Monthly Archives: September 2013

d – Prophet’s Protection of Tawheed

Just as alcohol and adultery were made haram, so too were all the roads leading to them. When this is the case for major sins, then it must be even more so for the sin of shirk.

Prohibited Mosques over Graves

“May Allaah (swt) curse the Jews and Christians who took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship – do not imitate them.”Forbade Burying the Dead Inside Mosques

“The Messenger of Allaah (SAS) said: “Oh, Allaah! Do not let my grave become an idol that is worshipped: Allaah’s Wrath is immense against those peoples who turned the graves of their Prophets into mosques.”



“Do not make your homes into graves, nor make my grave into a place of celebration. Send your prayers and blessings upon me, for they will be conveyed to me wherever you may be.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood)

Forbade Worshipping Allaah at Places Where Shirk Occurs or Has Occurred
“At the time of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), a man vowed to sacrifice some camels in Buwaanah. He came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, ‘I have vowed to sacrifice some camels in Buwaanah.’ The Prophet Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘Were there any idols there that were worshipped during the Jaahiliyyah?’ He said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Did they hold any of their festivals there?’ He said, ‘No.’ The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Then fulfil your vow, for there is no fulfilment of any vow which involves disobeying Allaah, or with regard to something that the son of Adam does not own.’” (Narrated by Abu Dawood)

Forbade Worshipping Allaah at Times Shirk Occurs

‘Uqbah bin Aamir said, There were three times at which Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) used to forbid us to pray or bury our dead: (i) When the sun began to rise until it was fully up, (ii) When the sun was at its height at midday till it passed the meridian, (iii) When the sun drew near to setting till it had set. (Muslim)

Forbade Exaggeration in General

“Beware of exaggerated praise, for it was only this which led those before you to destruction.” (Reported by Ahmad, An-Nasaa’ee and Ibn Maajah)

“Destroyed are those who are extreme” And he repeated it three times. (Muslim)

Forbade Muslims from Excessively Praising Him

“Do not extoll me as the Christians extolled the son of Maryam (AS); I am no more than a slave (of Allah) and so (instead), say: Allah’s Slave and His Messenger.” (Bukhari)

Forbade the Companions to Stand up in His Presence

‘You were about to do what the Persians and Romans do. They stand in front of their kings when they are seated. Do not do that.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

“No person was dearer to them than the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but when they saw him they did not stand up for him because they knew that he disliked that.” (Related by Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi)

Forbade Image-Making

“The people who will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection will be those who try to make the like of Allah’s creation.” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

“The painters of these pictures will be punished on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be said to them, Make alive what you have created.’ (Bukhari)

“While I was with Ibn ‘Abbaas a man came and said, “O father of ‘Abbaas! My sustenance is from my manual profession and I make these pictures.” Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “I will tell you only what I heard from Allaah’s Apostle . I heard him saying, ‘Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.’ “Hearing this, that man heaved a sigh and his face turned pale. Ibn ‘Abbaas said to him, “What a pity! If you insist on making pictures I advise you to make pictures of trees and any other unanimated objects.” (Related by Al-Bukhari, 3/428)

This is why we do not have any images of the Prophet (saw) or any of the Sahabah. Contrast this to the images made of Isa (as) and how they are worshipped.

Forbade Muslims from Imitating the Disbelievers

“Whoever imitates a nation is one of them!” (Abu Daawood)

“The one who imitates people other than us (i.e., in faith) is not from us. Do not imitate the Jews or the Christians” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi)

Commanded to Level all Raised Graves

“Should I not despute you on a mission on which I was sent by Allaah’s Messenger (saw)? Deface all the pictures which you come across and demolish all the high graves to the level of earth.” (Muslim)


Reminded Muslims Regarding True Purpose of Visiting Graves

“I had forbidden you to visit the graves, but (now I allow you) so visit them for they remind you of the Hereafter.” (Reported by Muslim and Abu Dawood)

“The Prophet (saw) used to teach them (what to say) if they went out to the graveyards. They used to say: Peace be upon you all, O inhabitants of the graves, amongst the believers and the Muslims. Surely we will, Allaah willing, be united with you, we ask Allaah for well-being for us and you.” (Muslim)

