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Course Name: Aqeedah III Course Code: AQD III Instructor: Shaykh Abu Salman Deya ud Deen Eberle
Student Details Name: Hassan Basarally Student ID: 1120020 Batch: Semester: 3 (Spring 2013)
Assignment Question: Discuss three of the arguments for and against praying to the Prophet (pbuh) and the saints. (Maximum 1200 words)
بسم ال والحمد ل و ا لصل ة و ا لسل م على ر صو ل ل Amongst the Muslims today are many who claim that it is permissible to pray to the Prophet Muhammad, صلى ال عليه و سلم, and the “saints” or Awliya. Amongst the reasons that are given for this belief are since the Messenger, صسسلى ال س عليسسه و سسسلم, and the Awliya have Mu’jizah (miracles) and Karaamah (supernatural acts) this makes supplication to them having a greater chance of being accepted. Another reason is that their piety allows them to intercede for people. Finally, it is believed that some of the Awliya have knowledge of the unseen and can help people who supplicate to them. However, this act is not in accordance with the Islamic creed and impermissible in the Shariah because having Karaamah does not make one a Wali, any worship that is directed to human beings means that one is giving those human beings attributes that belong only to Allah, سبحانه و تعلى, and finally, intercession is only from Allah, سبحانه و تعلى.
A few points must be mentioned firstly about the Messenger, صلى ال عليه و سلم, and the Awliya. Imam Tahawi states about the Messenger, صلى ال عليه و سلم: He is Leader (Imam) of the Pious, He is Chief of the Messengers and He is very dear to the Lord of the Worlds. A Muslim affirms all these characteristics and it is supported in many places in the Quran and Sunnah. For example, Allah, سبحانه و تعلى, says: (٣١) م ٌ حمي ِر مي َر ح ٌ فرو ُغ رو َلل ح ُولا رو َّه َم ح ْ ك و ُب رو َنرو ح ُذ رو ُم رو ْ ك و ُل رو َر ح ْ ف و ِغ مي ْ ي و َو ح َلل ح ُم لا رو َّه ُك رو ُب رو ْ ب و ِح مي ْ ي و ُن ي رو ِعرو مي ُب رو ِت مي َّفتا ه َلل ح َن لا ح َّه َبرو ح ُّح و ِت مي ُم رو ْ ت و ُن رو ْ ك و ُن رو ْ إ و ِل مي ْ ق و ُرو 3:31. Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur'ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
It is evident here that love for Allah, سبحانه و تعلى, is equated to obedience and following the Messenger, صلى ال عليه و سلم. The superiority of and nearness of the Messenger, صلى ال عليه و سلم, to Allah, سبحانه و تعلى, is seen in the following verse: (٥٥) … ض ٍ … ع ْ ب و َل ى ح َع ح َن ح َميمي ح ّبَني ِن مي َّحَ لال ه عض ْ ب و َنتا ح َل ح ْ ض و َّف ه َد ح ْ ق و َل ح َو ح َميِ ح رض ْ ولال و َت ح ِولا مي َمتا ح َس ح َّف ي لال ه ِن مي ْ م و َب ح ِم مي ُل رو َأعو ْ ح َك ح َب ح ُّر و َو ح َح 17:55. And your Lord knows best all who are in the heavens and the earth. And indeed, we have preferred some of the Prophets above others… Imam Ibn Abi Al Izz explains that the Messenger, صلى ال عليه و سلم, has the highest form of love from Allah, سسبحانه و تعلسى. This is called kullah, which is a love that fills the heart of the lover. 1 However, this does not afford him, صلى ال عليه و سلم, any ability to answer supplications. In fact he, صلى ال عليه و سلم, directed all supplication to Allah, سبحانه و تعلىalone as seen in the following Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah, رضي ال عنه: "ة ً ر " َّم ه َن ح َعمي ح ِب مي ْ س و َن ح ْ م و ِر مي َث ح َك ح ْ أ و َم ح ِرو مي ْ مي و َلح ْ ف ي لا و ِه مي ِمي مي ْ ل و َإ ح ِب مي ُترو رو ُأ رو َوح َلل ح َر لا ح َّه ُف رو ِغ مي ْ ت و َس ح ْ ل و َن ي ح ّإ َني ِلل مي ِولا مي َّه َ" ح "By Allah! I ask for forgiveness from Allah and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day."2 The Messenger, صلى ال عليه و سلم, is nothing but a man who Allah, سبحانه و تعلىselected to be a prophet, who called people to Tawheed or the sincere worship of Allah alone. Allah, سبحانه و تعلى says: ) دلا ً ح " َأ ح َه ح ِب مي ّر َني َة ح ِد مي َبتا ح َع ح ِب مي ِك مي ْ ر و ِش مي ْ ي و ُوال رو َحتا ح ً ل " ِصتا مي َمال ح َع ح َل ح ْ م و َع ح ْ مي و َلح ْ ف و َه ح ِب مي ّر َني َء ح َقتا ح َل ح ِجرو مي ُر رو ْ ي و َن ح َكتا ح َن ح ْ م و َف ح َد ح ٌ ح ِولا مي َه ح ٌ ل َإ ح ِم مي ْ ك و ُه رو ُل رو َإ ح ِمتا مي َن ح َّأ ه َ ي ح َّل ه َإ ح ِح ى مي َيرو ح ُم رو ْ ك و ُل رو ُثرو ْ م و ِر مي ٌ ش َب ح َنتا ح َأ ح َمتا ح َن ح َّإ ه ِل مي ْ ق و ُرو (١١٠ 18:110. Say (O Muhammad ): "I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilâh (God) is one Ilâh (God i.e. Allâh). So whoever hopes for the meeting with his
Ibn Abi Al Izz, Sharh Al Aqeedah At Tahawiyyah, Translated by Muhammad Abdul Haqq Al Ansari, Al Imam Muhammad Ibn Sa’ud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, p. 92 Sahih al-Bukhari 6307
Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord."
