A relatively new concept of understanding the Qur’an through metaphors has arisen amongst the ignorant Muslims. This concept traces its roots from all the crooked sects whose roots lie in pagan beliefs of, mainly, former Persian and Roman empires i.e. Zoroastrianism, Christianity which traces its roots from Greek and Roman paganism and Jewish beliefs after they turned away from monotheism to black magic. The chain is easily traceable but the links are numerous.
Before continuing to expose this fallacy, let us bring to attention the habit of the Jews of changing words and their meanings after fully understanding them:
But the transgressors changed the word from that which had been given them; so We sent on the transgressors a plague from heaven, for that they infringed (Our command) repeatedly. Surah Baqarah 2:59
But the transgressors among them changed the word from that which had been given them so we sent on them a plague from heaven. For that they repeatedly transgressed. Surah A’araf 7:162
Mankind was one single nation, and God sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book, after the clear Signs came to them, did not differ among themselves, except through selfish contumacy. God by His Grace Guided the believers to the Truth, concerning that wherein they differed. For God guided whom He will to a path that is straight. Surah Baqarah 2:213
From this we can establish that playing with words is a habit of the Jews. Following is a must read article which will open up the thought process of the reader and will clarify and explain a lot of present day sects. This is where their roots lie.
Turning everything into a metaphor is very dangerous. All these crooked sects have done that; they have turned heaven and hell into a metaphor, punishment with fire for them is a metaphor, bid’ah (innovation) is also a metaphor and other beliefs have also been turned to metaphors. In fact, these sects have gone too far by even saying that asking directly from and only from Allah is also a metaphor in the Qur’an. This article looks into how much valid this concept really is.
These ‘metaphorians’ belonging to all sorts of sects are simply a B team of the anti Islamic missionaries. Anti-Islamic missionaries, whether they be Hindus or Jewish backed Christians, also attack Islam and Muslims with the same concept devised by the sects. Please keep in mind that all sorts of deviant sects hold the same views.
Physical attributes of Allah?
When one reads the Quran and the Hadith literature one will find that Allah is described with several names and attributes:
Allah has a face:
But will abide (for ever) the Face of thy Lord,- full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour. (55:27)
Allah has hands:
(Allah) said: “O Iblis! What prevents thee from prostrating thyself to one whom I have created with my hands? Art thou haughty? Or art thou one of the high (and mighty) ones?” (38:75)
Allah has a foot:
Hell will keep saying, Are there more? Until the Lord of Glory will put his Foot on it (Bukhari and Muslim)
Allah has a shin:
The Day that the shin shall be laid bare, and they shall be summoned to bow in adoration, but they shall not be able,- (68:42)
Allah rose over the throne:
The Beneficent One, Who rose over the Throne. (20:5)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) said, “Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” (Bukhari)
Allah has an eye:
“‘Throw (the child) into the chest, and throw (the chest) into the river: the river will cast him up on the bank, and he will be taken up by one who is an enemy to Me and an enemy to him’: But I cast (the garment of) love over thee from Me: and (this) in order that thou mayest be reared under Mine eye. (20:39)
So God is described with several of these attributes. Now throughout the history of Islam and even up to this day there have been two main interpretations of the attributes of God, one group interpret such attributes to be metaphorical, for instance the hands of God refer to his power, the eyes refer to his knowledge and so forth, so everything is interpreted in a metaphorical way.
The second interpretation is that you leave the attributes as they are, without adding more to them, or trying to explain how they are, you basically leave it as it is, and this is the view I myself go with as it is the safer approach.
So for instance when the verse says Allah has hands, I simply say yes he has hands, however so I do not imagine that his hands are anything like a human hand, I do not even delve into what his hands actually are, I simply leave it as it is and affirm that he has hands. The Quran makes it very clear that there is nothing like God:
And there is none like unto Him. (112:4)
So the Quran makes it quite clear that there is nothing like God, hence when you affirm that Allah has a hand, an eye, a foot, a shin, and so forth you do not in no way believe or interpret any of these attributes to be anything human like, you simply leave it as it is.
Now there are some who say that this interpretation is no different than what the Christians say about their God, Jesus, who became a man in the flesh and so forth. This is nothing but a distortion and lie, because we are not saying that Allah has flesh, we are not saying anything about his attributes, rather we are leaving them as they are! Hence in reality it is the accusers who are making this false interpretation of God, it is them who are using their limited mindset to try and understand this issue, which is precisely what we keep away from, we leave the attributes as they are without trying to figure out how they are, we just leave at it is.
Now if we said yes Allah’s hand means it has flesh, bones, a shape, and so forth, then you could accuse us of being like the Christians etc, yet we say no such thing, rather it is the accusers who are saying such things!
So all in all if you take the second interpretation and someone comes up to you and asks you does Allah have hands? You reply by saying yes he has hands, but in no way do his hands resemble any human hand or anything our mind can even imagine, we simply leave it as it is without saying how or what, anyone who goes beyond this has made a mistake and has nothing to do with our position.
Now if the person cannot comprehend this simplicity and starts going into wild interpretations thinking Allah’s hands are some physical fleshy thing, then that is their problem and not ours, in no way do we believe that Allah is anything like the false Christian God who was literally a man with human physical attributes!
So with all of that said let us see what some of the major Islamic scholars have had to say concerning this very issue:
“Allah’s rising over the throne is known, and how is unknown, to have faith in it is obligatory and to question it is an innovation “. Then he said to the questioner: “I do not think except that you are an evil man”. So he ordered him to be expelled
God knows, but not as we know; He has power, but not as we have power; He sees, but not as we see; He hears, but not as we hear; and He speaks, but not as we speak. We speak by means of the speech organs and sounds, whereas God Most High speaks with neither organs nor sounds. Sounds are created, and the word of God Most High is uncreated. He is a thing, but unlike other things; by saying “thing,” we intend merely to affirm His reality. He has neither body nor substance, neither accidental property nor limit, neither opposite nor like nor similitude. He has a hand, a face, and a self (nafs); the mention that God most High has made of these in the Qur’an has the sense that these are among His attributes, and no question can be raised concerning their modality (bila kayf). It cannot be said that His hand represents His power or His bestowal of bounty, because such an interpretation would require a negation of an attribute. This is the path taken by the Qadarites and the Mu’tazilites Rather, His hand is an attribute, of unknowable modality, in the same way that His anger and pleasure are two attributes of unknowable modality God Most High created things out of nothing, and He had knowledge of them in pre-eternity, before their creation.
The meaning of (…Takyeef…) is to specify the exact nature and reality of the established meaning of the attribute. It is said: He gave something a shape or form (kayyafa) when he made for it a known quality. Committing takyeef with Allaah’s attributes is to specify their precise nature, state or condition and their form or shape. This is impossible for mankind since the knowledge of this is amongst that knowledge which Allaah has kept to Himself. Therefore, there is no way of knowing the precise nature of His attributes because the attribute follows the Self (dhaat). Just as it is not possible for a person to know the exact nature of the Self of Allaah, it is likewise impossible to know the exact nature of His attributes. Their exact nature is not known. This is why when Imaam Maalik was asked about the verse:
Ar-Rahmaan has ascended (istawaa) the Throne [Taahaa 20:5]
How is the ascending (istawaa)? He replied: “The ascending is known, its reality is unknown, having eemaan in it is obligatory and asking about it is an innovation.”
And this is said with respect to all of Allaah’s attributes.
The meaning of (…Tamtheel…) is resemblance (tashbeeh) and it is committed when it is said that Allaah’s attributes are like the attributes of the creation. For example, it might be said: The hand of Allaah is like our hands and His hearing is like our hearing. High is Allaah above such things. Allaah said:
There is nothing like Him and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing [Shooraa 42:11]
Therefore, it cannot be said that His attributes are like our attributes or that they resemble our attributes just like it cannot be said that the Self of Allaah is like ourselves or that it resembles our selves.
“It has been stated by more than one person from the People of Knowledge about such ahaadeeth, that there is no tashbeeh (resemblance) to the Attributes of Allaah, and our Lord – the Blessed and Most High – descends to the lowest heaven every night. So they say: “Affirm these narrations, have eemaan (faith) in them, do not deny them, nor ask how.” The likes of this has been related from Maalik ibn Anas, Sufyaan ath-Thawree, Ibn Uyainah and Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, who all said about such ahaadeeth: “Leave them as they are, without asking how.” Such is the saying of the People of Knowledge from the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. However, the Jahmiyyah oppose these narrations and say: This is tashbeeh! However, Allaah the Most High, has mentioned in various places in His Book, the Attribute of al-Yad (Hand), as-Sama’ (Hearing), and al-Basr (Seeing) – but the Jahmiyyah make ta’weel of these aayaat, explaining them in a way, other than how they are explained by the People of Knowledge. They say: Indeed, Allaah did not create Aadam with His own Hand – they say that Hand means the Power of Allaah.”
Many more scholars could be quoted, but they essentially say the same thing, and as you can see none of them actually believe that Allah’s attributes in any shape or form resemble anything like a human or any created being, they even speak against it warning not to delve into Tasbeeh (resemblance, comparison) and takyeef (how)!
In conclusion I would tell the Muslims to simply leave the attributes as they are and move on, the only reason I write this article is in case any Muslim becomes confused by this matter as missionary propagandists may try to use this subject against the Muslims saying HA! You see you are like us Christians, you believe that God has human physical attributes, so why do you attack our concept of God!
And Allah the God of Mercy and Perfect Attributes certainly Knows Best!
By Sami Zaatari from Muslim-Responses.com
Can Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) help and benefit us?
The answer to this question is that he benefits us through his life, his example, his teachings etc. He helped and benefitted in person when he was alive and on earth but for now we cannot say that he listens to our prayers or comes to some green madrassah every year to meet some Q(P)adri. Believing otherwise is simply an assault on one’s own intellect.
