12. Seeking Help From The Spirits Of Awliya’ Allah

The most important issue with regards to seeking help from the Awliya’ Allah (the friends or beloved of Allah) is when they have died or so to say, living in another world, whether this act of seeking help is in the form of du'a (invocation) or asking for some extraordinary acts to be performed. This is because the Muslims of today are not in the presence of the Holy Prophet (S) or an Imam so that they can approach them and ask them to do something in their presence. Rather, most often, their questions and requests are put before the pure spirits of the Prophets and awliya’. For this reason, analyzing the Islamic decree with regards to these two situations is very important.

Investigation on this matter depends on the analytical study of four topics and by becoming fully aware of them, one can acknowledge the correctness of such imploration and beseeching. These four topics are:

1. Eternity of soul and spirit of man after death

2. The reality of man is his very soul and spirit

3. Relationship with the world of souls is possible

4. The authentic traditions which the Islamic traditionists have narrated bear witness to the genuineness of such implorations and the practice of the Muslims has been the same in all the ages. Now we shall describe each of these four topics.

1. Death Is Not Annihilation Of Man

The verses of Qur’an bear a clear witness to the fact that death is not the end of life but a window for a new life. By passing from this passage, man steps into a new life, a world completely new to him and much superior than this material world.

Those who take death to be the end of life and believe that with death, everything of man is finished and nothing remains of him except one lifeless body which (even that) after some time is changed to soil and destroyed, follow the philosophy of materialism.

Such a reflection shows that a person with such a view thinks life to be nothing but a part of material effects of the organs of body and the physical and chemical reactions of the brain and nerves and with the subsiding of the heat of body and stoppage of the cells from activity and production, the life of man comes to a halt and he turns into an inanimate object. Soul and spirit in this school of thought is nothing but reflection of materialism and its properties and with the nullification of these properties and domination of reciprocal effects of the organs of body over each other, the soul and spirit become completely void and there no longer remains anything by the name of spirit, its eternity and a world related to spirits.

Such a view about the soul and spirit of man is inspired by the principles of Materialism. In this school of thought, man is nothing more than a machine where he is formed from different tools and components and the reciprocal effects of those components give the power of thought and perception to the brain, and with the dispersion of these components the effects of thought, perception and in short, life gets completely destroyed at death.

The views of materialists about soul and spirit were completely discarded by the great philosophers of the world and the divine scholars. The theologians believe that apart from the material system of body, the nervous system and its reciprocal material reactions there exists for man, a real substance by the name of soul and spirit which remains with the body for some period and then cuts off its relation with the body and lives in a special world with a much more delicate body. The continuity of soul after the death of a person is not a matter which can be established and proved in these pages because today the eternity of soul and spirit has been proven by verses of Qur’an, precise philosophical reasoning and convincing spiritual experiences. We shall now narrate the verses of Qur’an that bear testimony to the matter of eternity of spirit after death.

Qur’an And Eternity Of Spirits

Verses of the Qur’an clearly indicate that the spirit continues to live after its separation from the body. For the sake of brevity, we bring here only the text of the verses and postpone its analysis for some other proper time.

وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَنْ يُقْتَلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتٌ ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ وَلَٰكِنْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ

And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead, nay, (they are) alive, but you do not perceive. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:154)

وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ

And reckon not those who are killed in Allah's way as dead, nay, they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their Lord. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Aale Imran, 3:169)

فَرِحِينَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَيَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ

Rejoicing in what Allah has given them out of His grace, and they rejoice for the sake of those who, (being left) behind them, have not yet joined them. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Aale Imran, 3:170)

يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِنِعْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَفَضْلٍ

They rejoice on account of favor from Allah and (His) grace. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Aale Imran, 3:171)

إِنِّي آمَنْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَاسْمَعُونِ قِيلَ ادْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ ۖ قَالَ يَا لَيْتَ قَوْمِي يَعْلَمُونَ بِمَا غَفَرَ لِي رَبِّي وَجَعَلَنِي مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ

Surely I believe in your Lord, there for hear me. It was said: Enter the garden. He said: O would that my people had known of that on account of which my Lord has forgiven me and made me of the honored ones! (Holy Qur’an, Surah Yasin, 36:25-27)

The Paradise which he is told to enter therein is the Paradise of barzakh and not of the Hereafter because he wishes that his people knew and were aware that God has forgiven and honored him. Such a wish is not compatible with the world of the Hereafter, where the curtains will be removed from the eyes of the people and their condition will not be hidden from each other. Rather such unawareness is befitting with this world where the people of this abode are unaware of the condition of the people living in another world (barzakh) and the verse of Qur’an bears witness to this fact.

