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In the Name of God بسم الله

Quesiton about asking prophets and imams for help

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I'll give a summary about the actual practices in shiaism.

Raising your hands in prayer, supplicating to any Prophet/Imam: no

prostrating towards an Imam's grave with the intention of sajda to him: no

facing an Imam's grave from anywhere in the world, directly sending salutations on him: yes

Namaz e Istaghaasa of Bibi Fatima: yes  (this is something Wahabbis attack us for. I personally don't care about what Wahhabis say.)

Dua e Tawassul: yes   (read it's translation)

Ya Ali Madad, Ya Sahib uz Zaman Adrikni: yes

Standing in the room of an Imam's burial place, asking for his help as you would ask a person for help: yes

After reciting any Imam's ziarat while facing his grave, asking him to pray for you: why not?

 

I'm sure most people here will be aware about Ayatollah Dhakku. His unorthodox, fringe views in general have caused some people to label him a Wahabbi agent. Even he agrees that addressing the Wasila directly is fine, provided that we see the Wasila as a servant of Allah, completely subservient to him.

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8 hours ago, usman123 said:

I understand and of course I never want to accuse someone of shirk without seeing what's in his heart.

BUT, don't you agree that it can be very misleading for many non Shias who will think that you are talking to Ali (عليه السلام) or whomever directly? Also, many laymen Shia (those with little knowledge) will think that it is okay to believe that we can receive help directly from these human beings because they see their sheikhs and ayatollahs saying this - therefore, causing a domino effect and people will continue to always have this belief. Wouldn't it be better to just say 'Ya Allah for the love of Ali', and only stick to this as this would cause much less confusion and make it clear to even those less learned in islam, that we still only ask Allah but through the love of the ahlul bayt (عليه السلام). 

Personally I believe the sheikhs should try and promote wording it only in the way of 'ya Allah for love of Muhammad and ale Muhammed, grant me this or help me..', since they are the leaders of the Shia and are looked up to; they have a responsibility to try their best to prevent any form or risk of shirk, thus better to encourage the followers to only word their duas like this to avoid confusion. 

Like I said in my OP, if you look at the words of the Imams of Ahl Al Bayt((عليه السلام)) in Dua that are recorded in authentic books such as Mufatih Al Jinan, etc, that is the way the request is phrased. Also, if you listen to the speeches of our scholars it is the same. I actually never heard the phrase 'Ya Ali Madad' until I moved to a new city and started going to a masjid where a large majority of people were from the Sub Continent. The scholars do promote the correct phrasing of this, if you listen to their speeches. At the same time, we Shia believe that 'Amr bil Maroof wa Nahiya Al Munkhar' (enjoining the good and forbidding evil) only applies with the wajib and haram. So people have the choice in how they want to ask for Shifa3at, again, as long as they have the correct niyyat. 

I think actually the obligation is on muslims of other sects to not just assume someone is doing something that they might not be doing, i.e. false allegations. The other muslims should attempt to become educated and develop understanding (as you are attempting to do) and be tolerant of other brothers and sisters. The only way that we will become 'Umatin Wahidatin' (One Ummah) is if all muslims start to do this. Sadly, this is very rare in todays world. 

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For the Non Shia who are posting as Non Shia. This Link has been mentioned by another member on Page 1. Along with other material posted by other members regarding Tawassul from Early Non Shia books. 

This one Jurist in 8th Century used Conjecture, started Bidah/Innovation - This would be called Bidah ( Innovation). So, do you realize that you do loose the right to talk about Bidah/Innovation if your criteria changes just to fit the narrative you want to propagate. 

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Tawassul to the beloved ones of Allah is a matter which is in vogue amongst the Muslims of the world and from the day the Islamic Shari’ah was conveyed through the Holy Prophet (S) its legality was also declared by the way of Islamic traditions.

It was only in the 8th century A.H. that tawassul was rejected by Ibn Taymiyyah and two centuries later Muhammad ibn ’Abd Al-Wahhab intensified this objection. Tawassul was introduced to be unlawful and heresy and occasionally was labelled as worshipping the awliya’ and it is needless to mention that worshipping other than God amounts to polytheism and is forbidden.

https://www.al-islam.org/wahhabism-2nd-edition-revised-edited-and-annotated-jafar-subhani/7-tawassul-recourse-awliya-allah

 

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Just as an Fyi to those posting as "Shia" some maybe Zaydi's or others Not all are believers in the 12 Holy Imam(s) ((عليه السلام))

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I am leaving among you the Two Weighty Things: the Book of Allah and my `Itrat (Progeny), my Ahlul Bayt. So long as you (simultaneously) uphold both of them, you will never be misled after me; so, do not go ahead of them else you should perish, and do not lag behind them else you should perish; do not teach them, for they are more knowledgeable than you.1

&

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I have been called back (by Allah) and I have accepted. I am leaving behind two weighty things between you; one of them is greater than the other, the Book of Allah and my Progeny. See what you do to them after me. They will not part from one another until they meet me on the Pool (of Kawthar).....

..

Sometimes he (S) used the words: I have left [taraktu] behind two weighty things [thaqlayn].17

At other times he (S) said: I am leaving [tarik] behind two Caliphs [khalifatayn] (Qur’an and Ahlul Bayt).18

In addition, he (S) said: I am leaving [tarik] behind two weighty things.19

Furthermore, he (S) stated: They will not separate.20

At some places he (S) has said: They will not disunite.21

I other places he (S) stated: Do not lead them otherwise you will perish. Do not teach them for they are more learned than you.22

Also he (S) said: I am leaving behind two commands. You will never go astray if you follow them.23

To say that both are Texts, does not make sense as the Qur'an and Hadith were/are/will be used to create different views based on personal understanding. We know from Qur'an( 3:7) that there has to be a Guardian, and they are the ones who are firmly grounded in knowledge . 

You will realize that the Two will Not Separate from each other. They will not part from one another until they meet me on the Pool (of Kawthar), Do not teach then is another Sign of a Guardian present at all time. Read the entire Hadith and you will get the gist of it...

Which implies continued existence of a Mas'oom till the End of Time.  

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Our faith has been passed down to us in many ways- Which include Ziyarats  (Often not mentioned) Read Ziyarat  Al -Jamea al-Kabeera Shaykh Saduq mented it in Uyun Akhbar ar Radha 

https://www.al-islam.org/uyun-akhbar-ar-ridha-volume-2-shaykh-saduq/chapter-68-visiting-ar-ridhaas-toos#az-ziyara-al-jamea-al-kabeera-major-comprehensive-pilgrimage

This ziyarah has been reported by Shaykh al-Saduq in his two books of Man-la-Yahduruhul-Faqih and `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida as follows: Musa ibn `Abdullah al-Nakha`i is reported to have asked Imam `Ali al-Naqi al-Hadi (peace be upon him), saying, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Please teach me a comprehensively eloquent ziarat that I may say whenever I visit any of you (i.e. the Holy Imams).” The Imam (peace be upon him) therefore instructed the following:

http://www.duas.org/mobile/ziarat-jamia-masumeen.html

Also read/understand Ziyarat Al-e-Yasin http://www.duas.org/aaleyasin/AleYasin.htm

Layman

Say Ya Ali. 