However, no surprises, people holding such heretical views have attempted to explain their views from the Qur’an. They say that 39:42 states that it is Allah who takes the souls of men at the time of death whereas 4:97 states that Angels take the souls at death and claim that when it is stated that Allah takes the souls, Angels are included allegorically. The conclusion reached is correct but the way it is reached is not. The way is sometimes more important than the destination as the destination might be delusional if the way is crooked.
Proper reading in context:
This section attempts to put forward some rules that should be kept in mind by the readers and especially the ones who lay allegations and if they have these in mind, they wouldn’t make any allegation on the Quran but accept the beauty and greatness of the Quran and if they are open-minded, accept the truth!
Rule 1: Minor Context
This is one of the basic rules that are broken by sects. The reader of the Quran would never be bothered with this trick but a person who has never read the Quran can be deceived by this trick. The verse that should be presented should be full without any dots in the beginning, middle or end.
For example, anti Islamic missionaries allege:
… So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not “Three” – Cease! (it is) better for you! … S. 4:171
whereas the full verse without the dots reads as,
[4.171] O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.
When one reads without the trick of dots, one finds that there is no problem at all; the only problem is with the accuser.
Rule 2: The medium context
This is the second rule that must be followed and if a problem arises, then an anti Islamic can make an allegation about the message of the verse. Verses should be seen with several previous and later verses than the one in which an allegation is made.
Note: This is only for the message of the Quran and not the story.
For example, one of the favorite verses of the truth haters is as follows;
And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.
If the verse is read out of context (the second rule), then it would appear that the message or the teaching of the Quran is cruel but the second rule should be applied here which is that ‘previous and later verses should be seen with the verse as well’.
YUSUFALI: Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.
The context shows that there is nothing wrong with this verse, instead it is a great verse that has solutions to many problems.
Rule 3: The greater context
In the Quran, we find that many stories have been repeated but if we examine them in detail we see that they are a beautiful style of expression. We must remember that there is no absolute repetition in the Quran. Whenever a story is repeated, God Almighty tells something new to us.
This can also be seen with examples from the Quran.
History tells us that crucifixion was adopted several years later than the Pharaoh who oppressed the Israelites but the Quran tells us that Pharoah threatened Prophet Moosa [Moses (peace be upon him)] with crucifixion.
I will certainly cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, then will I crucify you all together. [Surah 7:124]
Said he: You believe in him before I give you permission; most surely he is the chief of you who taught you the magic, so you shall know: certainly I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and certainly I will crucify you all. [Surah 26:49]
There seems to be some problem here!
No, there is no problem at all. If we follow the third rule, we will see the truth. The third context is that wherever this story has been mentioned, it should be seen again.
He said, “Did you believe in him without my permission? He must be your chief; the one who taught you magic. I will surely sever your hands and feet on alternate sides. I will crucify you on the palm trunks. You will find out which of us can inflict the worst retribution, and who outlasts whom.”
This final rule shows that Pharaoh threatened to hang Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) on palm trunks. If this had been posted with the allegation laid down by Answering-Islam, they would have been embarrassed.
The Arabic word Salabu means to put to crucify whether the person dies or survives, whereas the English word Crucifixion means to put on the cross and death to the person on the cross. There is no word for a person who survives the cross.
There are several more examples that have not been mentioned such as the mentioning of Satan to be Jinn.
Rule 4: The Final context
This is the final rule for reading the Quran. If you do not understand the word of God (Quran) in any place, the best thing to do is to ask the man who has transmitted to us the word of God, i.e. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. For that too care must be taken to not use or fall into the tricks of blind haters. As an example what haters do is that they quote the responsibilities of women towards men and do not give the responsibilities of men towards women which incorrectly makes Islam appear to be a discriminatory religion.
It can be concluded from the above explanation that when Allah says in Qur’an 4:97 that Angels take the souls at the time of death, as per rule 3 above, Allah mentions again that in fact it is Allah who takes the souls at the time of death in 39:42. Both cases have been mentioned by Allah and to put in words and explanations oneself is simply self made innovation.
If we are told to seek help from Allah and it is argued that Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is allegorically included in it, then it would have been mentioned specifically in the Qur’an as it is mentioned in the case of taking of souls by Angels. The same is true for 4:123 and 4:45 where Allah says that He is the Only Wali and 5:55 and 66:4 where He says that Allah is the Wali along with His messenger and true believers (who were alive at the time). Our Wali (ally and not ‘pir’) at this time is Allah and due to their belief in Allah, true Muslims who are alive.
The same applies to the following:
The fact is, Allah (alone) is your Mawla. He is the very Best of the allies! Surah Aale Imran 3:150
If there were any other Mawla than Allah, then as per the rules of context, it would have been clearly mentioned by Allah in the Qur’an.
The Qur’an only mentions Allah as the true Mawla as well as evil mawlas (22:13) and an alive human master only on earth (16:76) but also mentions other mawla (44:41) who will be of no benefit on the Day of Judgment.
When the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said “For whoever I am his leader, Ali is his leader” in the context of distribution of spoils of war in Yemen, he referred to himself and Hazrat Ali as earthly leaders in that context for that situation. From other contexts we know that Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a leader of Muslims in a bigger sense as explained here but in that context he referred to himself and Hazrat Ali as earthly leaders. There is no mention of Hazrat Ali being more than that in the Qur’an or anywhere else reliable.
Here is the detailed explanation to the Hadith quoted above.
The above mentioned explanation also applies to the right of intercession. Allah holds the right to grant intercession to whoever He wills. To deliberately think that it allegorically includes some specific people is a fallacy. You never know some people who appear to be saints in this world are denied any right to intercession in the Hereafter. A lot of self claimed ‘pirs’ are believed to hold rights to intercession by their misguided followers.
Vastness of the Arabic language
In Arabic, there is no such thing as a synonym. No two words have the same meaning; each word has a unique meaning. For example, if there are more than 15 words for ‘lion’, they all have different meanings; one word may mean ‘lion in a relaxing position’ and another may mean ‘lion in an attacking position’.
Another important thing about the Arabic language is that each word has several meanings. Wali at one place may mean ‘lord’ or ‘god’ and at another may mean ‘friend’, ‘helper’. The context always explains what it means in each circumstance. Consider the following response to a similar Christian allegation:
Narrated Abu Huraira: “I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “I have been sent with Jawami al-Kalim (i.e., the shortest expression carrying the widest meanings), and I was made victorious with awe (caste into the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the earth were brought to me and were put in my hand.” Muhammad ﷺ said, Jawami’-al-Kalim means that Allah expresses in one or two statements or thereabouts the numerous matters that used to be written in the books revealed before (the coming of) the Prophet. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Interpretation of Dreams, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 141)”
Fadhl (Grace / Bounty) is only in Hands of Allah?
That the People of the Book may know that they have no power whatever over the Grace of God, that (His) Grace is (entirely) in His Hand, to bestow it on whomsoever He wills. For God is the Lord of Grace abounding. Surah Hadid 57:29
The Ayaah is very clear and needs no explaining. However, the “metaphorians” claim that this Ayaah is also a metaphor and Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) can be asked for help besides Allah; a clear case of shirk. They claim that Qur’an 9:59 states that Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) can also give to believers. However, if these people knew about the rules of context of Qur’an as explained above, they would have never made such a claim. Let us read 9:59 in context.
And among them are men who slander thee in the matter of (the distribution of) the alms: if they are given part thereof, they are pleased, but if not, behold! they are indignant!
If only they had been content with what God and His Apostle gave them, and had said, “Sufficient unto us is God! God and His Apostle will soon give us of His bounty: to God do we turn our hopes!” (that would have been the right course). Surah Tauba 9:58-59
In the verses above it is very clear that what Allah and the Messenger gave were when the Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) was alive and he gave physically in person with his hands, all literally. Now that he is no longer in this world, it would be shirk to ask him for anything.
Is Allah the only helper?
“Metaphorians” state that they believe that Allah is the only true helper:
And Allah knows your enemies very well. As your protector, Allah is sufficient! Allah is sufficient as a helper! Surah Nisa 4:45
On the other hand they claim that 66:4 states that there are other helpers than Allah.
Now if you two turn unto ALLAH repentant – and your hearts are already so inclined – it will be better for you. But if you back up one another against him, surely, ALLAH is his helper and Gabriel and the righteous among the believers, and all the angels besides are his helpers. Surah Tahrim 66:4
The One and Only true helper is Only Allah. The Ayaah from Surah Tahrim states that others besides Allah are also helpers of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). Please also note that Allah is alive, Angels are alive and the believers of the time were alive then. Believers of today who did not live at the time of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) cannot be his helpers in person physically today. This Ayaah explains all other previous quoted Aayaat in terms of helpers and maulas other than Allah being alive at the time of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). Surah Nisa 4:75 also speaks of helpers who were alive at the time of seeking help. Believers of today can seek help from the One and Only true helper Allah and make allies with pious believers of our times who are alive. Asking for help from those who are not alive is nowhere to be found in either the Qur’an or any other reliable source.
It must also be remembered that even pious worshippers alive at our time cannot help us more than possible for human beings. Therefore, the real and Only true helper is Only Allah.
The “metaphorians” ask that if the verses are to be interpreted as explained above then how and why did Yusuf (alayhi salaam) call his Egyptain master ‘lord’? The truth is that he never called anyone ‘Lord’ besides Allah. They translate and interpret the following verse incorrectly:
And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, “Come, you.” He said, “[I seek] the refuge of Allah. Indeed, He is my Master, who has made good my residence. Indeed, wrongdoers will not succeed.” Surah Yusuf 12:23
Maulana Maudoodi explains the verse as follows:
” Normally the “Mufassireen” (have committed a mistake and) taken from it that Yusuf (as) used the word of “rabi” (lord) for his Egyptian Master that how could he fornicate with his wife, as this would contravene his loyalty. But it is not suitable for the Prophets to commit a sin for the sake of others, instead of for the sake of Allah. And in the Qur’an too, there is no example that any of Rasool ever used the word of “lord” for anyone except Allah.”
