or saint not have as much value as a piece of wood? Why should we not want something from Allah for their sake? Besides, the one who wants something wants from Allah.
A- What do they think about those who make tawassul? Do they think they are stupid enough to ask from the intermediary?
B- When we say to them that we want for his sake, they say, “Ask from Allah. He is nearer to you than your jugular vein.”
A- We say we believe that. Tawassul is not something wajib (obligatory) but permissible. He who wishes asks from Allah directly and he who wishes asks for the sake of the Prophet to attain his request. He can ask for the sake of a saint. However, everybody must ask only from Allah.
B- You have enlightened me so much. I say I am so fortunate to find you. May Allah be pleased with you! I am waiting for your next evidence in excitement.
A- We show those who deny tawassul the sakina placed in the ark by our Lord and attaining blessing and abundance through it; we finish this evidence here. Let us move on to the 5th evidence now.
5-) “O ye who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him.”
The Chapter of al-Maida, Verse 35
A- The 5th Quranic evidence about the permissibility of tawassul we will show is verse 35 of the chapter of al-Maida. The following is stated in that verse: “O ye who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him.” That is, make tawassul… This verse orders tawassul clearly.
B- Although the verse above orders tawassul clearly, do those who deny tawassul not see it? How do they translate this verse?
A- To answer this question, let us analyze the verse a bit more deeply and increase our knowledge about tawassul.
We are ordered to make tawassul in verse 35 of the chapter of al-Maida with the phrase وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ (wabtaghu ilayhil wasilah) “Seek the means of approach unto Him”. How should we make tawassul? This part is not explained. It is a general statement.
B- Yes, the verse says, ‘Seek the means of approach unto Him’ but it does not say how.
A- Yes, if a verse is not specified, this general statement can be specified with the statement of another verse.
B- You mean we will look at some other verses now.
A- Yes, exactly. When we look at the Quran, we see that tawassul can be made only with three things.
B- It is very nice to talk to you. I have learned so many things that I did not know or I thought I knew. You say tawassul can be made only with three things. What are those three things?
A- Firstly, it is made with Allah’s names and attributes. For instance, you can say, “O Lord! I want from You for the sake of Your names ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim.” One asks from Allah for the sake of Allah’s names and attributes; tawassul is made with those names. This kind of tawassul is indicated as follows in verse 80 of the chapter of al-Araf: “The most beautiful names belong to Allah: so call on him by them…” Thus, the verse above orders us to make tawassul with Allah’s names and attributes.
The second type of tawassul is through deeds. That is, a person makes tawassul by using his deeds of worship as a means and says, “O Lord! For the sake of the prayer, fasting, hajj, etc. that I have performed…” This type of tawasssul is indicated as follows in verse 45 of the chapter of al-Baqara: “Seek (Allah´s) help with patient perseverance and prayer …” This verse orders tawassul through deeds of worship. There are some other verses regarding the issue too.
The third type of tawassul is tawassul with a person. Those who deny tawassul interpret the phrase, وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ (wabtaghu ilayhil wasilah) “seek the means of approach unto Him” in the verse that we are analyzing as the first and second type of tawassul; they say, “The means that is ordered here is not through a person but through Allah’s names and deeds of worship.” According to them, wasila through a person is not included in the scope of the verse.
B- It would be wrong to expect a different answer from those who do not want to regard tawassul permissible.
A- I want to ask them a very easy question now: What is your evidence about wasila through a person being outside the scope of the verse? We can clarify this question: The decree of a verse is either general or specific. A general decree can be specified only by the statement of another verse or a mutawatir hadith.
B- You mean if there is a general decree in the Quran, it can be specified only through a verse or a mutawatir hadith; our delusions and souls cannot specify it.
A- Yes, exactly. After these explanations, I want to ask those who interpret the verse “seek the means of approach unto Him” as “through Allah’s names and deeds of worship”: With the statement of which verse do you specify this verse, which the Quran decreed as general, and you say, “tawassul cannot be made through a person”?
In our previous lessons, we explained the tawassuls mentioned in the Quran.
Do you remember what Hz. Yaqub said when his sons applied to him for tawassul by saying, “O our father! Ask for us forgiveness for our sins, for we were truly at fault …” (Yusuf, 97)?
B- Hz. Yaqub accepted their tawassul by saying, “Soon will I ask my Lord for forgiveness for you.” He did not say, “Do not use me as an intermediary; it is shirk; ask directly from Allah.”
A- Yes. We also saw the verse that verse 64 of the chapter of an-Nisa mentioned and even encouraged the tawassul of the Companions to the Prophet: “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.”
B- We also saw several tawassuls of the nation of Hz. Musa to him.
A- Yes, how can all of those tawassuls be overlooked? How can they specify the general command of the verse based on the decree of their delusions? If they show only one, verse, not several verses, indicating that “tawassul through a person is not permissible”, we will accept their view and say that they are right. The only thing they need to do is to show us a verse.
B- They will show the verse about the mushriks mentioning tawassul to idols.
A- We do not say, “Idols are used for tawassul to Allah.” How can they refute our cause with the verses that reject tawassul through idols? We want only one verse showing that it is not permissible to make tawassul through prophets and righteous slaves. If they say, “There is no difference between tawassul through idols and tawassul through a prophet; if one of them is forbidden, the other is forbidden too”, we will say it is not the same. You cannot compare an apple to a bird because they are not of the same species. Similarly, tawassul through prophets cannot be likened to tawassul through idols because they are not the same. There are a lot of differences between them. We will explain a few differences:
The 1st difference: God Almighty hates idols. He hates idols so much that He says He will throw them into Hell as fuel. Can tawassul through something that Allah will throw into Hell be the same as tawassul through prophets?
B- Definitely not.
A- The 2nd difference: Those who make tawassul through idols regard idols as deities. However, we regard prophets and saints as righteous slaves of Allah and His acceptable servants.
B- Those who make tawassul never worship the Prophet or saints. This is an unjust and unacceptable accusation. What do they think those who make tawassul are?
A- They think they are mushriks. That is, according to them, all of the people who lived from the time of the Prophet up to this time are mushriks but only they themselves are believers.
3. The 3rd difference is as follows: Those who make tawassul through idols regard idols as the real owners and doers. We do not accept anybody but Allah as the real owner. We regard Allah as the doer of all deeds in the universe.
B- Prophets and saints are only means and causes of attaining Allah’s boons. The real giver of boons is Allah.
A- Of course it is Allah. There are a lot more differences. Which one shall we explain? How can they regard tawassul through idols the same as tawassul through the righteous slaves of Allah though there are so many differences? If they were the same, would there not be a verse in the Quran rendering tawassul through righteous slaves haram? However, there is no such verse. No matter how they examine the Quran, they cannot find such a verse.
B- Let alone finding such a verse, they will even see several verses showing that tawassul is permissible.
A- Do you think they do not see them? Do they not know those verses?
B- Woe on them if they do it knowingly!
A- O those who call tawassul shirk! How can you interpret verses based on your own minds? How can you specify general verses through your delusions? Do you not fear Allah when you do it? We invite you to be subject to the clear verses of the Quran. We invite you, at least, not to harm the creed of this ummah.
B- This was a really strong evidence. So, they distort verses like that and interpret based on their own wishes.
A- You have seen the truth clearly. We have finished the 5th Quranic evidence related to tawassul here.
6-) And when it is said to them, ‘Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness’, they turn aside their heads...
The Chapter of al-Munafiqun, Verse 5
A- The 6th Quranic evidence about the permissibility of tawassul we will show is verse 5 of the chapter of al-Munafiqun. The following is stated in that verse: “And when it is said to them, ‘Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness’, they turn aside their heads, and thou wouldst see them turning away their faces in arrogance…”
B- It sounds like a strong evidence.
A- Yes, it is a strong evidence about the permissibility of tawassul. Let us analyze this verse a bit.…
B- I am listening to you.
A- What is said to them in the verse?
B- The following is said to them: “Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness.”
A- Now our question is this: Is it not tawassul for them to come to the Prophet and the Prophet to pray for their forgiveness? This is clear tawassul… Do you remember the meaning of tawassul?
B- Tawassul means (for a person) to put a righteous person as an intermediary in order to attain Allah’s pardoning or something else he wishes between him and Allah…
A- As the verse clearly expresses, they are asked to go to the Messenger of Allah; that is, they are ordered to put the Prophet between them and Allah; they are addressed as follows: “Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness…” This is a tawassul that is impossible to deny.
B- Yes, the verse is so clear.
A- Those who regard tawassul as shirk say you cannot use even the Prophet as an intermediary. If we cannot use even the Prophet as an intermediary, why does the verse invite some people to come to the Prophet? Why does it say that the Prophet will pray for their forgiveness? If it were not permissible to use the Prophet as an intermediary, would the verse say, “Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness”?
B- The statement “Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness” means to apply to the Messenger of Allah for tawassul, to put him between Allah and you as an intermediary so that he will pray for your forgiveness. This is nothing but tawassul.
A- Yes, exactly. How does the verse continue? Our Lord says, “And when it is said to them, ‘Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness, and thou wouldst see them turning away their faces in arrogance’, they turn aside their heads.“ Those who regard tawassul as shirk are included in this group. When we say to them, “Come and ask for the sake of the Prophet”, they say to us, “The Prophet cannot be put in between; we will not ask for his sake.” Is this not “turning aside their heads” mentioned in the verse and acting arrogantly?
B- Yes, you are right. It is turning aside and acting arrogantly.
A- Listen to this statement of mine very carefully: If tawassul were not permissible and if it were shirk, they would not have been asked to go to the Prophet and it would not have been mentioned that the Prophet would pray for their forgiveness.
B- Those who call tawassul shirk say that it is shirk and the biggest sin to put people between us and Allah. If it were true, why were some people were ordered to go to the Messenger of Allah and to put him between as an intermediary?
A- And why was it attributed to their arrogance when they did not go to the Prophet? The verse states that not putting the Prophet between as an intermediary originates from arrogance, not belief.
B- Yes, exactly. Those who call tawassul shirk also say that there is not even one verse to support tawassul in the Quran. I have understood that those people use the verses from the Quran in a way that will suit their purpose, explain them to people like that and try to deceive people by doing so. How can they overlook those verses and how can they say that there are no verses related to tawassul in the Quran?
A- Yes. They are unjust people. There are more verses like the 6 verses we have quoted. However, as I have said, their purpose is different. People like that emerged in all periods of history but they could not resist in the face of the strong evidences of Ahl as-Sunnah scholars and were lost in history. They are poor people who find their views in history and present them as if they are their own views. We definitely know that they do not have even one view belonging to them and their efforts are not suitable for producing ideas.
According to what I can understand from their statements, their minds are full of the worthless information of orientalists or Mutazila.
B- May Allah protect us, especially those who think that they know something but do not know much like me, from their evil! It is very easy to be deceived by them. For, they attack by presenting themselves as the representatives of the truth. They say it is shirk to put a person between you and Allah whether you put angels or prophets; they say it is degeneration.
A- We say to them, “Do you not read verse 5 of the chapter of al-Munafiqun? Look what the verse says: “Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness …” A person who has a little intellect, let alone ilm (knowledge) can deduce from that verse that tawassul is permissible. For, if tawassul were not permissible, they would not have been ordered to go to the Prophet.
Now I ask you these questions: If tawassul is not permissible,
1- Why are they ordered to go to the Prophet?
2- Why are they not ordered to repent alone?
3- Why is it mentioned that the Prophet will pray for their forgiveness?
4- Why are those who do not go to the Prophet, that is, those who do not make tawassul, are condemned and why are they called arrogant?
5- If it is shirk to put the Prophet between a person and Allah, does the Quran order shirk? How many more questions shall I ask so that those people will come to their senses? I refer them to my Lord.
We have analyzed 6 verses about the permissibility of tawassul in this part. There are more verses.
B- I think those evidences are enough. I definitely believe that tawassul is permissible. In fact, I was convinced when you presented the first evidence but I lengthened the issue so as to learn more and so as not to be deprived of your talk. Please forgive me.
A- All right. I have also liked this conversation. You are right. Since the result has been obtained, I refer the hadiths about tawassul, the practices of the Companions, the unanimous agreement of the Islamic scholars and the answers to the so-called evidences of those who deny tawassul to our e-book.
The verses are enough to show the permissibility of tawassul clearly but I advise you to read the hadiths, the practices of the Companions and the unanimous agreement about it. When you read them, you will see closely that tawassul is permissible. The statements of those who say tawassul is shirk are perverted words. They are the unfortunate people who interpret the Quran based on their own desires. May Allah protect the ummah of Muhammad from their evil!
B- You can be sure that I will definitely read all of them. I will not only read but also try to spread those evidences t people as you enlightened me.
A- May Allah be pleased with you and increase the number of hardworking and enthusiastic brothers like you!
HADITHS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
1ST HADITH ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
1-) Hz. Adam’s using the Prophet (pbuh) as an intermediary
A- Up to this part of our conversation, we have proved tawassul with the verses of the Quran and analyzed the verses. Now we will prove tawassul with hadiths and study the hadiths with their resources. The first hadith we will show is the following hadith reported by Hz. Umar:
B- I am listening to you.
