Q: There is a severe attack against the Salafists (those following the way of the righteous predecessors); they are accused of denying and not loving Awliya' (pious people). A piece of evidence their accusers cite (Part No. 1; Page No. 111) to prove that seeking the help of Allah through dead people is permissible
is the Hadith about the blind man who invoked Allah through the Prophet (Peace be upon him) after his death.
I have been informed that this Hadith is Sahih (a Hadith that has been transmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity and blemish), a fact that confuses some people deeply. I hope you enlighten us on this important issue.
A: After studying the question, the Committee's answer is as follows:
The Hadith of the blind man's story
is narrated by Imam
with his Sanad (chain of narrators) on the authority of
`Uthman ibn Hunayf (may Allah be pleased with him):
A blind man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: I have been afflicted in my eyesight, so please pray to Allah for me. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If you wish, I will make Du`a' (supplication) to Allah to cure you; and if you wish, be patient and that would be better for you. The man said: Make Du`a' to Allah for me. Then, the Prophet said to him: Go and make ablution, and then say: Oh Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad (Ya Muhammad), I seek your Shafa`ah (intercession) with my Lord for my need, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah, accept his Shafa`ah for me.
(Al-Tirmidhy said: It is a Hasan 'a Hadith whose chain of narration contains a narrator with weak exactitude, but is free from eccentricity or blemish', Sahih, and Gharib 'a Hadith with a single narrator usually at the beginning of the chain of narration' Hadith which has not been narrated except through this Sanad on the authority of
Abu Ja`far Al-Khatamy) .Assuming that this Hadith is Sahih, it does not imply that the blind man made Du`a' to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), he only made Du`a' to Allah (Exalted be He) in virtue of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in his life and made Du`a' to Allah (Exalted be He) to accept the Shafa`ah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) so that his need may be fulfilled.The Hadith lends no support to the permissibility of making Du`a' to the dead. (Part No. 1; Page No. 112)
Abu Al-`Abbas Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to him) studied this Hadith and gave a fine interpretation of it in his book [Qa`idah Jalilah Fi Al-Tawassul Wal Wasilah].
You may refer to it for more information.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.