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On 1/2/2021 at 6:49 AM, usman123 said:

Salaam brothers and sisters, I am a sunni who is very interested in Shia Islam. Some things are making sense and opening my eyes however, I am stuck and even after many many conversations with my Shia friends, I still am not able to be convinced with the permissibility of calling onto the prophets and imams for help. i.e. 'Ya Ali', 'ya Fatima help me', 'ya Muhammad help me', 'Ya imam rescue me' etc.. I just don't feel safe and at peace calling onto anyone but Allah. Is Allah not enough for us? Many times in the Quran it says only call to Allah. He is closer than your jugular vein. In Fatiha 'you alone to we worship and see help'. So why insist on saying ya Ali? Isn't saying 'Ya Allah' better for you? 

I want to also ask, when you call onto Rasoolallah or the imams, do you believe they will help you themselves personally? Or they will ask Allah to accept your requests? Or both?

Also, I know you will probably mention the verse where it says that those who gave their life in the way of Allah are not dead, but then does that mean I can ask a regular shaheed who was martyred in 2020 for help also? Since a regular person can also fall into this category of giving their lives for the sake of Allah. And if I cant ask the regular person, what proof do you have that it can only be for an infallible? 

Jazakallah khair. I hope this doesn't sound disrespectful but its just that I really want to find the truth but I am too scared to fall into shirk. This is one of the main things stopping me from considering Shia Islam. I hope someone can please shed some light into this inshallah :) 

 

On 1/2/2021 at 2:58 PM, Abu Nur said:

Salaam Aleikum,

This following Sunni narration is sahih according to sunnis.

The Hadith of the blind man's story is narrated by Imam Al-Tirmidhy with his Sanad (chain of narrators) on the authority of `Uthman ibn Hunayf (may Allah be pleased with him): A blind man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: I have been afflicted in my eyesight, so please pray to Allah for me. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If you wish, I will make Du`a' (supplication) to Allah to cure you; and if you wish, be patient and that would be better for you. The man said: Make Du`a' to Allah for me. Then, the Prophet said to him: Go and make ablution, and then say: Oh Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad (Ya Muhammad), I seek your Shafa`ah (intercession) with my Lord for my need, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah, accept his Shafa`ah for me.

- Notice here the du'a is recited to Allah directly (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) to send the message of intercession to prophet. Where the Prophet then ask Allah for helping the person in his need. 

The salafis accept this intepretion,but only when the prophet was alive. The problem with this salafis reasoning is that they think the prophet is dead when the quran says he is a alive.

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5) The tawassul of Adam through our Prophet to ask for forgiveness. In the hadith of Umar ibn al-Khatab the Prophet said, “When Adam committed the sin he said, ‘O Lord, I ask You by Muhammad to forgive me.’ God said, ‘Adam, how did you know about Muhammad although I have not created him.’ Adam said, ‘Because when You created me with your hands and blew into me from Your Spirit, I raised my head and saw written on the pillars of Your throne, ‘There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God,’’ God said, ‘You speak truthfully Adam, he is the most beloved of creation unto Me. You supplicated to Me by him so I have forgiven you. If not for Muhammad, I would not have created you.”14


8) The story of the Caliph al-Mansur with Imam Malik: When the second Abbasid Caliph Abu Ja’far al-Mansur al-Abbasi, asked Malik, “O Abd Allah, should I face the Messenger of God and supplicate or should I face the qiblah and supplicate?” Malik told him, “Why would you turn your face away from him when he is your connection (wasilah) to God and the connection of your father Adam until the Day of Judgement? Face him and seek his intercession, and God will make him an interceder [for you].”22 This contains a sign that Malik took the hadith of Adam’s tawassul into consideration, and that he considered it a good thing to face the grave of the Prophet and seek his intercession.
Due to all of this authentic and explicit evidence from the Quran and the Sunna, the scholars of the community, from the four schools and others, have formed a consensus concerning the permissibility and preferability of making tawassul through the Prophet during his lifetime and after his passing, and they agreed that this is not impermissible at all.

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Shia links

In Hadiths
There are many hadiths about Tawassul, where the meaning of Tawassul, the examples of Wasila and its fruits are explained.

In a hadith from Lady Fatima (a), it is mentioned that, "Everything in the sky and on the earth seek a Wasila [means] through which they become close to God and we are God's means and intermediaries among His creation."[5]
Imam al-Sadiq (a) has said that, "We (Ahl al-Bayt (a)) are the Allah's cord about which God Almighty has said, "Hold fast, all together, to Allah's cord, and do not be divided [into sects]." (3:103)[6]
Also according to hadiths, after Prophet Adam (a) was dismissed from the Paradise, he (a) was forgiven by God through resorting to the Prophet (s) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a).[7] Previous prophets (a) resorted to the position of the Prophet (s) as well.[8]
In a hadith, Imam 'Ali (a) has mentioned the examples of Wasila; among which are belief in God, Jihad in the way of God and doing the obligations, fasting, hajj and 'Umra.[9]
In addition to hadiths, Ziyarah texts [addresses given upon visiting shrines] and supplications received from the Prophet (s) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a) are full of the instances of Tawassul and swearing in the rights of the Prophet (s) and Imams (a) which are examples of Tawassul.[10]
Hadiths regarding permissibility of practicing Tawassul are not only narrated by Shi'a but also narrated by Sunnis; including the one in which, a blind man regained his sight through Tawassul to the Prophet (s),[11] or another hadith that Aisha has narrated from the Prophet (s) saying that "Imam Ali (a) is the closest Wasila to God."[12]

https://en.wikishia.net/view/Tawassul

https://www.al-islam.org/message-thaqalayn/vol5-n4-2000/tawassul-seeking-way-unto-allah-dr-abd-al-karim-shirazi/tawassul

https://en.wikishia.net/view/Tawassul

https://www.al-islam.org/message-thaqalayn/vol5-n4-2000/tawassul-seeking-way-unto-allah-dr-abd-al-karim-shirazi/tawassul

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....... O Muhammad, O Ali, O Ali, O Muhammad, Give me enough, because both of you provide sufficiently. Help me, because both of you help and protect.

 

O our master, O the living Imam, HELP! HELP! HELP! Reach me! Reach me! Reach me!

 

At once, in this hour. Be quick, be quick, be quick, O the most merciful, for the sake of Muhammad and his pure children.

DUA Azumal Bala

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I think it is both safe and prudent to avoid the post Safavid era addutions and especially the post subcontinent Islamization additions to religion. Like calling on Imams or Prophet for help, saying "ya Ali madad" instead of "As salamu alaikum" or raising the silver hand "alam" and flag over houses, or lighting lamps under them, etc etc. the rituals which have become the only set of practices for many people in the subcontinent.

We can do all this by taking the deen from authentic books and the most learned scholars only. And not friends, mullahs, zakirs, neighbors etc. The latter indicates that a person just wants to get all religious matters over with and not interested in searching out the truths.