A- When Hz. Adam made that mistake, he said, ‘O Lord! I want you to forgive me for the sake of Muhammad!’ Thereupon, Allah Almighty said, ‘O Adam! I have not created Muhammad yet. How do you know about him?’ Hz. Adam said, ‘O Lord! When You created me with Your hand of power and breathed into me from Your spirit, I looked up and saw the following written on the pillars of the Throne: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger. Thereupon, I knew that You write only the names of Your beloved slaves next to your name.’ Allah Almighty said, ‘O Adam! You are right. He is the most beloved one among My slaves. Pray for his sake. I have definitely forgiven you. If it were not for Muhammad, I would not have created You.
B- I have heard about this hadith before.
A- As you have seen, Hz. Adam made tawassul with the Prophet (pbuh). Allah Almighty ordered him to make tawassul with the Prophet by saying, “Pray for his sake!”
B- Yes. Hz. Adam used the Prophet as an intermediary and asked for forgiveness for his sake. Furthermore, Allah Almighty ordered him as follows: “Pray for his sake!” I will speak to you frankly. Does this hadith have a resource? Is it a sound hadith?
A- Yes, it definitely has a resource. Hakim reported this hadith as sound in “Mustadrak”. Imam Suyuti also reported it as sound in his work called “Khasais an-Nabawiyya”. Imam Bayhaqi states at the beginning of his work called “Dalail an-Nubuwwa” that he did not report fabricated hadiths and reported this hadith in it. Qastalani and Zurqani Reported this hadith in “Mawahib al-Ladunniyya”… Imam Subki reported it in “Shifaus-Siqam”, Imam Tabarani in “Awsat”, Sheikhulislam Bulqini in “Fatawa”, Ibnul Jawzi in “Wafa” and Ibn Kathir in “Bidaya”.
B- I see. Many hadiths scholars reported it.
A- Yes. You can see this hadith in many hadith books. When Abu Jafar asked Imam Malik about the decree of turning toward the grave of the Prophet while praying in front of the Messenger of Allah, Imam Malik answered him as follows due to this hadith: “Why do you turn your face away from the Messenger of Allah though he is a means for you and for your father Adam on the Day of Judgment?”
B- Yes. Imam Malik is right. Why should we turn our faces away from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) though he is a means for us and for our father Hz. Adam on the Day of Judgment?”
A- This hadith, whose chain of narrators is so strong, is also evidence that it is permissible to use ghayb (the unknown/unseen) as a means of tawassul. For, Hz. Prophet had not been created when Hz. Adam used the name of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) for tawassul.
B- Yes, you are right. I have not thought of it before. Yes, Hz. Prophet had not been created when Hz. Adam used the name of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) for tawassul. Those who deny tawassul often say tawassul to the unknown and the dead is not permissible.
A- Yes. They say tawassul to the unknown and the dead is not permissible. Believe that they say so based on their desires. As you see, Hz. Prophet (pbuh) had not been created when Hz. Adam used his name for tawassul.
B- It means tawassul through a person who is not alive is permissible and the first person to do it is Hz. Adam.
A- Yes, exactly. Let us finish the analysis of the 1st hadith here without lengthening it more and move on to the 2nd hadith.
HADITHS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
2ND HADITH ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
2-) The Prophet (pbuh) ordering a blind Companion to make tawassul through him
A- Those who deny tawassul say, “The Companions did not make tawassul.” This 2nd hadith we will quote show how wrong the statement “The Companions did not make tawassul” is wrong.
B- Yes. They say the Companions did not do anything like that.
A- Let us see whether the Companions made tawassul or not. The following hadith was reported by Uthman Ibn Hunayf. He said, “A blind man came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said, ‘Pray Allah to heal me.’ Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘I will pray for you if you wish but if you show patience, it is better for you.’ Thereupon, the man said, ‘Pray for me.’ The Prophet (pbuh) told him to make wudu properly, perform a prayer of two rak’ahs and pray as follows:
O Allah! I want from You through Your Prophet Muhammad, who is the prophet of mercy, and turn toward You with him. O Muhammad! I have turned toward my Lord with you for the fulfillment of my need. O Allah! Make him an intercessor for me.
B- So, the Prophet (pbuh) ordered him to pray like that.
A- Yes. Pay attention carefully again how the Prophet orders him to pray.
B- “O Allah! I want from You through Your Prophet Muhammad, who is the prophet of mercy, and turn toward You with him. O Muhammad! I have turned toward my Lord with you for the fulfillment of my need. O Allah! Make him an intercessor for me”
A- Look. The Prophet himself ordered the blind Companion to make tawassul through him. The narrator of the hadith Ibn Hunayf said, “This man left. He came back before we left the presence of the Messenger of Allah. We saw that his eyes had been healed.”
B- Subhanallah! A wonderful miracle! Look at the loftiness of the rank of the Prophet (pbuh) in the eye of Allah. I will ask you something. Will you give information about the resource of this hadith? Is it a sound hadith?
A- Many hadith scholars agreed on the soundness of this hadith. Imam Tirmidhi states the following regarding this hadith: This is a hasan, sound hadith. We know it through Abu Jafar Hatmi… Abu Ishaq says this hadith is sound… Hakim also says this hadith is sound and Dhahabi agrees with him… Bukhari reports this hadith in his book called “Tarikhul-Kabir”… Ibn Majah regards this hadith as sound. Many hafizes of hadith like Imam Nasai, Ibn Hibban, Abu Nuaym, Imam Bayhaqi and Mundhiri state that this narration is sound.
B- Alhamdulillah. I felt relived by seeing the hadiths regarding the issue after the verses. An important point in this hadith is the prayer “I turn toward You with Your Prophet” taught to the blind Companion. Here, we see a call from a place where the Prophet is not present.
A- In addition, as it is clearly stated in the hadith, tawassul was not made by the prayer of the Prophet but the Prophet himself. The evidence for it is the following phrase in the hadith: “O Muhammad! I have turned toward my Lord with you”… So, this hadith indicates two types of tawassul:
The blind Companion knew the value of the Prophet in the eye of Allah. Therefore, he applied one type of tawassul by going to the Prophet and asking him to pray for him. The Prophet made him perform the other type of permissible tawassul with the prayer that he taught him. That is, the Prophet told him to go home, where the Prophet was not present, and to pray by mentioning his name.
B- This Companion went home where the Prophet was not present, prayed there and attained his wish.
A- Yes, exactly. So, this is an evidence showing that not only tawassul is permissible but also tawassul to ghayb is permissible. In one of the narrations of the hadith, the following extra sentence exists: “If you need anything, do like that.” Ibn Abi Haytham reported this extra statement with a sound chain of narrators. According to this extra statement, this prayer is valid not only for that moment but also for all needs at any other time.
B- In that case, we have discovered a wonderful treasure.
A- Yes. Therefore, Uthman Ibn Hunayf, the narrator of this hadith, taught people this prayer after the death of the Prophet and advised the people who needed something to make tawassul to the Prophet with this prayer. Imam Tabarani mentions at some length in his book called “Mu’jamul-Kabir” how a person who learned this prayer from Ibn Hunayf during the caliphate of Hz. Uthman attained his wish.
A- There is a lot more to say about this hadith but we end its analysis here so as not to lengthen it. We state the following as our final word regarding the issue: The Prophet (pbuh) ordered the blind Companion to make tawassul through him; this Companion went home and made tawassul by the Prophet himself.
B- Yes, we have also heard the statements of scholars about the hadith. There is no need to say more.
A- In that case, we complete this evidence now and move on to the 3rd hadith.
HADITHS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
3rd HADITH ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
3-) The Prophet Making Tawassul with the Prophets before him
A- In the 3rd hadith that we will quote, we will show that the Prophet (pbuh) himself made tawassul with other prophets.
B- If he made tawassul with the prophets before him, you are mentioning tawassul with ghayb. Am I wrong?
A- You are not wrong. You are right. This hadith, which Anas bin Malik narrated, exists in Imam Tabarani’s “Mu’jamul Kabir” and “Awsat”, and Haythami’s “Majmauz Zawvaid”. Abu Nuaym mentions it in “Hilyatul Anbiya”.
The hadith is as follows: When Fatima, the daughter of Asad Ibn Hashim died, the Prophet (pbuh) called Usama Ibn Zayd, Ayyub al-Ansari, Hz. Umar and a slave to dig the grave. While they were digging the grave, the Prophet entered grave, dug some part of the grave and removed some soil with his hand. When digging was over, he entered the grave and said, “He is Allah, who gives both life and death. He is alive and immortal. O Allah! Forgive my mother, Fatima bint Asad. Teach her how to answer the questions and widen her grave!”
Pay attention to the following part of the hadith: “Accept my prayer for the sake of your prophet and for the sake of Your previous prophets. You are the most merciful of the ones who are merciful.” Have you heard what the Prophet (pbuh) says in his prayer?
B- He says, “For the sake of your prophet and for the sake of Your previous prophets.” That is, the Prophet (pbuh) makes tawassul with the prophets before him.
A- They say tawassul is not permissible though. Besides, this hadith is also an evidence for the permissibility of tawassul with ghayb as you have just mentioned. For, the prophets that Hz. Muhammad made tawassul with had died before him. Then, it is permissible to make tawassul with those who died.
B- You say their being dead does not prevent tawassul with them. I am surprised by those who say tawassul with ghayb is not permissible. A person is valuable when he is alive and people want things for his sake. Does he become valueless when he dies? Why should we not ask for his sake?
A- You are right. I will say some more things about this hadith being sound. Ibn Hibban and Hakim regard Ravh Ibn Salah, the narrator of the hadith as reliable in hadith. In that case, according to the view of Ibn Hibban and Hakim, the hadith is sound. Hakim was the imam of the people in the period when he lived. He was fully knowledgeable in the sciences of jarh, tadil, ilal and hadith. He says, “This hadith is sound.”
B- The view of the deniers of hadiths of this age is worthless compared to his view.
A- In addition, Ibn Abdilbarr reported this hadith from Ibn Abbas and Ibn Abi Shayba from Hz. Jabir. Daylami and Abu Nuaym reported it separately. Those who deny tawassul could not say anything in the face of this hadith and made up the following statement: “This hadith is weak.” We say to them, “We will leave the views we have mentioned aside and suppose that the hadith is weak. However, according to Ahmad bin Hanbal and Abu Davud es-Sijistanii if there is no other hadith, it is permissible to act in accordance with weak hadiths related to the issues about decrees. Besides, the hadith hafizes we have mentioned say this hadith is sound and quoted it in their works.”
A- Now we ask. The Prophet (pbuh) sometimes makes tawassul when he wants from Allah. He uses the prophets who died as intermediaries and expects benefit from them. Why should we not do what he did and why should something that is permissible for him not be permissible for us?
B- I agree with you. Why should something that is permissible for him not be permissible for us?
A- We also want to explain the following point regarding the issue: It is definitely wrong to go to graves and ask things like “Give me a child, wife, job etc.”, to tie pieces of cloth on the grave, to sacrifice an animal for the grave, to prostrate toward the grave.
Such deeds make a person fall into shirk. First of all, one must know that the person he uses for tawassul has no power to do anything if Allah does not wish. Tawassul with a grave can be permissible in two ways. The first one is to ask for the sake of the person who lies there.
B- That is, one can say, “O Lord! Forgive me for the sake of Your slave who lies here!”
A- Yes, there is no drawback to uttering such a statement. The second one is to ask the righteous person in the grave to pray for one. That is, a person can say this at the grave of a person who is a friend of Allah: “O saint (Allah’s friend)! Pray for me so that Allah will accept my request for your sake.”
B- I have heard this for the first time. Can the people in the grave pray?
A- The following hadith of the Prophet is an evidence showing that those who are in the grave can pray: “My life is good for you; you tell me and I tell you. When I die, my death is also good for you. Your deeds are presented to me. If I see a good deed, I praise Allah. If I see a bad deed, I ask Allah for forgiveness.” The statement “If I see a bad deed, I ask Allah for forgiveness” in the verse is an evidence showing that prophets pray even if they are dead.
This hadith is also present in Haythami’s book called Majmauz-Zawaid. (see 9/24) Haythami states that Bazzar himself narrated the hadith and that the narrators in the chain are sound.
B- If prophets can pray after they die, saints and scholars, who are the inheritors of the Prophet, can pray, in accordance with their degrees, for those who ask them for prayer. There is nothing strange about it.
A- Certainly. Death is not an end and non-existence for us; so we will not deny it. Death is a place of transition to another realm through the door of the grave. Therefore, it is quite reasonable for the friends of Allah to pray in their graves with divine permission and it is known through endless incidents. There is no need to lengthen the issue more. We will end the 3rd hadith here and move on to the 4th hadith.
HADITHS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
4th HADITH ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
4-) The Prophet (pbuh) ordering tawassul by saying, “O Allah’s slaves! Help me!” when one is in a deserted place.
A- We continue to quote the hadiths stating that tawassul is permissible. In this 4th part, we will quote 3 hadiths that are similar in terms of meaning. Ibn Abbas narrated the 1st hadith. The Prophet (pbuh) said, ”Allah has angels other than al-hafazah (the keepers) on earth. They write down every leaf that falls from the trees. If any among you needed help when in a desert, let him say, 'O Allah’s slaves! Help me.” Is praying like that not tawassul?
B- Yes, it is tawassul.
A- Ibn Hajar states the following about the hadith we have quoted: “The chain of narrators of this hadith is sound. As-Sahawi says it is hasan. Al-Haythami says, “Its narrators are reliable.” No hadith scholar opposed this hadith.
