Chapter 4: Refuge And Recourse

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ الْكَهْفِ الْحَصِينِ وَ

غِيَاثِ الْمُضْطَرِّ الْمُسْتَكِينِ وَ مَلْجَإِ الْهَارِبِينَ وَ عِصْمَةِ الْمُعْتَصِمِينَ

Uniqueness And Recourse

The most fundamental belief that has superiority and prominence is uniqueness of God or as we call it Tawhid. This principle means that you must not worship anyone and there is no creator for this world and there is not any power except Allah. (ما شاءَ اللَّهُ لا قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّه‏، الکهف ،39)

“It is as Allah has pleased. There is no power save in Allah”1.

Likewise believing in every indecent power and effect besides Allah is also heresy. However while guarding our thoughts from heresy we must also keep in mind that the wisdom of Allah dictates that He chooses an instrument to get every job done. For example the power of healing is in the Hand of Allah but for curing any diseases we must go to doctors and use medicine. We must keep in our mind that the power of the mind of that doctor and the effect of that medicine is also by Allah. Another example that we must keep in mind is that the Sustainer of all creatures is Allah. “Surely Allah is the bestower of sustenance”2 But we must strive and work for the attainment of our sustenance.

Similarly, in the spiritual wayfaring there are some spiritual actions that God prescribes for getting closer to Him. Dua is one of the important ones. “Say: My Lord would not care for you were it not for your prayer; but you have indeed rejected(the truth) so that which shall cleave shall come”3

Another one or maybe the most important one is intercession and the phrases from the Salawat mentioned at the beginning of this chapter highlight this.

Intercession in The Holy Quran

The Holy Quran enunciates resorting to Prophet and says,

" ما أَرْسَلْنا مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلاَّ لِيُطاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَ لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جاؤُكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَ اسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّاباً رَحيماً " 40

If when they had been unjust to themselves, (they) had come to you (Muhammad) and begged Allah's Forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them: indeed, they would have found Allah All-Forgiving (One who accepts repentance), Most Merciful.(4:64)

Also in another Ayah it says:

"یاأَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَ ابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسيلَةَ وَ جاهِدُوا في‏ سَبيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ41"

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)

Muslims throughout history have spent their money, time and even given up their lives to execute the Quranic order. It has always been a prevalent tradition among Muslims to visit the tomb of our beloved Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt. The aversion shown towards this act by a small group in the name of Wahabism (that was made up two centuries ago by provocation of an English spy) is not something that can stand against this deep-rooted tradition.

Intercession in Ahadith

In the Ahadith of the Prophet and the Ahlul Bayt, intercession is strongly recommended and it has been constantly repeated in their stories and traditions. There are many examples even from the resources of the scholars of the Ahle Sunnat. Here we mention just two of them.

Hakim Neyshabori in the book of Mostadrak narrates from Omar, “The Prophet said, “When Adam made that mistake, he told Allah, “O My Lord, I ask you by the name of Mohammad to forgive me.” Allah replied, “How do you know him notwithstanding I did not create him yet?” Adam said, “When You created me by Your Mighty Hand and you blew your spirit into my body, I looked to the pillar of Your Throne and I saw these words “There is no lord but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.” So I understood that Muhammad is the most beloved creature to You because You put his name beside Yours” Allah addressed him and said, “You are right. He is the most beloved to Me and because you have asked forgiveness in his name I will forgive you and if Muhammad would not have existed I would not have even created you.”4

The matter of intercession is definite and accepted between all Muslims and it is not a recent issue. In history we see when Mansor Al-Abassi went for Hajj, he went to Medina to visit the Prophet’s tomb. Malik Ebn Anas, the leader of the sect of the Maleki, told him, “Reduce your voice because respecting the Prophet is essential whether he is dead or alive.” Al-Mansor asked him, “When I am praying or reciting Dua, should I face the Prophet’s grave or the Qibleh?” Malik said, “Why would you want to turn your face away from the Prophet whereas he is your interceder and the interceder of your Father Adam to Allah. Face him and ask him for intercession because Allah has said, “If when they had been unjust to themselves, (they) had come to you (Muhammad) and begged Allah's Forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them: indeed, they would have found Allah All-Forgiving (One who accepts repentance), Most Merciful”5.

Nevertheless, in the Shia theology, the issue of intercession has more depth and is more widely discussed.

أَحْمَدُ بْنُ فَهْدٍ فِي عُدَّةِ الدَّاعِي عَنْ سَلْمَانَ الْفَارِسِيِّ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ مُحَمَّداً ص يَقُولُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ يَقُولُ يَا عِبَادِي أَ وَ لَيْسَ مَنْ لَهُ إِلَيْكُمْ حَوَائِجُ كِبَارٌ لَا تَجُودُونَ بِهَا إِلَّا أَنْ يَتَحَمَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ بِأَحَبِّ الْخَلْقِ إِلَيْكُمْ تَقْضُونَهَا كَرَامَةً لِشَفِيعِهِمْ أَلَا فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ أَكْرَمَ الْخَلْقِ عَلَيَّ وَ أَفْضَلَهُمْ لَدَيَّ مُحَمَّدٌ وَ أَخُوهُ عَلِيٌّ وَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ الْأَئِمَّةُ الَّذِينَ هُمُ الْوَسَائِلُ إِلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَدْعُنِي مَنْ هَمَّتْهُ حَاجَةٌ يُرِيدُ نَفْعَهَا أَوْ دَهِمَتْهُ دَاهِيَةٌ يُرِيدُ كَشْفَ ضُرِّهَا بِمُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ الطَّيِّبِينَ الطَّاهِرِينَ أَقْضِهَا لَهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا يَقْضِيهَا مَنْ (تَسْتَشْفِعُونَ لَهُ) بِأَعَزِّ الْخَلْقِ إِلَيْهِ وَ رَوَاهُ الْعَسْكَرِيُّ فِي تَفْسِيرِهِ مِثْلَهُ

