Is it a polytheistic act to call and seek help from the Prophet (peace be upon him) during hard times, whether near or far from his grave?
(Part No. 3; Page No. 231)
Calling upon or seeking help from the Prophet (peace be upon him) after his death to fulfill needs and remove troubles is a form of the major Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) that puts a person out of the pale of Islam. This is regardless of the person being near or far from the Prophet's grave. One Example of this Shirk is saying, "O Messenger of Allah! I seek your help for healing or returning the absent one, etc." Allah (Exalted be He) says,
And the mosques are for Allâh (Alone): so invoke not anyone along with Allâh.
Allah also says:
And whoever invokes (or worships), besides Allâh, any other ilâh (god), of whom he has no proof; then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely! Al-Kâfirûn (the disbelievers in Allâh and in the Oneness of Allâh, polytheists, pagans, idolaters) will not be successful.
He (Exalted be He) further says,
Such is Allâh, your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmîr (the thin membrane over the date-stone).
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).