B- So, it is a sound hadith.
A- Yes. Furthermore, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal’s son, Abdullah narrates: I heard my father say, “I lost my way in one of the hajj journeys I made on foot. I started to say, ‘O Allah’s slaves! Help me’ As I was continuing to say so, I found my way suddenly.” Imam Bayhaqi and Ibn Asakir narrated this incident with a sound chain of narrators. Imam Tabarani says, “It was tried and tested.” Imam Nawawi says he tried it and narrates an incident as follows: “I was with a group. The animals started to run away. I uttered the statement of help and the animals stopped.”
B- It is very interesting. I have heard this hadith for the first time and it comes from such sound resources.
A- Now I ask those who call tawassul shirk. Did Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Imam Nawawi fall into shirk and become mushriks when they asked for help? Can you accuse them of shirk? Even Ibn Taymiyya, who is their imam related to denying tawassul, mentioned this hadith in his book called “al-Kalimut-Tayyib”, in which he wrote the prayers/supplications that are in accordance with the Sunnah. Ibn Taymiyya states that it is Sunnah to pray as it is shown in that hadith.
B- So, even their imam, Ibn Taymiyya, could not deny that hadith. Not to deny that hadith means to accept tawassul. I will ask you something. What if they say, “The beings that we are ordered to ask help with the phrase ‘O Allah’s slaves! Help us!’ mentioned in the verse are angels. Tawassul with angels is permissible but not permissible with other slaves”?
A- If they say so, we will say, “Suppose that the beings that we are ordered to ask help are angels. If tawassul with angels is permissible why is tawassul with other righteous slaves not permissible? What is the difference? Angels are Allah’s slaves; prophets and saints are Allah’s slaves too.”
B- You are right. If tawassul with angels is permissible, why is tawassul with righteous slaves not permissible?
A- It is possible to ask help from angels and from Allah’s righteous slaves as long as one knows that help comes from Allah.
Let us quote the 2nd hadith now: Utba b. Ghazwan, the narrator of the hadith states the following: The Prophet said, “If any of you loses something or needs help in a place where there are no friends around, let him say, ‘O Allah’s slaves! Help me. O Allah’s slaves! Help me.’ For, there are some slaves of Allah; we cannot see them.” What does the Prophet (pbuh) order us in the hadith?
B- He orders us to say ‘O Allah’s slaves! Help me’ when we lose something or need help in a place where there are no friends around.
A- Do those who deny tawassul do not see this hadith?
B- You know that they do not accept hadiths very much. They criticize the hadith and show the resource as weak. Will you give information about the resource of this hadith?
A- Imam Tabarani narrates this hadith and regards its narrators reliable. The scholar Muhammed Ibn Allan says, “What is meant by Allah’s slaves in this hadith is angels, Muslim jinn or distinguished saints called Abdal.”
I will say something more interesting. Even Albani, who is the imam of those who deny tawassul, cannot deny this hadith and says, Allah’s slaves mentioned in the verse can be angels. Suppose that they are angels. If it is permissible to make tawassul through angels, why is it not permissible to make tawassul with other righteous beings? What is the difference between them?
B- Does the help that comes through an angel not come with the permission and will of Allah? Why should our Lord, who sends help with angels, not send help with the spirit of His righteous slaves?
A- Yes. What else can we say if they still insist despite those hadiths, which their imams cannot deny?
Let us listen to the 3rd hadith now. Look what the Prophet (pbuh) says: The narrator of the hadith is Ibn Masud. The Prophet said, “If the animal of anyone of you escapes in the desert, let him say, ‘O Allah’s slaves! Catch it. O Allah’s slaves! Catch it. There are Allah’s slaves who are ready on earth. They will catch it.”
Abu Yala mentions this hadith in his “Musnad”, Ibn Hajar in “Matalibul-Aliya” and Imam Tabarani in “Mu’jamul-Kabir”.
B- I wonder if those who deny tawassul will turn a blind eye to so many verses and hadiths that we have shown.
A- Will they not understand yet that what needs to be done is not to say haram to tawassul, which is permissible? What needs to be done is to teach the conditions of tawassul and to prevent wrong tawassul.
When we say tawassul is permissible, we do not mean that everybody who makes tawassul does it within the boundaries of shari’ah. There are some people who attribute tawassul to a person, not to Allah or who think the person with whom they make tawassul is the real owner.
B- You are right. However, the way to prevent this is not to call tawassul haram. For, if they call tawassul haram, they cannot explain those hadiths. What needs to be done is to teach true tawassul.
A- I cannot agree more. There is no other way to do it. Let us not lengthen the issue more and let us move on to the 5th hadith.
HADITHS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
5th HADITH ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
5-) The Prophet’s (pbuh) statement: “I want from You for the sake of those who pray to You and for the sake of this walking of mine.”
A- In this 5th hadith we will quote about the permissibility of tawassul, the Prophet (pbuh) teaches us to pray through tawassul.
B- I am listening to you. We need these truths so much. As you speak, I see that ilm (knowledge) is something really different. It illuminates darkness like a luminous light.
A- Yes, you are right. May our Lord include us among those who act in accordance with their ilm! This hadith, which was narrated by Abu Said al-Khudri, was mentioned by Ibn Majah in “Masajid”, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in “Musnad”, by Ibn Khuzayma “at-Tawhid”, by Ibnus-Sunni in “Amalul Yavm wal-Layl”, by Imam Baghawi in “Musnad” and by Imam Bayhaqi in “ad-Daawatul-Kabir”. A group of hadith hafizes regarded this hadith as hasan. We do not list the names of those hadith hafizes so as not to lengthen the issue.
B- I think what you have listed is enough.
A- The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following in this hadith: “Whoever leaves his house for the prayer and says, ‘O Allah! I want from You for the sake of the rights that those who pray to You have over You and for the right of this walking of mine. For, I am not going out because of pride or vanity, or to show off or make a reputation, but I am going out because I fear Your wrath and seek Your consent. So I ask You to protect me from the Fire and to forgive me my sins; for, no one can forgive sins except You’, Allah will turn His Face toward him and seventy thousand angels will pray for his forgiveness” The part of the hadith we will deal with is as follows: “O Allah! I want from You for the sake the rights that those who pray to You have over You and for the right of this walking of mine”
B- No being can have a right over Allah but Allah has rights over us. What is meant by the right mentioned in the hadith?
A- What is meant by the right mentioned in the hadith is sake. That is, “I want from You for the sake those who pray to You and for the sake of this walking of mine.” Now we ask, “Is it not tawassul to ask for the sake of those who pray?
B- It is definitely tawassul.
A- There are two types of tawassuls in this prayer. By saying, “I want for the sake of this walking of mine”, the Prophet made tawassul through the steps he took on the way to the mosque; so he made tawassul by his own deed. By saying, “for the sake of those who pray”, he made tawassul through those who prayed and their sincere supplications and turning toward Allah were used as a means for the acceptance of the prayer.
B- So, the Prophet (pbuh) himself teaches us tawassul.
A- The Prophet definitely knows the issue whether tawassul is permissible or not better than we do.
B- If tawassul were not permissible, the Prophet would not have taught us this prayer. Since he taught tawassul to us, it is permissible.
A- Let us end the 5th hadith about the permissibility of tawassul here and move on to the 6th hadith.
HADITHS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
6th HADITH ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
6-) The Prophet’s (pbuh) saying the poet of the tribe of Sons of Ka’b called him and asked for help.
A- This sixth hadith, which we will quote about the permissibility of tawassul, was reported by Maymuna, one of the wives of the Prophet. The Prophet spent the night with Hz. Maymuna. The Prophet (pbuh) woke up at night and made wudu for prayer. Hz. Maymuna said, “I heard the Prophet (pbuh) say, ‘Labbayk! Labbayk! Labbayk!’ Then, I heard, ‘You have been helped. You have been helped.’ I said to him, “O Messenger of Allah! May my father be sacrificed for you! I heard you say, ‘Labbayk!’ three times and ‘You have been helped’ three times. It sounded as if you were talking to somebody. Was there anybody with you?” He said, ‘The poet of the tribe of Sons of Ka’b called me and asked for help. He said Quraysh helped the tribe of Bakr against them.
B- I have heard this hadith for the first time too. What about its resource?
A- Imam Tabarani and Abu Nuaym reported this hadith in their books. Haythami and some hadith scholars regarded this hadith weak.
B- Weak? Do you think we should accept it then?
A- I want to mention an important point here. A hadith is regarded as weak or sound based on its chain of narrators. Some hadith scholars regard the memory of the one of the narrators in the chain weak, do not rely on him and regard the hadith as weak because of it or because of another reason. Another hadith scholar relies on that narrator, regards his memory as strong and regards the hadith as sound with the other conditions. Therefore, regarding a hadith weak is something related to the state of the chain of narrators. That some scholars regard the hadith we are dealing with weak does not weaken our issue. If there is a sign of weakness, it is related to the chain of the narrators, not the meaning of the hadith. Think of this: If tawassul were shirk, would Imam Tabarani and Abu Nuaym have reported this hadith and included it in their books?
B- You are right. They wouldn’t.
A- And would hadith scholars have applied jarh and tadil on the hadith? If tawassul were shirk, they would not have called the hadith weak but fabricated and it would not have been reported in hadith books. Do you think hafizes of hadith discussed about a hadith that advised shirk whether it was sound or weak?
If the meaning of the hadith had not been in compliance with the spirit of Islam, it would have been rejected without the chain of the narrators of the hadith being checked. However, even the ones who say it is weak do not reject the hadith; they only regard some narrators in the chain as weak.
B- If tawassul were shirk, those who said the hadith was weak would not have called it weak; they would have said, “The information in this hadith is shirk; it cannot be a hadith.” However, nobody said so. Besides, some hadith scholars regarded this hadith as sound and reported it like that in their works.
A- Yes, exactly. They all are evidence that tawassul is permissible. Therefore, those who deny tawassul cannot refute our cause by saying that the hadiths we show are weak. Even if they proved that all of the hadiths we quoted were weak, they could not refute our cause. For, a discussion on the chain of the narrators of a hadith proves that the hadith is in accordance with the spirit of Islam.
B- You are right. If tawassul were not permissible, the hadith scholars would not have analyzed the chains of the narrators of those hadiths and would have rejected them all. For, they would not have found it enough to say weak for a hadith that ordered shirk.
A- Now we ask those who say tawassul is shirk: A hadith hafiz like Imam Tabarani accepted this hadiths and regarded its narrators as reliable. Would Imam Tabarani have reported a statement that included shirk in its meaning as a hadith? Did that great imam not know that tawassul was shirk as much as those people did? Would Abu Nuaym reported it in his book, if tawassul were shirk? Is it not a certain evidence about the permissibility of tawassul that they included it in their books?
B- You are right. They would have said it was fabricated without examining it otherwise.
A- My dear brother! We have been talking for about 2.5 hours in our conversation about tawassul.
B- Yes. Believe me that I have not noticed how time passed. First, we talked about the verses of the Quran on the permissibility of tawassul. Then, we talked about hadiths and time passed quickly.
A- There are more hadiths we can quote. If we quoted all of them, it would take hours. Therefore, I want to end the part about hadiths here.
B- Yes, I think those hadiths are enough.
A- Now the question to be asked is this: Did the Companions make tawassul? The next part of our conversation will be tawassul by the Companions. I will give examples about tawassul of the Companions in the next parts.
EVIDENCES FROM THE COMPANIONS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL 1
1-) Hz. Umar’s Tawassul to Hz. Abbas, the Uncle of the Prophet.
A- We asked the Quran first whether tawassul was permissible or not. The Quran gave us the answer that it was “permissible” with its verses. Then, we asked the Prophet the same question. He gave us the same answer with his hadiths and said it was “permissible”.
B- We have been listening to the answer of the Quran and the Prophet for about 2.5 hours.
A- Now we will ask the Companions the same question. For, if tawassul is permissible, the Companions must have applied it. Their application is an evidence for us.
B- You are right. For, some people speak without evidence and support by saying, “If tawassul were the Companions would have applied it. However, the Companions did not make tawassul.”
A- This part will also be a complete answer to those people who speak without evidence. The first examples about tawassul of the Companions is narrated by Anas b. Malik.
According to his statement, the Muslims faced the danger of famine due to drought during the caliphate of Hz. Umar. Hz. Umar used Hz. Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet, for tawassul and said, “O Allah! We would use our Prophet as a means to You and You then sent us rain; now we use our Prophet's uncle as a means to You; therefore, send us rain.” Hz. Anas said, “Rain was sent to them.”
B- I have not heard it wrong, have I? Hz. Umar used Hz. Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet, as a means and asked for rain.
A- No. You have not heard it wrong. Let us listen to Hz. Umar’s prayer again: ”O Allah! We would use our Prophet as a means to You and You then sent us rain; now we use our Prophet's uncle as a means to You.”
B- They say the Companions did not make tawassul. Can there be a clearer tawassul than this one?
A- Yes, you are right. There is no disagreement about the occurrence of this incident. Even those who deny tawassul accept this incident.
B- Well, if they accept so many incidents how do they deny tawassul?
A- The answer to your question is this: They say, the statement “we use our Prophet's uncle as a means to You” in the hadith means “we use the prayer of our Prophet's uncle as a means to You.” So, according to them, there is a hidden word “prayer” there.
