Q 2: A righteous scholar told us: "Awliya' (pious people) fulfill the needs of people who invoke them instead of Allah". To support his view, he quoted the following Hadith in which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
Allah has some servants to whom people will turn for fulfilling their needs. Such are those who will be safe (from the torment) on the Day of Resurrection.
Seeking help from a live person who is present and can fulfill a need is permissible like asking someone to lend you some money or seeking his help to restore one of your lost rights or to remove something wrong that was done to you.However, seeking help from a dead or an absent person is an act of Shirk (Associating others in worship with Allah), because such people do not have the ability to fulfill the needs for which they are invoked. This is based on the general purpose of Allah's saying: (Part No. 1; Page No. 175)
And the mosques are for Allâh (Alone): so invoke not anyone along with Allâh.
Allah (Glorified be He) also 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)."
Furthermore, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) 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).
There are many other Ayahs (Qur'anic verses) that deal with the same subject. Allah is the One Whose Help should be sought.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.