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Beseeching for Help

(Istighāthah)

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri

C OMPILED BY
Pr of Iftikhar A. Sheikh

ASSISTANCE
M. Far ooq Rana (Minhajian)

Minhaj-ul-Qur’an Publications
Lah ore, Pakistan

I
II Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

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Co ntents

Fore wor d III

Chapte r 1
P re liminarie s 1
L exical re se arch into the wor d istighā thah 5
Kin ds of istighāthah 6
L ink bet ween interm e diat ion an d appe al for he lp 8
Diff eren ce bet ween app ea l for he lp an d
supplic ation 9
Use of the wor d du‘ā ’ in the holy Qur’ ān 9
Se lf-fa bricate d division of du‘ā ’ 13
Sū rah a l-Fā tihah an d the con cepts of isti‘ānat
an d istighā thah 17

Chapte r 2
The Me aning of Appe al to the P rophe t ( A)
fo r He lp 21
I stighā thah  In the light of tra dition s an d the
pr actic e of the Co mpanion s 23
T he Prophet (A) wie lds a uthority ev en after
h is death 55
Se ek his h elp to day 62

Chapte r 3
Justification of Istighāthah afte r de ath 65
Proof of p ur gatorial life 72
T he lif e an d cap acity of the so ul 77
T he de a d a s a so urc e of benef it for the liv in g 79
Lov e of the fr ien ds of Allāh is an inte gr al part of
f aith 81
I
II Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

Chapte r 4
Smoothing out the Wrinkles 89
Fir st o bject ion: Appe al for h elp is in it self an act
of wor ship 89
Se con d o bje ction: Appea l for h elp is a form of
disbelief in sup ernat ura l matter s 92
T hir d o bject ion: Beseech in g someon e other than
Go d for h elp sm ack s of his invisible po wer 103
Fo urth o bje ction : T here is no he lper except
Allāh 115
Fifth o bjection : Be ggin g an d besee chin g h elp
from Allāh a lone is va lid 118
Sixth o bje ction: Ne gation of be se echin g the holy
Prophet (A) for h elp 126

Chapte r 5
Re ligious Le ade rs and Istighāthah 131

Chapte r 6
Line o f De marcation be twee n Be lie f and
Disbe lie f 145
P ur gin g disbe lief in M uh amma d's follo wer s 145
Figur ative re lation bet ween be lief an d disbe lief 147
T he la st wor d 152

Glo ssary 153


Biblio graphy 157
In dex to Qur’ ānic Ver se s 169
In dex to Had īth an d A tha r 173
Ge ner al In dex 175
Fo rewo rd

For almo st t welv e un interr upte d cent ur ie s the M uslim s


r ule d the wor ld in glo ry an d sp len do ur . T he ir r ule wa s
em be dde d in a r are sense of e ga litar ian ism the world ha d
nev er witne sse d before . T he dr ivin g force beh in d the just
disp en sation wa s their ov en- warm, una lloy e d fa ith in
divine un ity an d the insp ir ation they ha d dra wn fro m the
lif e an d the teach in gs of the ho ly Prophet (A). T here
wa s a bso lutely no cha sm bet we en the ir wor ds an d dee ds.
What they prof esse d, they implemente d. T he p eople they
subjugate d an d r ule d were impre sse d, ev en ov era we d, by
the impr e gna ble con sisten cy of the ir beh avio ur . T he
M uslim r ule rs we re not a utocr atic bec a use they strongly
be lieve d that their po wer did not flo w f rom the barr el of
the gun, but it em anate d a s a blessin g o f the omnipotent
Lor d. An d it wa s on acco unt of the since rity of the r uler s
in partic ular an d the M uslim ma sse s in gener al, that the
infidels an d peop le be lon gin g to other cree ds, f lock e d to
the fo ld of I slam. In their hey day , the M uslim s amp ly
prov e d that I slam h a d not spre a d at the point o f the swor d.
What rea lly gav e it wildfir e pop ular ity wer e its conc ept of
justice an d its a bsolute lack o f discrim ination bet ween
h uman bein gs. Durin g the M uslim c entur ie s, the notion of
justice wa s strippe d o ut of its con cept ua l gar bs an d wa s
pr esente d to mank in d a s a fle she d-o ut re ality. T he peop le
at lar ge ha d nev er exp er ienc e d it be fore an d so th ey we re
imme diately attracte d to it.
But when the M uslim wor ld fe ll p rey to dec a den ce by
diso wnin g the inte llect ual tr a dition an d the cea sele ss
st r uggle th at ha d en sure d it s suc ce ss in the pa st, its
invio late unity brok e into inn um era ble splinter s an d the
III
IV Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

M uslim s we re h umiliate d in almo st every field of h uman


a ctivity. T he M uslim comm unity that ha d a sp ire d to
o ut daz zle the sta rs an d o utsm art the un ive rse t urne d into a
ro llin g stone, unancho re d an d unprote cte d. Its identity
c r um ble d into the dust of unce rtainty, the v iolent win ds of
ch an ge upset it s app le -cart an d, unlike the pro gr essive
nation s of the wor ld, well set on the ro a d to gro wth an d
pro sper ity, it sk idde d off th e track an d imm er se d itself in
pe riphe ra l issue s  the p rover bia l fate of all de ca dent
comm un ities.
As a re sult, we h ave em bro ile d o ur selve s in ma r gina l
disp ute s, a llo win g p lenty of opportun ity to the wo rld to
pooh-pooh o ur dr iftin g con dition. Wh ile the wor ld at la r ge
is a gain er, th e M uslim s are th e loser s an d th e loss is mo re
pathetic than tr a gic : on th e one han d, th e peop le of the
wo rld are ca shin g in on the f r uit s of o ur intelle ctua l
e fforts an d unp ara llele d sc ientif ic inve stigations; an d on
the othe r han d, they h ave ma de I slam an d its follo wer s the
butt of the ir in discrim inate r idic ule. T he M uslim s a re
st uck in the ir n arro w, unen lightene d groov e s an d th e irony
is compo un de d wh en we rea lise that they ar e not even
a de quate ly a war e of th eir cr um blin g con dition. Some of
them ar e re concile d to the inev ita bility of their dec lin e 
a dan gero us con dition a s it disco ur a ge s any attempt at
r ecovery an d r ec up eration . Conse quently , disgr ace an d
h um iliation seem s o ur imm e diate de stiny.
We hav e straye d a way from o ur rea l goa l an d a re
hope le ssly trapp e d in the co bwe bs of irre lev ance . T he
peop le who we re suppo se d to le a d the wor ld by break in g
thro ugh the c r ust of sta le idea s h ave becom e a ho sta ge to
the se idea s. M uslim comm un ity ha s lo st its bo unce an d its
é lan to spe arhe a d a wo rld who se mor al fibre is in tatters
be ca use it is it se lf mor ally shattere d. Its c ultur al her ita ge
is a he ap of c in der s; its to wer in g de sign s ar e a f uel of
inaction an d impra ctic ality, its idea ls a re a pile of a sh.
T he M uslim comm unity is sp littin g h air wh ile the wo lve s
of c apita lism ar e honk in g the wo rld. T here is no do ubt
that we do not discr im inate a gain st peop le an d treat them
For ew or d V

on the plane of e qua lity, but o ur pr e sent lack of v ision ha s


ma de us squint-ey e d an d a s a re sult, we are settin g
M uslim s a gain st on e another. We a re em barke d upon a
dan gero us co ur se a s we ar e m ea sur in g M uslim s a ga inst
un-I slam ic criter ia , an d tho se who do not come p at to
the se se lf- style d stan da r ds, we ch uck them o ut a s non-
M uslim s. T he re ason is th at we ar e locke d in a vicio us
c irc le of menta l slavery , wh ich h a s e stran ge d us from the
r eal pro blem s of life by sh utter in g us up in fr ivolo us
issues. An d th is ha s be come o ur secon d nat ure.
T he blatant irony is that the we stern n ations h ave
taken over th e lea din g role, an d the nation that wa s
suppo se d to lea d is no w impr isone d in its o wn fa lse
e go ism. It ha s sac rif ic e d its un ity to se lf-f a bricate d
differ enc es a uthenticate d n either by h istory nor by the
c entral me ssa ge of I slamic fa ith. While the we stern
nation s, on a cco unt of the inher ent compatibility bet ween
the Islam ic t each in gs an d mo dern sc ientif ic inv estigation s,
a re dra win g clo ser to the re ligion of n atur e, the M uslim s
a re driftin g a way from their r eligion thro ugh sp urio us
se lf- incr imin ation. Superf ic ia l dif feren ce s hav e sp lit the
M uslim Umm ah into v e sted gro up s who ar e en ga ge d mo re
in promotin g gro up intere sts rather th an the intere sts of
their faith. In sulate d from the core me ssa ge of I slam, they
thriv e on m ut ua l intoler anc e; the ir inc rementa l wran gle s
hav e e dge d o ut the substance of their fa ith.
I stighā thah  be seech in g fo r he lp  h a s gro wn into a
h ighly controve rsia l issue. T he M uslims h ave comp licate d
it unn ec essarily an d un de sira bly. It h as div erte d attention
from the substance of I slam an d en ga ge d the min ds of the
yo un ge r gen eration in an unpa lata ble de bate. In the ir
op inion, it h a s becom e the me asurin g ro d of fa ith. T hey
dub tho se who be lieve in it a s disbe liever s even tho ugh
their ho stile la be llin g go es a gain st the very gr ain of
h uman n ature, an d sinc e Islam is the c lose st to h uman
nat ure , the ir v ie w c la she s with the sp ir it o f I slamic f aith.
T hey ar e in f act fly in g in the fac e of r eality. I slam, be in g
a r eligion of h uman ity, enco ur a ge s m ut ua l coope ration
VI Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

amon g h uman be in gs a s the pro gre ss an d develop ment of


h uman soc iety dep en ds on this kin d of coor din ation.
T herefor e, to e quate this kin d of inno c uo us a ctivity with a
br each of f aith is nothin g but perv er sity, it is to emph asise
the sh ell at the exp ense of the ke rne l; for them the h usk
matter s more than the gr ain , the wr appin g mor e than the
gift, the skin of the or an ge more than the juic e. T hus the ir
attit ude is symptomat ic of a deep er m alaise  the ir
incre a sin gly strident disa ffiliation from the tr ue sp irit of
their fa ith.
M an by n atur e is not a h erm it o r a re cluse. He is a
soc ia l anim al an d like s to h uddle with other h um an bein gs
in sma ll settlement s or lar ge to wn s. A f ee lin g of se c urity
an d coop eration motivate s th e f act of livin g to gether a s no
man is an islan d. He lov es to se ek h elp from other s an d to
exten d he lp to other s. T h is is in grain e d in h is n atur e,
wh ich cannot be chan ge d by the petty intelle ctua l
squa bble s of some sk e we re d z ea lots. Even a blunt-he a de d
st udent of history an d so cio lo gy kno ws that
inter depen denc e an d coor dination are the ba sic fa cts of
h uman life. T he n e wborn ch ild cannot support him self ; he
ne e ds som eone to f ee d h im. A yo un g man dr a ws on the
exp erienc es of se ason e d p eople to e duc ate h imself an d to
discrim inate bet we en goo d an d ev il. In o ld a ge ch ildren
support the ir par ents. T hus in ev ery pha se of lif e a per son
dep en ds on other s an d also serve s a s a p rop fo r other s an d
it is th is fa ct of inter dep en den ce, wh ich susta ins th e fa br ic
of so ciety. Dur in g disea se , war, ac cidents an d other
nat ura l ca lam itie s, h uman bein gs h elp an d conso le one
another . T he patient ne e ds a doctor’ s me dic ine, the
st udent n ee ds kno wle dge from a teach er, the la bo ur er
se eks wa ge s from his emp loyer, th e ne igh bo ur s expect
he lp f rom e ach other , the ch ild cr ave s m ilk from its
mother an d the o ld m an se eks th e support of h is yo un g
ch ildren. In short, all h um an be in gs ne e d someon e’ s he lp
in diffe rent ph ase s of the ir liv e s. T he be a uty of h uman
c ulture lies in fortify in g m utual re lation s. It is beyon d
do ubt that the tr ue h elp er an d supporter is on ly Allāh
For ew or d VII

who se gen ero sity kno ws no bo un ds an d who se


ma gn anim ity is lim itle ss, but in o ur daily ro utine we he lp
peop le an d seek he lp from th em in score s of a ssorte d
matter s. T h us the m ut ua l h elp we exten d to ea ch other is
not a ne gation of div ine unity but a f ulfilment o f the
divine comman d. T o seek he lp from the proph ets, the
r ighteo us an d the sa ints is not a v iolation of I slam ic
pr inc iples; on the contrary, it is quite comp atible with the
tea chin gs of I slam. W e seek he lp from other s on the
a ssumption that their po wer is only borro we d, as Allāh
a lone po sse sse s a bsolute po wer. T his division of po wer
into “ a bso lute” an d “ re lativ e” ha s prompte d some
m ischievo us m in ds to cre ate unn ec essary an d un wa rrante d
comp lication s in ba sic I slam ic con cept s, in cludin g the
con cept of istighāthah . Such an attitude ten ds to sp lit the
M uslim comm un ity into gro up s an d sects an d the refor e,
ne e ds to be disco ura ge d in the stron ge st possible term s.
Historic ally spe akin g, the proo f of h uman
gr e gar io usn e ss is fo un d in the mo st pr im itive
comm un ities. Centur ie s befor e the da wn of the era of
ston e an d m etal wh en m an still live d in jun gle s an d c ave s,
wh en the inv ention of the whe el wa s a r emote po ssibility,
wh en the conc ept of so ciety an d state wa s only an extra-
con cept ua l f iction , an d th e notion of k in gship ha d only a
ne bulo us ex isten ce, the on ly k in d of a war ene ss that swept
ove r h um an conscio usn ess was the distinct re ality of
coop eration amon g h uman bein gs. T he tra dition o f h uman
r elat ions ba se d on a m utua l sha rin g o f the exper ienc e s of
pa in an d plea sure , sor ro w an d joy , a gony an d e csta sy
wov e them into an exc eptiona l unity. Che st- beat in g ov er
the death of a f ello w be in g still m irror e d h um an identity
a s a nat ura l r eaction , m utual help an d assistan ce wa s still
the stirlin g c ur rency of tho se dark tim e s, sh ar in g m utua l
pa in an d sor ro w, an d ca llin g on e another for h elp in
moment s of dure ss an d distre ss is part of h uman n atur e.
T he sam e h uman tendency serv e d as an incentiv e in
c reatin g h um an settlement s an d liv in g in gro up s. M an is
VIII Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

born to shar e the pa in o f other s an d those who a re


in diff erent to it are har dly h uman .
T ime is fre e from a ll kin ds of cha ins an d sh ack le s; it
ke ep s mar chin g on in comp lete defianc e of happ enin gs
an d surro un din gs. Settlem ents appe ar, so ciety take s shap e,
man sets o ut on h is c ult ura l lif e, r ule s an d re gulation s a re
fr ame d, n e w interp retation s of the divin e reve lation a re
ma de, innovation s an d se lf-cook e d exp lanat ions defa ce
r evelatory tea chin gs, an d Islam ic me ssa ge is expo se d to
ph ilo sophica l ha ir- splitting. T he ch asm of diff erenc e an d
m isun der stan din g widen s when we try to wip e o ut the
distin ction bet we en the rea l an d the metaphor ica l an d re ly
on self-co ine d ar gum ents an d inte rpretation s to hamm er
home the tr uth o f o ur o wn contention s. A litera l
tran slation of the un ive rsal te ach in gs of I slam by
wr ench in g them from the ir context an d without re latin g
them to the Qur'ān ic mo de of n arrat ion an d un der stan din g,
sometim e s jo stles a p er son into tho se blin d a lley s of
m isguidan ce wh ich block a ll the ret urn ex its an d blen d
ev ery po ssibility of reinh alin g f re sh a ir into the dust of
do ubt an d susp icion .
T he first ef fort to mak e a dent in the unity of I slam
wa s m a de by the British imp er ia lists thro ugh the Qā diyān ī
movem ent. T hey p atronise d a n um ber of other m isch ief s
to disillusion M uslim s o f the subcontinent. T his
imper ia list consp ir acy to strip the starv in g M uslims of the
la st drop of love for M uh amma d (A) contin ue s
una bate d. Rājp āl’ s sac rile gio us book on the Prophet (A)
wa s part of the Meph istophelean design.
Dr Qa dri’ s book un rave ls ne w possibilit ie s of
spe c ulat ion an d re search , but at the same t ime it is ma rke d
by ex ceptiona l c lar ity in illum inatin g the issue. He ha s
disc usse d its var io us asp ects by exten siv ely dra win g on
ev iden ce fro m the Qur 'an an d the sunnah . An effort ha s
be en m a de to stamp o ut the po ssible do ubt s in the min ds
of the re a der on ration al an d intelle ctual gro un ds an d not
thro ugh rhetorica l bulldozin g. T his mak es Dr Qa dri’ s
expo sition an ex erc ise in san ity an d a comp ulsory rea din g
For ew or d IX

for a ll those M uslims who se m in ds are a swin gin g


pen dulum bet we en clarity an d woolline ss on the issue so
pa in stakin gly e la bo rate d in the book.
Dr Qa dri h as r e solv e d the complic ation re lat in g to the
issue of “ besee chin g for he lp” by dr a win g a cle ar
distin ction bet we en “ a bsolute po wer” an d “ de riv ative
po wer” . Wh ile Allāh’ s po wer is a bso lute, the po wer of all
other cre atur e s, inc ludin g the prophets, the sa ints an d the
r ighteo us is der ivativ e a s it deriv es from the po wer of
Allāh. By th is distin ction Dr Qa dr i ha s tota lly e lim inate d
the po ssibility of disbe lief, a s it is on ly Allāh’ s
pr ero gativ e to grant or re je ct an appe al for h elp. His
f avo urite s c an only be se ech Him for help . Sim ilarly , a
petit ioner c an only be see ch one of His favo urite s for he lp
but h e is conv inc e d that the favo urite lack s the po wer to
gr ant h is p etition, it ha s to be grante d by Allāh alon e.
Witho ut this conv iction, he is a utomatica lly exp elle d from
the fo ld of I sla m.
T he act ua l po sition is c le arly an d suc cin ctly summe d
up in the wor ds of Dr M uh amma d T ahir - ul- Qa dr i: “ T o
ho ld the ho ly Prophet (A) an d the saint s an d pio us
peop le of Allāh in rev eren ce an d to besee ch them for he lp
is quite compatible with the ba sic pr inc iple s of I slam ic
f aith. But sometim e s the p etitioner s, wh ile a ddre ssin g
the se favo ur ite s o f Allāh, e mploy wor ds, wh ich a re
r eserve d on ly for Allāh an d, the refor e, a ccor din g to some
r eligio us scho lar s, comm it disbe lief. T his con clusion is
ba se d on a f un dam ental m isconc eption as th ese scho lar s
f ail to dra w the v ital distinction bet we en the liter al an d
f igurativ e sense of these wor ds. T hey interpr et the se
mo de s of a ddre ss o r the vocativ e form s in a liter al sen se
an d th us wr in g a p erver se con clusion from th em. It is an
a dm itted fa ct that the se mo de s of a ddre ss are use d only for
Allāh in their a bso lute sen se, th erefor e, to use them for
any other cr eat ure is o bv io usly disbe lief an d for a M uslim
it is simply inconc eiv a ble. T hus a ba sic distin ction m ust
be dra wn bet ween the ir lite ral an d figur ative mean in g. T he
liter al sen se applie s to Allāh a lone an d no cre atur e,
X Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

wh ether he is a proph et or a saint, can arro gate to him se lf


the ex clusive divin e prero gative . T herefore , the petition er
is usin g the wor ds only figur ative ly an d it is in this sen se
a lone that they are gen era lly interp rete d. T he a lle gation of
disbelief a gain st the se p eople is quite misplac e d; it
r eflects rathe r the t wiste d conscio usne ss o f those who h ur l
such ma licio us alle gation s a gain st them. T h e pet itioner s
a re, in f act, imm une to disbe lief.”
Dr Qa dr i strike s a diffe rent note in an env ironment
that is choke d with inte rpretativ e rigm arole. His appro ach
is both con cept ua l an d context ua l. He doe s not ex amin e a
con cept in isolat ion but r elates it to it s sp ec if ic context.
T his is the re ason his spee che s an d book s en joy a hot-
m uff in pop ularity e spec ia lly amon g M uslims who lik e to
a rriv e at a r ationa l un der stan din g of the f un dam entals of
their fa ith. I stighā thah an d its le gal a spect, is high ly
r ea da ble a s it app ea ls to one’ s cr itic al as we ll a s a e sthetic
sen se ; an d it sho uld be re a d by M uslim s of eve ry strip e to
com e to grip s with a ba sic issue that is both delicate in
subst ance an d tantalisin g in appea l. Dr Qa dr i deserve s o ur
mo st sin cer e comp liments for his schola rly an d luc id
expo sition.
In the en d I sp ecifica lly appre ciate the sin cere an d
pa in stakin g en deavo urs o f M. Faroo q Rana (M inha jian)
who a ssiste d m e in the compilation of the book an d he lpe d
me co lo ur its mo sa ic with the tile of m etic ulo us c are.

P rof Iftikhar A. She ikh


Ja mādī al -Awwal, 1422 AH.
Chapter 1

Preliminaries

Allāh, to whom all hono ur be lon gs, is the Cr eator of the


un iver se . He h a s un lim ite d po wer an d His sove reignty
exten ds over ev erythin g, liv in g an d non- livin g, e arthly
an d etherea l. He is the on ly true He lper . Wh ile a ll other
a ids a re bo un d in th e v ic io us ch ain of c a use- an d-eff ect,
His tran scen ds the se lim itations. Wh atever take s p la ce in
the univ er se, on the earth an d in the heav en s, o we s to the
ex erc ise of His will an d po we r. T he wor ld of becom in g
an d the world of be in g danc e to His t une s. From Him
a lone em anate the eterna l conc epts of r ight an d tr uth. He
is th e On e Who ca use s the br ightness o f the day to lap se
into the darkn ess of the night an d then the brilliant sun to
pop o ut of it s m urky folds an d the who le p roce ss o cc ur s in
imper ceptible gra de s an d sha de s that on e is simp ly
st unn e d by its invio late pre cision . While h uman
c alc ulation fa ils or sho ws unpre dicta ble var iation , div ine
c alc ulus rem ain s ste a dy an d v arie d an d is imm une to the
“ slin gs an d arro ws”1 o f unpr e dicta bility. He is Un ique in
His self-o rientation an d in His attribute s. He h as no
pa rtner an d a ssoc iate an d, sin gle-han de dly , He ble sse s
billion s of cre atur e s with the gift of lif e, re claim s His
ble ssin gs in the flash of a secon d leav in g the liv in g
c reat ure a mere bun dle of bone s an d “ a he ap of broken
ima ge s”2 an d a dm inister s co untless wo rlds stretchin g to

1. S h akes peare, Haml et.


2. Eli ot, T he Buri al of t he Dead.

1
2 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

inconc eiv a ble lim its. Each particle in the univ er se carr ie s
the stamp of His identity. No other o bject or cre atur e ha s
the po wer to po sse ss anythin g of h is o wn fr ee will bec a use
h is will is mo ulde d by div ine con sent. Whatev er h e o wn s
or po sse sse s is a div ine gift an d not a self-cr eate d
a chievem ent. An in div idua l ha s no right of po sse ssion
ev en ov er his o wn bo dy. Gain an d loss, lif e an d death an d
r esur rect ion afte r de ath ar e not in h uman control. Allāh
a lone is dir ectly re spon sible for the act of liv in g an d the
a ct of dy in g be ca use He contro ls ea ch bre ath we inh ale,
e ach mov ement we m ake an d e ach step we tak e.
Human act s m ay be justif ie d by p ure ly h uman motive s
in term s of ca use- an d-e ffe ct an d, on ly to this extent, it is
supporte d by Islam ic re gulation s an d Qur’ān ic injun ction s.
On th is lev el it is po ssible to believ e that a cr eat ure is
h imself re spon sible for h is gain an d lo ss an d it is thro ugh
h is pe rson al e fforts that he h as attain e d ce rtain
po sse ssion s or ach iev e d a spec if ic de gre e of exce llenc e.
But to ho ld h im r e sponsible fo r gain an d lo ss fro m the
po int of vie w of cre ation, invention, dise a se or a bsolute
po wer is in corre ct. If we tak e a deep er v ie w we will
r ealise th at any attribution of ga in an d lo ss, life an d death,
be lon gin g an d posse ssion to the cre ature s is not r ea l but
f igurativ e. All such ph enomen a sho uld act ua lly be
a rro gate d to on ly Allāh, a s He a lone de serve s it. But,
unfort unate ly, some p eople h ave a chron ic a ddiction to
t wist the Qur’ān ic v er se s an d c lamp on them an
interpretation that is tailor e d either to the ir p recon ce ive d
notion s or ref le cts a k in d o f p erver se self -in dulgenc e. In
or der to p ut a ph ilo soph ica l sp in on their distorte d
de rivat ions, they re ly on ha ir- splitting an d lo gic chopp in g.
But th eir interp retation s are incon sistent with the a ctua l
sem antic tenor o f the Qur ’ānic v er se s, an d the se ‘min i-
dev ils’ , in ste a d of dr a win g c lo ser to the m ean in g of the
Qur’ān, a re dra wn f urther apart an d like “ vacant sh uttle s
we av e the win d. ” But such people a bo un d in the pre sent
tim es a s extrem ism h a s elbo we d o ut mo der ation, v ulgarity
ha s e dge d o ut mo de sty an d shame h as r eplace d decen cy.
Pr el i mi nar i es 3

T hese p eople have e limin ated the differ ence bet ween the
liter al an d figur ative m eanin gs of the Qur’ān ic v er se s an d
discar de d the so ber in g inf luen ce of mo deration . T hey
con sider it va lid to ba se the ir ar gument s on the rea l
me anin gs of the se ver se s. T her efore , they ar e pathetically
a ller gic to any metaphor ica l ela boration. T his is the
r ea son they hav e t urne d the ir f ac es from the explanation s
an d interpretation s off ere d by o ur foref ather s. T hey a re
tryin g to c reate p ure ly opin ionativ e exp lan ations an d
givin g r ise to unpa lata ble innovation s an d they are busy
gen eratin g be liefs, wh ich r un co unte r to the a ctua l
tea chin gs of the Qur’ān an d the sunnah. If we ca st an
impartial glanc e, we com e acro ss inn um era ble
ignoram use s amon g the ma sse s who ar e v ictim s of litera l
distortion an d blo w o ut of a ll proport ion the f igur ative
dimen sion , thro win g the e lement of mo der ation to the
win ds. T heir m isp la ce d enth usiasm is a s ir ritatin g a s the
un welcome pr ejudic e of the other s is un settlin g. T hough
they ar e f irmly anchor e d to the ir fa ith in divin e unity an d
other I slam ic belief s they a re tre ate d a s susp ect s an d
pa riah s by tho se who re gar d figur ative interpretation a s
a lien to the e ssenc e of Islam . But the fa ct is that tho se
who ar e in sear ch of tr uth follo w th e path of balance an d
mo de ration ; they sh un extrem ism in any sh ape an d form.
T herefor e, if they ke ep in m in d the Qur’ān ic con cept of
ba lan ce, they can bridge the cha sm bet ween the t wo
extre me s of litera l an d f igurat ive interp retation an d reknit
the M uslim s into a more dyn amic unity. It is this sp irit of
mo de ration an d cre ative re conc iliation th at can guar antee
the se c urity of o ur f aith an d gen erate a san e an d sen sible
r espon se to div ine un ity.
Im ām I bn T aymiyy ah is r e gar de d a controv er sia l
f igure a s fa r a s the interpr etation of Islam ic be lie fs is
con cern e d. But this is f ly in g in the f ace of re ality. In f act,
h is belief is roote d in balan ce . An d if it re ceiv e s an
o bjectiv e an d imp artia l inte rpretation f rom o ur
contempo rary scholar s, it can prov ide a link bet ween the
t wo extrem e position s. T he pre sent sit uation is that a
4 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

gro up of p eople , on the basis of their limite d


un de rstan din g of I slamic belief s, is o ffer in g a se lf-
con cocte d v er sion of the t each in gs of Im ām I bn
T aymiyy ah to seek en dor sement for th eir o wn f la we d
v ie ws, while other s with corre ct I slam ic be lief, a re
a cc usin g him of un-I slam ic belief s which is, in fa ct, only a
r eflection of their ignoran ce of f acts. T hus, while the f irst
gro up is guilty of wilf ul fa lsif ic ation, the secon d gro up is
han dic appe d by fa ctual limitation. But a co rrect
un de rstan din g of Imā m I bn T aym iyyah’ s vie ws can
st raighten o ut the h ump in the ir un der stan din g of I slam ic
be lief s an d dra w them clo ser in the proc ess.
Im ām I bn T aym iyyah’ s v ie w is the v ie w he ld by all
M uslim s: “ Allāh is One ; He ha s no a ssoc iate; He alon e is
to be wor shipp e d. W e sho uld pr ay on ly to Him an d seek
on ly His h elp . Anyone who re ga r ds non- Go d a s the so ur ce
of he lp is a utomatic ally expe lle d from the fold of I slam,
a s it is a n e gation of div ine unity. Allāh alon e h as the
po wer to re war d o ur goo d dee ds an d con done o ur sin s.
Be side s Him, no on e on h is o wn can e ither ena ble
someon e to do goo d or avo id ev il. T o seek h elp from the
proph ets or sa ints is justifie d on ly on the ba sis of its
borro we d status, a s it ha s no in dep en dent existenc e. Its
ult imate so ur ce is Allāh a lone .” T his is the corr ect I slam ic
be lief an d any dev iation from it amo unt s to entertain in g
f alse belief s. I bn T aymiyyah h as disc usse d the v alidity of
istighā tah an d ta wa ssul in detail in h is book Qā‘ idah
jalīlah fit- ta wassu l wal-wa sīlah .
On ce Imām I bn T aym iyyah wa s que stion e d wh ether it
wa s v alid or inva lid to dep en d on the m e diation of the
Prophet ( A), h e r eplie d:
“All p raise fo r Allāh! B y th e con sen su s
o f the Mu slims it is quite va lid and p rope r
to rely on the means o f fa ith in the ho ly
P rophe t (A) , h is obed ien ce, his
remembran ce, h is supp lication and
inte rce ssion, simila rly h is d eed s and the
de ed s of his fo llo we rs, wh ich th ey ha ve
Pr el i mi nar i es 5

pe rfo rmed in obed ienc e to the P roph et’ s


commands. And th e Companion s u sed to
dep end on his media tion during his life on
ea rth and a fter h is d eath, they d epended on
the media tion o f h is unc le, ‘Abbā s a s th ey
u sed to re ly on his med iation du ring his
ea rthly life. ”1

Lexical research i nto the word ist ighāt ha h


T he etymolo gica l compo sition of the wor d istighā thah is
ba se d on the thre e letter s: ghayn, waw an d thā (gha wth),
wh ich me ans he lp. I stighā thah m ean s “ to seek h elp ”.
Im ām Rā gh ib Asfah ānī exp la in s its me anin g in the se
wo r ds:
Gh a wth mean s h elp and ghayth mean s
rain , and istighāthah mean s to call someone
for he lp o r to reque st (A llāh) fo r ra in.2
T he wo r d istighā thah h a s be en use d in th e holy Qur ’ān
in var io us context s. Durin g the battle of Ba dr the
Compan ion s be se eche d Allāh ’s h elp wh ich is explic itly
r eferr e d to in sū rah a l-An fā l:
Wh en you we re b esee ching your Lo rd
( fo r he lp).3
A fo llo wer of M ūsā (D ) a ske d him for h elp an d the
he lp h e exten de d to him is a lso exp la ine d in the ho ly
Qur’ān in conjun ction with the wor d istighā thah. Allāh
say s in sū rah al-Qa sa s:
So th e pe rson who wa s of his v e ry
community sough t his he lp aga inst ano the r
pe rson who wa s from among his foe s.1

1. Ib n Taymi yyah, Maj mū‘ fatāw ā (1: 140).


2. R āghi b As fah ānī, Mufradāt alfāz al -Qur ’ān (p. 617).
3. Qur’ ān (al -Anf āl, Spoi ls of war) 8: 9.
6 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

T he lexicolo gist s be lieve that the wor ds istighā thah


an d isti‘ānat both m ean “ to seek he lp”. Imā m Rā gh ib
Asf ahān ī say s:
The mean ing o f ist i‘ānat is to se ek
he lp.2
T he wor d isti‘āna t is also use d in the ho ly Qur’ ān in a
sim ilar sen se , that is, to seek h elp . In sū rah al- Fātihah,
the Qur’ān de clare s wh ile groom in g the follo wer s in the
etiquette of supplic ation:
We se ek h elp only from You .3

Ki nds of i stig hāt hah


Accor din g to the interpr etations o f Ar a b lex ico lo gist s an d
ex e gete s, the mean in g of the wor d istighāthah is to seek
he lp. It expre sse s itself in t wo form s:
1. App ea l by wor d ( istighāthah bil-qa wl)
2. App ea l by dee d ( istighāthah bil-‘aml)
If a p er son, trappe d in diff ic ult ie s, app eals for he lp
thro ugh wor ds uttere d by his tongue, it is c alle d ‘ appea l
by wo r d’, an d if he appe als for h elp on the ba sis of his
pr esent con dit ion or situation, it is ca lle d ‘app ea l by
de e d’.

1. Appeal by word
T he Qur’ān en list s the ex ample o f appea l by wor d in
r efer ence to M ūsā’ s exp er ienc e:
And we d irec ted Mū sā b y insp iration ( in
the way) to strik e h is staff at th e ro ck when
h is peop le a sk ed h im fo r water.4

1. Qur’ ān (al -Qas as, the Narratives) 28:15.


2. R āghi b As fah ānī, Mufradāt alfāz al -Qur ’ān (p. 598).
3. Qur’ ān (al -Fāti hah, t he Opening) 1: 4.
4. Qur’ ān (al -A‘rāf, the Hei ght s ) 7: 160.
Pr el i mi nar i es 7

I slam is the r eligion of n atur e (d īn-ul-fitrah) an d it is


the r eligion of a ll proph ets, from Adam (D) to the last
Prophet M uhamm a d (A). T he concept of div ine unity
form s the m atrix of their tea chin gs. Accor din g to any
sha rī‘ah , in cludin g the sha rī‘ah of M uh amma d (A),
there is no r ea l he lpe r ex cept Allāh wh ile in th is v er se, his
fo llo wer s have app ea le d to M ūsā (D) for help . I f it were a
form of disbelief , the m ira cle that a ccompan ie d it wo uld
not hav e mate ria lise d, a s there is no link bet ween disbe lief
an d a mir ac le be ca use m ira cles h ave divine sanction
beh in d them. History is a witne ss that wh enever the
proph ets wer e a ske d to p erform an act in vio lation of the
divine un ity, they stampe d o ut the appea l f irm ly in or der
to pre -empt a ll form s of disbelief in f utur e a s any
p ussyfootin g on th is co unt co uld hav e we akene d f aith an d
entren che d ev il. T herefore , they strictly for ba de the ir
fo llo wer s to in dulge in any such a ctivity. On the other
han d, in the ve rse Allāh Him self is empo werin g M ūsā
(D) to pe rform the m ira cle at the appe al of his follo wer s.
It mean s that the r ea l he lper is Allāh Him se lf an d He is
de le gatin g His po we rs to M ūsā (D ) to p erform the
m ira c ulo us a ct. T he ve rse a lso clear ly illustrate s the
differ enc e bet we en rea l an d de le gate d po we r. While
Allāh’ s po wer is re al, a s it is self-a ctivatin g, M ūsā’ s
po wer is dele gate d as it dep en ds on , an d dr a ws its
no ur ishment from, the div ine will.

2. Appeal by dee d
T o app eal for he lp thro ugh som e spe cific a ct or on the
ba sis o f one’ s pre sent p light an d pr e dicament without
utterin g a wor d is kno wn as app ea l by de e d. T he Qur ’ān
r ecor ds the mir ac le that h appene d to Allāh’ s be love d an d
ven era ble proph ets to justify appea l by dee d. Ya‘ qūb (D)
ha d lo st his ey e sight on acco unt of ex ce ssive cryin g when
h is son Yūsuf (D) ha d been sep arate d from him . When
Yūsuf (D) cam e to kno w a bo ut it, h e sent h is sh irt to his
f ather thro ugh his brother s a s an appe al for assistan ce. He
directe d the brother s to to uch the eye s of h is f ather with
8 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

the shirt, wh ich wo uld h elp h im r e ga in his eye sight. As a


r esult o f the act of to uchin g, Ya‘ qūb (D) re cover e d his
v ision. Allāh h a s r efe rre d to this inc ident in the ho ly
Qur’ān in the se wor ds:
Take th is sh irt of min e, then p lac e it
ov e r my fa the r’ s fac e, (and) he will reco ve r
h is v ision.1
When his brother s to uch e d the eye s of Ya‘ qūb (D)
with the sh irt, h e re gain e d h is eye sight thro ugh the div ine
will. T he Qur’ ān say s:
So when th e bea re r of the good ne ws
came, h e ca st th e sh irt ov er Ya‘qūb’ s fa ce
and fo rth with h e rega ined clear sigh t.2
T he a usp ic io us a ct of Ya‘ qūb (D), thro ugh wh ich he
r e gain e d his vision, was pr actica lly ma de possible with
the a ssistanc e of Qur’ ānic examp le of appea l by de e d in
wh ich Yūsuf’ s sh irt se rve d a s a m ean s for the recov ery of
ey e sight by the divin e will.

Li nk between i ntermedi ati on and appeal for


hel p
Both interme diation ( ta wassu l) an d appe al for he lp
( istighāthah) h ave a co mmon foc us of me anin g. What
differ entiate s the m from e ach other is the n ature o f the
de fin in g act. Wh en the act re late s to the he lp- se eker, the
a ct is kno wn a s appea l for he lp, an d the virt ua l help er
who se he lp is bein g so ught will act on ly a s an a gent or a
me an s beca use the r eal h elp er is Allāh Him se lf. T hus
Ya‘ qūb’ s act se rve s a s an app ea l fo r he lp an d the shirt
serv es a s a m ean s to invoke he lp. On the other han d, when
Allāh’ s h elp is be se eche d thro ugh dire ct pray er, He in this
c a se act s a s the re al he lper beca use ther e is no gr eater

1. Qur’ ān (Y ūs uf, J os eph) 12: 93.


2. Qur’ ān (Y ūs uf, J os eph) 12: 96.
Pr el i mi nar i es 9

so urc e than the so urce of div ine assistance . T herefor e,


wh ile interme diation is lo a de d with in direct imp lic ation s,
app ea l fo r dire ct he lp f rom Allāh ha s a p alp itatin g
imme diacy a bo ut it an d elic its a more prompt re spon se. In
short, the Qur’ān ic ve rse clear ly e sta blishe s the f act that
app ea l for he lp by dee d is prov e d by the p ractice of the
proph ets. (A detaile d disc ussion on the conc ept of
interme diation is ava ila ble in o ur book I slamic Con cep t o f
In te rmedia tion .)

Di fference between appeal for hel p and


suppl icati on
T o se ek he lp in a state of tro uble, gr ief an d pain is c alle d
app ea l fo r h elp. When someon e cries for he lp
uncon ditiona lly, it is ca lle d supp lication a s it p rec lude s
the con dition o f tro uble, gr ief an d p ain. T he re lation
bet ween supp lication (du‘ā’ ) an d app ea l fo r he lp
( istighāthah) , in fact, bo ils do wn to the re lation bet ween
gen era l an d pa rtic ular. While supp lication is
uncon ditiona l, app ea l is con dit iona l; it is sp urre d by some
tro uble or pa in. T herefor e, ea ch app ea l is a fo rm of pray er
wh ile e ach pr ayer is not a form o f appe al for h elp . An d
this is the ba sic distinction bet we en app ea l an d p raye r.

Us e of the word d u‘ā ’ in the hol y Qur’ān


T he mean in g of da‘ā, yad ‘ū an d da‘ watan is to c all an d
implor e. T he root da‘ā is use d in va rio us sense s in the
ho ly Qur’ān. A fe w sign if icant asp ects of the wor d du‘ā’
a re exp la ine d be lo w to illustrate the way the Qur ’ān ha s
con cept ua lise d it in var io us context s:

1. an -Nidā’ (callin g)
In the Ho ly Qur’ān the wo r d du ‘ā’ is use d in the sen se of
n idā’, an d som etime s nidā’ an d du‘ā’ a re inter chan ge a ble.
For instan ce, the Qur ’ān say s:
And (to ca ll) tho se infide ls ( towa rd s
gu idance) is like th e parab le o f a pe rson
10 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

who shou ts a t an (animal) who can listen to


no thing bu t calls and c rie s.1

2. at-Tasmiyyah (naming)
In the Ara bic lex icon som etime s the wor d du‘ā’ is use d in
the sense of nam in g o r c allin g. Im ām Rā ghib Asfah ānī ha s
given a very apt ex ample:
I named my son Za yd.2
Sim ilarly , the ho ly Qur’ān , stre ssin g the dign ity an d
r everen ce o f the Prophet (A), say s:
( O be lie ve rs,) d eem no t the summons o f
the P rophet (A) among yourse lv e s like
the summons of on e of you (ca lling)
ano the r.3
In this sacre d v erse, Allāh Him self ha s laid stre ss on
the sp ec ia l re spect to be accor de d to the ho ly
Prophet(A). He ha s comman de d the believ ers not to
a ddre ss the Prophet (A) by h is n ame M uh amma d (A).
When ever h e is to be ca lle d, he sho uld be a ddre sse d by
the spe cial t itle s of Me ssen ger of Allāh(A) an d Frien d of
Allāh (A). T his is re inforc e d by the vo cativ e for ms use d
in the holy Qur’ ān. Allāh Him se lf h as no whe re a ddre sse d
h im by h is fir st name : at no p la ce in the Qur’ān He ha s
a ddre sse d h im direct ly a s yā Muhammad (O M uhamm a d).