Moreover, the next verse clarifies that after his death, when man is forgiven and he enters the Paradise, the light of his people's life will be extinguished by one heavenly cry. As verse says:

وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ مِنْ جُنْدٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَمَا كُنَّا مُنْزِلِينَ إِنْ كَانَتْ إِلَّا صَيْحَةً وَاحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَامِدُونَ

And We did not send down upon his people after him any hosts from heaven, nor do We ever send down. It was naught but a single cry, and lo! They were still. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Yasin, 36:28-29)

From these two verses we come to know that after entering Paradise, his people were still living in this world till death suddenly overtook them and, this Paradise cannot be anything other than Paradise of barzakh.

النَّارُ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا غُدُوًّا وَعَشِيًّا ۖ وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ أَدْخِلُوا آلَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَشَدَّ الْعَذَابِ

The fire, they shall be brought before it (every) morning and evening and on the day when the hour shall come to pass: Make Firawn's people enter the severest chastisement. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Ghafir, 40:46)

By paying attention to the contents of the two verses, the matter of continuity of life in the world of barzakh becomes clear and obvious because, before the approach of qiyama, the Fire will be presented to them morning and evening but after the qiyama they will be given the worst punishment.

If the later part of the verse ويوم تقوم الساعة was not there, then the beginning contents would not have been so clear. But by paying attention to the verse it becomes obvious that the objective is the same period of barzakh; otherwise the reciprocity of the two sentences would have been incorrect.

Moreover, the matter of morning and evening too bears witness that it does not refer to the world of the Hereafter since, mornings and evenings do not exist in that world.

So far, the first of the four topics has been made clear from the viewpoint of Qur’an. Now it’s time to refer to the second topic.

2. The Reality Of Man Is His Very Spirit

Man in the outset seems to be formed of body and spirit. However, the reality of man is his same spirit which is accompanied with the body.

We shall not discuss this matter from the view point of philosophy and at present we are not concerned with the Greek and Islamic philosophy. Rather we shall discuss this matter only from the viewpoint of Qur’an.

By examining the verses that have come down with regards to man, this fact can easily be seen that the reality of man is his very soul and spirit. Here, we shall ponder over the contents of this verse:

قُلْ يَتَوَفَّاكُمْ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ الَّذِي وُكِّلَ بِكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ تُرْجَعُونَ

Say: The angel of death who is given charge of you shall cause you to die, and then to your Lord you shall be brought back. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Sajdah, 32:11)

Contrary to what we believe, the word of توفىّ does not mean ‘to cause to die’. Rather it means ‘to take’ or ‘to seize’.1

Therefore, the purpose of the sentence يتوفاكمً is: “He will seize you all”. When the reality of man is his very soul and spirit, the interpretation of the verse will be correct.

However, if the soul and spirit forms a portion of man’s personality and the other half is formed by his external body, then in such a case such an interpretation will not be permissible because the Angel of Death never seizes our external body. Rather, the body remains in its same condition and what the Angel seizes is only our soul.

The verses which clarify the reality of soul and spirit with regards to man are not confined to this verse and as an example; we content ourselves with one verse.

This fact that ‘the reality of man and center of his spiritual excellences is his very spirit and the body is (only) a covering which has been put over it’ becomes evidently clear by paying attention to the matter of eternity of spirit after death which was discussed in the first topic. Qur’an does not recognize death to be the annihilation of man and the end of his life.

Rather, it believes that life exists for the martyrs, the pious and the oppressors before the approach of qiyama, a life accompanied with joy and happiness, (or) accompanied with torment and punishment and if the reality of man is his fundamental body then, undoubtedly the body gets destroyed after a few days and changes to different elements and in such a case the matter of eternity of man or the life of barzakh becomes meaningless.

3. Qur’an And The Possibility Of Connection With Another World

Proving eternity of spirit is not enough for the purpose of recommending and proving (beseeching) to be useful. Rather, apart from its eternity, the possibility of establishing relationship with it should be proved from the viewpoint of reason and Qur’an.

We have talked about this matter in detail in the book ‘Originality of the Spirit’.

Here, we shall mention in brief, some of those verses which prove that the relationship of man continues with his past ones and is not yet disconnected.