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Posted (edited)

In al kafi  there Is a nice hadeeth that I feel addressed this 

Imam said the one who worships the name without the meaning has committed shirk and the one who has worshipped the meaning without the name has committed shirk (talking about worshipping using the names of Allah ie Allah) we worship God by His names that is our handle to Him and another Hadith In al kafi says that we are also the names of Allah , meaning u can reach God by calling them , it doesn’t mean u worship the imams or the names both is shirk , it means u understand that this is how God has allowed us to reach Him , it’s a bit philosophical and requires a deeper understanding but the point is the same 

God is not encapsulated by even His names , the Asma al husna doesn’t define God , nothing can He is infinite , but it was created by Him so we can reach Him 

Edited by theEndIsNear
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On 1/6/2021 at 6:05 AM, The Green Knight said:

think it is both safe and prudent to avoid the post Safavid era addutions and especially the post subcontinent Islamization additions to religion

Brother! What would you say about Ziyarat e Jamia? It is one of the most authentic ziyarat taught by Imam (عليه السلام) himself, according to Sheikh Sadooq & Allama Majlisi

وَالْحَقُّ مَعَكُمْ وَفِيكُمْ وَمِنْكُمْ وَإِلَيْكُمْ
وَأَنْتُمْ أَهْلُهُ وَمَعْدِنُهُ
وَمِيرَاثُ النُّبُوَّةِ عِنْدَكُمْ
وَإِيَابُ الْخَلْقِ إِلَيْكُمْ
وَحِسَابُهُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ
وَفَصْلُ الْخِطَابِ عِنْدَكُمْ
‏وَآيَاتُ اللَّهِ لَدَيْكُمْ
وَعَزَائِمُهُ فِيكُمْ
وَنُورُهُ وَبُرْهَانُهُ عِنْدَكُمْ
وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَيْكُمْ

مَنْ وَالاَكُمْ فَقَدْ وَالَى اللَّهَ
وَمَنْ عَادَاكُمْ فَقَدْ عَادَى اللَّهَ
وَمَنْ أَحَبَّكُمْ فَقَدْ أَحَبَّ اللَّهَ
وَمَنْ أَبْغَضَكُمْ فَقَدْ أَبْغَضَ اللَّهَ
وَمَنِ اعْتَصَمَ بِكُمْ فَقَدِ اعْتَصَمَ بِاللَّهِ
‏أَنْتُمُ الصِّرَاطُ الْأَقْوَمُ
والسَّبِيلُ الْأَعْظَمُ
وَشُهَدَاءُ دَارِ الْفَنَاءِ
وَشُفَعَاءُ دَارِ الْبَقَاءِ
وَالرَّحْمَةُ الْمَوْصُولَةُ
وَالْآيَةُ الْمَخْزُونَةُ
وَالْأَمَانَةُ الْمَحْفُوظَةُ
وَالْبَابُ الْمُبْتَلَى بِهِ النَّاسُ
‏مَنْ أَتَاكُمْ نَجَا
وَمَنْ لَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ هَلَكَ
إِلَى اللَّهِ تَدْعُونَ
وَعَلَيْهِ تَدُلُّونَ
وَبِهِ تُؤْمِنُونَ
‏وَلَهُ تُسَلِّمُونَ
وَبِأَمْرِهِ تَعْمَلُونَ
وَإِلَى سَبِيلِهِ تُرْشِدُونَ
وَبِقَوْلِهِ تَحْكُمُونَ
‏سَعِدَ مَنْ وَالاَكُمْ
وَهَلَكَ مَنْ عَادَاكُمْ
وَخَابَ مَنْ جَحَدَكُمْ
وَضَلَّ مَنْ فَارَقَكُمْ
‏وَفَازَ مَنْ تَمَسَّكَ بِكُمْ
وَأَمِنَ مَنْ لَجَأَ إِلَيْكُمْ
وَسَلِمَ مَنْ صَدَّقَكُمْ
 

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Here is more:

وَأَنْتُمْ نُورُ الْأَخْيَارِ
وَهُدَاةُ الْأَبْرَارِ
وَحُجَجُ الْجَبَّارِ
بِكُمْ فَتَحَ اللَّهُ
‏وَبِكُمْ يَخْتِمُ اللَّهُ
وَبِكُمْ يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ
وَبِكُمْ يُمْسِكُ السَّمَاءَ أَنْ تَقَعَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ
‏وَبِكُمْ يُنَفِّسُ الْهَمَّ وَيَكْشِفُ الضُّرَّ
وَعِنْدَكُمْ مَا نَزَلَتْ بِهِ رُسُلُهُ
وَهَبَطَتْ بِهِ مَلاَئِكَتُهُ
وَإِلَى جَدِّكُمْ
 

You are the light of the virtuous

The guides of the pious ones

The claims of the Omnipotent (Lord)

Allah had created you in the first place

and then disclosed to you His plan of creation

on account of you He sent down abundant and far-spread rain

because of you the sky prevents itself from falling down over the earth unless He permits

due to you He drives away troubles and dismisses hardships

with you is that with which His Messengers came down

And with which His Angels descended

and to your forefather,

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1 hour ago, Cool said:

Brother! What would you say about Ziyarat e

I have a different approach for the matter under discussion. Tell me, how many miracles happen when:

- Someone prays to Allah.

- Someone "uses intercession".

In fact:

- When someone prays to Jesus or another deity.

There must be a statistic or personal survey pr experiences. I will tell you. They happen randomly. Allah is Kareem, He gives whether someone asks or not. He knows what is the right time to give something, He knows best. We do not know. Yes, those who make efoort to earn his pleasure He loves them back and cares for them more and in turn they sacrifice more for Him and welcome His trials of love more. I am sorry but I have not seen a sinner and commoner like myself simply read Ziyarat e xyz or Dua e abc one night becuase dad got sick or examination results are comingand that magically guarantees success. Its random at best. If not then please change my mind by bringing contrary evidence that reading the ziyaaraats cause miracles consistently and for all momineen. Then I will show you non-Shias even non-Muslims who can perform miracles and whose duas also carry effect.

I think all of Yemen must be praying, Syrians must have prayed a lot, also Iraqis, the victims of Hajjaj bin Yusuf or the Takfeeris. Since 1400 years. Now I am not questioning praying, please keep in mind, I am instead writing that Allah is Kareem and knows best and we do not know what is better for us. Of course we should always keep asking, cry like children when He doesn't listen, insist, that always works. Create a bond with Allah, that of a creature and its Creator. It is why Allah has been revealed to us in this life so we start developing this thing now, in this life and try to gain nearness to Him. I hope with this much I get all my points across. Intercession in praying is unnecessary. There is no harm done by not practicing it. No rights unfulfilled and no disrespect done. The harm is done when we do not try to emulate those we call our intercessors. When we abandon their way and practice a private religion, separate lives.

Pardon me if someone dislikes my view. It is only a conclusion I have arrived upon. I think religion is simple and natural like that.

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On 1/2/2021 at 7:12 AM, Mahdavist said:

Wa alaikum as salam brother

You ask a good question. The truth is that this isn't really a fundamental Shi'i practice. If you look at our original and early sources you will find that this manner of supplication is absent. We don't find this in the Qur'an or in authentic and reliable narrations. 