Forbade Certain Phrases Which Lead to Shirk

A Jewish man came to the Prophet (saw) and said to him: “Verily, you (Muslims) commit Shirk, for you say: “As Allaah (swt) Wills and as you will;” and you say: “By the Ka’bah!” And so the Prophet (saw) ordered whoever wanted to swear, to say: “By the Rabb of the Ka’abah!” and to say: “As Allah (swt ) Wills, then as you will.” (Narrated by An-Nasaa`ee)

A man came to the Prophet (saw) and he said: “As Allaah (swt) and you, will,” at which, the Prophet (saw) said: “Would you set me up as a partner beside Allaah (swt )? (Say:) “As Allah (swt), Alone Wills.” (Narrated by An-Nasaa`ee)

“Verily, the lowest name to Allaah is that of a man who calls himself “King of kings,” for there is no king except Allah (swt).” (Bukhari)

Prohibited Making an Oath or Swearing by Any Created Object

“Whoever swears by anything other than Allaah has committed shirk.” (Ahmad)

Forbade Undertaking A Religious Journey Except to Three Masaajid

“Do not saddle up your riding beasts, except to three mosques: “The Sacred Mosque, this mosque of mine, and Al-Aqsaa Mosque (in Jerusalem).” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

Completion of the Message

(On the authority of Abu Dharr) “Indeed the Messenger of Allaah (SWT) passed away and there is not a bird flapping its wings in the sky, except that he mentioned to us some knowledge about it…” (Ahmad)

Tawheed and shirk then also must have been clarified in such a manner.

“… upon clear evidence whose night is like its day. No one deviates from it except that he is destroyed.” (Reported by Ahmad, Ibn Maajah and others)


c – Tawassul – By the Status of the Prophet (saw)


By following his Sunnah
By loving him
By defending his honor

All of these fall under the previous categories of legislated types of tawassul.

Innovation occurs when asking Allah through his status, body, or honor. Many ‘ulemma have differed about this issue. Therefore, it is important to preserve proper adab when discussing this issue. No scholar has called this type of tawassul to be shirk.

Since there is no authentic or explicit evidence regarding this, it is an innovation. For someone to claim it is legitimate, they must bring proof from the Sunnah. In analyzing the evidences the following points must be kept in mind:

Is this evidence something that carries legislative weight, i.e. is it from the Quran, Sunnah, or Ijma?
Is the evidence legitimate? If someone quotes a hadith for example, then the authenticity must be verified.
Is the evidence specific and relevant to what is trying to be proved?
Are there other evidences that clarify, abrogate, generalize, or specify the previous evidence? This is the category requiring the highest level of knowledge.

The evidences used to support tawassul through the status of the Prophet (saw) can be put into 6 categories.

1. Ayah in al-Maa’idah

“O you who believe! Do your duty to Allah and fear Him. Seek the means of approach to Him, and strive hard in His Cause as much as you can. So that you may be successful.” (5:35)

Allah has commanded us to do tawassul. This verse is general though, and not specific to the issue.

2. Hadith of the ‘blind man’ and is found in Tirmidhi and Ahmed.

Once a blind person came to Rasulullah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) and said, ‘Oh Rasulullah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam)! Ask Allah to cure me.’ Rasulullah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) replied, ‘If you wish I will make Du’aa or else you may be patient and this is better for you.’ The man said, ‘Make Du’aa instead’, Rasulullah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) then commanded him to make Wudhu properly and that he recites the following Du’aa, ‘Oh Allah, verily, I ask of you and I turn to you through your prophet, the prophet of mercy, O Muhammad (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam), verily, I have turned to my Lord through you so that my need be fulfilled. Oh Allah, accept his intercession on my behalf.’ (Reported by Ahmad)

It is authentic. One group interprets “by your Prophet” to mean by his status. Other ulemma say this meant I ask you by the dua of your Prophet (saw).

He came to the Prophet (saw) to make dua. The Prophet (saw) clearly made dua. The last phrase makes it clear that he is referring to the dua. His (saw) dua for him was for him to be cured, and the blind man’s dua for him (saw) was for his (saw) dua to be accepted. The context before and after shows its referring to the dua. The dua made does not mention rank, or status.

He was cured from his blindness afterwards. Throughout the history of Islam no one has been cured of their blindness by this dua except this blind man. If the dua was by the status of the Prophet (saw) then all blind people should make this dua and be cured. It was actually the dua of the Prophet(saw) that was answered, it was not by asking from his status.

