What are the means of approach or mediation to Allah (SWT)?
It is in Quran - O'People of belief, be mindful of Allah (SWT) and fear the consequence of disobeying Him and seek the "means of approach (wabtaghu elaihil waseelah) " to Him and strive earnestly in His path that it may be well with you' (Al-Ma'ida - 35).
All virtuous deeds are the means of waseelah to Allah (SWT). Salah, fasting, Hajj, Zakat and all other good deeds are the mediation to approach Allah (SWT).
But the most important of all is the love of Allah (SWT) and His Apostle Mohammad (SAWS).
It is in Hadith - No one will be a Muslim or no one will have complete Islamic faith unless Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is more dearer to him than his own life, his children, his parents and the whole world.
It is in Quran - Qad Jaa'akum minallahi noorun wa kitabun mubeen" (Meaning - Without doubt 'the divine light' (noor) has come to you from Allah (SWT) and (in addition to) a book of illumination' (Al-Maa'ida - 15).
In the above verse, the purport of 'noorun' is Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) and 'Kitabun Mubeen' is Quran-e-Karim.
If we take the meaning of 'Waseelah' as 'approach' or proximity to Allah (SWT) (Qurb Illallah), then we need to walk towards Him in the light (noor) of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS). This means, we need to follow Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) in all our deeds. Thus for achieving proximity with Allah (SWT), Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is the primary Waseelah.
To achieve excellence in doing virtuous deeds, we also need to follow the four rightful Caliphs (Khulfa-e-Rashideen) of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS).
In the same way, we need to follow the four Imams of Fiqh, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Maalik, Imam Shafi'i, and Imam Hanbal.
Similarly, for purification of Anima (Tazkia Nafs), we need to follow the Shaikhs of Ihsan/Awliya Allah.
Imam Abu Hanifa said, 'if I was not in the company of Hazrat Imam Ja'afar Sadeq (RU), I would have been perished".
All the above is covered in the meaning of Mediation (Waseelah). If we deny Prophet Mohammad's (SAWS) mediation claiming that (nauzubillahi he is dead and inactive by equating him with sinful human beings) the entire structure of our Islamic Faith will fall apart.
Some people say that Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is not Waseelah, only his Dua' (supplication) is Waseelah. This shows that they are envious and jealous of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS).
The following supplication (Dua) is mentioned in many Ahadith narrated in (i) Tirmizi, (ii) Nasai, (iii) Tabrani, (iv) Ibn Huzeema, (v) Hakim (vi) Baihaqi, etc. The Dua confirms that we must supplicate by taking the Waseelah of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) even after his death. As a matter of fact our Dua will not be accepted by Allah (SWT) if we do not send Durood (invocation of divine blessing) on Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) before and after the Dua and seek Allah's favor by the mediation (Waseelah) of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS).
Allahumma inni as'aluka wa atwajjahu elaika bi habeebikal Mustafa indaka ya habeebana ya mohammadi inna natawassalu bika ila rabbika fashfa'a lanaa indal maulal a'zeemi ya ni'amar rasoolut tahiru. Allahumma shaffi'ahu feena bijaahihi indaka".
(Meaning - O'Allah (SWT) I implore, I beg to you with the mediation (waseelah) of your revered beloved Prophet -SAWS who is chosen by you. O' Beloved of the Al-mighty, O' Mohammad (SAWS) we implore to Allah (SWT) with your mediation (Waseelah). Kindly mediate for us with the Exalted Almighty Allah. O' Sacred Apostle (SAWS), O' Allah (SWT), kindly accept the intercession (Shafa'a) of our Prophet (SAWS) for us in view of the "honor and grace (bi jaahihi indaka)" he has with you.
It is in Hadith - Tirmidhi relates, through his chain of narrators from ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf and Shawkani's from his treatise al-Durr al-nadir.
A blind man came to the Prophet (saws) and said: "Invoke Allah (swt) for me that he help me." He replied: "If you wish I will delay this, and it would be better for you, and if you wish I will invoke Allah (swt) the Exalted (for you)." He said: "Then invoke him." The Prophet (saws) said to him: idhhab fa tawadda', wa salli rak`atayn thumma qul -- "Go and make an ablution, pray two rakaats, then say: "O Allah, I am asking you (as'aluka) and turning to you (atawajjahu ilayka) with your Prophet Muhammad (saws) (bi nabiyyika Muhammad - saws), the Prophet of mercy (saws); O Muhammad (saws) (ya Muhammad - saws), I am turning with you to my Lord regarding my present need / I am asking my Lord with your intercession concerning the return of my sight (inni atawajjahu bika ila rabbi fi hajati hadhih -- another version has: inni astashfi`u bika `ala rabbi fi raddi basari) so that He will fulfil my need; O Allah (swt), allow him to intercede (with you) for me (allahumma shaffi`hu fiyya)."