Metaphorians argue that this explanation is simply absurd and no one before him ever held such a view. George Sale (a Christian translator of the Qur’an) translated the Qur’an in 1734 with a similar translation mentioning Allah as Master (Rabb) instead of the Egyptian master. Reading further in the Surah makes this point even clearer:
He said, “My Lord, prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me. And if You do not avert from me their plan, I might incline toward them and [thus] be of the ignorant.”
So his Lord responded to him and averted from him their plan. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
Surah Yusuf 12:33-34
The Rabb of Yusuf (alayhi salaam) was Only Allah.
Being a student of Islam and due to fear of Allah, I would say that Allah knows best. However, even if we accept that Yusuf (alayhi salaam) referred to his earthly Egyptian master as Rabb, then it does not mean what metaphorians want it to mean.
The names of Allah cannot be used for people in the same way. They cannot be used in absolute terms, like al-Rahîm (the Merciful). But the word Rahîm (merciful) can be used for a person, since Allah described the Prophet (peace be upon him) using that very word. Some words which are Allah’s names can only be used for people in limited qualified ways, like Rabb (Lord). It can be used for people in compound phrases like rabb al-`a’ilah (head of the family).
This interpretation is explained further in the next section.
Some more examples of alleged figurative expressions
Another common assault on intellect by the ‘metaphorians’ is regarding the names of Allah. They state that Karim and Qawi are the names of Allah whereas the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) has also been called Karim and Qawi. Below is an example of what they argue:
Alim (Knowing): An attribute of Allah, yet Ismail [as] is also remembered as Alim.
Halim (Forbearing): An attribute of Allah, yet Ibrahim and Ismail [as] are remembered as Halim
Shakur (Thankful): An attribute of Allah, yet Nuh [as] is also remembered as Shakur.
Barr (Devoted): An attribute of Allah, yet Isa and Yahya [as] are remembered as Barr
Metaphorians argue that when Karim is mentioned for Allah, it is figurative and when for Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) it is allegorical/figurative. The reality is however different. Allah used these words for the benefit of the Muslims. These are guides for Muslim names:
There are two words which are used exclusively as names for Allah. No one else may be called by these names under any circumstances, regardless of the context or grammatical usage, and regardless of whether the words are being used as names or descriptions.
They are the name “Allah” itself and the name “al-Rahmân” (the Beneficent).
Allah says: “Say: Call upon Allah or call upon the Beneficent, by whatever name you call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 110]
This is why no created being is ever called by these two names except that Allah has brought that person to disgrace. One of these people was Musaylimah, the false prophet who called himself “al-Rahmân.” Allah brought death to him, ignominy, and disgrace to his memory. His followers used to call him “Rahmân of the Yamâmah region”, Allah punished him with the evil reputation that he acquired during his lifetime and that persists with him throughout history.
The rest of the words which are mentioned as names for Allah might possibly be used to describe others as well, in one way or another; for instance: “Seeing” and “Hearing”. Allah says: “Indeed we created the human being from a mixed drop of fluid to test him, so we have made him hearing, seeing.” [Sûrah al-Insân: 2]
The same can be said for gentle, merciful, lofty, great, well-acquainted, and the other words which are used as names for Allah. However, there is a great difference in the connotation of these words when used to describe Allah and others – the difference between Creator and creation. The reality and attributes of the human being are in conformity with the nature of a created being. Therefore, when a person is described as possessing the gifts of “hearing” or “seeing”, a modality of hearing or sight is intended with all of the limitations that the human senses are constrained by. There are limits to perception that human beings will never be able to transcend.
By contrast, the attributes of our Lord have a totality, a limitless perfection that our minds cannot even begin to fathom. Our inability to attain a true realization of these attributes is in itself a form of realization for us.
It is possible for a created being to be described with he same word that is also used as one of Allah’s names, but there is an immense gulf when it comes to the reality of what the word describes when it is used for Allah and when it is used for a created being.
And Allah knows best. [From Islamtoday.net]
Allah is generous (Kareem) and if a human being is Kareem, then he is in a human way as there is none like unto Allah (Qur’an 112:4). There is no room for metaphor here; each word has a meaning and a context to it which must always be taken into consideration.
Up till now we can conclude the following;
– It is worship of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) to say that he enriches us through his grace (Fadhl) now that he is not in person and around us,
– It is worship of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) to say that he benefits us through his intercession today. However, on the Day of Judgment it is different,
– It is worship of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) to say that he helps us by the permission of Allah today now that he is not in person and around us.
Obtaining worldly help from other than Allah
From 4:97 and 39:42 we learned that Angels take the soul at the time of death whereas it is by the permission of Allah as explained by the context. Similarly if we seek worldly help from a human being such as an alive doctor, we know that the real and only fadhl/grace is with Allah (the source) whereas the living human is only the intermediary. Allah’s grace can be received directly or through a person. There is no metaphor in this understanding but simple common sense and proper context.
One day Allah’s Messenger (saw) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it.
He asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?”
The Bedouin answered, “I placed my trust in Allah.”
At that, the Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said,
” Tie your camel and place your trust in Allah” – Tirmidhi
A shia website has posted a Hadith and claimed that the wife of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) took help from his cloak which would be against the concept of seeking help from Allah only.
`Abd Allah, the freed slave of Asma’ the daughter of Abu Bakr, the maternal uncle of the son of `Ata’, said: ???. She (Asma bint Abu Bakr) said: “Here is the cloak (jubba) of Allah’s Messenger,” and she brought out to me that cloak made of Persian cloth with a hem of (silk) brocade, and its sleeves bordered with (silk) brocade, and said: “This was Allah’s Messenger’s cloak with `A’isha until she died, then I got possession of it. The Apostle of Allah used to wear it, and we washed it for the sick so that they could seek cure thereby.”
Before discussing this narration, let us read it the way it really is without selective reading:
Book 24, Number 5149:
Abdullah. the freed slave of Asma’ (the daughter of Abu Bakr). the maternal uncle of the son of ‘Ata, reported: Asma’ sent me to ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar saying:
The news has reached me that you prohibit the use of three things: the striped robe. saddle cloth made of red silk. and the fasting in the holy month of Rajab.
‘Abdullah said to me: So far as what you say about fasting in the month of Rajab, how about one who observes continuous fasting?-and so far as what you say about the striped garment, I heard Umar b. Khatab say that he had heard from Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) :
He who wears silk garment has no share for him (in the Hereafter), and I am afraid it may not be that striped garment; and so far as the red saddle cloth is concerned that is the saddle cloth of Abdullah and it is red. I went back to Asma’ and informed her. whereupon she said : Here is the cloak of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him). and she brought out to me that cloak made of Persian cloth with a hem of brocade (decorative shuttle-woven fabric), and its sleeves bordered with brocade (decorative shuttle-woven fabric) and said: This wall Allah’s Messenger’s cloak with ‘A’isha until she died, and when she died. I got possession of it. The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) used to wear that, and we washed it for the sick and sought cure thereby.
If we understand this Hadith in the light of the previous mentioned Hadith of tying the camel, then we find absolutely no room for metaphorical understanding; we find no room to reach the conclusion that seeking help from non-living beings is allowed. Furthermore, there is no problem whatsoever in washing a cloth and applying it to forehead to ease the fever as was done by Hazrat Aisha (radhi Allah anha) and Hazrat Asma (radhi Allah anha). They simply tied the camel but the trust was with Allah.
We should simply understand our religion as Allah has given it to us. If we start understanding things with metaphors where there is no need for it, then there becomes pretty much no difference between a Muslim and a Christian. Niyat (intention) can be used as an excuse to brush aside the stunning similarities between such so-called Muslims and Mushrikeen.
The case of Hazrat Yusuf (alayhi salaam)’s shirt causing the restoration of eyesight of his father Hazrat Ya’qoob (alayhi salaam) can be explained in a similar way. A Prophet cannot perform any miracle on his own; whatever he does is actually performed by Allah. Therefore, the throwing of shirt of Hazrat Yusuf (alayhi salaam) on his father’s eyes was not his own work but an order from Allah.
“I think people should be open-minded [about ancient remedies],” says Prof Wafik S El-Deiry, a Penn Professor of Medicine, Genetics, and Pharmacology, “because there may be hidden treasures.”
“So, when the caravan set forth, their father ( Jacob ) said, ‘surely I perceive Yousof’s scent, unless you think me doting’. They said; ‘By Allah, you are certainly in your ancient error.’ But when the bearer of good tidings came to him, and laid it (Yousof’s shirt) on his face, forthwith he saw once again. He said; ‘Did I not tell you I know from Allah that you know not?’ (12: 94-96)
- What healing could be there in the shirt of the Prophet, Yusuf?
- After meditation, the Egyptian Moslem scientist, Dr. Abdul Basit Sayed Mohammed, did not find except sweat. He began to search the components of sweat. He immersed lenses extracted from traditional surgeries of cataract in the sweat. He found out that a state of gradual transparency is established in these opaque lenses.
- The second question was: are all sweat components effective in such a case or is it only one of its components? He later realized that one of its main components was the urea (Goandin), and which could be chemically prepared.
- Results of investigations on 250 volunteers revealed removal of cataract and restoration of sight for more than 90%.
- So, inspired by the Surat of Yousof, the Moslem scientist Dr. Abdul Basit Sayed Mohammed of the National Centre of Researches in Egypt was able to manufacture an eye drop to treat the cataract, and obtained two international patents: The European International Patent in 1991, and the American Patent in 1993.
- Allah the Almighty said; “And We send down, of the Quran, that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers.” (Israa/82)
The cure of Hazrat Yaqoob (alayhi salaam)’s eyesight was certainly a miracle from Allah but it is also a guide for the Muslims today to learn from it.