Now we ask them. Where did you find that extra word? The word “dua (prayer)” does not exist in the text. How do you add a word that does not exist in the text and say, “This meaning is meant”? In fact, that meaning cannot be meant. We will list the reasons why it cannot be meant.
B- All right. I am listening to you.
A- The first reason: Ibn Hajar states the following: Zubayr Ibn Bakkar reports in his book called “al-Ansab” how Hz. Abbas prayed after Hz. Umar’s tawassul: “O Allah! No tribulation descends except because of sins, nor is lifted except upon repentance. These people have turned to you by means of me because of my position in relation to your prophet. And here are our sinful hands and forelocks raised up toward you despite our sins in repentance. Send down rain for us…” Look at this part of the prayer again carefully: “These people have turned to you by means of me because of my position in relation to your prophet.” So, the incident here is not asking Hz. Abbas to pray but making tawassul to Allah with his person and relation to the Prophet.
B- Yes, you are right. They do not ask Hz. Abbas to pray. They make tawassul to Allah by making Hz. Abbas as an intermediary due to his relation to the Prophet.
A- The 2nd evidence showing that the incident is not asking Hz. Abbas to pray but to make tawassul to Allah with him is the following statement of Imam Kawthari: Although the phrase in the text is “We make tawassul to You through the uncle of Your Prophet”, some people add an unnecessary word and transform it into the following meaning: “We want with the prayer of the uncle of the Prophet”, which is speaking without based on an evidence and hiding the truth. Tawassul in the form of “with the uncle of the Prophet” means tawassul through the relation of Hz. Abbas to the Prophet and his position in his eye. This is the explanation of Imam Kawthari.
B- Yes. Can changing the meaning as one wishes in the text in order to deny tawassul be explained by anything other than hiding the truth?
A- The 3rd evidence regarding the issue is the following statement of Imam Shawkani: “When the Prophet (pbuh) was alive, tawassul through him took place. After his death, tawassul took place and the Companions kept silent, which is silence ijma (consensus). For, nobody found it strange when Hz. Umar made tawassul through Hz. Abbas…” What does Imam Shawkani say?
B- He says, “There is unanimous agreement of the Companions that tawassul can be made through a person other than the Prophet. For, no Companion found it strange when Hz. Umar made tawassul through Hz. Abbas…”
A- So what happens here is not asking Hz. Abbas to pray but to make tawassul to Allah with him.
A- The 4th evidence is this: Hz. Umar said related to Hz. Abbas, “Make tawassul to Hz. Abbas for this misfortune of drought, which hit us.” Ibn Hajar and Ibn Rushayd say, “The phrase ‘Make tawassul through Hz. Abbas cannot mean ‘ask him to pray (make dua)’.” They add, “For, Hz. Umar uttered this statement after he asked Hz. Abbas to pray…” In that case, the order “make tawassul through him” cannot mean “ask him to pray”… After all these explanations, we ask those who interpret the statement “We make tawassul to You through the uncle of Your Prophet” in the narration of Hz. Anas as “We make tawassul to through the prayer of his uncle” the following questions:
1- The word “dua (prayer)” does not exist in the text. How did you find it?
2- Imam Kawthari says, “Such an addition means speaking without based on an evidence and hiding the truth.” That is, Imam Kawthari means you speak without based on an evidence and you hide the truth. What would you say?
3- Imam Shawkani says, “Silent ijma of the Companions is present related to tawassul.” He uses the fact that the Companions did not object to Hz. Umar’s tawassul through Hz. Abbas as an evidence. Is the silence of the Companions not an evidence for you?
4- Hz. Umar orders the Companions: “Make tawassul through Hz. Abbas.” If tawassul were shirk, would Hz. Umar have ordered it? Suppose that he did – God forbid –, would the Companions keep silent in the face of it?
B- I am really astonished that they still deny tawassul after all and that they add a word to the text of the narration that does not exist in it.
A- Yes we want answers from them to those questions and move on to another aspect of the issue.
Some of those who deny tawassul had to accept tawassul because they could not find to say anything and any evidence to rely on in the face of the evidences that proved tawassul. However, they started to speak as follows: “It is permissible to make tawassul through the beings that are alive but not the ones that are dead. Hz. Umar’s tawassul through Hz. Abbas is an evidence that it is permissible to make tawassul through a being that is alive, not through a being that is dead. For, if tawassul through the dead were permissible, Hz. Umar would have made tawassul through the Prophet not through Hz. Abbas…” That is what they say.
B- This is better than nothing. At least, they accept tawassul with a being that is alive with that statement.
A- If they listen to us now, they will believe that tawassul through the dead is also permissible.
Ibn Abdilbarr explains Hz. Umar’s tawassul through Hz. Abbas as follows: In 17 H, during the caliphate of Hz. Umar, there was a severe drought and famine. Thereupon, Hz. Ka’b said, “O leader of the believers! When Sons of Israel were hit by such a misfortune, they would ask for rain through relatives of prophets…” Thereupon, Hz. Umar said, “Here is the uncle of the Messenger of Allah, who is like his father and who is the master of Sons of Hashim.” Then, he went to Hz. Abbas and used him as a means…” This is how the incident took place. Hz. Umar went to Hz. Abbas upon this statement of Hz. Ka’b.
In addition, Imam Kawthari deduced the following decree from that incident: “That Hz. Umar made tawassul through Hz. Abbas by leaving the Messenger of Allah shows that it is permissible to make tawassul through a person who is less virtuous though there is a person who is more virtuous.
The incident does not show that tawassul through a dead person is not permissible; on the contrary, it shows that tawassul through a person who is less virtuous is permissible.
B- Yes. I agree with you. This incident does not show that tawassul through a dead person is not permissible; on the contrary, it shows that tawassul through a person who is less virtuous is also permissible.
A- In our next example, we will give an example of tawassul of the Companions through the Prophet after his death. Let us sum up what we have talked up to now: As Hz. Anas narrates, Hz. Umar made tawassul through the Prophet’s uncle and no Companion opposed to it. This is a silent ijma showing that the Companions accept tawassul. Thus, we have completed this evidence here.
EVIDENCES FROM THE COMPANIONS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL 2
2-) Bilal Ibn Harith making tawassul through the Prophet (pbuh) by going to his grave
A- The 2nd example we will give about the tawassul of the Companions is reported by Malik ad-Dar. Malik narrates: During the caliphate of Hz. Umar, people were hit by a severe drought. A man went to the grave of the Prophet (pbuh) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Ask for rain for your ummah! For, they have been destroyed.” Thereupon, the man was addressed as follows in his dream: “Go to Umar, give my regards to him, tell him that people will be given rain. And tell him the following: “Your duty is to treat people well, to be fair and to act in a nice way…” The man went to Hz. Umar at once and informed him about his dream. Thereupon, Hz. Umar cried and said, “O Lord! I make efforts and do my best except for the things that I cannot cope with.”
B- I will be glad if you give information about the source of this hadith. You know that words get their strength from the strength of the resource.
A- You are right. Let us have a look at the hadith imams that reported this narration. The hadith imams that reported this narration like that are as follows: 1- Imam Bukhari, 2- Imam Bayhaqi, 3- Imam Subki, 4- Ibn Abu Haythami, 5- Ibn Abi Shayba, 6- Ibn Asakir, 7- Ibn Hajar 8- Ibn Kathir, the great tafsir scholar… All of those hadith imams agreed that the chain of the narrators of the hadith was sound and reported this incident in their books. The chain of the narrators includes the following people in order: Ibn Abi Shayba, Abu Muawiya, A’mash, Abu Salih Zakwan and Malik ad-Dar. The chain is sound. Ibn Hajar stated that the person who asked for rain was Bilal Ibn Harith.
B- I think the agreement of so many hadith scholars on the soundness of the hadith is enough to show that the incident is true.
A- Yes, the resources are very strong. We want to attract attention to the attitude of Hz. Umar in this incident: When Bilal Ibn Harith, who made tawassul for rain, narrated the incident to Hz. Umar, Hz. Umar did not oppose to his tawassul; on the contrary, he prayed to God Almighty by crying. It is not possible to think that Hz. Umar and the other Companions would keep silent about something that involved shirk.
B- If tawassul were shirk, Hz. Umar would have got very angry with Bilal Ibn Harith and would have prevented him.
A- However, as we have seen, Hz. Umar did not prevent him. He allowed by keeping silent. Now I ask those who say tawassul is shirk: Although Hz. Umar and Bilal Ibn Harith could not understand it that tawassul was shirk and fell into shirk, you understood it with your subtle wit at once; is that right?
B- I am astonished more now. Yes, are those who say tawassul is shirk more knowledgeable than Hz. Umar?
A- Imam Bukhari, Ibn Hajar, Imam Bayhaqi and the other scholars mistook a deed that was shirk for tawhid (oneness) but those people understood it at once that it was shirk. They are better and cleverer than those scholars; is that right?
B- So, hafizes of hadith, who memorized hundreds of thousands of hadiths, could not notice that tawassul was shirk but those people, who do not give importance to hadiths, noticed it at once.
A- Now I address them as follows: Come to your senses; when you call “tawassul” shirk, you accuse all hadith scholars of being polytheists (mushriks) and of being so ignorant as not to be able to distinguish between shirk and oneness. What can be said to a person who commits this crime and what shall I say to him?
B- I think it is necessary to refer them to Allah.
A- I also want to ask this: They always say, “The Companions did not make tawassul; there is no news about it that reached us.” Here is the news and here are the hadith imams who reported it. The people who deny tawassul said something like that did not exist, though.
B- According to them, it did not exist because they do not study the science of hadith. They even deny the hadiths presented to them by calling them fabricated.
A- Even their imam, Ibn Taymiyya, cannot deny the incident we have mentioned; he states the following in his book called “Iqtidaus-Siratil-Mustaqim”: “When there was a drought, somebody went to the Prophet and complained to him about the drought. Then, he saw the Prophet in his dream. The Prophet said to him, ‘Go to Umar and tell him to perform a rain prayer.’ There are several sound narrations similar to that one. Some people asked from the Messenger of Allah or a righteous person from his ummah and their requests were fulfilled. That is something seen many times. It is necessary to know that the fulfillment of those requests that were asked through the Messenger of Allah or a righteous person from his ummah does not show that it is mustahab to make such a request. The fulfillment of such a request can be regarded as the karamah of the dead person in the grave in front of which a person prays.”
B- Does Ibn Taymiyya really utter this statement?
A- Even their imam, Ibn Taymiyya, cannot deny this incident. He even accepts that it is something seen many times to attain one’s wish as a result of tawassul through the Prophet and righteous people and that it is the karamah of the dead person lying in the grave. However, after that he makes a mistake and says making tawassul so much does not show that it is mustahab, giving a wrong decree. That is, he goes too far as to say what Hz. Umar and the Companions did is wrong.
B- So, there is no doubt about the occurrence of the incident you reported. Even Ibn Taymiyya had to accept it.
A- Yes. This explanation of theirs is evidence that they cannot deny that incident. Now, there is an issue about which those who watch us is to decide. The issue is as follows: On the one hand, there are Companions who make tawassul through the Prophet and who do not condemn those who make tawassul. Those Companions reacted very severely against any deed that involved shirk. On the other hand, there are the people of bid’ah who accuse the Companions of falling into shirk and who call tawassul shirk. Let those who watch us make a choice: Are those who call tawassul shirk or the Companions right?
B- We say the Companions are right and follow their way.
A- Oh those who call tawassul shirk! Are you aware of whose way you abandon and whom you follow?
B- It is up to them to decide. We can only warn them.
A- They should not say on the Day of Judgment that nobody warned them and they should not question us. We have completed the 2nd example related to the practices of the Companions here. We will narrate the 3rd example in the next video.
EVIDENCES FROM THE COMPANIONS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL 3
3-) Hz. Aisha sending the Companions to the grave of the Prophet and wanting him to be an intermediary
A- Imam Darimi reports the 3rd example we will give about the tawassul of the Companions as follows in his Sunan: Abu Numan narrates from Said Ibn Zayd, who narrates from Amr Ibn Malik An-Nakri, who narrates from Abul Jawza Aws b. Abdullah: Once, Madinah was hit by a very severe drought. Everybody went to Hz. Aisha to complain about it. Thereupon, Hz. Aisha said, “Go to the grave of the Prophet (pbuh) and open a window on the roof of his tomb so that there will be no barrier between him and the sky.” We did as she said. After that, it rained until grass grew and animals became fatty enough.”
B- I will be glad if you give information about the resource of this incident.
A- Apart from Imam Darimi, who reported it in his Sunan, many hadith scholars like Ibnul Jawzi, Imam Suyuti, Imam Zurqani and Ibn Athir reported it in their books. According to the statement of Ibn Hajar, Said Ibn Zayd, who is among the narrators of the hadith, is a reliable hadith scholar. In addition, Imam Bukhari, Imam Ijli, Abu Jafar ad-Darimi, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu Zura, Ibn Sa’d and Ibn Main regarded Said Ibn Zayd as a reliable and honest hafiz. All of the imams of Kutub as-Sitta except Nasai reported hadiths from him. Abul Jawza, who is another narrator in the chain of the hadith, is also a reliable narrator according to Bukhari and Muslim. Abu Numan, who is another narrator in the chain of the hadith, is one of the teachers of Imam Bukhari. Imam Daraqutni states the following about him: “Bukhari reported more than one hundred hadiths from him.” Many people like Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Abd b. Humayd reported hadiths from him.
