Tawassul through the entities, honor, or right of creatures
Beseeching Allah (Tawassul) by virtue of one of His creatures. This is a confusing issue for the Ummah (nation), but most of the scholars approved it, including Imam Ahmad, the Imam of Ahl-ul-Sunnah (adherents to the Sunnah), Ibn Qudamah , Al-Nawawy , Al-Shawkany , Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalany , Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab and many other scholars. Did Shaykh Muhammad support this or not? Where does the truth lie regarding this issue with certified evidence to refute the claim that no one condemned this except Ibn Taymiyyah and Al-Albany; the only two scholars who prohibited Tawassul in the name of any of His creatures.
Beseeching in the name of a person, virtue, status or right of creatures, whether they are prophets or righteous people is a subject of controversy among the scholars. The scholarly opinion of the Jumhur (dominant majority of scholars) is prohibition, which is the opinion held by the Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab.
The Committee was asked a similar question to which they replied:
A Waliy (pious person) is anyone who believes in Allah and fears Him as He should be feared, and thus does what Allah ordains and abstains from what Allah has prohibited. The foremost of them are the messengers and the prophets (peace be upon them). Allah states (what means): “No doubt! Verily, the Auliyâ’ of Allâh [i.e. those who believe in the Oneness of Allâh and fear Allâh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which he has forbidden), and love Allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve. Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism), and used to fear Allâh much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds).“(Surah Yunus, 10: 62-63).
Beseeching Allah by virtue of the Awliya’ (pious servants) takes a number of forms:
First: that a person asks a living Waliy to supplicate to Allah for him so that He grants him ample sustenance, cure from sickness, guidance, success and so on.
All this is permissible, as some of the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet), when the rain was late in coming, asked him to invoke Allah to send them rain, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) invoked Allah to send rain, and his invocation was answered. The Sahabah also asked for rain through the Du‘a’ (supplication) of Al-‘Abbas during the caliphate of `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both); they asked him to invoke Allah to send rain, so Al-‘Abbas supplicated and the Sahabah said “Amen” to his supplication. There are other incidents that took place during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and later on of Muslims asking their Muslim brothers to supplicate to Allah for them to bring benefit or ward off harm.
Second: To call upon Allah, beseeching Him by virtue of loving His Prophet, following him and loving the Awliya’, such as saying, “O Allah! I ask you by my love for your Prophet, following him and my love for your Awliya’ to grant me such-and-such.”
This is permissible, because it is a servant beseeching from His Lord by virtue of the righteous deeds that he has done, as authentically established by the story of the three people trapped in the cave, who asked Allah by virtue of their best deeds (to save them).
Third: To ask Allah by virtue of the status of His Prophets or one of His Awliya’, saying for example, “O Allah! I ask You by virtue of the status of Your Prophet or that of Al-Husayn”, this is impermissible, because although the Awliya’ have high status in the Sight of Allah, especially our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), this is not the right manner or the manner prescribed by Shari‘ah to have one’s supplication answered. Therefore, when the Sahabah suffered from drought (after the death of the Prophet), they turned away in their invocation for rain from beseeching Allah by virtue of the status of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Instead, they beseeched Allah by means of the Du‘a’ (supplication) of the paternal uncle of the Prophet, Al-‘Abbas , although the status and virtues of the Prophet (peace be upon him) surpass all.
It has not been reported that the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) beseeched Allah by virtue of the status of the Prophet (peace be upon him) after his death, although theirs was the best generation who knew best his right over them and loved him the most.
Fourth: that a servant asks Allah for something, adjuring Him in the name of His Prophet or Waliy, or by the right of His Prophet or Waliy saying, “O Allah! I ask You for such-and-such, by virtue of Your Waliy or by the right of Your prophet.” This is impermissible, for adjuring a creature in the name of another creature is prohibited; and it is even more prohibited when addressed to Allah, the Creator. No creature, for the mere piety and obedience he shows towards Allah, earns a right over the Creator that allows others to adjure Allah in his name or beseech Him by his virtue. This is what evidence attests to and what protects the Islamic ‘Aqidah (creed) from the avenues leading to Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship).
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
Date: Dhu al-Hijjah 8, 1441 AH
Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah no. 4217-1
Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan
Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz
Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify
Shaykh Abdullah ibn Qa'ud