Further, the concept of miracles must be clarified before continuing on with the article. Miracles were a common thing in ancient times. However, gradually they started to decrease. Accepting the truth through miracles is not something that is desired and Islam does not like it. In chapter five of the Qur’an we find the story of the disciples’ oath in brief. That brief explanation is sufficient for those who understand. In the 112th verse, we find that the disciples asked for food from heaven but Issa (peace be upon him) initially rebuked their plea. The disciples insisted and Prophet Issa (peace be upon him) then prayed to Allah (Qur’an 5:114) to give them food from heaven. Allah Almighty did give them what they desired but there was a condition (Qur’an 5:115), which was that if any of them disbelieved after that, then he would be given a severe punishment the like of which would not be given to anyone else.
Any miracle performed by any Prophet was through Allah; this does not mean that we start hitting the sea with a stick to break it apart and walk in between it. Similarly, if Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) performed any miracle by the permission of Allah, this does not mean we start touching, kissing or bowing to his grave for blessing or cure. If he had mentioned it specifically, then it would have been different.
Similarly if Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) recommended his hair or saliva for cure from evil eye and some other illnesses, he specifically mentioned them and were miracles that happened during his time. If the arc containing belongings of Moosa (alayhi salaam) and Haroon (alayhi salaam) carried by alive Angels contained blessings, they were special miracles granted by Allah and specifically mentioned. Miracles were done by the grace/fadhl of Allah and it certainly does not mean that we start to worship Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) and claim that our niyah/intention is not worship.
The explanation for the relevance of Maqaam e Ibrahim is the same as that for the arc of Moosa (alayhi salaam) and Haroon (alayhi salaam).
The ‘metaphorians’ argue that the Samiri took a handful of sand from the footprint of archangel Jibrael and threw it into the gold from which the calf was being made. They state that the footprint of the Angel had miraculous powers and therefore help from graves of Prophets and so-called saints can be used. Let us look at this in detail:
How As-Samiri made the Calf
Musa said to As-Samiri, “What caused you to do what you did What presented such an idea to you causing you to do this” Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, “As-Samiri was a man from the people of Bajarma, a people who worshipped cows. He still had the love of cow worshipping in his soul. However, he acted as though he had accepted Islam with the Children of Israel. His name was Musa bin Zafar.” Qatadah said, “He was from the village of Samarra.”
[قَالَ بَصُرْتُ بِمَا لَمْ يَبْصُرُواْ بِهِ]
((Samiri) said: “I saw what they saw not.”) This means, “I saw Jibril when he came to destroy Fir`awn.”
[فَقَبَضْتُ قَبْضَةً مِّنْ أَثَرِ الرَّسُولِ]
(so I took a handful (Qabdah) from the print of the messenger) This means from the hoof print of his (Jibril’s) horse. This is what is well-known with many of the scholars of Tafsir, rather most of them. Mujahid said,
[فَقَبَضْتُ قَبْضَةً مِّنْ أَثَرِ الرَّسُولِ]
(so I took a handful (Qabdah) from the print of the messenger) “From under the hoof of Jibril’s horse.” He also said, “The word Qabdah means a palmful, and it is also that which is grasped by the tips of the fingers.” Mujahid said, “As-Samiri threw what was in his hand onto the jewelry of the Children of Israel and it became molded into the body of a calf, which made a light moaning sound. The wind that blew into it was the cause of its sound.” Thus, he said,
(and I threw it.) This means, “I threw it along with those who were throwing (jewelry).”
[وَكَذلِكَ سَوَّلَتْ لِى نَفْسِى]
(Thus my inner self suggested to me.) This means that his soul considered it something good and it was pleasing to his self.
The Punishment of As-Samiri and the burning of the Calf Thereupon,
[قَالَ فَاذْهَبْ فَإِنَّ لَكَ فِى الْحَيَوةِ أَن تَقُولَ لاَ مِسَاسَ]
((Musa) said: “Then go away! And verily, your (punishment) in this life will be that you will say: `Touch me not.”’) This means, “Just as you took and touched what was not your right to take and touch of the messenger’s foot print, such is your punishment in this life, that you will say, `Do not touch (me).”’ This means, “You will not touch the people and they will not touch you.”
Samiri was punished for touching the sand with the footprint of Angel Jibrael. Please note that Samiri had no right to even touch, let alone create the calf. So if the sand contained miraculous powers, they were a test and not meant to be touched something similar to what we read in Qur’an 2:102 where magic was taught by Angels as a test but it was clearly stated to them that in return for learning, they would have no share in the hereafter.
Consider the following narrations from Sahih Bukhari and ponder over them:
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 561:
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
When Allah’s Apostle landed at Al-Hijr during the Ghazwa of Tabuk, he ordered his companions not to drink water from its well or reserve water from it. They said, “We have already kneaded the dough with its water. and also filled our bags with its water.” On that, the Prophet ordered them to throw away the dough and pour out the water.
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 562: Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:
The people landed at the land of Thamud called Al-Hijr along with Allah’s Apostle and they took water from its well for drinking and kneading the dough with it as well. (When Allah’s Apostle heard about it) he ordered them to pour out the water they had taken from its wells and feed the camels with the dough, and ordered them to take water from the well whence the she-camel (of Prophet Salih) used to drink.
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 563: Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:
When the Prophet passed by (a place called) Al Hijr, he said, “Do not enter the house of those who were unjust to themselves, unless (you enter) weeping, lest you should suffer the same punishment as was inflicted upon them.” After that he covered his face with his sheet cloth while he was on the camel-saddle.
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 564: Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Do not enter the ruined dwellings of those who were unjust to themselves unless (you enter) weeping, lest you should suffer the same punishment as was inflicted upon them.”
Did a blind Sahabi asked Rasool Allah to bless his room?
As mentioned earlier, a miracle performed by Allah through the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is not a reason to seek help from the Prophet now that he is no longer around us. Even if the blind Sahabi did ask, it does not mean that we start worshipping places were the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) visited or prayed and claim that our niyat/intention is not worship.
Narrated Mahmuid bin Rabi’ Al-Ansari: ‘Itban bin Malik used to lead his people (tribe) in prayer and was a blind man, he said to Allah’s Apostle , “O Allah’s Apostle! At times it is dark and flood water is flowing (in the valley) and I am blind man, so please pray at a place in my house so that I can take it as a Musalla (praying place).” So Allah’s Apostle went to his house and said, “Where do you like me to pray?” ‘Itban pointed to a place in his house and Allah’s Apostle, offered the prayer there
Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 11, Number 636
Itban bin Malik wanted to make a place in his house a Musalla and invited the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) as a chief guest for opening ceremony. This is his way of showing respect and involves no metaphors anywhere and no beliefs containing shirk dismissed as niyat/intention being not of shirk.
Volume 5, Book 58, Number 159:
Narrated Abu Burda:
When I came to Medina. I met Abdullah bin Salam. He said, “Will you come to me so that I may serve you with Sawiq (i.e. powdered barley) and dates, and let you enter a (blessed) house that in which the Prophet entered?” Then he added, “You are In a country where the practice of Riba (i.e. usury) is prevalent; so if somebody owe you something and he sends you a present of a load of chopped straw or a load of barley or a load of provender then do not take it, as it is Riba.”
It is no secret that the shayaateen descend on every sinful liar (Qur’an 26:222). This means that the place where he lives is far away from blessings of Allah.
In the case of those who say, “Our Lord is God”, and, further, stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time): “Fear ye not!” (they suggest), “Nor grieve! but receive the Glad Tidings of the Garden (of Bliss), the which ye were promised! Surah Fussilat 41:30
Just as the descending of shayaateen turns a place into unblessed, the descending of Angels makes it blessed. Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) was the greatest man in history and no one can be more blessed than him but again as per Qur’an, Ahadith and explanations provided above, this does not mean that we start committing shirk disguised as metaphors and dismissed as niyat/intention being not of shirk.
This distorted understanding of “metaphorism” is due to distorted reading; paying more attention to certain parts of the Hadith and ignoring others altogether. For example, concentrate on the emphasis in the Hadith below:
Volume 7, Book 71, Number 647:
The Prophet, during his fatal ailment used to blow (on his hands and pass them) over his body while reciting the Mu’auwidhat (Surat-an-Nas and Surat-al-Falaq). When his disease got aggravated, I used to recite them for him and blow (on his hands) and let him pass his hands over his body because of its blessing. (Ma’mar asked Ibn Shihab: How did he use to do Nafth? He said: He used to blow on his hands and then pass them over his face.)
Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a blessed man but the act of blowing on hands and passing over body is for everyone to follow. There is a blessing in this act. The important point to note is that the person alive should do so on himself. If Hazrat Aisha (radhi Allahu anha) recited it for Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) then it does not mean that once she passed away people went to her grave to seek her blessing; it simply means that we follow the example (the Sunnah) rather than worship the person setting the example.
Did the Sahaaba kiss the hands and feet of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)?
There are some narrations where some people from some delegations greeted Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) by kissing his hands and feet. These narrations are da’eef. Below is a narration classified as Hasan by Muhadditheen:
قَالَ رَجُلٌ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ الرَّجُلُ مِنَّا يَلْقَى أَخَاهُ أَوْ صَدِيقَهُ أَيَنْحَنِي لَهُ قَالَ لَا قَالَ أَفَيَلْتَزِمُهُ وَيُقَبِّلُهُ قَالَ لَا قَالَ أَفَيَأْخُذُ بِيَدِهِ وَيُصَافِحُهُ قَالَ نَعَمْ
Sayyidina Anas (RA) ibn Malik reported that a man said, “O Messenger of Allah (SAW) ; if a man among us meets his brother or his friend, should he bow down before him”? He said, “No.” He asked, “Then shall he embrace him? And, Kiss him”? He said, “No.” The man asked. “Should he hold his hand and give him a handshake”? The Prophet (SAW) said, “Yes.”