A. Salih (A) Speaks With The Souls Of His People

فَعَقَرُوا النَّاقَةَ وَعَتَوْا عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ وَقَالُوا يَا صَالِحُ ائْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِنْ كُنْتَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

So they slew the she-camel and revolted against their Lord's commandment, and they said: O Salih! Bring us what you threatened us with, if you are one of the apostles. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-A’raf, 7:77)

فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُوا فِي دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ

Then the earthquake overtook them, so they became motionless bodies in their abode. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-A’raf, 7:78)2

فَتَوَلَّىٰ عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَالَةَ رَبِّي وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ وَلَٰكِنْ لَا تُحِبُّونَ النَّاصِحِينَ

Then he turned away from them and said: O my people, I did certainly deliver to you the message of my lord, and I gave you advice, but you do not love those who give advice. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-A’raf, 7:79)

Pay careful attention to the contents of these three verses.

The first verse shows that when they were alive they demanded the punishment of Allah.

The second verse shows that the divine punishment overtook and destroyed each one of them.

The third verse shows that Salih (a) spoke to them after their death and destruction and said: “I presented you the divine messages but you disliked someone giving you advice.”

A clear witness to this fact that he spoke to them after their death are the following two points:

1. The order of verses in the aforementioned form.

2. The alphabet of فا in the word of فتولى which denotes an order. i.e. after their destruction, he turned towards them and spoke in such words.

The sentence of (ولكن لا تُحبون الناصحين) shows that they were so much sunk in obstinacy and wretchedness that even after death, they possessed wicked mentality so much so that they did not like people who gave advices and warnings.

The expression of Qur’an is in such manner that, he speaks to his peoples’ souls with sincerity and considers them as his audience, and reminds them of their permanent obstinacy which was present in them even after death and says: “Now too, you do not like an advisor.”

B. Shu'ayb (A) Speaks With The Souls Of The Deceased Ones

فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُوا فِي دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ

Then the earthquake overtook them, so they became motionless bodies in their abode. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-A’raf, 7:91)

الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا شُعَيْبًا كَأَنْ لَمْ يَغْنَوْا فِيهَا ۚ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا شُعَيْبًا كَانُوا هُمُ الْخَاسِرِينَ

Those who called Shu'ayb a liar were as though they had never dwelt therein, those who called Shu'ayb a liar, they were the losers. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-A’raf, 7:92)

فَتَوَلَّىٰ عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَالَاتِ رَبِّي وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ ۖ فَكَيْفَ آسَىٰ عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ كَافِرِينَ

So he turned away from them and said: O my people! Certainly I delivered to you the messages of my Lord and I gave you good advice, how shall I then be sorry for an unbelieving people? (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-A’raf, 7:93)

The method of reasoning in this verse is the same as the verses related to Salih (a).

C. The Holy Prophet (S) Of Islam Speaks With The Souls Of Prophets

وَاسْأَلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ مِنْ رُسُلِنَا أَجَعَلْنَا مِنْ دُونِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ آلِهَةً يُعْبَدُونَ

And ask those of Our Apostles whom We sent before you: Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Beneficent God? (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Zukhruf, 43:45)

This verse shows that the Prophet (S) can establish a connection from this very world with the prophets who live in another world till it becomes clear that the order of God in all the ages and to all the Prophets was not to worship anyone other than Allah.

D. Qur’an Sends Salutations Upon The Prophets

The Holy Qur’an has on occasions sent peace and salutations on Prophets and these salutations were not meaningless compliments or some kind of formalities.

Great! It is far from justice if we wish to put down the sublime meanings of the beloved Qur’an to the level that has taken the tinge of staleness. It is true that today, the materialists who do not believe in the validity of spirit, send in their speeches, peace and salutations upon their leaders and founders of this school of thought as a form of respect and honor. But is it fair that we put aside the sublime meanings of Qur’an which reveals facts and realities and bring them down to low level and say that all these salutations which Qur’an has sent upon the prophets (and we Muslims too recite them day and night) are just some dry and meaningless compliments? The Holy Qur’an says:

سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ نُوحٍ فِي الْعَالَمِينَ

1. Peace be upon Nuh, in the Universe. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Saffat, 37:79)

سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ

2. Peace be upon Ibrahim. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Saffat, 37:109)

سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ وَهَارُونَ

3. Peace be upon Musa and Harun. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Saffat, 37:120)

سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ إِلْ يَاسِينَ

4. Peace be upon Aal Yasin. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Saffat, 37:130)

سَلَامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ

5. Peace be upon the Messengers. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Saffat, 37:181)

Salutations Upon The Holy Prophet (S) In The State Of Tashahhud

All the Muslims of the world irrespective of the differences which they have in the principles of jurisprudence address the glorious Messenger of Allah in the tashahhud of their salat every morning and night and say:

السلام عليك أيها النبيّ ورحمة الله وبركاته

The only thing is that the Shafi'ites and some others reckon this to be obligatory in tashahhud whereas other sects think it to be mustahab (recommendable). However all of them are unanimous in their opinion that the Holy Prophet (S) has taught the Muslims as such and the sunnah of the Prophet (S) remains the same during life and death.

If really our link and connection with the Holy Prophet (S) is cut-off and disconnected, then such a salutation and that too in the form of address (to the Prophet) is of what benefit?

The proofs of possibility of such connections and their occurrences are not confined to what we have said till now. Rather, we have other verses too in this regard which, for the sake of brevity, have not been discussed. For a more detailed discussion, interested readers can refer to the book of ‘Originality of spirit from the viewpoint of Qur’an’. In this book, a section of verses dealing with the topic are mentioned.

In the end, we remind you that the rationalization of salam in tashahhud was discussed due to its decisiveness among the verses.3

Conclusion Of Our Discussion

For the first point, it was proved that death is not the end of life and the destruction of man. Rather, it is a window for getting transferred to another world.

On the second point, it was clarified that the reality of man is his very soul and spirit and his body is a dress covering his spirit. And if his soul and spirit remain, then naturally his reality, personality and all the other abilities (not the type of ability which is related to the material body) too remain. Therefore, if in this world his soul had the power to pray and eulogize or had the ability to perform some extraordinary actions by the Will of God, his holy nafs possesses by the Will of God, the same power and ability in that world and except for those acts which require the material body, it is capable of performing all the other actions.

On the third point, it was proved that it is possible for the people of this world to have relationship with the people of the next world and that the holy spirits can hear our words and sayings.

By paying attention to these three points, the philosophical possibility of the matter is proved i.e. it has been proved that the awliya’ Allah can listen to our talks and also reply to them by the Will of Allah. However, whether such a thing is lawful from the viewpoint of Islamic regulations or not, will be discussed in the fourth point to which we shall now refer.

4. Muslims And Asking For The Fulfilment Of Their Needs From The Holy Spirits

Ibn Taymiyyah and his followers with their unusual trait of opinionated judgements, deny the fact that the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) and those after them had asked the Prophet (S) for their needs to be fulfilled. Regarding this matter they say:

ولم يكن أحد من سلف الأمة في عصر الصحابة ولا التابعين ولا تابعي التابعين يتخيرون الصلاة والدعاء عند قبور الأنبياء ويسألونهم ولا يستغيثون بهم لا في مغيبهم ولا عند قبورهم.

“No one from the past ummah either at the time of the Companions nor the period after the tabi'in (disciples of companions) have performed salat and du'a near the graves of prophets. Never has anyone asked anything from them nor has anyone beseeched them either in their absence or near their graves.”4

Perhaps a person unacquainted with the history of the Companions (of the Holy Prophet) and the tabi'in may imagine such an attribution to be true. However, referring to history will prove contrary to that. As an example, we narrate some instances:

أصاب الناس قحط في زمان عمر بن الخطاب فجاء رجل إلى قبر النبيّ فقال يا رسول الله استسق الله لأمتك فإنهم قد هلكوا فأتاه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وأله في المنام فقال: أنت عمر ، فاقرنه وأخبره إنهم مسقون.

“During the Caliphate of ‘Umar, when there was a famine, a person came near the grave of the Holy Prophet (S) and said: ‘O Prophet, ask water for your people as they are being destroyed.’ Thereafter the Holy Prophet (S) appeared in his dream and told him as such: ‘Go to ‘Umar and send salam upon him and, inform him that all will soon be satiated with water.’”5

A. Al-Samhudi continues as such:

ومحل الإستشهاد طلب الإستسقاء منه صلى الله عليه وأله وهو في البرزخ ودعاؤه لربه هذه الحالة غير ممتنع وعلمه بسؤال من يسأله قد ورد فلا مانع من سؤال الإستسقاء وغيره كما كان في الدنيا.