None of the other companions did this after this blind man.

3. The incident of Umar and Abbas.

When the rain was withheld at the time of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab, he went to call Allâh for blessing of rain. In fact, he said, “O Allâh, we used to let the Prophet intercede (make tawassul through your Prophet) for us to bless us with rain, but now, (because of the Prophet’s death), we ask (make tawassul through) your Prophet’s uncle Al-Abbaas bin Abdul-Muttalib to do that. Then Al-Abbaas rose up and began to call Allâh for rain. (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

This is the strongest evidence against them. If the Sahabah knew of tawassul through the rank of the Prophet (saw) would Umar have given it up in such a situation when people were dying and starving? He tried to do the tawassul that he knows. None of the Sahabah suggested doing dua by the rank of the Prophet (saw).

The 2 hadith quoted above are the only ones found in the 6 books relating to this subject.

4. Various weak or fabricated hadith.

The authentic ahadeeth used in this discussion are the ones that have already been quoted here.

5. On the day of judgment people will ask the prophets to help them, so why can’t we now?

We will have a state of life similar to them at that time. We will be in the same stage of life.

5 relationships of the body and soul.
Child in the womb of the mother when spirit is first blown in
When the child is born in a state of wakefulness.
When we sleep, and the soul leaves the body but there is still a connection.
From the day of judgment

On the Day of Judgment we will be in the same stage of life. Just as when the Prophet (saw) was alive, the Sahabah would ask him to make dua for them.

Also, this has nothing to do with asking by the status of the Prophet (saw).

6. Many famous scholars of the past and present allowed it. This was unknown in the first 2 centuries of Islam. It was not allowed. Just like there are many scholars allowed it, there are many who opposed it.

Tawassul in and of itself may be ok, but it could lead to shirk.

Another way of looking at tawassul is to ask ourselves: What have we done to ask by the rank of the Prophet (saw)? Take a beggar who says, if you love your son, give me money. How does this affect the beggar asking you for something? The rank of the Prophet (saw) is high, but what have I done to ask by that rank? It is better to say O Allah because I love the Prophet (saw), or because I study the sunnah, etc.

b – Tawassul – Legislated Types

Tawassul is something that brings you closer to another object. In Islam the general meaning is any good deed because they bring you closer to Allah. The specific meaning is something used to increase the chance of your du’a being accepted.

“O you who believe! Do your duty to Allah and fear Him. Seek the means of approach to Him, and strive hard in His Cause as much as you can. So that you may be successful.” (5:35).

Types sanctioned by the Quran and Sunnah,

With Allah’s Names and Attributes.

This is the strongest Tawassul. There is no du’a you can think of, there is a Name of Allah that is appropriate for that du’a. “The most beautiful names belong to Allaah, so call on him by them.” (Al-A’raaf, 7:180)

Tawassul with one’s state, past and present.

“He (Moosaa) watered (their flocks) for them, then turned to the shade, saying, “My Lord, whatever provision you send to me, I am in dire need for it.” (Al-Qasas, 28:24) And, “He said: My Lord! surely my bones are weakened and my hair is aflame with gray. As I implore You, my Lord, I never despair.” (Maryam, 19:4) (du’aa of Zakariyyah). This combines all the states. In the present he is old and feeble (present state), and You have responded to my duas in the past.

With one’s good deeds.