Regarding the Awliya, a distinction must be made between the true Awliya and those who claim to be so. In fact, it is those who falsely claim to be Awliya who encourage people to supplicate to them. Allah, سبحانه و تعلى, describes the true Awliya as: (٦٢) ن َنرو ح ُز رو َح ح ْ ي و َم ح ْ ه و ُوال رو َم ح ْ ه و ِمي مي ْ ل و َع ح َف ح ٌ رو ْ خ و َلل ال ح ِء لا مي َّه َميتا ح َلح ِو مي ْ أ و َن ح َّإ ه ِأال مي َح 10:62. No doubt! Verily, the Auliyâ' of Allâh [i.e. those who believe In the Oneness of Allâh and fear Allâh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden), and love Allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve. Obviously such people mentioned in this verse would not commit Shirk (associating partners with Allah, )سبحانه و تعلى. Shaykh Ibnu Saalih al Uthaymeen describes the Awliya as “the pious believers…those who believe in Him and are devout to Him. They love what He loves and hate what He hates, are pleased with what pleases Him and are angered by what angers Him. They command what He commands, they prohibit what He prohibits, they provide for whom He loves to be given and they deprive those whom He loves to be deprived…” 3 Therefore one must understand that the Messenger, صلى ال عليه و سلم, and the true Awliya never called for worship to be directed towards anyone beside Allah and are free from what the modern day grave worshippers try to ascribe to them. This in itself is the simplest argument against directing supplication to them. The first argument that those who claim that it is permissible to pray to the Prophet, صلى ال عليه و سلم, and the Awliya is that Mu’jizah of the Prophet, صلى ال عليه و سلم, and the Karaamah of the
3 Muhammad Ibnu Saalih Al Uthaymeen, The Explanation of the Six Foundations, IIIN Publications, Philadelphia, U.S.A., p. 55
Awliya show the exalted station of them hence one can pray to them. They say that such supernatural phenomena are only given to the most beloved of Allah; hence, they have a special station making supplication to them permissible. They go to extreme in showing love for them. This type of love is ishq, a type of love that blinds the lover making one go to extremes in professing and demonstrating love. In the case of the Messenger, صلى ال عليه و سلم, the Mu’jizah given to him was Allah, سبحانه و تعلى, showing the people the truth of his Prophethood. On the other hand, the Karaamah of the Awliya does not mean that the person to whom it is given to is beloved to Allah. Imam Ibn Abi al Izz divided the people into three categories regarding Karaamah: those who are given honour by them, those who are exposed to Allah’s, سبحانه و تعلى, punishment by them and those where it is like any other good.4 So Karaamah can be a blessing or a test, one can misuse it and be punished. Look at the case of Musa, عليه السل م: (٦٥) ق ى َل ح ْ أ و َن ح ْ م و َل ح َو ح َّأ ه َن ح َكرو ح ُن رو َن ح ْ أ و َمتا ح َّإ ه ِومي َ ي ح َق ح ِل مي ْ ت و ُن رو ْ أ و َمتا ح َّإ ه ِس ى مي َمرو ح ُيتا رو َلرولا ح ُقتارو َح 20:65. They said: "O Mûsa (Moses)! Either you throw first or we be the first to throw?" (٦٦) ع ى َس ح ْ ت و َهتا ح َن ح َّأ ه َم ح ْ ه و ِر مي ِح مي ْ س و ِن مي ْ م و ِه مي ِمي مي ْ ل و َإ ح ِل مي ُمي رو َّخه َي ح ُم رو ْ ه و ُمي رو ُّصو ِع مي ِو مي َم ح ْ ه و ُل رو ُبتارو َح ح ِذلا مي َإ ح ِفمي َقرولا ح ُل رو ْ أ و َل ح ْ ب و َل ح َقتا ح َح 20:66. [Mûsa (Moses)] said: "Nay, throw you (first)!" Then behold, their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast. (٦٧) س