Shias are commited of Shirk (associate partners with Allah) when they say “Ya Mohamed,” “Ya Ali,” …etc.*
*Of coarse Shirk or what is know as Polytheism is haram.
Wahabies & Sunnies usually go through the exact same sequence when it comes to the issue of intercession. The Discussion about this matter usually starts by the Sunnies/Wahabies saying:" If anyone asks other than Allah it is shirk. For example the Quran says: "Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help." Quran[1:5]"
Such claims can be refuted so easily by indicating that these people have taken this verse out of context, and let me show you how. For example, if your friend has asked you to help him move furniture from one place to another, will your friend be committing shirk? He is asking you for help isn’t he? Why doesn't he ask AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì to help him/her straight away !? Why does he call upon you for your help!? According to the ideology such people have, then such a person asking others for help is also Shirk!
As for the claim that "err, it is ok to ask the living for help because they can help you, but you can’t ask the dead for help." Backing up their selves with Verses from the Holy Quran such as :" Verily! thou canst not make the dead to hear, nor canst thou make the deaf to hear the call when they have turned to flee. " Quran[27:80] they also claim that the Dead can't hear so for that reason it is Shirk to call upon the Prophet(pbuh&hf) and the Holy Imams(as) though this understanding of theirs is contradictory to the Holy Quran itself and their Narrations books.
First AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì in the Holy Quran says:
"And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead; nay, (they are) alive, but you do not perceive." Quran[2:154]
Taking this verse into perspective, Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) and the Holy Imams(as) are not dead, for they have been slain in the way of AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì and thus are not to be called dead because they are not.
Secondly, According to Saheeh Bukhari (Volume 2, Book 23, Number 453), This verse means that the dead now know that the prophet used to say the truth.
Moreover, there are many narrations in Sunnie books that prove that the dead can hear. For Example, in Saheeh Bukhari (Volume 2, Book 23, Number 452) and (Volume 5, Book 59, Number 360) the Prophet(pbuh&hf) told the companions that the dead hear better than us.
*Read these Hadeeths Online from the links provided above.
And this is when the Sunnies usually stop. They do not grasp how deep Tawheed(Monotheism) is in the school of Ahlul-bayt(as). Shias say that anything can be done only with Allah’s will. For example, if someone believes that water will quench his thirst independent from Allah, this is shirk. If someone believes that the doctor can cure him independent from Allah, this is shirk. Shias say that everything happens with God’s well. And praying to any other than Allah is Shirk.
There are many evidences to prove that intercession is permitted and actually encouraged.
1. Qurananic Evidence.
A."O ye who believe! Be mindful of your duty to Allah, and seek the way of approach unto Him, and strive in His way in order that ye may succeed." Quran[5:35].
AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì is telling us to mind our duty and find means of approaching him. Allah can be approached through good deeds like prayer, fasting, charity, and through the dearest to Allah. And who is closer to Allah than the best of creation, Prophet Muhammad(pbuh&hf) and his Household(as).
B.“We did not send a messenger but that he should be obeyed by Allah’s permission; and had they, when they had done injustice to themselves, come to you and asked Allah’s forgiveness; and the messenger (also) had asked pardon for them, surely, they would have found Allah oft-returning, merciful” Quran[4:64]
Here it has been made clear that the presence of the Prophet of Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì has been a way for the people to use as a means of approach in asking forgiveness.
2. Logical Evidence.
Imagine someone who wants to work in a company, but he does not think that he is qualified to get the job. It happens that the President of the company is the father of his friend. Now, his chances of being hired in that company are higher if he applies to the position through his friend than if he applied by himself. Then, it is up to the president of the company to accept that person’s application or not.
This is a good parable that explains what intercession is. Many of us might have sins that hinder the dua’, and we can have better chances of the dua’ being accepted by Allah if we ask him by the sake of those whom he loves.
3. Hadith Evidence.
A.Narrated Anas: Whenever there was drought, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab used to ask Allah for rain through Al-‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib, saying, “ O Allah! We used to request our Prophet to ask You for rain, and You would give us. Now we request the uncle of our Prophet to ask You for rain, so give us rain.” And they would be given rain.” (Volume 5, Book 57, Number 59)
B. Al-Bukhari narrated in his book “ Al-Adab Al-Mofrad” the following narration that has also been authenticated by Ibn Taimiah in his book “ Al-Kalim Al Taib”: Narrated Al-Haytham bin Khanash: he said: “ we were with Abdullah bin ‘Umar when his leg fill numb, so a man told him: “ mention the dearest man to you,” so he said, “ Ya Mohamed” and he got better.