3. al-I stigh āthah (besee chin g for help)


T he wor d du‘ā’ h a s also been use d in the Qur’ ān in the
sen se of be ggin g an d be see chin g for he lp a s is dec lar e d by
Allāh:

1. Qur’ ān (al -Baqar ah, th e C ow) 2:171.


2. R āghi b As fah ānī, Mufradāt alfāz al -Qur ’ān (p. 315).
3. Qur’ ān (an-N ūr, t he Light ) 24: 63.
Pr el i mi nar i es 11

They implo red that you should p ray to


you r Lo rd for us.1

4. al-Hath ‘al ā al-qasd (pe rs uasi on)


T he wor d du‘ā ’ is sometim es use d to per sua de som eone to
do so methin g or to provoke someon e. T he Qur ’ān
illustr ates this mean in g in the v er se given belo w:
Yūsu f (on h ea ring wha t th e o the rs we re
say ing) submitted: O my Lo rd! I love the
p rison far too much ove r wha t the y ca ll me
( to do).2
T he wor d du‘ā’ is use d in the sen se of per sua sion in
sū rah Yūnu s also :
And Allāh ca lls (p eople) to the home o f
pea ce (Pa radise) .3

5. at-Talab (de sirin g)


T he wor d du‘ā’ in the sen se of de sirin g is fr e quently use d
in the Ara bic lex icon. T he Qur’ān of fer s the follo win g
ex ample:
And you will a lso find wha tev e r you
de sire.4

6. ad-Du ‘ā’ (su ppli cation)


T he wor d du ‘ā’ is also som etime s use d in the sen se of
supplic ation that is sent to the Lor d. T he Qur’ān r ecor ds
the pr ayer of His f avo ure d on es in the follo win g term s:
And th eir p raye r will end (on th e se
wo rds)  ‘a ll p raise is fo r Allāh Who is
the Nou rish er of a ll th e wo rld s’.1

1. Qur’ ān (al -Baqar ah, th e C ow) 2:68.


2. Qur’ ān (Y ūs uf, J os eph) 12: 33.
3. Qur’ ān (Y ūnus, J onah) 10: 25.
4. Qur’ ān (Fussi lat, Cl early spel l ed out ) 41:31.
12 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

7. al-‘Ibādah (worshi p)
Wor ship of Allāh is a lso c alle d du‘ā’ a s is state d by the
ho ly Prophet (A) :
Du‘ā’ is p re cise ly a fo rm of wo rship .2

8. al-Khi tāb (addres s)


In a ddition to the se me anin gs, the wor d du‘ā’ som etime s
c arr ie s the me anin g of a ddre ss or spe ech. At the occ asion
of th e battle of Uh ud, when th e Compan ion s se eme d to
lose hea rt an d we re f ightin g in sc attere d gro up s, an d on ly
a f e w of them were concentr ate d aro un d him , the ho ly
Prophet (A) ca lle d those who h a d scattere d a way from
h im. T he Qur’ān h a s de scr ibe d his wor ds in these term s:
Wh en you we re running awa y ( in a sta te
o f d isarray ), and ne ve r ca st a back wa rd
g lance , and the Me sseng e r (A), who
( stood stead fast) among th e group beh ind
you , wa s add re ssing you.3

1. Qur’ ān (Y ūnus, J onah) 10: 10.


2. Ti rmi dh ī rel at ed this s ahīh (sound) hadī th i n his al -Jā mi ‘-
u s -s ahī h, b. of t af sīr -ul -Qur ’ān (exegesis o f t h e Qur’ ān)
ch. 3, 42 (5:211, 374-5#2969, 3274), and b. o f d a‘aw āt
(s uppli cat ions ) ch. 1 (5:456#3372); Ibn M āj ah, Su na n, b. o f
d u‘ā’ (suppli cati on) ch.1 (2: 1258#3828); Abū Dāwūd,
S unan, b. of sal āt (prayer) 2: 76-7 (#1479); Nas ā’ī, T afs īr
(2 :253#484); Bukh ārī, al -Adab-ul -muf rad (p. 249# 714 );
Ah mad bin Hambal, Mus nad (4:267, 271,276 ); Abū Dāwūd
T ayāl isī, Mus nad (p. 108#801); Hākim, al -Must ad ra k
(1 :490-1#1802); Abū Nu‘ aym, Hil yat -ul -aw li yā ’ wa
t ab aq āt -ul-as fi yā’ (8: 120); B aghawī, Sh ar h-us -su nn ah
(5 :184#1384); Mundhi rī, at -T arghī b w at -t ar hīb (2: 47 7);
M i zzī, Tuhf at -ul -as hr āf bi-ma‘rif at -i l-at rāf (9:3 0#11 64 3);
Kh at īb Tabrī zī, Mis hkat -ul -mas ābīh, b. of d a‘aw at
(s uppli cat ions ) 2: 4 (#2230); and ‘ Al ī al -Hi ndī i n K anz-ul -
‘u mmāl (2: 62#3113).
3. Qur’ ān (Āl ‘Imrān, t he F amil y of ‘ Im rān) 3: 15 3.
Pr el i mi nar i es 13

T he wor d yad‘ū kum o f the ver se, that is, he wa s


a ddre ssin g yo u, cannot be interpr ete d in the sense of
wo rsh ip. T his interpr etation bor der s on she er disbe lief,
wh ich is simply incon ce iva ble fo r the tr ue believ er.

Sel f-fabricated di visi on of d u‘ā ’


After disc ussin g at len gth the e ight re co gnise d form s of
du‘ā’ , we will no w foc us on som e o f the irre levant
en croa chments on it s a uthentic fr ame of ref eren ce. Some
peop le , in or der to dec lar e appe al for he lp an d
interme diation as inva lid acts, have devise d a se lf-
con cocte d div ision of du ‘ā’ as the ir n e gation of appe al for
he lp is not suppo rte d by any ar gum ent from the Qur’ ān.
All o f their a ssumption s ar e ba se d on intellect ua l ha ir-
splittin g, wh ich is in f act a pro duct of their f la we d
r ea sonin g. In or der to esta blish appe al for h elp a s a form
of disbelief , they fir st dre ss it in the ro bes of du ‘ā’ an d
then deriv e t wo se lf- en gin eere d kin ds of du‘ā’ :
1. Du ‘ā’ a s wor ship
2. Du ‘ā’ a s be ggin g

1. Du‘ā’ as worshi p
T he fir st k in d of du‘ā’ is wor sh ip an d a ll k in ds of Allāh’ s
wo rsh ip ar e in f act dif ferent form s of supplic ation a s
st ate d by the ho ly Prophet (A):
Du‘ā’ is th e e ssen ce (ke rn el) of
wo rsh ip.1
While , a ccor din g to another tr a dition , du‘ā’ is also
e quate d with wor sh ip:

1. Ti rmi dh ī rel at ed it in al-Jāmi ‘-us -sahīh, b. of d a‘aw āt


(s uppli cat ions ) ch.1 (5:456#3371); T abarānī, al -Mu ‘j a m-ul -
a ws at (4: 132#3220); Mundhi rī, at -T arghī b wat -tarhīb
(2 :482); Khat īb Tabrī zī, Mis hkāt -ul -mas ābīh, b. of d a‘aw āt
(2 :5#2231); ‘ As qal ānī, Fat h-ul -bārī (11: 94); and ‘ Al ī al -
Hi ndī in K anz-ul -‘ummāl (2: 62#3114).
14 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

Du‘ā’ is p re cise ly a fo rm of wo rship .1


Sin ce on ly wor sh ip of Allāh is va lid, the refor e, they
e rroneo usly conc lude th at, in conform ity to this m ean in g,
any du‘ā ’ attributed to non- Go d is a form of wor sh ip, an d
there fore, by virtue of this a sso ciation, a form of disbelief .

2. Du‘ā’ as be ggin g
T o be g som eone, to ackno wle dge som eone a s the so lver of
yo ur p ro blem an d exten d a be ggin g han d to h im is c alle d
du‘ā’ a s be ggin g.
T he o bject ion r aise d by the se peop le is that, sin ce
Allāh Alone h as the po wer to solve p ro blems, therefor e,
He Alone sho uld be imp lore d to so lve them. Sin ce the
pe rson’ s act o f be ggin g is an a ckno wle dgement of his
c reat ure ly status, therefo re, be seech in g non- Go d for he lp
is an ackno wle dgement of servit ude to him an d of be in g
h is creat ur es an d th us is a form of disbelie f. Accor din g to
them, the per son in dulgin g in this act is a disbeliev er.

1. Ti rmi dh ī rel at ed this s ahīh (sound) hadī th i n his al -Jā mi ‘-


u s -s ahī h, b. of t af sīr -ul -Qur ’ān (exegesis o f t h e Qur’ ān)
ch. 3, 42 (5:211, 374-5#2969, 3274), and b. o f d a‘aw āt
(s uppli cat ions ) ch. 1 (5:456#3372); Ibn M āj ah, Su na n, b. o f
d u‘ā’ (suppli cati on) ch.1 (2: 1258#3828); Abū Dāwūd,
S unan, b. of sal āt (prayer) 2: 76-7 (#1479); Nas ā’ī, T afs īr
(2 :253#484); Bukh ārī, al -Adab-ul -muf rad (p. 249# 714 );
Ah mad bin Hambal, Mus nad (4:267, 271,276 ); Abū Dāwūd
T ayāl isī, Mus nad (p. 108#801); Hākim, al -Must ad ra k
(1 :490-1#1802); Abū Nu‘ aym, Hil yat -ul -aw li yā ’ wa
t ab aq āt -ul-as fi yā’ (8: 120); B aghawī, Sh ar h-us -su nn ah
(5 :184#1384); Mundhi rī, at -T arghī b w at -t ar hīb (2: 47 7);
M i zzī, Tuhf at -ul -as hr āf bi-ma‘rif at -i l-at rāf (9:3 0#11 64 3);
Kh at īb Tabrī zī, Mis hkat -ul -mas ābīh, b. of d a‘aw at
(s uppli cat ions ) 2: 4 (#2230); and ‘ Al ī al -Hi ndī i n K anz-ul -
‘u mmāl (2: 62#3113).
Pr el i mi nar i es 15

Dis tin ction as the purpose of di vi sion is absent


T his div ision, even from the v ie wpo int of this gro up , is
irre lev ant a s a proof to justify the ina uthenticity o f appea l
for he lp. It is both extraneo us an d unne ce ssary. T hey, in
f act, hav e dissipate d the ir division by pr e sentin g it in a
sem antica lly identical ga r b a s they h ave mer ge d du‘ā’ a s
be ggin g into du‘ā’ a s wor ship . What is the point in
c reatin g such a div ision when acco r din g to them, both
k in ds of du‘ā ’ are for ms of disbelie f? T he f act is that this
division is a bso lutely un war rante d. T he r elev anc e of the
division is prove d only wh en it lea ds to the form ulation of
a dif fer ent set of r ule s an d r e gulation s. Sin ce th ey lack a
sep arate identity, the ir division become s superf luo us. T his
c an be illustrate d thro ugh a simp le examp le .
T he a ct of pro stration is div ide d into t wo k in ds:
1. Pro stration a s an a ct of wo rsh ip.
2. Pro stration a s an a ct of r ever ence .
T hese t wo k in ds of pro stration are k ept in t wo sep arate
comp artments: prostr ation a s an act of wo rsh ip an d
pro stration a s an act of reve renc e do not m er ge. While the
f ir st kin d is insp ir ationa l, the se con d k in d is ce remon ial;
the f ir st one is an expr e ssion of fa ith in div ine un ity, the
se con d is mer ely a rit ua lise d r epre sentation of a
c eremony , an d the t wo fold div ision ref le cts the ir
differ entiatin g f eature s. T herefore , any attempt at mer gin g
the t wo k in ds is a n e gation of div ine un ity. In a ddition,
the t wo k in ds ar e differ ent in the ir r e gulatory a spe ct. If
the a ct of pro stration is perfo rme d before a pe rson with
the intention of wor sh ip, it c le ar ly amo unts to disbe lief ; if
it is perfo rme d a s an expre ssion of rev eren ce, it will not
con stit ute an a ct o f disbe lief, tho ugh it may be dec lar e d a
for bidden a ct. For examp le, if a M uslim dr ink s, comm its
a dultery, m ur der s, etc., h e comm its a for bidden (harām)
a ct an d is a sinner , v iolator, r a shly extrav a gant, etc. But if
he con sider s h is a ct a s la wf ul (halā l), he is committin g
disbelief . He is ne gatin g I slam an d will be dec la re d an
apo state. It m ean s every for bidden a ct is not disbelie f, but
to con sider som e for bidden act a s la wf ul is disbe lie f.
16 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

L et us tak e another ex ample. A wo r d ha s thre e k in ds:


no un, v er b an d letter. All the thr ee a re m ut ually
incompatible an d any attempt at their m er ger amo unt s to
lin guist ic a bsur dity.

Du ‘ā’ is n ot me rely an act of worshi p


T he contention th at the wor d du‘ā’ is use d on ly in t wo
sen se s is not pra ctic ally ten a ble beca use its eight dif ferent
app lication s hav e alrea dy been disc usse d. If we interpret
du‘ā’ a s simp ly an a ct o f wor sh ip, an d the act of be ggin g
for he lp is a lso m er ge d into the act of wor ship , then the
entire soc iety will be p ushe d do wn into the qua gmire of
disbelief an d ( Go d for bid) ev en the p rophets will not be
imm une to this do wn war d slide. T herefo re, it sho uld be
c le arly re co gnise d th at du‘ā’ (ca llin g) is not synonymo us
with wo rsh ip in all context s. I f we do not ackno wle dge
this diff eren ce bet we en the ir contextua l m ean in gs, it will
amo unt to open in g Pan do ra’ s box of disbelief , as no one
will r ema in untainte d by it s ramp ant prolifer ation. T he
Qur’ān ic v er se itse lf is a witne ss to the f act that the ho ly
Prophet (A) himself also c alle d non- Go d for he lp, an d
the Qur’ ān itse lf is acco r din g perm ission to ca ll one
another for he lp. If , a s a suppo sition, we interp ret da‘ā,
yad ‘ū, tad ‘ū, nad‘ū as wor ship o r a s an act of beseech in g
he lp in ev ery context o f sit uation in discr imin ately, wh ich
is r e gar de d by some peop le a s an a uxiliary form of
wo rsh ip, then it will be quite pro blematic to offer a so un d
exp lan ation of the follo win g Qur’ān ic ver se s:
1. And, O my people, what is th is that I
ca ll you to th e (path of) salvation and you
ca ll me to he ll? 1
2. He said: O my Lo rd! I ca ll my peop le
n ight and day ( to the right re lig ion) but my

1. Qur’ ān (Ghāfi r, t he Forgivi ng) 40:41.


Pr el i mi nar i es 17

ca ll only inc rea sed th eir flight ( from the


re lig ion).1
3. And Allāh ca lls (p eople) to the home o f
pea ce (Pa radise) .2
4. Call (th e adopted son s) by the name s o f
their fa the rs: that is ju st in th e sigh t o f
God .3
5. Then, let h im ca ll ( for he lp) his
com rade s. We shall a lso, call (our) so ldie rs
soon.4
6. Then th ey will ca ll on th em, and th ey
will not listen to them.5
7. Wh en we shall call tog eth er a ll fac tion s
o f human being s with th eir lead ers.6
8. And if you call them to guidan ce.7

Sūra h al -Fāti ha h and the concepts of isti ‘ā nat


and i stig hāt hah
Sū rah a l-Fā tihah not on ly conc eptualise s a n um ber of
I slamic belief s in the ir quintessentia l form , but it also
attract ively pr e sents the con cept o f appe al for he lp. It is
st ate d:
( O Allāh!) We wo rship on ly You and we
se ek h elp on ly from You.8

1. Qur’ ān (N ūh, Noah) 71: 5-6.


2. Qur’ ān (Y ūnus, J onah) 10: 25.
3. Qur’ ān (al -Ahz āb, the C onfederat es ) 33:5.
4. Qur’ ān (al -‘Al aq, the Hangi ng m ass ) 96: 17-8.
5. Qur’ ān (al -Kahf, t he C ave) 18:52.
6. Qur’ ān (al -Isr ā’, the Ni ght journey) 17:71.
7. Qur’ ān (al -Kahf, t he C ave) 18:57.
8. Qur’ ān (al -Fāti hah, t he Opening) 1: 4.
18 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

It is th is Qur’ān ic ver se that lay s the fo un dation of


app ea l for h elp an d a ssistan ce wh ere wor sh ip an d h elp a re
ment ione d one after the other. T he fir st p art of the ho ly
ve rse  iyyāka na ‘budu  con sists o f the con cept of
I slamic wor ship , an d th e se con d p art  iyyāka na sta‘ īnu
 explain s the conc ept of h elp an d assistance. It is this
ve rse who se super ficia l un der stan din g ha s prompte d some
in div idua ls to leve l a lle gation s of disbelie f a gain st the
entire M uslim comm un ity.
In f act, a super ficial study o f the v er se ha s in duce d in
them the ba se le ss ide a that both of it s p arts compr ise
sem antica lly identic al wor ds. T he f ir st p art mention s
wo rsh ip, wh ich is ex clusive ly r e serve d fo r Allāh, while
the secon d part ref er s to he lp an d a ssistanc e. T he use of
identic al wor ds gen era lly ref lect s an identica l re ality, an d
if on e look s at this re lation sh ip sup erficially, one is like ly
to be dec eiv e d by th e surfa ce re sem blan ce an d m ay dr a w
an incorr ect infe renc e. T hese peop le a re the v ictim s of a
sim ilar dec eption. T hey ignore the contextua l imp lication s
of these wor ds an d e quate appe al for he lp an d a ssistan ce
with the a ct of wo rsh ip.
But if we disp a ssionate ly ana ly se the Qur’ān ic ve rse,
we com e to an entire ly differ ent con clusion. T hough the
r epetition of similar wor ds cannot be den ie d, the
interpolation of th e letter wa w (an d) bet ween the t wo p arts
of the Qur’ān ic v er se is not to be ignore d eithe r a s it
r eflects a m uch de eper an d more sign if ic ant r eality. If the
injunct ion r elatin g to he lp an d wor ship we re identica l,
Allāh wo uld nev er hav e in se rte d the letter wa w bet ween
the t wo pa rts. T he a ddition of wa w point s to wa r ds a c le ar-
c ut diff erentiation bet ween th e app arent ly sim ilar
exp re ssion s. T his dif fer ence in me anin g le a ds to the
form ulation of a diff erent in junction for ea ch on e of them.
If th e appea l for h elp in iyyāka na sta‘ īnu wer e e quate d
with the wor ship of Go d, the Qur’ān wo uld not h ave
disa sso ciate d it from iy yāka na ‘budu thro ugh the
con junction of sep aration i.e. wa w. T he use of the
sep arativ e p artic le clear ly in dicate s that the t wo pa rts of
Pr el i mi nar i es 19

the ho ly v er se ref lect t wo dif fer ent type s of r ea lity. If they


we re m eant to po rtray identic al r ea lity, the t wo p arts
wo uld not hav e been de link e d by p lac in g wa w bet ween
them.
T he Qur’ ān is an in imita ble mo del of ver ba l
con den sation an d pre cision an d is, the refor e, imm une to
the f allac ie s an d distortion s co ine d by lo gician s an d
ph ilo sopher s. Ea ch wor d in the Qur’ān car ries a p rec ise
an d spe cif ic denotation an d none of it s letter s can be
de clare d ir relevant an d super fluo us as it disc ar ds a ll form s
of wa ste an d supe rfluity. If Go d h a d me ant to for ge a
sem antic coa le sc enc e bet ween th e t wo parts of th e ve rse,
He wo uld nev er hav e differ entiate d them semantically
thro ugh the a ddition of the particle of separ ation. T he
Qur’ān conta in s score s of ex amples to en dor se this
dissimilar ity. Where the differ ence is not inten de d, there
the distin ction is ma de consp ic uo us by the a bsenc e of any
de link in g e lem ent. Sū rah a l-Fātihah, esp ec ia lly its f irst
fo ur ver se s, f urnish es a clear p roof of distinction :
A ll p raise is only fo r Allāh Who is the
Su sta ine r of a ll the wo rld s. He is e xtreme ly
Kind and Merciful. He is the Lord o f the
Da y o f Judgement. ( O A llāh,) we wo rsh ip
on ly You and we see k he lp on ly from You.1
An exam ination of the se fo ur ve rses r eve als that, after
a descript ion o f His extrao r din ary nature, fo ur of His
attribute s ar e con se c utive ly mention e d. Sinc e they are not
m ut ua lly ex clusive an d are sp ec ifica lly de signe d to cr eate
a c um ulative impre ssion so that e ach attribute r einfor ce s
the other, the separ ative waw is no wher e in serte d bet ween
them. But, in the fo llo win g v er se s, wh ere diffe renc e is
intende d, the lin guistic p artic le wa w, is in serte d to
in dic ate the differ ence . T hus, it prove s that du‘ā’ an d
app ea l for he lp an d a ssistance are t wo diff erent re alitie s

1. Qur’ ān (al -Fāti hah, t he Opening) 1: 1-4.


20 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

an d, ther efor e, de serv e diff erent tr eatment an d r ec eption,


an d any attempt to exp un ge the ir sem antic dif fer ence is an
exp licit v iolation of the inh erent p urpo se of the
Rev elation. An ex clusiv e r elian ce on fla we d h uman
r ea sonin g spa wn s var io us form s of disbe lief an d tho se
who ar e trappe d in ph ilo soph ica l n uance s an d inn uen doe s
dr ift fa r a way from the ir r ea l de stiny . T hey not only cr eate
do ubts in the m in ds o f other s but also be come ho stage s to
infin ite con f usion an d f uz zin ess.
Chapter 2

The Meaning of Appeal to the


Pro phet (A) fo r Help

Accor din g to so un d I slam ic belief, the ultim ate foc us of


be seech in g he lp an d assistan ce thro ugh the prophet s an d
sa ints is Allāh Him se lf be ca use He is the on ly tr ue help er
an d supporter an d ha s the re al po wer to reliev e a diff ic ult
sit uation an d m itigate an intra cta ble ex igen cy. He Him se lf
ha s repe ate dly str esse d upon the p eople to implor e Him
for h elp an d re lief wh enev er they fa ce an ugly
pr e dic ament or are driv en into a t ight corner . T hus, if
anyon e sets a side this f un damenta l Qur ’ān ic tea chin g an d
r e gar ds someone else except Allāh a s the so ur ce of ga in
an d loss, he is sure ly guilty of disbe lief, be ca use it
v irtually amo unts to imp lor in g non- Go d fo r h elp an d
a ssistan ce. He is a disbe liever whether his r e que st is
con ditione d by n atur al c a use s or is en gine ere d by
supern atur al fa ctors. On the other h an d, if he be lieve s in
Allāh as th e tr ue he lper an d then t urn s to som e other
pe rson fo r a ssistanc e, he is not comm ittin g disbe lief
be ca use h is a ction is r eligio usly sanction e d. For ex ample,
if he con sults a do ctor for treatment or seek s the
a ssistan ce of a sa int for supplic ation or some kin d of
spirit ua l he alin g, he is op eratin g with in the well-
r eco gnise d an d widely ac cepte d p aram eter s of I slam ic
f aith. His act conform s to app rove d stan dar ds an d is
comp atible with the tra ditiona lly h allo we d pra ctic e of the
v irtuo us p eople. Allāh ha s on many o cc asion s in the

21
22 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

Qur’ān stre sse d upon the believ er s to he lp on e anothe r. He


say s:
And h elp one ano the r in (a cts o f)
righ teou sne ss and p ie ty , and do no t he lp
one anoth e r in ( the ac ts o f) sin and
opp re ssion .1
In the Qur’ān ic v erse Allāh is en jo inin g upon the
comm un ity of M uslim s to he lp an d coop erate with one
another . T his coop eration is pr e dicate d on the fact of
discrep ancy bet we en it s m em ber s, a s it is incon ce iva ble
witho ut the pre sence of ine quality amon g them. T hus it is
po ssible only wh en there ar e t wo cla sse s amon g the
be liever s: the aff luent an d the non- aff luent. T he latter a re
suppo se d to ask for the he lp of th e form er who a re
exp ecte d to exten d this h elp to them . It is o bvio us that this
pr inc iple applie s in discr imin ately in mater ia l a s we ll a s
spirit ua l matter s; it a lso app lies e qua lly in n atur al an d
supern atur al con dition s be ca use Allāh ha s ma de it
co llectiv ely bin din g an d no bo dy can c la im exc eption,
be ca use a Qur’ ānic in junct ion c annot be limite d by khaba r
wāhid (a sin gle sayin g) or an alo gic al rea son in g.
T herefor e, if anyone tr ie s to r estr ict it con dit ionally or by
the lo gic of comprom ise an d exp e diency, h e is
un do ubte dly in dulgin g in an a ct that cla she s with the
divine intention. T he injun ction for m utua l cooperat ion is
one of the ba sic component s of I slamic tea chin g an d is
supporte d by a n um ber o f Qur’ān ic ver se s an d tra dition s.
It prov es witho ut re serv ation that the per son whose h elp is
be in g cr ave d m ust a ssist the pe rson who is crav in g his
he lp; he sho uld re spon d to the app ea l for he lp an d try to
a lleviate the suff erin g of h is fe llo w be in gs.
T he Qur ’ān ha s f urnishe d in diff erent contexts a
n um be r of justif ic ation s for be se ech in g the prophet s an d
sa ints for he lp. It is a s va lid to be se ech the ho ly

1. Qur’ ān (al -Mā’i dah, the F east ) 5:2.


T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 23

Prophet(A) for help as the a ct of a Qibtī who besee che d


M ūsā (D ) for he lp a ga in st the exce sse s of a tyrant. In
r espon se to h is appe al, M ūsā ( D) exten de d he lp to h im
an d re lieve d his m isery . Who co uld be a gr eater so urce for
the v alidation o f this a ct than the proph ets them se lve s
who se p rima ry m ission was to dissem inate the m e ssa ge of
divine un ity througho ut the wor ld! Allāh ha s not
prono un ce d anyon e of them, Qibtī an d the proph et, a s a
disbeliev er on acco unt of this act o f besee chin g he lp from
other s. Allāh say s:
So th e pe rson who wa s of his v e ry
community sough t his he lp aga inst ano the r
pe rson who wa s from among his foe s.1
T he Qur’ān h a s a lso de sc ribe d at v ario us junct ure s that
the believ ers from former comm un itie s be see che d the ir
proph ets an d saint s for he lp. It is similar ly applic a ble to
the fo llo wer s of the ho ly Prophet ( A) an d is c lear ly
r eflecte d in the pr actic e of the Comp anion s. A n um ber of
tra dition s support the va lidity of th is act. T hese tr a dition s
fo c us on exten din g he lp to the nee dy an d allev iatin g the
pro blem s of the le ss fortun ate.

Istig hāt ha h  In the lig ht of tradi ti ons and the


practice of the Compani ons
T o support someon e in h is ho ur of tro uble an d to
comm iser ate with h im in h is moment of a gony is to fortify
the relation ship st eepe d in lov e. T he m e ssa ge of I slam is
the me ssa ge o f pea ce an d se c urity an d the lif e of the ho ly
Prophet (A) is pe rmeate d with the pe rf ume of lov e.
Ev en wh en he is stone d by the r uff ian s of T ā’ if, on ly the
f lo wers o f p rayer blo ssom on h is lip s; there is not a
sque ak of complaint a ga inst them . He con done s the acts of
those who ar e after his bloo d be ca use h is f aith is
e ssentially the interpr etation o f love. Who co uld be a

1. Qur’ ān (al -Qas as, the Narratives) 28:15.


24 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

gr eater m ean s of re dempt ion than the Prophet ( A)


h imself who allev iate d the pa in of other s an d he lpe d them
— in the f ulfilment of their n ee ds! On the Day of
Judgem ent, wh en p eople will f ace the ir gr eate st calamity
an d becom e self -o bsessive, they will rally ro un d the
proph ets an d saint s to be se ech their h elp an d interc ession,
but a ll will expr e ss their ina bility to he lp them on that
day , an d fin ally they will be see ch the ho ly Prophet ( A)
for h elp an d re ly on his me diation fo r their sa lvation , an d
Allāh will en d their tortur e for the sak e of the ho ly
Prophet ( A). Ac cor din g to th e tra dition the Proph et(A)
sa id: ‘peop le will be se ech Ada m ( D) fo r h elp, then
M ūsā (D) an d f ina lly h imself .’ If this is p ermissible on
the Day of Judgement, this sho uld be e qua lly perm issible
dur in g o ur stay in this wo rld. T his r eflects the k in d-
he arte dne ss an d benevo lenc e o f the prophets that the
be liever s c an depen d on them a s a mean s of approa ch to
the inf inite mer cy of Allāh , whether we ar e on th e e arth or
in the Here after.
T he text of the tra dition is a s fo llo ws:
Na rra ted by ‘Abdu llāh bin ‘Umar tha t
the P rophe t (A) said , “A pe rson
con stantly beg s from o the r p eople till he on
the Day o f Judg ement ha s no flesh on his
face .” He added , “Th e sun will come clo se r
to the p eople on th e Day o f Judg ement. I t
will be so clo se that half of one’ s ea r will
be d renched in sweat. In th is cond ition,
peop le will first seek the med iation o f
Adam(D), then of Mūsā ( D) and fina lly o f
Muhammad (A). ” And ‘Abdu llāh  the
sub-na rrato r  add ed, “Lay th na rra ted to
me tha t Ibn Abū Ja‘ fa r had na rra ted : He
[th e P rophe t (A)] will in te rc ede with
A llāh to judge amongst th e p eople. Th en he
will lea ve he re until h e will ho ld the a rc o f
the ga te o f Pa radise. On tha t day , Allāh
will make h im ascend the glo riou s station
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 25

and a ll th e p eople p re sen t the re will sing


h is pra ise s.1
T he tr a dition ha s, th us, f urnish e d a justif ic ation not
on ly of the wor d istighā thah but a lso of it s pop ula r usa ge.
T he note worthy po int is that wh en it is va lid to be se ech
the prophet s an d the sa ints for he lp in the Here after an d
a lso to seek the h elp o f the livin g in this ph enomena l
wo rld, it is simp ly me anin gle ss an d a bsur d to deny its
r elev anc e dur in g the p ur gatoria l ex istence .
A n um ber of tra dition s atte st to the fact that the
Compan ion s be see che d the ho ly Proph et ( A) for he lp
an d a ssistance an d so ught the solution of the ir pro blem s
thro ugh his me diation by stre ssin g the ir pen ury , dise ase,
suffe rin g, nee d, de bt an d h umility. T his a ct wa s base d on
their un der lyin g conviction that the holy Proph et ( A)
serv e d on ly a s an interme dia ry in their ga in an d loss an d
the r ea l oper atin g for ce behin d all the se ph enomena is
on ly Allāh Him self. No one, not ev en His be love d
Prophet(A), c an encroa ch upon His exc lusive terra in.
Given belo w ar e a f e w tra dition s in wh ich the
Compan ion s be se ech e d the ho ly Prophet ( A) for h elp :

Abū Hu rayrah ’s appe al for help


Abū Hurayr ah ha d a weak retentiv e po wer an d therefor e,
co uld not ea sily r emem be r the comman ds of the
Prophet(A). He be se eche d the Prophet ( A) for he lp
who perm anently c ur e d h is t en den cy to for getfulne ss. T his
is th e r ea son that he prove d to be the mo st prolif ic
na rrator of tr a dit ions. Abū Hur ayrah re late s it in his o wn
wo r ds:
I said: ‘ O Messenge r of A llāh! I listen
to many of you r tradition s and then I fo rge t

1. B ukhārī, as -Sah īh, b. of z akāt (obligatory chari ty) ch. 51


(2 :536-7#1405); Tabarānī t ransmi tt ed it i n al -Mu ‘j a m-ul -
a ws at (9:331#8720); and Hayt hamī cit ed it in Maj ma‘-uz -
z aw ā’id (10: 371).
26 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

them.’ Th e P rophe t (A) sa id: ‘ sp read


you r she et.’ So I sp read it. Abū Hu ray rah
say s: ‘ then the P rophe t (A) p ic ked up
someth ing ( from the air) with h is hand s and
pu t it in ( the sh ee t). Th en sa id: “join it to
you rse lf,” so I jo ined it, and afte rwa rds my
memory nev e r slipped. ’ 1
T he tra dition in dic ates that the Compan ion s besee che d
the ho ly Prophet ( A) fo r he lp in ev ery diff ic ult situation.
Who co uld be a gre ater supporte r o f the con cept of div ine
un ity than the Compan ion s them se lve s! An d who co uld be
a st a uncher c la imant of th e onen e ss of Allāh th an the
Prophet (A) h im self! But, in sp ite of it, Abū Huray rah
be seech e d the ho ly Prophet ( A) for he lp an d succo ur an d
inste a d o f t urn in g do wn his re que st he so lve d his pro blem
for ever . T he rea son is that anyone who be lieve s in div ine
un ity, kno ws that the only re al h elp er is Allāh, wh ile the
proph ets, the saint s an d other p io us peop le who se h elp is
be in g so ught, act only as interm e dia ries. T heir po wer of
me diation der ive s from Allāh’ s ble ssin g Who ha s
con ferr e d on them this po wer to ea se the pro blems of the
be liever s. T he act of me diat ion is, ther efor e, divine ly
san ctione d, an d do es not amo unt to a tre spa ss of div inity.
Abū Hurayr ah besee che d the Prophet (A) for he lp
who f ulf ille d his ne e d. He n ever told him to p ray to Allāh
direct ly an d to rem ain ste a dfa st in h is be lief in div ine
un ity. On the contrary, he pick e d up a fistf ul of so methin g

1. B ukhārī narrat ed i t t hrough di fferent chains of t rans mis si on


i n his as -Sahīh, b. of ‘il m (knowl edge) ch.42 (1: 56 #119 ), b.
o f manāqib (vi rtues ) ch. 24 (3:1333#3448); Tirmidhī in al -
Jā mi ‘-us -s ahī h, b. of manāqib, ch. 47 (5:684 #383 5) and
g raded i t hasan (fai r) s ahīh (s ound); Ibn S a‘d, a t-T ab aqāt -
u l -kubrā (2:362; 4:330); T abarānī, al -Mu ‘ja m-ul -aws at
(1 :451#815); Ibn-ul -Ath ī r, Asad-ul-ghāb ah (6: 314 );
Hayt hamī, Maj ma‘-uz -z awā’i d (9:362); ‘ As q al ān ī, Fat h-ul -
b ār ī (1: 215; 6:633); and ‘ Aynī i n ‘Umdat-ul -q ār ī (2: 182;
1 6: 168).
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 27

invisible fro m the a ir an d p ut it in his sheet an d


comm an de d to r ub it on to h is che st. T hus Allāh
a ckno wle dge d this act of me diation a s v alid an d f ulf ille d
Abū Hur ayrah’ s n ee d.
Ev ery sen sible per son who be lieve s in divin e unity
kno ws th at supp lication is m a de on ly to Allāh for the
f ulfilment o f n ee ds whose po wer span s all the wor lds. T he
petit ioner be lieve s that the per son h e is be seech in g to
me diate an d interc e de on h is beha lf is clo se r to Allāh Who
r espon ds mor e sen sitiv ely an d ur gently to his app ea l for
he lp. T her efor e, the appe al proc e sse d thro ugh h im stan ds
a gre ater chan ce of imme diate ac ceptan ce. T he petition er
kno ws that h is po wer to h elp is only der ivativ e bec a use
the re al he lper is Allāh Him se lf an d this is what is c lear ly
r eflecte d in Abū Hur ayrah’ s tr a dition.

Qatādah bin an -Nu‘mān’s appe al for hel p


Qatā da bin an- Nu‘m ān lost his eye dur in g the battle of
Ba dr . T he eye ball was disloc ate d an d dan gle d from his
f ace . Ke epin g in v ie w the sev erity of pa in, a f e w
Compan ion s a dv ise d him to hav e the optic v ein c ut off to
a lleviate the p ain. Befo re act in g on the a dv ice of the
Compan ion s, Qatā dah de cide d to brin g it to the notice of
the Prophet (A) . When he ca lle d on the Proph et ( A)
an d r elate d to h im h is story, h e did not allo w h im to h ave
h is eye oper ate d; r ather, he p lac e d the eye ba ll ba ck at its
or igin al pla ce with h is han d, wh ich re store d h is ey e sight.
Qatā dah use d to say that the v ision of h is lo st ey e was in
no way weake r than the o rigina l one ; it wa s even better
than before . T his tr a dition bea rin g on th e va lidity of
istighā thah h as been re cor de d in the se wor ds:
I t is re lated by Qa tādah bin an -Nu‘mān
that his ey e wa s lo st du ring the battle o f
Bad r and th e ey eball slid on to h is fac e.
The o the r Companion s wanted to cut it off.
Bu t when they con sulted the Me sseng er o f
A llāh (A), he disa llo wed it. Then he
p ray ed fo r him and p lac ed the eyeba ll ba ck
28 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

a t its o rigina l pla ce. So Qatādah ’s eye wa s


re stored in a manne r tha t it wa s impossib le
to say wh ich eye had be en damaged.1

Abs ces s–s tri cken Companion ’s appe al for help


It is n arrate d in the book s on tr a dition that str uma
app ear e d on the han d o f a Comp anion , wh ich ma de it
impossible fo r h im to ho ld the bridle of a horse o r the
han dle o f a swo r d. He c alle d on the holy Prophet ( A)
an d be se ech e d h im to c ure his dise ase. So Allāh, Who is
the re al He lper, c ure d h im thro ugh the Prophet’ s h an d.
T his tra dit ion is re late d in the se wor ds:
I called on th e holy Me ssenge r (A) . I
had struma on my hand. I said : ‘O p rophe t
o f A llāh! I ha ve a struma (on my hand)
which make s it pa infu l fo r me to ho ld the
b rid le of a ho rse and the swo rd.’ Th e ho ly
P rophe t ( A) said: ‘come c lo se to me.’ So
I moved clo se r ( to him). Then he op ened
that struma and blew his b reath on my hand
and pla ced his hand ov e r the struma and
k ept on pressing it and when h e lifted his
hand, the e ffect o f tha t (struma) had
completely van ished.2

1. Ab ū Ya‘l ā narrat ed i t in his Mus nad (3: 12 0#15 49 ); Ibn


S a‘d, at -T ab aqāt -ul -kubrā (1:187-8); Hākim, al -Must ad ra k
(3 :295); Bayhaqī, Dalā’i l -un-nubuwwah (3:1 00 ); Abū
Nu‘ aym, Dalā’il -un-nubuww ah (p. 540); Ibn-ul -At hī r, As ad-
u l -ghābah (4: 371); Ibn Kat hī r, al -Bi dāyah w an -ni hāyah
(3 :52); Hayt hamī, Maj ma‘-uz -zawā’i d (6: 113; 8: 29 7-8); and
‘ Asqal ānī in al -Isābah f ī tamyī z-is -s ahābah (3:225 ).
2. Hayt hamī narrat es it i n hi s Maj ma‘-uz-zawā’i d (8:298 ) and
s ays t hat T ab arānī narrat ed it i n hi s al -Mu‘ja m-ul-kab īr
(7 :306-7#7215). Hayt hamī does not know th e su b-narrato r,
M ukhall id, and above him whil e ot her narrat ors are s ahīh
(s ound). Bukhārī narrat ed it in at -Tārī kh-ul -kabīr [4:250
(2 /2/ 250)].
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 29

A blin d Compani on’s appeal for hel p


Re storation o f the blin d people’ s ey e sight wa s not only a
m ira cle p erform e d by ‘Ī sā (D), it was p erform e d by the
ho ly Prophet (A) a s we ll. It is n arrate d that a blin d
Compan ion ca lle d on the Prophet (A) an d besee che d his
he lp fo r the r e storation of his eye sight. T he Prophet ( A),
inste a d of disco ura gin g h im or con demn in g it a s a form of
disbelief , str esse d upon him to supplicate thro ugh h im.
T his k in d of supp lication in it se lf is a compo site of
me diation an d appe al for h elp, an d if it is offe re d even
to day with the same inten sity of sincer ity, it is a patent
me dic ine for the ailin g mank in d. Narrate d by ‘ Uthmān bin
Hun ayf :
That a blind man ca lled on the Ho ly
P rophe t (A) and said to him: ‘ (O
Me ssenge r of A llāh ,) p ra y to Allāh to give
me so lac e.’ Th e P rophet (A) sa id: ‘if you
wish, I will sta ll it and th is is bette r (fo r
you ), and if you wish, I pra y.’ He sa id: ‘you
should p ray (fo r me) to Him.’ So h e a sked
h im to p erfo rm the ablu tion: ‘pe rform the
ab lution tho roughly well and then offe r two
c yc le s o f op tional pra ye r and be se ech Allāh
with this supplica tion: “O A llāh , I appea l
to You, and submit to You th rough the
media tion o f th e merciful P rophe t
Muhammad (A). O Muhammad, th rough
you r med iation I submit my se lf to My Lo rd
to hav e my n eed g ran ted. O Allāh,
ac kno wledge h is inte rce ssion in my
favou r. ”1

1. Ib n Māj ah t rans mitt ed i t i n his Sunan, b. of i qāma t-us -s al āt


w as -s unnah fī hā (est abli shing prayer and it s sunnahs )
ch. 189 (1: 441#1385); Ti rmi dhī i n al -Jāmi ‘-us -s ahī h, b. of
d a‘awāt (suppli cati ons ) ch. 119 (5:569#3578 ); Ahm ad b in
Hambal in hi s Mus nad (4:138); Nas ā’ī, ‘Amal -ul -yaw m w al -
30 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

I bn Mā jah , Hāk im an d Dhaha bī have de clare d it a


so un d ( sah īh) tra dition wh ile T irm idhī gra de d it ha san
(f air ) sahīh (so un d) gha rīb ( unfam iliar ).
Yo u m ust hav e notice d that the introductory senten ce
of the supplicat ion in the tra dition is o ffer in g the ho ly
Prophet ( A) as an interm e diary be fore Allāh wh ile its
se con d sentence , in which the Prophet ( A) is be in g
direct ly a ddre sse d, is f urn ishin g not only a justification
for se ekin g the h elp of Allāh’ s f avo urite s but a lso issuin g
it a s a form of comm an d. If, seekin g h elp thro ugh other
c reat ure s ex cept Allāh wer e an inva lid act, the ho ly
Prophet (A) wo uld not hav e issue d it in the fo rm of a
comm an d. Wh en the greate st supporter o f divin e unity
h imself comm an de d that the be liever s sho uld be seech his
he lp, who ar e we to m islea d the M uslims by ca llin g them
disbeliev er s when they are follo win g in the Proph et’s
foot steps! T ho se who disa ckno wle dge the v alidity o f this
a ct in a f it o f m isp la ce d enthusia sm to p urify I slam a re
a ctually in dulgin g in an un -I sla mic act beca use the ir
e fforts ar e in conf lict with the tr ue I slamic belief s an d the
pr actic e of the holy Proph et (A) .
Sim ilarly , another tr a dition n arr ated by Imām Hāk im
is co uche d in dif fer ent wo r ds. In this tr a dition, ‘Uthmān
bin Hunayf say s that he wa s p re sent in the Proph et’s
comp any. A blin d per son c alle d on the Proph et (A) an d
comp la ine d a bo ut the lo ss of his ey esight. He a dde d: ‘O
M essen ger of Allāh, ther e is no one to guide me an d I am
in gr eat tro uble.’ On h ear in g h is comp la int, the

l a ylah (p.417#658-9); Hākim, al -Mustadr ak (1:313, 519 );


Ib n Khuzaym ah, as -Sahīh (2:225-6#1219 ); B ayhaqī,
Da lā’il -un-nubuww ah (6: 166); S ubkī, Shifā ’-us -si qā m fī
z i yārat khayr -il -anām (p. 123); Nawawī, al -Ad hkār (p.83 );
Ib n -ul -At hī r, As ad-ul -ghābah (3:571); M i zzī, Tu hfat-ul -
a shrāf bi -ma‘r ifat-il -atrāf (7:236#9760); Ibn Kat hī r, al -
Bid āyah wan-ni hāyah (4:558); Ibn Haj ar Haytham ī, al -
Ja whar -ul-munazz am (p. 61); and Shawkānī in Tuhf at -u dh -
d hākirī n (pp.194-5).
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 31

Prophet(A) said: ‘ brin g an e arthen pot for a blution , then


pe rform the a blution an d o ffer t wo cy cle s of optiona l
pr ayer. T hen say:
O Allāh, I appea l to You, and submit to
You th rough the media tion o f You r me rc ifu l
P rophe t Muhammad (A). O Muhammad,
through your med iation I submit my se lf to
you r Lord that He should g ive ligh t to my
e ye s. O Allāh, ackno wledg e h is in te rce ssion
in my fa vour and ac cept my supp lication
a lso in my favou r.
‘ Uthmān bin Hunay f sa id:
I swea r by A llāh tha t we had ne ith e r left
the company no r had we ca rried on a long
con ve rsation tha t the man ente red ( with his
sigh t fully re sto red ) and it se emed a s if he
had n eve r b een b lind.1
In a ddition, a n um ber of othe r tra dition ist s of great
r ep ute have reco r de d this so un d tra dition an d th eir n ame s
a re given belo w:
1. Na sā’ ī, ‘ Amal-ul- ya wm wa l-la ylah (p.418#660) .
2. Bukhār ī, a t- Tā rīkh -ul- kabīr [6:209-10(3 /2 /209-10)].
3. Ah ma d bin Ham ba l, Mu snad (4 :138).
4. Bayh a qī, Da lā’il-un-nubu wwah (6 :166-7).
5. I bn- us- Sunnī, ‘Amal-u l- yawm wa l-la ylah (p.202#622).
6. M un dh ir ī, a t-Ta rgh īb wat-ta rhīb (1:473 -4).
7. Subk ī, Sh ifā’ -us-siqām fī ziyāra t khay r- il-anām
(pp.123 -4).
8. I bn Kathīr, a l-B idāyah wan-n ihāyah (4 :559).
9. Suy ūt ī, a l- Kha sā’is-u l-kub rā (2:201).
10. Qa stallān ī, a l-Ma wāh ib-u l-ladun iy yah (4 :594).
11. Z ur qānī, Commentary (12 :221-2).