The Prophet (saws) was not physically present at the assigned time of the invocation, since he said to the blind man: "Go and make ablution," without adding: "and then come back in front of me." Despite the Prophet's (saws) physical absence, the wording for calling upon his intercession is direct address: "Ya Muhammad." The Prophet (saws) added, “And if there is some need, do the same.”
In the above Hadith, the Prophet (saws) did not say that do like this till I am alive. He ordered the blind man repeat this Dua whenever he was in need of anything. Meaning, this Prophetic commandment is for all time, during Prophet's (saws) life as well as after it.
It is in Hadith - Baihaqi, Abu Nu`aym in the Ma`rifa, Mundhiri (Targhib 1:473-474), Haythami, and Tabarani in the Kabir (9:17-18) and the Saghir (1:184/201-202) on the authority of `Uthman ibn Hunayf's nephew Abu Imama ibn Sahl ibn Hunayf:
A man would come to `Uthman ibn `Affan (ru) for a certain need, but the latter would not pay him any attention nor look into his need, upon which he complained of his condition to `Uthman ibn Hunayf (ru) who told him: "Go and make ablution, then go to the mosque and pray two rakaats, then say (this dua)," and he mentioned the invocation of the blind man, "then go (to `Uthman - ru again)." The man went, did as he was told, then came to `Uthman's (ru) door, upon which the door-attendant came, took him by the hand, and brought him to `Uthman (ru) who sat him with him on top of the carpet, and said: "Tell me what your need is." After this the man went out, met `Uthman ibn Hunayf (ru) again, and said to him: "May Allah (swt) reward you! Previously he would not look into my need nor pay any attention to me, until you spoke to him." He replied: "I did not speak to him, but I saw the Prophet (saws) when a blind man came to him complaining of his failing eyesight," and he mentioned to him the substance of the previous narration. He not only called to Allah (swt), but to Rasul (saws) also. Thus the Sahaba taught invoking the Prophet (saws) even after his death.
Look, in the above Ahadith, the words "Bijaahihi Indaka" is there, which means 'honor, grace, dignity'.
This Hadith also confirms that we can call 'Ya Mohammad, Ya Mustafa, Ya Habeebana, Ya Rasulullah (SAWS), etc., after the death of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS).
Some short sighted Salafi and like minded scholars do not believe in this Hadith that has been narrated in so many Ahadith books and say that the mediation of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is only with his Dua and not with his honor and grace that has been bestowed to him from Allah (SWT) and in this process try to (nauzubillahi) equate him with ordinary people. They also claim that we cannot call 'Ya Rasulullah (SAWS), because the Prophet is dead now (Asthaghfiruallahal Azeem).
It is in Quran - (for Prophet Isa -AS) "Waji-hun fid dunya wal aakhirati wa minal muqarrabeena" (Meaning - Hazrat Isa -AS is dignified and grandeur (elevated) in this world and in Hereafter). When Hazrat Isa Alaihis Salam is so dignified, then what will be the status, rank, magnificence and dignity of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) in this world and in Hereafter!
Salafis, as lip service say that they accept Prophet Mohammad's (SAWS) supreme status among prophets as bestowal of Almighty; but in the same breath, they equate him with ordinary people.
Their claim of respect of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is a blatant lie as his respect is only on their tongues, while their hearts are completely devoid of Prophet Mohammad's (SAWS) respect.
Those who consider Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) as ordinary, and not graceful, they themselves are disgraced in this life and in Hereafter. They are oppressors who do not understand Allah (SWT) or His beneficence and Mercy. Their foul-mouthness is the result of their jealousy and disrespect they have developed for the Prophet (SAWS). They are sick at heart and Allah (SWT) increases their sickness.
Salafis don't even read their own books. Let us see what Salafi founder Ibn Taymiyya has written in his book in this context.
Ibn Taymiyya said in his book "al-qaida al-jaleela fit- tawwasali wal-waseela", with commentary of Rabi'a bin Hadi 'Umayr al-Mudkhali, Professor in the Islamic University of Madinah al-Munawwara, page 6, paragraph 9:
QUOTE - "Muslims agreed that the Prophet (SAWS) is the greatest of creation, the highest in rank and superiority and the most glorified and honored in the presence of Allah (SWT) and no other creation is better to Allah than the Prophet (SAWS) and no other shafa'a is greater than his shafa'a. ['aazamu al-khalqi jaahan 'ind-Allahi laa jaahun li - makhluqin 'inda-Allahi 'aazamu min jaahihi wa laa shafa'atun 'aazamu min shafa'atih]
He mentioned in the same book, page 4, para. 4:
"the Prophet (SAWS) is the intercessor of all creation [shafi'a al-khala'iq] and the owner of the Maqaam al-Mahmoud, that was the aspiration those who came before and those who came after, and he is the greatest of intercessors [shufa'a] and the highest in glory and superiority in Allah's Presence."