It is something that has somehow crept into Islam in recent centuries. It has been purged from some sunni sects, but still remains popular among some of the sufi-leaning communities as well as most Shi'i communities. 

However, those who are strict in following the Qur'an and the Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام) avoid this practice altogether. I recommend that you do the same because it is not from the teachings of the ma'soomeen (عليه السلام). 

This brother has said it how it is. It appears that a lot of this is indeed Sufi innovation. Never go with the flow! Every community is plagued with its problems and that’s just the test of life. People might hate me for saying this but I believe this is how the Wahhabis have been successful. You know Imam Ali said take the truth even it be from a polytheist. It’s all good saying Ya Ali but are you prepared to act like Ali and take the truth from wherever it comes?? This is the true haidari path and was one of the reason why imam Ali was so unpopular in history!

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9 hours ago, The Green Knight said:

Tell me, how many miracles happen when:

- Someone prays to Allah.

- Someone "uses intercession".

I don't know what your understanding of miracle. But they happened both ways.

There are Quranic as well as ahadith references of both cases. 

Anyway, this is a ziyarat. The wordings of this ziyarat e Jamia mentions the lofty status of these blessed personalities. 

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O Son of the Prophet of God! Please teach me words to say that are both eloquent and perfect to say whenever I visit anyone of you (the Imams).”

If these words are taught by Imam (عليه السلام) and we are sure of its authenticity, there is no reason whatsoever to not recite this ziyarat. And there would be no reason to act like munafiq who is reciting these words from his tongue but not with his heart. 

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 O my Masters! Your praise is beyond measure. Your true nature is beyond praise. Your majesty is beyond description. And you are the light of the Company of the Good. And you are the true guidance for the pious, and the proofs of the Omnipotent. God has initiated everything with you, and He shall terminate everything with you. He will send down rain due to you. For your sake, He will prevent the sky from collapsing down onto the Earth without His Permission. He will remove the sorrows through you. And He will solve the difficulties through you. And whatever He has sent down to His Messenger which the angels have brought down to him (Muhammad) is with you (the Imams). And the Spirit of Faith and Truth (Gabriel) - was dispatched to your forefather (the Prophet Muhammad (S)).

 

 

Quote

O friend of God [O friends of God]! Indeed there are sins in between me and God that cannot be removed unless you approve of that. I ask you by the One who has established you as His Trustees of His Secrets and has entrusted the affairs of His creatures to you, and has equated your obedience with His own obedience to kindly implore forgiveness for my sins, and be the ones who intercede on my behalf as I am obedient to you and whoever is obedient to you has indeed obeyed God.

Whoever disobeys you is disobedient to God. And whoever loves you has indeed loved God. And whoever despises you has indeed loathed God.

O God! Could I ever have found ones to intercede with Thee on my behalf who would be closer to Thee than Muhammad and the Members of his Household - the leaders of the Company of the Good and the pious ones? I beseech Thee by their right (the Divine Leaders) that Thou establish them as the ones to intercede on my behalf.

I ask Thee to place me amongst those who know them (the Divine Leaders) and recognize their rightfulness - and amongst those who hope for their intercession - as Thou art the Most Merciful of those that are merciful. And may God’s Blessings and Salutations with much respect be upon our Master Muhammad ((عليه السلام).) and his Household. And God sufficeth for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs

 

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3 hours ago, Cool said:

there is no reason whatsoever to not recite this ziyarat.

No actually there are very good reasons. First, they are not necessary/obligatory, nor they are part of necessary beliefs or rituals. Secondly, these things are the stepping stones for the ignorant to unknowingly enter the realm of Ghulaat. If they were taught by Imams (and not injected by Ghulaat) then there must have been some edge in reciting them and the Shia reading them would have been like prophet Suleiman or flying like angels or have their weighty needs fulfilled. That is simply not true. It also does not make sense the Imams would ask people to praise them instead of for Whom all praises exist. It is contrary to all they stood for and taught and that does not make sense.

Anyway I think I have been clear in expressing my view. There is no need for a debate on this.

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Regarding the supplications in the Qur'an, I think everyone is familiar with them. They can be found throughout the Qur'an in various suwar

Those who are interested in ahadith regarding supplication and teaching different supplications from the aimmah (عليه السلام) can refer to Al Kafi volume 2, specifically to the chapter titled 'The Book of Supplication'

https://thaqalayn.net/book/2

Misconceptions and false arguments such as 'we can't go directly to Allah ((سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى))' will hopefully be corrected after reading through the words of the ma'sumeen (عليه السلام) 

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Assalamualaikum again, I hope you are all well and staying safe inshallah. 

I have another verse which I came across and wanted to ask what your opinion on this is? 

They worship besides Allah others who can neither harm nor benefit them, and say, “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Ask ˹them, O  Prophet˺, “Are you informing Allah of something He does not know in the heavens or the earth? Glorified and Exalted is He above what they associate ˹with Him˺!” (Quran 10:18)

From what I understand from this is that even the idol worshipping Arabs tried to justify their idolatry by claiming that they're not worshipping the idols in the physical sense, but they are just using them as intercessors for them to Allah. This sounds very similar to what I've been told by my Shia friends because they also say 'we don't worship the Imams/prophets etc, we just ask them to ask Allah for us. They are out intercessors with Allah etc'.

So my question is, how is this concept justified under Shia Islam despite the Quran having verses like this?

I hope someone can answer this please. Jazakallah khair

 

PS - I said before and just want to make it clear again, I am a sunni brother who is looking into Shia Islam - therefore I am not trying to debate or have a dig at Shias, I am genuinely trying to search for the truth and trying to understand why the Shia school of thought believe what they do. :) 

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4 minutes ago, usman123 said:

So my question is, how is this concept justified under Shia Islam despite the Quran having verses like this?

Good question brother. If you look at my previous posts in this topic and the links provided you will find that this isn't the method of supplication taught by the Qur'an and the Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام). Therefore I would say that it isn't a Shi'i practice at all, rather something that seems to have crept into some Shia and Sunni communities. 

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4 minutes ago, usman123 said:

Assalamualaikum again, I hope you are all well and staying safe inshallah. 

I have another verse which I came across and wanted to ask what your opinion on this is? 

They worship besides Allah others who can neither harm nor benefit them, and say, “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Ask ˹them, O  Prophet˺, “Are you informing Allah of something He does not know in the heavens or the earth? Glorified and Exalted is He above what they associate ˹with Him˺!” (Quran 10:18)

From what I understand from this is that even the idol worshipping Arabs tried to justify their idolatry by claiming that they're not worshipping the idols in the physical sense, but they are just using them as intercessors for them to Allah. This sounds very similar to what I've been told by my Shia friends because they also say 'we don't worship the Imams/prophets etc, we just ask them to ask Allah for us. They are out intercessors with Allah etc'.

So my question is, how is this concept justified under Shia Islam despite the Quran having verses like this?

