____________________________________ | | | || || | || | | o_,_7 _|| . _o_7 _|| 4_|_|| o_w_, | |( : / (_) / ( . | |____________________________________| Evidence for Tawassul by a Sunni Writer From: email@example.com (Masud Khan) Date: 3 Jul 1994 22:55:34 GMT There has been a lot of discussion about intercession recently, and a few ill-informed people have issued "fatawa's" condeming the practice as "shirk". If, as some individuals say, tawassul is "shirk" then from from the evidence available it seems that The Prophet (pbuh) taught a man to commit "shirk" and so did the Rightly Guided Khalifa 'Uthman ibn Affan! (May Allah be our refuge from such thoughts). wa'asalaam Mas'ud Tawassul - Supplicating Allah through and Intermediary. ======================================================= Definition: Supplicating Allah by means of an intermediary, whether it be a living person, dead person, or a name or attribute of Allah Most High. Yusuf Rifa'i: I here want to convey the position, attested to by compelling legal evidence, of the orthodox majority of Sunni Muslim on the subject of supplicating Allah through an intermidiary (tawassul), and so I say (and Allah alone gives success) that since there is no disagreement among scholars that supplicating Allah through an intermediary is in principle legally valid, the discussion of it's details merely concerns derived rulings that involve interschool differences, unrelated to questions of belief or unbelief, monotheism or associating partners with Allah (shirk); the sphere of the question being limited to permissibility or impermissibility, and its ruling being that it is either lawful or unlawful. There is no difference among groups of Muslims in their consensus on the permissibilty of three types of supplicating Allah through an intermediary (tawassul): 1 tawassul through a living righteous person to Allah Most High, as in the Hadith of the blind man with the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as we shall explain; 2 the tawassul of a living person to Allah Most High through his own good deeds, as in the hadith of the three people trapped in a cave by a great stone, a hadith related by Imam Bukhari in his Sahih [Ref: vol 3 no 418]; 3 and the tawassul of a person to Allah Most High through His entity (dhat), names, attributes, and so forth. Since the legality of these types is agreed upon there is no reason to set forth the evidence for them. The only area of disagreement is supplicating Allah (tawassul) through a righteous dead person. The majority of the orthodox Sunni community hold that it is lawful, and have supporting hadith evidence, of which we will content ourselves with the hadith of the Blind Man, since it is the central pivot upon which the discussion turns. The Hadith of the Blind Man =========================== Tirmidhi relates, through his chain of narrators from 'Uthman ibn Hunayf, that a blind man came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and said, "I've been afflicted in my eyesight, so please pray to Allah for me." The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: "Go make ablution (wudu), perform two rak'as of prayer, and then say: " 'O Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy; O Muhammad [Ya Muhammad], I seek your intercession with my Lord for the return of my eyesight [and in another version: "for my need , that it may be fulfilled. O Allah, grant him intercession for me"].'" The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) added, "And if there is some need, do the same." Scholars of Sacred Law infer from this hadith the recommended character of the need, in which someone in need of something from Allah Most High performs such a prayer and then turns to Allah with this supplications together with other suitable supplications, traditional or otherwise, according to the need and how the person feels. The express content of the hadith proves the legal validity of tawassul through a living person (as the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was a alive at the time). It implicitly proves the validity of tawassul through a deceased one as well, since tawassul through a living or dead person is not through a physical body or through a life or death, but rather through the positive meaning (ma`na tayyib) attached to the person in both life and death. The body is but the vehicle that carries that significance, which requires that the person be respected whether alive or dead; for the words "O (Ya) Muhammad" are an address to someone physically absent - in which state the living and the dead are alike - an address to the meaning, dear to Allah, that is connected with his spirit, a meaning that is the ground of tawassul, be it through a living or a dead person. ============================= The Hadith of the Man in Need ============================= Moreover, Tabarani, in his al-Mu`jam al-saghir, reports a hadith from 'Uthman ibn Hanayf that a man repeatedly visited 'Uthman ibn 'Affan (Allah be well pleased with him) concerning something he needed, but 'Uthman paid no attention to him or his need. The man met Ibn Hunayf and complained to him about the matter - this being after the death of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and after the caliphates of Abu Bakr and 'Umar - so 'Uthman ibn Hunayf, who was one of the Companions who collected hadiths and were learned in the religion of Allah said: "Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution (wudu), then come to the mosque, perform two rak'as of prayer therein, and say, " 'O Allah, I ask You and turn to You through our Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy; O Muhammad [Ya Muhammad], I turn through you to my Lord, that He may fulfill my need,' "and mention your need. Then come so that I can go with you [to the caliph 'Uthman]." So the man left and did as he had been told, then went to the door of 'Uthman ibn 'Affan (Allah be pleased with him), and the doorman came, took him by the hand, brought him to 'Uthman ibn 'Affan and seated him next to him on a cushion. 'Uthman asked, "What do you need?" and the man mentioned what he wanted, and 'Uthman accomplished it for him and then said, "I hadn't remembered your need until just now," adding, "Whenever you need something, just mention it." Then the man departed, met 'Uthman ibn Hunayf, and said to him, "May Allah reward you! He didn't see to my need or pay any attention to me until you spoke with him." 'Uthman ibn Hunayf replied, "By Allah, I didn't speak to him, but I have seen a blind man come to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and complain to him of the loss of his eyesight. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, 'Can you not bear it?' and the man replied, 'O messenger of Allah, I do not have anyone to lead me around, and it is great hardship for me.' The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) told him, 'Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution (wudu), then pray two rak'as of prayer and make these supplications.' " Ibn Hunafy went on, "By Allah, we didn't part company or speak long before the man returned to us as if nothing had ever been wrong with him." This is an explicit, unequivocal text from a prophetic Companion proving the legal validity of tawassul through the dead. The account has been classed as rigorously authenticated (SAHIH) by Bayhaqi, Mundhiri, and Haytami. (Muhammad Hamid - a leading Hanafi scholar of this century:) As for calling upon (nida') the righteous [when they are physically absent, as in the words "O (Ya) Muhammad" in the above hadiths], tawassul to Allah Most High through them is permissable, the supplication (du'a) being to Allah Most Glorious, and there is much evidence for its permissibility. Those who call on them intending tawassul cannot be blamed. As for someone who believes that those called upon can cause effects, benefit, or harm, which they create or cause to exist as Allah does, such a person is an idolator who has left Islam - Allah be our refuge! This then,and a certain person has written an article that tawassul to Allah Most High through the righteous is unlawful, while the overwhelming majority of scholars hold it permissable, and the evidence that the writer uses to corroborate his view point is devoid of anything that demonstrates what he is trying to prove. In declaring tawassul permissable, we are not hovering on the brink of idolatory (shirk) or coming anywhere near it, for the conviction that Allah Most High alone has influence over anything, outwardly, is a conviction that flows through us like our very lifeblood. If tawassul were idolatory (shirk), or if there were any suspicion of idolatory in it, the Prophet (Allah Most High bless him and give him peace) would not have taught it to the blind man when the latter asked him to supplicate Allah for him, though in fact he did teach him to make tawassul to Allah through him. And the notion that tawassul was permissible only during the lifetime of the person through whom it is done but not after his death is unsupported by any viable foundation from Sacred Law (Rudud 'ala abatil wa rasa'il al- Shaykh Muhammad al-Hamid). Mostly taken from "Reliance of the Traveller" (Umdat as-Salik) by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri [b. 702/1302 d. 769/1368] translated by Noah Ha Mim Keller.