Ibn Taymiyya says in the same book on page 3, para. 2:
"Allah has sent his Prophet (SAWS) to Jinn and Mankind and everyone has to follow him and believe in him and to follow him inwardly (Baatin) and outwardly (Dhaahir) and to believe in the Prophet (SAWS) and to follow him is the only way for Allah (SWT) and the only way for the religion of Allah (SWT) and it is the worship of Allah(SWT) and it is the obedience of Allah (SWT), and all these are the way of the Friends of Allah [awliya-Allah], and all this is the the means [waseela] that Allah (SWT) has ordered His servants to follow when He said in the Holy Qur'an -
"Yaa ayyuhalladheena aamanu ittaqullaha wabtaghaw ilayhi al-waseela" ( Meaning - O' Ye who believe! Fear Allah (SWT) and seek the means of approach unto Him". And the means to seek Allah (SWT) is that one who will ask Allah (SWT) by the intercession and the means of faith in His Prophet (SAWS) in and following him". [Al-Maaida - 35]
Ibn Taymiyya states on page 12, para. 18:
"It is agreed between the Sahaba, and the Tabi'een and the Four Imams Maliki, Shafi'i, Hanafi and Hanbali, that the Prophet (SAWS) will intercede for the sinners of his Ummah."
And Ibn Taymiyya continues on the same page 12, para 20:
"And the Sahaba and the Tabi'een and the Four Imams of Islam all of them confirmed the authentic hadith of the Prophet (SAWS) that Allah (SWT) will take out from Hell people after He will punish them for whatever length of time he likes with the shafa'a of the Prophet (SAWS). And Allah (SWT) will take out of Hell some others by the Shafaa'a of other than the Prophet (SAWS)".
And on page 17, para 28:
["wa lafdhu at-tawassul qad yuradu bihi thalaathata umoor"] The word intermediation [tawassul] refers to three different meanings. Two of them are agreed upon among the Muslims.
and on para 29:
"the first of the two is the root of faith and Islam [hua asal al-eemaan wal-islam wa hua at-tawassul bil eemaani bihi] and it is the intercession with the Prophet (SAWS) by means of the belief in him and to obey him (SAWS).
Second is by means of his supplication [du'a] and by means of his intercession [shafa'a], ...and whoever denied this he is a kaafir and a renegade [murtad]. He must repent, and if he does not , he will be killed. And no single scholar can deny the intermediation [at-tawassul] of his supplication and his intercession [shafa'a]." UNQUOTE
Salafis claim that the above is limited to Yaumul Qiyaamah and since the Prophet (SAWS) is dead now, Muslims should not seek his Waseela. They claim this is Shirk. They associate this shirk with all Sahaba, Awliya Allah and Sufi Shaikhs of Ihsan.
The problem with Salafis is they could not understand the meaning of life and death in the context of Islam.
Read the following verse, you will know the status of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) in the Cosmos.
The above Quranic verse is in present tense. It is not that the Durood was sent on Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) during his life time only. This is a continuous process. This establishes the fact that the treatment of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) remains the same, during his life time as well as after his death.
As a matter of fact, the treatment of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) by Allah (SWT), His angels, human kind, Jinns and all creatures, essentially remains the same before his birth, during his life time and after his death, till the resurrection and beyond.
Let us see, what Quran says in this context.
It is in Quran – ‘Behold! Allah (SWT) took the covenant (promise) of (all) the prophets, saying: "I give you a Book and Wisdom; then comes to you an Apostle (Mohammad – SAWS), confirming what is with you; do you believe in him and render him help." Allah (SWT) said: "Do you agree, and take this my Covenant as binding on you?" They said: " We agree." He said: "Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.’ (Aal-e-Imran – 81).
It is in Quran - Qad Jaa'akum minallahi noorun wa kitabun mubeen" (Meaning - Without doubt 'the divine light' (noor - ie., Prophet Mohammad - SAWS) has come to you from Allah (SWT) and (in addition to) a book of illumination (Quran) ' (Al-Maa'ida - 15).
It is in Hadith - Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (RU). When Allah's (SWT) Messenger was asked since how long he is the Prophet of Allah (SWT), he replied, ‘When Adam (AS) had not yet had his spirit joined to his body. (Tirmidhi).
The above Quranic verses and Hadith confirm the fact that 'the first thing Allah (SWT) created was the 'Noor-e-Nabi (SAWS). The above Quranic verses and Sahih Hadith also confirm the authenticity of the Hadith in which the Prophet (SWAS) said "I am from the Allah's (SWT) Noor (existence) and everything else is (created) from my Noor (existence).