In a hadith, Ibn Fahd Helly narrates with the chain of narration that Salman says, “I heard from the Prophet, “God says, “My servant, if someone is in great need of you, you will not fulfil his need unless he resorts to your beloved. Then out of respect you give his need. Thus the most beloved and the most preferred people to me in this world are Mohammad, his brother Ali and his successors. They are your interceders to your God. So anyone who has a wish to make a profit or has a calamity that he wants to avoid should ask Me by the name of Muhammad. Then I will give him what he wants in the best shape.” This hadith has been narrated in the Tafsir of Imam Hasan Askari6.

There are other kinds of Ahadith about intercession as well that announce a way of resorting such as the following.

َالکلینی بسنده عَنْ سَمَاعَةَ قَالَ قَالَ لِي أَبُو الْحَسَنِ ع إِذَا كَانَ لَكَ يَا سَمَاعَةُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ حَاجَةٌ فَقُلِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِحَقِّ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلِيٍّ فَإِنَّ لَهُمَا عِنْدَكَ شَأْناً مِنَ الشَّأْنِ وَ قَدْراً مِنَ الْقَدْرِ فَبِحَقِّ ذَلِكَ الشَّأْنِ وَ بِحَقِّ ذَلِكَ الْقَدْرِ أَنْ تُصَلِّيَ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ أَنْ تَفْعَلَ بِي كَذَا وَ كَذَا"

Kulayni narrates with a chain of narration from Samaeh. Samaeh narrates from Imam Mossa Al-Kazem, “Samaeh whenever you have a request from God, say “O, Allah I ask you to send your peace and blessings to Mohammad -peace be upon him- and Ali because they are have a great place and prodigious excellency before you. I swear by this Excellency, send your peace and blessings to Mohammad and his household and please do this or that for me.7

Intercession Of The Righteous

Sometimes we may think that intercession is only for sinners or for regular people, but we see that even prophets and righteous people resort to our Prophet and his household. This is mentioned in lots of Ahadith.

سَعِيدُ بْنُ هِبَةِ اللَّهِ الرَّاوَنْدِيُّ فِي قِصَصِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ بِسَنَدِهِ بْنِ فَضَّالٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنِ الرِّضَا علیه السلام قَالَ: "لَمَّا أَشْرَفَ نُوحٌ عَلَى الْغَرَقِ دَعَا اللَّهَ بِحَقِّنَا فَدَفَعَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ الْغَرَقَ وَ لَمَّا رُمِيَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ فِي النَّارِ دَعَا اللَّهَ بِحَقِّنَا فَجَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ النَّارَ بَرْداً وَ سَلَاماً وَ إِنَّ مُوسَى لَمَّا ضَرَبَ طَرِيقاً فِي الْبَحْرِ دَعَا اللَّهَ بِحَقِّنَا فَجُعِلَ يَبَساً وَ إِنَّ عِيسَى لَمَّا أَرَادَ الْيَهُودُ قَتْلَهُ دَعَا اللَّهَ بِحَقِّنَا فَنَجَا مِنَ الْقَتْلِ فَرَفَعَهُ إِلَيْهِ"46

Our great scholar Ravandi in the book of Qassas of Al-Ambia (stories of prophets) narrates from Imam Ridha’, “When the ship of Noah was about to drown, he asked Allah by our right and Allah saved him from being drowned. Also when Abraham was thrown into the fire, he asked Allah by our right, so the fire turned cold and safe for him. In addition, when Moses reached the sea, he too asked Allah by our right therefore God dried his way. Indeed when the Jews wanted to kill Jesus, he asked Allah by our right, because of which he was saved from murder and God elevated him to Himself.”

Sheikh Hor Al-Ameli talking about resorting to the Prophet and the Ahlul Bayt says, “Ahadith that are narrated about resorting are many. There are also many AHadith and Duas full of intercession that the Ahle Al-Sunnah narrate.8

  • 1. (ما شاءَ اللَّهُ لا قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّه‏، الکهف ،39)
  • 2. ان الله هو الرزاق ذو القوةالمتین الذاریات 58
  • 3. "قُلْ ما يَعْبَؤُا بِكُمْ رَبِّي لَوْ لا دُعاؤُكُمْ فَقَدْ كَذَّبْتُمْ فَسَوْفَ يَكُونُ لِزاماً (77)الفرقان"
  • 4. وفا الوفا جلد4 صفجه 1371
  • 5. وفاالوفا جلد4 صفحه 1376
  • 6. وسائل‏الشيعة ج : 7 ص : 102
  • 7. الکافی ج 2 ص 563
  • 8. وسائل الشيعه ج 7 ص 103