“Once three persons (from the previous nations) were traveling, and suddenly it started raining and they took shelter in a cave. The entrance of the cave got closed while they were inside. They said to each other, O you! Nothing can save you except the truth, so each of you should ask Allah’s help by referring to such a deed as he thinks he did sincerely (i.e. just for gaining Allah’s pleasure). So one of them said, O Allah! You know that I had a laborer who worked for me for one Faraq (i.e. three Saa’s) of rice, but he departed, leaving it (i.e. his wages). I sowed that Faraq of rice and with its yield I bought cows (for him). Later on when he came to me asking for his wages, I said (to him), Go to those cows and drive them away. He said to me, But you have to pay me only a Faraq of rice, I said to him, Go to those cows and take them, for they are the product of that Faraq (of rice). So he drove them. O Allah! If you consider that I did that for fear of You, then please remove the rock. The rock shifted a bit from the mouth of the cave. The second one said, O Allah, You know that I had old parents whom I used to provide with the milk of my sheep every night. One night I was delayed and when I came, they had slept, while my wife and children were crying with hunger. I used not to let them (i.e. my family) drink unless my parents had drunk first. So I disliked to wake them up and also disliked that they should sleep without drinking it, I kept on waiting (for them to wake) till it dawned. O Allah! If You consider that I did that for fear of you, then please remove the rock. So the rock shifted and they could see the sky through it. The (third) one said, O Allah! You know that I had a cousin (i.e. my paternal uncle’s daughter) who was most beloved to me and I sought to seduce her, but she refused, unless I paid her one-hundred Deenars (i.e. gold pieces). So I collected the amount and brought it to her, and she allowed me to sleep with her. But when I was just about to commit the act, she said, Be afraid of Allah, and do not come to me but legally (i.e. in marriage). I got up and left the hundred Deenars (for her). O Allah! If You consider that I did that for fear of you then please remove the rock. So Allah saved them and they came out (of the cave).” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

With the du’a of a living person.

“On a Friday a person entered the main Mosque through the gate facing the pulpit while Allâhs Messenger was delivering the Khutba. The man stood in front of Allâhs Messenger and said, O Allâhs Messenger! The livestock are dying and the roads are cut off; so please pray to Allah for rain. Anas said, Allah’s Messenger raised both his hands and said, “O Allah! Bless us with rain! O Allah! Bless us with rain! O Allah! Bless us with rain! Anas added, By Allah, we could not see any trace of cloud in the sky and there was no building or a house between us and the mountains of Sila. Anas added, A heavy cloud like a shield appeared from behind it (i.e. Sila Mountain). When it came in the middle of the sky, it spread and then rained. And the Prophet went down with his beard wet.” (Reported by An-Nasaa’ee)

These are the 4 types of tawassul sanctioned in the Quran and Sunnah. All other types are innovation and shirk, and therefore not allowed. If you make tawassul to Allah in another way, it is innovation, but if it is to other than Allah, then it is shirk

a – Tawassul – Primer on Tawassul and its Types

The word Tawassul comes from the word “Al Wasila”

Definition of Al Wasila

Al-Khalil bin Ahmad (100-170 H.) said in “al Ayn”:

“Wassaltu to my Lord Wasilatan, means: I did a deed that by which I drew near to Him. And I did tawassul to someone by a book or a relative, means that I sought means of approach to him by it
Labeed said:

‘I see that the people do not know the value of their affair,
whereas every religious person seeks to draw nearer to Allaah.’

Isma’il bin Hammad al Jawhari (d. 393 H.) said in “As-Sihah fi Al-Lughah”:

“Al Wasila: That by which one draws near to another”.

“Al wasilah ” by this meaning is found in the Quran:

O you who believe! Fear Allah and seek al wasilah to Him. (5:35)

Its tafsir (interpretation) :


Tafsir Imam At-Tabari (d. 310 H.) He says: and seek nearness to Him by performing the acts that please Him.

Tafsir “Bahr al Uloom” by Abul Layth As-Simirqandi (d. 375 H.) It means: seek nearness and virtue by the good deeds.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (d. 774 H.) Ibn `Abbas said that Wasilah means `the means of approach’.
Mujahid, Abu Wa’il, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, `Abdullah bin Kathir, As-Suddi, Ibn Zayd and others gave the same meaning for Wasilah.

Qatadah said that the ayah means, “Seek the means of approach to Him by obeying Him and performing the acts that please Him.”

And there is no disagreement amongst the mufassireen on what those Imams said.

Thus the general meaning of Tawassul is to seek nearness to Allah through performing good deeds.
As for the specific meaning of Tawassul, it is to hope for and seek the answering of one’s duaa (supplication).

