Supplicating Allaah while making Tawassul (intercession) by the Prophet is groundless
Fatwa No: 4413

  • Fatwa Date:5-5-2011 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 2, 1432
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Question

Is it permissible to supplicate Allaah The Almighty by the virtue and status of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? Is it permissible to mention the Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as an intermediary when entreating Allaah The Almighty to accept a supplication?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

 

Supplicating Allaah The Almighty is a sublime act of obedience and one of the greatest types of worship. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, even said that supplication is the core of worship. As long as it is a type of worship, we are obliged to perform it in the same way the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did. Therefore, what was made legal by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is legal for us and we are permitted to do; otherwise, we are not. It was reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, warned that whoever introduces something new in the religion that neither he nor his Companions did, his deed would be rejected and would be unacceptable. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, informed us of the reasons that make supplication acceptable, such as raising one's hands while supplicating, having a conscious heart, repeating the supplication more than once, choosing the favored times such as the last third of the night and between Athaan (call to prayer) and Iqaamah (second call to prayer), as well as others.

However, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was not reported , through a sound chain of narrators ,to have  directed his Ummah (nation) to make Tawassul (intercession) to Allaah The Almighty by means of his status, although it is indisputable that his virtue and status in the sight of Allaah The Almighty are above those of all the sons of Aadam.

Likewise, it was not reported from the Companions, with their keenness on doing righteous deeds and the intensity with which they supplicated and entreated Allaah The Almighty, that he said the following while making supplication,  “O Allaah, I supplicate you by the right of Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his status.”  Consequently, it was concluded that Tawassul neither belonged to the guidance of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, nor that of his Companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them. It was even narrated that when they wished to supplicate Allaah The Almighty after the death of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they made Tawassul by his uncle Al-‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him. In this regard, it was narrated that ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him supplicated Allaah The Almighty by means of Al-‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him (i.e., by his supplication not by himself) the uncle of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. [Al-Bukhari]

This is evidence that they used to make Tawassul by means of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, (in the sense that they made Tawassul through his supplication and intercession) during his lifetime. Yet, after his death, they supplicated Allaah The Almighty by means of Al-‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him (which means through the supplication of Al-‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him not by himself). If someone says that it was necessary that they do so to perform the rain-invoking prayer and supplication, the answer will be as follows: ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him as well as others, could have led the prayer and supplicated Allaah The Almighty by means of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, since this was not done, it was deduced that good lay in acting otherwise, and that this action was not dictated by the Sharee‘ah.

Similarly, the Hadeeth (narration) of the blind man who came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and asked him to supplicate Allaah The Almighty to heal him, [Ahmad, An-Nasaa’i and At-Tirmithi]  refers to making Tawassul to Allaah The Almighty by means of the supplication of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, not by means of himself. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, gave the man the option to choose between supplicating Allaah The Almighty for him and patience which is great in reward. Moreover, this blind man asked Allaah The Almighty to accept the intercession of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, on his behalf. Therefore, it was deduced that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, supplicated Allaah The Almighty for him and interceded with Him on his behalf. 

Regarding the Hadeeth in which the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, commanded his followers to supplicate Allaah The Almighty by his status, it is a fabricated Hadeeth and so is the one where it is said that Aadam  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention supplicated Allaah The Almighty by the right of Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The following are types of permissible Tawassul:

1-      Making Tawassul to Allaah The Almighty through His Beautiful Names and Sublime Attributes, such as supplicating Him by means of His knowledge of the Unseen, His Omnipotence over His creation and that He is the One and Only God.

2-      Making Tawassul to Allaah The Almighty through one's righteous deeds, as in the parable of the Companions of the Cave; the youths who retreated to a cave in the mountain to spend the night therein, then a huge rock fell and blocked the entrance. They started to supplicate Allaah The Almighty, each by means of his righteous deeds. Thereupon, the rock moved and they were able to get out of the cave. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allaah Knows best.

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