Category Archives: D-Call Upon the Prophet (saw) to Supplicate for You
To call upon the Prophet, asking him to make du’a for us is Shirk. For example: O Prophet! Ask Allah to grant us rain!
Some of the contemporary scholars opined that if one were to ask the Prophet to make dua to Allah at his grave, it would not be Shirk, but Bid’ah being on the brink of Shirk. The reason for this, as they say, is that if one believes in two premises;
i) The dead can hear (understanding of some evidences)
ii) the dead can supplicate (unsubstantiated assumption)
He can then ask the dead to make dua for him, just as he would when he was alive.
They argue on this basis that it is not Shirk, but definitely a door to Shirk and a despicable bidah which none of the early Muslims performed.
They also back their claim with a misunderstood statement of Ibn Taymiyya where he says that such action is a bidah.
This opinion is problematic due to a number of reasons:
1) We all agree that seeking intercession from the dead is an act of Shirk and this is exactly what the pagans of the old would do. What is the difference between asking them to intercede on your behalf, and asking them to make dua on your behalf?
2) Although the Salaf differed whether or not the dead can hear, but they certainly did not believe that the dead can make du’a on their behalf, and hence never requested them to make dua.
3) Based on the second premise, asking the dead to make dua for a person, is asking him for that which he is not able to do, and that is how we defined Shirk: To ask the creation of something which only Allah can do at that particular instance. Hence, for example, if one were to ask his absent son to give him water, that would be foolish unless he believes his son has the power to hear him and answer his call, and that would be Shirk.
4) Are we to exempt the people of Shirk, if their Shirk is based on false assumptions? We surely did not exempt the early pagans of Shirk when they assumed the idols can hear and moreover intercede for them on their behalf. Why should we then exempt those who ask the Prophet to intercede for them assuming that he can? In other words, if a Mushrik were to say: O Lat! O Uzza! Intercede on our behalf! Would that not be Shirk but merely bid’ah?
5) The statements of Ibn Taymiyya, al-Subki, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami and the rest of the Fuqaha merely discuss calling upon the dead and the absent. The statements do not seem to distinguish between calling upon the dead for help, or calling upon them for dua. In fact, the scholars, including Ibn Taymiyya, explicitly regarded that to be Shirk. Yes, there is found one statement of Ibn Taymiyya where he calls it bid’ah. However, bid’ah is a general term and could equally include bid’ah kufriyya which expels one from Islam, and this certainly happens to be the case when Ibn Taymiyya categorically considers calling upon the dead to make dua, as Shirk.
Ibn Taymiyya comments on those who ask the Prophet to call upon Allah in Iqtida al-Sirat al-Mustaqim:
It is from the Mercy of Allah that the dua which necessitates Shirk, such as to call upon someone to do something, or to call upon someone to make dua, it does not fulfill the need of the person, and even the fulfillment of need does not create any misconception except in minor cases. As for major cases, such as to seek rain during drought, or to avert an impending punishment, then this Shirk is of no use.
Statements like above are plenty, not only from Ibn Taymiyya but also other scholars, and there is a consensus amongst the Muslims on not taking intermediaries and making them intercessors between ourselves and Allah, for that was the very Shirk for which the Quraysh were fought.
6) Assuming that the dead can hear and they can supplicate too, those who consider it bid’ah and not Shirk, insist that it must be done at the grave of the Prophet alone, for asking the Prophet from one’s home is like calling upon the absent, which is Shirk. This has two problems:
i) If one considers that the dead can hear and therefore allow for one to ask the Prophet to ask Allah, should allow the same with the rest of the dead. Hence, he should allow one to go to any grave and ask the dead therein to make dua to Allah. As we can see, this is quite clearly problematic.
ii) Even if the dead can hear, practically speaking, for one to speak loud enough at the Rawdha of the Prophet SallAllahu ‘alaihi wa-sallam for the Prophet to hear would be quite impossible; knowing a) the construction around the grave, b) the crowd, c) the Mutawas with the stick and more importantly d) Allah’s command to lower our voices in presence of the Prophet in Surah al-Hujuraat.
Hence, practically speaking, even according to those who say it is merely a bid’ah on the bring of Shirk, if one were to supplicate beside the grave in a manner where the Prophet cannot hear him, it would be akin to calling upon the absent, and therefore Shirk.
7) Lastly, although some of the modern day respected scholars differed whether it is Shirk or not, they have surely agreed that it is a bid’ah, and no doubt that if it is not Shirk, it is still on the brink of it. A Muslim who values his faith should avoid that which is disputed over its permissibility, so how about avoiding that which is disputed over its apostasy?
Finally, the modern pagans who justify calling upon the Prophet and asking him to call upon Allah bring forth two arguments:
a) The Prophets are alive in the grave, so we can ask them to ask Allah, as we would before he was buried
b) The Prophet – SallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam – returns our Salams, and therefore, if we ask him to make du’a, he would do so.
In response to that we say:
i) Yes, the Prophets are alive in their graves, but their life is not in the worldly sense. The nature of their life we do not know. What we know for certain is that the Prophet died, as Allah says in the Quran: ‘You will die’. What we also, therefore, know for certain that he will be resurrected. So if he was alive, as we understand life, there will be no meaning to his resurrection.
ii) Some of what is established for the Prophets, is also established for non-Prophets, such as being alive in the grave, praying, or even returning Salam. Yet, the Ummah is unanimous that taking people as intercessors with Allah is Shirk, and the Quranic verse is clear cut in that regard, whether they are prophets, angels, jinns, righteous and martyrs (who are also alive as Allah states). It is already established that when a Muslim gives Salam to his dead brother, his soul is returned so that he may respond to his Salam.
iii) Again, this is not an evidence that the dead is an intercessor with Allah. This idea is the making of the pagans, quite like the pagans of the old.
Remember, all people of misguidance have misconceptions and they all have misconstrued proofs, including the old pagans. Yes, they might not have a proof from the revelation, but they still believed their objects of worship to be righteous people who are closer to Allah. Point being, based on this evidence of theirs, be it textual or rational, they made such people as intercessors between themselves and Allah, without Allah giving them the permission to do so. On this account alone they were condemned as pagans.
The modern pagans also take the Prophet as an intercessor between themselves and Allah, while they have no proof, neither textual nor rational, that Allah has given the Prophet the permission to intercede for them or not, or whether or not they can ask the dead Prophet to make du’a for them in his grave.