If bowing, kissing hands and feet of fellow Muslims is disallowed by Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), then how can one kiss and bow down to so called saints and pirs?
Please note: The miracles which the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) performed are numerous but are not to be taken as open for everyone for all times. Here is an example.
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 779:
We used to consider miracles as Allah’s Blessings, but you people consider them to be a warning. Once we were with Allah’s Apostle on a journey, and we ran short of water. He said, “Bring the water remaining with you.” The people brought a utensil containing a little water. He placed his hand in it and said, “Come to the blessed water, and the Blessing is from Allah.” I saw the water flowing from among the fingers of Allah’s Apostle, and no doubt, we heard the meal glorifying Allah, when it was being eaten (by him).
This miracle does not mean that we go to the grave of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) and drink water there to benefit from multiplication. That miracle was for the people then.
Narrations of touching and kissing the graves
Dawud ibn Salih says: “[The Caliph] Marwan [ibn al-Hakam] one day saw a man placing his face on top of the grave of the Prophet. He said: “Do you know what you are doing?” When he came near him, he realized it was Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. The latter said: “Yes; I came to the Prophet, not to a stone.”
Mu`adh ibn Jabal and Bilal also came to the grave of the Prophet and sat weeping, and the latter rubbed his face against it. Ibn Majah 2:1320
Sunan Ibn Majah contains over 4,000 Hadith in 32 books divided into 1,500 chapters. About 20 of the traditions it contains were later declared to be forged; such as those dealing with the merits of individuals, tribes or towns, including Ibn Majah’s home town of Qazwan. Scholars such as al-Nawawi and Ibn Khaldun excluded the Sunan from the generally accepted books.
Response given by Ayman bin khaled:
a. al-Hakim (رحمه الله) did not say this Hadeeth is Saheeh!. Rather he said its chain is Sahih and there is a big difference between each statement as known in science of hadeeth. The former means the narration is authentic whereas the latter does not necessirely mean the narrtion is authentic.
b. al-Dhahabi never agreed with al-Hakim on such statement. How would he agree on such classification when he himself stated that Dawd bin Saleh, who exists in the chain, is unknown narrator [refer to al-Mizaan of al-Dhahabi: 3/14 and Tahdheeb al-Tahdheen of al-Hafith: 3/188].
c. The chain also includes Katheer bin Zaid who is disputed over i.e. Abu Zar’a said he is Sadooq with some leen while al-Nasaie said he is weak.
d. Dawd bin Saleh narrates this story from a man called Marwaan and he is also unknown
Based on this, the chain is obviously weak and no scholar would ever say its chain is Sahih unless he relies on the work of al-hakim, which is incorrect in this one, without anticipating it.
With regards the Matn of the narrtion, then it is obvious that it has some obvious oddness that prove its incorrectness, as can be noted. The narration indicate that the grave is in public and seen by whoever pass by while, as a matter of fact, we all know that the grave of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is actually located in the room of Aisha (رضي الله عنها). In addition, it is known that the Salaf including Imam Malik who was an observer to acts of people of Madina and Imam Ahmad who was in the region of Hijaaz or the Shafie who was in Mecca disliked and disapproved touching the grave and said that people of knowledge never done it, which proves that such narrtion is too weak and no one ever acted upon.
In summery, The chain is very weak and so is its text also. So, no one should quote such narrations or dig through narrations that never been acted upon by scholars. Thus whatever you concluded based on such narration is rejected and cannot be accepted or even considered.
Did Hazrat Ayesha (radhi Allah anha) endorse the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)’s grave to be more than what it is?
Volume 9, Book 92, Number 428:
Narrated Hisham’s father:
‘Aisha said to ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, “Bury me with my female companions (i.e. the wives of the Prophet) and do not bury me with the Prophet in the house, for I do not like to be regarded as sanctified (just for being buried there).”
If by sanctified she meant something holy having special powers then it certainly is not true otherwise she would not have allowed not Prophets to be buried there as can be seen from the same Hadith which continues as follows:
Narrated Hisham’s father: ‘Umar sent a message to ‘Aisha, saying, “Will you allow me to be buried with my two companions (the Prophet and Abu Bakr)?” She said, “Yes, by Allah.” though it was her habit that if a man from among the companions (of the Prophet ) sent her a message asking her to allow him to be buried there, she would say, “No, by Allah, I will never give permission to anyone to be buried with them.”
Moreover, Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani states that the reason why Aisha did this was out of modesty and humbleness. She didn’t want people to think that she was special and singled out of the Prophet’s wives to the extent that she be buried next to the Prophet.
A few Ayaat badly misunderstood and their even worse misuse by the ‘metaphorians’
[Yusuf Ali 4:64] …… If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 3:159] ………… So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them. [Pickthal 4:106-107] And seek forgiveness of Allah (for others). Lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. And plead not on behalf of (people) who deceive themselves.
[Pickthal 8:33] But Allah would not punish them while thou wast with them, nor will He punish them while they seek forgiveness.
[Pickthal 9:80-84] Ask forgiveness for them (O Muhammad), or ask not forgiveness for them; though thou ask forgiveness for them seventy times Allah will not forgive them. ??. And never (O Muhammad) pray for one of them who dieth, nor stand by his grave.
[Pickthal 9:103] Take alms of their wealth, wherewith thou mayst purify them and mayst make them grow, and pray for them. Lo! thy prayer is an assuagement for them.
[Pickthal 9:113] It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it hath become clear that they are people of hell-fire.
They claim that Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) was used as an intermediary by the people. However, for their claim to be 100% correct they should have stated that Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) was used as an intermediary by the people of his time when he and his people were alive. A Muslim prays for his brothers and sisters; parents pray for their children etc. If this is a simple norm, then what is the problem with the leader of a nation praying for his followers?
An article by a real Muslim on shirk (A must read for grave worshippers)
The grave worshipping Soofis promote matters of Shirk and innovation by way of the media, and from those matters is Isteegatha (seeking closeness to Allaah) from the dead of the Prophets, and the righteous people. This is a refutation against their falsehood and their trickery of the worshippers by mentioning what is ambiguous from the texts of Islaam, and using weak hadeeth and narrations, and their own understanding of the authentic hadeeth other than the understanding of the Salaf as- Salih. This refutation also contains the position of the Salaf as-Salih regarding this issue, according to the ‘Aqeedah of the Salaf as-Salih, and all capability is from Allaah.
Isteegatha linguistically means requesting aid and victory.
The Sharia’ definition: There is no difference with the linguistic meaning, since it means requesting help and relief from distress.
And Isteegatha is a type of Dua’(supplication), and Dua’ is worship, as has been mentioned in the hadeeth of an-Numaan bin Basheer who said that the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said : ‘Dua’ is worship.’ Narrated by Ahmad and Tirmidhee and he said the hadeeth was hasan saheeh.
From the principles of the Sharia’ is that all worship, whether apparent or internal, is prohibited until there is an evidence from the Sharia’ that makes the action permissible.
Once this is understood, then know – may Allaah have mercy upon you, and may He direct you to His obedience – that making Isteegatha from the people is divided into two sections according to the Salaf:
The first : The Isteegatha which is permissible : and that is seeking assistance in the time of need from a living person, with that which he has the ability to help with, without having to lower oneself to that person, or with humiliation in any form, or having submission in the same way that you ask from Allaah Ta’ala.
From amongst the evidences that show the permissibility of this type of Isteegatha is:
a) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala regarding the story of Musa – alayhi as-sallam – : <<The man from his (own) party asked him for help against his foe>>
b) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<Help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and transgression.>>
The Second: The Isteegatha which is prohibited, is of two types:
a) Seeking assistance from living people with that which only Allaah Ta’ala has the ability to help with, and there is agreement amongst the scholars, that this is prohibited.
And from amongst the evidences for this issue, is the saying of Allaah Ta’ala:
<<And invoke not besides Allaah, any that will neither profit you, nor hurt you…..>>
b) Making Isteegatha with the dead, from the Prophets or the righteous people. And from the proofs of this prohibition is the following:
1) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<And if My slaves ask you about Me, then I am close, and I answer the Dua’ of the caller if he supplicates to Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright. >>
So ponder – may Allaah look after you – about when the Messenger of Allaah – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- was faced with questions, and the answer would come from Allaah Ta’ala, and Allaah Ta’ala would make the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- an intermediary to convey the answer, so Allaah would say to him :
O Muhammad tell them. The following are examples of that:
1) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you about the new moons. Say: these are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage. >> 2:186
2) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala : <<They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months (i.e. 1st, 7th, 11th and 12th months of the Islaamic calendar). Say, “Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allaah is to prevent mankind from following the Way of Allaah, to disbelieve in Him,>> 2:217
3) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you (O Muhammad ) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: ‘In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.’ >> 2:219
4) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you what they should spend. Say : whatever you spend of good>> 2 : 215
5) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you for a legal verdict. Say: ‘Allaah directs (thus) about AlKalâlah (those who leave neither descendants nor ascendants as heirs) >>
6) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you what is lawful for them as food.
Say : lawful unto you are all kinds of halaal food. >> 5:4
7) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): ‘When will be its appointed time?’ Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (Alone). >>
The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<They ask you about the spoils of war. Say: the spoils of war are for Allaah and the Messenger>> 8: 1
So, the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- was an intermediary to convey the message directed to him from Allaah Ta’ala by His saying : <<Say…>>, except in the issue of Dua’. Indeed Allaah Ta’ala did not make the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- an intermediary for Dua’, but Allaah Ta’ala Himself undertakes the answering of the Dua’ directly without saying: <<Say…>>
When the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- was asked: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, is our Lord close so we can have intimate discourse with Him, or is He far, so that we have to call in a loud voice?’ Then Allaah revealed: <<And if My slaves ask you about Me, then I am close, and I answer the Dua’ of the caller if he supplicates to Me.>>
Narrated by Abdullaah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal in his book ‘Kitab as-Sunnah’1/ 277 and Ibn Hibban in his book ‘ath-Thiqaat’8/436, and at-Tabari mentioned it as a reason for the revelation of the Ayaah in his Tafseer book 2/158, and Ibn Katheer in his Tafseer book 1/219, and Qurtubi in his Tafseer book 2/308, and he mentioned it as a reason for it being revealed, on the authority of Hasan al-Basari – may Allaah have mercy upon him.
