Monday, August 3, 2009

Topic: Is Tawassul and Waseela concept "Shirk" ?

[Note: We have extracted the following Q&A from a facebook group. We recommend you to read the whole response carefully...]

Dear All,

Assalaam U Alaikum,

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Please review the below article posted on one website. My brothers and myself have generated a very strong response which you can read below the article. Please pass on and share this knowledge so that we can save all those Muslims who call Waseela as “Shirk”. May Allah guide us to Siraat-ul-Mustaqim (Ameen).


I have been discussing the subject of using "waseela" while supplicating to Allah (swt) with some Muslims, and have come to know that there are quite different opinions about fact whether the use of "waseela" in duaa is halaal or haraam. Could you please provide me with some information about this subject, some ayaat from the Holy Qur'an or authentic ahaadeeth? With the term "use of waseela" I mean asking via the agency of someone, fx "I ask You (O Allah) to grant me forgiveness via the agency of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his household)" or via the agency of other Prophets (Peace be upon them), saints or other pious Muslims.

Praise be to Allaah.

What is meant by tawassul and waseelah is four things:

the kind of tawassul without which faith cannot be complete, which is seeking to reach Allaah (tawassul) by believing in Him and His Messengers, and obeying Him and His Messenger, This is what is meant in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Do your duty to Allaah and fear Him. Seek the means of approach to Him…”

[al-Maa’idah 5:35]

This includes seeking to approach Allaah through His Names and Attributes, or by doing acts of obedience and worship by which one seeks to approach Allaah, and so on.

Seeking to approach Allaah by asking His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to make du’a’ for one during his lifetime, and the believers asking one another to make du’aa’ for one another. This follows on from the first type and is encouraged.

Seeking to approach Allaah by virtue of the status and virtues of some created being, such as saying, “O Allaah, I ask You by virtue of Your Prophet” and so on. This is allowed by some of the ‘ulama’, but this opinion is da’eef (weak). The correct view is that it is definitely haraam, because there can be no tawassul in du’aa’ except by virtue of the Names and Attributes of Allaah.

Tawassul as it is understood by many of the Muslims of later times, which is calling on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and seeking his help (or seeking the help of the dead and so-called awliya’). This is a form of major shirk, because calling on or seeking help from anyone other than Allaah with regard to something that that only Allaah is able to do is a kind of worship, and directing worship to anyone or anything other than Allaah is major shirk. And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid


Thank you for giving the opportunity to remove your and anyone's confusion pertaining to the subject.

Firstly you need to understand the true definition of “shirk”. It means associating (shareek, shamil) someone or something with Allah while you worship Him. As long as you bow down to only Allah and acknowledge there is none but him to “worship”, there is no shirk. Asking for help to anyone is not shirk and why not is explained below.

1) For example : if you need monetary help urgently, you can start praying to Allah to throw a million at you. By all means Allah can do that, however, in its own practicality, you would do dua to Allah to solve your problems and ask friend to lend you money. Isnt borrowing that money asking for help from other than Allah. Therefore, help is from Allah, that friend is the tawassul.

2) For example : if you are sick, you can start praying to Allah for health and shifa. By all means Allah can do that, however, in its own practicality, you go to a hospital and believe in what a doctor is saying and take medications as prescribed. Isnt consulting doctor and having medicine accepting help from other than Allah. Therefore, health is from Allah, the doctor and worldly medicine is tawassul.

3) For example : Allah has commited to Muslims that food (rizk) will reach them in the quantity that HE has decided. The writer, in my view, should sit at home and wait for angels to spoon feed him, however, in its own praticality, one would work hard and earn his bread. Rizk and his salary is from Allah, however, his employer or his business is the tawassul.

These were day-to-day life examples for easy understanding, now lets refer to Quarn, Islamic history, and Hadith.

1) Refer to Surah in Para 29, Allah calls upon his helpers by using the terms “Ansarullah”. For sure Allah is capable of doing anything, why would he call upon people of Hazrat Isa Alaihis-salam for help of any kind. I am sure you, the writer and any muslim believes in every word of Quran.

2) Allah says in his own praise “In nAllah ala kulli shai in qadeer” meaning He can do what ever he wants. I totally believe HE sure can. However, have you ever wondered why Hazrat Jibrael’s Alaihis-salam serivces were required for the entire relevation of the Holy Quran which we all read.

3) If Allah wanted to spread Islam without human intervention, He would have killed the kuffars in less than a fraction of a second, however, he sent over numerous Prophets to spread his good word, to the last of his Prophets, the most beloved one, Prophet Muhammad, sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasal

4) More than 1400 years ago while Prophet Muhammad, sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasal
lam was facing difficulties in spreading Islam, his companions Sahaba-e-ikraam (radi Allah hu anhum ajmaeen) served their efforts, family, time, wealth, and even blood and life. Are you saying (MAZ ALLAH) Prophet Muhammad sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam did shirk by taking help from his companions. By all means Allah could have helped his own religion, then why sent Prophets or their companions.