The types of tawassul that are permissible, with no dispute amongst the scholars, are:

1. Tawassul through the beautiful Names and exalted Attributes:

Allah said – translation of the meaning- And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allâh, so call on Him by them. [Al A’raf (6):180]

Examples of this type of tawassul are found in the Quran and Sunnah:

Allah said, “And he said: ‘My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favours which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.’” [An Naml (27): 19]

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) entered the mosque and saw a man who had finished his prayer, and was reciting the tashahhud saying:
“O Allah, I ask You, O Allaah, the One, the Single, the Self Sufficient Master Who needs none, but all have need of (Him), Who does not beget, nor was He begotten, nor is there any like Him…, that You forgive me my sins, indeed You are the Most forgiving, the Most Merciful’. ” [Sunan Abu Dawud : Book 3 Hadith 980]
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

“Whoever becomes greatly troubled or saddened and says: ‘ O Allaah I am Your slave, son of Your male slave and female slave. My forelock is in Your Hand. Your judgement is continually operative upon me. Your sentence concerning me is just. I ask You by every name which is Yours, with which You named Yourself, taught to anyone from Your creation, or sent down in Your Book, or which You kept to Yourself in the knowledge of the Hidden with You, that You make the Qur’aan the spring of my heart, the light of my chest, the removal of my sadness and of my anxiety’ then Allaah will remove his anxiety and sorrow and replace it with joy…” [Musnad Ahmad; Ahmad Shakir said: Sahih 5\267]

Examples in the Quran and Sunnah:

“Those who say: ‘Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire.’” [Al Imran (3):16]

“Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth (i.e. Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh – none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh).” [Al Imran (3): 53]

The Prophet –sallallahu alayhi wa sallam- said, “While three persons were walking, rain began to fall and they had to enter a cave in a mountain. A big rock rolled over and blocked the mouth of the cave. They said to each other, ‘Invoke Allah with the best deed you have performed (so Allah might remove the rock)’. One of them said, ‘O Allah! My parents were old and I used to go out for grazing (my animals). On my return I would milk (the animals) and take the milk in a vessel to my parents to drink. After they had drunk from it, I would give it to my children, family and wife. One day I was delayed and on my return I found my parents sleeping, and I disliked to wake them up. The children were crying at my feet (because of hunger). That state of affairs continued till it was dawn. O Allah! If You regard that I did it for Your sake, then please remove this rock so that we may see the sky.’ So, the rock was moved a bit. The second said, ‘O Allah! You know that I was in love with a cousin of mine, like the deepest love a man may have for a woman, and she told me that I would not get my desire fulfilled unless I paid her one-hundred Dinars (gold pieces). So, I struggled for it till I gathered the desired amount, and when I sat in between her legs, she told me to be afraid of Allah, and asked me not to deflower her except rightfully (by marriage). So, I got up and left her. O Allah! If You regard that I did if for Your sake, kindly remove this rock.’ So, two-thirds of the rock was removed. Then the third man said, ‘O Allah! No doubt You know that once I employed a worker for one Faraq (three Sa’s) of millet, and when I wanted to pay him, he refused to take it, so I sowed it and from its yield I bought cows and a shepherd. After a time that man came and demanded his money. I said to him: Go to those cows and the shepherd and take them for they are for you. He asked me whether I was joking with him. I told him that I was not joking with him, and all that belonged to him. O Allah! If You regard that I did it sincerely for Your sake, then please remove the rock.’ So, the rock was removed completely from the mouth of the cave.” (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)

Another example is: “O Allah I ask you by my love for your Prophet …..”; Because loving the Messenger of Allah is a good deed.

3. Tawassul by the supplication of a righteous living person, by asking them to make dua for you.
If a Muslim falls into great difficulty or a great misfortune befalls him, and he knows that he has been very negligent with regard to Allaah, the Blessed and Most High’s, rights upon him, so he wishes to use a strong means of drawing nearer to Allaah. So he goes to a man whom he believes to be righteous and asks him to supplicate to his Lord for him that He (Allaah) should relieve his distress and remove what had befallen him.

Examples from the Sunnah and the actions of the Sahabah (companions of the Messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)

Anas b. Malik reported that a person entered the mosque through the door situated on theside of Daral-Qada’ during Friday (prayer) and the messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was delivering the sermon while standing. He came and stood in front of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: “Messenger of Allah, the camels died and the passages were blocked; so supplicate Allah to send down rain upon us.”
The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) raised his hands and then said: (O Allah, send down rain upon us; O Allah, send dowp rain upon us; O Allah, send down rain upon us.
Anas said: By Allah, we did not see any cloud or any patch of it, and there was neither any house or building standing between us and the (hillock) Sal’a. There appeared a cloud in the shape of a shield from behind it, and as it (came high) in the sky it spread and then there was a downpour of rain. By Allah, we did not see the sun throughout the week. Then (that very man) came on the coming Friday through the same door when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was standing and delivering the sermon. He stood in front of him and said: “Messenger of Allah, our animals died and the passages blocked. Supplicate Allah to stop the rain for us. ”
The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) again raised his hands and said: O Allah, let it (rain) fall in our suburbs and not on us, O Allah (send it down) on the hillocks and small mountains and the river-beds and at places where trees grow. The rain stopped, and as we stepped out we were walking in sun- shine. He (the narrator) said to Sharik: I asked Anas b. Malik if he was the same man. He said: I do not know. [ Sahih Muslim: Book 4: Hadith 1955]