I hope someone can answer this please. Jazakallah khair

 

PS - I said before and just want to make it clear again, I am a sunni brother who is looking into Shia Islam - therefore I am not trying to debate or have a dig at Shias, I am genuinely trying to search for the truth and trying to understand why the Shia school of thought believe what they do. :) 

Salam, brother. It's heartening to see sunnis attempting to engage in genuine, respectful dialogue.

The Arabs made sacrifices and offerings to their idols. They put these idols in the Kaaba as equals to Allah. They believed that these deities were equal to Allah. They believed that their hand-made stone and wood idols contained their spirit.

I recall vaguely from an Engineer Mirza video, that they paid lip service to their belief in Allah. When offering sacrifices in His name, they simultaneously offered sacrifices to their idols. When offering sacrifices to their idols, they conveniently neglected to mention Allah. It's obvious what their beliefs were.

12 minutes ago, usman123 said:

Arabs tried to justify their idolatry by claiming that they're not worshipping the idols in the physical sense, but they are just using them as intercessors for them to Allah. This sounds very similar to what I've been told by my Shia friends because they also say 'we don't worship the Imams/prophets etc, we just ask them to ask Allah for us. They are out intercessors with Allah etc'.

Except that these Arabs were lying. They were committing, obvious, blatant shirk with their idols.

The Prophet/Imams are slaves of Allah, subservient to Him, and dependent on Him, like the rest of His Creation. No shia on Earth will contradict this. That being said, there are numerous verses in the Quran where Allah says there is no intercessor but Him, save those who He permits. This article/book might be of some help.

 

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On 1/22/2021 at 12:18 AM, usman123 said:

even the idol worshipping Arabs tried to justify their idolatry by claiming that they're not worshipping the idols in the physical sense, but they are just using them as intercessors for them to Allah. This sounds very similar to what I've been told by my Shia friends because they also say 'we don't worship the Imams/prophets etc, we just ask them to ask Allah for us. They are out intercessors with Allah etc'.

Has Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) appointed those idols as wasilah to guide humanity? No

Has Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) appointed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and Imams as wasilah to guide humanity? Yes

On 1/22/2021 at 12:18 AM, usman123 said:

So my question is, how is this concept justified under Shia Islam despite the Quran having verses like this?

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ

5:35

Now my question to you is that why the Omnipotent God has used the "wasilah" to guide us & to deliver the message? 

And what is the best "wasilah" to reach to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)? The ones which He Himself used or the ones whom we think as guides or guided ones? 

And why this concept of wasilah is getting so hard to accept for you while you asks for the wasilah from Allah, minimum 5 times a day in the following words?

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ

1:7

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Furthermore, you need to prove the following too:

1. Asking help from anyone other than Allah is:

a) tantamount to worship

b) or is shirk

2. Obeying Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) & Imams is something other than obeying Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) where you could apply the clause "من دون الله".

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On 1/1/2021 at 10:19 PM, usman123 said:

Salaam brothers and sisters, I am a sunni who is very interested in Shia Islam. Some things are making sense and opening my eyes however, I am stuck and even after many many conversations with my Shia friends, I still am not able to be convinced with the permissibility of calling onto the prophets and imams for help. i.e. 'Ya Ali', 'ya Fatima help me', 'ya Muhammad help me', 'Ya imam rescue me' etc.. I just don't feel safe and at peace calling onto anyone but Allah. Is Allah not enough for us? Many times in the Quran it says only call to Allah. He is closer than your jugular vein. In Fatiha 'you alone to we worship and see help'. So why insist on saying ya Ali? Isn't saying 'Ya Allah' better for you? 

I want to also ask, when you call onto Rasoolallah or the imams, do you believe they will help you themselves personally? Or they will ask Allah to accept your requests? Or both?

Also, I know you will probably mention the verse where it says that those who gave their life in the way of Allah are not dead, but then does that mean I can ask a regular shaheed who was martyred in 2020 for help also? Since a regular person can also fall into this category of giving their lives for the sake of Allah. And if I cant ask the regular person, what proof do you have that it can only be for an infallible? 

Jazakallah khair. I hope this doesn't sound disrespectful but its just that I really want to find the truth but I am too scared to fall into shirk. This is one of the main things stopping me from considering Shia Islam. I hope someone can please shed some light into this inshallah :) 

Wa Alykum al Salam wa Rahmat Allah! This is what we call Tawasul. For example, We ask Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) by Muhammad to forgive our sins. Our respected brothers from Ahlul Sunnah even Have Hadith like this. A person was blind so he came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and asked for a dua to cure his blindness. In the Dua it Says Ya Muhammad. Here it is,

msnda28_0000.jp2&id=waqmsnda&scale=4&rotate=02-LI

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You can ask them for help considering they are Imams (عليه السلام) and AhleBait (عليه السلام) and they are servants of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).

There are alot of evidences in shia books where Aima (عليه السلام) did show miracles like in front of Harun i think when a magician tried to toy with Imam (عليه السلام) nauzobillah. Imam starred at the wall with sketch of a lion on it and in no time, to everyones surprise it turned into a real one and ate magician away.

This shows authority of Aima (عليه السلام) to do things and are un questionably out of bounds of life/death and Human nature.

And all of this is blessing to Imams (عليه السلام) by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).

Now in Quran Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says:

قُلِ ادۡعُوا اللّٰهَ اَوِ ادۡعُوا الرَّحۡمٰنَ ؕ اَ يًّا مَّا تَدۡعُوۡا فَلَهُ الۡاَسۡمَآءُ الۡحُسۡنٰى

17:110

Say to them (O Prophet!): "Call upon Him as Allah or call upon Him as al-Rahman; call Him by whichever name you will, all His names are beautiful

Now in Tafseer of this verse ( not out of context tafseer ) as mentioned by Imam (عليه السلام):

4 - الحسين بن محمد الأشعري ومحمد بن يحيى جميعا، عن أحمد بن إسحاق، عن سعدان بن مسلم، عن معاوية بن عمار عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام في قول الله عز وجل: " ولله الأسماء الحسنى فادعوه بها " قال: نحن والله الأسماء الحسنى (1) التي لا يقبل الله من العباد عملا إلا بمعرفتنا

Imam (عليه السلام) was asked about this verse and imam said نحن والله الأسماء الحسنى

He said this in context of this verse as per which in Quran you are allowed to call upon.

And this hadith is in Al-Kafi ( Classical source )

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@usman123

Salaam Brother, I personally found the explanation I've posted below very helpful. 

I think anyone else who's grappling with this concept should give this a read. @Mahdavist perhaps you should too. 

The following is from the book called Islam and the Contemporary Man by the famous Islamic scholar, exegete, jurist, and philsopher (among other things), Allama Sayyid Muhammad Hussain Tabatabai:

 

Chapter 7: Refuting Wahhabi Contentions

The Question of Invoking the Prophet and the Imams

Question

Rational reasoning, the Qur’an, and the Sunnah all condemn invoking the Prophet and the Imams, which is practiced by the Shi‘ah, as a heretical practice that amounts to polytheism. The reasons why this practice is heretical follow.

