Permissible and prohibited Tawassul

  • Author: Fatwa no: 16690
  • Publish date:19/08/2019
  • Section:FATWA FOR ALL
  • Rate:
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Question:

I want to ask about Tawassul (invoking Allah, by means of an intermediary), is it permissible in Islam?
 
Fatwa:
 
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and Messenger.
 
There are two categories of Tawassul. One is permissible and the other is prohibited. 
 
The permissible category has three types:
 
1-   Tawassul by means of the Names and Attributes of Allah;  Allah Says (what means):
· {And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.} [Quran 7:180]
· {O you who have believed, fear Allah and seek the means [of nearness] to Him and strive in His cause that you may succeed.} [Quran 5:35]
 
2-   Tawassul to Allah by virtue of a person’s  righteous deeds. Ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him,narrated on authority of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) the story of the three persons who were blocked inside a cave by a huge stone and each of them supplicated Allah to get them out of the cave by virtue of a good deed he had done.  [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
3-   Tawassul by a righteous living man supplicating for others.  It was narrated on the authority of ‘Uthman Ibn Abi Al-‘Aas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him that a blind man made Tawassul to Allah The Almighty by means of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) saying, "I invoke  You by means of Your Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) … so make him intercede for me with You". [Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah]
 
This man's saying "make him intercede for me with You" proves that the meaning of seeking the Tawassul of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) , is seeking Tawassul by his  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) supplication and not with the person of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) .  This is also supported by what ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him did when they  suffered  draught: he sought the Tawassul of Al-‘Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) to supplicate Allah and it rained with the permission of Allah. [Al-Bukhari].  Had pleading to Allah by means of the person of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) been permissible, then they would have made Tawassul by means of the person of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) , after his death as well, as his status and honor during his life remained the same after his death.
 
The prohibited category contains two types:
 
1.   Tawassul that is considered a religious innovation, such as making Tawassul by means of the person of the prophets or righteous persons. The evidence for this is that Tawassul is an act of worship and all acts of worship are only done if they are proven by an authentic text , as indicated by the previous narration of ‘Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him.
 
2.   Tawassul which is considered an act of Shirk [associating partners with Allah], such as making Tawassul by means of acts of worship (supplicating, vowing, sacrificing) for the sake of other than Allah , then alleging that this is for the purpose of making them (to whom the act was done) intercede for them with Allah. Allah Says about polytheists (what means):
{We only worship them that they may bring us nearer to Allah in position} [Quran 39:3] 
{And they worship other than Allah that which neither harms them nor benefits them, and they say, "These are our intercessors with Allah} [Quran10:18]
 
Allah Knows best. 
 
Fatwa answered by:The Fatwa Center at Islamweb
 

 

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