Narrated Anas: Whenever drought threatened them, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, used to ask Al-Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib to invoke Allah for rain. He used to say, “O Allah! We used to ask our Prophet to invoke You for rain, and You would bless us with rain, and now we ask his uncle to invoke You for rain. O Allah ! Bless us with rain.” And so it would rain.

Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani –rahimahu Allah- said :

“And az-Zubair bin Bakkar showed in the ansab the description of the duaa of al-Abbas in this incident and the time in which that happened.
He narrated with his isnad that al Abbas, when Umar did istisqa’ through him, said: ” “O Allah, truly no tribulation descends except because of sin, nor is lifted except with repentence. The people have turned to you by means of me because of my position in relation to your prophet, and here are our hands [raised up] towards you – despite our sins – and our forelocks in repentence, so send down water for us.” Whereupon the sky let down water as thick as ropes.”

Then he said:

“And we benefit, from the story of Al Abbas, the recommendation (istihbab) of seeking intercession by the pious and the family of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.” [Fath al Bari]

Salim bin ‘Amer Al Khaba’iri reported: That the sky withheld all its rain, so Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and the people of Damascus went out to pray for rain. So when Mu’awiyah sat upon the minbar he said: ‘Where is Yazid ibn al-Aswad al-Jurashi?’ So the people called him and he came stepping between the people. Then Mu’aawiyah commanded him and he ascended the minbar and sat at his feet. Then
Mu’awiyah said: “O Allaah we are today asking the best and most noble amongst us to supplicate to You for us, O Allaah today we put Yazeed ibn al-Aswad al-Jurashee forward to supplicate to You for us,” “O Yazeed raise up your hands to Allaah.” So he raised up his hands and the people raised up their hands. Then very quickly rain-clouds like a large shield came quickly from the west, and the wind blew and it rain ed so profusely that people could hardly reach their houses. [Sharh Usool I’tiqad Ahlus-Sunnah by Al Lalika’i …. ??…; Ibn Hajar al Asqalani said: “Abu Zur’ah Ad-Dimashqi and Ya’qub bin Sufyan narrated in their tarikh, with a sahih chain, through Salim bin ‘Amer ….” [al Isabah fi Tameez As Sahabah]

Intercession (Shafa’ah)

Meaning of Intercession: Asking an intermediary to plead one’s request in front of another.

Shafa’a means even (like odd and even). Intercession means to plead your case in front of another being. You and the intermediary together are 2 (even).

“To Allaah belongs exclusively (the right to grant) intercession.” (Az-Zumar, 39:44)

For any intercession to be accepted by Allah

Allah must allow the intercessor permission to intercede. “Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission?” (2:255)
Allah must be pleased with the person on whose behalf intercession is sought. “On that Day shall no intercession avail except for those for whom permission has been granted by Most Merciful and whose word is acceptable to Him.” (TaaHaa, 20:109) And, “No intercession avails with Him, except for those for whom He has granted permission.” (Saba’:23)

In the end all shafa’ah belongs to Allah. One verse combining both conditions of intercession – “And how many an angel is there in the heavens, but their intercession shall be of no avail, except after Allaah gives permission to whomsoever He wills and pleases.” (An-Najm, 53:26)

The intercession was the means chosen by Allah to forgive these particular people. Honor for the intercessor and a means for the one interceded for. If we want shafa’ah, we ask for it from the one who owns it.

The way to ask for it is du’a like after Adhan, we ask Allah to grant the Prophet (saw) the Maqam Mahmood which is the maqam of shifa’ah.

Types of Religious Intercession

General for all creation (as long as previous two conditions are met)
Raise their ranks in Paradise
Saved from Fire of Hell before entering it.
Removed from Fire after having entered it, before their time is completed.