B- So, the narrators of this hadith are so reliable.
A- Yes. Now, let us meditate on the hadith a bit: Hz. Aisha, who is the best scholar of fiqh among the female Companions, who spent his life with the Prophet (pbuh) and who learned oneness from the Prophet himself, advised those who asked her idea about the drought to make tawassul through the grave of the Prophet. And those Companions took her advice and made tawassul. Is it possible for Hz. Aisha and the other Companions to agree on a mistake and to commit a deed that is shirk?
B- Those who call tawassul shirk will have to accuse Hz. Aisha, the Companions who took her advice, and the hadith imams who reported this incident in their books, of falling into shirk, that is, being mushriks – God forbid.
A- When Hz. Aisha sent the Companions who applied to her to the grave of the Prophet, she knew this fact: Both the Prophet and his two friends lying next to him knew who the people that came there were and heard their voices. Due to this secret, Hz. Aisha said, “When I entered my house, where the Messenger of Allah and my father – that is, Hz. Abubakr – were buried, I used to take off my outer garment comfortably whenever I entered my house because one of them was my husband and the other was my father. However, when Hz. Umar was buried there, I stopped taking off my garment when I entered my house because I felt shy.”
Thus, Hz. Aisha knew by her belief that those who lay in the grave heard and saw her. Therefore, she did not take off her jilbab (outer garment) after Hz. Umar was buried there. She advised the Companions that came to her due to drought to make tawassul through the grave of the Prophet.
B- I want to attract attention to the following point with your permission: If Hz. Aisha had been wrong in her ijtihad, that is, if she had advised them tawassul though it was shirk, the Companions that applied to her would have opposed and they would not have made tawassul through the grave. However, none of them opposed; and they made tawassul through the grave. As a result of this tawassul, they attained rain.
A- You are right. Now I address those who deny tawassul. You say the Companions did not make tawassul. Have you not heard this incident, which we have reported? Not one but tens of Companions made tawassul. This advice was not given by an ordinary Companion but Hz. Aisha, who was a fiqh and hadith scholar. You have also heard the strength of the narrators. How can you oppose this hadith?
B- In my opinion, to try to oppose such a hadith means to close one’s eyes to the truth deliberately.
A- In that case, there are two ways in front of those who call tawassul shirk. They have to prefer either of those two ways: They will either say, ‘Both Hz. Aisha and the other Companions made a mistake and all of them fell into shirk; in addition, the hadith imams who reported this in their books are mushriks.”
B- Or, they will accept tawassul.
A- Yes, exactly. There is no other way. We regard tawassul permissible; and we regard the Companions and the scholars of the ummah as free and away from shirk. If somebody still insists after so many evidences that tawassul is shirk, we will read the following verse to him: ”To such as Allah rejects from His guidance, there can be no guide.”
We have completed the 3rd example related to the practices of the Companions here. We will report the 4th example in the next video.
EVIDENCES FROM THE COMPANIONS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL 4
4-) A blind Companion praying by making tawassul through the Prophet and starting to see again
A- Imam Tabarani mentions the 4th example of the tawassul made by the Companions as follows in his book called Mu’jamus-Saghir: A man repeatedly visited Hz. Uthman for his need during the caliphate of Hz. Uthman but Hz. Uthman paid no attention to him and to his need. The man met Ibn Hunayf and complained to him about Hz. Uthman. Ibn Hunayf said to him, “Go to wudu place; make wudu; then, go to the mosque at once and perform a prayer of two rak’ahs. After that, pray as follows: ‘O Allah! I turn toward You with Your Prophet Muhammad, who is the prophet of mercy and I want from You. O Muhammad! I have turned toward my Lord with you for the fulfillment of my need.’ After that, utter your wish. The man left and did what Ibn Hunayf told him. Then, he went to the door of Hz. Uthman. The doorman came, took him by the hand, brought him to Hz. Uthman. He seated the man next to him on a cushion and asked him, “What do you need?” The man told him what he wanted. Hz. Uthman fulfilled it and said to him, “Why did you not tell me your need before? “Whenever you need something, come to us.” Then, the man left and met Ibn Hunayf. He said to Ibn Hunayf, “May Allah reward you! He did not meet my need before nor did he pay any attention to me until you spoke with him about me.” Thereupon, Ibn Hunayf said, “By Allah, I did not speak to him. However, I visited the Messenger of Allah once. A blind man came to him and complained to him about his blindness. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to him, ‘Will you show patience?’ The man said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! There is nobody to help me. Blindness is very hard for me.’ Thereupon, the Prophet said to him, ‘Go to wudu place; make wudu; then, read this prayer.’ 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.”
B- A very interesting incident indeed. I hope its resources are sound too.
A- This hadith was reported from Rawh Ibnul Qasim by Shabib Ibn Said al-Makki. He is a reliable narrator in hadith. This hadith was also reported from Abu Jafar al-Khatmi by Shu’ba. He is also regarded as reliable in the science of hadith. Hadith hafizes like Hakim and Hathami regarded this hadith as sound. Imam Bayhaqi reported this hadith in “Dalailun-Nubuwwa” and Imam Tabarani in “al-Kabir”. There is nothing else to say after Imam Tabarani regards this hadith as sound.
B- So, it is a sound and reliable hadith.
A- Yes, a sound hadith. The conclusion to be deduced from this hadith is as follows: The Companions made tawassul openly and they did not regard tawassul as shirk. Something that the Companions did not regard as shirk is not shirk. Nobody can know what is tawhid and what is shirk better than them because they learned tawhid from the Prophet (pbuh) himself and were educated by the Prophet.
B- In that case, to accept tawassul means to accuse the Companions of falling into shirk.
A- A person who accuses those distinguished Companions of the Messenger of Allah will be saved neither in this world nor in the hereafter.
Let us end the 4th example about the tawassul of the Companions here. We will report the 5th example in the next video.
EVIDENCES FROM THE COMPANIONS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL 5
5-) The Companions making tawassul in the Battle of Yamama by saying, “O Muhammad! Help us!”
A- We will listen to the 5th example about the tawassul of the Companions through the Prophet from Ibn Kathir, who is one of the students of Ibn Taymiyya. According to what Hafiz Ibn Kathir reports, the password of the Muslims in the Battle of Yamama was يَا مُحَمَّدَاهُ (O Muhammadaah).
B- What is the exact meaning of this phrase?
A- This phrase means “O Muhammad! Help us!” Khalid Ibn Walid was also among those who uttered that phrase. This phrase is both tawassul and istighatha, that is, “asking help directly”. Those who deny tawassul say, “The Companions did not make tawassul.” However, that is a clear tawassul. Not one person but the whole army made tawassul. Khalid Ibn Walid was also in the army. That is not only tawassul but also istighatha, that is, asking help directly.
B- What is the source of it?
A- It will sound interesting but the person who reports this incident is Ibn Kathir, who is one of the scholars that are accepted the most by those who deny tawassul. Ibn Kathir is a student of your imam, Ibn Taymiyya.
B- Good heavens! It is very interesting.
A- I want to analyze the phrase يَا مُحَمَّدَاهُ (Ya Muhammadaah) uttered by the Muslims in the Battle of Yamama a bit: The word يَا (Ya) in the phrase يَا مُحَمَّدَاهُ (Ya Muhammadaah) is an exclamation meaning “O”. The word “Muhammad” is the person who is addressed. That is, he is the person who is called. The letter alif coming after Muahmmad is the alif of istighatha, that is, the alif of asking help. Accordingly, the meaning of the phrase يَا مُحَمَّدَاهُ (Ya Muhammadaah) is “O Muhammad! Help us! Come to our help!”
I will report something that will make you smile a bit: When those who deny tawassul could not find anything to say in the face of the phrase مُحَمَّدَاهُ (Ya Muhammadaah) meaning “O Muhammad! Help us!” uttered by the Muslims in the Battle of Yamama, they started to speak nonsensically and say, “The Companions used the phrase مُحَمَّدَاهُ (Ya Muhammadaah) as a password. They did not ask help from the Messenger of Allah with it. We answer their nonsensical claim as follows: Did the Companions use this phrase, which involves shirk according to you, as a password? How can the Companions use a phrase that involves shirk as a password? Besides, it has nothing to do with a password. A password consists of two phrases that are uttered mutually. For instance, a person says “sun” and the other one says, “moon”. People use a password to recognize one another. How can you regard the phrase مُحَمَّدَاهُ (Ya Muhammadaah) meaning “O Muhammad! Help us!” as a password? Do you think it is possible for the Companions to use a phrase that involves shirk in order to recognize one another? In that case, phrases like “Help! Uzza! Help! O Manat!” can be used as a password and help can be asked from idols according to you. Do you accept this? Come to your senses! The phrase مُحَمَّدَاهُ (Ya Muhammadaah) meaning “O Muhammad! Help us!” is not a password but tawassul and istighatha.
B- And the whole army uttered this phrase.
A- Yes, exactly. Now I ask those who deny tawassul: Did all Muslims who took part in the Battle of Yamama, including Khalid b. Walid fall into shirk and become mushriks?
B- How come they did not learn that tawassul was shirk though they spent their lives with the Prophet (pbuh)? How can Khalid b. Walid, who is a hero of Islam, become a mushrik?
A- I say to them, “Come on! Give up calling the Companions mushriks! Our duty is to warn. Guidance and success come from Allah. We have been talking for more than 3 hours. We have proved that tawassul is permissible with verses of the Quran , hadiths and the practices of the Companions. There are some more practices of the Companions that we can show but we do not regard it necessary to lengthen this part.
B- I think those examples are enough too.
A- We will show the consensus (ijma) of the scholars, primarily 4 madhhab imams in the next video.
THE UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT OF THE ISLAMIC SCHOLARS ABOUT THE PERMISSIBILITY OF TAWASSUL
The unanimous agreement of the Islamic scholars about tawassul
A- Up to this part of our work, we have proved that tawassul is permissible with verses of the Quran, hadiths and the practices of the Companions. Now we will give information about ijma, that is, the unanimous agreement of the Islamic scholars. It is a fixed rule that the right to speak about an issue that is disagreed belongs to the scholars of that branch. The view of an ordinary doctor is preferred to the view of a great architect related to the treatment of an illness.
B- Since the issue we are talking about is tawassul and since tawassul is a religious issue, the right to speak about this issue belongs to mujtahids, scholars and hadith hafizes.
A- Yes, you are right. The view of others compared to that of theirs is as weak as the whine of a mosquito compared to thunder. Now let us hear the statements of Islamic scholars related to tawassul:
A- Abu Hanifa, the imam of Hanafi madhhab, regards tawassul permissible. We will analyze the view of Abu Hanifa in detail in the next issue; therefore, we will not enter into details here and we find it enough to say that he regards it permissible.
B- So, Abu Hanifa, the imam of Hanafi madhhab, regards tawassul permissible.
A- Yes, exactly. Imam Shafii, the imam of Shafii madhhab, mentions the tawassuls he himself made and states the following: Ahl al-Bayt, that is, the family of the Prophet, is an intermediary for me and my wasila between him and me. I hope my deed of books will be given to my right hand thanks to them on the Day of Judgment. (Imam Shafii, Diwan, Lebanon, Beirut: Darul Fikr, 2005)
Imam Shafii also states the following: When I needed something, I would perform a two-rak’ah prayer, go to the grave of Abu Hanifa and pray there. My need would be met at once thanks to his barakah. (al-Haytami, al-Khayratul Hisan, p. 94)
B- Do those who call tawassul shirk know something that Imam Shafii does not know?
A- You are right. It is very interesting. Imam Shafii also states the following: I found a lot of barakah in visiting the grave of Abu Hanifa. I had the belief to visit his grave every day. Whenever I needed something, I would perform a two-rak’ah prayer at home and go to his grave. I asked my need from Allah next to his grave.
B- Was his need met?
A- Imam Shafii says, “After a short while, my need would be met. (Sahih-i Buhari Muhtasarı Tecrid-i Sarih Translation, IV, 197)
Rabi b. Sulayman, one of the students of Imam Shafii, narrates: Once, Imam Shafii said to me, “Rabi! Take this letter to Ahmad b. Hanbal.” I took the letter to Ahmad b. Hanbal. Ahmad b. Hanbal became very happy when he read the letter. He took off his shirt and gave it to me as a present. I took the answer to the letter to Imam Shafii. Imam Shafii said to me, “I do not want to distress you by taking the shirt given to you as a present. However, put that shirt in some water and give me that water so that we will share the barakah of that shirt.” (Ibnul Jawzi, Manaqibul Imam Hanbal, p. 609)
B- What is the resource of this incident?
A- Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Ibnul Jawzi. There is something to note here: Ibnul Jawzi, who included this incident in his book and reported it to us, is one of the scholars that those who do not accept tawassul trust.
B- Yes, it is very interesting.
A- Now we will report how Imam Malik, the imam of Maliki madhhab, views tawassul: According to what Ibn Humayd states, when Abu Jafar, the Abbasid Caliph, went to Madinah during his hajj visit, he saw Imam Malik near the grave of the Prophet and asked him, “O Aba Abdillah! Shall I turn toward the qiblah while saying prayers?” Imam Malik said, “Why do you turn your face away from the Messenger of Allah though he is a means for you and for your father Adam. Turn toward him and ask for his intercession.”
B- So, Imam Malik, the imam of Maliki madhhab, regards tawassul permissible.