“This incident shows that though the Prophet (S) is in barzakh, one can ask him to pray for us. This matter is of no objection because he (i.e. the Prophet) is aware of the requests of the people. Thus there is no hindrance if one requests him to pray for us just as he was doing in this life.”6

B. Al-Samhudi narrates from Al-Hafiz Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad bin Musa bin Al-Nu'man with the chain of narrators ending in Ali bin Abi Talib (a) that three days had passed after the burial of the Holy Prophet (S) when an Arab from outside Medina came and sprinkled the soil of the Prophet's grave over his head and said:

يا رسول الله قلت فسمعنا قولك ووعيت عن الله سبحانه ما وعينا عنك ، وكان فيما انزل عليك (ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاؤك فاستغفروا الله...) وقد ظلمت وجئتك نستغفر لي

“O Prophet! you spoke and we listened to your sayings. You received from God what we received from you. Among those things which was revealed upon you is this particular verse. 'If among them anyone who has done injustice upon themselves comes to you and seeks forgiveness from Allah and you too seek forgiveness for them, then they will find Allah most -Merciful and Forgiving.' I have done injustice upon myself and I have come to you (so that) you seek forgiveness for me.”7

The writer of Wafa' Al-Wafa', at the end of chapter eight, narrates many incidents which show that pleading and asking for one's need from the Holy Prophet (S) has been the constant practice of the Muslims. He even mentions that Imam Muhammad bin Musa bin Al-Nu'man has written a book in this regard under the title of Misbah Al-Zalam fi Al-Mustaghithin bi Khayr Al-An’am fi Al-Yaqzah wa Al-Manam.

C. Muhammad bin Munkadar says:

“A man gave my father 80 dinars as a trust while he was leaving for jihad and said: “You may spend this money if you fall in need”. Incidentally due to high cost of living, my father utilized that money. Finally its owner came and demanded back his money. My father told him to come the next day and the same night my father went to the mosque and pointing to the grave and pulpit of the Prophet (S), he implored and pleaded till the early dawn. At that moment, a man appeared from the dark and said “O Aba Muhammad take this.” He gave a purse to my father which contained 80 dinars.” 8

D. Abu Bakr Al-Muqri says:

Hunger overtook Al-Tabarani, Abu Al-Sheikh and myself and we were close to the grave of the Holy Prophet (S). When night approached I went near the grave of the Prophet (S) and said:

يا رسول الله الجوع...

Moments later, a person from the Alawites entered the mosque with two young men and each of them was holding a bag full of food…. When we finished eating the 'Alawi man said.... "I saw the Holy Prophet (S) in my dream and he commanded me to bring food for you.”9

E. Ibn Al-Jallad says:

“Poverty-stricken, I entered Medina and went near the grave of the Holy Prophet (S) and said: O Prophet I am your guest. Suddenly I fell asleep and saw in my dream that the Holy Prophet (S) gave bread in my hands."10

Right now we are not concerned with the verity or inaccuracy of those incidents. Our point is that these incidents whether true or false prove that such an affair was a common one and if it was innovation or forbidden or polytheism and blasphemy than the fabrication and the enactors of such matters would not have narrated such matters which would lower them in the eyes of the people.

We have narrated in the book Asalat Al-Ruh (The Originality of Spirit)11 in the section of ‘Connection (with) Spirits’, traditions that prove the authenticity of asking the holy spirits to pray.

Here, we are bound to mention a few points:

1. In as much as these kinds of decrees and incidents are incompatible with the temperament of a group, they therefore declare all to be unknown without investigating into their references and narrations. Does such inadmissible denial bring harm to our reasoning?

Answer: Such an encounter with the historical events becomes the cause of interpolation of history because the number of these kinds of pleadings for fulfilment of needs is so numerous that one cannot consider all of them to be false and baseless. If someone intends to collect such narrations or stories he will be able to compile a thick book.

Now let us suppose that these stories and narrations are false and baseless. But these same baseless claims in the entire history inform us of one fact and it is as follows:

If these implorations and beseeching were unlawful, they would not have been fabricated and enacted such unlawful action in the form of honor and glorification as otherwise, their status would be lowered and they would be subject to the wrath and anger of the people.

The fabrication and enactors of tradition and history strive to fabricate and enact those things which suit the taste of the common people. If such an action was against Qur’an and Sunnah, then it would be considered as polytheism and 'ibadah by the Muslims and the fabricators would never have enacted them and lowered their status in the eyes of the people.