And this is a divine indication that Allaah does not love that, nor is a slave in need of intermediaries or intercessors when he supplicates to his Lord Azza wa Jaal, rather he supplicates to Allaah directly and the saying of Allaah Ta’ala <<So let them obey Me >> means : that they supplicate to Me.
2) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<Say O Muhammad: I do not possess anything for myself that will benefit me nor harm me.>> so indeed this Ayaah clearly explains that he (the Messenger of Allaah) does not control for himself that which will benefit him nor that which will harm him, so how can he possess that for anyone else.
And what confirms this point is the saying of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- : ‘O Fatima daughter of Muhammad, O Safiya, daughter of AbdulMuttalib, O tribe of AbdulMuttalib, I do not possess anything for you from Allaah, but ask me whatever you want from my wealth.’ Narrated by Muslim.
3) The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<Say (O Muhammad): ‘Call unto those besides Him whom you pretend [to be gods like angels, Iesa (Jesus), ‘Uzair (Ezra), etc.].
They have neither the power to remove adversity from you nor even to shift it from you to another person.’ >>
Some of the Salaf said that this Ayaah was revealed about groups of people who used to supplicate to al-Azeez, the Messiah and the angels. So if a person says that those people used to worship them (angels, prophets etc.) and not worship Allaah, but as for us then we don’t worship them, rather, we take them as intermediaries and intercessors with Allaah !
Then the answer to them is: This statement of yours, is like the statement of the Mushrikeen at the time of the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.
The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<We do not worship them except that they bring us closer to Allaah>> and in spite of what they said, their claim was not accepted, nor did it benefit them, and the Messenger of Allaah fought against them.
4) A fundamental principle is that the dead are not like the living, Allaah Ta’ala says:
<<The living and the dead are not the same>> fundamentally the dead do not hear the living.
Allaah Ta’ala said: <<And you do not make those in the graves to hear.>> except where the evidence shows exceptions to this principle, and here are some examples:
a) When the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- spoke to the dead of the Mushrikeen after the battle of Badr, while they were in the well before they were buried. And about this Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdasee – may Allaah have mercy upon him – said: ‘and this was a miracle of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and a matter that was specific to him, so you cannot use for anyone other than him.’ Taken from ‘Kitaab al-Mughnee’10/63.
b) The dead hear the footsteps of his companions.
c) The soul of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- is returned to him so that the angels can convey to him the Sallam of anyone who sends Sallam upon him.
d) When the dead person hears the Sallam of the one who sends Sallam to him at his grave. This is according to those who authenticate this hadeeth.
There is no evidence to show that the dead person hears the living person who asks of him and makes a request from him, and if there is no evidence for this then the principle is that the issue remains as it is, that the dead cannot hear the living.
And the fundamental principle is that the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- is human, and the origin regarding the issue of death, is that he is like the rest of mankind. Allaah Ta’ala says: <<Indeed you will die, and indeed they will die>> except for what the evidence exempts, that the earth does not eat up his body and that his soul is returned to him in the grave to receive the Sallam of the one who sends Sallam to him, and that the actions of his Ummah are presented to him, and this is according to those who authenticate the hadeeth.
Since the dead not being able to hear the living has been established about the leader of the sons of Adam – alayhi as-Sallam – then this more readily applies to other than the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. If this is established that the Prophets do not hear the question of the one asking the question, then ponder over the saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<And who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besides Allaah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them?>>
5 – The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<So when you have finished, then stand up for Allaah’s worship. And to your Lord turn all your invocations>> and He did not say
‘Turn your invocations to the Prophets and the righteous people.’
Imaam at-Tabaree, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, ‘The saying of Allaah Ta’ala: <<And to your Lord turn all your invocations>> Allaah mentions is : O Muhammad direct your fervent desires to your Lord, and not to any one from the creation since the Mushrikeen from your people have made their fervent desires to gods and their associates. The people of Tafseer have also said similar to what we have just mentioned. Taken from the book Tafseer at-Tabaree 30 / 237.
6 – Indeed what the Companions – radi Allaahu anhum – knew and understood is that the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- was not made as someone from who aid was sought after his death nor was he taken as an intermediary, and this is confirmed by what has been narrated by al-Bukhari 1 / 342 and others have also narrated this.
On the authority of Anas – radi Allaahu anhu – and then on the authority of Umar bin al- Khattab – radi Allaahu anhu – if there was a drought, he would request rain by asking al- Abbas bin AbdulMuttalib, and he would say : ‘O Allaah indeed we used to come closer to You (make Tawassul) with Your Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and You would give us rain, and indeed we come closer to You with his uncle, so give us rain,’ then the rain would come down.
So, if you dear brother, dear reader, being unbiased, ponder that Umar and the senior Companions did not regard the permissibility of (Tawassul) coming closer to Allaah nor seeking assistance with the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- after his death, compared to when he was alive, in fact in their request for rain they used to make Tawassul with the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, but after he passed away they did not make Tawassul with him. Indeed Umar – radi Allaahu anhu – said in his authentic, wellknown and established supplication, agreed upon by the people of knowledge, which was said in the presence of the Muhajiroon and the Ansaar in the famous year of the Great Drought. When the drought became severe and the people requested rain, he said : ‘O Allaah we used to, if we suffered from a drought, we used to make Tawassul with Your Prophet, and You used to give us rain, and now we make Tawassul to You with his uncle, so give us rain , and they were given rain.’
This well known supplication was accepted by all the Companions, not one of them denied it. This is one of the clearest examples of (Ijma’Sakootee) silent agreement.
Therefore, if Tawassul with the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- after his death was like the Tawassul during his lifetime, they would have said, why are we making Tawassul with al-Abbas while we don’t make it with the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, who is the best and greatest of creation with Allaah? Since not one of them said this, then this shows us that they knew Tawassul was only during the lifetime of the Prophet , and after his passing away, Tawassul is with the Dua’ of the righteous living people.
The Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- did not order any one of his Companions. if they had a need or were afflicted with a problem, that they turn to him and they seek assistance from him after his death. In fact the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said to Ibn Abbas – radi Allaahu anhu – : ‘If you ask of anyone, then ask Allaah, and if you seek help, then seek help from Allaah.’
Narrated by at-Tirmidhee and he said the hadeeth is hasan saheeh.
And there is other evidence which shows that Isteegatha with the dead from the Prophets and the righteous people is not allowed according to Islaam.
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace and blessings be upon our final Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions and all those who follow his guidance.
Sajdah of Tazeem (Prostration of Reverence)
This type of sajdah was allowed to other nations but not to the nation of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. If anyone still does it, then he is not from the nation of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ; i.e. he/she is not a Muslim. The following is from tafsir of Ibn Kathir.
[وَقَالَ يأَبَتِ هَـذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَـى مِن قَبْلُ]
(And he said: “O my father! This is the Ta’wil (interpretation) of my dream aforetime…”), in reference to the dream that he narrated to his father before,
[إِنِّى رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًا]
(I saw (in a dream) eleven stars…) In the laws of these and previous Prophets, it was allowed for the people to prostrate before the men of authority, when they met them. This practice was allowed in the law of Adam until the law of `Isa, peace be upon them, but was later prohibited in our law. Islam made prostration exclusively for Allah Alone, the Exalted and Most Honored. The implication of this statement was collected from Qatadah and other scholars. When Mu`adh bin Jabal visited the Sham area, he found them prostrating before their priests. When he returned (to Al-Madinah), he prostrated before the Messenger of Allah, who asked him,
«مَا هَذَا يَا مُعَاذُ؟»
(What is this, O, Mu`adh) Mu`adh said, “I saw that they prostrate before their priests. However, you, O Messenger of Allah, deserve more to be prostrated before.” The Messenger said,
«لَوْ كُنْتُ آمِرًا أَحَدًا أَنْ يَسْجُدَ لِأَحَدٍ، لَأَمَرْتُ الْمَرْأَةَ أَنْ تَسْجُدَ لِزَوْجِهَا لِعِظَمِ حَقِّهِ عَلَيْهَا»
(If I were to order anyone to prostrate before anyone else (among the creation), I would have ordered the wife to prostrate before her husband because of the enormity of his right on her.) Therefore, this practice was allowed in previous laws, as we stated. This is why they (Ya`qub and his wife and eleven sons) prostrated before Yusuf.
These metaphorians have even gone to the extent of saying that doing tawaf of the grave of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is allowed by the following Aayah:
[Yusufali 2:158] Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of Allah. So if those who visit the House in the Season or at other times, should compass them round (فاوط) , it is no sin in them . And if any one obeyeth his own impulse to good,- be sure that Allah is He Who recogniseth and knoweth.
One cannot but feel sorry for people holding such views. One wonders what more will they twist to justify their false beliefs. May Allah guide them to the straight path.
A Shut up call to haters of Ameeril Mu’mineen Umar (radhi Allah anhu)
Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said “Were A Prophet To Come After Me, He Would Have Been Umar”.
In Bukhari, Hazrat Abu Hurairah Narrated That Rasulallah Said, “In Bani Isra’il (Israelites), There Were People Who Were Not Prophets But Talked To Allah. Were Anyone In My Ummah Like Those Persons, He Would Be Umar”.
