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In the Name of God بسم الله
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As we recently had a lot of exchanges on this. I am myself deeply interested in understood the exact meaning of Tawassul. Because literally many shias do dua to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) at places like mazaars and dargah by touching the Zareeh (outer boundary of grave) of a great person (not necessarily ahlulbayt (AS)). So, I personally don't doubt tawassul but rather it's limits. @Sabrejet @313_Waiter @Muhammad Al-Hurr @AStruggler Let's have a deeper discussion on it.
(bismillah) In The Name of Allah (SWT) , The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful. (salam) I hope you are all in the best of health and, more importantly, the best of Imaan (faith). :D So, this question lingering in my head for sometime now. Before I actually delve into the question, I want to give a brief introduction into Ismah (infallibility) and the positions of humans, animals and angels. According to the Islamic tradition, humans are superior to any other creation of Allah (SWT) . This is because while angels don't commit any sins, they don't have desires and, therefore, their obedience - even though it is "perfect" and unconditional - is meaningless as the lack of desires means that they have no "test" to go through. This, also, means their sinless is not perfect as there is no incentive to sin and, therefore, they don't need to do anything to avoid sin; "it is natural"! Animals, on the other hand, are "all desire" and no intellect meaning that they don't have the higher nature which would enable them to do good deeds. Humans are, according to the Islamic tradition, found in the middle of these two extreme and possess the characteristics of both these creations of Allah (SWT) . This means that they have desires - called the "ego" by some and, in Islam, an-nafs ul ammarah - which compel them to do, what are considered to be, animalistic acts which may, often, lead to sins. Additionally, humans also possess the intellect which is the part of that encourages to do good and curbs our desires, stopping us from contravening the boundaries set by God. Coming to the concept of Ismah of Prophets (peace be upon them all) and Ahlulbayt (peace be upon them all), according to the Shias, all Prophets and Ahlulbayt (peace be upon them all) are infallible and sinless. The Shias believe that Prophets (peace be upon them all), except Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) could make mistakes or choose the lesser good from two goods - a concept known as tark e aula - but they cannot sin. Subsequently, the Shias refer to Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) , His Daugther Lady Fatima (peace be upon her) and the Twelve Imams (peace be upon them all) as the masoomeen as their level of Ismah is even higher than Prophets (peace be upon them all) because they do not even do tark e aula. We also believe that Ahlulbayt (peace be upon them all) - Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), His Daughter (peace be upon her) and the Twelve Imams (peace be upon them all) - were Masoom (immaculate, sinless and error free) from the day they were born. After this introduction, my question is regarding how did the Ahlulbayt (peace be upon them all) get their Ismah. By this what I mean is if they were already Masoom from birth, then is this not a "gifted" Ismah with no work of their own? If this is the case, then they are just like angels and, therefore, cannot be higher than them but, according to our belief, they are higher than any creation of Allah (SWT) . One of the bases of Ismah that have been mentioned by the traditions is that due to their immense knowledge, they were Masoom. In one of the Hadith, an example of a coal is given whereby the Imam (as) asks his companion whether he would eat coal if he knew what its effects are and the companion relied in the negative. So, the Imam (as) explained that just like a person would not eat coal because it is harmful to them, the Ahlulbayt (peace be upon them all) would also not do sins because of their knowledge and, therefore, their recognition of what the side effects of sin are. (I was just narrating by my memory so I may have made mistakes but I tried to give the theme) So, the question arises: did they have enough knowledge to be Masoom right from birth. The answer, from what I know, is yes. Then, the question again rises that when they had already got the knowledge from God right from birth, then they did not have to work hard to achieve the status themselves and, consequently, were just like angels with an "imperfect" Ismah. I have the same query regarding the Ismah of Prophets (peace be upon them all). Just as a side note, I do believe in the Ismah of Ahlulbayt (peace be upon them all) and Prophets (peace be upon them all) so I am, in no way, trying to say that they are not Masoom but, rather, this is just a question that came into my mind. May Allah (SWT) bless us all, our families and loved ones, guide us all to The Straight Path with His Perfect Guidance and may He, The Forgiver of Sins and The Oft-Forgiving, forgive all our sins for, verily, there is neither any refuge nor any respite for the sinners except in Allah (SWT) .
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