Ibn Taymiyya said in his book "al-qaida al-jaleela fit- tawwasali wal-waseela", with commentary of Dr. Rabi'a bin Hadi 'Umayr al-Mudkhali, professor in the Islamic University of Madinah al-Munawwara, on page 166, para 493 :
"...and like that is the Hadith that is narrated by 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam from his father from his grandfather from 'Umar ibn al-Khattaab (RU), marfu'an and mawqufan 'alayh, that when Adam (AS) had committed the sin, he said, 'O Lord! I ask you for the sake of Mohammad (SAWS) [bi haqqi Muhammad] to forgive me.' He Subhanahu wa ta'ala said, 'How did you know Mohammad (SAWS)?' He said, 'because when you created me with Your Hands and blew into me from Your Spirit, I raised my head and I saw on the legs of Your Throne written, 'laa ilaha ill-Allah Muhammadu Rasulullah' so I knew You would not put next to your name except the one who is the most beloved to You.' He said, 'you have said the truth, O Adam, and if it were not for Mohammad, (SAWS) I would not have created you.'" [law laa Muhammadan maa khalaqtuk].
And Ibn Taymiyya continues:
"And this Hadith is narrated by al-Haakim in his Mustadrak,it is sahih. from the Hadith of 'Abdillah bin Muslim al-FiHree, from Isma'il bin Salama. And Haakim said, 'and it is the first hadith I have mentioned from 'Abdur-Rahman in this book. And Haakim says that - And it is related by Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Aajuri, in the book 'ash-Shari'ah' mawqufan on 'Umar from Hadith 'Abdillah bin Isma'il bin Abi Maryam mawqufan from 'Abdur Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam."
Ibn Taymiyya is presenting a Hadith that was verified and certified by al-Haakim as authentic [sahih] and that is the Hadith which is related from Allah that "If not for Mohammad (SAWS) I would not have created you [O Adam - AS]".
Thus, the above confirms the Hadith of Jaabir which is related about Allah (SWT) that he said, "law laak maa khalaqtul khalq" - "If not for you [O Mohammad - SAWS] I would not have created any of the Creation."
The above Ahadith and Quranic verses confirm that Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is the root and cause of creation of this Cosmos. These also explain to us in detail the fact of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) (Haqeeqat-e-Mohammadi - SAWS).
When the Prophet (SAWS) (as per the above Quranic verses and Ahadith) was living before his birth, then how come he will not be living after he is gone from this world?
As a matter of fact, the concept of death (as understood by Salafis) is not associated with any soul whatsoever.
It is in Quran - And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam's loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): "Am I not your Lord?" They said: "Yes! We testify," lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: "Verily, we have been unaware of this." (Al-Araf - 172).
Meaning, we were living before our birth and we will continue to live in Barzaq after our deaths. The living conditions are different with reference to each world. Our earlier living in Ilm-e-Elahi is different from our current living (also in Ilm-e-Elahi) in this world and our living in Barzaq after our death will be different as per the conditions of that world.
When there is no death for the souls of common people, how come Salafis and their like minded groups associate death with the Supreme Soul of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS)?
It is in Hadith (Bukhari wo Muslim) - Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) said ‘Allah (SWT) gives and I distribute’.
This is a Sahih Hadith in which Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is saying that Allah (SWT) gives and He distributes. He is not saying, "I will distribute till I am alive and after me someone else (Nauzubillahi) will distribute".
My dear brothers and sisters, all Quranic verses and Ahadith about Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) are for all the people and for all time.
Salafis think that since Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is not alive, he is not active (Nauzubillahi) and that we cannot take his Waseelah during our Dua now.
Let us see what their founding father, the second in command of Salafism says in this context.
Ibn Qayyim in his book al-Jami` al-Fareed, page 493, comments on the following hadith of Ibn 'Abbas (r):
"in the time before the Prophet (SAWS) the Jews of Khaybar were fighting with the Ghatfaan tribe. When the battle ended the Jews were defeated. They prayed to Allah (SWT) asking Him, 'for the sake of Muhammad (bi haqqi Muhammad), the Prophet whom you are sending in the last days, make us defeat this tribe." When they met again with Ghatfaan they defeated them. Allah (SWT) mentioned that event in the Qur'an when He said: "From of old they had prayed for victory against the unbelievers" (Baqara, 89), which means they [the Jews] were asking for your sake, O' Muhammad (SAWS) to defeat the unbelievers."
It is in Hadith - Hadrat Uthman bin Haniff (RU) says that a blind man came to Prophet (SAWS) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Pray for me that I may regain my sight.” The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Go and perform ablution and read two Raka’a of Nafil Salaah and read this Du’a: ‘O Allah! Verily I ask of You and towards You I use the mediation of Nabi-e-Rahmat, Muhammad Mustapha (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). O Muhammad! Verily I turn through your Wasila to Your Creator for my needs so that my needs may be fulfilled. O Allah, accept the intercession of Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) for me”. (Ibn Maja; Shifa Shareef)”.