A- Yes. Imam Malik is among those who regard tawassul permissible. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, the imam of Hanbali madhhab, states the following regarding tawassul: It is mustahab for a person who prays when there is no rain for a long time to make tawassul through the Prophet. (Imam Mirdawi, al-Insaf Marifatir Rajih minal Khilaf)
Ahmad Ibn Hanbal’s son Abdullah said that his father made tawassul through the hair of the Prophet, kissed it, dipped it into water and drank the water with the intention of cure. (adh-Dhahabi, Siyarul Alamin-Nubala, XIi 212)
B- So, the imams of four madhhabs regard tawassul permissible.
A- Yes, exactly. Furthermore, Abubakr al-Marwazi states the following: When Ahmad Ibn Hanbal worshipped, he would make tawassul through the Prophet and say, “O Allah! I am turning to You with Your Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the Prophet of mercy.” (Mansak)
As you can see, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal made tawassul through the Prophet, who was not alive then.
Ibn Taymiyya is the imam of those who deny tawassul; denying tawassul started with him. Imam Subki, whom Ibn Taymiyya praises a lot, explains the nass of four madhhabs that tawassul is mustahab in detail in his book called “Shifaus-Siqam fi Ziyarati Khayril Anam” and regards tawassul permissible. Imam Subki states the following regarding the issue: Know it that it is permissible and nice to make tawassul through the Prophet (pbuh), to make istighatha through him and to use him as an intermediary between one and Allah. It is known by all religious people that it is permissible. Nobody among all religions denied it. This denial started with Ibn Taymiyya.
As you can see, no scholar denied tawassul before Ibn Taymiyya according to the statement of Imam Subki. Ibn Taymiyya was born in 661 H. It means nobody denied tawassul for about 700 years including the century when the Prophet lived. Was this religion practiced wrongly for 700 years, when it was understood in the best way and when the most distinguished scholars lived? Was a deed that was haram regarded halal for 700 years? Was something that involved shirk regarded as belief? Did the Companions, 4 madhhab imams and other mujtahids not notice it? Who can accept this possibility?
B- No sane person can accept it.
A- It has been understood from the explanations we have made so far that the founding scholars of 4 madhhabs accepted tawassul and they themselves practiced it. Let us quote from some other scholars:
B- The statements of mujtahid scholars regarding the issue affected me a lot. I will listen to the statements of other scholars with excitement.
A- Then, listen. Ibn Hajar al-Haytami states the following: Nobody opposed tawassul and istighatha through the Messenger of Allah in this world before the bad deed of Ibn Taymiyya. (al-Jawhar al-Munazzam fi Ziyaratil Qabril Mukarram, p. 171)
Ibn Hajar al-Haytami also mentions asking help from the dead in his book called “al-Jawhar al-Munazzam” and states that it is permissible: It is permissible to ask prayer from the Prophet after his death as it was when he was alive for the fulfilment of needs. This is something about which there are mutawatir reports on which there is ijma.
Ibn Abidin states the following: I make tawassul through the Prophet (pbuh), through obedient people with high ranks and through our imam Abu Hanifa and ask Allah to make this task easy for me with His grace and generosity, give me true inspirations and forgive my mistakes. (Raddul Muhtar, V, 540)
B- Although so many scholars accepted by the ummah have such an agreement on the issue of tawassul, it is not something reasonable to oppose them without any evidence. I have difficulty in understanding the statements of those who call tawassul shirk and I say it does not fit people with justice and conscience to deny an issue on which so many scholars agreed unanimously.
A- I agree with you. The reason why Wahhabis are called Wahhabi is that one of the resources of their views is Muhammad b. Abdulwahhab. Muhammad b. Abdulwahhab is one of the imams of Wahhabis in creed. He states the following in his book called “Majmuatul-Muallafat”: If somebody says, “O Allah! I want this and that from you through the Prophet or your righteous slaves”’, it is not something that we reject as long as he prays only to Allah even if he prays next to a grave.” This statement of Muhammad b. Abdulwahhab shows that tawassul is permissible according to him too. (Majmuatul-Muallafat, Part 3, p. 68)
B- So, even their imams in creed could not reject it.
A- Yes, exactly. Imam Qudama states the following related to the manners of visiting the Prophet: One goes next to the grave and says: I have come to you by repenting of my sins and I have made you a wasila and intercessor in the presence of Allah. (al-Mughni ma’ash-Sharh 3/258)
One of the great scholars that those who do not accept tawassul show respect to is Faraj b. al-Jawzi, who is widely known as Ibnul Jawzi. He lived one century before Ibnul Qayyim al-Jawziyya, who was a student of Ibn Taymiyya. Therefore, they should not be confused. Faraj b. al-Jawzi states the following: I could not train my soul. I went to the graves of some righteous people and prayed so that I will improve by using them as intermediaries. (Abul Faraj al-Jawzi, Saydul Khatir)
Imam Shawkani states the following: To make tawassul to Allah through people of virtues and ilm means to make tawassul through their righteous deeds, virtues and merits. For, a virtuous person becomes virtuous only through the deeds that he does. (ad-Durrun-Nadida, pp. 5-6)
Ibnul Qayyum, who is one of the greatest imams of Wahhabis, states the following while explaining the hadith “After that, his eye sees with Allah and his ear hears with Allah” in his book called “Kitabur-Ruh”: In this sacred hadith, Allah Almighty states that His love will be useful for His slave who approaches Him. When Allah loves His slave, He approaches his ears, eyes, hands and feet. After that, his eye sees with Allah and his ear hears with Allah. He holds with Him and walks with Him. His heart becomes like a pure mirror in which the realities of things are shown. For, when a slave looks at things with Allah, he sees them as they are. When he hears with Allah, he hears them as they are. Thus, a perfect saint can see a believer who is in need and who asks help from him with divine permission and will no matter how distant he is. He can hear the voice of a person who is far away and help him if Allah permits and gives him strength.
B- It is easy and possible for the slaves that Allah wishes.
A- Ibnul Qayyum also states in the same book that the dead can do certain things and help the living people. The person who says this is Ibnul Qayyum, the imam of those who deny tawassul.
B- Their imam speaks like that but they oppose even their imams. What else can be said to those people?
A- Yes, we cannot find any words to say to them and say, “May Allah correct them!” In this lesson, you have heard the statements of some scholars, primarily the 4 madhhab imams. We also quoted the statements of some scholars while explaining the hadiths. There is probably no need to quote more.
B- Yes, I also think there is no need.
A- Besides, we stated that no scholar rejected tawassul in the first 700 years and that the denial of tawassul started with Ibn Taymiyya. Now there are two ways in front of those who watch us. The 1st way is this: Either they will accept the statements of those who say tawassul is shirk and continue regarding tawassul as shirk. However, if they do it, they need to know that they will have to accept that all of the scholars who lived in the first 7 centuries of Islam, primarily the 4 madhhab imams, including the Companions were mushriks.
B- I think this is a big crime. How can they call those people mushriks?
A- You have seen the results of their perverted thoughts. For, all scholars up to the time of Ibn Taymiyya regarded tawassul permissible for 700 years. Ahl as-Sunnah scholars regarded tawassul permissible not only in the first 7 centuries but also in all centuries up to now. If they prefer the view of Ibn Taymiyya to the view of so many scholars and mujtahids and if they can accuse all of them of falling into shirk, they can continue holding the view that tawassul is shirk.
B- We have nothing else to say to a person who can do this.
A- The 2nd way is as follows: To accept that all Islamic scholars are right and that Ibn Taymiyya is wrong. We accept this way and follow the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah. We believe that those who follow them will not be losers.
We do not want to lengthen the issue; we finish this part of our work here. In the next part, we will answer the so-called evidences of those who deny tawassul.
ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS OF THOSE WHO CALL TAWASSUL SHIRK
Question 1- The statements of Abu Hanifa about tawassul
1- Did Abu Hanifa really deny tawassul?
A- Up to this part of our conversation, we have proved tawassul with verses of the Quran, hadiths, practices of the Companions and the unanimous agreement of the scholars. In the remaining part of our work, we will answer the so-called evidences of those who deny tawassul.
B- It will be very good because I have a question in my mind. I want to ask it first.
A- All right. I am listening to you.
B- They say Abu Hanifa regards tawassul makruh. In addition, Imam Alusi does not regard tawassul permissible. That those two great imams do not regard tawassul permissible is enough for tawassul not to be permissible. That is what they say.
A- Yes, according to them, both Abu Hanifa and Imam Alusi regard tawassul ugly. When we answer this statement, it will be seen clearly that they hide the truths and they are too weak to show evidences. For, the issue is not as they claim. First of all, let us explain the issue and then speak about how they pervert the issue.
B- All right. I am listening to you.
A- First of all, let us see whether Abu Hanifa has such a statement. Abu Hanifa states the following: “It is makruh for a person to say ‘I want from You for the right of such and such a person, or for the right of prophets and messengers or for the right of Baytul Haram and Mash’arul Haram. So, Abu Hanifa regards a prayer said by uttering the phrase “for the right of” makruh.
B- All right. What is the reason for it? Why did he regard prayers said by uttering the phrase “for the right of” makruh?
A- The reason for it is Abu Hanifa’s intention to refuse Mutazila. For, according to Mutazila, it is wajib for Allah to give thawabs to a person due to a good deed he has done. Mutazila regards it wajib for Allah to give rewards. Abu Hanifa regards it makruh to say “for the right of” to reject this view of Mutazila. For, no being has any rights over Allah. However, According to Abu Hanifa, it is permissible to ask from Allah by saying “for the sake of”. If one means “for the sake of” when he says “for the right of”, it is also permissible.
B- So, Abu Hanifa does not reject tawassul but says, “Nothing is wajib for Allah and no being can have any rights on Allah” in return for the following statement of Mutazila: “It is wajib for Allah to give thawabs for good deeds.”
A- Yes, exactly. He says, “Do not say “for the right of” but “for the sake of” while making tawassul since it can suggest this wrong view of Mutazila.” He also says, “Actions are dependent upon their intentions; if you mean “for the sake of” when you say “for the right of”, it is permissible.
B- Alhamdulillah. Abu Hanifa mentions a very subtle point. My admiration toward him has increased.
A- Aliyyul Qari, a Hanafi scholar, makes the same explanation and states the following in his work called “Fathul Babil Inaya”: Abu Hanifa says makruh for the phrase “for the right of” when it is used in the sense of obligation. For, nobody has any right over Allah in the sense of obligation. If the phrase “for the right of” is used in the sense of “for the sake of”, it is permissible.” (Fathul Babil Inaya, II, 30)
The explanation above belongs to Aliyyul Qari; in addition, Ibni Abidin also made the same explanation. Hanafi scholars explained the statement of Abu Hanifa like that. What is necessary for a person who follows Hamafi madhhab is to understand the statement of his madhhab imam in the way that the scholars of Hanafi madhhab explain, not in the way that people with no madhhab explain.
B- You are right. They understand this statement in the way that they want to understand.
A- To sum up, Abu Hanifa regards the phrase “for the right of” used in the sense of obligation makruh, not tawassul. He regards a prayer in which the phrase “for the right of” is used in the sense of “for the sake of” permissible.
You can see how those people with no madhhab pervert statements, slander scholars and hide the truths.
B- By Allah, you are right. If we do not know this explanation, which you have made, we will accept their statement, which is a slander, as true and say, “O! Abu Hanifa says tawassul is not permissible.”
A- However, as you have seen, Abu Hanifa mentions something else and rejects Mutazila. We should learn two things with this explanation: 1- Abu Hanifa regards tawassul permissible. 2- Those people with no madhhab can tell all kinds of lies to prove their statements. We should understand these two things well so as not to trust all of their statements.
B- I cannot agree more.
A- Now let us move on to the statement that Imam Alusi that he does not accept tawassul. Imam Alusi states in his book called Ruh al-Maani that it is permissible to make tawassul through the person and rank of the Prophet. (Alusi, Ruh al-Maani, VI, 128) He also says in the same book that it is permissible to make tawassul through a person who is definitely known to have a superior place in the eye of Allah. That is, according to Imam Alusi, it is permissible to say “for the sake of His friends” but it is not permissible to say “for the sake of Your friend, Ahmad” because it is not known whether Ahmad has a high rank in the eye of Allah. Therefore, making tawassul through him is taking a risk against Allah.” That is what Imam Alusi says.
B- So, Imam Alusi does not deny tawassul but he rejects tawassul through a person whose rank in the eye of Allah is not certain.
A- Yes. The following answer can be given to Imam Alusi regarding the issue: “Having good thoughts about others is essential here. A believer witnesses for another believer in janazah prayer due to these good thoughts. At worst, a person will be mistaken. Even if he is mistaken, it has no harm; the anxiety is baseless.”
As you have seen, Imam Alusi does not reject tawassul but he rejects tawassul through a person whose rank in the eye of Allah is not certain.
B- We have answered this too.
A- Imam Alusi states the following in his book called Ruh al-Maani: “Allah sometimes gives the ones that He wishes among His friends any karamah He wishes both when they are alive and after their death. Allah heals a patient, saves a person who is about to drown, helps a person against the enemy and sends rain; He gives them to a slave as a karamah.” (Ruh al-Maani, VI 128)
That is what Imam Alusi says. However, they claimed that Imam Alusi denied tawassul.
