Tawassul is an Arabic word originated from wa-sa-la- wasilat (Arabic: وسيلة-وسل). The wasilah is a means by which a person, goal or objective is approached, attained or achieved. In another version of the meaning of tawassul in another text: Tawassul is an Arabic word that comes from a verbal noun, wasilah, which according to Ibn Manzur (d.
Tawassul is a matter which has been misunderstood by many Muslims now a days under the Wahabi propaganda which wrongly claimed it as a type of worship to other than Allah. Wahabi sect claims following Tawheed but their books prove that they do not understand the real meaning of Tawheed in Quran and authentic Hadeeth. That is why they accuse other Muslims to be Mushrik just because they don't follow the Wahabi misunderstanding of Tawheed.
'Tawassul is seeking the help of the most humble servants of Allah to get our needs. We believe that they (The Prophet and Ahlul Bayt (AS) are Servants of Allah and only do what Allah wants. There is no question at all of Shirk because Shirk means to believe that there is a partner or helper etc to Allah.
Addressing the Prophet is absolutely right as he himself taught Muslims to address him in Tawassul as it has been narrated in Sunni and Shia books in the famous Hadeeth of the blind حديث الأعمى which is narrated by Othman Ibn Hunaif that a blind person requested the Prophet to help him get back his eye sight. The Prophet told him to tolerate but he said : I can not tolerate. The Prophet advised him to perform Wudhu and pray two Rak'ats of Salah and say in the last Sajda: O Allah, I seek from You by Your Prophet, the Prophet of mercy. O Muhammad; I am seeking from Allah through you to grant me my need.
'The blind did what the Prophet taught him and got back his eye sight. The Hadeeth is narrated in al-Tareekh al-Kabeer by al-Bukhari, and Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah and Nasaa'ee and al-Bayhaqi and Abu Na'eem in Ma'rufat al- Sahabah, and al-Tabaraani and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani and al-Soyooti and many other well known Sunni scholars.
'We can address the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlul Bayt (AS) directly knowing that they only do what Allah wants, as well as addressing Allah directly with the Waseela Bihaqqi of Ahlul Bayt (AS). Both are good.
It is ok to address a secondary cause (whether it be Imam 'Ali, an employer, a relative, etc) to request specific assistance as long as one agrees that Allah is the primary cause and these are just secondary means.
There is theoretically no problem with addressing the angels as well. However the Qur'an says that the angels fulfil God's command as God gives it to them and therefore this suggests they do not usually act according to the wishes or preferences of human beings. For instance, if an angel assigned to deliver sustenance, it will deliver what it was told to and not what the person wants. So for instance if I just casually say "Ya Jibra'il", it might not have the same effect. Of course God knows best.
Forgiveness of sins is in the hands of Allah (SWT) who gave the Prophet (SAWA) the greatest status of intercession ( Shafa'ah) and made it very clear in Quran that those who commit sinful acts should come to the Prophet so that he seeks forgiveness for them ( Had those who did wrong to themselves, come to you and begged for Allah's forgiveness, and the messenger had prayed for their forgiveness, they would have found Allah accepting their repentance and Merciful) Sura 4, Verse 64.
The Infallible Imams are our intercessors to Allah, The Glorious.
No one is allowed to claim that he is a definite intercessor to Allah except the Infallible.
Tawassul is in fact a form of worshiping Allah and sincere Tawheed, that is why Allah (SWT) ordered the believers to do Tawassul to get forgiveness. In Sura Annisaa' verse 64: (Had they when they did injustice to themselves (committed sins) come to you then seek forgiveness and the messenger prayed for their forgiveness, they would have found Allah accepting repent and Merciful.
Allah (SWT) has ordered the believers to do Tawassul ( Sura 5, verse 35).
Tawassul does not mean worshiping other than Allah ( to be looked at as Shirk by some ignorant Wahabis) but it means seeking the blessings of the most humble servants of Allah to seek from Allah (SWT).
We believe that no wish can be granted through Tawassul but only by Allah (SWT).
In Quran we read in Sura Yousuf when his brothers requested their father (Prophet Yaqoob) to seek forgiveness from Allah for them and he accepted and said: I will seek forgiveness for you. (Sura Yousuf, verse 97). If it was wrong, the prophet Yaqoob should have told them when they did Tawassul through him.
Yes, it is authentic and narrated in many authentic books. Allama Majlisi narrated it in Biharul Anwaar, volume 99, page 247. Dua Tawassul was narrated by Mohammad Bin Babawayh from Infallible Imams.
There are always persons who create doubts because of their own misunderstandings or way of thinking, but their doubts are for them only, because our leading scholars who have much more knowledge like Allama Majlisi and leading Maraaji' are the scholars to be followed.
It is permissible to recite Du'a Tawassul during Sajdah because the Sajdah is only for Allah (SWT) and never for any one else but Allah. During Sajda Sahw, we recite (Bismillah a Billah, Assalamu Alayka Ayyuha Annabiyyu Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh). It does not mean that we doing Sajda for the Prophet (SAWA) but for Allah (SWT) only. Addressing the Prophet or any Ma'soom during Sajdah does not make the Sajdah for him at all but it remains always for Allah (SWT). It menas hat you are talking to them while prostrating to Allah (SWT).
Seeking help from Allah (SWT) does not mean only to seek directly from Him, but also through His creatures like when you seek help from doctors for treatment, or through His most humble servants, The Prophet (SAWA) and his Holy Progeny Ahlul Bayt (AS) knowing that Allah (SWT) is Origin of every good and no one can help but after Allah's permission.
When you seek help from the Prophet (SAWA) or Infallible Imams, you know for sure that they are Allah's most humble servants and they can only help you after Allah's permission. Your asking them is in fact asking their intercession to Allah (SWT) to get your need fulfilled .
Allah The Glorious teaches us in Quran to go to the Waseela first who is the Prophet (SAWA) to seek the prayers of the Waseela for us. ( Had they when they did wrong to themselves, come to you, and seeked forgiveness and got the prayers of the Messenger for their forgiveness, they would had found Allah Accepting repentance and Most Merciful) ( Sura An Nisa, Verse 64).
All our needs and wishes are in the hands of Allah, and He is The Giver. Waseela is not an assistant or partner of Allah but His most humble servants and He wanted us to be always connected to them to follow them in obeying and worshiping Allah, that is why we are been ordered to seek the Waseela to reach to real worshiping and real obedience of Allah (SWT).
Obviously, the Muslims should go to the successors of the Prophet (SAWA) after his demise.
We also supplicate to Allah ( The Glorious) directly but with mentioning our Waseela to Him as He ordered us. Mentioning the Waseela means that we are obeying Allah in our way of worshiping Him and confirming our allegiance to His most humble servants.
Our Waseela are the best servants of Allah and mentioning them means that we want to be good followers of them in worshiping Allah The Glorious.
This is according to The Real Tawheed of Allah, not as some people wrongly claim it away from Tawheed. In fact those people misunderstand Tawheed and mix between the due respect and worshiping. We respect and follow and seek the prayers of the Waseela as Allah ordered us, but worship Allah only.
Thank you for your question. Not at all. Praying through the wasilah of the Infallibles (as) is a direct prayer to God. The form it takes is to ask Allah by the honor of that wasilah in His eyes. So one may take the Quran as a wasilah, or the Kaba or a prophet and so on. It is perfectly fine for someone to pray without asking by the right of a wasilah.
May you always be successful.