These types of Shafa’ah are open to everyone.

Specific for the Prophet (saw)
Intercession to start the Reckoning on the Day of Judgement
Intercession on behalf of his entire Ummah to enter Paradise
Intercession to open the gates of Paradise

“Some (cooked) meat was brought to Allah Apostle and the meat of a forearm was presented to him as he used to like it. He ate a morsel of it and said, “I will be the chief of all the people on the Day of Resurrection. Do you know the reason for it? Allah will gather all the human being of early generations as well as late generation on one plain so that the announcer will be able to make them all-hear his voice and the watcher will be able to see all of them. The sun will come so close to the people that they will suffer such distress and trouble as they will not be able to bear or stand. Then the people will say, ‘Don’t you see to what state you have reached? Won’t you look for someone who can intercede for you with your Lord’ Some people will say to some others, ‘Go to Adam.’ So they will go to Adam and say to him. ‘You are the father of mankind; Allaah created you with His Own Hand, and breathed into you of His Spirit (meaning the spirit which he created for you); and ordered the angels to prostrate before you; so (please) intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are? Don’t you see what condition we have reached?’ Adam will say, ‘Today my Lord has become angry as He has never become before, nor will ever become thereafter. He forbade me (to eat of the fruit of) the tree, but I disobeyed Him. Myself! Myself! Myself! (has more need for intercession). Go to someone else; go to Noah.’ So they will go to Noah and say (to him), ‘O Noah! You are the first (of Allah’s Messengers) to the people of the earth, and Allaah has named you a thankful slave; please intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are?’ He will say.’ Today my Lord has become angry as He has never become nor will ever become thereafter. I had (in the world) the right to make one definitely accepted invocation, and I made it against my nation. Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Abraham.’ They will go to Abraham and say, ‘O Abraham! You are Allaah’s Apostle and His Khaleel from among the people of the earth; so please intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are?’ He will say to them, ‘My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before, nor will ever become thereafter. I had told three lies (Abu Haiyan (the sub-narrator) mentioned them in the Hadeeth) Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Moses.’ The people will then go to Moses and say, ‘O Moses! You are Allaah’s Apostle and Allaah gave you superiority above the others with this message and with His direct Talk to you; (please) intercede for us with your Lord, Don’t you see in what state we are?’ Moses will say, ‘My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before, nor will become thereafter, I killed a person whom I had not been ordered to kill. Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Jesus.’ So they will go to Jesus and say, ‘O Jesus! You are Allaah’s Apostle and His Word which He sent to Mary, and a superior soul created by Him, and you talked to the people while still young in the cradle. Please intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are?’ Jesus will say. ‘My Lord has today become angry as He has never become before nor will ever become thereafter. Jesus will not mention any sin, but will say, ‘Myself! Myself! Myself! Go to someone else; go to Muhammad.’ So they will come to me and say, ‘O Muhammad! You are Allah’s Apostle and the last of the prophets, and Allah forgave your early and late sins. (Please) intercede for us with your Lord. Don’t you see in what state we are?” The Prophet added, “Then I will go beneath Allah’s Throne and fall in prostration before my Lord. And then Allah will guide me to such praises and glorification to Him as He has never guided anybody else before me. Then it will be said, ‘O Muhammad Raise your head. Ask, and it will be granted. Intercede It (your intercession) will be accepted.’ So I will raise my head and Say, ‘My followers, O my Lord! My followers, O my Lord’. It will be said, ‘O Muhammad! Let those of your followers who have no accounts, enter through such a gate of the gates of Paradise as lies on the right; and they will share the other gates with the people.” The Prophet further said, “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, the distance between every two gate-posts of Paradise is like the distance between Mecca and Busrah (in Ash-Shaam).” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

This is shafa’ah for all mankind.

There is also shafa’ah al ‘udhma which is for Muslims for all of them to enter Jannah.