B- Those reports were quoted from his own book. Is that right? It is clear what he says.
A- Yes. I quote them from Ruh al-Maani, which is his own book. If Imam Alusi has a statement about rejecting tawassul, it is probably a tawassul in which Allah is not remembered and the help is attributed to a person, not to Allah.
B- In fact, such a tawassul is not permissible according to other scholars either.
A- We will deal with this issue in detail in the next part. Therefore, we will not start it here. To sum up, neither Abu Hanifa nor Imam Alusi nor any other scholar up to the time of Ibn Taymiyya refused tawassul for 7 centuries; there was no hesitation about its permissibility. You cannot find any statements stating that tawassul is not permissible in any books of salaf scholars. We will end the answer to the 1st question here and move on to the 2nd evidence of those who deny tawassul.
ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS OF THOSE WHO CALL TAWASSUL SHIRK
Question 2- Is the verse and Thine aid we seek contrary to tawassul?
2- Is making tawassul contrary to the verse “and Thine aid we seek”?
B- The statement that those who deny tawassul utter the most is “Help is not asked from anybody except Allah.” They present their evidence as follows and say: The following is stated in the chapter of al-Fatiha: “and Thine aid we seek”. Tawassul means asking for help from beings other than Allah. It is stated in the chapter of Aal-i Imran that there is no help except from Allah. Tawassul means to ask help from others. The following is stated in a hadith: “When you want something, ask from Allah; when you ask for help, ask from Allah.” Tawassul means to want from beings other than Allah and to ask for help from beings other than Allah. Those who deny tawassul use verses of the Quran and hadiths given as example above stating that help can be asked only from Allah and only He can help as evidence, that tawassul is contrary to those verses and hadith and that hence tawassul is not permissible.
A- Then, we will prove clearly that the verses and hadiths mentioned above are not contrary to tawassul. I want to start the answer by asking those who say, “Help is asked only from Allah; it is shirk to ask help from others” a few questions:
B- All right. I am listening.
A- Our first question is this: When you get ill and go to see a doctor, do you not say, “Help me, doctor! I am very ill”? Do you not shout, “Come quickly, doctor, help me!” when you are taken to hospital and as soon as you enter hospital?
B- Yes we say, “Come quickly, doctor, help!”
A- Do you become a mushrik when you ask help from a being other than Allah? Or, think as follows: What would you say if the doctor said, “Help comes from Allah, not from me. Ask help from Allah. You become a mushrik when you ask help from me” when you said, “Help me, doctor!”? Or, if the doctor prescribed some medicine, would you say to the doctor, “To use medicine means to ask cure from a being other than Allah. Cure comes only from Allah. I will not take any medicine”?
B- We would definitely not say so.
A- Or, suppose that your car broke down on the way. If you said to the people around, “Would you help me push the car?”, would you be a mushrik since you asked help from beings other than Allah? What would you say if somebody there said, “Help is asked only from Allah. Ask help from Allah, not from us!”?
B- Nobody would say something like that and they would help if they could.
A- Or, suppose that you are about to be drowned in the sea. Would you not ask help from the people near the sea by shouting, “Help! Help! Save me!”? Would you be a mushrik since you asked help from beings other than Allah? What would you say if somebody there said, “Shame on you! Do not put us between you and Allah. Ask help directly from Allah. It is shirk to ask help from beings other than Allah”?
B- You are right. I am astonished.
A- It is possible to increase the examples. If they accept the verses that they use as evidence for their claim and that mean “help is asked only from Allah” as absolute, it will be regarded as shirk to go to see a doctor, to use medicine or to ask help from a person when we are in need. With this type of reasoning, there will be nobody who will not fall into shirk in the world.
B- For, everybody asks for help from others almost every day throughout life and he has to. If it is shirk to ask help from a person, there is no person of tawhid in the world. Do they understand the Quran like that?
A- Let us view the issue from a different viewpoint. Is the fact that help comes from Allah an obstacle to acting in accordance with causes? Examples: It is Allah who sends us milk. So, we do not need the cow. Let us slaughter it. It is Allah who creates fruits. So, we do not need the tree. Let us cut it down. It is Allah who sends us eggs. So, we do not need the chicken. Let us slaughter it.
B- Would we have any milk, fruits and eggs when we eliminated the cow, tree and chicken by ignoring causes?
A- We would not have any of them. Yes, it is Allah who creates milk, fruits and eggs but Allah does things through causes; His wisdom necessitates doing like that. Ignoring causes on behalf of tawhid will cause deprivation of results.
B- So, tawassul means only to act in accordance with causes. It does not mean to want the result from the cause. A person who makes tawassul actually wants help from Allah. He regards the person he uses for tawassul as a means and cause to attain that help.
A- Yes. Tawassul has no other meaning than that one. If it is permissible to act in accordance with causes, it must also be permissible to make tawassul.
B- You are right.
A- Now let us view the issue from another different viewpoint: If they regard the decree “Ask for help only from Allah” in the Quran and hadiths as absolute, how will they answer my following questions: In verse 52 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran, Hz. Isa (Jesus) asked help from his apostles by saying to them, من انصاري الى الله (Man ansari ilallah?) “Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?” Did Hz. Isa become a mushrik since he asked help from others?
B- Should the apostles have answered him as follows: “O Isa! Help is asked only from Allah. Do not become a polytheist by asking help from us”?
A- In verse 38 of the chapter of an-Naml, Hz. Sulayman asked help from his men to bring the throne of Balqis from a distant place by saying,
يَا أَيُّهَا المَلَأُ “Ye chiefs!” أَيُّكُمْ يَأْتِينِي بِعَرْشِهَا “Which of you can bring me her throne?” Did Hz. Sulayman become a mushrik since he asked help from beings other than Allah? Should his men have answered him as follows: “O Sulayman! When you want something, ask from Allah. If you want from us, you will fall into shirk? However, they did not say so. As the Quran puts it, “Said one who had knowledge of the Book: ‘I will bring it to thee within the twinkling of an eye!’” He brought the throne at once.
B- Very good examples indeed.
A- It is possible to increase the examples. There are tens of examples regarding the issue in the Quran. The essence of the issue is as follows: Everybody, including prophets, asked help from others. This is the natural course of life. It is contrary to reason to claim the opposite, that is, to claim that it is not permissible to ask help from others. What matters is not to avoid asking help but to see Allah’s hand of mercy on the head of the person that helps. Due to this secret, when Hz. Sulayman said, “Which of you can bring me her throne?”, one who had knowledge of the Book brought it at once. When Hz. Sulayman saw it, he said,: هَذَا مِن فَضْلِ رَبِّي (Hadha min fadli rabbi) “This is by the Grace of my Lord.” That is, he did not express gratitude to the person who brought it; he saw the hand of divine mercy on that person’s head.
B- So, what matters is not to avoid asking help but to see Allah’s trace on every help that comes. What matters is to know that help comes from Him and to express gratitude only to Him, not to express gratitude to the cause and means but to pray for them.
A- Yes, when you do so, it means you actually ask from Allah and know that help comes from Him no matter from whom you want it. It is permissible, isn’t it?
Now we will view the issue from another different viewpoint: Dua (prayer) is divided into two: One of them is verbal prayer and the other is actual prayer. Verbal prayer is the prayer that is said by the tongue. Actual prayer is a prayer made by a person through acting in accordance with causes. For instance, when a farmer digs a field, it is an actual prayer. Thus, he asks crops from Allah with his deeds.
B- Then, when a student studies, it is regarded as actual prayer. When a student studies, he asks success from Allah with his deeds.
A- Yes, it is an actual prayer each to see a doctor and to take medicine. They mean to ask cure from Allah with the tongue of deeds. To act in accordance with causes like that is an actual prayer and means to ask Allah to create the result. Tawassul is an actual prayer like that. Acting in accordance with causes does not cause a person to fall into shirk; similarly, tawassul will not cause a person to fall into shirk.
B- For, a person who makes tawassul does not actually want his request from the person with whom he makes tawassul. If he is given what he is wanted, he does not attribute it to the person with whom he makes tawassul. He regards the person with whom he makes tawassul as a cause and tawassul as an actual prayer.
A- Yes. I want to clarify the issue a bit: For instance, if a person is in a difficult position and says, “O Hamza! Come to my help!”, he means this: “O Lord! Your slave is in a difficult position. You know it the best. Help your slave. O Lord! You generally do things based on causes in this world. You sometimes send your angels, spiritual beings or armies to help people. O Lord! Send Hz. Hamza to help me! Make him hear my voice. Inform him about my situation. Send him to me as a helper.”
B- So, the person who says, “O Hamza! Come to my help!” knows that it is Allah who will make Hamza hear his voice.
A- Yes. He knows that it is Allah who will show his state to Hamza by removing the veil. He also knows that Hamza can come only with the permission of Allah.
B- So, he asks help from Allah with the call “O Hamza! Come to my help!” He asks Allah to send help to him through His slave, Hamza, through his hand.
A- He does not believe that Hz. Hamza hears him with his own ability when he calls “O Hamza! Come to my help!”, that he sees himself without the permission of Allah and that he can come to help without the knowledge of Allah – God forbid! If he believes like that, this is definitely shirk. There is no doubt about it. However, can a person who knows Allah make tawassul like that?
B- No, by no means.
A- If they say he can, we will say, “That person has fallen into shirk.” However, that a person makes tawassul and istighatha in a wrong way does not render tawassul and istighatha haram. What needs to be done in that case is to teach that person the correct way.
Now we will view the issue from another different viewpoint: This viewpoint is the view of Imam Subki, the great scholar, related to tawassul. Imam Subki likens tawassul and istighatha to majaz aqli (rational/intellectual metaphor) in the science of rhetoric. In majaz aqli, the deed is not attributed to the real doer and agent but to something that the deed is related to like place, time and cause. We will state it again: Majaz aqli means attributing a deed to something that the deed is related to like place, time and cause, not to the real doer and agent. For instance, in the verse وَأَخْرَجَتِ الْأَرْضُ أَثْقَالَهَا (wa akhrajatil ardu athqalaha) “And when the earth throws up her burdens (from within)” in the chapter of az-Zilzal, the being that throws up the burdens is Allah but the deed is attributed to the place of the deed, not to the real doer, who is Allah; so, the deed of throwing up burdens is distributed to the earth.
B- In fact, everybody knows that the earth has no knowledge or power to do it. The real doer of that deed is Allah.
A- Thus, the attribution of the deed to the earth is majaz aqli. Majaz aqli is a figure of speech in rhetoric. Istighatha, that is, asking help from a being other than Allah is like that. A person who makes istighatha knows that the person that he calls for help is not the real doer and that Allah is the real doer. His attribution of help to the person, not to Allah, is a kind of majaz aqli. The statement of Hz. Isa “Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?” and the statement of Hz. Sulayman “Which of you can bring me her throne?” are like that. So, real tawhid does not mean not to ask help from others. It is permissible to ask help from others through majaz aqli.
B- Real tawhid necessitates knowing that help comes from Allah not from the person that is asked to help and that is used as a means.
A- Yes, it necessitates regarding tawassul as an actual prayer. It means to know that it is Allah that makes the person whom he calls hear his voice and to know that it is Allah that shows his situation to that person. It means to know that it is Allah that sends help to him and to believe that nobody can help him unless Allah allows. .
B- I want to self-criticize here. Unfortunately, some brothers do not apply tawassul and istighatha within the boundaries that shari’ah allows and think that the person with whom he makes tawassul is the real doer.
A- That is a big mistake. Yes, tawassul and istighatha are permissible but they are permissible based on some conditions. Maybe what makes this Wahhabi mentality pester Ahl as-Sunnah is the practice of tawassul in the wrong way by some sufi brothers. We want to state again clearly that even a leaf cannot move without the permission and will of Allah. The doer of all deeds, the real helper and the controller of all things is only Allah. The person with whom tawassul is made is only a slave and beloved of Allah.
B- So, a person who makes tawassul must ask for the sake of the person with whom he makes tawassul; he must know that it is only Allah that will send that person to help him. If he attains what he wishes, he must attribute it to Allah.
A- Yes. It is similar to this example: Suppose that you have a mirror in your hand. The sun becomes manifest on that mirror. That is, the heat and light of the sun reaches you through that mirror. We ask you this question: Do the light and heat on the mirror belong to the mirror?
B- No, they don’t.
A- What if I say, “In that case, break that mirror and throw it away”?
B- No. I will not do it. Yes, the light and heat do not belong to the mirror but the sun becomes manifest with that mirror. If I break the mirror, I will be deprived of the sun. Then, what should be done?
A- The thing to be done is as follows: 1- The light and heat must be attributed to the sun. 2- The mirror must be kept. 3- The properties belonging to the sun must not be attributed to the mirror. As it can be seen in this example, our Lord, who is the pre-eternal and post-eternal sun, sometimes sends His grace to us through some causes, which are like the mirror. For instance, He sends fruits through the tree, milk through the sheep and cure through medicine. We need to keep the causes/means, which are like the mirror, but we must not attribute the results to them. If we do, we will be like the person who sees the reflection of the sun on a mirror and thinks that the mirror is the sun. The mirror is not the sun; it is only a means that reflects the sun. All of the boons in this world belong to Allah. The material and spiritual causes through which we receive them are like that mirror. We must keep the mirror, that is, we must act in accordance with causes, but we must not attribute the boons to those causes. We must see the hand of mercy of our Lord, who is the creator of the causes, on everything. We must not forget that rule while making tawassul.