1. Hāki m graded it s ahīh (s ound) i n al -Must adr ak (1: 526 -7 )


according to th e conditi ons of Im ām Bu khārī and i ts
au thenti ci ty has been acknowl edged by Dhah abī as wel l.
32 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

M ahm ūd Sa ‘īd Mam dūh h as a lso expre sse d his vie ws


in his book Raf‘-ul-minā rah (p.123) :
“All th e se cha in s are sound wh ich ha ve
be en c ertified by pe rson s who ha ve
committed th e tradition s to memory . Among
the se a re a lso inc luded Imām Tirmidh ī,
Tabarān ī, Ibn Khu zaymah, Hāk im and
Dhahab ī. ”
T his sa cre d tra dition clear ly in dicate s that the cr eature
is implo rin g Allāh Who a lone can he lp him an d prov ide
r elief to him . He alon e ha s the po wer to transform non-
ex istence into existen ce, non- entity into entity. But the
po int to be note d her e is that the wor ds of th e supp lication
a re be in g ta ught by the Ho ly Prophet (A) h imself in
wh ich Go d’s attention an d h elp ar e bein g invok e d fo r its
a cc eptance thro ugh h is o wn me diation. It m ay be f urther
note d that it is not on ly his p er son that is bein g r elie d
upon fo r the a ckno wle dge ment of the supp lic ation, but
a lso the quality of his me rcy that h e ha s been v e ste d with
thro ugh Allāh ’s k in dne ss. T hus the p raye r bo ils do wn to
the fa ct that the p etitioner is sayin g: ‘O Allāh, I app ea l to
Yo u thro ugh the me diation of the Prophet (A) whom
Yo u hav e Yo ur se lf ve ste d with inf inite mer cy that Yo u
sho uld re store my lo st ey e sight an d ret urn light to my eye s
wh ich they hav e lo st.’
Sin ce the supp lication wa s pro ce sse d thro ugh the
Prophet’ s me diation, the Lor d’ s mer cy gushe d forth
instantly a s it is a ga inst the divine will that some
petit ioner sho uld invoke His me rcy thro ugh the me diation
of the Holy Prophet (A) an d his petition sho uld not be
gr anted. In this ca se the grant of the supp lication wa s
ne ither de lay e d nor was the ph enomenon of ca use- an d-
e ffect a llo we d to interfer e in it s acc eptance . It was the
ble ssin g of the Prophet’ s m e diation, wh ich ret urne d the
ey e sight in stantly a s if it h a d nev er be en lost.
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 33

C ompanions’ appe al for rain


T he book s on tra dition ar e r iddle d with the proof s of
be seech in g the holy Prophet ( A) for he lp an d its
con firm ation by the pra ctic e of the Compan ions. An
un brok en chain of a uthentic tra dition s prove s that
wh enev er the Compan ion s fa ce d a pro blem or a c alamity,
they came r ush in g to the ho ly Prophet ( A) to be se ech
h is he lp. T hey supp licate d befor e Allāh thro ugh his
me diation an d be seech e d his h elp fo r the f ulfilment of
their ne e ds. As a re sult, Allāh wa iv e d the calamity
dan glin g over their h ea ds. Ana s bin M ālik h as re late d:
1. The ho ly P rophe t ( A) was d eliv ering
h is se rmon on a Friday that a man went up
to h im and sa id: ‘O Me ssenge r o f Allāh!
The re is ex treme sca rc ity of ra in. So p ray
to Allāh tha t He shou ld b le ss u s with ra in.’
The P rophe t ( A) p rayed fo r it and be fo re
we reach ed our home s, th e ra in had sta rted
which continued do wn to th e ne xt F rida y.
(Ana s) say s that ( the n ex t Friday ) the same
pe rson o r someone e lse stood up and sa id:
‘ O Me sseng er o f Allāh! P ray to A llāh tha t
He should pu sh th is (ra in) a way from u s.’
The P rophet ( A) p ra yed: ‘O A llāh, it
should b e a round u s and no t ove r u s. ’ So I
sa w tha t th e c loud s had rolled a way to ou r
righ t and left and sta rted pou ring do wn
rain and the ra in c ea sed ov e r th e re sid ents
o f Medina .1

1. B ukhārī relat ed i t in as -Sahī h, b. of i sti sqā ’ (t o i nv oke


All āh for rain at t he ti m e of drought ) ch.7 (1: 344-5# 969 );
M us lim, as -Sahīh, b. of s al āt -ul-ist is qā’ (pray er t o i nvok e
All āh for rain at t he t im e of drought ) ch.2 (2: 61 4-5 #10/
8 97); B ayhaq ī, Dal ā’il -un-nubuww ah (6:140 ); Ibn Kat hī r,
a l -Bi dāyah wan-ni hāyah (4:472-3); and ‘ Asq al ānī in Fath-
u l -b ārī (2:508).
34 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

2. That a pe rson ente red th e mo sque


through th e doo r in front of the pulp it and
the Ho ly P rophet ( A) wa s de live ring the
se rmon wh ile stand ing. So that pe rson took
a po sition right in front o f him. Th en he
said : ‘ O Me sseng er of A llāh , the ca ttle
hav e died and th e path s a re d isconne cted.
So p ray to A llāh that He shou ld send ra in
on u s.’ The Me ssenge r of A llāh(A) ra ised
bo th of his hand s and add re ssed ( Allāh): ‘O
A llāh , send u s rain ; O Allāh, send us ra in;
O A llāh, send u s ra in.’ Ana s sa id: ‘ By God!
We c ould see ne ith er a cloud in th e sk y, no r
e ven a fragment of a cloud , and th ere wa s
ne ith e r a hou se no r any oth e r bu ild ing
be twe en us and the mounta in. Then a p ie ce
o f c loud, that wa s the size of a sh ie ld,
appea red from beh ind the hill. I t sta rted
floa ting in th e sky and then it sp read ou t,
and it sta rted rain ing. By God! For six day s
we d id no t se e th e sun in th e sky . Th en the
ne xt F riday a p erson en te red through the
same door wh ile th e P rophet (A) wa s
de live ring the sermon in the stand ing
po stu re. He position ed h imse lf in fron t o f
h im and said: “O Me ssenge r o f Allāh, the
ca ttle hav e d ied and the path s a re
d isconnec ted , so p ray to Allāh that he
should stop the ra in. ”’ Ana s re late s tha t
the Me sseng e r o f A llāh ( A) aga in ra ised
h is hand s and addressed (A llāh) : ‘O Allāh,
( the ra in) may fall a round u s, and no t on
u s; O Allāh, (th e rain) ma y fall on th e h ills,
h illock s, va lley s and th e pla ce s wh ere the
tree s g ro w.’ Anas say s that the ra in stopped
and we came out (of th e mosqu e) and we
we re wa lk ing in th e sun shin e. Sha rīk sa id,
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 35

‘I asked Anas: was it the same pe rson who


had come be fore?’ He sa id, ‘I don’t kno w.’ 1
3. On ce du ring the time of the ho ly
P rophe t (A) famine g ripp ed Medina. The
P rophe t (A) wa s de live ring the F riday
se rmon to u s tha t a pe rson stood up and
said , ‘ O Me ssenge r of Allāh, the ho rse s and
the goats hav e died . So p ra y to A llāh tha t
He may send u s rain.’ The ho ly
P rophe t( A) raised h is ho ly hands and
p ray ed. Ana s re la te s that (at that time) the
sk y was a s (tran sparent as) cu tgla ss. (Bu t
on a ccoun t o f the P rophe t’s p raye r, ) the
b re eze blew in stan tly and the cloud s came
ov e r. Then th ey g re w qu ite d en se and then
the sky opened its mouth wide ( that is, it
sta rted rain ing in to rren ts). We came ou t
from th e re and (drenched in ra in and)
a lmost d ro wning in wa te r, we reach ed ou r
home s. The ra in d id no t stop till the nex t

1. B ukhārī rel at ed i t in hi s as -Sahīh, b. of i sti sqā’ (t o i nvok e


All āh for rai n at the t im e of drought ) ch.6, 5,7, 8,9, 10, 11,
2 0, 23 (1:343-6, 348,349#968, 967,969-73, 983, 9 86), b. of
j u mu‘ah (F ri day prayer) ch. 33 (1:315-6#891 ); M us lim, as -
S ahīh, b. of s al āt -ul -is tis qā’ (prayer t o i nv ok e All āh fo r
rai n at the ti m e of drought ) ch. 2 (2:612-4#8/897 ); Nas ā’ī,
S unan, b. of i sti sqā’ (3: 154 -5, 159-60, 161-3); Ibn M āj ah,
S unan, b. of i qā mat -us-salāt w as -sunnah fī hā (est ablis hi ng
p rayer and its sunnahs ) ch.154 (1:404#1269); Ahm ad b in
Hambal, Musnad (3: 256); M āli k bi n Anas, al -Muw att ā, b.
o f i st isqā’, ch. 2 (1: 191#3); Abū Ya‘l ā, Musn ad (5: 416#
3 104); Ibn Khuzaym ah, as-Sahī h, (3: 14 4,147#178 8, 1 792 );
Ib n Hibbān, as -Sahī h (3: 272-3#992); Bayhaqī, as -Su nan-ul -
ku br ā (3:354-5) and Dal ā’il -un-nubuww ah (6: 13 9 -4 0);
B aghawī, Shar h-us-sunnah (4: 412-5#116 6 -7); Zayl a‘ī,
N as b-ur -rāyah (2:238-9); Ibn Kathī r, al -Bidā ya h w an-
n ihāyah (4: 472); Qast al l ānī, al -Maw āhib -u l -la duni yyah
(4 :265-6); and Zurq ānī in hi s Comment ar y (11: 12 0-5).
36 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

F riday. The same da y the same pe rson o r


someone else stood up and sa id, ‘O
Me ssenge r o f Allāh, th e hou ses ha ve
co llap sed, so p ray to Allāh tha t th is may
stop .’ He smiled and then p rayed ( to Allāh)
that ra in may fa ll a round u s, and no t on u s.
So I sa w tha t the c louds had rolled a way
from Med ina (and Medina app ea red) a s if it
wa s c ro wned by the sk y.
In anoth er trad ition, Ana s re lates tha t
A llāh sho ws to the p eople the ble ssing o f
His Proph et ( A) and th e a ccep tanc e o f
h is supp lication s.1
T he proo f o f appea l for he lp by the pra ctice of the
Compan ion s an d the Prophet’ s enco ur a gem ent of the ir
pr actic e e stablish es the fact that it is not ta inte d with even
a spot of disbe lie f. It is impo ssible that a Compan ion
sho uld commit disbelief, an d it is still impossible that the
Prophet ( A) sho uld con done h is disbelief . In this c a se
the Prophet ( A) is enco ur a gin g them in the ir a ct, wh ich
spe aks volum es for its v alidity.

1. B ukhārī t ransmi tt ed it i n his as -Sahīh, b. of manāq ib


(v irtues) ch. 22 (3: 1313#3389), b. of j umu ‘ah (F ri day
p rayer) ch. 32 (1:315#890), b. of ist isqā’ (t o invo ke Al l āh
fo r rai n at t he ti m e of drought) ch.13 (1: 346 -7#9 75), b. o f
a dab (good m anners ) ch.68 (5: 2261#5742), b. o f d a‘aw āt
(s uppli cat ions ) ch.23 (5:2335#5982); M usl im, as -S ah īh, b.
o f s alāt -ul -i sti sq ā’ (prayer t o i nvoke All āh for rain at th e
t im e of drought ) ch. 2 (2: 614-5#9/897); Nas ā’ī, S unan, b. o f
i sti sqā’ (3:165-6 ); Abū Dāwūd, Sunan, b. of s al āt (p ray er)
1 :304-5 (#1174); Ahm ad bin Ham bal, Mus na d (3: 27 1); Abū
Ya‘ l ā, Mus nad (6: 82#3334); Ibn Khuzaym ah, as -S ahīh
(3 :145-6#1789); B ayhaqī, as -Sunan-ul -kubr ā (3: 353 -4, 356,
3 57) and Dalā’il -un-nubuww ah (6: 140); Bagh awī, Sha rh -
u s -s unna h (4:415-6#1168); and Ibn Kathī r i n al -Bi dāyah
w an-nihāyah (4: 474).
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 37

Amī r Hamzah  the re mover of trou bles


‘ Abdullāh bin M a s‘ ūd say s that the ho ly Prophet ( A)
c rie d so bitterly ov er the martyr dom of his unc le Ham zah
in the battle of Uh ud as he h a d n ever cr ie d before . He say s
that he p lac e d h is coff in in the direct ion of qib lah an d
bur st into tear s until he starte d hicc uppin g. T hen he
a ddre sse d Hamz ah an d said:
O Hamzah! O the un cle of the
Me ssenge r o f A llāh ! O Allāh’ s lion! O lion
o f the Messenge r o f A llāh! O Hamzah! O
doe r of good de eds! O remove r o f troub le s!
O pro te cto r o f th e radian t fa ce o f the
Me ssenge r o f A llāh! 1
T he use of the colloc ation yā kā sh if al- kurubā t (O
r emover of tro uble s) in this tra dit ion for a de a d man
de serve s o ur sp ecial attention. T he artic ulation of the se
wo r ds not only va lidate s the act of be see chin g the he lp of
the sa ints, but it also v alidate s the a ct o f he lp by th e sa ints
in r espon se to th e p etitioner ’s app eal. It also in dicate s that
it is quite consistent with tr ue I slam ic be lief that the
pe rson who se he lp is be in g so ught sho uld a lso he lp the
petit ioner. T hat is why he a ddre sse d Am īr Hamz ah a s the
‘r emover of tro uble s.’ Her e the status of Hamz ah a s help er
is only der ivative bec a use the rea l h elp er is Allāh Him se lf.
T he fa ct that the Prophet (A) dec lar e d Am īr Hamz ah a s
a he lper an d a ddre sse d h im after h is de ath by the wor d
“ yā” ( O) cle ar ly in dic ates that the c la ssification of help er
into rea l an d de riv ative is quite le ga l; other wise it wo uld
hav e be en incompat ible with the Prophet’s act.

Yā Muh ammadāh  Battle-cry of the C ompanions


Im ām I bn Kathīr say s that on the occ a sion of the battle of
Yamām ah, yā Muhammadāh ( O M uh amma d, h elp us) wa s

1. Qast all ānī rel at ed it in al -Mawāhib-ul -l aduni yyah (2: 10 4);


an d Zurqānī i n his C ommentar y (4: 470).
38 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

the battle-cry of the M uslims. He a dds th at durin g the wa r,


Kh ālid bin a l-Wa līd p icke d up the fla g, an d pa ssin g
thro ugh the army po sition s, set o ut to war ds the mo untain
of M usaylimah , the Lia r. He wa ite d there for h im to t urn
up so that he co uld kill him . T hen he ret urne d an d,
st an din g bet we en the t wo arm ie s, h e sho ute d:
I am the son o f a l- Walīd. I am th e son
o f ‘Āmir and Zayd .
I bn Kathīr f urther a dds:
Then he raised the battle-c ry curren t
among th e Muslims, wh ich wa s ‘yā
M uh amma dāh’ ( O Muhammad, he lp u s).1
In th is tr a dit ion the M uslim s are re lyin g on the
Prophet’ s mean s an d c allin g h im for he lp, an d the
M uslim s who ar e committin g this a ct a re the Compan ion s.
T hus to call the Proph et (A) for he lp an d r ely on his
me an s was a p ractice o f the Compan ion s.

Appe al to the hol y Prophet (A) for forgi veness


Allāh h as hono ure d th e Ho ly Prophet (A) with the
h ighe st stat us amon g His cre atur e s. App ea l to h im an d
interme diation thro ugh h is per son wa s va lid durin g his
e arthly existen ce an d it is e qua lly va lid after his death.
T he t wo pha se s of h is existenc e do not mo dify in any
sen se th e qua lity o f app ea l to an d interm e diation thro ugh
h im an d ther e is no le gal an d r ationa l ar gum ent that
m ilitates a ga in st their v alidity after h is de ath.
We sho uld not a lso br ush a side the f act that the co rrect
be lief doe s not elevate the inte rme diar ie s to the leve l of
Allāh’ s partner s. T hey e ssentially rem ain His cre ature s,
an d it is in f act a de ep r ea lisation of the ir cre ature ly status
that ha s prompte d th e Cre ator to ra ise them to the
super lativ e de gree of ex ce llence amon g His cre ature s.

1. Ib n Kath īr, al -Bidāyah wan-nih āyah (5: 30).


T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 39

T herefor e, ho w c an tho se, who claim to be the h um ble


serv ants of the Lor d, ever a sp ire to be His partner s or
r iva ls? T h us they ar e n either Allāh’ s p artner s no r His
e quals. Allāh ha s no riv al or pa rtner. He is un ique in ev ery
r esp ect, both in term s o f His per sona lity an d the attribute s
that defin e His p er sona lity. No proph et or sa int, dea d or
a liv e, can be His partner bec a use He a lone ha s the po wer
to gr ant or turn do wn o ur petition s. T hus in a ll form s of
app ea l for h elp an d interme diation, the inter me diary
h imself acts as a h um ble serv ant of the Lor d an d he r elie s
on the divine mercy a s m uch a s the p etitioner do e s. In no
sen se what soev er he tr eat s him self a s His e qua l. As a
matter of fact, h is he lp is bein g so ught be ca use h is status
a s an interme diary o we s to the divin e f avo ur. Allāh says:
( O b elo ved!) And if th ey had come to
you , when th ey had wrong ed their sou ls,
and a sk ed fo rg iven e ss of A llāh, and the
Me ssenge r also had a sk ed fo rgivene ss fo r
them, the y (on th e ba sis o f this means and
inte rce ssion) would ha ve su re ly found Allāh
the Gran te r o f repen tance , e xtreme ly
Me rc ifu l.1
T o r e strict the ef ficacy an d oper ationa l ran ge of this
ve rse to the e arthly existenc e of the Holy Prophet (A),
a s so me p eople believ e, is to in dulge in exe getica l
m isapplic ation an d re fle cts the ir un a waren ess an d la ck of
un de rstan din g. Both the ex e gete s an d the tr a dition ists
con sider interme diat ion through an d app ea l to the ho ly
Prophet (A) a s va lid acts whether they were done in his
e arthly existenc e or after h is de ath.
I bn Kathīr comm ents on the Qur’ ānic ve rse:
(In th is Qu r’ān ic ve rse ) A llāh is
e xho rting the sinne rs and ev ildoe rs tha t
when they commit sin s and erro rs th ey

1. Qur’ ān (an-Ni sā’, W om en) 4:64.


40 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

should ca ll on the Me ssenge r of A llāh (A)


and a sk fo rgivene ss from A llāh . Th ey
should a lso requ est the Me sseng er o f
A llāh (A) to p ray fo r them. When the y do
so, A llāh will tu rn to th em and sho w mercy
to th em and He will fo rg iv e th em. Tha t is
why He u sed the wo rds la- wa ja dullāha
ta wwā b- ar-r ahīm ā ( the y (on the ba sis o f
this means and in te rce ssion) would ha ve
su re ly found A llāh the Gran te r o f
rep entanc e, e xtreme ly Me rc ifu l). Many
hav e stated this tradition. One of th em is
Abū Man sū r as-Sabbāgh who writes the
famous na rra tion in h is boo k tha t,
ac co rding to ‘Utbī, onc e h e wa s sitting
be side the P roph et’ s g rav e when a bedou in
came and he sa id: ‘Pea ce b e on you, O
A llāh’ s Me sseng er! I have h ea rd tha t Allāh
say s, “( O b elo ved!) And if th ey had come to
you , when th ey had wrong ed their sou ls,
and a sk ed fo rg iven e ss of A llāh, and the
Me ssenge r also had a sk ed fo rgivene ss fo r
them, the y (on th e ba sis o f this means and
inte rce ssion) would ha ve su re ly found Allāh
the Gran te r o f repen tance , e xtreme ly
Me rc ifu l. ” I have come to you, a sk ing
forg iv ene ss fo r my sin s and I make you a s
inte rce ssor be fore my Lo rd and I have come
to you fo r th is purpo se.’ Th en he re cited
the se v erses: ‘O, the most exa lted among
the buried p eople who imp roved the worth
o f the p lain s and the h illock s! May I
sac rifice my life fo r this g rave wh ich is
made rad iant by you, (th e Proph et,) the one
who is (an embodiment of) me rcy and
forg iv ene ss.’ Then th e b edouin went a way
and I fe ll a sleep . In my dream I saw the
Ho ly Proph et (A). He sa id to me: ‘O
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 41

‘ Utb ī, th e b edouin is righ t, go and g ive him


the good n ews that Allāh ha s fo rg iv en his
sin s. ’ 1
We com e to le arn from the wo r ds jā ’ūka
fastaghfa ru llāha o f the Qur’ ānic ver se that sinn er s an d
wr on g- doer s sho uld a sk Allāh ’s for given ess through the
me an s of the Ho ly Prophet (A) wh ile the wor ds
wa stagh fa ra lahum-u r- ra sūlu f urnish a p roof of his
interce ssion. In la wa jadullāha tawwāb-a r- rah īmā the
proof o f interm e diation is em be dde d in a pre con dition :
se ek for giv ene ss through the m ean s of the
M essen ger (A) an d it is c le ar wh en the Me ssen ge r (A)
a sk e d for givene ss for h is fo llo wer, the act of
interme diation t urne d into an a ct of interc ession an d
thro ugh inter ce ssion the grant of for givene ss itse lf
be come s a me ans of for given e ss.
So me peop le treat mean s an d inte rce ssion as t wo
differ ent thin gs. T here fore, it sho uld be note d that when
the Prophet (A) is elevate d to the off ic e of interc ession,
he can c la im it a s h is right wh ile th is v ery a ct serv e s a s a
me an s in favo ur of h is follo wer.
T he happ enin g of the be do uin h as be en r ecor de d by
the fo llo win g:
1. Bayh a qī in Shu‘ab -ul- īmān (3:495-6#4178 ).
2. I bn Qudām ah in al- Mughn ī (3 :557).
3. Na wa wī in al- Adhkā r (pp. 92-3).
4. I bn ‘Asāk ir in Tahdhīb tā rīkh Dimashq al- kabīr
pop ular ly kno wn as Tā rīkh/Tahdh īb Ibn ‘A sāk ir a s
quote d by Subkī in Shifā’-u s- siqām fī ziyāra t
kha y r-il-anām (pp. 46 -7).
5. I bn Ha ja r Haythamī in a l-Ja wha r-ul-munazzam
(p.51 ).
Be side s, all scho lar s o f rep ute have de scr ibe d in the ir
book s, in chapter s on ‘visitin g the tom b of the ho ly
M essen ger (A)’ or ‘the rit ua ls of ha jj,’ ‘Ut bī’s tra dition

1. Ib n Kath īr, T af sīr -ul -Qur ’ān al -‘az īm (1: 519-20 ).


42 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

that the v illa ger v isite d th e tom b of the M essen ger (A)
to a sk fo r for givene ss.
In a ddition, Imām Qurtubī in h is famo us exe gesis a l-
Jāmi‘ li-ahkām-il-Qu r’ān (5 :265-6) h as r elate d another
happ enin g sim ila r to ‘Ut bī’s tra dition . He say s:
“Abū Sādiq ha s repo rted it from ‘ Alī. A
v illage r came to see u s th ree day s afte r the
bu ria l o f th e Ho ly P roph et (A). He
p laced him se lf nea r the P rophe t’ s g rav e,
sp rin kled its earth o ve r h is bod y and sa id:
‘ O Me ssenge r o f A llāh, you said and we
hav e h eard from you. You rec eived
commands from A llāh and we rec eived
commands from you , and one of th e se
d ivin e commands is wa la w annahum idh
zalamū an fusahum. I t is true tha t I ha ve
wronged my self, the re fo re, you shou ld p ray
for my fo rgiven ess.’ (In re spon se to the
v illage r’ s act of implo ring) h e wa s called
ou t from the g rav e: ‘the re is no doub t tha t
you have been fo rg iven .’”
M uh amma d bin ‘ Ala wī al-Mā lik ī ha s repro duce d the se
t wo oc c urren ce s in his book Mafāh īm yajib an tu sahhah
(pp.157 -8) an d then of fere d a sizz lin g r evie w which is
quite r elevant to o ur context. He write s, “T his episo de ha s
be en rep ro duce d by Imām Na wa wī in the sixth ch apter of
h is famo us book a l-Īdāh, Abū al-Fara j bin Qudāmah in his
book a sh-Sha rh-ul-kab īr an d Man sūr bin Yūn us a l- Buh ūtī
in his book Ka sh shāf-ul-q inā‘ which is a pop ular book in
Ham ba lī school of tho ught.”
M uh amma d bin ‘Ala wī al- Mālik ī expre sse s in his
r evie w an am biva lent attitude to war ds the tra dition s. He
sa id: ‘I cannot po sitiv ely ce rtify the ir a uthent icity, but in
spite of the ir la ck of certa inty, mo st of the tr a dition ists
hav e re lie d on the ir c re dibility. We may on ly a sk if the se
he avy we ights (tra dit ionists an d exe gete s) h ave
r epro duce d disbe lief an d in fidelity, o r they h ave
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 43

r epro duce d som ethin g that tempts p eople to war ds ido latry
or worsh ip of the grav e s? If (m ay Go d for bid) this
happ en s, then it wo uld become a lmo st impossible to sort
o ut the gen uin e book s from the sp ur io us on es, lea din g to
unman a ge a ble ch aos an d conf usion.’

Appe al to the Prophe t (A) for rain duri ng


‘Umar’s tenu re
M ālik a d-Dā r ha s r elate d:
The p eople we re g ripp ed b y famine
du ring th e tenu re of ‘Uma r (b in a l-
Khattāb). Then a Companion walked up to
the P rophe t’ s g ra ve and sa id, “O
Me ssenge r o f A llāh , please a sk fo r ra in
( from A llāh ) fo r your Community who is in
d ire stra its. ” Th en the Companion sa w the
P rophe t (A) in a dream. The
P rophe t(A) said to h im, “Go o ve r to
‘ Umar, give him my regard s and te ll him
that th e rain will come to you . And tell
‘ Umar that h e should b e on h is toe s, he
should b e on h is toe s, (h e shou ld remain
a le rt) .” Then the Companion wen t ov er to
se e ‘Uma r and pa ssed on to him the tid ing s.
On h earing th is, ‘Umar b rok e into a spurt
o f c rying . He said , “O Allāh, I ex e rt my self
to the fu ll until I am comple te ly
e xhau sted .”1

1. R el at ed by Ibn Abī S h aybah in al -Musa nnaf (1 2: 31 -


2 #12051); B ay haqī, Dal ā’il -un-nubuww ah (7:4 7); Ibn
‘ Abd-ul -B arr, al -Ist ī‘āb fī ma‘ri fat-il -ashāb (2: 46 4); S ubkī,
S hi fā’-us-si qām f ī z i yār at khayr -il -anām (p.1 30 ); ‘ Al ī al -
Hi ndī, K anz -ul - ‘ummāl (8: 431#23535); an d Abū Ya‘l ā
Kh al īl bin ‘ Abdull āh Khalī lī Qazwīnī in Kit āb-ul -ir sh ād fī
ma ‘r if at ‘ulamā’-i l -hadī th (1: 313-4), as quot ed by M ahm ūd
S a‘ī d M am dūh in Raf ‘-ul -mi nārah (p.262).
44 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

I bn T aymiyyah ha s en dor se d it s a uthentic ity in his


book Iq tidā ’-us-sirāt- il-mustaqīm mukhālifa t a shāb-il-
jahīm (p.373) . I bn Kathīr h a s conf irm e d the so un dne ss of
it s cha in o f tran sm ission in al- Bidāyah wan-n ihāyah
(5 :167). I bn Abī Khaythamah n arrate d it with the same
ch ain of tran sm ission a s quote d by ‘Asqa lān ī in a l-I sābah
fī tamy īz-is- sahābah (3 :484), wh ile the latter write s in
Fa th-ul-bārī (2:495 -6): “ I bn Abī Shay bah tran sm itted it
with a so un d cha in of t ran smission an d Say f bin ‘Um ar
T amīm ī ha s re cor de d it in al- Futūh-u l-kab īr that the
dr eame r was a Comp anion kno wn a s Bilāl bin al-Hā rith a l-
M uzan ī.” Qa stallān ī ha s r emark e d in a l- Ma wāhib-u l-
laduniy yah (4 :276) that I bn Abī Shay bah h a s narr ate d it
with a so un d cha in o f tran sm ission while Z ur qānī ha s
supporte d Qa stallān ī in his Commenta ry (11:150-1) .
It is quite surpr isin g that som e p eople hav e tr ie d to
dub ev en this so un dly tran sm itted tra dition a s we ak an d,
there fore, lack in g the sin e ws to fa ce a r igoro usly pro bin g
an aly sis, though this is far f rom the truth, they h ave
ma rsh alle d in the ir f avo ur the follo win g o bjection s:
First obje ction: One of its na rrator s is A‘ma sh who is
a do uble-cro ssin g impo stor (mudallis).
Re ply: T hough A‘ma sh is an impo stor, h is tra dition is
pop ular for t wo rea son s whether its so un dn e ss is
prov e d or not:
1. A‘ma sh is r e gar de d a s a secon d- gr a de
impostor, an d th is is a cla ss of impo stors from
who m o ur re ligio us lea de rs recor de d tra ditions in
their a uthentic book s. T herefo re, it is prov e d that
this tra dition n arrate d by A‘m a sh is ac cepte d.
2. If we ac cept this tra dition on ly on the basis of
it s tran sm ission by A‘ ma sh, a s is th e pr actice in
the c ase of thir d- gra de o r even lo wer- gr a de
impostor s, even then the tra dition by A‘m a sh is
like ly to r etain its pop ula rity a s h e ha s copie d it
from Abū Sālih Dh aka wān Sammān. Imām
Dh aha bī comment s: ‘ when A‘m ash be gin s a
tra dition with the wor d ‘an (fro m; thro ugh) th ere is
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 45

a po ssibility of impost ure an d de ception. But if he


r elate s it f rom h is e lder s like I brāh īm, I bn Abī
Wā’ il, Abū Sā lih Sa mmān, etc., th en it is pr e sume d
to po sse ss so un d linka ge (ittisāl).’ 1
In a ddition, I mām Dh aha bī ha s a lso de scr ibe d
h im a s tr ust worthy (th iqah).
Se cond o bje ction: Albānī in h is book a t- Ta wassu l,
ahkāmuhū wa an wa‘uhū o bserve s, “ I do not
a ckno wle dge it a uthentic be ca use the cre dibility
an d memory of Mā lik a d-Dār is not kno wn an d
the se are th e t wo ba sic cr iteria for any a uthentic
na rrator of tr a dition s. I bn Abī Hātim Rāz ī in Kitāb-
u l-ja rh wa t- ta‘dīl [8 :213(4 /1/213)] , while
disc ussin g Mā lik a d-Dār, h as not mention e d any
na rrator exc ept Abū Sālih who ha s ac cepte d any
tra dition from h im, wh ich sho ws that he is
unkno wn . It is also supporte d by the fa ct that I bn
Abī Hātim Rā zī, who h im self wa s a lea din g figure
of I slam an d a m emor iser of tra dition s, h as not
ment ione d anyone of them who h a s prono un ce d
h im tr ust worthy (th iqah). Sim ilarly M un dh irī ha s
r emark e d that h e doe s not kno w him while
Haythamī in h is Majma‘-u z- za wā’id , h as supporte d
h is o bservation …”
Re ply: T his o bjection is r ef ute d by th e bio graph ica l
deta ils wh ich I bn Sa‘ d ha s f urnish e d while
disc ussin g h im amon g the se con d- gra de Me dinan
Suc c e ssor s: ‘M ālik a d- Dār wa s a slav e fr ee d by
‘ Umar bin al-Khattā b. He reporte d tr a dition s from
Abū Bak r a s- Siddīq an d ‘ Uma r, an d Abū Sālih
Sa mmān r eporte d tra dition s from h im. He wa s
kno wn .’ 2
In a ddition, this o bjection is also can ce lle d by
Kh alīlī’ s ( d.446 AH ) comm ent on M āik a d- Dār :

1. Dhahabī, Mī zān-ul -i‘tidāl (2:224).


2. Ib n S ā‘d, at -Tabaqāt-ul -kubr ā (5: 12).
46 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

‘M ālik a d- Dār’ s trust worthin e ss an d re lia bility is


gen era lly a ccepte d an d th e gro up of Suc ce sso rs ha s
e ulo gise d him.’ 1
Be side s, the bio graph ic al sk etch provide d by
‘ Asqalānī also serve s to ne utr alise this o bje ction:
“ Mā lik bin ‘Iyā d, a slav e fr ee d by ‘Um ar, wa s
kno wn a s Mā lik a d- Dār . He ha d seen the Ho ly
Prophet (A) an d hear d tra dition s f rom Abū Bakr.
He ha s tak en tra dition s from Abū Bakr a s- Siddīq
‘ Umar Fār ūq , M u‘ā dh an d Abū ‘Ubay dah, an d
Abū Samm ān an d the t wo son s of this (M ālik a d-
Dār)  ‘ Awn an d ‘Abdullāh  hav e taken
tra dition s from h im.
“ An d Imām Bukhār ī in a t- Tārīkh -ul- kabīr
[7 :304-5 (4/1 /304-5)] , thro ugh r efer ence to Abū
Sā lih, ha s ackno wle dge d a tr a dit ion from him that
‘ Umar is reporte d to hav e sa id durin g the p erio d of
f amin e: ‘I do not shirk re spon sibility but I m ay be
ma de mor e h um ble.’
“ I bn Abī Khaytham ah ha s repro duce d a lon g
tra dition alon g with the se wo r ds ( wh ich we a re
disc ussin g), .. . an d I hav e copie d a tra dition
na rrate d by ‘Abd- ur- Rahm ān bin Sa ‘ īd bin Yar bū‘
M akhz ūm ī with ref erenc e to Mā lik a d- Dār, in
Fa wā’ id Dā wūd b in ‘ Umar an d ad -Dab ī co mpile d
by Ba gha wī. Mā lik a d-Dā r sa id that one day ‘Um ar
c alle d him. He ha d a go ld wallet in h is han d, wh ich
ha d fo ur h un dr e d dinar s in it. He comm an de d h im
to take it to Abū ‘Ubay dah, an d then he na rrate d
the r ema inin g part of the h appen in g.
“ I bn Sa‘ d ha s p lac e d Mālik a d-Dār in the f irst
gro up of Suc ce ssor s amon g the native s of Me dina
an d h a s aver re d that h e ha s taken tra dition s from

1. Ab ū Yā‘l ā Khal īl bin ‘Abdull āh Khalī lī Qazwī nī, Ki tā b-ul -


i rs hād fī ma‘rif at ‘u lamā’-i l -hadī th, as quot ed b y ‘ Abdul l āh
b in M uham m ad bi n Siddī q al -Ghum ārī i n Ir ghā m-ul -
mu bt adī al -ghabī bi -j awāz-it -t awass ul bi an-na bī (p.9 ).
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 47

Abū Bakr a s- Siddīq an d ‘Umar, an d he wa s kno wn.


Abū ‘Ubay dah h as a sserte d that ‘ Umar ha d
appo inte d him the guar dian of his f amily. When
‘ Uthmān wa s e lev ate d to the office of the c aliph,
he appo inte d him a s the m in ister of f inan ce, an d
that is ho w he cam e to be kno wn a s Mā lik a d-Dār
(the m a ster of the ho use).
“ Ism ā‘īl Qā dī h as r eporte d it from ‘Alī bin
M a dīn ī that Mā lik a d-Dār wa s the trea sur er of
‘ Umar. ”1
I bn Hibbān h a s atteste d to the tr ust worthine ss
an d c re dibility of Mā lik a d- Dār in Kitāb -uth- thiqā t
(5 :384).2
No w if M un dhir ī an d Haytham ī in sist that they
do not kno w M ālik a d-Dār, it m ean s that they h ave
not asse rte d anythin g a bo ut his cr e dibility or lack
of cre dibility. Ho wev er there are tra dition ist s of
gr eat rep ute like Imām Bukhār ī, I bn Sa ‘ d, ‘Alī bin
M a dīn ī, I bn Hibbān an d ‘Asqa lān ī who kno w h im.
‘ Asqalānī ha s ev en mentione d h im in Tahdhīb-u t-
tahdhīb (7:226 ; 8:217 ).
It is sho ckin g to le arn that Albān ī giv es weight
to the opin ion of those who do not kno w M ālik a d-
Dār an d pr efer s them to those who kno w h im.
Albān ī ha s disc ar de d the tra dition s of M ālik bin
‘Iy ā d who wa s pop ular ly kno wn by the tit le “ a d-
Dār” wh ile the gr eat Compan ion s appointe d him a s
their m inister be ca use they re lie d on his
tr ust worthine ss. He wa s even giv en the po rtfolio of
f inanc e min iste r — an o ffice that re quir es hone sty,
integrity an d a h uge sen se of re spon sibility. On the
contra ry, Albānī give s cre dence to the tra dition s of
those who en joye d a m uch lo wer stat us than Mālik

1. ‘ Asqal ānī, al -Is ābah f ī t amyī z -is -sahābah (3: 48 4-5 ).


