Seeking the assistance of the Prophet (SA)

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.org

Q. In our Jamaat we have decided to import a Hafiz to complete the Recitation of Al Quran during Taraweeh. I have noticed that he makes some dua’ where he says “Ya Rasoolalah! Ya Rasoolalah!” Also a ‘self proclaimed’ scholar says the Prophet Muhammad (s) comes home by him… and he speaks to the Prophet (s). Prophet Muhammad (s) passed away but these people address him as if he is present. Is the Prophet (s) able to communicate with anyone alive today? Where is the Prophet (s) presently? Can you provide some clarification and information that I can provide to the committee on this matter?

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A. Making dua by seeking the Prophet’s assistance and calling on him by saying ‘Ya Rasoolullah’ is not permissible. If while doing this, a person believes that the Prophet (S.A) is listening to him and will attend to his need, then he has committed shirk. In this regard, the great jurist expert, Mufti Syed Abdur Rahim (A.R) writes, ‘To believe that the Prophet (S.A) is Omnipresent and to say Ya Rasoolullah believing that the Prophet (S.A) fulfils the needs and responds to the call of a person, is totally prohibited and not permissible’. (Fatwa Rahimiya vol.2 pg. 346)

It is recorded in an authentic hadith that a man asked the Prophet (S.A), ‘O Messenger of Allah, which sin is the gravest in the sight of Allah?’ The Prophet (S.A) said ‘(the gravest sin is) that you should join another one as an equal with Allah, (calling on him) while it is Allah Who has created you’. (Mishkaat)

While commenting on this hadith, the great scholar and author of Mazahir Haq (commentary of Mishkaat) writes, ‘It means that one calls on a being other than Allah in a similar manner as he would call on Allah, whereas it is Allah Who has created him (and He alone is worthy to be called upon). From this it is evident that just as one says ‘Ya Allah’, understanding Allah to be the One to fulfill all needs, it is a grave sin to call upon another person or being in a similar manner’. (Mazahir Haq)

With respect to the other claim by the person that the Prophet (S.A) comes to his home and speaks to him, this is nothing but a fabrication.

According to the sound Aqeeda (belief) of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah, the Prophet (S.A) (like other prophets) is alive in his grave, and he is not Omnipresent. In this regard, the following Ahadith are mentioned.

– From Anas bin Malik (R.A), the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘The prophets are alive in their graves and they perform Salaah’. (Musnad Abu Yala, Baihaqi, Fathul Bari)

– The Messenger of Allah (S.A) once said, ‘I passed by (the grave of) Moosa (A.S) on the night of Miraj at the red sandhill and he was standing performing Salaah in his grave’. (Sahih Muslim)

In this way, there are many other traditions which give the same meaning that the prophets remain alive in their graves after death. This is also the same with the Prophet (S.A) which has been held as the firm belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah and upon which there is Ijma (Unanimity of all scholars).

Our scholars have also clearly indicated that the Prophet (S.A) is alive in his grave, and he does not move away from this, to visit the homes and places of people. This is evident from the fact that in a narration, the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘Whoever invokes blessings upon me at my grave, I hear it. But whoever invokes blessings upon me from a distance, then it reaches me (via the angels, as evident in other traditions)’. (Mishkaat, Ibn Hiban, Ibn Abi Shaiba)

The above shows clearly that while the Prophet (S.A) hears the ‘Salaah upon him’ directly from those who are close to his grave, he is not able to hear this directly from those who are far away from him. Hence, angels have been deputed to convey the ‘Salaah and Salaam’ of the distant ones.

The following are some of the statements of the great scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah, explaining the position of ‘where’ the Prophet (S.A) is presently.

– The great scholar Imam Shamsudeen Muhammad bin Abdur Rahman As Sakhawi (died 902 AH) writes, ‘We (the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah) believe and testify as the truth that the Prophet (S.A) is alive and nourished in his grave. The earth cannot consume his blessed body. Upon this belief, there is Ijma (consensus). (Al Qaulul Badee by Imam Sakhawi).

– ‘There is Ijma upon the fact that the Prophet (S.A) is alive in his grave continuously’. (Daleel Al Faliheen – Commentary of Riyadhus Saliheen)

– Mulla Ali Qaari, the great scholar writes, ‘The confirmed and reliable belief is that the Prophet (S.A) is alive in his gravelike all other prophets (in their graves). (Sharh Shifa)

– Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani writes, ‘The Prophet (S.A) is alive in his grave. Death will not come to him, but he will remain alive, and all the prophets are alive in their graves’. (Fathul Baari)

– Qaazi Shawkani has written, The soul of the Prophet (S.A) does not leave himsince it is evident that the prophets are alive in their graves’. (Tuhfah Az Zaakireen Sharh of Hisn Haseen).

All these quotations establish the sound belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah that the Prophet (S.A) is alive in his grave. He does not move from one place to the other, nor is he Omnipresent.

While refuting the deviated belief of the Omnipresence of the Holy Prophet (S.A), saying that he is present at different places, the great expert jurist, Mufti Syed Abdur Raheem has given the statements of some of the great scholars and saints of the past. He writes, ‘Besides Allah, to have the belief about anyone whether a saint or a prophet, that he is Omnipresent and can respond to the needs of others, is totally invalid and wrong. It is opposing to the teachings of Islam. Omnipresence is attributed only to Allah. About this, the great reformer and sheikh, Mujadid Alf Thani (A.R) says, ‘Allah is fully aware of all the actions of the servants. He is fully informed, a witness, and the One who sees everything and is Omnipresent. One should be ashamed to conceive such attributes for anyone besides Allah. (Maktoob of Mujadid Alf Thani)

Mufti Syed Abdur Raheem continues by saying, Hazrat Shah Hidayatullah Naqshbandi Jeepoori (A.R) says, ‘Allah in His being (essence), attributes and actions is One and alone. No one has a share (or is a partner to Him) in His essence, attributes and actions’. (Miyar As Suluk). It is for this reason the great teacher of Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki (A.R) who was Sultanul Aarifeen Qazi Hameedudeen Nagoori writes in his book ‘Tawsheeh’, ‘There are some people who call on saints and prophets at the time of difficulties and fulfilling their needs. Their belief is that the souls of these pious ones are present who listen to their ‘calls’ and know their needs. This is a grave shirk and open ignorance’.

Mulla Husain Khabbah has written in Miftahul Quloob, ‘It is words of kufr (disbelief) for one to call on the pious ones who have passed away like saying ‘O Rasulullah’ or ‘O Abdul Qadir’, thinking that they are present everywhere’. In Fatawa Bazaziya it is written, ‘Whoever says that the souls of the pious ones are present everywhere, then he is a kafir’.

The great Muhadith Shah Abdul Azeez Dehlwi (A.R) writes, ‘It is from the false and deviated beliefs for one to believe that Prophets and Messengers have knowledge of the unseen and listen to the ‘calls’ of everyone from every place’. (These above quotations are taken from Fatawa Rahimiya vol.2 pg. 348, 349 Urdu)

From the aforementioned explanations, it can be clearly seen that it is not permissible for one to call on the Prophet (S.A) to answer his dua, and it is a deviated teaching to believe that the Prophet (S.A) is present everywhere.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

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