First, based on rational reasoning, God alone is the Creator and thus all causality springs from Him; the Qur’an avers,

قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ.…

“…God is the Creator of all things…”1

In this light, the only real cause in the world is God. What we assume to be a cause is merely a thing that God has willed to occur prior to something else: there is no causal relationship among phenomena. When, for instance, timber burns, it is not due to a causal relation between it and fire; rather, it is the way God has willed to manage the affairs of this world. In the same vein, the Prophet and the Imams are merely creatures with no particular function, and so to invoke them would constitute polytheism.

Second, God says in His Book:

وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ

“Your Lord has said, ‘Call Me, and I will reply to you.’ Indeed those who are disdainful of My worship will enter Hell in utter humility.”2

According to this verse, “calling” [du‘a] is an act of worship. As such, to call on a creature of God is tantamount to worshipping it and is, consequently, an instance of polytheism.

Third, we know that the Prophet fought the beliefs of idol-worshippers and Christians though they all accepted God as the Creator of the world. The Prophet opposed them as they sought help from angels and invoked the souls of prophets to fulfill their requests. In this respect, the Prophet confronted Christians as he confronted idol-worshippers; both groups held polytheistic beliefs.

Fourth, according to the following two verses, only God has knowledge of the Unseen:

لَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ …

“…No one in the heavens or the earth knows the Unseen except God…”3

وَعِنْدَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ

"With Him are the keys of the Unseen…”4

As such, no creature, not even the Prophet and the Imams, is aware of the Unseen. Obviously, for those who have died to this world and reside in the Intermediate World [barzakh], this world is “unseen,” and so they are unaware of what transpires here. Thus, invoking the Prophet and the Imams, as they are dead, is, in addition to being a form of polytheism, useless. This argument is further strengthened by considering this verse:

يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَا أُجِبْتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ

“The day God will gather the prophets and say, ‘What was the response to you?’ They will say, ‘We have no knowledge. Indeed You are Knower of all that is Unseen.”5

In fine, invoking the Prophet and the Imams after they have passed away by showing humility and bowing to and kissing their tombs is definitely a polytheistic practice. So how do the Shi‘ahs vindicate their practice?

Answer

The questioner first argues that there are no causes in the world, whether dependent or independent. As such, he denies the principle of causality by reserving agency exclusively for God. In addition to being contradictory to intuitive reason, two problems confront this line of reasoning.

First, it deprives us of the grounds on which we prove God’s existence as the Creator. We reason to God’s existence from the phenomena of this world. If we deny causality among phenomena in this world, we will be unable to argue for the dependence of this world on Divine activity. It would be ridiculous to talk about God arranging this world when we cannot prove His existence.

Second, to deny the principle of causality, one must also deny that a conclusion could follow logically from its premises. This would undermine the foundations of knowledge, leading inevitably to skepticism in every field of science.

We, however, owing to the Divine guidance imbedded in human nature, consider the principle of causality a universal principle that permits of no exception. All phenomena, being preceded by nonexistence, acquire existence from a higher cause. This higher cause may in turn have a yet higher cause, but the chain must end at a necessary existent (according to rational arguments that prove the impossibility of infinite regress and circularity).

This Necessary Existent, we call God—Exalted is He. Thus, the world is composed of causes and effects, headed by the Unique Cause who is independent in His agency. The agency of intermediate causes derives from God and as such is in effect God’s agency.

That a being is a medium for conveying existence to other creatures does not imply its independence. For a better understanding of this, consider the following example. When one writes, the action of writing can be attributed to the person writing, to his arm, which holds the pen, and to the pen. Ascribing the action of writing to all three agents is correct, but the one which is independent and on which the others depend is the person.

So although the action can be attributed to the arm and the pen, but they are only secondary agents, they are merely means. In the example of fire cited by the questioner, the truth is that God has created fire with the natural quality of burning, not that fire issues from one act of creation and burning from another. God created the quality of burning by the mediation of fire, not independent of it.6

Hence, to affirm agency for God’s creatures is not a challenge to His agency, for His is independent, whereas theirs is dependent. In fact, the Qur’an in ascribing various actions to creatures reaffirms the principle of causality but at the same time makes clear that independence in agency is solely God’s. There are many verses to this effect; two examples follow:

قَاتِلُوهُمْ يُعَذِّبْهُمُ اللَّهُ بِأَيْدِيكُ.

“Make war on them so that God may punish them by your hands…”7

. . . تُعْجِبْكَ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُهُمْ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ…

“…God only desires to punish them by means of [their wealth and children]…”8

The questioner’s next contention is that “calling” is an act of worship and so to call upon the Prophet and the Imams for help is polytheism. But it should be pointed out, in light of the above explanation, that “calling” God’s creatures is conceivable in one of two ways.

One way is invoking a creature with the intention that it is independent in agency, and the other is invoking it as a medium. Accordingly, the verse in question

وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ

(“Your Lord has said, ‘Call Me, and I will reply to you.’ Indeed those who are disdainful of My worship will enter Hell in utter humility.”9)

prohibits “calling” His creatures with the intention that they are independent in agency. Thus, monotheism condones invoking God’s creatures if it is borne in mind that they owe their existence and agency to Him.

Obviously, if the verse in question were to be understood in a strictly literal sense as prohibiting any form of seeking help from God’s creatures, we would have serious problems before us. We routinely go to the baker and ask for bread; we go to the butcher for buying meat; a strictly literal reading of the above verse would render these chores polytheistic. But we know for a fact that such cases of asking others do not constitute polytheism.

Some Wahhabi advocates have attempted to counter by pointing out that there is a difference here. In the cases cited, the people called upon are alive, whereas the Prophet and the Imams are dead. But this reply, if correct, only serves to demonstrate that calling on the Prophet and the Imams is useless, not that it is polytheistic.

Furthermore, there are verses that explicitly talk of “means”:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُوا فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“O you who have faith! Be wary of God, and seek the means of recourse to Him, and struggle in His way so that you may be felicitous.”10

In this verse, God encourages believers to have recourse to the “means” that lead to Him as a way to attain felicity. In the same vein, there is a hadith narrated from the Prophet in which he says that faith and prayer are his means.11 This hadith introduces these two elements (faith as a mental state in the believer and prayer as an action that the believer performs) as means for achieving nearness to God. If we were to accept a very strict reading of the verse in question (40:60), the employment of these means would be polytheism, and polytheism, obviously, does not lead to God.

The questioner’s third point is that idolatrous religions agree with Islam in that there is One, Unique God, whom is worthy of worship, and that their error is in seeking help from other beings. This account of idolatrous religion is incorrect. According to their religious texts, idolatrous religions (which have hundreds of millions of adherents in such countries as China, India, and Japan), in spite of acknowledging that there is only One Necessary Existent, consider the Necessary Existent beyond the grasp of human knowledge: we are unable to communicate with the Necessary Existent directly. Thus, we need to worship mediums (such as angels, jinns, or spiritually perfect human beings) who are able to fill this gap and to help us draw nearer to the Ultimate Existent.