2. Seeking help from the holy spirits either in the form of request for du'a or in the form of fulfilling an action (Curing the sick, returning the lost one, etc.) is without any objection considering the four principles which we have discussed.

The thing which was in vogue among the Muslims at the time of seeking tawassul of the holy spirits was the very request for du'a or so to say, requesting the holy spirit of the Prophet to seek forgiveness for them from Allah and pleading for the fulfilment of their worldly and heavenly affairs. From the viewpoint of logic, request for fulfilment of actions like curing of the sick, freeing of the captive; solving of problems in life is the same as request for du'a.

3. By paying attention to the measure which we reminded you about 'ibadah, such requests and pleadings are never considered as 'ibadah of the holy spirits. This is because the person making the request neither believes in their divinity nor in their lordship and neither considers them as God nor as the one who manages the world or part of it. He also does not believe that some of the actions of God have been entrusted to them. Rather, they consider them to be the pure servants of Allah who have never committed the least offence in their worldly life.

By paying attention to the four basic facts, one cannot doubt their power and barzakhi ability in fulfilling the requests of the pleaders. They are living creatures and our relation with them is well established. The only point is that every action and affair either in the form of du’a or other than that it is dependent on the Will of Allah and they are clear evidence to:

وَمَا تَشَاءُونَ إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّـهُ

…but you will not wish unless it is wished by Allah… (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Insan, 76:30 and Surah Al-Takwir, 81:29)

Just as in this world, 'Isa (a) could pray to God for goodness for someone or could cure by the Will of Allah, those who were born blind and those who suffered from leprosy, in the same manner, considering the fact that these powers and abilities are related to his soul and spirit and not his body, he can perform these same two actions (even) after his transfer to another world. However, in both the stages, the permission of Allah and His will is a necessary condition for receiving Grace through this channel.

4. Even though such humility and humbleness in connection to the inerrant leaders are apparently for paying attention to them, yet if we tear open the inner portion of this attentiveness and the tawassul, we will find which really is desired and demanded by God Himself. In reality, paying attention to the cause is like paying attention to the ‘Causer of the causes’ and those who are having a firm step in the matter of behavior and dealing with the people are aware and conscious of this reality with a conscious and enlightened heart.

Those who seek tawassul do not believe in the originality and independence of these causes and agents. Rather, they are means which God, the Causer has made them a channel and a route for receiving His Grace and Mercy and He, Himself, has ordered the believers for attaining as such. As verse says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُوا فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and seek means of nearness to Him and strive hard in His way that you may be successful. (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Maida, 5:35)

If salat, fasting and all the divine duties are وسيلة means, then in the same manner, the pure du'a of Prophets and awliya’ too, by decree of the previous verse (verse related to asking for forgiveness), is وسيلة means and paying attention to these means is like paying attention to the Creator of these means and our action is in accordance to the command of the afore-mentioned verse.

  • 1. Allama Balaghi has presented his valuable research about the word of توفىّ in his introduction to Tafsir Aala Al-Rahman”, page 34.
  • 2. In some of the verses the cause of their destruction is said to be a heavenly cry (Surah Hud, no. 11, verse 6) and some other verses mention the cause as thunderbolt (Surah Fussilat, no. 41, verse 17). In these two verses, earthquake is mentioned and the total of verses is such that there was a severe cry along with thunderbolt and earthquake.
  • 3. Refer to the book of Tadhkirat Al-Fuqaha', vol. 3, page 232 and the book of Al-Khilaf by Sheikh Al-Tusi, vol.1 page 47. In this book, he has narrated tashahhud in various forms from ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab and 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud which all of them have such salam and the jurists of Ahl Al-Sunnah such as Abu Hanifa, Malik and Shafi'i have each taken one of these forms of tashahhud and given fatwa (verdict) upon them.
  • 4. Treatise of Al-Hadiyyat Al-Saniyya, page 162 (Egyptian edition).
  • 5. Wafa' Al-Wafa', vol. 2, page 1371.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Wafa' Al-Wafa', vol. 2, page 1361
  • 8. Wafa' Al-Wafa', vol. 2, page 1380 (Egyptian print). He has described example of these implorations till page 1385.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. Wafa' Al-Wafa', vol. 2, page 1361.
  • 11. اصالت روح از نظر قرآن Asalat Al-Ruh az Nazare Qur’an (The Originality of Spirit from the viewpoint of Qur’an) by Ja’far Subhani. Published by Mo’assasa Imam Al-Sadiq, Qom, 1999.