The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Whosoever dies whilst making du’aa (invocation, supplication) to others besides Allaah, will enter the HellFire.” {Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.4297), from Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه.}

Anas (رضي الله عنه) related:

“In times of drought, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (رضي الله عنه) used to ask ‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib to pray for rain on their behalf. He himself would say: “O Allaah we used to ask Your Prophet to supplicate on our behalf to You, and You would bless us with rain. Now we ask the uncle of our Prophet to supplicate to You on our behalf, so bless us with rain.” Anas said: So they would be blessed with rain.” {Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.1010).}

Sulaym ibn ‘Aamir al-Khabaairee رحمه الله relates:

“That the sky withheld all rain, so Mu’aawiyah ibn Abee Sufyaan went out to pray for rain along with the people of Damascus. So when Mu’aawiyah sat upon the pulpit he said: “Where is Yazeed ibn al-Aswad al-Jurashee?” So the people called him and he came stepping between the people. Then Mu’aawiyah commanded him, so he ascended the pulpit and sat at his feet. Then Mu’aawiyah said: “O Allaah! Today we are asking the best and most noblest amongst us to supplicate to You for us. O Allaah, today we put Yazeed ibn al-Aswad al-Jurashee forward to supplicate to You for us. O Yazeed! Raise up your hands to Allaah.” So he raised up his hands and the people raised up their hands. Then rain-clouds, like large shields, came quickly from the west, and the winds blew, and it rained so much that people could hardly reach their houses.” {Related by Ibn ‘Asskir in Tareekh Dimishq (18/151/1).}

So why didn’t ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) and the rest of the Companions who were with him, go to the grave of our beloved Prophet (ﷺ); or to the grave of the greatest of the awliyaa Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه), and make du’aa (supplication) to them for rain? Why? Because they knew that doing so would constitute shirk? Likewise, why didn’t Mu’aawiyah, and those of the righteous people with him, not delegate someone to go to Madeenah – to the grave of the Prophet (ﷺ), or any of the Companions buried there – or directly make du’aa to them from Damascus, in their time of distress and great need? Why? Because they knew that doing so would constitute shirk!

Another point of benefit is the understanding that they (meaning the Companions) didn’t use the name of the dead (in the person of the Messenger ﷺ) to supplicate, rather what they understood as being right and proper in the light of the knowledge of Tawheed is that a person can only make supplication through another person if that other person is living amongst those who are in need and he is capable of fulfilling their need (not asking the person to give them a child or similar request). It is of common practice to hear people making supplication in the form of statements like, “for the sake of the Messenger ﷺ” because they erroneously think that it is proper. Rather, what we should understand is the fact that only Allaah Ta’ala is Capable and Perfect, and He is in no need of an assistant as a means of getting our supplications to be answered. And with Allaah lies all Strength and Might.

Source: Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No.7

Subhanaka Allaahumma wabihamdika ash’adu an la ilah ila anta astaghfiruka wa atoybu ilayk.


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