Angels are the deities whom idol-worshippers most commonly associate with. Idolatrous religions portray angels as pure beings who are close to God and whom He has entrusted with the governance of the world. As such, they believe that angels have absolute authority in their domain—there is a god or goddess for the seas, the deserts, war, peace, beauty, earth, sky, etc.—and that God has relinquished all matters to them.

The following verses bring to light the error in the polytheistic conception:

لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَا آلِهَةٌ إِلَّا اللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا ۚ

“Had there been gods in [the heavens and the earth] other than God, they [i.e., the heavens and the earth] would have surely fallen apart…”12

وَمَا كَانَ مَعَهُ مِنْ إِلَٰهٍ ۚ إِذًا لَذَهَبَ كُلُّ إِلَٰهٍ بِمَا خَلَقَ وَلَعَلَا بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۚ

“…neither is there any god besides Him, for then each god would take away what he created, and some of them would surely rise up against others…”13

The line of reasoning in the above verses is that if there were a multiplicity of gods, they would have disagreed in matters of governance, and this disagreement would have led to chaos and destruction. Obviously, the underlying premise in this line of reasoning is that chaos would ensue if the gods had independent authority. Thus, the verses do not apply if there is one, supreme, and independent God but a multiplicity of subordinate agents who are dependent and obedient to God, functioning merely as His intermediate agents and executing solely what He desires.

The above explanation should suffice to show that idol-worshippers—whether those who worship stars or those who worship “the gods” of various creatures and phenomena—do not in any way worship God. Their rites of worship and sacrifice pertain to their pantheon of gods.

The only connection their worship has with God is that it is performed in the hope that their gods would influence God and that only in regard to mundane affairs, for they do not believe in the doctrine of Resurrection. (It is in this context that the verse,

مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ ۚ

“…Who is it that may intercede with Him except with His permission…”14

should be understood. This verse speaks to intercession in its broad sense, which includes worldly matters, not the prevalent sense of intercession on the Day of Judgment, in which the infidels of Arabia did not believe.)

There were, however, instances during the Age of Ignorance prior to Islam where idol-worshippers did worship God. But they did so out of ignorance of the logical implications of their belief system. One such instance was the hajj, the ritual pilgrimage established by Abraham. This practice endured even after ‘Amru ibn Yahya succeeded in establishing idolatry as the predominant religion in the Arabian Peninsula. But some aspects of it were distorted. Idols, for instance, were set in holy locations—Hibil was placed atop Ka‘bah, Asaf on Mount Safa, and Na’ilah on Mount Marwah—where they were worshipped and honored with sacrifices.

(It should be noted that idol-worshipping is actually a vulgarization of polytheistic doctrine. By doctrine, idols are supposed to be symbols for the deities. Common idol-worshippers, however, worship the idols themselves, as opposed to the deities they are supposed to represent. It is in condemnation of this vulgarized polytheism that the Qur’an says,

قَالَ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مَا تَنْحِتُونَ

“…Do you worship what you have yourselves carved?”15)

Hence, contrary to what the questioner claims, idol-worshippers neither consider God as in charge of the affairs of the world nor worship Him. Polytheists attribute an authority to the lesser gods that is, first, independent and, second, restricted to this world. They envisage the lesser gods as architects to whom God has given absolute authority to construct their world as they will. As such, they perceive God as the prime creator, who created the world but then resigned, relinquishing all authority to the lesser gods.

The questioner’s next point is that Christians and Jews are polytheists. This, however, is incorrect. Christians and Jews are unbelievers on account of rejecting Prophet Muhammad’s ministry, not for polytheism. The following verse ascertains this:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يُفَرِّقُوا بَيْنَ اللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيَقُولُونَ نُؤْمِنُ بِبَعْضٍ وَنَكْفُرُ بِبَعْضٍ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يَتَّخِذُوا بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ سَبِيلًا

أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ حَقًّا ۚ

“Those who disbelieve in God and His prophets and seek to separate God from His prophets, and say, ‘We believe in some and disbelieve in some’ and seek to take a way in between—it is they who are truly faithless.”16

In addition to denying Muhammad’s ministry, they were also guilty for their absolute obedience to their priests and for believing in a son for God:

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ عُزَيْرٌ ابْنُ اللَّهِ وَقَالَتِ النَّصَارَى الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ اللَّهِ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ قَوْلُهُمْ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ ۖ يُضَاهِئُونَ قَوْلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ ۚ قَاتَلَهُمُ اللَّهُ ۚ أَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ

اتَّخَذُوا أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَالْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا

أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا إِلَٰهًا وَاحِدًا ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ سُبْحَانَهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

“The Jews say, ‘Ezra is the son of God,’ and the Christians say, ‘Christ is the son of God.’ That is an opinion that they mouth, imitating the opinions of the faithless of former times. May God assail them, where do they stray? They have taken their scribes and their monks as lords besides God, and also Christ, Mary’s son; though they were commanded to worship only the One God, there is no god except Him…”17

(As regards Zoroastrians, the Qur’an does not give a detailed account of their religion. Historical sources, however, show that Zoroastrianism was polytheistic. Like idol-worshippers, they worshipped angels, but unlike idol-worshippers they did not carve idols to represent them.)

The above explanation makes clear that invoking the Prophet and the Imams as intermediate and dependent agents is not polytheism. Polytheism is to worship in addition to God other beings as independent agents. As such, to revere an intermediate agent while acknowledging its absolute dependence on the One God does not constitute polytheism. We know that the intermediate agent is in and of itself impotent. When, for example, a wealthy person helps a poor person through an intermediate agent, it is the wealthy person who truly deserves the credit, not the agent.

The questioner’s fourth argument is that knowledge of the Unseen is confined solely to God. To consider others possessed of this knowledge is blasphemy. As such, the belief that the Prophet and the Imams are aware of and can interfere in what happens in this world is invalid: they are dead and for the dead, this world is “unseen.” An examination of the Qur’an, however, would disprove this line of argument:

عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَىٰ غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا

إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضَىٰ مِنْ رَسُولٍ فَإِنَّهُ

“[God is the] Knower of the Unseen; He does not disclose His Unseen to anyone, except to an apostle He approves of…”18

According to this verse, there are beings to whom God divulges His secrets. Thus, there is no error in believing that God bestowed knowledge of the Unseen to the Prophet and the Imams. An observation that corroborates this view is that the Qur’anic verses that appear to deny the Prophet’s knowledge of the Unseen make an exception in the case of Revelation:

قُلْ مَا كُنْتُ بِدْعًا مِنَ الرُّسُلِ وَمَا أَدْرِي مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي وَلَا بِكُمْ ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ

“Say, ‘I am not an exception among the prophets, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I just follow whatever is revealed to me…’”19

In Surah Ibrahim, the Qur’an narrates the answer that some prophets gave when their people denied that they held any special status:

قَالَتْ لَهُمْ رُسُلُهُمْ إِنْ نَحْنُ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَمُنُّ عَلَىٰ مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ۖ

“The prophets said to them, ‘Indeed we are just human beings like yourselves; but God favors whomever of His servants that He wishes…’”20

But the verse that very explicitly affirms knowledge of the Unseen for God’s prophets is the following, which quotes the words of Jesus addressing his people:

وَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ

“…I will tell you what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses. There is indeed a sign in that for you…”21

There is another verse in which Jesus announces the coming of Prophet Muhammad:

إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِنْ بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ ۖ

“I am the prophet of God to you…to give the good news of a prophet who will come after me, whose name is Ahmad…”22

In addition, in the religious corpus, there are numerous hadiths that foretell future events, which are referred to as “forebodings.”