2. M ahm ūd S a‘ īd M amd ūh, Raf ‘-ul-mi nārah (p.2 66). Ibn
Haj ar ‘ As qal ānī also m enti oned in his Tahd hī b-ut -t ah dhīb
(7 :226; 8: 217).
48 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

a d-Dā r. T he fo llo win g ex ample s support my


contention :
1. He ha s prono un ce d Yahy ā bin ‘Uryān Ha ra wī
a s hasan (fa ir) in S ilsila t-u l-ahādīth- is-sah īhah
(1 :49). His ar gument is ba se d on the statement
ma de by Khatīb Ba gh dā dī in Tā rīkh Baghdad
(14 :161) in wh ich h e dec lar es Yahyā bin ‘Uryān
Hara wī a s a tra dition ist of Ba gh da d.
T his statement is quite tran spar ent. Khatīb
Ba gh dā dī ha s a r gue d ne ither in f avo ur of nor
a gain st Yahyā bin ‘Ury ān Hara wī. His stanc e is
ne utra l, a s he ha s not trie d to e sta blish the stature
of h is narr ation s. He ha s not la be lle d them a s
a uthentic or in a uthentic. In sp ite of his post ure of
ne utra lity, it is quite surpr isin g that Albānī ha s
c alle d him fair (ha san).
2. Abū Sa‘ īd Ghif ārī ha s a lso be en prono un ce d a
f air n arrator in S ilsila t-u l-ahādīth- is-sah īhah
(2 :298). After statin g that h e is no lon ger unkno wn
be ca use t wo n arrator s hav e ackno wle dge d
tra dition s from h im, he wr ites, “ So he is a
Suc c e ssor . A gro up o f tho se who hav e comm itted
the tra dit ions to memory h ave ve rif ie d the
a uthenticity of his narr ation s. T herefor e, ‘Ir ā qī ha s
de clare d the narr ation s attribute d to h im a s
a uthentic (isnāduhū jay yid), an d there is no h arm
in it. T his gave me a sen se of satisfa ction an d I felt
de eply contente d.”
T he que stion is why ha s he tr ie d to
discrim inate bet we en Abū Sa‘ īd Gh ifār ī an d Mālik
a d-Dā r?
3. Sā lih bin Kha wwāt h a s a lso be en prono un ce d
c re dible in S ilsila t-ul-ahād īth-is- sah īhah (2 :436)
be ca use a gro up of peop le h as re lie d on his
tra dition s, an d I bn Hibbān h a s ment ione d h im in
Kitāb-u th-th iqā t.
While , a ccor din g to o ur re search , ‘ Asqalānī ha s
de scribe d him a s an a cc eptable n arr ator in Taqrīb-
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 49

u t-tahdh īb (1:359) an d ha s a lso state d that he


be lon ge d to the eighth c atego ry of Succ e sso rs. If
an eighth- gr a de na rrator is bein g describe d a s
c re dible , wh at just ification is there to prono unc e a
f ir st-gra de Suc ce ssor as in cre dible? T he
discrim inat ion seem s to be roote d more in
pr ejudice than re a son.
T herefor e, the silence of I bn Abī Hātim Rāz ī is
ha r dly an ar gument a ga in st the unkno wn stature of
M ālik a d-Dā r be ca use his silence is ba se d on lack
of ev idenc e a bo ut the nar rator. T h us th e a bsence of
ev iden ce an d rea son in g doe s not ref le ct the
unkno win gne ss of th e na rrator, wh ich h is silen ce
ne ither exp la in s nor in dic ate s to war ds any def inite
interpretation . On the contrary , it oppo se s any
attempt to e sta blish the unkno win gne ss of the
na rrator. T her e ar e a n um ber of n arrator s a bo ut
who m I bn Abī Hātim Rā zī h as rema ine d silent
tho ugh other scho lar s h ave ar gue d a bo ut them an d
the book s on tra dition an d relate d issue s a re
r iddle d with sim ilar ex ample s.
Thir d o bje ction: T here is a susp ic ion of
discontin uan ce bet we en Abū Sā lih Dh aka wān
Sa mmān an d Mā lik a d-Dār.
Re ply : T his suspicion is a fa llacy, a s it h as no ba sis in
r eality. In its r ejection, it is suff ic ient to say that
Abū Sā lih like M ālik a d- Dār was a n ative of
M e din a an d he ha s r eporte d tra dition s f rom the
Compan ion s. T herefo re, he is not an impo stor an d
a fr a ud. It m ay also be note d that on ly
contempo rane ity is an a de quate gua rantee for the
conn ection of tran sm ission a s Im ām M uslim ha s
ment ione d the con sen sus on it in the Pr eam ble
(muqaddimah) of h is a s-Sah īh.
Fourth obje ction: T here is no justif ic ation fo r the
so un dne ss of this tr a dition bec a use it entire ly
dep en ds upon a per son whose nam e ha s not been
spe lle d o ut. On ly in the tra dition n arrate d by Sayf
50 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

bin ‘Um ar T amīm ī, h e ha s be en nam e d Bilā l an d


Sa yf h a s de clare d h im as a weak narr ator.
Re ply : T his o bjection is also gro un dle ss, bec a use
justification do es not depen d on Bilāl but on
‘ Umar bin a l-Kh attāb’ s a ct. He did not prevent
Bilā l from p erform in g h is a ct; on th e contrary, he
a ckno wle dge d it. He rather h im se lf cr ie d an d said:
‘my Creator, I do not sh irk r espon sibility but I may
be ma de mo re h um ble.’ T herefor e the per son
v isitin g the grav e, whethe r h e is a Compan ion or a
Suc c e ssor , do es not aff ect the so un dn ess of the
tra dition.
T he gist of the disc ussion is that the tra dition re late d
by Mā lik a d-Dār is so un d, a s I hav e state d in the ear lier
pa rt of my expo sition . M uh amma d bin ‘Ala wī a l-Mā lik ī
wr ite s:
“All those peop le who ha ve made
re fe ren ce to th is trad ition or narra ted it o r
rep roduc ed it in th eir book s ha ve ne ve r
labelled it d isbe lief o r in fid elity. They ha ve
no t que stioned the sub stance o f the
trad ition and it has b een mentioned by a
scho la rly pe rson of high le ve l lik e Ibn
Ha ja r ‘A sqa lānī who ha s con firmed it a s a
soundly transmitted tradition . The re fo re his
con firmation n eed s no apo logy in v ie w o f
h is h ighly distingu ish ed sta ture among the
had īth- scho la rs.”1
T his tra dit ion e sta blishe s the follo win g pr inc iples:
1. Visitin g gr ave s with the intention of me diation an d
se ekin g h elp .
2. It is va lid to v isit the gr ave of a p io us dea d per son
dur in g the pe rio d of one’ s tria ls an d tribulation s to

1. M uhamm ad bi n ‘Al awī al-M āli kī, Mafāhī m yaj ib an


t us ahhah (p. 151).
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 51

se ek he lp from him bec a use if this a ct we re


invalid, ‘ Umar wo uld sure ly hav e for bidden that
pe rson to do so .
3. T he Prophet’ s appea ranc e in the dre am o f the
pe rson who v isite d h is gr ave an d to giv e him goo d
tidin gs, ar gues in f avo ur of the f act that it is quite
va lid to se ek help from non-Allāh an d the dea d
be ca use if it were inva lid, it wo uld have been
impossible for the Proph et (A) not to h ave
for bidden that per son to do so.
4. Va lidation of the mo de of a ddre ss “ O Me ssen ge r of
Allāh (yā ra sūl A llāh)” ev en after the M essen ger’ s
de ath.
5. Ca ll for h elp an d th e a ct of interme diation date s
ba ck to the e arly a ges.
6. T he ho ly per sona lity of the Prophet (A) is a
fo unta in of guidan ce even after h is de ath.
7. T he hea d of the state is r espon sible for
a dm in istrat ive m atters. T he Ho ly Proph et(A), in
spite of be in g the ch ief o f prophet s, did not br eak
the state chann el an d, a s a visible demon stration of
h is sen se of discip line, he comman de d the man
v isitin g h is grav e to see the he a d of the state.
8. T he man visitin g the grave implo re d his he lp
thro ugh the instr um entality o f the Ummah. T his
sho ws the Prophet’ s im mea sur a ble lov e for the
Comm un ity of his fo llo we rs.
9. Just ification for m akin g th e Ummah as a so urce for
se ekin g h is he lp.
10. Just ification fo r mak in g non-prophet a m ean s of
he lp in the pr e senc e of the Prophet (A).
11. Anyon e who stren gthens his link with the Ho ly
Prophet (A) is r e war de d by h is sight an d is
sho were d with h is ble ssin gs.
12. T he Ho ly Proph et (A), even afte r his death, is
a war e of the we akne ss of h is Ummah or anyone of
it s r ulers an d he issue s diff erent comman ds for
r emovin g the se fla ws.
52 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

13. T o seek guidan ce f rom Allāh’ s f avo urite s.


14. T he a ckno wle dgement of th e Prophet’ s comman ds
by the Compan ions after h is death a s just an d
tr uthful.
15. Impo sition of comman ds rec eiv e d in dre ams on
other s.
16. When interm e diation wa s disc usse d in the pre sen ce
of ‘ Uma r bin al-Khattā b, h e did not fo r bid it;
r ather he cr ie d an d r espon de d to it ackno wle dgin g
it a s va lid.
17. ‘ Umar bin al- Khattā b’ s love fo r the Ho ly
Prophet(A) that h e in ce ssantly crie d a s som eone
ment ione d the Holy Prophet (A).

Appe al to the Prophet (A ) du rin g ‘Uth mān ’s


ten ure
T he f amo us tra dition n arr ate d by ‘Uthmān bin Hun ayf
with r efer ence to th e Prophet’ s life wa s disc usse d in detail
in wh ich a blin d m an submitte d his petit ion to the Ho ly
Prophet (A) an d his ey e sight was re store d thro ugh his
me an s. No w we wo uld like to exp la in that this mo de wa s
not conf ine d to his lif e on earth alon e, but the
Compan ion s re lie d on it even a fter his death. It is cle ar
from T a bar ānī’ s tra dition that a pe rson v isite d ‘Uthmān
bin ‘ Affān on a per sona l erran d. ‘ Uthmān bin ‘Aff ān not
on ly wa s in differ ent to h im but also turn e d a deaf e ar to
h is ne e d. T hat per son met ‘Uthmān bin Hun ayf an d lo dge d
h is complaint a ga in st it. ‘ Uthmān bin Hun ayf sa id to him :
‘f etch an e arthen pot an d perfor m the a blution , then go to
the mo sque an d of fer t wo cyc le s o f pray er an d say :
O A llāh, I be seech you and submit
my se lf to you th rough the med ia tion o f ou r
P rophe t Muhammad (A), a me rc ifu l
P rophe t. O Muhammad! I submit to my
Lord through you r means so tha t He shou ld
fulfil my ne ed.
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 53

An d then m ention yo ur n ee d.’ T he man went a way an d


he did a s he wa s to ld to do. L ater when h e arr ive d at
‘ Uthmān bin ‘Aff ān’ s door , the porter c a ught him by his
han d an d took h im to ‘Uthmān bin ‘ Affān who m a de h im
sit be side h im on the m at an d a ske d h im : ‘ wh at is yo ur
ne e d?’ He m entione d the n ee d an d the ca liph f ulfille d his
ne e d an d sa id to h im: ‘ why haven ’t yo u ment ione d yo ur
ne e d so fa r?’ He told h im f urther: ‘ do com e to me
wh enev er yo u hav e a p ro blem?’ When the m an left his
p lac e, he met ‘Uthmān bin Hun ayf an d said to him: ‘ May
Go d ble ss yo u! He n either gave any tho ught to my n ee d
nor t urne d h is attention to m e until yo u re commen de d me
to him .’ ‘ Uthmān bin Hun ayf r eplie d:
B y God ! I d id no t talk to h im, but once I
wa s in th e company o f th e Me ssenge r o f
A llāh (A) tha t a blind man came ove r to
se e h im and compla ined to him abou t the
loss of his ey e sigh t. The P rophe t (A)
a sk ed him to b e patien t, but h e said: ‘O
Me ssenge r o f Allāh! I don’t ha ve any gu ide
and I am in g rea t trouble.’ The
P rophe t(A) said: ‘ fe tch an ea rthen po t
and p e rfo rm th e ab lution, then offe r two
c yc le s of p ray er and implo re A llāh with
the se p ray ing wo rd s.’ Then ( ‘Uthmān) b in
Huna yf said: ‘By God! We had ne ithe r gone
ou t far a way from the m ee ting no r had the
con ve rsation among u s stretched ou t tha t
the man came to u s a s if h e had n ev er b een
b lind. ’ 1

1. R el at ed by T abarānī i n al -Mu‘jam-ul-kab īr (9 :31# 83 11) and


a l -Mu‘j am-us -s aghīr (1: 183-4); B ayhaq ī, Dal ā ’il -un-
n ubuww ah (6: 167-8); Mundhi rī, at -Targhī b wa t -tarh īb
(1 :474-6); S ubkī, Shif ā’-us -siq ām f ī zi yārat kha yr-il -a nām
(p. 125); Hayt hamī, Majma‘-uz -zaw ā’id (2:279 ); and Su yū tī
54 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

‘ Uthmān bin Hun ayf taught him the supplic ation that
ha d been use d a s the so urc e o f the Prophet’ s he lp an d
suc co ur after his death. T he point to be noted is that the
pe rson wa s un der the illusion that h is n ee d ha d been
f ulfille d on acco unt of ‘Uthmān bin Hunayf’ s
r ecommen dation to the ca liph. So ‘Uthmān bin Hun ayf
instantly sh e d his illusion an d re late d to him the tra dition
he ha d h ear d f rom the Prophet (A) an d h a d him self p ut
to te st to prov e that his n ee d was f ulf ille d beca use h e ha d
r elie d on th e me ans of the Proph et (A) by ca llin g on h im
an d seek in g h is he lp. He swor e by Go d an d convin ce d h im
that he ha d not re commen de d him to the c aliph but it ha d
a ll happ ene d thro ugh the ble ssin g of the Proph et’s
me diation .

Ibn Taymiyyah’s endorse me nt


I bn T aym iyyah h as re late d a story in th e pe rsp ectiv e of
this tra dition that I bn Abī Duny ā h as nar rate d a tra dition
in his book Mujāb ī ad-du‘ā’ that a p er son cam e over to
se e ‘Abd- ul-M alik bin Sa ‘īd bin Abjar . ‘Abd- ul- Malik
pr esse d his belly an d told him that he wa s suff erin g from
an inc ur a ble disea se . T he man a ske d h im: ‘ what is it?’
‘ Abd- ul- Ma lik rep lie d that it was a kin d of ulc er that
gro ws inside the be lly an d ult imately k ills the man . It is
sa id that the patient turn e d ro un d an d then h e sa id:
A llāh! A llāh ! A llāh is my Lo rd. I rega rd
no one a s His riva l or pa rtn e r. O Allāh! I
be seech You and submit my se lf to You
through th e med iation o f You r P rophe t
Muhammad (A), the m erciful P rophe t. O
Muhammad! Th rough you r mean s I submit
my se lf to you r and my Lord tha t He shou ld
take mercy on me in my state of illn e ss.

i n al -Khas ā’is -ul -kubrā (2: 201-2). M undhirī graded i t s ahīh


(s ound).
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 55

It is said th at ‘Abd- ul-M alik pr e sse d h is be lly a ga in


an d sa id: ‘yo u ar e c ure d, yo u ar e no lon ger suffer in g from
any dise ase.’ I bn T aymiyyah after re cor din g the who le
incident in h is book, comment s:
I sa y tha t this and o the r fo rms o f
supplica tion ha ve been tak en o ve r from ou r
p red ece sso rs.1
T he note worthy po int is that I bn T aymiyy ah h a s also
en do rse d it that (1 ) it is an act of o ur pr e de ce sso rs, an d (2)
it is quite va lid to r ecov er from dise ase thro ugh this act.

P roof of ritualistic assignme nt


T he t wo tra dit ions a lso m ake it clear that the p ractice of
r itualistic a ssignm ent by the sa intly p eople to other s is a
va lid act be ca use this h as been the pr actice of Allāh’ s
f avo urite s in the p ast. T he Prophet (A) ha d not a ske d
‘ Uthmān bin Hunay f, tho ugh, to pa ss it to other peop le.

The Prophet (A) wiel ds authori ty even after


his death
So me peop le, on acco unt o f the ir ignoran ce an d p a uc ity of
kno wle dge, expre ss the v ie w that the Holy Proph et (A)
a fter h is death wields no a uthority an d he c an n either he ar
us nor can he p ray fo r us. May Allāh guar d the be liever s
a gain st such a perv er se v ie w! No M uslim with so un d
be lief c an eve r conc eiv e such a po ssibility. Appe al to an d
interme diation thro ugh the Ho ly Prophet (A) a re
e sta blishe d fact s suppo rte d by evidenc e from the Qur ’ān
an d the sunnah an d they are a proof of h is stat ure an d
distin ction. T ho se who do not believ e in c allin g him or
interme diation thro ugh the Prophet (A) after h is death
do not un de rstan d his exception al stat us.

1. Ib n Taymi yyah, Qā‘i dah jalīl ah fit -t awass ul w al -wa sīl ah


(p. 91).
56 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

It is p art of the belief of Ah l- us- Sunn ah wa l- Jamā ‘ah


that a dea d per son c an h ear, po sse sse s a waren ess, benef its
from the v irt uo us de e ds of the liv in g an d is dist ur be d by
their wicke d dee ds. T he point that clamo ur s fo r attention
is that this be lief h a s been e sta blishe d through the
exp erienc e of an or din ary m an. Wh en an or dinary per son
c an exerc ise such po wer, ho w can we po ssibly deny it to
the Prophet (A) who is the mo st supe rior p er son amon g
Allāh’ s cre atur es? Var io us a uthentic tra dition s te stify to
the r ea lity that the Prophet (A) is alive ev en afte r his
de ath. It so un ds like a par a dox to p erve rse e ars but in his
c a se it is a s tr ue a s the da ily sunrise . He returns o ur
gr eetin gs, the aff air s of the Umm ah are r eporte d to h im,
he a sks for givene ss from Allāh over the evil de e ds of the
Ummah an d pra ise s an d glor if ie s Him ov er h er goo d
de e ds. It is state d in a n um ber of tr a dition s that on ce
M ar wān sa w Abū Ayy ūb a l-An sārī ly in g do wn ove r the
Prophet’ s grav e an d a ske d h im wh at h e was doin g. Abū
Ayy ūb a l-An sārī gav e a fa ith-fre sh enin g rep ly. T he
tra dition is re cor de d belo w:
I t is a ttributed to Dā wūd b in Abī Sālih.
He say s: ‘on e day Ma rwān came and he
sa w tha t a man wa s ly ing do wn with his
mouth tu rned clo se to th e P rophe t’ s g rav e.
Then he (Ma rwān) sa id to h im, “Do you
kno w wha t a re you doing? ” Wh en he mo ved
towa rd s him, h e sa w that it wa s Abū A yyūb
a l-An sā rī. (In reply) he said, “Ye s, (I kno w)
I have come to the Messenge r o f A llāh (A)
and not to a stone. I hav e hea rd it from the
Me ssenge r o f God (A) not to c ry o ve r
re lig ion when its guard ian is compe ten t.
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 57

Ye s, sh ed tea rs ove r re lig ion when its


gua rdian is incompetent.’ 1
Hākim de clare d th at it f ulf ils the re quir ements of
a uthentic tra ditions a s dem an de d by Bukhār ī an d M uslim,
wh ile Dhaha bī h as a lso ca lle d it sah īh ( so un d).

Appe al to the Prophet ( A) on the Day of


Ju dge ment
On the Day of Judgem ent the Ho ly Prophet (A) will act
a s a me ans o f for givene ss for the be liev er s. T he Qur ’ān
st ates:
O ou r Lo rd! B le ss us with all tha t you
hav e p romised u s th rough you r me ssenge rs
and do no t humilia te u s on the Day o f
Judg ement. Surely You do no t go bac k on
Your Wo rd.2
In the light o f this ver se , the div ine promise m a de to
a ll the prophet s is her e actin g a s a m ean s. All the re war ds
prom ise d to other proph ets c arry spec ia l sign ificanc e for
the follo wer s of the Holy Prophet (A) thro ugh his
me an s. On the Day of Judgement, gr ille d by the
un be ara ble h eat, the entire mankin d will ra lly ro un d the
proph ets but ea ch proph et will te ll th em to mov e on to
some othe r prophet until the whole mank in d will rally
ro un d the Ho ly Prophet (A). T he follo win g is an a gre e d-
upon tra dition :

1. R el at ed by Ahm ad bin Hambal wit h a s ound ch ain of


t ransmi ss ion i n his Musnad (5: 422); Hākim, al -Must ad ra k
(4 :515); Tabarānī, al -Mu‘jam-ul -kabīr (4: 15 8# 3 999 ), al -
Mu‘j am-ul -aws at (1:199-200#286; 10:169# 93 62); S ub kī,
S hi fā’-us-si qām fī zi yārat khayr -il -anām (p.113 ); Hayt hamī,
Majma‘-uz -zaw āi ’d (5:245); ‘Alī al -Hindī in K anz-ul -
‘u mmāl (6: 88#14967).
2. Qur’ ān (Āl ‘Imrān, t he F amil y of ‘ Im rān) 3: 19 4.
58 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

The Holy Proph et(A) sa id: ‘ wh en it is


the Day o f Judgement, peop le, out o f
ne rvousn ess, will call on on e ano the r. F irst
o f a ll, they will call on Adam (D) and
requ est him to interced e on the ir behalf
be fo re Allāh but he will turn down th eir
requ est b y say ing tha t today it is beyond his
po we r to he lp th em out and he will adv ise
them to call on Ib rāhīm (D) b ecau se h e is
the Friend of A llāh. So p eople will ca ll on
Ib rāh īm (D) who will also ex cu se him self
by sa ying tha t he is no t in a po sition to he lp
them, the re fore, the y shou ld go to
Mūsā (D ) be cau se he is A llāh’ s
inte rlocu to r. The y will go to Mū sā (D ) and
he will a lso e xpress h is inability to he lp
them and adv ise them to see ‘Ī sā (D)
be cau se he is th e sou l c rea ted by A llāh and
His wo rd. They will go to ‘Ī sā (D) and he
will a lso tell them tha t he is no t able to
he lp th em, the re fore, th ey should go to
Muhammad (A) (be cause he is the
be lov ed o f God) . So a ll human be ing s will
rally round m e and I will tell them: ‘ ye s,
( today) I hold th e o ffic e o f in te rc ession.’ I
will seek p ermission from my Lo rd and I
will be g ranted the pe rmission. Th en He
will insp ire me to p raise and g lo rify Him
with su ch p ra ises, wh ich I cannot de sc ribe
a t this time. (In sho rt,) I will pra ise and
g lorify A llāh with tho se p ra ise s and
p ro strate myself be fore Him. Then I will be
told: ‘O Muhammad, ra ise you r radian t
head , sp eak and you will be hea rd, demand
and you will be blessed with it, and
inte rcede (on beha lf o f you r peop le ), you r
inte rce ssion will b e gran ted .’ So I will
imp lore: ‘O Lo rd! My Ummah, my
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 59

Ummah!’ God shall command: ‘go and ta ke


h im out of th e He ll, who soe ve r is le ft with
faith e ven a s small a s th e g rain of ba rle y.’
So I will go and do so (I will take all such
peop le out of He ll). Then I will re tu rn and
p raise and g lo rify Him with tho se p raise s
and I will p ro stra te myself b efo re Him. So I
will be commanded: ‘ O Muhammad, ra ise
you r rad ian t head , spea k and you will be
hea rd, beg and you will b e b le ssed with it,
inte rcede (on b ehalf of you r p eople) and
you r inte rce ssion will b e g ranted.’ I will
imp lore: ‘O Lo rd! My Ummah, my
Ummah!’ I will b e commanded: ‘go and
take him out of Hell too, whoso ev er is left
with fa ith e ven a s small a s th e tin y g ra in o f
ry e.’ So I will go and do so . Then I will
re tu rn and p raise and g lorify Him with the
same p raise s and I will aga in p ro stra te
my se lf b efo re Him. So I will b e commanded,
‘ O Muhammad, ra ise you r rad iant h ead,
spea k and you will be h eard , b eg and you
will be b le ssed with it and inte rced e (on
beha lf o f your peop le) , your in te rce ssion
will be g ran ted.’ I will implo re: ‘O Lo rd!
My Ummah, my Ummah!’ I will be
commanded: ‘go and ta ke him out (o f Hell)
who soev e r is le ft with th e tin ie st faith, e ven
sma lle r than a g ra in o f rye. Take such a
pe rson ou t of He ll.’ Ac co rding ly I will go
and do so (I will take them ou t o f He ll).
( Hasan has add ed a fe w more word s to the
trad ition narra ted by Ana s. The ho ly
P rophe t (A) sa id:) ‘I will retu rn the
fourth time, and I will p ra ise and g lo rify
the Lo rd in the same wa y, th en I will
p ro strate my se lf b efo re Him. So I will be
commanded: ‘O Muhammad, ra ise you r
60 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

radian t head, and sp eak, you will b e hea rd,


beg and you will b e blessed with it, and
inte rcede (on beha lf o f you r peop le ), you r
inte rce ssion will b e gran ted .’ At that time I
will implo re th e Lo rd tha t I shou ld be
a llo wed to tak e ou t a p e rson from He ll who
ha s rec ited lā ilāh a illallāh u ( the re is no
de ity ex cept A llāh ) e ven once in h is life
( from the co re of his hea rt) . The Lo rd will
rep ly, I swea r by My honou r, g lory,
g rea tne ss and sup remity that I will libe ra te
a pe rson from th e fire o f He ll who ha s e ven
onc e rec ited lā ilāha illa llāh u ( the re is no
de ity exc ept Allāh).1
T his tra dition h as prove d, witho ut any p artic le of
do ubt, that on th e Day of Re surr ection the proc e ss of

1. R el at ed t h rough di fferent narrators by Bukh ārī in his as -


S ahīh, b.of t awhīd (Is lami c m onotheism ) ch.36 (6: 2727 -
8 #7072), b. of ī mān (faith) ch.32 (1: 24-5#44), b. of a mbi yā’
(p rophets ) ch.5, 12 (3:1215-6, 1226#3162,318 2), b. o f t afs īr
(ex egesi s of the Qur’ ān) ch.3, 203 (4: 1624 -5, 1745 -7 #
4 206, 4435), b. of ri qāq (s oft eni ng of heart s) ch.5 1(5:2 401#
6 197), b. of t awh īd, ch.19,24,37 (6:2695 -6, 2 708 -9,
2 730#6975,7002, 7078). Muslim, as -Sahī h, b. of ī mān
(fai t h) ch.84 (1: 182-4# 193); Ti rmi dh ī, al -Jā mi ‘-us -s ahīh,
b . of sif at -ul -qi yāmah (t he des cri pti on of Doo ms day ) ch. 10
(4 :622-4# 2434). Ahm ad bin Ham bal has reco rded it in h is
Musnad (1: 4-5, 281-2; 2:435-6; 3:116, 244,247-8) i n s ix
d i fferent cont exts t hrough di fferent narrat ors and al l t hes e
co nt exts are l ink ed t hrough a sound chain o f t rans mis si on.
Dārimī narrat ed it i n hi s Sunan (2: 234-5# 2807); Abū
Dāwūd T ayāl isī, Musnad (pp. 268-9#2010); Abū ‘Awānah,
Musnad (1: 171-4, 183-4); Ibn Abī S haybah, al -Mu sa nn af
(1 1: 444-51#11720-1,3); Abū Ya‘l ā, Musand (1: 56 -9#5 9);
Ib n Hibbān, as-Sahī h (14: 377-9, 393-7# 646 4,6 467 );
B ayhaqī, Shu‘a b-ul-īmān (1:285-6#308 -9 ); B aghawī,
S harh-us -s unnah (15:157-60#4333); Haythamī in Mawār id -
u z -z am’ān (pp. 642-3#2589) and Maj ma ‘-uz -z awā’id
(1 0: 373-4).
T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 61

judgement an d a cco unta bility will be initiate d through the


me diation of the Prophet’s pr ayer, pr aise an d glorification
of the Lor d. An d on a cco unt of the Prophet’ s m e diation,
the p roce ss of acco unta bility will start with his Umm ah so
that they do not h ave to stay lon ger than ne ce ssary in the
scor chin g heat o f the Day of Resur rect ion. T he Qur’ān ha s
a lso exp la ine d in the context of the Day of Judgement:
(I t will be the day ) when A llāh will
d isg ra ce n eithe r His P roph et no r the peop le
who embrac ed fa ith along with him. (On
that day ) the ir light (o f fa ith ) will k eep
sp rin ting ahead of them and on the ir righ t
sid e.1
T he Qur’ān ic ver se sp ells o ut in unm istak a ble term s
that Allāh will not h umiliate the follo wer s of the L ast
Prophet (A) thro ugh the mean s of h is blessin g; on the
other han d, He will a llo w the m to enter Pa ra dise, with all
the glo ry an d sp len do ur a sso ciate d with such an o cca sion.
A visible proof of the div ine conce ssion will be the
env elop in g light to wh ich they will be entitle d th ro ugh the
me an s of Allāh’ s Proph et (A).

Mutual relation be tween appeal for hel p,


in terme diati on an d inte rcession
Anothe r point worth notin g in the context of istighāthah is
that wh en we ca ll someon e for he lp, it also seem s to
support the re lev anc e of the re late d con cept s of
interme diation an d interce ssion. T he fo llo win g Qur’ān ic
ve rse clear ly link s the thr ee conc epts by explain in g the ir
m ut ua lly rein forc in g ro le :
( O b elo ved!) And if th ey had come to
you , when th ey had wrong ed their sou ls,
and a sk ed fo rg iven e ss of A llāh, and the
Me ssenge r also had a sk ed fo rgivene ss fo r

1. Qur’ ān (at -Tahrī m, P rohi bit ion) 66:8.


62 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

them, the y (on th e ba sis o f this means and


inte rce ssion) would ha ve su re ly found Allāh
the Gran te r o f repen tance , e xtreme ly
Me rc ifu l.1
T his Qur’ ānic ver se clear ly ar gue s in f avo ur of
interme diation. It m ean s when peop le hav e committe d sin,
an d th ey se ek the m e diat ion of the holy Proph et (A) in
their supplic ation to Allāh an d th e Prophet (A) also
pr ays for the ir for given ess, then th ey will f in d Allāh
Compa ssion ate an d Mer cif ul. Fa stagh faru llāh ar gues for
interce ssion. When Allāh con don e d their sin thro ugh the
interce ssion of the Me ssen ger (A), it mean s that
interce ssion is v alidate d by the Qur’ ānic t ext. An d the
thir d con cept of istighāthah is in fa ct a proof of seek in g
someon e’ s a ssistanc e. Wh en a man r eturn s to the ho ly
Prophet (A) fo r the for givene ss o f h is sin s, it c lear ly
me an s that he is a skin g for h is interc ession: “ O M essen ger
of Allāh , I am a sinner . Have m ercy on me an d interc e de
for me befor e Allāh so th at He may con done my sins.”
T his desir e of the sinne r, in fa ct, amo unts to istighā thah
( se ekin g h elp from other s) while the Prophet’ s re a dine ss
to implor e Allāh for the for given ess of h is sin s is
interce ssion.

Seek his hel p today


T he gist of th e disc ussion is th at it is a f utile ex erc ise to
prov e ar gument s a gain st appe al to the Prophet (A) for
he lp an d to e sta blish a uthentic tra dit ions a s weak an d
invalid thro ugh self -conco cte d strate gie s Accor din g to the
Prophet’ s o wn statement, the ben ef it of h is ble ssin gs is
st ill a tan gible r ea lity a s it wa s dur in g his e arthly life ; his
de ath ha s not chan ge d this re ality. An d it is f urther
r einfor ce d by the tra dition with an impe cca ble ch ain of

1. Qur’ ān (an-Ni sā’, W om en) 4:64.


T he Meani n g of Appeal t o t he Pr ophet (A) 63

tran smission that on the Day of Judgement, the proc ess of


a cco unta bility will be in itiate d on his r ecomm en dation.
L et’s briefly spec ulate on the Day of Judgement. T he
he at an d warmth will be at its climax . T he peop le will fa ce
de ep distress. T h e Lor d will be pr e sent in His cha ir. T he
Ho ly Proph et (A) will a lso hono ur th e gather in g with
h is pre sen ce an d all the p rophets will accomp any h im. T he
e arlie r be liever s an d the later on es will also form p art of
the a udienc e. In this scenar io, wh en these p eople,
pr esum in g Adam (D ) a s the first ance stor, will c all on
h im an d re quest him to h elp them o ut of the ir trouble , but
he will sen d them on to I brāh īm (D ), who will r efer them
to M ūsā (D ), who will dir ect them to se e ‘Ī sā (D) an d
f ina lly he will sen d a ll of them to th e Prophet
M uh amma d(A), the interce ssor of mankin d. Durin g the
who le proc e ss, non e of the hono ur e d proph ets will say :
‘ what disbelief a re yo u pe rpetratin g an d wh at have yo u
com e to us for ? Allāh Him se lf is ther e, why don’t yo u go
to Him ?’ On the other han d, they will de spatch them
willin gly an d exp ectantly to the Ho ly Prophet (A) so
that he may inte rce de on their beh alf befo re Go d. T hus we
com e to re alise that appea l for he lp an d interm e diation is a
contin uo us pro ce ss, uninterr upte d by the ex igenc ie s of
spa ce an d tim e an d una ffecte d by the la ws of phy sica l
ex istence , an d on the Day of Judgement a con sen sus
amon g the proph ets will em er ge on the con cept ua l an d
pr actic al re lev ance of istighāthah . T he subtle point to note
is that when the fir st per sona lity in the wor ld of h umanity
comm itte d error, he off ere d to the Lor d the me diation of
the Ho ly Prophet (A) an d a s a re sult his er ror wa s
con don e d. T he Proph et’s me diation r eliev e d him of the
a gony h e h a d been suff erin g from as a conse quen ce of his
e rror. Sim ilarly on the Day of Judgem ent wh en life on
e arth will come to an en d an d th e p eople will exper ien ce
the a gony of wa itin g in un certa in antic ipation of the
pro ce ss of a cco unta bility, they will ca ll the ho ly
Prophet(A) for h elp an d will be liberate d from the ir
tortur e on ly through the mean s of the Holy Prophet (A).
64 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

It is no w tran spar ent from th ese examp le s that the f irst


man in the world of h uman ity wa s re lieve d of his a gony
thro ugh the me diation of the Proph et (A) , an d the wor ld
is dra win g to a c lo se an d m ankin d is p assin g thro ugh the
tortur e of waitin g in a superh eate d env ironment, they will
a lso be r eliev e d of the ir or dea l thro ugh the m ean s of the
Prophet (A) . Fort unate are the p eople who even to day
ho ld on to th is be lief an d will a lso witne ss this scenar io
on the Day of Judgem ent.
All these tra dition s an d proo fs re inforc e the r ea lity of
istighā thah an d interme diation an d en dor se th em a s valid
r eligio us con cept s, an d not a s f igment s of the fr enz ie d
ima gination. If, in sp ite of the se ir ref uta ble in dicator s,
someon e still tr ie s to r ef ute them, he is liv in g in a wor ld
of fanta sy an d self- fa br icat ion beca use they rema in
un supporte d both by ar gument an d pre ce dent.
Chapter 3

Justificatio n of Istighāthah
after Death

So me p eople, in sp ite of th eir a waren e ss of the in junction s


of Qur’ ān an d sunnah an d the pra ctic e of th e Compan ion s,
be lieve that it is po ssible to h elp one another in the e arthly
wo rld an d therefor e, it is v alid to seek an d exten d he lp,
but afte r de ath the cr eat ure h a s no control ov er h is bo dy,
so ho w can he lp be so ught from h im? Since it is beyon d
h is control to he lp other s, se ekin g he lp from him is a form
of disbe lief.
T his p ig-he a de dne ss nee ds a t wofo ld ela boration . First
of all, it is an e sta blishe d fa ct that the cre ature, whether he
is a liv e or re stin g in his grav e, h a s a bso lutely no control
ove r h is bo dy in both c ases. T he se po we rs a re on ly
con ferr e d on h im by Allāh, which we ex erc ise dur in g o ur
wo rldly ex isten ce to han dle a v ariety of m atters. It, in
f act, is Allāh ’s ble ssin g on the creat ur e an d, if Allāh
de cides to with dra w it from h im dur in g his earth ly lif e, he
will be dep riv e d ev en of the cap ac ity to p ull a stra w. So,
just as in th is world of ca use- an d-ef fect, Allāh ha s
a bso lute control ove r all the po we rs of the c reat ur e, an d
yet it is not a kin d of disbelie f to seek he lp f rom h im,
sim ilar ly Allāh doe s not con demn it a s disbe lief if
someon e se eks he lp f rom another cr eat ure after de ath. Just
a s in lif e it is disbelief to r e gar d the cre atur e as the rea l
he lper but his h elp can be deriv ative ly invok e d, similar ly
it is quite va lid to re gar d the proph ets an d sa ints, a s
de rivat ive h elp er s a fter de ath an d to be see ch them for
he lp. Disbelief wh ether it is assoc iate d with a liv in g
65
66 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

pe rson or a dea d pe rson r ema in s disbe lief. But to seek


he lp from som eone in h is de riv ative cap ac ity wh ether he
is dea d or a liv e is quite v alid an d doe s not amo unt to
disbelief . I slam do e s not be lieve in do uble stan dar ds that
an act is a form of belie f if yo u pe rform it in a mo sque an d
it t urn s into disbe lief if yo u perform it in a t emple. I slam ic
injunct ions an d the con se quence s that fo llo w f rom them
disp lay a con sistent p attern. T hus, if we treat a me dica l
exp ert a s the tr ue h elpe r an d se ek h is assistance , it will be
con sider e d a form of disbelief. On the other h an d, if we
r e gar d Allāh a s the true he lper an d seek the he lp of a
v irtuo us p er son a s a form of tre atment, it is quite valid
an d is in no way incon sistent with I slamic sha rī‘ah .
T he re al p urpose of a man’ s life is to be inc lude d
amon g the f avo urite s of Go d an d to a c quir e a s m uch
kno wle dge of the div ine spr in gs of Po wer a s is con sistent
with h um an limitation s. T herefor e, to re alise this p urpose,
h uman bein gs r ely on the sa ints an d the virt uo us peop le
be ca use they not on ly them se lve s hav e c ultivate d div ine
con scio usne ss but a lso develop it in tho se who ar e clo se ly
a ssoc iate d with them . T his is the r ea son we f in d
I br āhīm( D) pray in g to Go d to inc lude h im amon g His
f avo urite s so that h e co uld pe rsua de h is fo llo wer s to
p ur sue a similar goal:
O my Lo rd! Make me pe rfec t in
kno wledg e and conduc t and inc lude me
among those whom You hav e rewa rd ed with
Your nea rne ss.1
Here , the wor d hukman m ean s the a cme of h uman
c apa city fo r kno wle dge an d con duct. Qā dī T hanā ’ ullāh
Pān īpatī say s:
That is, to bring kno wledg e and conduc t
to such a climactic po int tha t one dev elop s
the complete ability to rep re sen t the
sublime o ffic e o f div in ity and to p rov ide

1. Qur’ ān (as h-Shu‘arā’, t he Poet s ) 26:83.


Jus t i f i cat i on of Is t i ghāt hah af t er Dea t h 67

un fla wed guidanc e and po litical leade rsh ip


to humanity.1
Im ām Rā zī write s:
“Wh en a cquisition o f kno wledge as the
meaning o f hu kman ha s b een e stablished, it
is equally e stablished a t the same time tha t
he ( the P rophe t Ibrāh īm) p ray ed to Allāh
for the kind o f kno wledg e tha t gua ranteed
h is tota l ab sorp tion in th e divin e qualitie s
and a ttributes, a kno wledge who se pu rity
se rv es a s a se lf-ad ju sting filte r to d riv e ou t
a ll impuritie s. ”
He f urthe r comm ents:
And th is kno wledg e p ro ve s that the
d ivin e knowledg e or consciou sne ss
de ve lops in th e hea rt o f a c rea ture by
A llāh’ s will and Ibrāh īm’s supp lica tion 
and inc lude me among those whom You
hav e re ward ed with You r nea rne ss  is a
po inte r to th e fa ct that fo r a c rea tu re to be
sain tly o r v irtuou s is exc lu sive ly the
ou tcome o f A llāh’ s will.2
T herefor e, the ac quisition of divin e kno wle dge is
ma de po ssible only by m ean s of th e v irt uo us an d pio us
peop le . T o be a ssoc iate d with them an d to ac quire div ine
kno wle dge through the ir me diation ha s be en the pr actice
of the prophet s. An d any cr eat ure who de sir e s the f avo ur
of Allāh thro ugh the m ean s of the p io us an d the sa intly
peop le , nev er f ee ls fr ustrate d an d his p rayer is inva ria bly
gr anted, an d he is include d amon g the virt uo us p eople.
T hen he attains div ine con scio usne ss a s is dec la re d by
Allāh:

1. Qādī T hanā’ull āh P ānī patī, at -Taf sī r-ul -mazharī (7:7 2).


2. R āzī, at -Tafsī r -ul -kabī r (24:148).
68 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

And su re ly (e ven) in the He rea fte r, th ey


will be in the ran ks of the righteou s.1
T here is ir ref uta ble evidenc e of re lianc e on the se
r ighteo us peop le for the f ulf ilment of the ir n ee ds an d the
r elief of the ir p ain s an d tro ubles. In it s support, the
Qur’ān ic ver se in which Allāh is comm an din g the
be liever s to a ssoc iate themselv e s with the righteo us is
quite sufficient an d conclusive. Allāh say s:
O be liev ers! Fea r Allāh, and remain in
( the company of) th e tru thfu l.2
In this v er se, Allāh, on the one han d, is in str uctin g the
be liever s in the uniquene ss an d imm uta bility of His
Po we r; on the other han d, He is en join in g upon them to
a dopt the company of the truthf ul in or der to elevate
them se lve s to a po sition which the tr uthf ul h ave alr ea dy
attain e d. At another p la ce, Allāh say s:
And follow the path o f the (p erson) who
turn ed towa rd s Us.3
Sim ilarly , the proph et Yūsuf’ s supplicat ion is also
r ecor de d in the holy Qur’ ān:
Take my sou l a t dea th a s a Muslim and
un ite me with the righteou s.4
T he holy Prophet (A) him se lf pr aye d to Allāh usin g
sim ilar wor ds.5
So me peop le might o bje ct to the a uthenticity of the
tra dition, pickin g o ut fla ws in its ch ain of tran sm ission or
com in g o ut with some other fr ivo lo us rem ark s, but no