ى َمرو ح ُة رو ً ف " َخمي ح ِه مي ِس مي ِف مي ْ ن و َف ي ح ِس مي َج ح َو ح ْ أ و َفح َح 20:67. So Mûsa (Moses) conceived a fear in himself. (٦٨) ل ى َع ح ْ ت لال و َن ح ْ أ و َك ح َن ح َّإ ه ِف مي ْ حَ و تخ َنتا ال ح َل ح ْ ق و ُرو 20:68. We (Allâh) said: "Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand. (٦٩) ت ى َأ ح َث ح ُمي رو ْ ح و َر ح ُح رو ِستا مي َّح لال ه ُل رو ِف مي ْ ي و ُوال رو َر ح ٍ … ح ِستا مي َد ح ُمي رو ْ ك و َعرولا ح ُن رو َص ح َمتا ح َن ح َّإ ه ِعرولا مي ُن رو َص ح َمتا ح َف ح ْ ق و َل ح ْ ت و َك ح َن ح ِممي مي ِي مي َف ي ح ِمتا مي َق ح ِل مي ْ أ و َوح َح
Ibn Abi Al Izz, Sharh Al Aqeedah At Tahawiyyah, Translated by Muhammad Abdul Haqq Al Ansari, Al Imam Muhammad Ibn Sa’ud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, p. 463
20:69. "And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magician's trick, and the magician will never be successful, no matter whatever amount (of skill) he may attain." So here, one can see Musa, عليه السل م, being given a miracle, the magicians were also able to conjure some supernatural sight in the court of Fir’awn, but this did not mean that they were righteous; in fact they were from the worst of people at that time. Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah wrote “it is not permissible that whosoever performs such feats is a Wali of Allah, rather the standard of judging them to be the Awliya is by comparing their attributes, actions and states to the Book and the Sunnah”5
Another argument used is that the Prophet, صسسلى الس عليسسه و سسسلم, and the Awliya are used as intermediaries in front of Allah because they are so righteous. It is believed that supplicating to them will increase the chance of one’s supplication being granted. Regarding this doubt, there are some things to bear in mind, only Allah, سبحانه و تعلىgrants intercession: (٢٥٥) … ه ِن مي ِذ مي ْ إ و ِب مي ِإال مي ِه مي ُد رو َن ح ْ ع و ِع مي ُف رو َش ح ْ ي و َذ ي ح ِل مي َّذلا لاه َن ح ْ م و َ… ح 2:255. Who is He that can intercede with Him except with his Permission? There is the Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah, رضي ال عنه: "ة ِم مي َميتا ح َقح ِل مي ْ م لا و َرو ح ْ ي و َت ي ح ِم مي َّل ه ُة رو ً ع " َفتا ح َش ح َت ي ح ِرو مي َع ح ْ د و َ ي ح َب ح ِت مي َخ ح ْ أ و َن ح ْ أ و َلل ح ُء لا رو َّه َشتا ح َن ح ْ إ و ِد مي ُري رو ِأ مي ُفرو َ ح، ة ٌ رو َع ح ْ د و َ ي ح ٍّ ب ِن مي َل ح ّك َني ُل رو ِ" مي "For every Prophet there is one invocation which is definitely fulfilled by Allah, and I wish, if Allah will, to keep my that (special) invocation as to be the intercession for my followers on the Day of Resurrection."6
Ibn Taymiyyah, The Decisive Criterion Between The Friends of Allah and The Friends of Shaytan, Translated by Abu Rumaysah, Dar us Sunnah Publishers, Birmingham U.K., p. 180 Sahih al-Bukhari 7474
It is seen here that intercession is for specific to Prophets on the Day of Judgements, not to Awliya. Also, intercession is only to whom Allah, سبحانه و تعلى, wills from the Muslims: (٢٨) ن َقرو ح ُف رو ِش مي ْ م و ُه رو ِت مي ِمي مي َشح ْ خ و َن ح ْ م و ِم مي ْ ه و ُو رو َض ى ح َت ح َر ح ْ ن لا و ِم مي َل ح ِإال مي ِن مي َعرو ح ُف رو َش ح ْ ي و َوال ح َم ح ْ ه و ُف رو َل ح ْ خ و َمتا ح َو ح َم ح ْ ه و ِدي مي ِي مي ْ أ و َن ح َمي ح ْ ب و َمتا ح َم ح ُل رو َع ح ْ ي و َح 21:28. He knows what is before them, and what is behind them, and they cannot intercede except for Him with whom He is pleased. And they stand in awe for fear of Him.
