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al-aqeedah.peperonity.net

| Seeking Assistance from Other Than ALLAH |


Certain Muslims argue that one can only ask Allah directly for help, and if people were to ask help from other than Allah, then he or she would be committing shirk. The scholars of the Ahl al-Sunnah have always maintained that all help is ultimately sought from Allah. However, if an individual seeks help from the Prophets or Allah-conscious people with the intention that they are only a means of achieving help then the person asking is not committing shirk. To illustrate this point, take the example of an ill person being cured by medicine. Metaphorically, the person would say that he was cured by the medicine, but in reality, the actual cure is from Allah.

The Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa also say that help offered by the awliya is only by the will of Allah. No one can be of help to anyone if Allah has not willed it so. Indeed, it is a great blessing from Allah that He has given the anbiya and awliya the ability to help those seeking help. The reason why Allah has given this ability to the pious is to show their status of purity amongst the people, and it indicates their relationship with their Creator.

The argument can be summarised as thus:

Help should only be asked from Allah.

The type of help asked from a pious person should be the help that is within the sphere of human influence.

Seeking help from a pious individual who is physically not present or has passed away is kufr.

We will prove, insha’Allah, that the pious can help in ways that are beyond normal human capability and that even if they are not present and have passed away, help can still be sought.

Belief of Ahl al- Sunnah wa'l- Jamaa regarding Seeking Help through the Awliya

‘Allama Sa’eedi and ‘Allama ‘Abd al-Hakim Sharf Qadri write:

“It is better that help is sought directly from Allah, most High, and through the waseela of the anbiya or awliya. If an individual seeks help from the anbiya or awliya by means of achieving help from Allah, most High, the person is not committing kufr.”
[Sharh Muslim, ‘Allama Sa’idi, Nidaa-e-Ya Muhammad, page 30 by ‘Allama Sharf Qadri]

Shaykh al-‘Alawi al-Maliki, the mufti of Makka writes:

“When we ask help from the anbiya and awliya, as a means, it is through their supplication (du’a) that they help us. Take for example the Day of Judgment when the umma will benefit from our Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace). This is called asking for help through the anbiya and awliya and likewise to ask them to make du'a for us can be called help or istishfah or tawasul.
[Ziyarat of the Grave, page 213, by the mufti of Makka, ‘Allama Shaykh Muhammad al-‘Alawi al-Maliki al-Makki]

The Permissibility of Seeking Help from the Pious

Hafidhh ibn Taymiyya and Qadi Shawkani quote the following hadith:

‘Abd Allah bin Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with Him, reported that our Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), stated: “If you ever find yourselves stranded alone in a desolate place or jungle, then say, ‘O servants of Allah! Help me, Allah have mercy on you.’”
[Al-Kalim al-Tayyib, page 69, by Hafidhh ibn Taymiyya, and Qadi Shawkani in Tufhat ad-Dhakireen, page 130. Ibn Sunni, Imam Bazaar, Hafidhh al Hasamim and Imam Nawawi all quote this hadith also in their various books.]

This hadith, demonstrates that one can ask help from those who one cannot see, like the angels, the friends of Allah, the jinn, and that it cannot be said that it is a wrong act.

Mullah ‘Ali Qari writes that our Prophet Muhammad, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), said that:

If you are in the jungle alone say, “O servants of Allah! Help me.” The servants of Allah are the angels, Muslims, jinn, or ‘abdal. This hadith is useful for travellers.
[Al Hirzu al-ThAmin, page 378, by Mullah ‘Ali Qari]

The Awliya’s Provision of Help beyond Human Capability

The Prophet Sulaiman, peace be upon him, asked his companions who could bring the throne of the Queen of Sheba to his court. Allah says, describing this in the Holy Qur’an:

An ifreet of the jinn said,

‘I will bring it to you before you get up from your seat.

I am strong and trustworthy enough to do it.’

He who had knowledge of the Book said,

‘I will bring it to you before your glance returns to you.’