1. Qur’ ān (al -Baqar ah, th e C ow) 2:130.


2. Qur’ ān (at -Taw bah, R epent ance) 9: 119.
3. Qur’ ān (L uqmān, Luqm ān) 31: 15.
4. Qur’ ān (Y ūs uf, J os eph) 12: 101.
5. Ahmad bin Hambal trans mitt ed it i n hi s Mus nad (5: 19 1);
Hāki m, al -Mustadr ak (1:516); T abarānī, al -Mu ‘j a m-ul -
ka bī r (5: 119,157 #4803, 4932); and Hayt hamī in Maj ma‘-
u z -z awā’i d (10: 113).
Jus t i f i cat i on of Is t i ghāt hah af t er Dea t h 69

be liever can deny the cre dibility of the supp lication by


Yūsuf (D) a s it is r ecor de d in the holy Qur’ān wh ich is
nothin g but a bso lute tr uth. T hus it is e sta blishe d th at it ha s
be en the pr actice of th e prophet s to me diate the ir
supplic ation s thro ugh the virt uo us an d th e r ighteo us. T he
r ecor din g of the se form s of supplic ation in the Qur’ān is
mo st pro ba bly inten de d to p er sua de th e be liever s to fo llo w
the pr actice of the prophet s.
I bn- ul- Fir ā sī n arrate s that Firā sī said to the
Prophet(A) : ‘O M essen ger of Allāh! Sh all I be g yo u for
somethin g?’ He r eplie d:
No, and if you can’t he lp begg ing, then
you shou ld be se ech th e piou s and the
righ teou s ( fo r he lp).1
So me peop le be lieve that the supp lication of the pio us
an d the v irt uo us is gr ante d durin g the ir lif etime , but after
de ath they cannot h elp anyone, a s they them se lve s a re
he lple ss. T hey believe that the righteo us a re a so ur ce of
he lp but only dur in g the ir e arthly existen ce, an d it is
disbelief to re ly on them fo r he lp a fter their de ath.
T he supporter s of this v ie w ar e v ictim s of a gr ave
m isun der stan din g be ca use the rea lity is just the r ever se . It
is tr ue as the gr een of the gra ss an d the blue o f the sky
that Allāh is the only so urce of ble ssin g an d no cr eature
c an a rro gate th is exc lusiv ely div ine prero gative to
h imself . If he do es so , he is co mmittin g una ba she d
disbelief . T her efore , to think that the supplic ation is
me diate d thro ugh on e of His favo urite s in his lif e an d He
t urn s a cold sho ulder to his supp lication wh en he is dea d
sma cks of a self-contra diction , as it ten ds to identify the
sa int with Allāh a s the so urc e of h elp . T he f act is th at Go d

1. Ab ū Dāwūd narrat ed it in hi s Sunan, b. of z akāt (o bli gat ory


ch ari ty) 2: 122 (#1646); Nasā’ ī, Sunan, b. o f zakāt (5:9 5);
Ah mad bin Ham bal, Musnad (4:334); B ukhārī, a t -Tār ī kh-
u l -kabīr [7:138 (4/ 1/138)]; B ayhaqī, as -Su na n-ul -kubrā
(4 :197); Ibn ‘ Abd-ul -B arr, at -Tamhīd (4:107 ); and ‘Alī al -
Hi ndī in K anz-ul -‘ummāl (6: 502#16721).
70 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

Alone ha s the po wer to f ulfil the ne e ds o f the cr eat ure s


thro ugh the me diation of the sa ints whether they are dea d
or alive .
T hose who o bje ct to mak in g sa ints an d the p io us a s
me an s of h elp an d assistance after death a re o bv io usly in
the wron g groove . T hey ar e on ly f um blin g in the dark an d
sma sh in g the ir c luttere d he a ds a ga in st the slippery wa lls
of an un lighte d t unne l, wh ich le a ds into an ev en dark er
dun geon . T heir o bje ctions a re gro un de d in the
m isconc eption that r elian ce on the saint s an d the pio us for
the a c quisit ion o f Allāh ’s ble ssin g is contin gent on the ir
man if est lif e wh ile Allāh’ s disp ensin g of His ble ssin gs to
His cr eat ure s thro ugh the sa ints an d the p io us is
a bso lutely unre late d to the f act of th eir bein g de a d or
a liv e. T he tra dition s an d the quote s of the Comp anion s
that fo llo w are p urporte d to e lim inate the do ubt s r aise d by
the se denier s. A wide spe ctrum of ev iden ce is mar sh alle d
to prove the fact that it is not only valid to re ly on the
sa ints an d the pio us for h elp after their death but it ha s
a lso been the pr actice of the proph ets an d Allāh’ s
f avo urite s. T he se are the peop le who can tr uly guide us
an d lea d us to o ur sa lvation . I bn T aym iyyah sum s up the
controve rsy at the en d of his book al-‘Aq īdat-u l-
wā sitiyyah :
Ah l-u s-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah a re aligned
( cling) to th e faith of I slam, guard ing
themselv e s g inge rly again st a ll fo rms o f
doc to ring . This includ e s the tru th ful, the
marty rs and th e p ious (ac co rding to th eir
g rade s). It also inc lude s th e peop le who a re
the source o f guidan ce and th e mina ret o f
ligh t. The se are the p eople who ha ve
ach ie ved d istin ction on th e basis of a
con sisten tly v irtuou s mode of living. The
Sub stitu te s and th e Imāms o f dīn also
be long to th is catego ry who ra llied the
Muslims to ( the path o f) the ir gu idanc e.
This is th e g roup who re ce ived d iv ine
Jus t i f i cat i on of Is t i ghāt hah af t er Dea t h 71

pa tronag e to remain ( truth ful) and it wa s


abou t this g roup tha t th e ho ly P rophet(A)
had sa id: ‘a g roup o f my Community, who
hav e be en div ine ly gu ided to stic k to the
pa th o f tru th, will no t c ea se to ex ist till the
Da y o f Judgemen t, and those who oppo se
them o r deg rad e them will n eve r b e able to
do them any harm.’ 1
T he se con d po int r evolve s aro un d the o bje ction that
the dea d la ck the cap acity for he lp. T his conc lusion is also
ba se d on p erver se re ason in g. Allāh Him self ha s refe rre d to
the p ur gatorial lif e of His favo ur ite s at var io us p la ce s in
the Qur’ ān. T here is no dif feren ce of op inion amon g the
fo llo wer s of any ideolo gy or r eligion a bo ut the life of the
ma rtyrs. What lux ur ie s m ust gra ce the p ur gatoria l life of
the Prophet (A) who se most lo wly follo wer is
gua rantee d not only life till the Day o f Judgement if he
die s a ma rtyr but who a lso re ce ive s all the re quisite div ine
ble ssin gs! T here fore, by re gar din g the Proph et (A) as a
de rivat ive he lper, it is quite v alid to seek his he lp an d
a ssistan ce after his death a s it was va lid dur in g h is e arthly
ex istence . Rather, his p ur gator ia l life is a s act ive an d
dynam ic a s h is other life beca use h is follo wer s a re
sen din g sa lutation s on h im in a sp irit o f m atchle ss
devotion an d an ge ls hav e be en appo inte d to conv ey the se
me ssa ge s of since rity an d deep attachment to the
Prophet(A). T his symphony of so un d an d vo ic e, wh ich
h is follo wers play every secon d an d eve ry min ute is a
liv in g p roof o f the ble ssin gs Allāh h a s confer re d on h im
ev en in his p ur gatorial life.
If the a cts of inter ce ssion, be seech in g the Proph et’s
he lp an d his m e diation were act s of disbelief , then they
sho uld be in discr imin ately prono unc e d a s form s of
disbelief ev ery wh ere ; they sho uld app ly e qually to his
e arthly ex istence, p ur gatoria l life an d h is life in the

1. M uhamm ad Khalīl Harās, Shar h al -‘Aq īdat -ul -w ās iti yyah


(p. 153).
72 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

Here after, be ca use disbe lief is con demn e d by Allāh in


ev ery colo ur an d h ue . But the fa cts po int in the oppo site
direct ion: I slamic tea chin gs unam biguo usly rev eal that the
Compan ion s be se eche d th e Prophet (A) for help an d
r elie d on his m e diat ion at v ario us o cca sions in their life
an d be so ught h im for h elp an d they will a lso se ek h is he lp
an d inter ce ssion even on the Day of Judgement, an d a s a
r esult o f th is r elian ce on his m ean s an d app ea l for he lp,
the Proph et (A) will r e war d h is fo llo wer s by interce din g
be fore Allāh for their salvat ion. T hus, wh en it is valid
dur in g the earthly lif e an d after- life of the Proph et (A)
ho w can it be de clare d inva lid an d a form of disbe lief
dur in g h is p ur gatorial life ?

Proof of purg atori al li fe


T he te ach in gs of Qur’ān an d sunnah prove the rea lity of
lif e a fter de ath or lif e in th e gr ave as c lea rly a s they depict
the re ality of r esurre ction o f the de a d on the Day of
Judgem ent. Allāh say s in the ho ly Qur ’ān :
Ho w can you reje ct the fa ith in Allāh?
Se eing that you we re withou t life, (and) He
gav e you life; then He will cau se you to d ie
and will aga in b ring you to life; th en aga in
to Him will you re turn .1
T he Qur’ ānic v er se mak e s an explic it refe renc e to t wo
k in ds of de ath, t wo k in ds of lif e an d fin ally the r eturn of
a ll mank in d to Allāh on th e Day of Judgement. In the light
of the holy ver se , the f ir st kin d o f de ath wa s o ur state of
non- existenc e wh en we ha d not stepp e d into the wor ld of
ex istence . T he lif e that fo llo we d this state is o ur life on
e arth. T hen de ath will ov erre ach us an d peop le will
a ccor din gly per form o ur f uner al rite s an d bury us. T he life
that will follo w is c alle d the p ur gatorial lif e, which is
given to man in the gr ave or in h is cap acity a s a dea d
pe rson . T he an ge ls interro gate him an d open a win do w in

1. Qur’ ān (al -Baqar ah, th e C ow) 2:28.


Jus t i f i cat i on of Is t i ghāt hah af t er Dea t h 73

the gr ave le a din g eithe r to Para dise or He ll. After the


se con d lif e, we will be r eturn e d to Go d Almighty on the
Day of Resur rect ion. T hus the p ur gatoria l lif e span s the
a rriv al of the an gels in the grav e for inter ro gation an d the
divine breath blo wn into the dea d bo die s for the ir
r esur rect ion. T his relate s to the p ur gatoria l life o f an
or dinary h uman be in g whether he is a be liever or a non-
be liever .
No w let us exam ine another ve rse a bo ut the life of the
ma rtyrs:
And sa y no t of tho se who a re slain in
the way o f Allāh tha t th ey a re dead , (th ey
a re no t dead ) but the y a re living though
you are no t con sc iou s (o f their life).1
T he same theme is expr e sse d in differ ent wor ds:
And tho se who a re sla in in the way o f
A llāh , do no t (e ven) thin k o f th em a s d ead.
Bu t they live in the pre senc e o f th eir Lo rd,
they find the ir su stenan ce (in th e b le ssing s
o f Pa radise).2
T he fo llo wer s o f a ll re ligio us se cts believ e in the life
of the martyr s. Ho wever, be side s the Qur’ān ic ver se s, a
n um be r of tra ditions dr a w o ur attention to the fact that
there is life after de ath even for the non- believ er s an d
infidels an d they are en do we d with the c apac ity to re spon d
to the wo r ds of the livin g. For ex ample, after the battle of
Ba dr , the Prophet (A) himself ca lle d the sla in infidels
by the ir n ame s an d a ske d them :
Su re ly, we found the promise of ou r
Lord ab so lutely true . (O infide ls and non-
be liev ers! ) Did you also find the p romise o f
you r lo rd tru e?

1. Qur’ ān (al -Baqar ah, th e C ow) 2:154.


2. Qur’ ān (Āl ‘Imrān, t he F amil y of ‘ Im rān) 3: 16 9.
74 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

At this junct ure ‘Um ar bin a l-Kh attāb said to the


Prophet (A): ‘O Prophet! Yo u are a ddr essin g bo die s
wh ich hav e no so ul in them. ’ T o mak e it clear , the
Prophet(A) a ddre sse d the Compan ions:
I swear by the Po we r Who ha s in His
con trol the life o f Muhammad! The wo rd s I
am sp eak ing to th ese ( infide ls and non-
be liev ers) , they fa r e xce l you in the ir po we r
to listen to th em.1
T his a gre e d- upon tra dition attest s not only to the
p ur gatoria l lif e after death of the inf ide ls an d non-
be liever s, but it a lso attests to the ir po wer of listenin g
wh ich exc els even that of the Compan ions.
Sim ilarly , the Prophet (A) ta ught every per son
pa ssin g by a gr aveya r d of the M uslim s to a ddre ss the
r esident s of the grave by the p artic le “ yā (O) ” an d sen d
sa lutation s on them. T his is the re a son that M uslim s te ach
their children to say a s- sa lāmu ‘ala ykum yā ahl-al-qubū r
( O re sidents o f grav es, pea ce be on yo u) whenev er they
pa ss by a gr aveya r d.
When the life of the inf ide ls an d non- believ er s, the life
of the or dinary be liever s, an d the life of the ma rtyrs an d
the sa ints have been conf irme d by the Qur’ān an d the
sunnah, ho w is it po ssible to deny the life of the prophet s,
pa rtic ular ly the life of the ho ly Prophet (A)? E spe cially,
wh en he him se lf h a s rep eate dly an d explic itly dec lar e d:
A llāh ha s dec la red it fo rb idden fo r the
ea rth to eat the bodies of the proph ets. So

1. B ukhārī narrat ed it i n his as -Sahī h, b. of maghāzī (mili t ary


ex pediti ons l ed by t he P rophet ) ch. 7 (4: 14 61 #375 7);
M us lim, as -Sahīh, b. of jannah wa sif at na‘ī mi hā wa ahli hā
(P aradi s e, at tribut es of i t s and nati ves ) ch. 17
(4 :2203#77/ 2874); Ahm ad bi n Hambal, Mus na d (3: 14 5;
4 :29); T abarānī, al -Mu‘jam-ul -kabīr (5: 96#4701); B aghawī,
S harh-us -s unnah (13: 384#3779); Ibn Kathī r, al -Bi dāyah
w an-nihāyah (1:210); ‘ As qal ānī, Fath-ul -bārī (7: 301); and
Hayt hamī in Maj ma‘-uz-zaw ā’i d (6: 90-1).
Jus t i f i cat i on of Is t i ghāt hah af t er Dea t h 75

the p rophe ts are liv ing and they regula rly


re ceive the ir su stenance .1
T his sah īh ( so un d) tr a dition conc lusive ly prov es that
the a bso lute an d in compar a ble po we r of Allāh keep s the
proph ets alive in the ir grav es. Anothe r tra dition r ecor ds
that the affa ir s of the Umm ah ar e re gular ly pre sented to
the Proph et (A) who expr e sses h is grat itude to Allāh for
their goo d dee ds an d pr ays to Allāh to for give the ir
m isdee ds. T he wor ds of the tra dition are a s fo llo ws:
Your deed s a re presented to me . I f th ey
a re good, I exp re ss my g ra titude to Allāh,
and if th e de eds are no t good, then I p ray to
A llāh fo r your fo rgiven ess.2

1. Ib n M āj ah narrat ed t hi s sahī h (sound) hadīt h i n hi s Sun an,


b . of j anā’iz (funerals ) ch. 65 (1: 524#1636-7), b. of i q āmat -
u s -s alāt w as -s unnah fīhā (est ablis hi ng p rayer an d i ts
s unnahs ) ch.79 (1: 345#1085); Abū Dāwūd, S unan, b. of
s al āt (prayer) 1:275 (#1047); Nas ā’ī, Sunan, b. o f j u mu‘ah
(F ri day prayer) 3:92; Ahm ad bi n Ham bal, Musnad (4: 8);
Ib n Hibbān, as -Sahī h (3: 191#910); Dārimī, S unan
(1 :307#1580); Ibn Khuzaym ah, as -Sahīh (3: 11 8# 1733 ); Ibn
Abī Shaybah, al -Mus annaf (2:516); Hākim, al -Must ad ra k
(1 :278); T abarānī, al -Mu‘jam-ul-kab īr (1: 21 7#58 9); and
B ayhaqī i n as -Sunan-ul -kubrā (3:249).
2. Hayt hamī t rans mitt ed it in Maj ma‘-uz-zawā ’i d (9: 24 ) and
s aid t hat that t radi tion had been report ed by B azzār (in his
Musnad ) and i ts sub-narrators are all of sa hīh (s ound)
h adīt h. ‘ Irāqī has confi rm ed t he s oundnes s of i t s chain o f
t ransmi ss ion i n hi s book Tarh-ut -tathrīb fī s harh-i t -ta qr īb
(3 :297). Ibn S a‘d has recorded i t i n at -Taba qā t -ul -kubrā
(2 :194). Qādī ‘ Iy ād has inscribed t his t raditi on in ash-Shi fā
(1 :19); and Suyūt ī, recording it in al -K ha sā’i s -ul -kub rā
(2 :281) and Manāhil -us -s ifā fī takhrīj ahā dīt h ash-Shi fā
(p. 3), has comm ent ed that Ibn Abī Us ām ah in hi s Musnad
h as reproduced it through B akr bi n ‘ Abdul l āh al-Muzanī
an d B azzār in his Musnad wh o have rel ied o n it s narrati on
b y ‘ Abdull āh bi n M as‘ūd with a s ou nd ch ain o f
t ransmi ss ion. It has been endors ed by Khafājī and M ull ā
‘ Alī Qārī i n t hei r com m ent ari es on ash-Shi fā, i. e. Nas īm-ur -
76 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

T he Lor d, who ha s the po wer to give lif e an d


sust enanc e to the whole mankin d both in this wor ld an d
the Here after, also ha s the po wer to k eep the proph ets
a liv e in the gr ave s an d giv e them sustenan ce . T he
unnat ura l an d un scientific Gr eek ph ilo soph ica l
disc ussion s, wh ich hav e per colated into I slam ic liter atur e,
a re no m atch to the n atur al an d imm uta ble p rinc ip le s of
I slam. T he injun ctions of I slam c le arly exp lain dif ferent
k in ds of life an d the mo de s o f a ddre ssin g people in the ir
p ur gatoria l lif e an d dec la re cate gor ica lly that the prophet s,
ma rtyrs, sa ints an d or dina ry M uslim s, ev en infidels an d
non- believe rs, are a liv e in their gr ave s. As far as the
ma rtyrs are con cern e d, the Qur ’ān itself is a witne ss that
they r e gular ly re ce ive the ir sustenan ce. T he refor e, tho se
who a ckno wle dge app ea l for h elp an d interm e diation in
the earthly ex isten ce a s v alid but tre at it a s inva lid, even
a s a form of disbelief after de ath, sho uld re mem be r that
de ath is the taste of a moment, wh ich pa sse s a way.
Accor din g to I qbāl, de ath is “ a m essa ge o f a waken in g
beh in d the smok escre en of dream .”
P ur gatorial lif e is a midway ho use bet we en the e arthly
lif e an d the life after de ath, wh ich will be conferr e d on
peop le on the Day of Judgement. Just a s it is va lid to
be seech the he lp of a per son dur in g h is earth ly life an d
dur in g h is lif e after death, it is a lso an e qua lly va lid act to

r i yād (1:102) and Shar h as h-Shif ā (1:36) resp ectiv ely.


Ha dīt h-s chol ar Ibn-ul-J awzī has reproduced it in al -Wa fā
b i -ahwāl-il -mus taf ā (2:809-10) from B akr bi n ‘ Abdul l āh
an d Anas bi n M āl ik. S ubkī has copi ed thi s t rad iti on in
S hi fā’-us-si qām fī zi yār at khayr -il -anām (p. 34) from B ak r
b in ‘ Abdull āh al -Muzanī, and Ibn ‘ Abd-ul -Hādī in as -
S ār im-ul -munkī (p.266-7) has aut henti cat ed i ts veraci ty.
B azzār’s t raditi on has als o been recorded by Ib n Kathī r in
a l -Bi dāyah wan-ni hāyah (4:257). ‘ As qal ān ī narrat ed it
t h rough B akr bin ‘ Abdull āh al-Muzanī i n al-Mat āli b-ul -
‘ā li yah (4:22-3#3853). ‘ Alī al-Hi ndī copi ed Ibn Sa‘ d’s
t raditi on in Kanz -ul -‘ummāl (11:407#31903) and from
Hārit h (#31904). Nabhānī rel at ed it in Huj jat ull āh ‘al al -
‘ā lamī n fī mu‘j az āt sayyi d-il -mursalīn (p.713 ).
Jus t i f i cat i on of Is t i ghāt hah af t er Dea t h 77

be seech h is h elp an d to r ely on his me an s in his


p ur gatoria l lif e. T his doe s not bor der on disbe lief, bec a use
in a ll the thre e kin ds o f life , ea rthly, ete rna l an d
p ur gatoria l, Allāh is the r ea l Helpe r an d the cr eature
who se he lp is be in g so ught is the der ivative he lper . T his is
in con son ance with th e I slamic te ach in g an d doe s not even
r emotely sma ck o f disbe lief. T o tre at the cr eat ure a s the
r eal h elp er in a ll the thre e cate gor ie s of lif e is tantamount
to disbe lief. It sho uld be note d that the ca use of disbe lief
is not lo cate d in the cate go rie s of life but in the div ision
of rea l an d der ivativ e.

The li fe and capacity of the s oul


After a lo gic al an d cate gor ic al proof of the rea lity o f the
p ur gatoria l lif e of h uman so ul, it is shee r ir rationa l
st ubbo rnne ss to deny the r ea lity o f se ekin g he lp from
other s after their de ath. T o be se ech he lp an d a ssistan ce
from th e so uls of the prophet s an d the saint s is a s justif ie d
a s to seek he lp from liv in g per son s or the an ge ls. When
we se ek he lp from a livin g bein g we ar e, in fa ct, seek in g
he lp from his so ul. T he h uman bo dy is the dre ssin g of the
r eal m an  so ul. After de ath, when the so ul is liberate d
from the mater ia l con stra ints of the bo dy an d, on acco unt
of its fre e dom from imp urities of the fle sh, th en, lik e the
an gels, even mo re than them, it ha s the po wer to pe rform
non-m aterial act s. T he so ul is in depen dent o f the r ule s an d
r e gulat ions of the phenom ena l world be ca use her wor ld 
the wor ld of comm an d  is diffe rent f rom the ca use- an d-
e ffect wo rld of the bo dy. Allāh h ighlights this re ality in
the ho ly Qur’ān :
And the se ( infide ls) ask you que stion s
abou t the soul. Te ll them that th e sou l is by
the command of my Lo rd.1
T he so uls are ble sse d with a gr eater c apac ity of action
an d p erform ance in their p ur gatorial lif e than they ha d

1. Qur’ ān (al -Isr ā’, the Ni ght journey) 17:85.


78 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

en joye d in con junction with their bo die s. T hey liv e in the


wo rld o f comm an d an d can come more ea sily to the
a ssistan ce of tho se who imp lore them for h elp. If
be seech in g the proph ets an d sa ints for he lp is conf ine d
on ly to a str in g of sen sation s an d o bservation s, it will be
in conf lict with the spir it of f aith an d mer ely an
exp re ssion of ph ilo soph ica l sp ec ulation. Old ph ilo soph ica l
r eflection s c annot lea d us to the sec rets of f aith bec a use
they op erate within entir ely ration al groove s an d
hope le ssly lack th e sp irit ua l appreh ension. T he unfoldin g
of the secr ets o f fa ith re quire s love an d deep emotiona l
con cern . It is not just to scratch the surf ac e but to de lve
into the a by ss. It may be note d that the prophet s an d the
sa ints pray to Allāh for the p etitione rs, an d in r espon se to
their supplicat ion, Allāh f ulfils the ne e d of the conce rne d
pe rson . T he p ro blem is that tho se who deny life to the
r esident s of the grave s be lieve that the dea d ar e not in a
po sition to pray. But the tr ue I slamic be lief is that they a re
a liv e an d r eco gn ise their v isitor s in p roportion to the ir
con scio usne ss an d un de rstan din g. T he so ul’ s a warene ss
gro ws even more ac ute after it ha s been sep arate d from the
bo dy, an d by jettison in g it s phy sica l inhibition s, it is m a de
ev en mor e po werf ul.
Anothe r way to un der stan d the me anin g o f seek in g
he lp from other s is that the po wer who se he lp is be in g
so ught is Allāh. But the p etitioner says th at h e cov ets
Allāh’ s he lp through the m e diat ion of the ho ly
Prophet(A) for the f ulfilment of h is n ee d. He imp lore s
Allāh thro ugh His favo ur ites. He say s to Allāh : ‘ I am from
amon g th e favo ur ites of the se sa ints, th erefo re, sho w
spe cia l m ercy to me a s I am very clo se to them an d love
them imm ensely .’ T h us Allāh con done s his sin s for the
sak e of the ho ly proph ets an d a lso on ac co unt of his c lo se
a ssoc iation with the saint s an d f ulf ils his n ee d.
T he p eople who gather to offe r the f un era l pray er of a
pe rson pray for his for givene ss by Allāh on a sim ilar
ba sis. T hey, in fa ct, se rve a s a m ean s of for giv ene ss for
the dea d p er son an d also act a s h is he lper s.
Jus t i f i cat i on of Is t i ghāt hah af t er Dea t h 79

The dead as a s ource of benefi t for the li vi ng


T he fin al shot fir e d by the se denier s of seek in g he lp from
the saint s an d the p io us is that the de a d cannot benef it the
liv in g bec a use they lack the po wer even to shoo a way a
f ly sittin g on the ir bo dy. Ho w is it po ssible that a dea d
pe rson , shorn of phy sica l po wer , can he lp the liv in g an d
that the liv in g turn to him for he lp?
T his hypothetica l o bje ction is act ua lly base d on the ir
una war ene ss of the Prophet’s tra dition s an d tea chin gs of
the r eligio us le a der s. As we have alrea dy explain e d, the
peop le who die an d leav e this wor ldly life , do not in fact
die, but enter another lif e (p ur gatorial life) . T ho ugh they
a re dea d in o ur eye s, they ar e not act ually dea d, on ly the ir
mo de of life h a s ch an ge d a s they have been t ran sfer re d
from one k in d of existen ce to another kin d of ex istence .
T his can be exp la ine d by another examp le . Suppo se
there ar e t wo tube lights in a room. One of them is white
an d the other is blue. T he light of the white tube is
spre a din g all aro un d wh ile the blue t ube is o ff. No w what
will happen if th e off - button of th e white t ube is pre sse d
an d pr ec isely at that moment the on - button of the blue
t ube is also pr e sse d? T he room is th e same, all the thin gs
in it ar e in the ir prop er p lac e, its door s, win do ws an d
c urtain s, etc., are a lso inta ct, but there is a ch an ge in the
inner am bience o f the room, that is, in the ear lier state,
ev erythin g appe are d in the white light in its or igina l
co lo ur, an d no w ev erythin g in the room app ear s to we ar a
differ ent complexion on a cco unt of the co lo ur ra diate d by
the blue t ube. No w the que stion is: ‘ha s the co lo ur of
ev erythin g in the room r ea lly chan ge d? Ha s the mate ria l
compo sition of the o bject s chan ge d?’ T he an swer is in the
ne gative . Every o bje ct is pr esent in its or igin al state. T he
differ enc e lies only in o ur per ception. T he sam e applie s to
the dea d peop le. Wh en the light of the ir wor ldly life is p ut
o ut, we think they ar e dea d, while , in re ality, the t ube
light of the ir p ur gatorial life is p ut on. Just a s the sa ints
an d the p io us are re lie d upon dur in g the ir ea rthly life 
wh ile the re al so ur ce of h elp is Allāh  similar ly, they
80 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

c an be re lie d upon a s a me ans of h elp to f ulf il o ur n ee ds


an d to seek the ne arne ss of Allāh even wh en they h ave left
this m aterial wor ld.
Suy ūt ī h as cop ie d in h is book Sharh -us-sudū r bi- sha rh
hā l-il-mawtā wal-qubū r (pp.257-9) f ifteen tr a dition s
be arin g on this them e, an d f urn ishin g a proof of the rea lity
of p ur gatoria l life , h e ha s aff irm e d that the dea d can
ben efit the livin g.
I bn- ul-Qayyim h as wr itten an exh a ustive book on “ the
so ul” which is the mo st a uthentic book on this subject. At
one p lac e h e ha s reporte d from ‘Abdullāh bin M ubā rak
that Abū Ayy ūb al- Ansār ī sa id:
The de eds o f th e living a re p re sented to
the d ead. If th ey see virtuou s (d eed s), th ey
a re p lea sed and rejo ic ed, and if the y see
( evil) d eed s, they sa y: ‘O Allāh! R etu rn
them.’ 1
Narr atin g another tra dition , I bn- ul-Qayyim wr ite s:
“ ‘I bā d bin ‘I bā d calle d on I br āhīm bin Sā lih an d at that
tim e I br āhīm bin Sā lih wa s the r uler of P alestin e. ‘ I bā d
bin ‘I bā d said to him : giv e m e some a dv ic e. I brāh īm bin
Sā lih said:
Wh at should I adv ise you? Ma y God
make you a p ious man! I have rec eived the
ne ws tha t th e d eed s of the liv ing a re
p re sen ted to the ir dead re lativ es. No w you
just re flect on you r deed s which a re
p re sen ted to the Messeng e r of Allāh (A).
After r elatin g this, I brāh īm bin Sā lih c rie d so bitterly
that his bear d bec ame wet.”2
In a ddition , there are m any other tra dition s wh ich
prov e that the de e ds o f the livin g a re pre sente d to the
de a d. T herefo re, p eople , who are the v ictim s of do ubt,
sho uld st udy th em to corre ct their fa ith wh ich , accor din g

1. Ib n -ul -Qayyim, Kit āb-ur -r ūh (p. 13).


2. Ib n -ul -Qayyim, Kit āb-ur -r ūh (p. 13).
Jus t i f i cat i on of Is t i ghāt hah af t er Dea t h 81

to I bn T aymiyy ah, is the faith of Ah l- us- Sunn ah wa l-


Jam ā‘ah a s h as a lre a dy be en explain e d, which lea ds one to
the straight path an d brin gs one incr ea sin gly clo ser to the
p lea sur e of the Lor d. Exc lusive re liance on rea son can
prov e disa stro us a s re ason is a de ceptiv e cham eleon an d
p uts on a var iety of guise s to dec eive its o wn follo wer s; it
is totally un dep en da ble an d those who r ely on it for tr ue
en lightenm ent, can n ever be blesse d with guidanc e a s
m isguidan ce is their de stiny. Ac cor din g to I qbā l:
Move beyond reason because this light is
only the candle on the way; it is not the
destination.

Love of the friends of Al l āh is an i ntegral part


of faith
We se ek he lp from the prophets, the righteo us an d the
sa ints an d off er them a s a me an s of ac ce ss to Allāh on
a cco unt of o ur limit le ss love an d devotion for them. T he
cho ic e of m ean s is justif ie d on ly by the pre sence of lov e.
It is a lso an esta blish e d fa ct that to love tho se who a re
ne ar an d dear to Allāh is in itself a virtuo us act an d this is
o bv io usly an ar gum ent, which cannot be r e butted by any
other ar gument, no matter ho w subtle or e la bor ate or
tantalisin g it may be.
1. Love of Allāh ’s favouri tes is a vi rtuou s dee d
T he p etitioner is a ctin g fo r h im self beca use he love s tho se
who m Allāh love s. He is in fa ct say in g: ‘ O Lor d, I love
Yo ur f rien d, the holy Prophet (A), an d I love the
ortho dox Caliphs, the Compan ions, the Succ essor s an d
their fo llo wer s, the sa ints an d the r ighteo us. I off er this
love to Yo u a s m ean s so that Yo u grant my pr ayer an d
f ulfil my nee d.’ It me an s lov e of Allāh’ s favo ur e d one s
be come s a m ean s of the supp lication ’s a cceptan ce. T here
is no do ubt that lov e of Allāh’ s f avo urite s is not on ly the
f ulfilment of a divin e com man d but is a lso a gr eat v irtuo us
de e d. It is nar rate d by Abū Hurayr ah:
82 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

A llāh’ s Me ssenge r (A) said: when


A llāh lov e s some p e rson , He send s fo r
J ib rīl and commands h im: ve rily, I lo ve
such and su ch pe rson ; you shou ld also lo ve
h im, so Jib rīl lo ve s h im a s well. Th en Jib rīl
p roc laim s in the hea ven s that A llāh lo ve s
such and su ch pe rson ; you shou ld also lo ve
h im. Then the re siden ts o f th e hea ven s lo ve
h im as we ll. Then his lo ve is sent do wn to
the earth ( the wo rld).1
Fir st of a ll, Allāh e lev ate d His Own o be dient servant
to the stat us of His belov e d, then He comm an de d Jibrīl
an d a ll other an ge ls that they sho uld lov e His servant. T he
an gels, fo llo win g the div ine comm an d, also ma de h im
their belov e d. In this all the h eaven ly cr eat ure s sh are d the
divine love for His be love d servant. But the matter doe s
not en d her e. Allāh de sc en de d this love for His servant
do wn on this earth an d then cre ate d a n ich e for the love
an d pop ular ity o f His serv ant in eve ry h eart an d ev ery
c reat ure f ell in love with him. It follo ws that to lov e tho se
who are love d by Allāh is a divin e comman d. From this
po int o f v ie w th is a ct of lovin g is in itself a v irt uo us a ct in
wh ich Allāh is not on ly Him se lf in clude d but He ha s also
include d His an ge ls as well a s the cre atur e s of the earth.
When th is a ct is en do rse d not on ly by the p ractice of the
proph ets but a lso a pop ular a ct perfo rme d by the cr eat ure s

1. M us lim t ransm itt ed it in his as -Sahīh, b. of bi rr w as -s il ah


w al -ādāb (vi rt u e, joi ni ng of t he ti es of rel at io ns hip and
g ood m anners) ch. 48 (4: 2030#157/ 2637); B akhārī narrat ed
i t at three pl aces i n his as-Sahī h: b. of bad ’-ul -kha lq
(b egi nni ng o f creat ion) ch. 6 (3:1175#3037 ), b. of a dab
(g ood m anners ) ch.41 (5:2246#5693), and b. of t awh īd
(Isl ami c m onoth eism ) ch.33 (6: 2721#7047); Ahm ad b in
Hambal i n Mus nad (2:413); M ālik bin Anas i n al -Muw at tā,
b . of s ha‘ar (hai r) ch.5 (2: 953#15); and Kh at īb T abrī zī in
Mi shkāt -ul -masābī h, b. of ādāb (good m ann ers ) ch. 16
(3 :74#5005).
Jus t i f i cat i on of Is t i ghāt hah af t er Dea t h 83

of the e arth an d the heav en s, then what co uld be a better


v irtuo us act in favo ur of the p etitioner .
2. Re ci procal nearnes s of l ove r an d bel ove d on the
D ay of Ju dgement
T rue love is th at v irt uo us act which dra ws th e lov er
incre a sin gly clo ser to the belov e d. It is n arr ated by Ana s
bin Mā lik:
A pe rson ca lled on the P rophe t (A)
and said to him: ‘ O Me ssenge r of Allāh,
when is the Hour ( the Day o f Judgemen t)?’
The Holy P rophe t (A) stood up fo r
p ray er. A fte r p erfo rming the p raye r he
said : ‘ whe re is the pe rson who had a sked
abou t th e Hou r?’ Tha t pe rson rep lied: ‘O
Me ssenge r of A llāh, I am he re. ’ He sa id:
‘ wha t prepa ration hav e you made fo r tha t
( Hour)?’ He submitted: ‘O Me ssenge r o f
A llāh , I hav e o ffered n eithe r many p raye rs
no r kep t many fa sts, bu t I kno w tha t much
that I lov e A llāh and His Messeng e r (A).’
On hea ring this, A llāh’ s Me ssenge r (A)
commented tha t (on th e Da y of Judgemen t)
a p e rson will be with him whom he lo ve s
and you will be judged a long with him. It is
repo rted tha t, a fte r a cc epting I slam, this
made the Muslim s happ ie r than anyth ing
e lse had made th em in the pa st.1

1. Ti rmi dh ī narrat ed i t i n al -Jāmi ‘-us -sahī h, b. o f z uhd (pi ety )


ch. 50 (4: 595#23 85), and graded it sahīh (so und ); Ahm ad
b in Hambal i n Mus nad (3:104, 168, 178, 200); Ib n Hib b ān,
a s -Sahīh (1:182, 308-9# 8,105; 16:345#7348 ); B agh awī,
S harh-us -s unnah (13: 60-4#3475-9). Bukh ārī als o narrat ed
i t wit h di fferent words in his as -Sahīh, b. of f adā’il -us -
s ahābah (m erits of t he Companions ) ch.6 (3: 1349 #3 485), b.
o f adab (good m anners ) ch.95, 96 (5:2282-3 #581 5-9), and
b . of ahkām (judgem ent s ) ch. 10 (6:2615#6734 ); Mus lim in
a s -Sahīh, b. of bi rr w as -sil ah w al -ādāb (vi rtu e, jo ini ng o f
84 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

T his tra dition p rove s that wher ea s pray er, f ast, zakā t
an d ha jj are v irtuo us a cts an d the ir pe rforman ce entit le s a
man to a set of re war ds, similar ly lov e is a lso an act of
v irtue, which re sults in n earn ess to h is be love d. T he wor ds
of the tra dition themselv e s en dor se love a s a v irt uo us act.
When th e Ho ly Prophet (A) ask e d the p etitione r: ‘ what
pr eparat ion hav e yo u ma de for th e Day o f Judgem ent?’ He
r eplie d: ‘O Me ssen ger of Allāh! My acts do not inc lude
big-tick et de e ds like pray er an d f a st, but the act of lov in g
Allāh an d His M essen ger (A) is one o f my dee ds.’ T he
Prophet (A) rep lie d that a s each act h as a r e war d,
sim ilar ly the a ct of lovin g h a s a lso a re war d. A p er son will
be judge d a lon g with the man h e lov es an d yo u will be
judge d on th e Day o f Judgem ent alon g with th e m an yo u
love.’ It me ans th at this m an, simply on a cco unt of his
love for the Ho ly Prophet (A), will be judge d with h im.
He will be in the Proph et’s comp any an d this is a prom ise
ma de by the Prophet (A) h imself an d this is Allāh’ s
prom ise a s we ll. Be side s, this p romise is not r e strictiv e; it
ha s a genera l applic ation; it app lie s to the Compan ion s,
the Succ essor s, the ir fo llo wer s, even the entir e M uslim
comm un ity.
Lov e of Allāh’ s M e ssen ger (A) is an act, wh ich not
on ly earn s the lover a n um be r of ble ssin gs through the
a gency o f his belov e d on this earth but a lso brin gs h im
c lo ser to h is be love d in th e next world. Sinc e the wor d
hubb ( love) h ere is use d in a gene ric sense, it e qually
app lie s to all form s an d gra de s of lov e. Its litmus test is

t h e ti es of rel ations hip and good m anners ) ch. 50 (4: 20 32-3#


1 61-4/ 2639); Ah m ad bin Ham bal in Mus nad (3: 110,1 65,
1 67,172, 173,207, 208,255, 276); ‘Abd-ur-R azzāq, al -
Musannaf (11:1 99#20317); Hum aydī, Mus nad (2: 502#
1 190); Ibn Ab ī Shaybah, al-Mus annaf (15:169#1 9407 ); Abū
Ya‘ l ā, Mus nad (5:144#2758; 6: 36,256#3280-1, 3557 ); Ibn
Hi bb ān, as -Sahī h (2: 323-4#5 63-5); Tabarānī, al -Mu ‘j a m-ul -
ka bī r (3: 183#30 61); B ayhaqī, Shu‘ab-ul -īmān (1: 380,387
# 462, 498; 2: 130-1#1379); and Khatī b Tabrī zī i n Mishkāt -
u l -mas ābīh, b. of adab (good m anners ) ch. 16 (3:7 5#50 09).
Jus t i f i cat i on of Is t i ghāt hah af t er Dea t h 85

sin cer ity a s in sinc ere lov e is a trave sty of tr ue lov e an d,


there fore, not on ly r ep ulsiv ely hideo us but a lso mo rally
r evoltin g. T his comment is v in dicate d by the wor ds of
An a s bin Mālik that after acc eptin g I slam, h e ha d nev er
fo un d the M uslim s h appier than he fo un d them on hear in g
this explan ation.
T his tr a dition con clusive ly prove s that the love of
Allāh’ s favo ur e d peop le serv e s a s a me ans fo r div ine
ble ssin gs. An d when the serv ant pr ays to Allāh, he , in
f act, is say in g: ‘my Ma ster, th e love I h ave for Yo ur
be love d Prophet (A) , an d the love I hav e for the
Compan ion s, the Succ essor s an d the righteo us on acco unt
of Yo u, I of fer this act o f love a s me diation to Yo u an d
r e que st Yo u to grant my such an d such ne e d for the ir
sak e.’ T he servant’ s love for Allāh’ s favo ur e d on es is an
a ct that enjoy s Allāh ’s blessin gs an d this very act be come s
a mean s for the se rvant.
3. Love for Allāh ’s l ove rs is the cau se of di vine l ove
T he servant, fo llo win g the div ine comman ds, per form s all
k in ds of worsh ip : he offer s p raye r, ke ep s fa st, p erform s
ha jj an d pay s za kāt. In short, he f ulfils all h is o bligation s.
T hese act s have t wofo ld sign ificanc e: on the one h an d, he
is imp lement in g the div ine comman ds; on the other h an d,
he e arn s the re war d for the se a cts. T he r an ge an d scope of
the se re war ds inc lude a p lac e in Para dise for h im. But the
h ighe st an d the mo st ch erish e d p rize is the p le a sure of
Allāh. T o se c ure th is prize, he sp en ds eve ry moment of his
lif e in div ine love. An d he doe s not r e strict his
r emem br ance of Allāh on ly to a sp ec ific sch e dule or
tim etable but it stra ddle s h is entir e lif e. No m atter whe re
he is, or what he is do in g, h e neve r for get s the Lor d. T he
fo c us of his love o r enm ity is Allāh alon e. T he follo win g
tra dition is a bo ut such lover s o f Allāh:
It is n arrate d by M u‘ ā dh bin Ja ba l that h e he ar d the
M essen ger o f Allāh (A) sayin g:
A llāh the Exa lted and A lmighty sa id:
‘ My lo ve ha s b een made ob liga to ry fo r
those two pe rson s who lov e each o the r on
86 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

My count and spend time toge the r fo r My


sak e, and see each o the r for My sa ke and
g ive mon ey to each o the r gene rou sly fo r My
sak e.’ 1
No w a petition er lov e s the holy Proph et (A),
mem ber s of the Proph et’s fam ily , the Compan ion s, the
sa ints an d the r ighteo us p eople simp ly bec a use the ba sis
of his love is the lov e of Allāh. By lov in g the se peop le, he
h imself in r eturn is lov e d by Allāh. T hus all the se form s
a re va rio us link s in the cha in of love, wh ich is ultim ately
the love of Allāh , an d the se expr essions an d a cts o f love
ev entually dra w him clo ser to Allāh an d he a c quir e s a
f avo ure d status. T h us the petition er’ s a ct o f lov e is
r e gar de d by Allāh a s a virtuo us a s we ll a s a f avo ur ite act
an d it is gr a de d h igher than other virt uo us act s main ly
be ca use in this act the Lor d Him self is one of the
pa rtic ipants an d it is unc ertain whether the other a cts will
f in d div ine ac ceptanc e o r not. But lov e o f the sa ints an d
the favo urite s of Allāh is an act, wh ich tran sform s the
petit ioner into Allāh’ s be love d. In th is way its a cceptan ce
is guar antee d.
4. Love for the sake of Allāh res ults in highe r
grades
Lov e of the servant s of Allāh brin gs on e not only nea rer to
Him but a lso he lp s one in sec ur in g h igher gra de s.
It is narr ate d by ‘ Umar bin a l-Khattā b that the
Prophet(A) said:
Among A llāh’s se rvan ts the re a re some
who a re ne ith e r p rophe ts no r marty rs bu t

1. Thi s s ah īh (s ound) hadīt h narrat ed by M ālik bi n Anas in al -


Muwat tā, b. of s ha‘ar (hair) ch.5 (2:954#16), and Ib n ‘Abd-
u l -B arr s aid i ts chain i s good. Ahm ad bi n Ham b al al so
t ransmi tt ed i t i n hi s Musnad (5:233); Hākim i n al -
Must adr ak (4: 169), who graded it s ahīh, and al so
co nfi rm ed by Dhahabī ; B aghawī i n Shar h-us -su nnah,
(1 3: 49-50#3463); Khatī b T abrīzī in Mi shkāt -ul -masābī h, b.
o f ādāb (good m anners) ch.16 (3: 75#5011).
Jus t i f i cat i on of Is t i ghāt hah af t er Dea t h 87

on th e Day of Judgemen t the p rophe ts and


the ma rtyrs will en vy the ir g rade s. The
Companion s asked: ‘ O Me ssenge r of Allāh,
tell u s, who a re tho se peop le?’ He rep lied:
‘ tho se a re th e peop le who lo ve one ano the r
on A llāh’ s count. The y are ne ith er rela ted
to on e anoth er no r do th ey hav e any
p rope rty to ex change. I swea r on A llāh tha t
they will hav e face s of light, the y will be on
pu lpits o f light. They will no t have an y fea r
when o the rs will be a fra id, the y will no t
hav e any g rie f when o the rs will be
agg rieved .’ Then h e rec ited the ve rse:
B ewa re! No doubt, the re is no fea r fo r the
friend s of Allāh nor sha ll th ey be sad and
so rro wful. [Qu r’ān ( Yūn us, Jonah ) 10:62.] 1
T he tra dition ha s c lear ly e sta blishe d the fact that
peop le who lov e on e another simply be ca use they love
Allāh de serve high re war ds an d gra de s on the Day of
Judgem ent an d they will re ce ive the se pre cio us gifts
thro ugh the me diation o f Allāh’ s f avo urite s bec a use the ir
love of the se intimate fr ien ds is ba se d f un damentally on
their lov e of Allāh from which ba sic so ur ce it dra ws its
st ren gth an d inf luenc e.
5. Love of Allāh ’s frien ds is the cause of Allāh ’s
love
Lov e of ho ly m en an d sa ints is an a ct wh ich e arns the
serv ant not only the love of Allāh but a lso dra ws h im
c lo ser to Him .
It is repo rted by Abū Hurayr ah that the Me ssen ger of
Allāh (A) sa id:

1. Ab ū Dāwūd, Sunan, b. of ij ār ah (wages ) 3:288 (#3 527 );


B ayhaqī, Shu‘ab-ul-īmān, (6:486#8998,899 9); Khat īb
T abrī zī, Mi shkāt -ul-mas ābī h, b. of adab (goo d m anners )
ch. 16 (3: 75-6#5012).
88 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

I f two p erson s love each o the r on


A llāh’ s coun t, and if on e o f th em is in the
ea st and th e o the r in the west, A llāh will
b ring th em tog eth er on th e Day o f
R esu rre ction and He will sa y: ‘ this is the
man you lov ed on my count. ’ 1
It is no w esta blish e d that interm e diation thro ugh the
proph ets, the ho ly p er son s an d the saint s an d to seek he lp
from them is quite va lid whether it is by invokin g the ir
nam e in praye r, or by phy sica l pr esenc e in the ir
comp anion sh ip or thro ugh expre ssion s of love for th em.
T hese acts of istighāa thah an d inte rme diation are co rrect
an d le ga lly p ermissible.