Based on the above explanation, we can conclude that where the Qur’an denies that prophets possess knowledge of the Unseen and extraordinary powers, it means that independently they are incapable of knowing the Unseen or performing miracles. They do, however, possess these capabilities by God’s will. God reveals the Unseen to His prophets and they convey it to their successors. There are many hadiths that substantiate this account.

There is, however, one verse that on the surface seems to pose a problem:

يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَا أُجِبْتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ

“The day God will gather the prophets and say, ‘What was the response to you?’ They will say, ‘We have no knowledge. Indeed You are Knower of all that is Unseen.”23

The verse seems to affirm that the prophets do not possess knowledge of the Unseen. A more careful consideration, however, refutes this conception.

If the prophets really lack knowledge of the Unseen, they would be unaware of their people’s deeds. To be truly aware of a deed requires knowledge of the intentions that led to the deed in question. Accordingly, to lack such a knowledge is equivalent to lacking knowledge of the deeds. But this cannot be, for the Qur’an asserts that the prophets do possess knowledge of their people’s deeds; God’s prophets witness their people’s conduct:

كُنْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ ۖ

“I [Jesus] was a witness to them so long as I was among them.”24

وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنْكُمْ شُهَدَاءَ

“…That He may take witnesses from among you…”25

وَجِيءَ بِالنَّبِيِّينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ

“…And the prophets and the witnesses will be brought…”26

وَيَقُولُ الْأَشْهَادُ هَٰؤُلَاءِ الَّذِينَ كَذَبُوا عَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ ۚ

“…And the witnesses will say, “It is these who lied against their Lord…”27

This reflection clarifies that verse 5:109, which may be misinterpreted as meaning that prophets lack knowledge of the Unseen, actually means that of their own, they lack this knowledge, but by God’s will, they possess it. In other words, all creatures, including all holy individuals, are indebted for what they have to God: all things are bestowed by Him.

The questioner’s other claim is that showing respect to the tomb of the Prophet and the Imams is polytheism. But this, again, is incorrect. Tombs of holy personages are symbols [sha‘a’ir] that remind us of God. Thus, to honor them is in essence to honor what they symbolize, namely God. Referring to the Prophet, the Qur’an says:

…فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُوا النُّورَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ مَعَهُ ۙ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

“…those who believe in him, honor him, and help him, and follow the light that has been sent down with him, they are the felicitous.”28

And more generally concerning all Divine symbols, it states:

…مَنْ يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ

“…whoever venerates the symbols of God—indeed that arises from the God wariness of hearts.”29

Another way to vindicate the Shi‘ah practice of honoring tombs of holy personages is by recourse to the following argument. Undoubtedly, loving God is a product of faith. When one loves God, one loves all those things that are in some way associated with Him. It is for this reason that all Muslims honor the Qur’an and the Ka‘bah. All Muslims concur that it is an act of faith to touch and kiss the Black Stone. Can any Muslim contend that this is a polytheistic practice? Obviously, not. It is in this spirit that the Shi‘ahs revere the Prophet and the Imams and show respect to their tombs.

In fine, let me conclude by saying that it is surprising that the Wahhabis, who claim to uphold pure monotheism and condemn the Shi‘ahs for showing respect to God’s holy slaves, espouse the doctrine of the Eight Eternal Beings. Wahhabi theologians consider the Positive Divine Attributes—life, power, knowledge, audition, vision, will, and speech—to be eternal and external to the Divine Essence. They hold that these attributes have not been brought into existence by God and do not make up God’s Essence. How can they so shamefully condemn the Shi‘ahs, who merely honor those whom God loves, while in effect recognizing eight deities?

  • 1.Surah al-Ra‘d 13:16.
  • 2.Surah al-Ghafir (or Mu’min) 40:60.
  • 3.Surah al-Naml 27:65.
  • 4.Surah al-An‘am 6:59.
  • 5.Surah al-Ma’idah 5:109.
  • 6.Thus, fire is the causal medium through which divine agency causes things to burn. [trans.]
  • 7.Surah al-Tawbah (or Bara’ah) 9:14.
  • 8.Surah al-Tawbah (or Bara’ah) 9:55.
  • 9.Surah al-Ghafir (or Mu’min) 40:60.
  • 10.Surah al-Ma’idah 5:35.
  • 11.What is the source?
  • 12.Surah al-Anbiya’ 21:22.
  • 13.Surah al-Mu’minun 23:91.
  • 14.Surah al-Baqarah 2:255.
  • 15.Surah al-Saffat 37:95.
  • 16.Surah al-Nisa’ 4:150-1.
  • 17.Surah al-Tawbah (or Bara’ah) 9:30-31.
  • 18.Surah al-Jinn 72:26-7.
  • 19.Surah al-Ahqaf 46:9; what this means is that the Prophet does possess knowledge of the Unseen, but he does so because God has revealed it to him. No creature is capable of knowing the Unseen (or of anything else for that matter) independently of God. [trans.]
  • 20.Surah Ibrahim 14:11.
  • 21.Surah Al ‘Imran 3:49.
  • 22.Surah al-Saff 61:6.
  • 23.Surah al-Ma’idah 5:109.
  • 24.Surah al-Ma’idah 5:117.
  • 25.Surah Al ‘Imran 3:140.
  • 26.Surah al-Zumar 39:69.
  • 27.Surah Hud 11:18.
  • 28.Surah al-A‘raf 7:157.
  • 29.Surah al-Hajj 22:32.

 

https://www.al-islam.org/islam-and-contemporary-man-allamah-sayyid-muhammad-husayn-tabatabai/chapter-7-refuting-wahhabi#question-invoking-prophet-and-imams

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5 hours ago, AStruggler said:

 

I think anyone else who's grappling with this concept should give this a read. @Mahdavist perhaps you should too. 

Thanks for sharing brother. Allamah Tabatabai is essentially saying that one who calls upon a prophet/imam while considering them as dependent upon Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is not committing shirk

That's fine, I have not said the opposite. What I have said is that this modern practice is not from the teaching of Shiism (ie it is not a practice taught by the Qur'an or by the Ahlulbayt).

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Guest Psychological Warfare

Two things-

1) Creator and the Created by definition means that Created is depended. Do we have to outline it every time we have this conversation. It is like talking to 1st graders. Not really something grown ups do or need to articulate it. I ask for ....but i really don't consider them independent. Do you see the point. We are trying to justify to the Maters so we don't get accused by them. We need to stop living a life of fear and be free. First graders need to get some knowledge, not our responsibility. 

2) The Scholars just come up with these things out of thin air? No bases what so ever. It would be prudent to say- different understanding. and move on with our business. 

 

 

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