Polytheists, claiming to be Muslims, should stop using proven da’eef Ahadith to malign Islam and its honored personalities. They must also stop believing in their fake self made Ahadith books to claim that Hazrat Ali said this and that. They label their attacks in which only one Hadith has been used that is declared to be Sahih.
Qutaiba narrated from Jarir, who from Khusaim, who from Sa’eed bin Jubair, who from Ibn Abbas, who said that Rasool Allah (saw) said about Hajar-e-Aswad:
By Allah, Hajar-e-Aswad will be granted eyes on the day of judgement by Allah and also a tongue, which will give testimony in favour of those who behaved well with it.
Abu ‘Isa said that this hadith is “Hasan”. Sunnan Tirmidhi, Book of Hajj
They base their attacks upon the following Hadith:
Narrated ‘Abis bin Rabia: ‘Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said “No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit anyone nor harm anyone. Had I not seen Allah’s Apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2:667, 675, 676, 679, 680)
‘Metaphorians’ use some weak and fabricated Ahadith to twist the meaning of the Hadith. They use these weak Ahadith to allege that the Sahih Bukhari Hadith is incomplete. That will not be debated here but the granting of eyes and tongue to Hajrul Aswad shall be explained.
First of all, from the Hadith we know that it cannot benefit anyone, nor harm anyone and it is lifeless which means that it is not to be prayed to or used as an intermediary. Secondly, what the Hadith states that it will testify about ‘those who behaved well with it’ and not ‘those who prayed to it’.
On a Day when their tongues, their hands and their feet will bear witness against them as to what they used to do. Surah Nur 24:24
The Hajrul Aswad will be brought to life and it will speak the same way human hands and feet will speak on the Day of Judgment. If a person mentions the Zikr of Allah on his fingers, his fingers will testify that on the Day of Judgment; similarly if a person walks by a wall while mentioning the Zikr of Allah and touches a wall right by, then it would be no surprise that the wall would testify in favor of the person.
Haters of Ameeril Mu’mineen Umar (radhi Allah anhu) state a mursal Hadith that Umar (radhi Allah anhu) prostrated and kissed the feet of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). However, the Sahih Hadith in Bukhari is as follows:
al-Zuhri said: Anas bin Malik told me: The Prophet came out after the sun passed the mid-point of the sky and offered the Zuhr prayer (in congregation). After finishing it with Taslim, he stood on the pulpit and mentioned the Hour and mentioned there would happen great events before it. Then he said, “Whoever wants to ask me any question, may do so, for by Allah, you will not ask me about anything but I will inform you of it as long as I am at this place of mine.” The people were weeping profusely (because of the Prophet’s anger). Allah’s Apostle kept saying, “Ask Me! ” Then a man got and asked, ”Where will my entrance be, O Allah’s Apostle?” The Prophet said, “The Fire.” Then `Abd Allah ibn Hudhafa got up and asked, “Who is my father, O Allah’s Apostle?” The Prophet replied, “Your father is Hudhafa.” The Prophet then kept on saying (angrily), “Ask me! Ask me!” `Umar then fell to his knees and said, “We have accepted Allah as our Lord and Islam as our religion and Muhammad as our Apostle.” Allah’s Apostle became quiet when `Umar said that. Then Allah’s Apostle said, “Woe! By Him in Whose Hand my life is, Paradise and Hell were displayed before me just now, across this wall while I was praying, and I never saw such good and evil as I have seen today.”
Destruction of graves
Jaabir bin Abdullah (radhi Allah anhu) reported from Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) that ‘it is forbidden to plaster the walls of graves, to sit on them or to build over them’.
Saheeh Muslim, al-Janaa’iz 970.
Also narrated by al-Tirmizi and al-Nasa’I added with a Sahih isnad ‘or to write on them’.
‘Metaphorians’ argue a lot with weak Ahadith on the matter of visiting the graves. The only Sahih they have quoted is as follows and their own interpretation has been included in the brackets.
Aisha narrated that she asked the Apostle of Allah): Messenger of Allah, how should I pray for them (when I go to graveyard)? He said: Say, Peace be upon the inhabitants of this city (graveyard) from among the Believers and the Muslims, and may Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, God willing, join you. Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 2127
Here is the correct ruling:
- Thabit narrated that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) cursed women who visit grave-yards often” [Sunan Ibn Majah:1574]2. Beraidah narrated the prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said: “I have prohibited you to visit grave-yards yet now I allow you to visit them, so visit them” [ sahih Muslim: 977]This dispute resulted because scholars who allowed women to visit graves considered the second Hadith aborigating the first one which in this case visiting graves will be permessible for both; men and women. However, scholars who prohibitted women to visit graves said that the second hadith is only addressing men so the ruling of prohibition was abrogated only for men while women still follow the original ruling, which is impermissibility as there is no Hadith specifying them it is allowed after it is prohibited.Imam Al-Nawawi said about the second Hadith: ” This Hadith is a clear abrogation for the Hadiths that prohibited men from visiting grave-yards and it is a consensus that it is Sunnah for them to do so. however, in regards women visting graves, it is a matter of dispute amongst our companions as we discussed earlier. we have stated earlier that those who prevented women from visting graves said : women are not included in Hadiths that are addressed to men and this is the correct opinion that scholars of usool scineces adopt” [ Sharh Sahih Muslim]
Saying Ya Rasool Allah
A blind man came to the Prophet and said: “Invoke Allah for me that he help me.” He replied: “If you wish I will delay this, and it would be better for you, and if you wish I will invoke Allah the Exalted (for you).” He said: “Then invoke him.” The Prophet said to him: idhhab fa tawadda’, wa salli rak`atayn thumma qul — “Go and make an ablution, pray two rak`at, then say: “O Allah, I am asking you (as’aluka) and turning to you (atawajjahu ilayka) with your Prophet Muhammad (bi nabiyyika Muhammad) , the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad (ya Muhammad) , I am turning with you to my Lord regarding my present need / I am asking my Lord with your intercession concerning the return of my sight (inni atawajjahu bika ila rabbi fi hajati hadhih — another version has: inni astashfi`u bika `ala rabbi fi raddi basari) so that He will fulfill my need; O Allah, allow him to intercede (with you) for me (allahumma shaffi`hu fiyya) .”
Please note that Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) was alive then and the blind man would pray out loud in front of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). There is no shirk in speaking to man in front of him; however if he died and one prayed to him or called him for help, then that is definitely shirk. Reading other Ahadith discussing the same topic give a bigger and clearer picture.
Sayyidina Uthman ibn Hunayf (RA) narrated: A man who was blind came to the Prophet and requested Pray to Allah that He may give me health. He said, “If you wish, I will pray for you; but if you wish, you may be patient, for that is better for you.’ He said that he may pray for him. So, the Prophet (SAW) commanded him to make ablution and make it very well and pray in these words:
0 Allah, I ask you—-and plead to you through your Prophet Muhammad, Prophet of mercy—l plead by your virtue to my Lord for my need, this one, that it be granted to me. 0 Allah, accept his intercession for me.
Jami Tirmidhi 3589 , Printing of DarulIshaat, also found in Ibn e Majah with same wording
Point no 1 The reason the blind man came to the Prophet was for him to make supplication (du’aa) for him as it is clear from the wording of the hadith. There is no mention of Tawasul.
Point no 2 The Prophet promised that he would make du’aa for him, after advising him of what would be better for him, and this was his saying, If you wish I will supplicate for you. There is no mention of Tawasul.
Point no 3 Allama Albani says in his book ‘Tawasul’ “The Messenger did not suffice with making du’aa for the blind man, as he had promised, he also gave him an action to perform which involved obedience to Allah, the One free of all blemish and defect, the Most High, and drawing near to Him, so that the affair would be complete from all angles, and nearer to acceptance and being pleasing to Allah, the One free of all blemish and imperfections, and the Most High, therefore the whole event revolved around du’aa, as is clear and contains nothing of what they mention.” There is no mention of Tawasul.
Point no 4 The scholars mention this hadith amongst the miracles of the Prophet and amongst his du’aa which were answered, and that Allah caused miracles and the sick to be cured through the blessings of his du’aa, because through his du’aa for this blind man Allah restored his sight to him. Therefore the authors quote it amongst the signs of his Prophethood, such as al-Baihaqee and others.
I think if one clearly analyzes the authentic version of the Hadith, the hadith in no way can be used as an evidence of Waseelah and Allah knows best. [By brother Muhammad Awais Tahir]
Imam Ahmad and others narrated with a saheeh isnaad from ‘Uthmaan ibn Haneef that a blind man came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: Pray to Allah to heal me. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If you wish, I shall pray for you; and if you wish, I shall delay that for you and that will be better for you.” [According to another report, he said: “… Or if you wish, you can be patient and that will be better for you.”] He said: Pray for me (now). So he instructed him to do wudoo’ and do it well, then to pray two rak‘ahs and say this du‘aa’ (supplication): “O Allah, I ask You and I turn to You by virtue of Your Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy. O Muhammad, I turn by virtue of you to my Lord concerning this need of mine, that it might be met for me. O Allah, accept his intercession concerning me and accept my intercession concerning him.” So the man did that and he was healed.
Some people are confused by this hadeeth and think that it constitutes evidence for some innovated types of tawassul (seeking to draw close to Allah), but that is not the case.