1. B ayhaqī, Shu‘ab -ul -ī mān, (6: 492#9022); Khatī b Tab rī zī,


Mi shkāt -ul -masābī h, b. of ādāb (good m ann ers ) ch. 16
(3 :77#5024); ‘ Alī al-Hi ndī, Kanz -ul -‘ummāl (9:4 #246 46).
Chapter 4

Smoothing out the Wrinkles

T hough be seech in g the p rophets, the sa ints an d the


ma rtyrs for h elp an d a ssistance is quite approp riate an d is
prov e d both by the Qur’ ān an d the sunnah, some of its
den igrator s hav e ca stigated it a s an act of disbelief on the
ba sis of se lf- concocte d re ason s. In this chapter we propo se
to r evie w the se o bject ions one by on e an d re but the m on
the ba sis of proo fs f urn ishe d by the Qur’ ān an d the
tra dition s.

Fi rst objecti on: Appeal for hel p is i n i tsel f an


act of wors hi p
In o r der to de clare appe al for he lp to someon e other than
Allāh a s a fo rm of disbelief , they , f ir st of a ll, identify it
with worsh ip. Sinc e it is an act o f disbelief to worsh ip
anyon e ex cept Allāh, ther efore , to appe al to som eone
ex cept Allāh for he lp an d a ssistanc e is a k in d of disbe lief.
T hey p ut fo r wa r d a battery of ar gument s to prov e the ir
contention :
1. Ra the r, who is the one who g rants the
supplica tion of a pe rson in d istre ss when he
ca lls Him and relie ve s th e troub le? 1
2. And tho se whom the se (po ly the ists)
wo rsh ip be side s A llāh can c rea te noth ing
and have themselve s b een c rea ted . ( The y)
a re d ead, lifele ss, and th ey do not kno w

1. Qur’ ān (an-N aml, the Ants ) 27: 62.


89
90 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

( even this much) a s when (people) will be


raised up. 1
3. And tho se you in vok e be side s Him, th eir
po we r is e ven le sse r than the skin of a date-
ston e. Ev en if you invok e th em, the y will
no t b e able to listen to you r ca ll, and if (a s
a suppo sition) th ey do listen, they canno t
an swe r your ca ll and on th e Day o f
Judg ement they will den y you r pa rtn ersh ip,
and will not te ll you any n ews like the One
Wh o is acquain ted with all thing s. 2
4. And who is more a stray than th e one
who invo ke s, be sid es God , such (god s) a s
will no t answer h im to the Da y o f
Judg ement and who in fac t a re un consciou s
o f th eir call. 3
5. That (pe rson) ca lls on such deitie s,
be side s God , a s can n eithe r hu rt nor pro fit
h im.4
6. No r wo rship b e side s A llāh an y (ido ls):
such will neithe r pro fit you no r hurt you.
Then if you d id so , you will ce rta inly be
among tho se who do wrong. And if God
hu rts you, th ere is non e ex cep t Him who
can remove it.5
7. He wo rsh ip s h im who se hurt is nea re r
than his p ro fit.6
T hey r ely on the se Qur’ ānic v er se s an d a ssert that
anyon e who invok es any other p er son be side s Allāh

1. Qur’ ān (an-N ahl, the B ee) 16: 20-1.


2. Qur’ ān (Fātir, t he Originat or) 35:13 -4.
3. Qur’ ān (al -Ahq āf, t he S and-dunes) 46:5.
4. Qur’ ān (al -Haj j, Pil grim age) 22:12.
5. Qur’ ān (Y ūnus, J onah) 10: 106-7.
6. Qur’ ān (al -Haj j, Pil grim age) 22:13.
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 91

sho uld be con demne d. T hey ar gue on this basis that


invokin g h elp an d seek in g a ssistan ce is r eserve d only for
Allāh. T her efore , any app eal for help to anyon e e lse
be side s him is a fo rm of disbelief. T his k in d of re ason in g
is act ua lly ba se d on misconception an d p erver se lo gic . In
the fo llo win g pa ge s an attempt is m a de to p ick o ut fla ws
in this mo de of r ea son in g an d to pr esent a so un d an d cle ar
p icture of the tr ue po sition.

Each appe al for help is not an act of worshi p


In the se Qur ’ān ic v erse s the wor d du‘ā’ ha s be en use d in
the sen se of wor ship. But the holy Qur ’ān doe s not
interpret the wo r d du‘ā’ as wor sh ip in all context s,
other wise m in ds which have gon e a stray will not r efra in
from c a stin g stone s even on the proph ets an d will mar sha l
a ssorte d eviden ce in a f utile ef fort to prov e their point of
v ie w. Allāh say s in the ho ly Qur’ān :
1. Say : Come! Let u s call (tog eth er) ou r
son s and you r son s. 1
2. Then (afte r a little wh ile) a (g irl) ou t o f
the two came to him who was wa lk ing with
mode sty. Sh e said : ‘my fa the r is ca lling you
to remune rate you fo r the (labou r) you ha ve
done fo r u s b y feed ing wa te r ( to) ou r
(goa ts).’ 2
3. Then (afte r slaughte ring th em), put a
po rtion of them on e ve ry h ill and call to
them, th ey will come to you with spe ed.3
4. Wh en we shall call tog eth er a ll fac tion s
o f human being s with th eir lead ers.4

1. Qur’ ān (Āl ‘Imrān, t he F amil y of ‘ Im rān) 3: 61.


2. Qur’ ān (al -Qas as, the Narratives) 28:25.
3. Qur’ ān (al -Baqar ah, th e C ow) 2:260.
4. Qur’ ān (al -Isr ā’, the Ni ght journey) 17:71.
92 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

T he comm ents ma de by ‘ Abdullāh bin ‘Abbās on this


Qur’ān ic v er se are a s fo llo ws:
He re the leade r o r Imām mean s the
pe rson who se inv ita tion th e peop le ha ve
follo wed, wheth e r this in vitation lead s them
to e vil o r gu idance . 1
It me ans th at each comm un ity will gather aro un d its
lea der who se comman ds it follo we d durin g its e arthly
sojo urn an d Allāh will call them by th is spe cif ic la be l: ‘O
fo llo wer s o f such an d such le a der , yo ur fate will be
de cide d a lon g with h im.’
In short, if we interpr et the wor d du‘ā ’ in these ver se s
a s wo rsh ip, we are mor e like ly to open the win do w of
disbelief r ather than c lo se it. T herefor e it se em s lo gica l to
con clude that if the wor d du‘ā’ is link e d with an infidel or
a non- be liever , it will m ean an act o f wo rsh ip, other wise
it s mean in g will chan ge with the ch an ge of context. In the
ve rses c ite d a gain st the justif ic ation of appea l fo r he lp a s
a r guments th e wor d du ‘ā’ is directe d at the inf ide ls,
there fore, in these sit uation s it will me an an act of
wo rsh ip, but they do not disackno wle dge the va lidity of
app ea l for he lp be ca use th e f avo urite s of Allāh whose he lp
is be in g so ught are not entitle d to be wo rsh ippe d.

Second objecti on: Appeal for hel p is a form of


dis belief in supernatural matters
T his o bjection is ba se d on a p artic ular div ision. Matte s a re
gen era lly div ide d into t wo c ate gorie s on the ba sis of
c a use s:
1. Or din ary matter s
2. Extraor dina ry matter s
Accor din g to this division , it is va lid to se ek the he lp
of other s in or dina ry matter s be ca use they fa ll un der
nat ura l c a use s but it is inva lid in extraor dinary m atters
be ca use th ey f all un der supern atural c a use s an d th erefo re

1. B aghawī narrat ed it in Ma‘āli m-ut -tanzī l (3: 126 ).


Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 93

is a form of disbe lief. Matter s of c a use-an d-eff ect a re


gen era lly h an dle d on this leve l, but if this pattern is
discar de d an d app ea l is ma de thro ugh other ca uses, it is
c alle d appe al for he lp thro ugh supern atur al ca use s, an d if
r elianc e is m a de only on ca use -an d- effe ct, it is c alle d
app ea l for he lp thro ugh nat ura l ca use s. T he mean s for he lp
a dopte d in th is c ase a re gener ally comp atible with the
matter s for whom help is bein g imp lore d. It sho uld be kept
in min d that in their opin ion it is app ea l for h elp thro ugh
nat ura l ca use s to cooper ate with one another in worldly
matter s, an d there fore it is a va lid a ct a s Allāh say s:
And h elp one ano the r in (a cts o f)
righ teou sne ss and pie ty .1
T hough they tr eat app ea l for he lp thro ugh nat ura l
c a use s in o r din ary m atters a s a v alid act, they deny its
va lidity in extraor dinary matter s.

In tellectual settle ment of the obje cti on


First point: T he division into appe al for he lp thro ugh
nat ura l an d supe rnat ura l ca uses ( relatin g to o r din ary an d
extrao r din ary m atters) de clare s the latter as an inv alid act,
wh ile the holy Qur’ ān m ake s no ref erenc e to this
distin ction tendin g to justify one an d con demn the other.
T his is a self -fa br ic ate d div ision an d is the r e sult of
spe cio us lo gic an d f la we d r ea sonin g. No Qur ’ān ic v er se
c an be c ite d to suppo rt this div ision.
We sho uld a lso k eep in min d that extraor din ary
matter s a re en gin eere d by fa ctors wh ich can be exp la ine d
by som e leve l o f r ea sonin g. But , with the except ion of kun
fayakūn ( be ! an d it is) no event is motiv ated by
supern atur al ca use s. Since the ca use s of som e phenom ena
a re not appa rently kno wn to us, we ten d to explain them
thro ugh supern atur al ca uses.
Se cond point: T he v erse in sū rah a l-Fā tihah , which is
r e gar de d a s the f un dam ental link in the ir rea son in g, m ake s

1. Qur’ ān (al -Mā’i dah, the F east ) 5:2.


94 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

no mention o f the ca use s un der wh ich th is div ision ha s


be en for ge d, while the wor ds iyyā ka na sta’ īnu ( we seek
he lp only f rom Yo u) a re be in g use d in the a bso lute sense.
T he r ule is that the a bso lute ha s a contin uo us sway in its
a rea of app lication, that is, the a bso lute c annot tolerate
any fluctuation in its r an ge of r efer ence . T his is what
f un damentally differ entiate s the a bsolute from the
r elat ive, the rea l from the contin gent, the cate gor ica l from
the con dition al. T he refor e we c annot c lamp on it se lf-
invente d me anin gs. We cannot say : ‘ O Allāh! W e seek
Yo ur h elp only in extr aor din ary o r supern atura l m atters
be ca use no on e else except Yo u can he lp us in the se
matter s. As f ar a s or dinary o r wor ldly m atters a re
con cern e d, we have no n ee d to seek Yo ur h elp bec a use
there ar e co untless othe r so urce s which co uld be t appe d
for the ac quisition of h elp.’ A div ision on the se line s is
nothin g but a ref le ction of th eir lack of kno wle dge an d
st up idity an d is a on e- way ticket to disbelief . T hus the ir
o wn p erver se re ason in g boomer an gs on them; they
them se lve s are guilty of the disbe lief o f which th ey h ave
a cc use d others.
Thir d point: All div ision an d cla ssif icat ion pre suppo se
differ entiation . But the que stion is that in the ca se of
iyyā ka na sta‘īnu th ere is no ne e d for such diff erent iation
a s the a bso lute is cate gor ic al an d in div isible . Any effo rt to
divide it is se lf-fr ustratin g. T hey hav e div ide d it de spite
the glar in gly o bvio us f act that it is both unjustifie d an d
un warr anted. Beside s, it c lea rly rev ea ls that the ir o wn
the sis is mark e d by an inher ent contra diction a s they
justify app ea l fo r he lp thro ugh n atural c a use s while
deny in g it through sup ernat ura l ca use s. It is, in f act,
nothin g but a high ly distorte d re fle ction of their o wn
squint-ey e d vision. T he div ision c an be v in dic ate d only if
we th ink of the dichotomy in terms o f rea l he lp an d
de rivat ive h elp , which in r ea lity, amo unts to no division.
If a ll he lp de riv es from th e a bso lute, then th e po wer o f the
de rivat ive so ur ce o f he lp is on ly cont in gent, an d it
a c quir e s substance only thro ugh the willin gn e ss of the rea l
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 95

he lper . T hus the only sen sible way is in term s of r ea l an d


de rivat ive an d not wh ether one kin d o f app ea l for h elp is
justifie d an d the other is unjustif ie d.
In the wor ds of iyyā ka na sta‘ īnu the creat ur e is
implor in g Allāh . He is, in f act, sayin g: ‘O Allāh! No
matter wh ich extern al so urce we tap for the r elie f of o ur
imme diate n ee d, we do not re gar d this so urc e of re lief an d
he lp a s the r eal h elp er. We tr eat on ly Yo u a s the true an d
r eal Help er bec a use, if Yo ur support an d willin gne ss is
lack in g an d if Yo ur con sent is missin g, no on e else ha s the
po wer to h elp us o ut of o ur trouble .’ T his is the
un waver in g co re of o ur fa ith wh ether we ar e r ecover in g
thro ugh the me dic ine of a do ctor or thro ugh the
supplic ation o f a sa int; we do not con sider them the rea l
he lper s. T here fore in any ca se an d un der all
c irc umstan ce s, Allāh alon e is o ur re al He lper bec a use the
a ssistan ce of a ll other s is pre dicat ive, that is, it is
pr e dic ate d only on Allāh’ s plea sure an d willin gn ess. For
us both the me dic ine an d the supplic ation, the do ctor an d
the sa int, ar e only mean s an d this is th eir on ly
sign if ican ce bec a use Allāh alone is the rea l He lper.
Fourth point: In some c a se s, ho wever, it appea ls to o ur
common sense to upho ld the div ision bet ween nat ura l
c a use s an d supern atur al ca use s, an d its r elevanc e is fo un d
on ly in t erm s of th eir app lication an d not on th e ba sis of
their inherent diff erentiation. Some act s are re solv e d by
nat ura l me ans while a supern atur al solut ion h a s to be
exp lore d fo r other acts. T he c a use s are pr esent in both
c a se s. T he on ly differ enc e is that in the ca se of nat ura l
a cts, the c a use s are v isible wh ile in the c a se of
supern atur al act s the ca use s are gene ra lly inv isible. T he
nat ura l ca uses m ay be ca lle d externa l an d m aterial while
the supe rnatura l c a use s may be ca lle d intern al an d
spirit ua l, an d this cla ssif icat ion so un ds mor e appropriate.
T hough mater ia l ca uses are discar de d in the ca se of
supern atur al act s, their pre sen ce, ho wev er, cannot be
den ie d. It me ans that act s are not sup ernat ura l in the
a bso lute sen se. T he only diffe renc e is that the ca use s of
96 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

nat ura l acts are externa l which ar e visible to the common


man or perc eiv a ble by him, wh ile the ca uses of
supern atur al act s, on a cco unt of the ir non-mate ria l
comp lex ion, are not visible to the common eye.
When the prophet s, the saint s, the p io us people or any
other in dividual is implor e d for help within the scope of
the world of c a use-an d-eff ect, the wor ds use d a s a m ean s
of he lp will po sse ss r ea l m ean in g but even in this ca se the
r eal he lper will be Allāh a lone. But when h elp is be in g
implor e d in a wor ld beyon d c a use- an d-eff ect, the wor ds
use d for h elp will h ave on ly deriv ative va lue bec a use even
in this situation the re al he lper is Allāh alon e, that is, in
both c ase s, the re al mean in g is lack in g. T he on ly
differ enc e is that the use of wor ds in the n atural context
wa s ba se d on f act wh ile in the sup ernat ura l context, the
enterta inment of rea l mean in g was o bjection a ble,
there fore, th e wor d it self was sho rn of r ea l me anin g. In
short, both in t erm s of semantic s an d f aith, the wor d rea l
is exc lusiv ely re serv e d for Allāh .

Di vi sion between re al an d de ri vati ve is ine vitable


A gro up, who den ie s the re levan ce of be se ech in g he lp
from any quarter be side s Allāh , ho weve r, believ es that it
is va lid in natura l m atters, while there is no ne e d to stre ss
it s re al an d der ivative components. No w we wo uld lik e to
a sk th ese p eople that if appea l for h elp thro ugh nat ura l
me an s an d th e division bet ween th e r eal an d th e de riv ative
is disa ckno wle dge d, then who will be the r eal he lper in
nat ura l m atters? I s the r ea l he lper the doctor who is
pr escribin g m e dica l tre atment for the patient o r Allāh? If
the an swe r is th at ev en in worldly affa ir s the re al he lper is
Allāh, th en why sho uld we reta in the distinction bet ween
the natura l an d the supernat ur al me ans or so urce s of he lp?
Why sho uld it be allo we d thro ugh the op eration of nat ura l
c a use s an d de clare d a kin d of disbelie f when it op erate s
thro ugh sup ernat ura l ca use s? Ho w is it po ssible to re so lve
the contra diction bet we en be lief in Allāh a s the t r ue
he lper an d seek in g he lp from other s be side s Allāh,
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 97

witho ut ackno wle dgin g the dist inction bet ween the rea l
an d the der ivativ e? T he Qur’ān say s:
And our Lo rd is infinite ly Me rc ifu l and
His he lp alon e is sought aga in st the
( vex ing) word s (O non-b elie ve rs,) you
u tte r.1
On th e other han d, if the an swe r is th at in or din ary
matter s the tr ue he lper is not Allāh but man , it c reate s
dua lity, wh ich is a ne gation of be lief that the help er in
or dinary matter s is the cre atur e but the h elp er in
extrao r din ary m atters is the Cr eator. On the basis o f this
dua lity, if we a dm it the cr eat ure as the tr ue h elp er, it will
amo unt to the same kin d of disbelief a s wa s p ractise d by
the infidels of Makkah th at in or dinary affa ir s they r elie d
on men a s h elp er s an d in other aff airs be se ech e d Allāh for
he lp. I f it is a dmitte d that Allāh is a lso the He lper in
wo rldly a ffa ir s, then ho w is it corre ct to seek the he lp of
someon e who is not- Go d.
T he conc lusiv e ar gument is that Allāh is the on ly
Help er even in or dinary m atters, an d h elp from the
c reat ure s is imp lor e d on ly in the deriv ative sen se , not in
the rea l sense  then the que stion arises if beseech in g
other s for h elp be side s Allāh in or din ary m atters is valid
wh ere it is on ly de rivat ive, then ho w c an it be de cla re d
invalid in extraor dinary matter s wher e its der ivative st atus
is esta blish e d beyon d do ubt. T he contra diction is simp ly
incompr ehen sible.

Justi ficati on of hel p from de ri vati ve s ou rce in


su pe rn atural matte rs
Re liance on the deriv ative so urc e of he lp in sup ernat ura l
matter s is justif ie d in the sen se that, tho ugh appar ently,
the so ur ce is other than Go d, a ctually it is Go d whose he lp
is bein g covete d. In a ddition, the wor d h elp is use d in its
de rivat ive sen se at m any p la ce s in the Ho ly Qur’ān . T he

1. Qur’ ān (al -Ambi yā’, t he P rophet s ) 21:112.


98 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

fr e quency with which it is use d is ama zin g. In the


fo llo win g pa ge s, a f e w examp le s fro m the Qur’ān will be
given to wash o ut the m isconc eption in the m in ds of the
be liever s an d to brin g ho me to them th e dire con se quen ce s
if the distin ction bet ween the re al an d the de riv ative is
blotted o ut:

Alle gation of disbelie f against Jibrīl (D) ?

When Jibrīl (D) , with Allāh ’s con sent, app ear e d befo re
M aryam (Mary ) in th e shape of a h uman bein g to convey
to her the ne ws of the birth of ‘ Īsā (D), he sa id:
I hav e only been sen t by you r Lo rd. (I
hav e come b ecau se) I should ble ss you with
a pu re son .1
In th is Qur’ān ic ver se th e statement by Jibr īl (D)
bor ders on the supern atur al bec a use the birth o f a son
witho ut mar ital con summ ation is impossible in the wor ld
of ca use-an d- effe ct, an d, to convey the n e ws of the birth
of a son to a cha ste, unm arr ie d woman is a graph ic
Qur’ān ic illustration of h elp in supern atur al matter s,
wh ich is simp ly incon ce iva ble witho ut the interpo lation of
mate ria l ca use s.
T he po int to be note d is that if a p er son be see che s a
sa int or one of Allāh’ s f avo urite s for he lp on ly a s a m ean s,
some of o ur ignorant fr ien ds in stantly clamp on him the
a lle gation o f disbe lief, while if so me non- Go d 
Jibrīl(D)  says, “ I ble ss yo u with a p ure son,” an d
Allāh Himself ment ions it in the ho ly Qur’ān , why don’t
they c all it disbe lie f bec a use both sit uation s a re
subst antia lly identica l? In the c a se of besee chin g he lp the
petit ioner is e ssentially a h uman be in g an d rem ain s so
un de r a ll the c irc um stanc es, but the statem ent “ I ble ss yo u
with a p ure son” is an en croa chment on the divine po wer s
if it is not interprete d de rivat ively ; if it is interpr ete d in
the re al sen se , then the an gel ac quire s the stat us of Go d

1. Qur’ ān (Mar yam, M ary) 19:19.


Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 99

wh ich is nothin g but disbe lie f. T o ble ss som eone with a


ch ild is a divin e act an d th e duty of a c reat ure is only to
se ek His ble ssin g. If a p er son’ s act o f be see chin g he lp
from non- Allāh is an act of disbe lief, then the statement
by a non-Allāh that “ I ble ss yo u with a p ur e son ” amo unts
to ev en a high er for m of disbe lief. T he quest ion is that
Jibrīl (D) did not commit disbelief de spite his statement
app arently bo r der in g on disbe lief; rather h is statement
prov e d tr uthf ul. T hen ho w co uld we v in dic ate his
st atement that appar ently se eme d to defy the po wer s of
divin ity, a s no bo dy ha s dare d c all h im (may Go d for bid) a
disbeliev er?
T hough the statem ent, “ I ble ss yo u with a p ure son ,”
app arently be lon gs to Jibrīl (D), but the “ son” act ually
r efer s to the son Allāh is a bo ut to ble ss her with, an d the
an gel is only a ca use, a m ean s fo r the act which is, in
e ssen ce, div ine . T hus the Qur ’ān ic v er se (19:19) em bo die s
on ly an act of he lp which is rea lly an act o f inte rme diation
on ly an d is a sup er b ex ample of de rivat ive he lp f urn ishe d
by the Qur’ ān it se lf.
So me p eople r aise o bjection a ga inst the tr anslat ion of
the ver se . T hey op ine that the subject of the ver b li-ahaba
(I sho uld ble ss) is Allāh Him se lf an d Jibr īl (D ) sa id it
r eporte dly. Wh ile in another r ec itation of the v er se the
ve r b is li-yahaba ( He (Allāh) sho uld bless) .
T he denier s acc ept the se t wo translat ions be ca use they
c ater to their temper ament an d pamp er the ir moo d. An d
they re ject the pref erre d one th at is in th e ho ly Qur’ān an d
r ecite d a ccor din gly. So wh at hin dr ance rem ain s th ere to
a cc ept the prepon derant rec itation an d me anin g of the
ve rse that ha s a lso be en narr ate d by the exe gete s of great
r ep ute? T he sam e m ean in g that we n arrate d is pr inte d in
the tran slation of th e holy Qur’ ān in Ur du p ublish e d by
Sh āh Fah a d Qur ’ān Kar īm Comp lex, Sa udi Ara bia.

Alle gation of disbelie f against ‘Īsā (D) ?

When ‘Ī sā (D) artic ulate d the div ine tr uth p ublicly an d


trie d to invite the m em ber s of h is comm unity to div ine
100 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

un ity an d dissua de them f rom comm ittin g disbe lief, he


sho we d a n um ber of m ira cle s to them. His invitation ha s
be en phr ase d in the ho ly Qur ’ān in the se wor ds:
Su re ly, I hav e come to you, with a sign
from your Lo rd that I mak e fo r you, out o f
c lay , th e ( figu re of a) b ird, and b reath e in to
it and it be comes in stantly a fly ing b ird by
God ’s leave . And I hea l tho se born blind,
and the lepe rs, and I qu ic ken the d ead by
God ’s lea ve, and I d ec lare to you (all) tha t
you ea t, and that you sto re in you r hou se s.
Su re ly in tha t th e re is a sign fo r you if you
a re b elie ve rs.1
T his Qur’ān ic ver se r elate s fiv e m ir acle s p erforme d by
‘Ī sā (D):
1. to mak e a fly in g bir d o ut of clay
2. to he al a pe rson who is born blin d
3. to he al lepro sy
4. to quicken the dea d
5. to rev ea l ne ws from the unseen
Allāh ha d ble sse d ‘Ī sā (D) with f ive mir ac le s wh ich
he use d to op enly de clare h is f aith an d wh ich have been
en do rse d by Go d Him se lf in the Ho ly Qur’ ān. In this
Qur’ān ic v er se, ‘Ī sā (D ) say s: ‘I h ave come to yo u, with a
sign from yo ur Lor d that I m ake for yo u, o ut of clay, the
(f igure of a) bir d.’ T he wor d a khluqu (I cr eate) ha s been
use d inste a d o f the wo r d a j‘a lu (I make ). A little
r eflection will sho w yo u that the who le de bate revo lve s
a ro un d the distinction bet we en re al an d der ivative , the
po wer that is se lf- generate d an d the po wer that is
gen erate d by the other’ s will, the non-cont in gent an d the
contin gent.
In this Qur’ ānic ver se , the r ea l h elp er is not ‘ Īsā (D),
but Allāh Him self. T he de bate is, in f act, ver bal bec a use
the wor ds h ave be en use d not in the ir e ssentia l m ean in g,

1. Qur’ ān (Āl ‘Imrān, t he F amil y of ‘ Im rān) 3: 49.


Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 101

but only in their bo rro we d sen se. T hough the mo de of


a ddre ss is voc ative, the rea l He lper is Allāh Him se lf an d
wh at the Prophet (D ) is p erform in g ha s the div ine
san ction beh in d it. T his is a f ine examp le of the ver ba l
distin ction bet ween the re al an d the non -re al f urn ishe d by
the Qur’ān .
On e can say that the entir e episo de re late s to the
m ira cle p erform e d by ‘Ī sā (D) an d a mir ac le is irre levant
to a disc ussion of appea l for he lp. T he simple an swer is
that “ the mirac le is the h ea lin g of the sick an d not the
a rro gation of divin e po wer s to him se lf. ” T he f act is that
the supern atur al act s perfor me d by the Prophet (D)
po sse ss on ly a deriv ative me anin g bec a use both dise a se
an d its recov ery a re fro m Allāh. When it is an imm uta ble
f act that Allāh a lone hea ls a leper an d a p er son who is
born blin d, then why did Īsā (D ) say , “ I h ea l.” In
pr inc iple, he sho uld have sa id that ‘though I c a st my han d
ove r a lep er an d a blin d per son, I do not he al them ; it is,
in fact, Allāh who he als them.’ It wo uld not hav e re duce d
the imp act of the mir ac le in any sen se but h e on ly
de rivat ive ly arro gate d it to him se lf.
T he fo urth statem ent he m a de wa s “ An d I quicken the
de a d, by Go d’s le ave. ” T his is re ally an extr eme c a se. He
is not sayin g: ‘yo u brin g a dea d p er son, then I sha ll p ray
to Allāh an d He, on acco unt of my pr ayer, sha ll br in g h im
to life .’ But he sa id, “ I br in g the de a d to life by Go d’ s
leav e.” It m ean s that the use of wor ds an d the spec if ic
mo de o f a ddr ess are on ly der ivativ ely attributed to the
c reat ure , an d not in the r ea l sen se. It is quite va lid in the
c a se of ‘Ī sā (D ) bec a use it is bein g use d only in a
r eflectiv e sense through the wor ds b i- idhn Allāh ( by
Go d’s leave ) he is de clarin g only Allāh a s the tr ue He lpe r.
T he fifth statement m a de by h im say s, “ An d I de cla re
to yo u (all) that yo u eat, an d that yo u store in yo ur
ho use s. ” He doe s not say that h e is doin g so bec a use he
ha s been informe d by Go d; on the other han d, he say s, “ I
give yo u th e n e ws.” T he se wor ds c le arly em bo dy an
a sp ect of kno wle dge of the un se en bec a use infor mation
102 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

a bo ut what someon e ha s eaten f alls within the re alm of the


un se en an d is kno wn to Allāh alon e. ‘Ī sā (D) doe s not
say, “ Go d infor ms m e, ” though the fact is th at it is Allāh
Who is info rmin g him but he ha s not expr e sse d it in his
wo r ds an d ha s only der ivativ ely attribute d it to him se lf
wh ich c le ar ly r eve als that the kno wle dge of the un seen
c an be deriv ative ly claim e d by non- Allāh, an d it is valid
other wise a Me ssen ger of Allāh wo uld nev er h ave
comm itte d such an a ct.
T he statem ent p ublicly ma de by ‘Ī sā (D) m ust bor der
on disbe lief in the eye s of o ur mo de rn scho lar s who do not
tir e o f tr ump etin g their f aith in divine un ity. Such a mo de
of th inkin g will not even exempt the prophet s f rom the
st igma of disbelief . No sane believe r will subscr ibe to
their distorted point o f v ie w beca use to acc use the
proph ets o f disbelie f is in itse lf a kin d of disbe lief.
T herefor e, th is t ren d o f spe c ulat ion may prove ha zar do us
for the entir e wor ld of Islam a s it will not even spa re the
proph ets who devote d their live s to win Allāh’ s p le asure
an d favo ur .

Alle gation of disbelie f against Allāh?


T he sp ec ific v er se of sūrah Ā l ‘Imrān r ecor ds the wor ds
uttere d by ‘Ī sā (D) , “ I brin g the dea d to life by Go d’ s
leav e an d I br eathe lif e into the f igure s of bir ds ma de o ut
of clay, etc, ” but in the fo llo win g ver se , Allāh Himself is
supportin g h is wo r ds:
And when you, by My leav e, made ( the
figu re) lik e tha t o f a bird out of kn eaded
c lay . 1
Allāh h a s not de clare d: ‘ O ‘ Īsā! I ma de fo r yo u bir ds
of c lay an d bro ught them to life, for yo u I gave sight to
the per son s born blin d an d hea le d the leper s. ’ Allāh co uld
hav e done so for the sak e of His favo ur ites bec a use He
kne w that nothin g co uld sh ake them in the ir belief in Him .

1. Qur’ ān (al -Mā’i dah, the F east ) 5:110.


Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 103

It is an a dm itted fa ct that breath in g lif e into so methin g


an d m akin g it a live is ex clusive ly an act of the Creator of
the un iver se . But for ‘Ī sā (D) He Him self dec lar e d:
Then you b reath ed in to it, so ( the
figu re) be came a bird by My lea ve, and
when you hea led the pe rson s bo rn blind
and th e lep ers by My lea ve, and when you
by My lea ve made the dead (alive b y)
taking th em ou t (o f th eir g rav e s and) made
them ( stand up ).1
T he ver se make s it clear that the se wo r ds are on ly
de rivat ive ly applie d to non- Allāh an d th is mo de of
app lication is v alid. T he se wor ds wer e uttere d by Allāh
Him se lf an d were a lso use d by the proph ets tho ugh the re
wa s no comp ulsion for them to make use of such wor ds.
T heir der ivative use in the Holy Qur’ ān by Allāh is not
on ly the gr eate st justification of their dele gate d mean in g
but is also an atte station of the ir v alidity.
T his disc ussion also f urnish es a spec if ic co de for
interna l an d extern al ca use s, th at is, in sup ernat ura l
c a use s, even tho ugh the wor ds ar e direct ly attribute d to
the cre ature, the r ea l dr ivin g for ce beh in d the se wor ds is
Allāh Him se lf bec a use He is th e only re al He lper an d
supporter.

Third objecti on: Beseeching s omeone other


than God for hel p s macks of his invisi ble power
Be se ech in g som eone other than Go d is a form of disbe lief
be ca use to se ek he lp from a r emote distanc e fa lls un der
supern atur al ca uses, an d this is the thir d re ason in the ir
a rmo ury of ar gument s. Sin ce the p er son who se help is
be in g implo re d appe ar s to be at an inv isible distanc e, we
inve st h im with sup ernat ura l po wer, wh ich is only Allāh’ s
pr ero gativ e. T hrough th is act, we also inve st him with
a bso lute po wer. Sin ce only Allāh po sse sse s a bsolute

1. Qur’ ān (al -Mā’i dah, the F east ) 5:110.


104 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

po wer, it is a form of disbelief to inve st not- Go d with


such po wer. T his, in fact, amo unt s to cre atin g partner s for
Allāh, which is a glarin g ne gation of div ine un ity an d
there fore, in con flict with the mo st f un damenta l art icle of
o ur fa ith which proc la im s divin e in divisibility.

Re bu ttal of the self-con cocte d belief


Se lf-con cocte d theorie s m ake the conf usion wor se
con fo un de d an d ther efore , a sk for the ir instant
e liminat ion. T his is entir ely wron g that such per son s
po sse ss po wer of the un seen . It is, in fact, a kin d of
spirit ua l quality, wh ich Allāh con fer s on His cho sen
c reat ure s. T o ca ll this sp ir itual po wer, wh ich Allāh
Him se lf ha s given to His spe cia l peop le, a bso lute is to
c reate disco r d amon g th e be lieve rs. Be side s, even the non-
be liever s seem to po sse ss this kin d of po wer an d this doe s
not tran sform the m into go dh ea ds. If the non- be liever s can
c la im this virt ue , why sho uld the be liever s be depr ive d of
it s ben efit who h ave a greater claim on Allāh’ s f avo ur s.
T he r efer ence to internet, which is th e late st sym bol of
mo de rn sc ientif ic pro gre ss, seem s to be the most
app ropriate way to illustrate o ur point. In th is scientif ic
wo rld of m aterial pro gr e ss, wher e the h uman con cept of a
glo bal villa ge ha s no w be come a r eality, distan ce s h ave
shr unk in the comp uter wor ld. T he internet h as re duce d
the world to the leve l of a gr ain o f rye . T he state of
pro gr ess a llo ws man to sit in a clo se d room an d to be in
to uch with the late st deve lopment s in the o ut side wor ld.
T he quest ion arise s: ‘ do the intern et an d the comp uter s
linke d with it po sse ss the po we r of th e un seen ?’ T his
r evea ls the f un dam ental contra diction in their line of
r ea sonin g. T hey do not la be l the comp uter s an d th eir mo de
of work a s a form of disbe lief, but it is diff ic ult for them
to swallo w the op eration s of the spir itual po wer, wh ich
Allāh ha s giv en to His favo ur ite peop le, an d they dub it
una sh ame dly a s a form of disbelie f. If the o utcom e of
sc ientif ic pro gre ss h a s ma de the impo ssible a s po ssible
an d giv en birth to instant comm un ication wh ere an event
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 105

happ enin g in on e corne r o f the wo rld is instantly spla she d


a cro ss the who le world, an d it do e s not c la sh with the
con cept o f divin e un ity, then ho w can an expr e ssion an d
man if estation of sp irit ua l ca use s be ta gge d a s a kin d of
disbelief . If the invent ions of the disbeliev er s an d the
infidels, an d the inv isible po wer s they se em to pro ject, do
not a mo unt to disbe lief, then why sho uld the sp ir itua l
po wer s enjoye d th ro ugh div ine con sent by th e prophet s,
the pio us an d the sa ints be e quate d with disbelief. T his, in
f act, is th e h ighe st form of p erver sion. W e do not
den igrate th e mo dern invention s an d the po wer with wh ich
they have inve ste d m ankin d, but they ar e no m atch for the
spirit ua l po wer an d en lightenment with which Allāh ha s
ble sse d His o wn favo urite s; th e prophet s, the sa ints an d
the r ighteo us. T his spir itual po wer ha s be en expr e sse d by
Sh aykh ‘ Abd- ul-Qā dir Jīlānī in the se wor ds:
I see all the coun trie s of Allāh
simultaneou sly as if th ey are like a g ra in o f
ry e on my pa lm (in my ey e).1
So me people suff er from the do ubt that when we c all
someon e f rom a distance, it me ans that the one who is
be in g ca lle d kno ws who the ca ller is, that is, he , in f act,
kno ws the c aller ve ry we ll. On this ba sis, he se em s to
po sse ss kno wle dge of the un se en, an d sin ce kno wle dge of
the un se en a lso imp lie s a bso lute po wer, ther efor e, on
a cco unt of th ese t wo in gr e dients, it is a k in d of disbe lief
a s well as an ille ga l act. T he an swer to this perv er se
r ea sonin g is quite simp le . In this a ge of scientif ic
pro gr ess, both these a spe cts ar e p re sent in the h uman
kno wle dge deriv e d from mo dern inv ention s, while Qur’ ān,
the Wor d of Go d, h a s alrea dy antic ipate d an d confirme d
it, but be in g divin e in or igin , it is free from a ll pollution.
T he Qur’ān carr ie s inform ation a bo ut remote kno wle dge
an d the po wer ov er act s an d pheno mena . Sulaym ān (D)
sa id dur in g the dia lo gue with h is co urtier s:

1. S h aykh ‘ Abd-ul -Qādi r Jīl ānī, Qasīdah ghawt hi yyah.


106 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

You ch ie fs! Wh ich of you can b ring me


he r th rone be fore they come to me in
submission.1
T he throne of queen Balqīs wa s at a distan ce of 900
m iles from Sulaym ān’ s co urt which non e of th e co urtier s
ha d seen . In spite of it, non e o f them a ske d him : ‘O
Prophet, the thron e is at a distan ce of h un dr e ds of m ile s,
p lac e d beh in d an invisible c urtain an d yo u ar e deman din g
that it sho uld be bro ught to yo u imme diate ly. Do yo u
enterta in the be lie f on o ur beha lf that we, sittin g her e,
po sse ss kno wle dge of r emote o bject s?’