B- It is a very good example too.
A- We have lengthened it a bit. To sum up, the verses “and Thine aid we seek”, “there is no help except from Allah” and similar verses and hadith do not prohibit asking help from others but attributing help to them. A person who makes tawassul asks help only from and uses that person with whom he makes tawassul only as a cause. When he says, “O Excellency! Come and help me!”, he asks from Allah. He asks Allah to send that person to help him. That is the meaning of tawassul and istighatha.
B- You have given very convincing answers. May Allah be pleased with you!
A- Success and help come from Allah. We have only shown the truths. However, I advise those who watch this video to watch it a few times. For, we have given a lesson of belief and explained how to make tawassul and istighatha in this video. This lesson is the backbone of this issue. A person who understands this lesson realizes easily that tawassul is not shirk. A person who does not know this lesson likens tawassul to shirk. However, there is a big difference between them. Anyway, let us end the answer to the 2nd question here and move on to the answer to the 3rd question.
ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS OF THOSE WHO CALL TAWASSUL SHIRK
Question 3- Those who call believers mushriks by using the verses sent down for mushriks.
3- To liken the believers who make tawassul to mushriks who associate idols with Allah
B- The method that those who deny tawassul resort to the most is to liken those who make tawassul to mushriks who worship idols by showing the verses about mushriks. For instance, they say: The following is stated in verse 3 of the chapter of az-Zumar: “But those who take for protectors other than Allah (say): ‘We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah.’” As the verse expresses, mushriks worshipped idols so that they would bring them nearer to Allah. A person who makes tawassul prays to another person to approach Allah. Therefore, tawassul is no different from worshipping idols and it is not permissible… Thus, those who deny tawassul utter statements like that by showing verses like the one above.
A- There is no need to list all of the verses they show. What matters is that all of the verses they show are about mushriks who worship idols. According to them, a person who worships idols is the same as a person who makes tawassul.
In that case, we will prove definitely that there is no similarity between worshipping idols and tawassul. In fact, they also know that there is no similarity. Besides, anyone who is a bit fair will decree that they are not the same. However, their aim is not to show the truth but to distort the creed of Ahl as-Sunnah; therefore, they show irrelevant things as evidence. Worshipping idols and tawassul are two deeds that are completely opposite to each other. Some of the differences between them are as follows:
B- I am listening to you.
A- 1- Idols are enemies of Allah. Therefore, Allah states that He will throw idols into Hell. Righteous people are friends of Allah. Allah prepared Paradise especially for them.
B- You are right.
2- A person who worships an idol regards that idol as a deity. A person who makes tawassul regards the person with whom he makes tawassul only as a righteous being of Allah.
3- A person who worships an idol regards that idol as a being that can do things. That is, he attributes deeds like creating, feeding and killing to that idol. However, a person who makes tawassul regards only Allah as a being that can do things. It is Allah who creates, kills and feeds. The person with whom he makes tawassul is only an intermediary to attain Allah’s mercy.
B- Yes, that is right. There is no similarity between worshipping idols and tawassul.
A- 4- A person who worships an idol prostrates and bows down before it and pays homage to it. A person who makes tawassul does not bow down before anybody else, does not prostrate before anybody else and does not pay homage to anybody else. Can a person who prostrates before an idol be the same as person who makes tawassul with a righteous person?
B- By Allah, you are right. A person who is a bit fair will not regard them the same.
A- 5- A person who worships an idol wants from that idol. A person who makes tawassul wants from Allah. He makes tawassul with the person in terms of majaz aqli (rational/intellectual metaphor). We explained majaz aqli in the previous video. Those who wish can watch it.
6- A person who worships an idol does not think of Allah. His deity and beloved one is that idol. A person who makes tawassul remembers Allah and thinks of him. His deity and beloved one is Allah.
7- A person who worships an idol regards his idol as a being that knows everything, hears everything and sees everything. A person who makes tawassul regards the person with whom he makes tawassul as a very weak being. He believes that this person can know, hear and see only with the permission of Allah.
B- They do not understand it and commit a very ugly slander by likening a person who makes tawassul to a person who worships idols.
8- A person who worships an idol believes that the idol itself will help him. A person who makes tawassul knows that the person with whom he makes tawassul cannot help him on his own and believes that it is Allah who will send that person to help him. He also believes that all helps can take place only with the permission and will of Allah. Allah sometimes helps without a cause and means but He sometimes helps with a cause and means. A person who makes tawassul wants Allah to make the person with whom he makes tawassul that cause/means. He never believes that the person with whom he makes tawassul helps on his own.
B- You are right.
9- A person who worships an idol regards the idol as a partner of Allah. A person who makes tawassul does not regard the person with whom he makes tawassul as a partner of Allah. He believes that he is also a slave and servant of Allah.
10- A person who worships an idol loves his idol with literal meaning. A person who makes tawassul loves the person with whom he makes tawassul with signified meaning. We assume that you know the meaning of literal meaning and signified meaning and do not explain them here. Those who do not know these two concepts can learn about them on the internet. It will be a study of ilm for them.
We have listed 10 differences. We did not think about for hours to list them. They are the differences that came to our mind at once. If we think deeply, we will find tens of more differences.
Now I want to ask those who call tawassul shirk: Do you have no conscience? How can you liken tawassul to worshipping idols though there is no similarity between them and though difference between them is so big?
B- How can they claim that tawassul is shirk by showing the verses that reject worshipping idols? By Allah, I cannot understand them.
A- We will finish this lesson here. We have shown the differences between worshipping idols and tawassul. In fact, there is no need to show the difference for the people who have conscience. In the next lesson, we will deal with the issue whether it is permissible to make tawassul through a dead person or a person who is not there.
ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS OF THOSE WHO CALL TAWASSUL SHIRK
Question 4- The question about how a person who is in a distant place will hear
4- Asking help from a person who is not near us and istighatha through a dead person
B- One of the issues that those who deny tawassul always mention is how a person who is in a distant place or a dead person will hear our voice. They say, “The person from whom help is asked by calling, ‘O such and such a person! Come to my help!’ is not there. He is either in a distant part of the world or is dead and is in the hereafter. Therefore, it is not possible for that person to hear the voice of the person who asks for help. To accept that he will be able to hear that voice will mean to regard that he has the attributes of deity, which is a worse shirk.” That is what they say.
A- In that case, first we will analyze asking help from a person who is in a distant place and then istighatha with a dead person.
Those who deny tawassul say, “How will a person who is in a distant place of the world hear your voice?” We ask the person who regards it very difficult or impossible: You say, “It is impossible for a person who is in a distant place to hear.” Is it normal for a person who is near you to hear you? Think of it: The tongue is a piece of flesh. Is it not a miracle for the words to come out of it? The ear is also a piece of flesh like the tongue. Is it something ordinary for the ear to hear voices and not to confuse one voice with another? Are speaking and hearing deeds that belong to man and that are created by man? Does man do them because it is very easy to create those deeds?
B- No. It is equally difficult for a person to make a person who is near and a person who is far away hear. This difficult deed is done easily because it is easy for the power of Allah to do it.
A- If it were not for Allah’s power, neither the tongue would speak nor the eye would see; the ear would not hear either. The doer of all of those deeds is Allah. An infinite power and endless strength is necessary in order to create those deeds. Therefore, Allah mentions those deeds in the Quran and shows His power.
B- So, when we hear a person who is near and when he hears us, it is because of Allah’s infinite power, not because it is easy.
A- Yes, exactly. We will ask now: Can Allah who makes our voice heard by a person who is near us not make it heard by a person who is far away? Does he not do it now? We can talk to a person who is in a very distant place of the world by telephone. Our voice reaches that distant place in a very short time.
B- Furthermore, NASA can speak to the astronauts that it sends to space. That one of them is on earth and the other is in space does not prevent them from speaking to and hearing each other.
A- After these things, is it appropriate to say to a person who makes tawassul, “How can a person who is far away hear your voice?” It is Allah who will enable them to hear.
B- A person who says, “How can a person who is far away hear another person’s voice?” probably evaluates the issue in terms of his own power.
A- It is true in terms of his power. A person cannot make his voice heard by a person who is very far away. However, in terms of his power, he cannot make a person who is near hear his voice either; he cannot even speak and see. In fact, a person is like nothing in terms of his own power; he is too weak to move his hand. When we say, “A person who is very far away can hear the voice of the person who makes tawassul”, we do not claim that the person himself can make his voice heard. What we claim is as follows: If Allah wishes, He can make the voice of a person who makes tawassul heard by the person with whom he makes tawassul; and if His wisdom allows, He can send help to him. That is what we claim.
B- Or, do they say – God forbid – “Allah cannot do it”? What is the reason why they regard it unreasonable? There are examples in front of us. The telephone makes our voice reach to a very distant place of the earth in a second. If it has a camera, it even shows us to that person. If you are at NASA, you can speak to a person in space when you are in the world.
A- If we had lived in a century when technology was not so developed, and there were no examples before us, we would have reported the following incident about Hz. Umar. When Hz. Umar was in Madinah, delivering a sermon, he suddenly saw the soldiers of Islam and their commander Sariya fighting the enemy hundreds of kilometers away in Nihavand, Iran. He shouted, ”Sariya! To the mountain, to the mountain!” in order to tell him that the enemy surrounded them from behind. Sariya heard that voice from 2.000 km. away. Imam Bayhaqi, Ibn Hajar, Ibn Marda and Ibn Kathir reported this incident in their works. Is it necessary to report this incident to show that it is possible to hear voices from very distant places?
B- It is definitely not necessary.
A- Now we ask: If somebody asked in this age, when television broadcast voice with vision live, telephones do the same thing and scientists try to teleport things physically, “How can that person hear the person who asks help from a very distant place in the world?”, would people not laugh at that person?
B- Besides, making a voice heard is something that is done by Allah.
A- Yes. Let us mention about istighatha through a dead person a bit. NASA staff can talk to the scientists that are outside the world and can be heard by them. Why should we not make our voice heard by the dead people who are in the unseen world? Besides, it is Allah who will make our voice heard. Is it difficult for the power of Allah? When we say dead, do they understand a person who disappeared completely? A dead person is a person that went to a different realm, not a person that disappeared completely. A dead person does not go to non-existence; it exists in the realm of beings. He does not disappear in non-existence; he lives in the realm of barzakh. They have a life peculiar to them. They hear us as Allah makes them hear. If Allah shows them, they can see us. If Allah sends them to help us, they help us.
B- You are right. Allah helped the Muslims with 5.000 angels during the Battle of Badr. Where did the angels come from? From the world? No, from the unseen realm. Why should our Lord, who sends angels to help us in the world, not send us the spirits of His righteous slaves, who are alive in that realm, to help us?
A- Yes, you are right. What is the point that they find illogical? What is strange about it? Do you think it is difficult for the power of Allah? Do you think it is contrary to Allah’s wisdom? What is the reason why they deny it? You are Muslims. You believe in life after death. You believe that spirits wait in a realm called the realm of barzakh, which is one of the realms of the hereafter. You accept that the body dies but the spirit remains alive. Although you accept all of them, why do you deny that those spirits can help after being embodied with the permission and will of Allah?
B- Since help can come through angels, why should it not come through the embodied spirits of righteous slaves?
A- If it is not shirk to send angels to help people, why should it be shirk to send the spirits of righteous slaves to help people and to help them with those embodied spirits?
B- If they think with their conscience a bit, they will accept that it is normal and that it can take place.
A- Yes. May God Almighty give them conscience and understanding! My dear brother! We have been explaining tawassul for more than 5 hours. We proved tawassul first with the verses of the Quran, then with hadiths, after that with the practices of the Companions and finally with ijma, the unanimous agreement of scholars.
B- Then, we answered the statements of those who do not accept tawassul. We proved that tawassul was permissible with those explanations.
A- However, we know that guidance and success are not in our hands; they are in Allah’s hands. We cannot give guidance to anybody and we cannot force anybody to accept our statements. It belongs to Allah to give guidance. Only He can create the influence of our words in hearts. Allah creates the influence of our words in the hearts of the slaves He wishes. A person who has no share from guidance will find a mistake with us and will continue on his own way as usual. As we stated in the beginning, our sole aim is the consent of our Lord. We have no other aims. We set off in order to inform people about the truth.
B- May Allah be pleased with you! You have caused me to be saved from such a bad illness. From now on, I will do my best to convey these truths to people.
A- My last words are as follows: May Lord make this work atonement for our sins and for the sins of those who contributed to this work! May He make these lessons honor for us in the hereafter! Amin!
Questions on Islam
- Visiting graves, tawassul and shafa’ah are true
- What is Shirk?
- Is it permissible to make tawassul while praying and asking the help of awliya of Allah?
- 1).Can one ask prophet(pbuh) & saints for help bearing in mind that the Actual Helper is Allah?2).Could one ask a Prophet or a deceased saint to pray to allah on his behalf.3).Who is on correct way Deobandis or Barelvis in Indian sub-continent?
- Could you please give information about wahhabism?
- What should our attitude be toward Muhammad b. Abdulwahhab?
- Will you please explain the verses that order us to obey the messenger of Allah?
- What does Islam say about Visiting Graves? What are the appropriate manners for Visiting Graves in Islam?
- Umar bin Khattab (r.a.)
- What can you say about making tawassul while praying and asking the help of awliya of Allah?