5) Next time you go to Madina, ask anyone for Masjid Gamama (the masjid of cloud). This Masjid is still preserved as much as other historic places since this Masjid has history. There was a time when due to water shortage crops and animals were dying. People of Madina gathered around Prophet sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasal
lam and requested Him to do dua. Prophet Muhammad sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam raised his hands and just as he did dua, a cloud came over and poured rain. That is why it is called Masjid of cloud. It rained day and night for over one week when people again gathered to Prophet Muhammad sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam to do dua again that rain should now stop. Now figure, Why did people approach the Prophet sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam rather than asking Allah and again appraoched to do dua for stop of rain.

Now Lets discuss doing dua via agency of Prophet Muhammad sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasal
lam :-

1) Please refer to Surah Yusuf – Ayat 93 – it recalls that Hazrat Yaqoob alahis-salam was blind and Hazrat Yusuf alahis-salam his son offered his Kurta (shirt) to be placed upon his father’s eyes so that his eyesight would return. Read further to Ayat 96 – it says, Hazrat Yaqoob alaihis-salam got his eye sight back. They both were messengers, why didn’t they ask Allah ? The fact is, what ever happens, it happens by Will (izn) of Allah, however, through some or the other kind of an agency. Allah gave the eye sight back, however, Kurta (shirt) of Hazrat Yusuf alahis-salam was tawasul.

2) Now refer Surah Nisa – Ayat 64 – it is clearly mentioned that if an ummati (us) have done our sins then O Prophet sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasal
lam they should come to you and then ask for forgiveness from Allah and you My Rasool sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam recommend (shifa’at) for them, only then they will find Allah most merciful and acceptor of tauba. Allah has instructed to do tauba if one wishes to be forgiven, but open your eyes to the location Allah is asking you to come at, and also observe He awaits Prophet Muhammad sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam for your recommendation more than your own tauba by making it a condition. Quran and its ayat are not limted or restricted to 1400 years ago, it is equally valid till today and one must believe that if any person heartily does tauba in front of Rehmat tul lil alameen sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam, insha Allah He would put forward recommendation for us as He loves his ummatis and He is Rehmat for all.

Coming to the point of seeking help of the dead :

1) Please undersatnd every Prophet alaihi-salam that came had his time and his people - till the next Prophet alahis-salam was sent to earth. , Prophet Muhammad sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasal
lam is his last messenger and hence, the time we are in and our grandchildren will be till the day of Qayama is the time of our Phrophet , sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam. Therefore, HE is very much there.

2) It is stated in 2nd Chaper, Surah Baqara, Ayat 154, “Do not pronounce DEAD to the ones who die for Allah cause, They are alive, Yes you are unaware”. If this is clearly said in Quran about a normal person martyred in the battle field, then you have to pay extraordinary respect to the Holy Prophet Muhammad , sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasal
lam to be present amongst us as he was before. He is most beloved, the best of all, the most respected, and called by Allah as “Rehmatul lil alameen” as Allah’s rehmat to this world (which we know) and anything even beyond that (which we not know). I guess the writer's beliefe is simply based on fundamental of logic and science, whereas, I think he has to think outside the scientific box.

3) It is stated in Hadith that 70,000 angels visit Prophet Muhammad sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasal
lam home in the morning and 70,000 angels in the evening to say Salam. This is the love and respect Allah the creator of all expresses to his beloved Prophet sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam. Please use your sense, no one says salam to someone who may be dead. Secondly, replying salam is wajib as taught by Prophet Muhammad sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam himself, hence, if anyone who says salam to him, is replied back by salam from Prophet sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam.

4) Whether one believes in tawassul or not, he would believe in the day of mairaj. History, HAdiths, and books say that while Prophet Muhammad , sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasal
lam was travelling He saw Hazrat Musa alaihis-salam in his grace performing salah. If Hazrat Musa alaihis salam (maz Allah) isnt alive, then who did Prophet Muhammad , sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam see? If writer is denying this fact, he is denying the Holy Prophet, sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasallam.

5) No one dies. Death is an action by which we humans relate our tenure in world from birth till death. We all know and believe we will face a life after death and be punished or rewarded for our deeds done in the world. If we are really dead, how will we enjoy the reward or feel the punishment.

Last but not the least, regarding the ayat the writer has stated, it says “seek the means to approach him” , therefore, why not making Allah’s most beloved Prophet sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasal
lam as the mean, since He is the best of the best in the world.

Based on my findings above, please think. To call them dead or call Shirk, is totally against the teaching. Please do your research and if you want, I can furnish you with more information and use your findings to find the right path.

To conclude : According to the writer if asking help is shirk, then probably, he is doing shirk 24/7 with his friends, doctor, office collegues, wife, siblings, family members etc, and anyone who helps him or does him a favor.

Allah apnay pyaray Rasool sal-lul-la-ho-alaihi-wasal
lam ke waseelay se hum sab ki magfirat farmaye. Ameen


  1. kullu man alaiha faan. Everything in the world will die.

  2. Even a sinful human being dont dies bcause he has to face the consequences in kabr.