A third reason why people justify supplicating to the Messenger, صلى ال عليه و سلمand the Awliya is that they believe that they have knowledge of the unseen. This is partly due to the Mu’jizah and Karaamah given to them and also their piety. Shaykh Ehsaan Elahi Zaheer gives some examples of what the Bareilawi claim, “There is nothing in this world kept hidden from the Prophet, صلى ال عليه و سلم.”7 and “A servant of Allah is acquainted with the realities of things and the unseen”8. Though these statements may be to an extreme, the excessiveness of such claims are common place. Imam Tahawi states “We do not believe in diviners and fortune-tellers, nor do we believe in those who expound ideas incompatible with the Quran, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Ummah.” The statement “nor do we believe in those who expound ideas incompatible with the Quran, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Ummah ” refers to the so-called Awliya who claim knowledge of the unseen. This so called knowledge is from the Shayateen from the Jinn. The true Awliya follow the Prophet, صلى ال عليه و سلم, and hold that knowledge of the unseen of for Allah alone: (١٨) ن َلرو ح ُمرو َع ح ْ ت و َمتا ح َب ح ِر مي ٌ صمي ِب مي َلل ح ُولا رو َّه َض ح ِر مي ْ ولال و َت ح ِولا مي َمتا ح َس ح َّب لال ه َمي ح ْ غ و َم ح ُل رو َع ح ْ ي و َلل ح َن لا ح َّه َّإ ه ِمي 49:18. Verily, Allâh knows the unseen of the heavens and the earth. And Allâh is the AllSeer of what you do.
Ehsan Elahi Zaheer, The Reality of Bareilawi’ism, The Orthodox Press, p. 78 Ehsan Elahi Zaheer, The Reality of Bareilawi’ism, The Orthodox Press, p. 88
(٢٦) دلا ً ح " َأ ح َه ح ِب مي ِمي مي ْ غ و َل ى ح َع ح َر ح ُه رو ِظ مي ْ ي و ُفال رو َب ح ِمي مي ْ غ و َل ح ْ م لا و ُل رو ِعتا مي َح 72:26. "(He Alone) the All-Knower of the Ghâ'ib (unseen), and He reveals to none his Ghâ'ib (unseen)." If fact what is actually happening, is that those who make such claims are stripping attributes of Allah and giving them to human beings. Imam Tahawi said about Allah, سبحانه و تعلى, “There is nothing like Him”. So they take knowledge of the unseen and give it to humans. We cannot make the human being comparable to Allah: (١١) ر ُصمي رو ِب مي َل ح ْ ع لا و ُممي رو ِس مي َّرو لال ه َه ح ُو رو َء ح ٌ ي ْ ش و َه ح ِل مي ِث مي ْ م و ِك مي َحَ ح ميس ْ ل و َ… ح 42:11… there is nothing like unto him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.
They also take Tawheed al Ibadah and give it to humans because instead of supplicating to Allah, سبحانه و تعلى, they supplicate to the Prophet, صلى ال عليه و سلم, and the Awliya. Allah, سبحانه و تعلى, says: (٥) ن ُعمي رو ِت مي َس ح ْ ن و َك ح َيتا ح َّإ ه ِومي َد ح ُروُ رو عب ْ ن و َك ح َيتا ح َّإ ه ِمي 1:5. You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). Since there is no Wilayah except by following the Prophet, صلى ال عليسسه و سسسلم, how can one supplicate to other than Allah, سبحانه و تعلى, who revealed the above verse to His Messenger, صلى ال عليه و سلم. Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah wrote about the Wali “Each time he attains some increase in guidance and the Religion of Truth then it is via the medium of Muhammad.”9 Some use the Mu’jizah and Karaamah as reasons to supplicate to human beings, however as seen in the story of Musa someone displaying Karaamah does not mean that person is a Wali. Also Mu’jizah and Karramah by the righteous do not give them any ability to answer supplication. Others say that they are intercessors, but intercession is decided only by Allah, سبحانه و تعلى. And
9 Ibn Taymiyyah, The Decisive Criterion Between The Friends of Allah and The Friends of Shaytan, Translated by Abu Rumaysah, Dar us Sunnah Publishers, Birmingham U.K.., p. 206
yet another claim is that the Awliya and Prophet, صلى ال عليه و سسلم, have knowledge, this is making the creation similar to Allah, سبحانه و تعلى. Hence, supplicating to such human beings brings no benefit and is an act of Shirk.
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