“…When I see my Lord, I will fall down in prostration and He will leave me as long as Allah wills to leave me. Then I will be told, ‘Raise your head, Muhammad. Speak and it will be heard. Ask and you will be given. Intercede and intercession will be granted.’ I will lift my head and praise Him with praises which my Lord will teach me. Then I will intercede and He will fix an amount for me and I will let them into the Garden. Then I will return and when I see my Lord, I will fall down in prostration and He will leave me as long as Allaah wills to leave me. Then I will be told, ‘Raise your head, Muhammad. Speak and it will be heard. Ask and you will be given. Intercede and intercession will be granted.’ I will lift my head and praise Him with praises which my Lord will teach me. Then I will intercede and He will fix an amount for me and I will let them into the Garden. Then I will return and say, “O Lord, only those remain in the Fire whom the Qur’aan has held and for whom being in it for ever is obliged.”‘ The Prophet, may Allaah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Anyone who said, “There is no god but Allaah” and has the weight of a grain of barley of good in his heart will come out of the Fire. Then anyone who said “There is no god but Allaah” and has the weight of a grain of what of good in his heart will come out of the Fire. Then anyone who said “There is no god but Allaah” and has the weight of a small ant of good in his heart will come out of the Fire.’”(Al-Bukhari)

This narration also says Allah chooses a group of people and says intercede on behalf of them.

Intercession for his Uncle: “He is in the peripheral regions of the Hellfire, and if it weren’t for me, he would have been in the lowest pits of the Hellfire.” (Agreed upon)

“On behalf of whom will your intercession be most Pleasing (to Allaah SWT ), Oh, Messenger of Allaah (saw)?” He replied: “Him who says: Laa illaha illallaah, sincerely, from his heart.”

Every prophet was granted one du’a that would be accepted. Every single prophet used that du’a in this world.

Musa’s dua was to make sure Fir’awn doesn’t accept until he sees the punishment. Sulaiman asked for a kingdom that would be given to none after him. The Prophet (saw) saved his dua for the Hereafter.

“I will come to the door of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection and ask permission for it to be opened (knock). The gatekeeper will say, ‘Who are you?’” He (saw) said,” I will say, ’Muhammad’.” He (saw) said, “He will say, ‘You are the one I have been ordered to (open for) not to open for anyone before you.’ ” (Muslim).

We will be the first ummah to enter even though we were last chronologically.

The best way to receive shafa’ah: Abu Hurairah asked Prophet (saw) who has the greatest chance to gain your shafa’ah on the day of judgment? Whoever says la ilaha illa Allah sincerely from his heart. Meaning – the one who perfects Tawheed.

Ironically, the ones who beg the Prophet(saw) for shafa’ah are actually doing the one thing (shirk) that disqualifies them from the shafa’ah.

Praying in Mosques that Have Graves

Prayers should not be offered in mosques in which there are graves. The graves should be dug up and the remains transferred to the public graveyards, with each set of remains placed in an individual grave as with all other graves. It is not permissible for graves to be left in mosques, whether that is the grave of a wali (“saint”) or of anyone else, because the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade that and warned against that, and he cursed the Jews and Christians for doing that. It was narrated that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May Allah curse the Jews and the Christians, for they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said, “He was warning against what they had done.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1330, Muslim, 529

And when Umm Salamah and Umm Habeebah told him about a church in which there were images, he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a righteous man died among them, they would build a place of worship over his grave and put those images in it. They are the most evil of mankind before Allaah.” (Saheeh, agreed upon. Al-Bukhaari, 427; Muslim, 528)

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Those who came before you took the graves of their Prophets and righteous people as places of worship. Do not take graves as places of worship – I forbid you to do that.” (Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, 532, from Jundab ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Bajali). So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade taking graves as places of worship and he cursed those who do that, stating that they are the most evil of mankind. So we must beware of that.


It is known that everyone who prays at a grave is taking it as a place of worship, and whoever builds a mosque over a grave has taken it as a place of worship. So we must keep graves far away from the mosques and not put graves inside mosques, in obedience to the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and so as to avoid the curse issued by our Lord against those who build places of worship over graves, because when a person prays in a mosque in which there is a grave, the Shaytaan may tempt him to call upon the deceased or to seek his help, or to pray to him or prostrate to him, thus committing major shirk; and because this is the action of the Jews and Christians and we are obliged to differ from them and to keep away from their ways and their evil actions. But if the graves are ancient and a mosque was built over them, then it should be knocked down, because this is an innovated thing, as was stated by the scholars, and so as to avoid the means that may lead to shirk. And Allaah is the Source of strength.

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al Shaykh Ibn Baaz 10/246.

(Islam Q&A)

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