And when he saw it standing firmly in his presence,

he said, ‘This is part of my Lord’s favour to me to test me

to see if I will give thanks or show ingratitude’.
[Surah Al-Naml, verse 39-40]

Hafidhh Ibn Kathir writes concerning this verse that the man who brought the throne was called Asif bin Barkhiyah.
[Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

There was a companion named Salamah bin Akwa, may Allah be pleased with Him, who was injured so severely on his shin that people began to fear that he would die a matyr. Salamah, may Allah be pleased with Him, states: “I went to the Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), and told him about my wound, whereupon he proceeded to blow on it three times and I was cured instantly.”
[Mishkat, chapter on Virtues of Sayyid al-Mursalin]

Hafidhh Ibn Kathir writes:

“During the khilafah of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, there appeared a fire in the desert. ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, asked Tamim al-Dari, may Allah be pleased with Him, to assist him. They approached the area of the fire and Tamim al-Dari, may Allah be pleased with Him, began to gather the fire with his hands and started shoving the fire into a hole in the ground. This was a karamah of Tamim al-Dari, may Allah be pleased with Him.”
[Tarikh Ibn Kathir, Vol. 6, chapter on Miracles, and Sirat un-Nabi, Ibn Kathir, chapter on Mu’jizat]

Elsewhere, Hafidhh Ibn Kathir writes:

During the khilafah of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, the governor of Egypt wrote to ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, asking for help as the river Nile had failed to flood. ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, wrote a letter in return and addressed the river itself. This was then placed in the Nile, and no sooner as this was done, the Nile’s water began to flood.
[Tarikh Ibn Kathir, volumes 1 and 8, chapter on Rivers and chapter on Khilafah of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him.]

The above narrations prove that certain categories of humans, even though they are not Prophets, are capable of doing acts that are normally impossible. Secondly, the narrations prove that one can ask for these supernatural acts from humans. If this were not the case, why would the Prophet Sulaiman, peace be upon him, ask Asif bin Barkhiyah to bring the throne of Bilqees (Queen of Sheeba)? Why would ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, ask Tamim al-Dari to quench the raging fire? Why would Salamah bin Akwa, may Allah be pleased with Him, ask the Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), to miraculously cure his wound? And why would the governor of Egypt ask ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, to make the Nile flood? So, in summary, it is permissible to request a person to do something impossible under ‘normal’ circumstances.

Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab writes that the people who claim that it is permissible to seek help from the pious cite the following evidence in support of their argument:

When Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was thrown into the fire, Jibreel peace be upon him, offered his help to free him. If seeking help from other than Allah is shirk, then why did Jibril offer his assistance to Ibrahim? The answer is that the help which was being offered, was within his capability given by Allah, most High, and therefore not shirk.

[Kitab Kasfh al Shubhat, page 23]

The help that is sought from the anbiya or awliya is within their capability. For example, it is permissible for one to request a deceased person to make a du’a, as it has already been proved that the deceased can make du’a. This means that asking help from another which is out of their capacity is not shirk.
Hafidhh ibn al-Qayyim explained in his book Kitab al-Ruh.

The Pious can Help from Far

Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab writes:

“One night, the Prophet of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), was in his house and was heard to proclaim ‘I am here!’ three times and ‘You have been granted help’ also three times. Umm al-Mu’minin, Maymunah, may Allah be well pleased with her, asked the Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), whom he had been talking to since there was no one present. He, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), replied, ‘I was talking to a person called Rajiz from the tribe of Bani Ka’ab. He asked for help from me against the Quraysh.’ Umm al-Mu’minin, Maymunah, may Allah be well pleased with her, said that when she finished reading the fajr prayer the next morning, she heard Rajiz calling out the following in the streets of Madina: “Ya Rasul Allah! Help us and call the servants of Allah to help us.”
[Mukhtasar Sirat ar- Rasul, chapter on the Conquest of Makka]

This narration shows that the Sahaba would seek help from the Messenger of Allah from afar and He, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), would answer their calls for help. When Rajiz asked the Prophet the following morning for help, the Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), did not stop him from asking for this help. The Messenger of Allah was at some distance, yet he still assisted.

Hafidhh Ibn Kathir writes:

‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, whilst delivering a Friday sermon in Madinah called out and said, ‘Ya Sariah! The mountain.’ That very moment, Sariah, may Allah be pleased with Him, was in a place in Persia called Nahawand, engaged in a battle with the enemy.

What ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, meant by his call was: O Sariah! Seek protection behind the mountain. Sariah, may Allah be pleased with Him, heard this and was subsequently saved. When the people heard these words during the Friday they were surprised. After winning the battle, Sariah came to Madinah. He told about how they had been under attack by the enemy. Suddenly they had heard ‘Umar’s ...


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