C an creatu res h ave remote k nowle dge?


If Sulaym ān (D) h a d believe d th at his co urtier s h a d no
kno wle dge o f the lo cation of the throne place d at a
distan ce of 900 mile s an d o f c arry in g it over such a v ast
distan ce, he wo uld nev er h ave a ske d who wo uld brin g it.
On the contrary , h e wo uld hav e implo re d Allāh : ‘O Allāh!
Se n d to me the throne of queen Ba lqīs beca use Yo u a re
the on ly one who po sse sse s a bso lute po wer. ’
In sho rt, we lea rn from th e Qur’ān th at kno wle dge of
distant o bjects do es not con stit ute disbe lief.
Sula ymān (D) did not commit disbe lief bec a use h e wa s
ex erc isin g the invisible po we rs dele gate d to h im by Allāh
Him se lf. Sim ilarly , if the pre sent-day M uslims a dopt the
be lief that ‘Alī Hujwīrī, ‘ Abd- ul-Qā dir Jīlānī, Sultān Bāh ū
an d th e other sa ints an d v irtuo us peop le kno w us a n d
po sse ss the Go d- given po wer to h elp us o ut of o ur
pro blem s, they cannot be guilty o f p erpetratin g an a ct of
disbelief an d ar e not o ut of the fo ld of I slam. Just a s it
wa s not disbelief in the c ase of Sulaym ān (D), similar ly,
it is a bsolute ly v alid in the ir ca se , beca use the saint s a re
a s divine ly in sp ire d a s were the co urtier s of
Sula ymān (D), more p artic ula rly Āsif bin Ba rakhyā . In
both c ases, the se spe cial p eople ar e ble sse d by Allāh to

1. Qur’ ān (an-N aml, the Ants ) 27: 38.


Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 107

po sse ss these po wer s, an d the ex erc ise of the se po wers is


divine ly sanction e d. When Allāh a lone ha s the a bsolute
po wer, His la ws ar e eterna l an d cannot be mo dif ie d by the
va garie s of tim e an d spa ce or sele ctive ly app lie d on the
ba sis of in dividual f luctuation or chan ge in c irc um stan ce s.
If they wer e app lie d in the p ast, they can be applie d even
no w. I f they did not con stit ute disbelief dur in g the time of
Sula ymān (D), ho w c an they do so in th e mo dern tim e s?
Human po wer wav er s but Go d’ s po wer is a bso lute.

‘ Umar Fā rūq’s inspiration


T he unkno wn is reve ale d to the cho sen peop le of Allāh
who m He ha s inv este d with sp ec ial sp irit ua l po we rs. It
wa s a p roof of the se sp ir itual benef its that the
Compan ion s dire ctly groome d by the holy Prophet (A)
h imself co uld issue in struction s directly to the ir
comm an der s in the battlef ie ld ove r a distanc e of tho usan ds
of mile s witho ut usin g m aterial me ans. On ce, th e I slam ic
a rmy wa s array e d in battle a ga in st their en emies un de r the
comm an d of Sā riy ah bin Ja ba l. T he enemy m a de a clev er
tactica l move an d the Islam ic forc es we re completely
be sie ge d by them . Pre cise ly at that time , ‘ Umar Fār ūq wa s
de liv er in g the Fr iday sermon from the p ulp it at M e din a.
On a cco unt of his sp irit ua l concentrat ion, the battle
sc enar io wa s r ight befor e his ey e s. Dur in g the sermon , he
pro cla ime d lo udly:
O Sāriyah ! Go behind th e mountain ! 1

1. Ab ū Nu‘ aym narrated it i n Dal ā’il -un-nubuww ah (p. 50 7);


Kh at īb T abrī zī, Mi shkāt -ul -masābī h, b. of f ad ā ’il (vi rt ues )
ch. 8 (3: 318#5954); Ibn ‘ As āki r in T ahdhī b tā rī kh Di mas hq
a l -kabīr generally known as T ār ī kh/T ahdh īb Ibn ‘Asāki r;
Ib n Kathī r i n al -Bidāyah wan-ni hāyah (5 :210 -1 ) and
d ecl ared i ts ch ai n of aut hori ti es as excell ent an d fai r
(j ayyid has an ); ‘ As qal ānī graded it s chain o f t rans mis si on
h as an (fai r) i n al -Isābah fī tamyī z-is -s ahābah (2: 3); ‘Alī al -
Hi ndī, Kanz -ul -‘ummāl (1 2: 571,572, 573 #3 5788 -9 1);
‘ Ajl awn ī, Kashf -ul -khifā’ w a muz īl -ul-ilbās (2:514 #317 2);
an d Albānī i n Sils ilat -ul -ahādī th-i s -sahī hah (# 1110 ).
108 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

After say in g this, he re sume d delive rin g the sermon.


He wa s perfo rmin g t wo acts sim ultaneo usly : he wa s
de liv er in g the Fr iday se rmon at the Proph et’s Mo sque, an d
at the same t ime he wa s dir ectly issuin g in str uction s to his
comm an der at the battle field. He ne ither po sse sse d the
r a dar sy stem no r the mo bile phone , wh ich co uld inform
h im a bo ut the event s at the battlef ie ld. It wa s a mir ac le of
the spirit ua l po wer Allāh h a d blesse d him with, wh ich
he lpe d h is inne r eye to surv ey a ll that wa s happ enin g at
such a v a st distan ce. Sā riyah bin Ja ba l a ctually re ce ive d
the m essa ge f rom ‘ Umar Fā r ūq an d imm e diately le d his
for ce beh in d the mo unta in an d ach iev e d v ictory over the
en emy. T he enemy attack f iz zle d o ut, an d when the
I slamic for ce s h it back , the en emy wa s tro unce d.

Diffe re nce be twe en spiritual inspiration and knowle dge


of the unse en
Anothe r m isconc eption n ee ds to be remov e d which ten ds
to con f use in spir ation with inv isible kno wle dge. T he t wo
phenom ena are , in f act, po le s apart. As oppo se d to
kno wle dge of the un seen , div ine insp ir ation is a k in d of
r evelation ; it me an s to un rave l som ethin g that is
con ce ale d; it is a c urta in-ra iser as it lift s the c urta in on
somethin g that is h idden , an d it applie s only to the
c reat ure s. Allāh tran scen ds the se re servation s a s He
em bo die s in Him se lf the kno wle dge o f the unseen. Sin ce
nothin g is hidden from Him, the que stion of raisin g the
c urtain o r liftin g th e ve il doe s not arise in His c a se. It is
the prero gative of the sa ints of Allāh, wh ich He Him se lf
ha s a war de d to them. It is by virt ue of this po wer that the
se crets of h idden th in gs are rev ea le d to them an d this
kno wle dge doe s not a mo unt to disbelief bec a use it come s
a bo ut in exer cise of th e po wer confe rre d on them by Allāh
Him se lf. T he c urtain is r aise d on hidden th in gs for the
sa ints an d Allāh lifts their v eils an d this strike s the sa ints
with the fo rce of r eve lation. Here th e t wo po wer s mer ge :
the dir ect an d or igin al po we r of Allāh an d the in dire ct an d
r eflecte d po wer of the saint, but the me r ger cannot be
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 109

wille d by the saint a s it can be san ctione d by Allāh alon e.


T his is what the conc ept of divine unity bo ils do wn to.
T he a lle gation of disbelief can be justif ie d on ly if we
a rro gate the attributes of Allāh to not-Allāh. T here is
nothin g in the depth s of the e arth an d the imm en sities of
the he aven s that is h idden to Allāh. He kno ws ev erythin g
that is unkno wn to His cre atur e s, an d He kno ws all that is
r evea le d to them too. T he Lor d say s:
Su re ly, the re is no thing on th e earth
and in the h eaven s tha t is h idden to Allāh! 1
T his Qur ’ān ic v er se expre ssly state s that to attribute
insp irat ion to Allāh who is the so urce o f a ll insp ir ation is
to lim it the div ine po wer s an d to conf ine kno wle dge of the
un se en within na rro w groov e s, which ce rtain ly vio late s
the con cept of divin e un ity beca use ka shf mean s to
unr avel what is h idden wh ile nothin g is h idden to Allāh.
Sin ce thin gs a re conce ale d to h um an be in gs, Allāh
con ferr e d on His cho sen p eople, a s a ma rk o f the ir
distin ction, the po wer of insp ir ation, wh ich r eve ale d to
them the nea r an d distant o bje cts. [ For a deta ile d st udy of
the un seen, plea se ref er to o ur Ur du book ‘Aq īdah ‘ ilm
ghayb (Do ctrine of the Kno wle dge of the Unseen) .]

The P rophe t’s que stion is an a rgume nt for the po we r of


the que stione d
In the ev ent re late d in the ho ly Qur’ ān, Sulaymān (D)
ha d conveye d h is wish to the co urtier s to br in g to him the
throne of queen Ba lqīs, an d qualif ie d it by the con dition
“ before they com e to me in submission.” Queen Ba lqīs
an d a n um ber o f other people alon g with h er h a d alr ea dy
set o ut to v isit Sulaymān’ s co urt with a v ie w to e m brac in g
I slam, but h e wa s insistin g that the throne m ust be bro ught
to him befor e the ir ar riv al.
If Sulaymān (D) ha d not po sse sse d the be lief in the
kno wle dge of distant thin gs for not-Allāh an d the re quisite

1. Qur’ ān (Āl ‘Imrān, t he F amil y of ‘ Im rān) 3: 5.


110 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

po wer to tran sfo rm this kno wle dge into r eality, h e wo uld
nev er hav e a ske d such a quest ion. T he co urtier s wo uld
a lso h ave spok en o ut: ‘O Prophet! Ho w is it po ssible for
the c reat ure s to per form such an act? Yo u turn to Allāh
an d besee ch Him for he lp a s He alon e ha s the po we r ov er
this supe rnat ura l m atter.’ But none of the co urtier s da re d
a sk the que stion, but in re spon se to the quest ion, one of
the jinn s stoo d up an d sa id:
I can b ring it to you be fore you rise
from you r p lac e and indeed I am po we rfu l
( to b ring) it (and) I am tru stwo rthy.1
It m ay also be note d her e, ho w can somethin g that is
va lid for the jinn s, turn into an artic le of disbe lief for the
f avo urite peop le o f Allāh who con stantly bo w be fore Him.
Disbe lief is a ctua lly pre dic ate d on tho se attributes an d
qua lit ie s spec if ica lly a ssoc iate d with Allāh an d are not
av aila ble to other s. It will be disbelief on ly if they
attribute to themselv e s these sp ec ific div ine qualitie s
wh ich is o bvio usly in conc eiv a ble for a tr ue be liev er
be ca use it is e quiv alent to a ne gation of their fa ith.
Sula ymān (D) did not acc ept the offe r m a de by that
jinn. T hen one amon g th e men stoo d up who po sse sse d
kno wle dge of the Book . He wa s amon g the kno wle dgea ble
an d the spirit ua lists. He sa id to Sulaymān (D) while
st an din g:
I can b ring it to you be fo re you r e ye
re tu rns to you (th is is, in th e twink ling o f
an eye ), then wh en (Su laymān) found tha t
( th rone) pla ced befo re h im, he said: ‘ this is
by th e g race of my Lo rd.’ 2
T he den igrator s say th at Sulaymān (D) wa s the
pe rson who bro ught the throne. Wh ile the c ele brate d an d
we ll-kno wn vie w is that it wa s his writer or min iste r who

1. Qur’ ān (an-N aml, the Ants ) 27: 39.


2. Qur’ ān (an-N aml, the Ants ) 27: 40.
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 111

bro ught the thron e to Sulaym ān (D) an d h is n ame wa s


Āsif bin Bar akhyā.
Im ām Qurtubī wr ite s:
Most exeg etes agree upon it tha t su re ly
the pe rson who had the kno wledge of the
Boo k wa s Ā sif bin Ba rakh yā, and h e wa s
tru thfu l. He kn ew A llāh’ s ism- ul-a‘ zam
( exalted name) that wh enev e r he was a sked
for some thing h e gave th rough it and
when eve r he wa s ca lled he an swe red
through it. And ‘Ā’ ishah na rra ted: the
P rophe t (A) sa id, “I sm- ul-a‘ zam o f
A lmighty Allāh th rough which Āsif b in
Ba rakh yā p rayd is y ā h ayy (O, th e Liv ing!)
yā qayy ūm ( O, the Se lf-Sub sisten t!). ”1
Im ām I bn Kathīr, wh ile comm entin g on th e v er se
(27 :40) write s:
Ibn ‘Abbā s sa id, “And h e wa s Ā sif, the
write r of Su laymān (D ).” And simila rly
Muhammad bin I shāq na rrated th rough
Yazīd bin Rūmān, “Certa inly h e wa s Ā sif
b in Ba rakh yā, and h e wa s tru thfu l and kne w
ism - ul- a‘z am. ” And Qa tādah sa id, “He wa s
a be lieve r from human b eing s and h is name
wa s Ā sif. ” S imila rly, Abū Sā lih , Dahhā k,
and Qa tādah said that he wa s a human
be ing. Qatādah add ed tha t he be longed to
Ban ī I sra el. Mu jāhid said , “His name wa s
Ustūm.” And Qa tādah said in ano the r
trad ition tha t his name wa s Ba līkhā. And
Zuhay r bin Muhammad said , “He wa s a
man from human be ing and called Dhū an-
Nū r.” And ‘Abdu llāh bin Lah ī‘ah suppo se s

1. Qurt ub ī, al -Jāmi‘ li -ahkām-il -Qur ’ān (13:204 ).


112 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

that he wa s Khadir (D) but this


(a ssumption) is ex tremely unfamilia r.1
I bn Kathīr mention e d the top ic in h is a l-B idāyah wan-
n ihāyah (1 :472) an d sa id:
“Th e well-kno wn fac t is that he wa s
Ā sif bin Ba ra khyā and he was the cou sin o f
Su laymān (D). And it is also said tha t he
wa s a jinn b elie ve r a s it is said about him
that he kne w ism-ul-a‘ zam. And it is sa id
that h e wa s a schola rly man from Ban ī
I srae l and it is a lso sa id tha t he wa s
Su laymān (D) , bu t th is is e xtreme ly
un familiar. And Suhay lī weak ened this
sta temen t b ecau se it is not ac co rding to the
con te xt.”
I bn ‘Abbās nar rate d the same point in Tan wīr-u l-
miqbā s (p.318 ).2

1. Ib n Kath īr, T af sīr -ul -Qur ’ān al -‘az īm (3: 364).


2. The foll owing s chol ars als o narrat ed t hat Āsi f b i n B arakhyā
h ad t he knowledge of t he B ook and he brought the thron e
o f Queen B al qīs to S ul aym ān (D ):
(i ) Ibn Ab ī Hāti m R āzī, T afs īr -ul -Qur ’ān al -‘azī m (9: 2885 -
6#16376-16381).
(ii ) Ibn J arī r Tabarī, Jāmi ‘-ul -bayān fī taf sīr -i l -Qur ’ān
(19: 103).
(ii i) Ibn-ul -J awzī, Z ād-ul -masī r fī ‘i lm-it -tafsī r (6: 17 4).
(i v) B aydāwī, Taf sīr (3:280).
(v ) R āzī, at -T afs īr -ul-kabīr (24: 197).
(v i) T ha‘ ālabī, Jawāhi r-ul -h is ān f ī tafsī r -il -Qur’ān (3: 16 2).
(v ii ) Nas afī, al-Mad āri k (3:213).
(v iii ) Khāzi n, Lubāb-ut-ta’wī l fī ma‘ānī at -t anzīl (3: 38 5-6).
(i x) Abū Hayy ān Andal usī, T af sīr -ul -bahr-il -mu hīt (7 :75 ).
(x ) Mahall ī, Tafsī r-ul -j al ālayn (p. 320).
(x i) Suyūt ī, ad-Durr -ul -manth ūr (5:109).
(x ii ) S ābūnī, Qab as mi n-nūr -il -Qur’ān al -karī m (9:176 ).
(x iii ) Ibrāhīm bi n ‘ Um ar Biq ā‘ ī, N az m-ud-Dur ar fī
t an ās ub-i l-āyāt was-suwar (14:164-5).
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 113

T he Qur’ ānic ver se f urnish es a contra stive st udy of


t wo k in ds of cre atur e s: on the one h an d ar e the jinn s who
pr ide in their extrao r dina ry po wer, on the ba sis of wh ich
he expr esses his sen se of determ ination to br in g to h im the
throne p la ce d at a distanc e of h un dre ds of mile s befor e the
r isin g of the co unc il; an d on the other han d is be in g
de scribe d the glory an d nat ure of the m an of Allāh who
po sse sse s the po wer to per form this jo b in the blink in g of
an eye . In this situation, Sulaymān (D) spe aks up:
So that He should te st me wh eth er I am
g ratefu l or ung ratefu l, and who soe ve r
e xp re ssed g ratitude ( to A llāh), so h e o ffe rs
g ratitud e fo r h is pe rsonal b ene fit, and
who soev e r was ungra te ful, th en my Lord is
A ll- Tran scend ing, Merciful.1
T heir goony exp lan ation o f the un se en som etime s
take s on a dif ferent conf iguration. T hey say that it is not
va lid to deman d from a cr eat ure the p erform ance of an act
wh ich is beyon d his cr eat ure ly stat us. In or der to justify
their contention they sugge st that to dem an d fro m the
proph ets, the saint s an d the pio us so methin g, which is not
in their control an d which is on ly in Allāh’s control is an
exp re ssion o f disbelief. T he an swer to this quest ion ha s
a lre a dy been provide d at len gth. T he f act is that this mo de
of rea son in g is ba se d on a m isun der stan din g of the
me anin g of the wor d istighāthah. No M uslim , wh en he is

(x iv) Abū S a‘ūd ‘Am ādī, Ir sh ād-ul -‘aql -is -sal īm ilā maz ā yā
al - Qur ’ān al -kar īm (6: 287).
(x v ) Ism ā‘īl Haqqī, T af sīr rūh-ul -bayān (6:349).
(x vi ) S hawkānī, Fath-ul -qadī r (4: 139).
(x vii ) Qadī T han ā’ull āh P ānī patī, at-T af sīr -ul -maz ha rī
(7:117).
(x vii i) Zam akhs h arī, al -K ashsh āf ‘an haqā’i q gh awā mi d -it -
t anzīl (3:289).
(x ix) Khat īb S hu rbīnī, as -Sir āj -ul -munīr (3:6 0).
(x x ) Ālūsī, Rūh-ul -ma‘ānī (19: 203).
1. Qur’ ān (an-N aml, the Ants ) 27: 40.
114 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

be seech in g the p rophets an d the sa ints for he lp, be lieve s


in h is hea rt that o ur h elpe rs (the proph ets an d the sa ints)
will h elp us on the ir o wn, but we be lieve that they will
serv e on ly as a me an s of f ulfillin g o ur ne e ds before Allāh,
a s h as been expla ine d in the c a se of the blin d Compan ion
an d the re quest for ra in. T he Comp anion s in the se
tra dition s ha d ba se d th eir appe al for h elp on the a bsolute
po wer o f Allāh an d m e diate d it through the qualitie s an d
attribute s o f the Prophet (A). An d a s a re sult, the
Prophet (A) who wa s, better groome d in the secr ets of
divine un ity, did not disco ura ge them by say in g that in
this way they we re comm itting disbelief but pr aye d for
them an d, Allāh in re spon se to h is supp lication, f ulf ille d
their ne e ds. If besee chin g h elp from not-Allāh ha d been
disbelief , then,
first, the Compan ion s wo uld nev er have imp lore d the
Prophet (A) to perform this a ct,
se cond, the Prophet (A) wo uld hav e disco ur a ge d them
by tellin g them it was disbelief , an d wo uld h ave for bidden
them to pr ess h im with such imp lorin g,
third, Allāh wo uld have fo r bidden His be love d to he lp
them an d protecte d him a ga in st committin g disbe lief.
T he Compan ion s, be see chin g the Proph et (A) for
he lp, the a ct of the Prophet (A) an d Allāh’ s approva l of
the act  a ll th ese thre e f actor s co llectiv ely prove that
istighā thah is not only va lid, but is a pra ctic e of the
Compan ion s an d pop ular with Allāh. Deman d for mirac le s
a lso f alls in this c ate gory. When the non- believ ers an d the
infidels deman de d from the ho ly Prophet (A) a
m ira c ulo us expre ssion of h is po wer, h e did not ca ll it
disbelief . In stea d, he perfo rme d the re quire d mirac le s with
h is h an d ( splitting the moon etc). I f these sup ernat ura l
a cts ha d be en disbelie f, ho w co uld the Prophet (A) h ave
po ssibly p erpetrate d th em? Wh en the act o f the
Prophet(A) doe s not amo unt to disbe lief (even to th ink
of it exp els one f rom the fold of I slam), then ho w can the
a ct of Ummah, in conform ity to the p ractice of the
Compan ion s, be de cla re d a form of shirk (polythe ism).
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 115

T he M uslim s on ly exp ect me diation for h elp from the


sa ints an d the prophet s, an d not their he lp beca use Allāh
is the only tr ue He lper. T hey can on ly re commen d us to
Allāh, they c an’t he lp them se lve s. Wh en they do he lp, it is
on ly with div ine san ction beh in d it an d Go d ha s given
po wer to His f avo ur ites ov er supplic ation an d
r ecommen dation, though this po we r is on ly der ivative ly
use d, a s Allāh say s in the ho ly Qur’ān :
Pu re is He Who ha s c reated coup le s o f
e ve ry thing which th e ea rth cau se s to g ro w.1
Allāh Him se lf in the Qur’ān h as attribute d the gro wth
of gra ss to the e arth a lthough to c a use the gra ss to gro w is
not in e arth’s po wer beca use in th is act of gro wth it serve s
on ly a s an in strument an d a mean s. T his Qur’ān ic v er se
prov es that there is no h arm in ref err in g to the me ans or
instr ument o f me diation a s subject be ca use it c annot lea d
to any m isun der stan din g or conf usion a s both the Qur ’ān
an d the tra dition s conta in co unt le ss r efer enc es to the
differ enc e bet ween re al an d der ivativ e po wer. Statem ents
ma de by the M uslim s in this sen se are a s devo id of
disbelief a s ar e the holy Qur’ān an d the tra dition s of the
Prophet (A) .

Fourth objecti on: There is no hel per except


All āh
T hey mak e the Qur’ ānic v er se s which ne gate the
attainm ent of po wer an d v ictory thro ugh not-Allāh a s the
ba sis of the ir n e gation of seek in g he lp thro ugh any per son
other than Allāh . It is sa id that all po wer an d v ictory f lo w
from Allāh alon e an d to tran sfe r what be lon gs only to
Allāh to someon e e lse is nothin g but disbe lief a s Allāh ha s
r epeate dly de clare d in the holy Qur’ ān:
1. And e xc ept A llāh you hav e ne ithe r a
friend nor a he lpe r.1

1. Qur’ ān (Y āsī n, Yāsī n) 36:36.


116 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

2. And the y sha ll not find an y friend o r


he lpe r b e side s Allāh.2
3. And He is th e P rotec tor, wo rthy o f all
p raise.3
4. Fo r you the re sha ll be ne ithe r any
friend nor any h elp er to gua rd you aga inst
A llāh .4
5. And A llāh is su fficien t (a s) Pro te cto r
and A llāh is su ffic ien t (a s) He lpe r.5
6. And ( in rea lity ) the re is no he lp from
any (oth e r) pla ce ex cep t from A llāh.6
7. And g rant me victo ry and powe r from
Your Own side to a id me.7
8. And you r Lo rd is su ffic ien t to gu ide and
he lp you.8
In a ll the Qur’ān ic ver ses they give pr efer ence to the
f igurativ e m ean in g ove r the rea l m ean in g, an d basin g the ir
a r gument on the f igurativ e me anin g they a ssert that in
the se v er se s the wo r ds wa lī (fr ien d) , su ltān (po wer), hād ī
( guide) an d na sīr (he lper ) h ave been use d for Allāh, an d
to a sc ribe the se attribute s to anyone be side s Allāh is to
comm it disbelief.

Fallaci ous re asoni ng


If a f e w wor ds ar e expr essly r elate d to Allāh in the
Qur’ān, it doe s not imp ly that they c annot be re late d to
anyon e e lse a s such a re lation will amo unt to disbelief . A

1. Qur’ ān (al -Baqar ah, th e C ow) 2:107.


2. Qur’ ān (al -Ahz āb, the C onfederat es ) 33:17.
3. Qur’ ān (as h-Sh ūr ā, Cons ult ation) 42:28.
4. Qur’ ān (al -Baqar ah, th e C ow) 2:120.
5. Qur’ ān (an-Ni sā’, W om en) 4:45.
6. Qur’ ān (al -Anf āl, Spoi ls of war) 8: 10.
7. Qur’ ān (al -Isr ā’, the Ni ght journey) 17:80.
8. Qur’ ān (al -Fur qān, t he Crit eri on) 25: 31.
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 117

battery of ex amples can be pro duce d to support this v ie w.


So , in the Qur’ ān wh ere th e wo r ds walī an d na sīr h ave
be en use d for Allāh , there Allāh ha s use d the se wor ds
f igurativ ely for His serv ants. In or der to short-c irc uit the
de bate, we will ba se o ur ar gum ent on the v er se s in wh ich
the wor ds walī an d na sīr ar e use d, wh ile in a ddition to
the se, a n um be r of other div ine qua lities hav e been jo intly
use d for Allāh an d His cr eat ure . T he Qur 'ān state s:
1. And ra ise fo r u s from You on e who will
p rotec t, and raise fo r us from You one who
will he lp.1
2. Ind eed, you r (h elpe r) friend is on ly
A llāh and His Me sseng er and ( with them)
a re the be lie ve rs.2
3. And if you bac k up each o the r aga inst
the Me ssenge r ( if you both b ehave in a
manne r that annoy s the P rophet) then
( remembe r tha t) A llāh is h is Pro te cto r
( He lpe r) and J ib rīl and the righ teou s
be liev ers and a fter tha t ev en the ang els will
a ssist him.3
4. And the m en who be liev e and the women
who b eliev e a re each othe r’ s p ro te cto rs and
he lpe rs.4
T hese Qur’ān ic v er se s m ake it c lear a s daylight that
walī, na sīr an d other similar wor ds which portray the
attribute s of Allāh, ar e use d not only for His cr eat ure s
with identica l sem antic sha de but is a lso the div ine
pr actic e an d to e quate Allāh ’s pract ice with disbe lief is a
dev iation from the car dina l pr incip le s o f I slamic teach in g
an d I slam doe s not pe rmit it.

1. Qur’ ān (an-Ni sā’, W om en) 4:75.


2. Qur’ ān (al -Mā’i dah, the F east ) 5:55.
3. Qur’ ān (at -Tahrī m, P rohi bit ion) 66:4.
4. Qur’ ān (at -Taw bah, R epent ance) 9: 71.
118 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

Fi fth objecti on: Beggi ng and beseechi ng hel p


from All āh al one is vali d
T o ne gate the v alidity of be se ech in g othe rs than Allāh for
he lp is ba se d on a fa llac io us de duct ion from a tra dition
na rrate d by ‘ Abdullāh bin ‘ Abbā s as an a r gument in the ir
f avo ur in which it is en jo ine d upon the be liever s to be g
on ly Allāh for h elp. T he wor ds of the tra dition ar e a s
fo llo ws:
Wh en you beg you shou ld beg it from
A llāh alon e, and wh en you a sk fo r he lp, you
should a sk it from Allāh alon e, and no te
that even if th e en tire Ummah co llec tive ly
wish es to b ene fit you, it canno t do so
aga inst wha t is p rede stined . (S imila rly) if
the entire Ummah collec tive ly wishe s to
ha rm you, it cannot su cc eed aga in st what is
p red estin ed (b ecau se) the pen s (o f the
write r o f fa te) hav e be en tak en a way and
the writing s have dried up .1
We will e la bor ate in the follo win g pa ges that to
con clude from th is tra dition that be ggin g an d beseech in g
Allāh for h elp is va lid an d be ggin g an d be see chin g not-
Allāh fo r he lp is inva lid, so un ds perv er se.

Be ggin g for hel p is Allāh ’s comman d


T his f alse r ea sonin g is a co mplete ne gation of all that is
f un damental to I slam an d is a c lumsy attempt to impo se
the pr inc iple s of som e a lien f aith on th e simp le an d

1. Ti rmi dh ī t rans mitt ed it i n al-Jāmi ‘-us -Sahīh, b. of s ifa t-ul -


q i yāmah (the des cription of t he Day of Judg em ent ) ch. 59
(4 :667#2516) an d graded i t hasan (fai r) sahīh (s ound ).
Ah mad bin Ham bal narrated i t i n hi s Musnad (1:2 93, 3 03,
3 07); Tabarānī, al -Mu‘j am-ul -kabīr 12:184-5# 1298 8-9);
B ayhaqī, Shu‘a b-ul -īmān (1:217#195); Ib n-us -S unnī,
‘Amal -ul-yaw m wal-layl ah (p.136#419); and Mi zzī in
T uhf at -ul -as hr āf bi -ma‘ri fat-il -atrāf (4: 382#5415 ).
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 119

st raight ten ets of Islam ic fa ith. T his kin d o f re ason in g


betray s a gla rin g una waren e ss of the Qur’ ān an d the
sunnah, la ck o f un de rstan din g o f the p urpose o f r eve lation
of the Qur’ ān, an d a supe rficial study of I slam ic
tea chin gs. Its pr imary motive is to ac c use the colle ctive
M uslim Umm ah o f disbe lie f an d inf idelity. T he a ctua l
po sition is that the p urpose of the tra dition is not to
dissua de peop le from seek in g he lp from other s except
Allāh, a s it appear s at fir st glanc e; but its rea l p urpo se is
to de flect the attention of the c reat ur e from the ca use s an d
direct it to the Cr eator of tho se c a use s so that the cre atur e,
em broile d in the convo lutions of ca use s, may not lo se
sight of the rea l Helpe r. So the a ctual me anin g of this
tra dition, in the light of I slam ic teach in gs, may be
summe d up in the se wor ds: ‘O m an! When yo u be g an d
be seech anyone of Allāh’ s cre atur es for h elp an d
a ssistan ce, yo u sho uld have co mplete f aith in the glory
an d po wer of Allāh , an d be g for h elp re gar din g Allāh a s
the re al Help er le st the se se con dary c a use s sho uld divert
yo ur attention from the Cr eator an d be come the st um blin g
block s fo r yo u.’ T he Prophet (A), en dor sin g the
content s of the tra dition sa id that there is no h elp a ga inst
Allāh’ s will but it doe s not ne gate the act of beseech in g
someon e’ s he lp to p er sua de Allāh to f ulf il one’ s ne e d.
T here is a h uge diff eren ce bet ween a cts, which a re
incompatible with Allāh’ s will an d tho se, which a re
comp atible with His will. T he la st wo r ds of the tra dition
(the p ens h ave been taken a way an d the writin gs h ave
dr ie d up) c le ar ly po int o ut that besee chin g not-Allāh for
he lp a gain st Go d’ s will is for bidden but it, in no way
for bids the act of be ggin g an d be seech in g h elp from other s
be ca use se ekin g the h elp of other s h a s been en dor se d by
Allāh Him se lf. For examp le :
So you shou ld a sk peop le o f kno wledge
if you you rse lv es do no t kno w (abou t
someth ing).1

1. Qur’ ān (an-N ahl, the B ee) 16: 43.


120 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

In this Qur ’ān ic ver se the believ ers are bein g ur ge d to


a sk those who po sse ss kno wle dge . A lar ge n um ber of
other tra dition s support the contents of th is ver se that the
wo r ds ‘ wh en yo u be g yo u sho uld be g it from Allāh alon e,’
do not fo r bid the a ct of se ekin g he lp from other s
a bso lutely. On the contr ary, it mean s that the be liever s
sho uld not be g th e r uler s an d the aff luent, o ut of she er
gr ee d, to h elp the m f inanc ia lly or soc ia lly . T hey sho uld
be seech Allāh’ s ble ssin gs alon e. T o in fer from this
tra dition that it is inva lid to be seech th e h elp of other s
than Allāh is an unfa ir inf erenc e. T he se wor ds do not
a r gue a ga inst be see chin g th e h elp of other s than Allāh. On
the contrary, a lar ge n um ber of tra dition s c lear ly suggest
that the Prophet (A) h im se lf p rompte d the Comp anion s
to be g from h im an d then re spon de d to them. (T he deta ils
with examp le s h ave a lr ea dy be en giv en in the ear lier
pa ge s.) If be ggin g he lp from other s is re ga r de d a s
disbelief , then a lar ge n um be r of ro utin e af fa irs wh ich
form the ba sis of pr actic al lif e will be dec lar e d for bidden,
for examp le, a student a skin g a teach er for explanation , a
patient so licit in g treatment from a doctor, a ne e dy per son
be ggin g h elp from a per son of mean s an d a cr e ditor
dem an din g h is money ba ck from someon e who ha s
borro we d it from h im.

As k for some more


On e o f the fort unate Comp anion s, Ra bī‘ah bin Ka‘ b, one
ev enin g calle d on the Prophet (A). He f ille d water for
h is a blution an d h elp e d him pe rform the a blution. Ple a se d
with h is solic itude, the P rophet (A) sa id to h im: ‘a sk for
anythin g yo u want.’ Ov er wh elm e d by such a big o ffer , the
Compan ion a ske d for his eterna l compan ion ship , wh ich
the Prophet (A) r ea dily a gr ee d to. Ra bī‘ ah bin Ka‘ b
r elate s in h is o wn wor ds:
I sp ent a n ight with th e ho ly
P rophe t(A) (and to wa rd s the tail-end o f
the nigh t) I b rough t wa te r fo r h is ab lution
and to ilet. He said: ‘a sk ( fo r) wha te ve r you
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 121

want.’ I said: ‘ I wan t you r ( eterna l)


companion sh ip in Pa radise.’ He sa id:
‘an yth ing else? ’ I sa id: ‘th is is su ffic ien t.’
He said : ‘th en he lp me with p len ty o f
p ro stration.’ 1
In this tra dition the Prophet (A) him se lf comm an de d
the Compan ion to be g from him . If be ggin g for he lp from
not-Allāh wer e for bidden, the greate st champ ion of div ine
un ity wo uld neve r h ave done it. In the la st wo r ds of the
tra dition, the Proph et (A) h im se lf be gge d h im to he lp
h im with gre ater fre quen cy of p rostr ations. T his prove s
that be ggin g he lp from som eone other th an Allāh is quite
con sistent with the Proph et’s pract ice an d anyone who
leve ls a lle gation s of disbe lief a gain st him is him se lf
v iolat in g h is be lief in div ine unity. Such r eligio us
con cepts are in f act a pro duct of igno ranc e a bo ut the
un iver sa l m essa ge of Islam .
Be seechin g hel p from others is Islamic comman d
It is Allāh’ s comman d to seek he lp from Him through His
f avo urite servant s for the f ulf ilment of n ee ds an d th e re lief
of worr ie s an d p ro blems, which con stantly na g one’ s m in d
an d cannot be re so lve d by or dinary m ean s or by one’ s
pe rson al e fforts. A fe w examp le s from the Qur ’ān an d the
Prophet’ s tra ditions ar e giv en be lo w:
1. T he Qur ’ān say s:

1. M us lim narrat ed it i n his as -Sahī h, b. of sa lāt, (p ray er)


ch. 43 (1:353#226/489); Abū Dāwūd, Sunan, b. o f s al āt,
2 :35 (#1320); Nas ā’ī, Sunan, b. of i fti tāh (openi ng ) 2:227 -
8 ; Ahm ad bi n Ham bal, Musnad (4: 59); Bayh aqī, as -Sun an -
u l -kubrā (2:4 86); T abarānī, al -Mu‘ja m-ul-kab īr
(5 :56#4570); B aghawī, Sharh-us -s unnah (3: 14 9#655 );
M undhi rī, at -T arghī b w at -t ar hīb (1:249); Kh at īb Tab rī zī,
Mi shkāt -ul -masābī h, b. of s alāt (prayer) ch.1 4 (1: 27 1#89 6);
Hayt hamī, Majma‘-uz -zaw ā’id (2:249); M ull ā ‘Al ī Qārī,
Mi rq āt -ul -mafāt īh s har h Mishkāt -ul -mas ābī h (2: 32 3); and
‘ Alī al -Hi ndī in K anz -ul -‘ummāl (7: 306#19006 ).
122 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

And se ek (A llāh’ s) he lp th rough


pa tien ce and p raye r.1
Here it is Allāh’ s comman d to seek he lp an d support
by mean s of the virt uo us acts of patien ce an d pray er.
T hese a cts a re on ly the me ans bec a use it is Allāh a lone
who c an he lp us o ut of o ur tro uble s an d tribulation s. But
the act o f be ggin g for help thro ugh the se me an s is be in g
issue d a s a div ine comman d.
2. Sim ilarly , her e is another v er se from the Qur’ān in
wh ich Allāh comm an ds to se ek help for f ightin g
e quipment an d for the prep aration o f jihād:
And (O Mu slims!), to (fight) th em you
should ke ep read y the fo rc e (o f weapon s
and o the r in struments of wa r) a s much a s
po ssib le and (a la rg e numbe r of) tied
ho rse s.2
3. In a ddition , the Qur’ān is a witn ess to the h elp wh ich
Dh ū a l-Qarnayn so ught from his n ation to fight the enemy :
You shou ld h elp me with th e migh t o f
you r a rm, (tha t is, with labou r and
rigo rou s, ha rd wo rk ).3
4. Sim ilarly , it is narr ate d by ‘Abdullāh bin ‘ Abbā s that
Allāh’ s M e ssen ger (A) sa id:
Undoub ted ly , th e re a re some of A llāh’ s
ange ls on th e ea rth who are in add ition to
the gua rdian ange ls. Th ey note down each
leaf that falls do wn from a tree. I f an yone
o f you is be ing to rtu red in the jungle, you
should c ry, ‘O servants o f A llāh, he lp me.’ 4

1. Qur’ ān (al -Baqar ah, th e C ow) 2:145.


2. Qur’ ān (al -Anf āl, Spoi ls of war) 8: 60.
3. Qur’ ān (al -Kahf, t he C ave) 18:95.
4. Hayt hamī narrat es it in Majma‘-uz -zaw ā’id (10: 13 2) and
s ays that i ts m en are t rust wort hy.
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 123

Here , the Prophet (A) in str ucts the M uslim s to seek


an gels’ h elp. He is a dv isin g us not to de link o ur se lve s
from those who not on ly believ e in Allāh but a lso pr actice
their belief . In ca se there is no h uman figure to com e to
yo ur re sc ue, yo u sho uld c all an ge ls for he lp. T hey will
f ulfil yo ur ne e d. T his un iver se is not a m ean in gle ss
va c uum a s many atheists in the ir ignoran ce ten d to
a ssume ; it is f ille d with flights of an ge ls tho ugh they
r ema in invisible to the n ake d eye an d whenev er h uman
be in gs un der dure ss invoke the he lp o f Allāh , the an gels
pr actic ally de monstrate the mer cif ul pr esence of Allāh by
me etin g h uman ex igenc ie s. T hus the wor ds falyunād a‘ īnū
‘ ibād Allāh ar e a clear proof that to c all som eone for he lp
is perm issible.
5. Sa lāt-u l-kha wf (f ear pray er) also imp lie s seek in g he lp
from other s for the elim ination o f fe ar.
6. In a n um ber of his sayin gs, th e Prophet (A) ha s
ur ge d the be liever s to h elp on e anothe r:
An yone who is bu sy in fu lfilling the
ne ed of his b roth e r, A llāh Himse lf fu lfils
h is need .1
7. T he same theme is stre sse d in another tra dition :

1. B ukhārī narrat ed it i n hi s as -Sahī h, b. of maz āli m


(o ppres si ons) ch. 4 (2: 863#2310), b. of i kr āh (co erci on)
ch. 7 (6: 2550 #6551); Mus lim, as-Sahī h, b. of bir r w as -s il ah
w al -ādāb (vi rt u e, joi ni ng of t he ti es of rel at io ns hip and
g ood m anners ) ch. 15 (4: 1996#58/ 2580); Ti rmi dh ī, al -
Jā mi ‘-us -s ahī h, b. of hudūd, ch.3 (4: 35#1426); Ab ū Dāwūd,
S unan, b. of adab (good manners) 4:273 (# 4893 ); Ah m ad
b in Hambal, Mus nad (2:91, 4: 104); B ayhaqī, as -Su nan-ul -
ku br ā (6:94, 201; 8: 330), Shu‘ab-ul -ī mān (6:1 04#7 61 4);
T abarānī, al -Mu ‘j am-ul -kabī r (12:222#13137 ); B agh awī,
S harh-us -s unnah (13: 98#3518); Mundhi rī, at -T ar ghī b w at -
t ar hīb (3:389); ‘ As qal ānī, Fat h-ul -b ār ī (5: 97; 12 :323 ); and
‘ Alī al -Hi ndī in K anz -ul -‘ummāl (6: 444#16463 ).
124 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

And A llāh is bu sy in he lping His


c reatu re a s long a s he is bu sy h elp ing his
b roth e r.1
8. Im ām Hākim ha s r ecor de d a tr a dition in his a l-
Mustad rak (4:270) in which the Prophet (A) ha s
comm an de d th e be liever s to he lp one another an d to
r elieve the ne e ds of other s an d then he ha s a lso stre sse d
the importanc e of this no ble act :
I f anyone o f you go es ou t with his
b roth e r to he lp him, it is bette r than the two
month s’ se clu sion in my mosque .2
9. Allāh ha s cr eate d a spe cial c la ss of cr eat ure s to he lp
the peop le in f ulfillin g the ir nee ds, r eliev in g the ir
pro blem s an d he lp in g them in eve ry possible way . T he
ho ly Prophet (A) said:
A llāh has c rea ted a cla ss o f c reatu re s
for th e fulfilment of peop le’ s need s so tha t
peop le tu rn to th em fo r (th e fulfilment o f)

1. M us lim narrat ed i t i n hi s as -Sah īh, b. of dhi kr w ad-d u‘ā’


w at -t awbah wal -ist ighf ār (rem emberi ng (Al l āh ),
i nv ocati on, repentance and s eeki ng forgiven ess ) ch. 11
(4 :2074#38/ 2699); Ti rm idhī, al-Jāmi ‘-us -sahīh, b. of
h udūd, ch.3 (4:34#1425), b. of bir r was-sil ah (vi rtu e and
j oi ning of t he ti es of rel at ions hip) ch.19 (4: 32 6#19 30), b. of
q ir ā’āt (recit ati ons ) ch.12 (5:195#2945); Abū Dāwūd,
S unan, b. o f a dab (good m anners ) 4:287 (#49 46); Ibn
M āj ah, Sunan, al -muqaddi mah (preface) ch. 17 (1:8 2#22 5);
Ah mad bin Ham b al, Mus nad (2: 252, 274, 500, 514 ); Ibn
Abī S haybah, al -Mus annaf (9: 85, 86#6617-8 ); Ib n Hib b ān,
a s -Sahīh (2: 293#534); B aghawī, Sharh-us -S unna h (1: 273#
1 27); Ab ū Nu‘ aym, Hi l yat -ul -aw li yā’ wa t abaq āt -ul -asf i yā’
(8 :119); and Mu ndhi rī i n at -T ar ghīb w at -t ar hīb (3:3 90).
2. Hāki m narrat ed it i n al -Mus tadr ak (4: 270 ). Hayt hamī
t ransmi tt ed i t wi th di fferent words in his Maj ma‘-uz -
z aw ā’id (8:192) and s aid, “ Tabarānī narrat ed i t in al -
Mu‘j am-ul -aws at (8:160#7322) and it s chai n of au t ho rit i es
i s excell ent (is nāduhū jayyi d). ” M undhirī al so n arrat ed it in
a t -Targhīb wat -t ar hī b (3: 391).
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 125

their n eed s. The se creatu res a re immune to


A llāh’ s punishment.1
In th is tr a dition , the Prophet’ s wor ds th at ‘peop le
sho uld t urn to them for the f ulf ilment of the ir n ee ds’
de serve spe cial attention. T he Prophet (A) is him se lf
r ecommen din g the p eople’ s act of se ekin g he lp from
other s. T herefo re, tho se who ca ll it disbe lief app allin gly
lack an un der standin g of their o wn r eligion.
10. Anothe r tra dit ion re late d to this them e is a s fo llo ws:
A llāh ha s b le ssed His se rvan ts with (a
larg e rese rvo ir o f) His b le ssing s. Th e se
se rvan ts are engaged in fu lfilling th e n eed s
o f th e peop le until th ey a re wea ry of them.
And when the y wear ou t, ( the same duty) is
a ssign ed from th em to o the rs.2
11. ‘ Abdullāh bin M as‘ ūd ha s n arrate d that the
Prophet(A) said:
Wh en you lose your m eans of tran sport
in a jungle, you should call: ‘ O creatu re s o f
A llāh! He lp me, re cove r my tran spo rt! O
c reatu re s o f Allāh! He lp me, reco ve r my
tran spo rt!’ The re a re many of A llāh’ s
c reatu re s on th is earth. Th ey will h elp you
re cove r it.3
M ahm ūd Sa‘īd Mam dūh write s in Raf‘ -ul-minā rah
(p.225 ):

1. Hayt hamī narrat ed it i n Maj ma‘-uz -z aw ā’id (8:192 ); and


M undhi rī i n at -T ar ghī b w at -tarhīb (3:390).
2. T abarānī narrat ed it i n al -Mu‘jam-ul-aws at (9:161 #834 6);
M undhi rī, at -Ta rghīb wat -tar hī b (3:390); and Hayt hamī in
Majma‘-uz -zaw ā’id (8:192).
3. T abarānī narrat ed it in al -Mu‘jam-ul-kab īr (10: 21 7#10 51 8);
Abū Ya‘l ā, Mus nad (9 :177); Ibn-us -S unnī, ‘Amal -ul -yaw m
w al -l aylah (p. 162#502); Hayt hamī, Maj ma ‘-uz -z awā’id
(1 0: 132); and ‘Asqal ānī in al -Mat āli b-ul -‘āli yah
(3 :239#3375).
126 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

“Th e tradition , b eing na rrated from


d iffe ren t qua rte rs, transfo rmed itse lf from a
wea k tradition into a sound on e wh ich the
Muslims hav e inva riab ly fo llo wed .”
T he tra dition s prov e that it is quite compatible both
with the will of Allāh an d the Prophet (A) to seek he lp
from other c reat ur es an d to h elp other s in the ir ho ur of
tro uble an d distr ess wh enever they be see ch yo u for he lp.
So wh en Allāh an d th e Prophet (A) h ave approve d it,
who ar e we to disapprove it, an d to la bel it a s a form of
disbelief an d con demn it. T he po int to be note d h ere is
that the se ve rse s an d tra dition s ar e not only a justification
for be see chin g h elp from other s; they are in the n atur e of
comm an ds an d the refor e, like other comman ds, they
sho uld be strictly fo llo we d by a ll th e be liever s. T hose who
not only disre gar d them but a lso con demn the m a s se lf-
f a bricate d innov ation s are a utomat ica lly o ut of the fo ld of
I slam.

