Believing that it is permissible to supplicate to other than Allah

Q 1: What is the ruling on performing Salah (Prayer) behind someone who believes that Du`a' (supplication) to the Messenger of Allah, the Awliya' (pious people), or `Aly ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) will be heard and responded to. Many people in Pakistan supplicate to the Messenger, `Aly, or `Abdul-Qadir Al-Jilany to seek benefits and ward off harm. (Part No. 1; Page No. 120) Q 3: What is the ruling on someone who believes that the Messenger of Allah, the Awliya', and shaykhs are alive or that the souls of the dead shaykhs are present and are endowed with knowledge? What is the ruling on someone who thinks that the Messenger of Allah is light and denies that he is a human being?

A: Firstly, Du`a' is one of the acts of `Ibadah (worship), and `Ibadah is the exclusive Right of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). Offering this to others is Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). The Qur'an, Sunnah, and Ijma` (consensus) are in agreement that supplicating to other than Allah is Haram (prohibited). The evidence from the Qur'an for this is that Allah, (Exalted be He) says, "And invoke not besides Allâh, any such that will neither profit you nor harm you, but if (in case) you did so, you shall certainly be one of the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers)." This Ayah (Qur'anic verse) and other similar ones explain that making Du`a' to other than Allah is Kufr (disbelief), Shirk, and deviation. As for evidence from the Sunnah, it was authentically reported in the Sunan (Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes) on the authority of Al-Nu`man ibn Bashir that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Du`a' is `Ibadah." and he (the Prophet) recited Allah's Words (Glorified be He): And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation). It was also narrated by Al-Tabarany with its Sanad (chain of narrators) that During the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him), there was a hypocrite who used to harm the believers. Some of them (the believers) said, "Let us ask for the help of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) against this hypocrite." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Do not ask me for help; ask Allah for help." In (Part No. 1; Page No. 121) this Hadith it is stipulated that neither the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor others should be supplicated to for help. The Prophet himself hated people to beseech him for help, even if it was in his capacity to give help during his lifetime. He forbade it to strengthen Tawhid (monotheism), serve as a means to Sadd-ul-Dhara'i` (blocking the means) leading to Shirk, due to modesty and humility in regard to his Lord, and as a warning to the Ummah (nation) against all means to Shirk related to both statements and actions. If this was the case in relation to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and deeds he could do during his lifetime, then how could it be permissible to supplicate to the Prophet for help after his death, and ask him for help to achieve something that no one can do but Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He)? Also, if that is the case for the Prophet (peace be upon him) what must it be for others? As for Ijma`, the Ummah unanimously agrees that Du`a' is `Ibadah and that it should be performed solely for the Sake of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), and performing it for others is Shirk. Secondly, hearing is one of the senses that only the living have. Once a person dies, they lose their hearing and are not able to recognize the voices of the living or hear what they say. Allah (Exalted be He) says: ...but you cannot make hear those who are in graves. Allah (Exalted be He) confirmed to His Messenger that those who refuse to hear his Da`wah (call to Islam) resemble the dead. Linguistically speaking, in Arabic similes, the aspect of comparison is stronger in what is being likened to than it is in what is being likened. Therefore, the dead are more likely not to hear or respond than the stubborn people who turned deaf ears and blind eyes to the Messenger's Da`wah, and said, "Our hearts are wrapped up." Allah (Exalted be He) says in this regard: If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call; and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) like Him Who is the All-Knower (of everything). (Part No. 1; Page No. 122) It is related that some Kafirs (disbelievers) were killed and then thrown into Al-Qalib (Well) at the Battle of Badr. The Messenger (peace be upon him) called upon them saying, "Have you found what your Lord promised you to be true? We have found what our Lord promised us to be true." The Sahabah (Companions) questioned him about calling upon those dead people, and he replied saying, "You cannot hear what I said better than they do." He (peace be upon him) was referring to those thrown in Al-Qalib. This was one of the miracles that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was endowed with by Allah and it has been established through evidence that it was an exception to the general rule. Thirdly, the Qur'an shows that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is going to die, as Allah (Exalted be He) says: Verily you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will die, and verily they (too) will die. And Everyone shall taste death. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is included in this general rule. Moreover, all the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them), the scholars who came after them, and the Ummah (nation) have agreed by Ijma` that the Prophet died. If it has been established that the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself cannot help anyone after his death, dead Awliya' and shaykhs also cannot help anyone a fortiori. The basic rule concerning matters of the Ghayb (Unseen) is it is known exclusively by Allah. He (Exalted be He) says: And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record. Allah (Exalted be He) also says: (Part No. 1; Page No. 123)  Say: "None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (Unseen) except Allâh, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected." But He revealed some matters of Ghayb to the Messengers He chose, as He (Exalted be He) says: "(He Alone is) the All-Knower of the Ghaib (Unseen), and He reveals to none His Ghaib (Unseen)." Except to a Messenger (from mankind) whom He has chosen (He informs him of unseen as much as He likes), and then He makes a band of watching guards (angels) to march before him and behind him. Allah (Exalted be He) also says: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "I am not a new thing among the Messengers (of Allâh i.e. I am not the first Messenger) nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner." It was authentically narrated in a long Hadith on the authority of Um Al-`Ala' that she said When `Uthman ibn Mazh`un died, we covered him with his clothes. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then came to us and I said (addressing the deceased), "O Abu Al-Sa'ib! I bear witness that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) has honored you." The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "How do you know that Allah has honored him?" I replied, "I do not know. May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah!" The Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "As for him, the certainty from his Lord (death) has overtaken him, and I hope for good for him. By Allah! Although I am the Messenger of Allah, yet I do not know what He (Allah) will do with me." I said, "By Allah! I will never assert the piety of anyone after him." Related by Ahmad and Al-Bukhari in his Sahih [Book of Authentic Hadith], Kitab Al-Jana'iz [Book of Funerals]. In another narration from Al-Bukhari [the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,] I do not know, although I am the Messenger of Allah, what He will do with him. It is reported in many Hadith that Allah informed the Prophet (peace be upon him) of the end of some of his Sahabah (Companions), and gave them the good news that they would be admitted into Jannah (Paradise). (Part No. 1; Page No. 124) In the Hadith narrated from `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) related in "Sahih Muslim" he said, When Jibril (Gabriel) asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about the Hour, he replied, "The one being asked about it does not know more than the one asking." He then just told Jibril about its signs. This signifies that he (peace be upon him) only knew what Allah informed him of the Ghayb, which He conveyed when necessary. Also, when Allah (Exalted be He) informed His Prophet (peace be upon him) in Surah Al-Fath that his sins will be forgiven, it is authentically related that he (peace be upon him) said, The Prophet will enter Jannah (Paradise); and Abu Bakr will enter Jannah; and `Umar will enter Jannah; and `Uthman will enter Jannah; and `Aly will enter Jannah; and Talhah will enter Jannah; and Al-Zubayr will enter Jannah; and `Abdul-Rahman ibn `Awf will enter Jannah; and Sa`d ibn Malik will enter Jannah, and he is Ibn Abu Waqqas; and Sa`id ibn Zayd will enter Jannah; and Abu `Ubaydah ibn Al-Jarrah will enter Jannah. May Allah be pleased with them all. What has been mentioned above are all matters of the Ghayb, which Allah revealed to His Prophet. Fourthly, describing the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) as a light from Allah's Light meaning that the Prophet is in himself a light from the Light of Allah is in contradiction to the Qur'an which confirms that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a human being. If the meaning is that he (the Prophet) is considered as a light in consideration of the Wahy (Revelation) that he received and disseminated, which became a means of guidance for whoever (Part No. 1; Page No. 125) Allah wills among His Creation, this is correct. We issued a Fatwa in this regard, which said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a light in terms of the light of his message and the guidance through which Allah guides the insight of those of His slaves that He wills. There is no doubt that the light of the message and guidance is from Allah, as He (Exalted be He) says: It is not given to any human being that Allâh should speak to him unless (it be) by Revelation, or from behind a veil, or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His Leave. Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise. And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) Ruh (a Revelation, and a Mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith? But We have made it (this Qur’ân) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will. And verily, you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) are indeed guiding (mankind) to the Straight Path (i.e. Allâh’s Religion of Islâmic Monotheism). The Path of Allâh to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Verily, all matters at the end go to Allâh (for decision). This light is not acquired from the Prophet, as is claimed by some heretics. The Prophet's body was created from flesh, blood, and bones; he was created from a father and a mother, and nothing of him existed before his birth. As for those who say that the first thing Allah created was the Prophet's light, or that Allah took a handful from the light of His Face and that this handful was Muhammad (peace be upon him), and that Allah looked at it and it turned into drops, and from each one He created a prophet or that He even created the whole creation from the Prophet's light; nothing of this or anything like it was authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) during his lifetime or afterwards ("Majmu` Al-Fatawa", Ibn Taymiyyah, p. 366, vol. 18). Fifthly, saying that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was not a human being like us could be both true and false. We issued a Fatwa in this regard, which said that these words (Part No. 1; Page No. 126) are general and could be both true and false. It is true if it was intending to confirm that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a human being, but that he was not an ordinary human being like everyone else. Although he shared human characteristics, such as eating, drinking, getting sick, remembering, forgetting, living, dying, marrying women, and the like, he was favored with what Allah bestowed upon him. He was the one who received the Wahy from Allah, was sent to the people with good news and warnings, and was a Da`y (caller) to Allah, with His Permission and His Shining Light. This is true and has been attested to both by reality and what is written in the Qur'an. Allah (Exalted be He) says: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your Ilâh (God) is One Ilâh (God - i.e. Allâh). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord." Allah commanded the Prophet (peace be upon him) to tell his Ummah that he was a human being like them, but that Allah had chosen him to bear the burden of the Message and revealed the Shari`ah (Islamic law) of Tawhid (belief in the Oneness of Allah) and guidance to Him. Allah (Exalted be He) says, when explaining what took place between the Messengers of Allah and their people: Their Messengers said: "What! Can there be a doubt about Allâh, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? He calls you (to Monotheism and to be obedient to Allâh) that He may forgive you of your sins and give you respite for a term appointed." They said: "You are no more than human beings like us! You wish to turn us away from what our fathers used to worship. Then bring us a clear authority (i.e. a clear proof of what you say)." Their Messengers said to them: "We are no more than human beings like you, but Allâh bestows His Grace to whom He wills of His slaves. It is not ours to bring you an authority (proof) except by the Permission of Allâh. And in Allâh (Alone) let the believers put their trust. The Messengers acknowledged that they were human beings like us, but it was Allah Who (Part No. 1; Page No. 127) bestowed His Message upon them, as Allah (Exalted be He) bestows what He chooses upon which of His Servants He wills, and chooses from them whoever He wills to convey the Message that brings people from the darkness to the light. This is mentioned frequently throughout the Qur'an. However, if those words are said meaning that the Prophet is not a human being at all or that he is a human being but has nothing in common with other human beings in so far as their physical characteristics are concerned, then this is false and belies the truth. It is explicit Kufr (disbelief) and is in contradiction to the clear text of the Qur'an, which confirms that all the Messengers were human beings in every respect, except in some special matters that Allah honored them with, such as the Wahy, prophethood, the Message, and the miracles.In any event, it is not correct to describe the Prophet in this way (i.e. That he was not a human being like us) either affirmatively or negatively, unless it is supported with an explanation and clarification, as it could cause confusion and generalization. For this reason the Qur'an never confirms this without stating the favors that Allah bestowed upon His Messengers, such as is mentioned in the Ayahs (Qur'anic verses) above, and as Allah (Exalted be He) also says: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "I am only a human being like you. It is revealed to me that your Ilâh (God) is One Ilâh (God - Allâh), therefore take Straight Path to Him (with true Faith - Islâmic Monotheism) and obedience to Him, and seek forgiveness of Him. And woe to Al-Mushrikûn (the polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh). Those who give not the Zakât and they are disbelievers in the Hereafter. It is feared that declaring the Messengers to be like other human beings could degrade them or be used as a means to deny their message, it should also be feared that denying this likeness could lead to the adoption of exaggeration and exceeding of proper bounds in relation to the Messengers and to ascribing attributes to them that are only suited to Allah (Exalted be He). Therefore, it is necessary for a Muslim to be meticulous and give explanations (Part No. 1; Page No. 128) in order to distinguish the truth from falsehood and guidance from misguidance.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.