This has also been narrated by:•Ibn Al-Sni in “ ‘Amal Al-Youm wa Al-Layla”•Al-Nawawi in his book “ Al-Athkar”•Alhafith Shams Al-Din bin Al-Jazary in his book “ Al-Husn Al-Hasin”
Prophet Musa(as) and Prophet Muhammad(pbuh&hf) both prayed for helpers to ease their burdens
Right from the beginning of his mission Musa(as) prayed as follows:
“Musa said: O Allah! assign me a Vizier from my family, (that is) my brother Haroon. Add to my strength through him, and make him share my task: that we may celebrate thy praise without stint... (Allah) said: “We granted your requests, O Musa” Holy Quran[20:29-36]
Now here Musa(as) is asking for help, not from AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì alone but from his brother as well. He is NOT turning to AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì exclusively for help he is asking help from another human as well, is this an act of shirk?
Interestingly Suyuti in his commentary of the above verse sites the following tradition:
“When this verse descended, The Prophet(pbuh&hf) was on a mountain, straight after it’s descent, The Prophet(pbuh&hf) prayed to Allah, ‘Oh Allah! Through my brother Ali, ease the burden on my back’, and Allah accepted this prayer”
Tafsir Durre Manthur, by Jaladin Suyuti, Vol 4 p 295
Why is Rasulullah(pbuh&hf) not asking AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì for help? Would Al Khider not assert that calling on others for help is Shirk? Yet here Rasulullah (s) is asking Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì that Ali (as) be made his helper. This being the case is it not Sunnah to seek help from Imam Ali (as)? Whose words should we deem to be more important, those of all Khider or those of Rasulullah (s)?
The Bani Israil turned to Prophet Musa(as) for help
In Surah Araf we read as follows:
“We divided them into twelve tribes or nations. We directed Moses by inspiration, when his (thirsty) people asked him for water: "Strike the rock with thy staff": out of it there gushed forth twelve springs: Each group knew its own place for water. We gave them the shade of clouds, and sent down to them manna and quails, (saying): "Eat of the good things We have provided for you": (but they rebelled); to Us they did no harm, but they harmed their own souls" Holy Quran[7:160].
Here the tribe of Bani Israil were thirsty, rather than seek AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì for sustenance they turned to Hadhrath Musa(as) to answer their prayers. Now if seeking the aid of another is Shirk then surely Musa(as) would have condemned them and told them to pray to AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì, but he did not. Here the 'rod' acted as a Wasila, AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì could have sent down rain from the skies, and yet AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì instructed Musa(as) to strike the rod on the rock. The Bani Israil turned to Musa(as) and it was through him(as) that AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì answered their prayers.
Prophet Sulayman(as) sought the help of the people not AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì
And then we have these verses in Surah Naml:
"He said (to his own men): "Ye chiefs! which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?"
Said an 'Ifrit, of the Jinns: "I will bring it to thee before thou rise from thy council: indeed I have full strength for the purpose, and may be trusted."
Said one who had knowledge of the Book: "I will bring it to thee within the twinkling of an eye!" Then when (Solomon) saw it placed firmly before him, he said: "This is by the Grace of my Lord!- to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! and if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is Free of all Needs, Supreme in Honour !" Holy Quran[27:38-40]
So here we learn:
1. Prophet Sulayman(as) asked for the throne of Bilkis to be brought to him
2. He(as) did not pray to AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì he asked for the help from his supporters
3. A Servant with partial knowledge of the Book was able to bring the throne within the twinkling of an eye.
Now clearly a Prophet(as) has more power than an ordinary human being and yet he asked for help from one of his companions, if seeking the help from other than AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì is shirk, then why did Prophet Sulayman(as) seek the help from am inferior subject? Would you logic not deem this to be an act of shirk?
Now, if a Prophet(as) can seek the assistance of an individual with a partial knowledge of the Book why can’t I seek help from Rasulullah(pbuh&hf) who was the talking Qur’an, or from Maula Ali(as) who declared that he had a complete knowledge of the Book? In this regards we have the testimony of the great Sahaba Ibn Mas'ud said:
"The Holy Quran has outward and inward meanings, and Ali Ibn Abi Talib has the knowledge of both."
Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu'aym, v1, p65
In addition contemplate these words of Imam Ali(as):
“ask me about the Book of Allah, because there is no Ayah but that I know whether it was revealed at night or in daytime, on the plain or in the mountain”
History of the Khailfa’s who took the right way by Jalaladeen Suyuti, English translation by Abdassamad Clarke, p 194