This misinterpretation of this hadeeth has been answered by many of the scholars, who explained that it does not constitute evidence for any of those who believe in innovated kinds of tawassul, whether that is by virtue of the Prophet’s person or by virtue of his status, let alone tawassul by virtue of the dead and calling upon them instead of Allah. One of the best precise and academic responses concerning this issue is that which was written by the great scholar Shaykh Muhammad Naasir ad-Deen al-Albaani in his book at-Tawassul Anwaa‘uhu wa Ahkaamuhu (available in English under the title Tawassul: Its Types and Its Rulings). Among the comments that he made on this hadeeth is the following:
As for us, we believe that this hadeeth does not constitute evidence for them to support seeking to draw closer to Allah (tawassul) by virtue of the Prophet’s person; rather it constitutes further evidence for the third type of lawful tawassul – which is tawassul through the du‘aa’ (supplication) of a righteous man – because the tawassul of the blind man was only by means of the du‘aa’ of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) (and not by virtue of his person). The evidence for what we say is to be found in the hadeeth itself, in abundance. The most important points are as follows:
The blind man only came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to ask him to pray for him; that was when he said: Pray to Allah to heal me. This is seeking to draw closer to Allah (tawassul) by virtue of his du‘aa’, because he knew that the du‘aa’ of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was more likely to be accepted by Allah, unlike the du‘aa’ of anyone else. If the blind man’s intention was to draw close to Allah by virtue of the Prophet’s person or his status, there would have been no need for him to come to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and ask him to offer du‘aa’ for him; rather he could have stayed at home and called upon his Lord by saying, for example: O Allah, I ask You by virtue of Your Prophet and His status before You to heal me and give me my sight. But he did not do that.
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) promised to offer supplication (du‘aa’) for him whilst advising him of that which would be better for him, which is when he said: “If you wish, I shall pray for you; and if you wish, you can be patient and that will be better for you.”
The blind man insisted that he offer supplication for him, as he said: Pray for me (now). This implies that the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did offer supplication for him, because he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was the best one in fulfilling promises, and he had promised him that he would offer supplication for him if he wanted, as stated above. So there is no doubt that he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) offered supplication for him. Thus what the blind man wanted was done. After that, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) turned towards the blind man out of compassion towards him and out of keenness that Allah answer his supplications for this man. So he turned to him and advised him of the second type of lawful tawassul, which is tawassul by virtue of righteous deeds, so as to combine all kinds of good and righteous deeds (to ensure that his need would be met). So he instructed him to do wudoo’ and to pray two rak‘ahs, then to offer supplication for himself. These are all acts of obedience towards Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, that came before the supplication of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) for him, and these are included in the words of the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Seek the means of approach to Him” [al-Maa’idah 5:35], as stated above.
Based on this, the entire incident revolves around the supplication (du‘aa’) – as is clear – and there is no mention at all of what they claim.
In the supplication that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) taught him it says: “O Allah, accept his intercession concerning me.” It is impossible to interpret this as referring to tawassul by virtue of the person or status of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), because what is meant is: O Allah, accept his (the Prophet’s) intercession for me; in other words, Accept his supplication for my vision to be restored to me. The Arabic word shafaa‘ah (translated here as intercession) means supplication. It says in Lisaan al-‘Arab (8/184): Shafaa‘ah (intercession) is the words of the shafee‘ (intercessor) to the king asking him to meet the need of someone else, or the one who asks for something for someone else and intercedes for him to get what he is seeking… End quote.
Thus it is proven that the tawassul of the blind man was only by virtue of the du‘aa’ of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), not by virtue of his person.
Among the things that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) taught the blind man to say was: “and accept my intercession concerning him”. What is meant is: accept my intercession, that is my supplication, that his intercession, that is his supplication that my sight be restored, be accepted. This is the only way in which this sentence can be interpreted; there is no other way of interpreting it.
Hence you see those among later generations who hold different views ignoring this last phrase and not referring to it at all, because it utterly demolishes their interpretation of the hadeeth.
This hadeeth is cited by the scholars as being one of the miracles of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and one of his supplications that were answered, and an example of what Allah manifested through the blessing of his supplication of extraordinary events and healing from sickness. By virtue of the Prophet’s supplication for this blind man, Allah restored his sight. Hence the scholars of hadeeth, such as al-Bayhaqi and others, narrated it among the signs of Prophethood (dalaa’il an-nubuwwah). This indicates that the reason for the healing of the blind man was the supplication of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).
If the reason for the healing of the blind man was that he sought tawassul by virtue of the Prophet’s status, as it was understood by many later scholars, that would imply that this healing should also have happened for other blind people who sought tawassul by virtue of his status and sometimes added to it the status of all the Prophets and Messengers, and all the close friends of Allah, the martyrs and the righteous, and the status of anyone who has status with Allah among the angels, mankind and the jinn! But we do not know, and we do not think that anyone knows, of any such incident that was fulfilled throughout the many centuries from the death of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) until the present day.
From this explanation it becomes clear that what is meant by the words of the blind man in his du‘aa’, “O Allah, I ask You and I seek to draw close to You by virtue of Your Prophet Muhammad”, is: I seek to draw close to You by virtue of the supplication of Your Prophet. The text of the hadeeth does not mention the supplication, but it is implied. This is something that occurs commonly in Arabic, as in the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And ask (the people of) the town where we have been, and the caravan in which we returned, and indeed we are telling the truth” [Yoosuf 12:82]; in the original text the word “people” is not mentioned but it is implied.
However, I would say: Even if we assume that the blind man did seek to draw close to Allah by virtue of the Prophet’s person, that would be a ruling that applied only to him (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and not to any other Prophet or righteous person, and applying it to them too is something that would not be acceptable to sound reasoning, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is their leader and the best of them all. It is possible that this is something that Allah bestowed exclusively upon him and not them, like many other qualities that were given only to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), according to saheeh reports. When it comes to that which was given exclusively to him, there is no room for applying it to others by analogy. If anyone thinks that the tawassul of the blind man was by virtue of the Prophet’s person, then he has to apply it to him only and not to anyone else. This view was narrated from Imam Ahmad and Shaykh al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd as-Salaam (may Allah have mercy on them) and it is the only conclusion that can be reached by fair-minded academic research. And Allah is the One Who guides to what is correct.
End quote from at-Tawassul, p. 75ff
And Allah knows best.
Was this invocation also for times after Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)?
A man would come to `Uthman ibn `Affan for a certain need, but the latter would not pay him any attention nor look into his need, upon which he complained of his condition to `Uthman ibn Hunayf who told him: “Go and make ablution, then go to the mosque and pray two rak`at, then say (this du`a ),” and he mentioned the invocation of the blind man, “then go (to `Uthman again).” The man went, did as he was told, then came to `Uthman’s door, upon which the door-attendant came, took him by the hand, and brought him to `Uthman who sat him with him on top of the carpet, and said: “Tell me what your need is.” After this the man went out, met `Uthman ibn Hunayf again, and said to him: “May Allah reward you! Previously he would not look into my need nor pay any attention to me, until you spoke to him.” He replied: “I did not speak to him, but I saw the Prophet when a blind man came to him complaining of his failing eyesight,” and he mentioned to him the substance of the previous narration.
The narration nowhere says that he prayed to Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). It says that he used the same method and the same dua but he knew that Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) was not alive and therefore, he omitted that part. The narration is vague and there is absolutely no other narration ‘that is Sahih’ that says that any Sahabi prayed to Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) or made dua to him after his death.
The same narration is narrated with addition of the story from Shoaib bin Sa’eed al-Makki (شبيب بن سعيد المكي )
Out of all narrator only he has narrated this story. Ibn Abee adee said about him:
وقال عنه ابن عدي في الكامل (4\31): «يُحَدّث عنه ابن وهب بالمناكير»
Ibn wahb narrated munkir Hadith from him. Imam Dhahabee said he wouldn’t narrate from him.
قال عنه الذهبي في ميزان الاعتدال (3\361): «صدوقٌ يُغرِب
Ibm Madanee has also said if Ibn Wahb narrates from him, don’t take it. If his son narrates take the Hadith because his son took it from his written book and Ibn Wahb from his hifz (memory) which went weak later in his life.
ابن المديني قريباً من هذا. ثم قال ابن عدي: «ولعل شبيب بمصر في تجارته إليها كتب عنه ابن وهب من حفظه، فيغلط ويهِم. وأرجو أن لا يتعمد شبيب هذا الكذب». وكانت رواية ابنه عنه من كتابه لا من حفظه، فإنه سيئ الحفظ.
Ibn Hajar has also said that if Ibn Wahb narrates from him, Hadith will be weak and if his son does so, there is nothing wrong then.
قال ابن حجر في تقريب التهذيب (1\263): «لا بأس بحديثه من رواية ابنه أحمد عنه، لا من رواية ابن وهب».
So the narrator is weak!
SECOND REASON FOR THE WEAKNESS OF HADITH
It is against the Ijma of the Sahab and Umar (radi Allahu anhu)
حدثنا الحسن بن محمد قال حدثنا محمد بن عبد الله الأنصاري قال حدثني أبي عبد الله بن المثنى عن ثمامة بن عبد الله بن أنس عن أنس بن مالك أن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه كان إذا قحطوا استسقى بالعباس بن عبد المطلب فقال اللهم إنا كنا نتوسل إليك بنبينا فتسقينا وإنا نتوسل إليك بعم نبينا فاسقنا قال فيسقون
He said used to do tawasul with Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam and after of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam’s death he used to do so with dua of Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) (Bukhari).
This Hadith show making waseela of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) after death is not allowed. If it was then they would have done it. Umar (radelaho anhu) did this infront of all Sahaba none of them objected to it.
THIRD REASON FOR THE WEAKNESS OF THE NARRATION:
How can a person like Usman (radelaho anhu), Khaleefa, turn away his face from a Muslim when he needs him? About whom Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said the shy, merciful is Usman (radelaho anhu)
So we can conclude that this story is a fabrication and nothing else.
And lastly if this story was truthful, there would not have been a blind person in the Muslim Ummah; everyone would be doing it .
I would like to end the article with these beautiful Ayaat:
Say, “Invoke those you have claimed [as gods] besides Him, for they do not possess the [ability for] removal of adversity from you or [for its] transfer [to someone else].”
Those whom they invoke seek means of access to their Lord, [striving as to] which of them would be nearest, and they hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. Indeed, the punishment of your Lord is ever feared.
Indeed, Allah knows best.