Si xth objecti on: Neg ati on of bes eechi ng the


hol y Prophet (A) for hel p
Durin g the earthly life o f the Prophet (A) a hypoc rite
use d to tort ure the M uslim s an d spar e d no opport un ity to
tea se th em. Abū Bakr sa id to the Compan ion s: ‘let’s
co llectiv ely be seech the holy Prophet (A) for he lp an d
a ssistan ce a ga in st this hypoc rite. ’ When the Prophet (A)
he ar d this, he sa id:
App eal fo r he lp is not made to me and
appea l fo r he lp is made only to Allāh.1
So me peop le h ave m isinterpr ete d this tra dition a s a
ne gation of beseech in g he lp from anyone except Allāh on
a cco unt o f the ir igno ranc e an d una waren e ss of its
ba ck gro un d. Ba sin g the ir conc lusion on a m isun der-
st an din g of its me anin g, they be lieve that be see chin g he lp

1. R el at ed by Hayt hamī in Maj ma‘-uz-zawā’i d (10 :159 ).


Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 127

from not- Allāh is disbe lie f bec a use the Prophet (A)
h imself ha s con demne d it a s an un-I slam ic act.

C orre ct me aning of the tradi tion


If we on ly conf ine o ur selv es to this tra dition an d its
de contextualise d m ean in g, then we will hav e to discar d a
lar ge n um ber of othe r ver se s an d tra dition s in wh ich both
Allāh an d the Prophet (A) have stre sse d the nee d an d
r elev anc e of seekin g th e he lp of other s in tro uble an d
distre ss. Be side s, to foc us exc lusive ly on th is tr a dition an d
to sweep all other tr a dition s un der the c arpet will vio late
the basic prin cip le s of interp retation an d infer ence . It is an
e sta blishe d le ga l pr inc iple th at any tra dition n e gatin g what
is a ffirme d by othe r tra dition s m ust be p lac e d in
pe rsp ectiv e beca use a f ina l inf eren ce is dra wn on ly
thro ugh a coor dinat ion an d co llation of their m ean in g an d
subst ance to a bro gate the discor dant e lement s. T he same
pr inc iple m ust be follo we d her e to brin g o ut the co rrect
me anin g of this tra dition.
T he tra dition m ean s to aff irm the re ality of div ine
un ity a s part of tr ue fa ith. T hat is, it se em s to suggest that
the re al Help er is Allāh a lone an d the cr eat ure is on ly a
me an s in seek in g he lp f rom Allāh.
T he tra dition do es not ar gue in f avo ur of se ekin g he lp
on ly from the livin g, a s is erron eo usly suppo se d by some
peop le . On the contrary , it doe s not discr imin ate bet ween
the liv in g an d the dea d an d stre sse s the f act that it is
for bidden to be se ech anyone for help ex cept Allāh a s we
hav e alr ea dy disc usse d in the ea rly pa ge s. Imām I bn
T aymiyy ah ha s also mention e d it in h is Fa tā wā (1 :110)
an d ha s m a de it clear th at som e p eople dr a w wron g
con clusions from the div ine in junction s an d the say in gs of
the Proph et (A) when other contexts se em to r ef ute the ir
con clusions. T he hypocr ite’ s torment an d Abū Bakr’ s
be seech in g the Prophet’ s h elp a gain st h im f all into this
c ate gory. If this tr a dition is not exp la ine d a way, it will
thro w a n e gative light on other Qur’ ānic v er se s an d
tra dition s a s well a s the acts of the Compan ions. It is
128 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

r ecor de d at var io us plac es in book s of tr a dition that the


Compan ion s re que ste d the Prophet (A) to supp lic ate for
them, offer e d pr ayer for ra in thro ugh h is me diation an d
they exce lle d a ll the other follo wers in be see chin g his
he lp in a var iety of sit uation s. ‘ Abdullāh bin ‘Umar’ s
st atement is r ecor de d that at many o cc asion s when he
looke d at the Prophet’ s f ace , h e use d to rem em ber Abū
T ālib’ s v erse which m ean s that whenev er h e pr aye d for
r ain, th e r ain wat er starte d flo win g from th e gutters befo re
he cam e do wn the p ulpit. T he ve rse is a s fo llo ws:
And that hand some (pe rson), by mean s
o f who se rad iant fac e, ra in is implo red , and
who is the gua rdian o f o rphan s and the
suppo rt o f widows.1
T he f act that ‘ Abdullāh bin ‘Um ar h umm e d o ut this
ve rse on many occ a sion s sho ws th e Comp anion s’ inten sity
of love for the Prophet (A). Wh enever th ey were in
tro uble or f ace d a c alamity, they wer e involuntar ily dr a wn
to wa r ds h im to be se ech h is h elp. When the con duct of the
Compan ion s is bely in g the content of this dif ferent
tra dition, an d it is also in conson ance with the tea chin gs
of the Qur’ān an d the sunnah, then ho w c an we a gr ee with
the exp lanat ions an d interpr etation s o f the se ignorant
fr ien ds as conf irmation s o f div ine unity, which in fact
bor der on disbelief . T he Qur’ ānic con cept of divin e unity

1. B ukhārī narrat ed i t i n his as -Sahīh, b. of i sti sqā ’ (to i nv oke


All āh for rain at t he ti m e of drought ) ch.3 (1: 342# 963 ); Ibn
M āj ah, Sunan, b. of iqāmat -us -s al āt w as -sunn ah fī hā
(est abli shing prayer and i ts s unnahs) ch.154 (1:4 05#1 272 );
Ah mad bin Hambal, Musnad (2:93); B ayhaq ī, as -Su nan-ul -
ku br ā (3:352), Dalā’il -un-nubuwwah (6:143); Ib n His h ām,
a s -Sīrat -un-nabawi yyah (1: 281); Subk ī, Shif ā’-us -s iq ām fī
z i yārat khayr -il -anām (p. 127); Ibn Kathīr, al -Bidāyah w an -
n ihāyah (4: 471); Mi zzī, T uhfat-ul -ashrāf bi -ma‘r if at -il -
a tr āf (5:359#6 775); ‘Ayn ī, ‘Umdat -ul -qārī (7:2 9);
‘ Asqal ānī, Fath-ul -b ār ī (2: 494); Qast all ānī, al -Mawā hi b-ul -
l ad uniyyah (4: 271); and Zurq ānī i n his Comment ar y
(1 1: 140).
Smoot hi ng out t he Wr i nkl es 129

doe s not perm it it that we sho uld foc us on ly on one


ex ception al tra dition an d ac c use the entir e Umm ah of
disbelief , wh ile ca stin g a side a ll other Qur’ān ic ver se s an d
tra dition s which attest to the re ality of be se echin g he lp
from other s a s a va lid a ct an d wh ich is exp licitly ur ge d by
both the Qur’ān an d the sunnah.
Chapter 5

Religious Leaders and Istighāthah

It is an esta blish e d fa ct that on ac co unt o f the dist inction


Allāh h as conf erre d on His favo urite s an d the ble ssin gs He
ha s sho were d upon them, it ha s be en the pr actice of o ur
r eligio us lea ders an d scholar s to re ly on them to re so lve
their wor ldly pro blem s, attain salv ation in the Herea fter,
mak e their gr ave s an d tom bs the fo c us of the ir
supplic ation s an d seek he lp an d a ssistanc e f rom the
cho sen p eople of Allāh who are bur ie d in them an d seek
their he lp fo r spir it ua l an d inn er ben ef its an d ble ssin gs.
T hese a cts, wh ich shap e d the con duct an d mo de of liv in g
of the sa ints an d the scho lar s in the pa st, ar e no w the
gr anite fo un dation of the con cepts an d be lief s of Ah l- us-
Sun nah wal- Ja mā‘ah . Moreov er, they ha d not mo ulde d
their attitude s an d dee ds on a superf ic ia l, un con sc io us or
sentim ental ba sis. A gr eat dea l of r eflection an d re ason in g
lac e d these mo de s o f con duct an d were fr ame d by
comp rehen sive exp er imentation, o bservation an d pra ctica l
or ientation. T her efore, on the ba sis of inve stigation , an d
not mere sentiment, it c an be a ffir me d that the ir
st atements were so un d an d a uthentic an d on ac co unt of
their imm unity from do ubt an d am biguity, they f urnish a
co gent ar gum ent for a ll tho se be liever s who ar e ble sse d
with sufficient wisdom an d intelligenc e to appra ise the
depth an d tr uth of these statement s.
Re ligio us scho lar s, en lighten e d sa ints an d o ur sp ir itua l
lea der s hav e prono un ce d the tom bs o f the se favo ur ites of
Allāh as in exha ustible fo unta in-he a ds of light an d ble ssin g
wh ere o ur supp lication s are a ckno wle dge d an d ro be d a s

131
132 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

de stin ie s. Re lianc e on the se sanctif ie d pe rson s open s the


sh uttere d aven ues of succ ess. T heir attention an d re spon se
unr avels the tangle s of the Her eafter an d the ir sp ir itua l
he lp serve s a s a so urc e of salv ation fo r o ur worr ie s an d all
form s of distre ss. T o c ap it a ll, their statement s a re
con sistent with the cr iter ion of exper ien ce an d
o bserv ation, wh ich is the ba sis of the mo dern in ductive
metho d of all scientif ic pro gr e ss. T herefore , they cannot
be br ushe d un der th e c arpet a s me re h ear say an d de se rve
o ur positive re spon se a s they ar e gro un de d in fa cts an d
prov e d by exp er ienc e.
T his wo rld is inha bite d by t wo sets o f peop le. T he f irst
set of peop le are tho se who ar e r e bellio us an d diso be dient,
an d on acco unt of their la w- br eak in g ten denc ie s, they
form a coter ie of per son s who a re he ll- bent to protect an d
promote the inter est s o f the dev il an d are a ca use of
con stant torture for Allāh’ s cre ature s. On the other h an d,
a re tho se who ar e goo d-n atur e d, p ur e, an d well- beh ave d
an d with a po sitiv e o utlook an d are determ ine d to promote
the welf are of the peop le. Such no ble per son s an d
untainte d so uls form the ir o wn fratern ity an d com e c loser
to one anothe r through m ut ua l inte raction , follo win g the
ax iomatic p rinc ip le that “ bir ds of a feather f lock
to gether. ” T hese co ura geo us, h ighly determin e d an d
spirit ua lly motivate d p eople, through she er har d work an d
con centration , leav e behin d in delible ta le s of sin cer ity an d
hone sty, p atien ce an d stea df astne ss, love an d sacr ifice that
the r ea de rs ar e simp ly stunn e d by the ir exception al nat ure.
T hese holy p er sona ges h ave gr ac e d eve ry per io d of
h uman h istory. Out war dly, they live on the side lin e s but
they ar e e asily p la ce d on a cco unt of their h a bit s an d
mann er s, the ir char acter an d mo de of conv er sation. T he ir
love an d con cern for the cr eature s of Allāh is so gush in g
that it cannot be contain e d lik e the p erf ume of f lo wer s.
T he ch ain of th eir ble ssin g is contin uo us, be ca use it goe s
a gain st the div ine gr ain that His cre atur e s are depriv e d of
the benef it an d ble ssin g of His cho sen p eople in any era of
h uman history. T herefor e, the se favo ur e d servant s of
Rel i gi ous L eader s and Is t i ghāt hah 133

Allāh are not on ly a so ur ce of ble ssin g for the people in


their m anif e st life but a lso benef it them after de ath; rather
their blessin gs ac quire greate r fre quency an d inten sity
wh en they a re transferr e d to another mo de of ex isten ce
a fter leav in g this phenom ena l wo rld. T hey ble ss the
se eker s of their he lp a s effe ctive ly a s th ey did dur in g the ir
e arthly so jo urn. T he one who se eks th eir he lp inst inctive ly
kno ws that h e ha s been h elp e d by them.
T he sec rets of the wor lds of p ur gatory, an gels an d
divin ity a re rev ea le d to Allāh’ s saint s in a mann er an d
sty le that is denie d to the common r un of peop le . T heir
op inion is a uthentic in a ll h uman an d non-h uman fields of
a ctivity an d it c an n either be cha llen ge d nor any fla ws
fo un d in it s inh erent co gen cy. T herefor e, it is quite
r ationa l, an d a re co gnition of h uman lim itation s, to
be lieve in th eir opin ion s beca use the ir statement s a re not
ba se d on any inan ity or triv ia lity but have been der ive d
thro ugh extraor dinary o bse rvation an d supporte d by the
ba lla st o f div ine sanction , a s no one can deny that “ wh at is
he ar d cannot e qual what is seen. ”
In th e context o f istighā thah an d interme diation , we
propo se to ca st a c ur sory glanc e at the con duct,
exp erienc es an d o bservation s of the se r ighteous peop le
who have provide d glimme rs of light an d guidan ce to the
c reat ure s of Allāh gropin g in the amo rpho us sh a de s of
da rkne ss an d depre ssion :

1. Imām Zayn -ul-‘Ābi dīn


Im ām Z ayn- ul-‘Ābidīn supplicate s to th e Ho ly
Prophet(A) for h elp an d interc ession in the se wor ds:
O me rc y of the wo rld s! You a re the
inte rce ssor fo r the sinne rs. On ac count o f
you r in fin ite gen ero sity, me rc y and
magnanimity, in te rc ede fo r u s on the Day o f
Judg ement.
O, who ha s come to all the wo rld s a s a
sou rce of me rc y, h elp Za yn-ul- ‘Ābid īn! Who
134 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

is caugh t in trials and tribula tion s b y the


pa rty o f th e opp re sso rs (and be seech e s you r
he lp).

2. Imām Mālik
Im ām Mā lik’ s prom inen ce a s one of the fo ur jur ists of
I slam is well- esta blish e d. On ce Ca liph Abū Ja‘far Man sūr
v isite d M e din a an d h e a ske d Imām Mā lik : ‘ while
supplic atin g, sho uld I turn my fa ce to the pray er niche
[ an d turn my back to the Holy Prophet ( A)] or sho uld I
t urn my f ace to the Holy Prophet [ (A) an d t urn my back
to the pray er n ich e]? ’ On this inter ro gation, Im ām Mālik
r eplie d: ‘( O c aliph!) Why do yo u t urn yo ur f ace from the
Ho ly Prophet ( A), as he is the me ans for yo u an d for
yo ur anc e stor Adam (D) on the Day of Judgement?
Rather yo u sho uld (pr ay an d supp licate by) turn in g
to wa r ds the Prophet ( A) an d se ek h is inter ce ssion so
that he interc e de s for yo u befor e Allāh on the Day of
Judgem ent. Allāh ha s dec lar e d:
( O b elo ved!) And if th ey had come to
you , when th ey had wrong ed their sou ls,
and a sk ed fo rg iven e ss of A llāh, and the
Me ssenge r also had a sk ed fo rgivene ss fo r
them, the y (on th e ba sis o f this means and
inte rce ssion) would ha ve su re ly found Allāh
the Gran te r o f repen tance , e xtreme ly
Me rc ifu l.’ 1
T his in cident ha s been nar rate d by Qā dī ‘Iyā d in his
a sh-Sh ifā (2 :596) with a so un d cha in of tran sm ission.
Be side s, it h a s been re late d by a n um ber of other
tra ditionists o f imp ecc a ble cr e dibility. Subk ī in Shifā’-u s-
siqām fī ziyā rat kha yr- il-anām, Samh ūdī in Khu lā sat-u l-
wafā , Qasta llānī in a l-Ma wāh ib-ul-ladun iy yah, I bn
Jam ā‘ah in Hidāya t-u s- sālik an d I bn Hajar Haytham ī in
a l-Ja wha r-ul-munazzam.

1. Qur’ ān (an-Ni sā’, W om en) 4:64.


Rel i gi ous L eader s and Is t i ghāt hah 135

3. Imām Qurtu bī
He h a s ment ione d istighā thah in the interpr etation o f the
ve rse 64 of sū rah an- Nisā’ in h is a l- Jāmi‘ li-ahkām-il-
Qu r’ān (5:265 -6).

4. Qādī ‘Iyād
He ha s, in h is book, a sh-Sh ifā (2 :596) narr ate d Imām
M ālik’ s statement to the Caliph Abū Ja‘far M an sūr, wh ich
we have m entione d be fore. He a lso n arrate d Adam’ s
interme diation through the Ho ly Prophet (A) with the
he lp of so un d an d fa mo us tra dition s in a sh-Sh ifā (1 :227-
8). In a ddit ion, in the chapter s on “ visit in g the Proph et’s
gr ave, ” “ virtue s an d m erit s of the Proph et ( A)” an d in
many other ch apter s in his book h e h a s r efe rre d to the
qua lit ie s an d attribute s of the Holy Prophet (A).

5. Imām S ubkī
He ha s disc usse d at len gth the question of istighā thah an d
interme diation in his book Shifā’-u s- siqām fī ziyāra t
kha y r-il-anām an d h a s prov e d their re lev anc e a s v ibrant
con cepts in Islam .

6. Imām Ibn Kathīr


Im ām I bn Kathīr h as co mmente d on v er se 64 of sū rah an-
Nisā’ in his book Tafsīr-u l- Qur’ān al-‘a zīm (1 :519-20)
an d ra ise d th e issue of istighā thah. He ha s not lev elle d
any o bje ction a ga in st ‘ Utbī’ s tra dition in wh ich a be do uin
supplic ates at the Prophet’s tom b for h is interc ession.
Im ām I bn Kathīr ha s r elate d in al-Bidā yah wan-n ihāyah
(5 :167) the ep iso de o f the man who visits the Proph et’s
gr ave an d ca lls him to pr ay for ra in, an d h e ha s
prono un ce d this tra dition quite so un d. In a ddition, h e ha s
a lso re late d in the same book (5 :30) that dur in g the battle
of Yam āmah, th e battle-cry of the M uslims wa s yā
Muhammadāh (O M uhamm a d! He lp us).
136 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

7. Hāfiz ‘As qalānī


He h as in h is book s a l-I sābah fī tamy īz-is- sahābah (3 :484)
an d Fath -ul-bā rī (2 :495-6) n arrate d th e in cident of the
man who visite d the Proph et’s grav e for ra in thro ugh his
me an s an d ca lle d h im for h elp .

8. Imām Qas tallānī


T he qualitie s an d accomp lishm ents of a spe cial gro up of
sa ints are r ecor de d in the tra dition s. T he ble ssin g of the ir
supplic ation ca use s ra in an d brin gs v ictory an d tr iumph to
the M uslim s. Qa stallān ī’ s v ie ws a bo ut them are given
be lo w:
Wh en o rd ina ry p eople fall into trouble,
first of all, th e He rald s supplica te fo r them,
then tu rn by turn the Nobility, Substitu te s,
the righteou s and th e min iste rs ( supplica te
for them). I f th eir supp lication is g ranted,
we ll and good, o the rwise, the sa int o f the
h ighe st rank — gha wth ( who is a ll the time
eng ro ssed in A llāh’ s wo rship ) —
supplica te s fo r them, and be fo re h e winds it
up, h is p raye r is g ranted. ( This is A llāh’ s
spe cia l ble ssing on them.) 1

9. Imām Ibn Hajar Haythamī


Ah ma d Sh ihā b- ud-Dīn I bn Hajar Haythamī M akkī, who
po sse sse s an emin ent po sition amon g expe rts on I slam ic
jurispr udence an d tra dition, ha s prove d on the ba sis of the
exp erienc e an d o bse rvation narr ate d by Abū ‘ Abdullāh
Quray shī th at Allāh’ s f avo urite s he lp peop le afte r de ath a s
they he lp them durin g lif e an d the va lue of their ben efit is
not in the lea st re duce d. Pro duce d be lo w is an in cident
attribute d to Abū ‘ Abdullāh Quray sh ī:

1. Qast all ānī, al -Māwāhi b-ul -l aduniyyah (2: 726); Zu rqānī,


C ommentar y (7: 487).
Rel i gi ous L eader s and Is t i ghāt hah 137

A sever e dro ught ha d enve lope d E gypt in its grip an d


the p eople’ s distre ss c a use d by h un ger an d thir st r ema ine d
unr elieve d in sp ite of the ir pr ayer s an d supplic ation s:
So I jou rney ed to wa rd s Sy ria , wh en I
rea ched n ea r A llāh ’s friend (Ib rāhīm’ s)
tomb, h e met me on the way . I said to him:
‘ O Me ssenge r o f A llāh ! I ha ve come a s a
gue st. You should show you r ho spitality in
the fo rm of a supp lica tion fo r th e na tive s o f
Eg ypt. ’ He p ray ed fo r them, so A llāh d ro ve
their famine a way from them.1
In this extraor dinary r efer ence , the de scription of the
f ace-to-f ac e m eetin g with I br āhīm (D) h a s been
comm ente d upon by Imām Yāf i‘ ī in the se wor ds:
The sta tement made by Abū ‘Abdullāh
Qu ra ysh ī that he had a fa ce- to- face m eeting
with the F riend is ba sed on truth . Only an
ignoran t p erson can d eny it who is una wa re
o f th e mode of living and statu s o f the
sain ts b ecau se th e se peop le obse rve the
ea rth and the h eav ens and se e th e proph ets
in th eir living cond ition.2

10. Imām N abh ānī


He h as wr itten an irr ef uta ble book Sha wāh id-ul-haqq fī a l-
istighā thah b i- say yid- il-kha lq an d prove d th e va lidity of
app ea l to the Prophet (A) for h elp.

11. Imām Ālū sī


Commentin g on the ear lier ve rse s of sū rah an- Nā zi‘āt, he
exp la in s in the se wor ds the justif ic ation of r elian ce on
Allāh’ s f avo urite s an d seek in g h elp an d support from
them :

1. Ib n Haj ar Haythamī, al -Fatāwā al -had īthi yyah (pp. 25 5-6).


2. Ib n Haj ar Haythamī, al -Fatāwā al -had īthi yyah (p.2 56).
138 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

(In the in troduc tory sentence s of this


sūrah ,) the sepa ra tion o f the sou ls of piou s
pe rson s from the ir bod ie s at th e time o f
dea th is d esc rib ed and Allāh ha s swo rn by
the se diffe ren t state s o f the souls. Th e se
souls have to b e wren ched ou t of th e bod ie s
be cau se, on a ccoun t of the ir long and d eep
a ssoc iation with the ir bodies, th ey a re
d isinc lin ed to leav e them. The rea son fo r
this d isin clination is that, in o rde r to ea rn
v irtu es, th e body ac ts a s a mean s o f
tran spo rt, and it is on th is coun t tha t th e re
is a g rea te r possibility o f add ing to the
sco re of one’ s virtue s. Then th ese souls fly
to the wo rld o f ang els and reach the
sanc tua ry o f purity, and on ac count of th eir
force and nob ility, the y blend with the
e lemen ts that he lp dec ide the de stin ie s o f
the c reatu re s, tha t is, the y a re inc luded
among the angels, or the y acqu ire
admin istrativ e capability. That is why it is
said : ‘wh en you a re invaded b y troub le s,
you should se ek he lp from th e residen ts o f
the tombs, that is, from the favou rites o f
A llāh who a re embodiments o f v irtue and
pu rity , and those who ha ve le ft us.’ The re is
no doub t tha t a pe rson who v isits th eir
tombs, re ce iv es sp iritual he lp by virtue o f
their b le ssing s, and on many o cca sion s, the
kno ts of d ifficultie s un wind th rough the
media tion of honou r and reve rence th ey
en joy .1
He a dds:
(In the se v erse s) A llāh ha s swo rn by
the se good-na tu red p eople, who step in to

1. Āl ūsī, Rūh-ul -ma‘ānī (30:27-8).


Rel i gi ous L eader s and Is t i ghāt hah 139

the field of v irtue and sanc tity and try to


pu rify bo th th e inn er and the ou te r self
through wo rsh ip, pe rsisten t pra ctic e and a
con ce rted confronta tion with the ev il and,
a s a re sult, a re pe rmeated with immedia te
d ivin e con sc iou sne ss. ( The se ve rse s may be
app lied to the se ho ly p erson s in th e sen se
that) th ey con trol th eir o wn in stinc tive
c ra ving s and concen trate all the ir en erg ie s
on the wo rld wh ere ho line ss p re vails, and
fina lly ach ie ve p e rfe ction a fte r pa ssing
through the evo lutiona ry pha se s so tha t
they can gu ide tho se who a re stuc k up in
their fla wed schedu le s and in ve st th eir live s
with a sense o f pu rpose and d irec tion .1

12. S hāh ‘Abd-ul -Haqq Muhaddith Dihlawī


Sh āh ‘ Abd- ul-Ha qq M uha ddith Dihla wī comment s in his
ex e ge sis of Shaykh ‘Abd- ul-Qā dir Jīlānī’s book Futūh-u l-
ghayb that when the sa ints cro ss into the ar ea of div ine
kno wle dge an d con sc io usne ss, which is imm un e to the
ex igen cies of morta lity, they are ble sse d with a spe cia l
po wer which en a bles th em to pe rform acts unme diate d
thro ugh externa l c a use s, an d they are t ran sforme d into
em bo diment s of ex ception al light an d co gnizan ce a s they
hav e arr ive d from the mortal wo rld into the the world of
immortality. In this way they ach iev e that lev el of
pe rfect ion wh ich th e common be liever s will re ce ive in
Par a dise .

13. S hāh Walī Allāh Muhaddith Dihlawī


He wa s one of those gr eat saint s who, on ac co unt of his
Go d- giv en v ision an d divin e kno wle dge, co uld se e the
inner re ality with his nak e d ey e an d then proc la ime d it
p ublic ly. He ha s wr itten a m atchle ss book Fuyūd-u l-

1. Āl ūsī, Rūh-ul -ma‘ānī (30:28).


140 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

ha ramayn ba se d on o bservation s. T he gist of its ninth an d


tenth ch apters is as follo ws. He say s:
“ We calle d at Me dina, an d we c le arly sa w with o ur
o wn eye s the so ul of the holy Prophet ( A) an d on that
day th is r ea lity wa s r eve ale d to us that the p ure so ul can
a lso be seen like th e bo dy an d the secr et of the life of
proph ets after de ath wa s also disc lose d to us.
“ On the th ir d day we ca lle d an d sent salutation s on the
Prophet ( A), an d a lso v isite d the grav e s of Abū Bakr a s-
Siddīq an d ‘Um ar Fār ūq.
“ T hen we h um bly subm itted: we h ave calle d on yo u
with gr eat exp ectation s to re ce ive yo ur m ercy an d
ble ssin g. Hav e me rcy on us.”
He a dds:
“ T he holy Prophet (A) expre sse d gre at joy an d I felt
that the she et of h is kin dn ess ha d wrapp e d an d cove re d
me . T hen h e em bra ce d m e, an d appe are d befor e m e,
disclo se d many sec rets an d per sona lly in forme d me an d
br ief ly h elp e d m e an d to ld m e ho w I co uld se ek h is he lp
for my ne e ds.”

14. Mawl ān ā As hraf ‘Alī Th ān wī


M a wlānā Ash raf ‘Alī T hān wī, comm entin g on the
ble ssin gs of the ho ly Prophet (A) in h is book Nash r-u t-
tīb, wr ites: ‘ it wa s tran spar ently ref le cte d from the
for ehea ds of his anc estor s. It was h is univ er sa l light that
pe rsua de d Allāh to ac cept Adam’ s rep entance ; a ga in it
wa s his light that salv a ge d Nūh (D) from the te mpe stuo us
wa ve s an d tr ansforme d the glo win g coa ls of fir e into the
blossom s of flo wer s for I br āhīm (D ).’
He ha s wr itten a p ane gyr ic in which h e be so ught the
Prophet ( A) for he lp in h is trials an d tribulation s an d
r e que ste d him to remov e them. He state d:
O, th e in te rc esso r o f the p eople, he lp
me. You a re the one whom I can trust in
c risis.
Rel i gi ous L eader s and Is t i ghāt hah 141

I have no sh elte r exc ept you. Help! My


maste r, d ifficu ltie s b esieg ed me.
O Ibn ‘Abdullāh, pub lic is aga inst me.
B e my suppo rter, b ecau se you a re my
he lpe r.
I hav e no good d eed o r any submission.
Bu t I ha ve you r lo ve in my h eart.
O Me sseng er o f A llāh! I ha ve on ly you r
doo r ( to knock at th e time o f ne ce ssity) . The
c loud s of tee thing troub le s ne ve r su rround
me.
Mor eover h e wrote another pan e gyric in which he
disc usse d the theme of callin g the Prophet (A) for h elp .
Be side s, M a wlān ā Ashr af ‘Alī T hān wī, ha s na me d the
thirty-e ighth p art o f his book a s “ interme diation thro ugh
the Proph et (A) at the t ime o f supplic ation.” In this part,
a fter mention in g a tra dit ion attribute d to ‘ Uthmān bin
Hun ayf, h e write s, “ It p rove s that just a s inte rme diation
thro ugh someon e’s supp lication is v alid, similar ly,
r elianc e on someon e in the supp lication for inte rme diation
is also va lid. ” When durin g the pe rio d of ‘ Uthmān bin
‘ Affān , ‘ Uthmān bin Hunayf a ske d a p etitioner to utter the
sam e supp lication wh ich the Prophet (A) h as ta ught to
the blin d Compan ion, Ma wlānā Ashra f ‘ Alī T hān wī m ake s
it the ba sis of esta blish in g the v alidity of inte rme diation
a fter death. In a ddition, he ha s prov e d the re lev ance of
interme diation thro ugh someon e other than a proph et (D)
by ‘ Umar’ s interme diation thro ugh ‘Abbās. Ma wlānā
T hān wī ha s a lso de cla re d the act of inte rme diation
thro ugh the Proph et’s grave dur in g the t ime o f ‘ Ā’ishah a s
va lid.1 Finally, after r epro duc in g ‘ Utbī’ s tra dition in
wh ich a be do uin ha d ca lle d on the Prophet’s gr ave for the
r epentanc e of his sins, a s we hav e exp la ine d in ref eren ce
to the 64 th ver se o f sū rah an- Nisā ’, he write s: ‘a s it

1. F or details of t he t radi tion s ee our book Isl ami c C on cept of


In t er medi ati on.
142 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

happ ene d in the ear ly days, an d ther e is no contra diction


of it, it ha s a c quir e d the status o f a p roof.’

15. Imām Ahmad bin Zaynī D ahlān


A M akkan jurist of M uslim la w, Ahma d bin Zayn ī Dah lān
in h is jo urna l F itna t-u l- Wahhāb iy yah, ha s esta blish e d the
le ga lity of be se ech in g the proph ets an d sa ints for he lp,
interme diation an d inter ce ssion, an d he h a s co gently
r ef ute d the do ubts an d alle gation s of those who a re
oppo se d to the se perf ectly le gal act s.

16. Imām Muh ammad bin ‘Al awī al-Mālikī


A we ll-kno wn contempo rary r eligio us scho lar po ste d at
M akkah, M uhamm a d bin ‘Ala wī a l-M ālikī, in his book
Mafāh īm yajib an tu sahhah ha s con ducte d well-
doc um ente d r esear ch on the concept of istighā thah.

17. S haykh Muh ammad Hish ām Kabbānī


He is a f amo us contemporary religio us scho lar an d he ha s
wr itten a book, Enc yc loped ia o f I slamic Doc trin e,
comp risin g seven volum es on the belief s o f Ah l- us-
Sun nah wal-Jamā‘ ah. In the fo urth vo lume of h is book he
ha s justif ie d the be lief in istighāthah on th e basis of a v ast
a rray o f historica l an d ration al ar gument s.

A brief s ummary
T hese ar e a f e w of the o bse rvation s, exper ienc e s an d
say in gs, wh ich sp an c entur ie s o f h uman existen ce. T hey
c le arly prove that the grave s an d tom bs of the cho sen
peop le of Allāh are a stea dy so ur ce o f div ine ble ssin gs an d
ben efit s for mank in d. T he disc ern in g per son s do not treat
the se spots of the sa ints as worthless or a s me re h eap s of
m ud an d morta r; rather they be lieve that they ar e men of
distin ction an d Allāh ha s sp ec ia lly r e war de d them for the ir
p iety an d h um an serv ice . Some of the se saint s a re looke d
upon as ultra -ma gnan imo us. T here fore, no one sho uld
Rel i gi ous L eader s and Is t i ghāt hah 143

enterta in any do ubt or re se rvation a bo ut their p urity an d


ex ception al stat us.
A p erson , who h im se lf is str ippe d of sp ir itual vision,
ha s no r ight to m isguide peop le a bo ut the se favo ur ites of
Allāh. He ha s no right to say that the se peop le are de a d,
lyin g inert an d lif eless in their gr ave s, an d ther efore , lack
the po wer an d the ener gy to h elp anyon e. His statement is
comp lete ly ba sele ss an d is just ifie d ne ither by h istor ica l
pr ece dent nor by r ationa l a r gument.
An important point to be note d in this context is that
on ly those re sidents of the tom bs de serve o ur rev eren ce
who ha d attain e d acc e ss to the nearn e ss an d the p le asure
of Allāh an d who se pio us a cts an d virt uo us de e ds ha d
ma de them pop ular durin g the ir liv e s. On ly such per son s
a re to be imp lor e d for h elp . T his point h as be en c lar if ie d
by Shāh ‘Abd- ul-‘ Az īz M uh a ddith Dih la wī in
unm istak a ble term s. He said:
Help should be sought on ly from the
famous sain ts.
a s the p ublic op inion is the litm us te st of the pop ular ity or
unpop ular ity of a saint. He h a s also pre scr ibe d a metho d
for discove rin g the stat ure of a saint an d for seek in g he lp
from him. T his can be looke d up in Fatā wā ‘ Azīzī.
Chapter 6

Line o f Demarcatio n between


Belief and Disbelief

Purg i ng di s bel i ef i n Muhammad' s fol l owers


Allā h h a s c o n f e r r e d in f in it e ble ssin gs o n t h e
f o llo we r s o f t h e Ho ly P r o p h e t (A) . On e o f t h e se
ble ssin gs is t h e ir im p o ssibilit y t o r e t ur n t o disbe lie f
a f t e r e m br a c in g I sla m . I t h a p p e n e d in t h e p a st t h a t
t h e f o llo we r s o f a p a r t ic ula r p r o p h e t r e t ur n e d t o
t h e ir e a r lie r st a t e o f ign o r a n c e a n d disbe lie f a f t e r
h is de a t h . But t h is sh a ll n o t h a p p e n t o t h e
f o llo we r s o f t h e Ho ly P r o p h e t (A) . T h e P r o p h e t
o f Allā h (A) in t h e la st da y s o f h is e a r t h ly
so jo ur n h a d h im se lf de c la r e d t h a t h e h a d n o f e a r s
t h a t h is f o llo we r s will r e la p se in t o disbe lie f a f t e r
h is de a t h . As M uslim s, we sh o uld r e f le c t o n h is
wo r ds. T h e P r o p h e t (A) wh o wa s se n t t o t h is
wo r ld t o qua sh disbe lie f a n d a ll f o r m s o f
im p e r m issible in n o v a t io n , wh o is o ur p r im a r y
so ur c e o f guida n c e a n d wh o is o ur ult im a t e m e a n s
o f sa lv a t io n , is sa y in g t h a t h e h a s n o do ubt s
lur k in g in h is m in d a bo ut o ur st e a dy a n d
ir r e v e r sible be lie f , wh ile we a r e h ur lin g a lle ga t io n s
o f disbe lie f a t o n e a n o t h e r t o c a t e r t o o ur f a lse
se n se o f sup e r io r it y o r t o p a m p e r o ur e go t ism
ba se d o n p r e judic e a n d sh e e r st ubbo r n n e ss. W h a t
c o uld be m o r e un f o r t un a t e t h a n t h is m ut ua l
in c r im in a t io n ?
I t is n a r r a t e d in a t r a dit io n :
145
146 Bes eechi ng f or Hel p

‘ Uq b a h b in ‘ Ā m ir h a s n a rra te d :
Th e P ro p h e t (A) o n e d a y we n t ( to
Uh u d ) a n d o ffe re d p ra y e r fo r th e
n a tiv e s ( m a rty rs) o f Uh u d a s it is
( g e n e ra lly ) o ffe re d fo r th e d e a d . Th e n
h e re tu rn e d to th e p u lp it a n d sa id : ‘ I
a m y o u r fo re ru n n e r a n d I a m a
witn e ss o n y o u . B y A llā h ! I a m rig h t
n o w se e in g th e b a sin o f m y fo u n ta in
( k a wt h a r ) , a n d I h a v e b e e n h a n d e d
o v e r th e k e y s o f th e tre a su re s o f th e
e a rth ( o r th e k e y s o f th e e a rth ) . I
swe a r o n A llā h , I h a v e n o fe a rs th a t
a fte r m e y o u will re tu rn to d isb e lie f
b u t I a m a p p re h e n siv e th a t y o u will
try to o u td o e a c h o th e r in a c q u irin g
wo rld ly g o o d s. ’ 1
T h is is a st a t e m e n t m a de by t h e P r o p h e t (A)
h im se lf . He h a s swo r n o n Allā h a bo ut h is f o llo we r s
t h a t t h e y will n o t r e v e r t t o disbe lie f . T h e
P r o p h e t ’ s wo r ds c a ll f o r de e p r e f le c t io n a n d se r io us
so ul- se a r c h in g. W e br ush a side t h e P r o p h e t ’ s
st a t e m e n t wh e n we a c c use o n e a n o t h e r o f disbe lie f .
T h is t r a dit io n h a s be e n r e p r o duc e d by I m ā m
M uslim 2 a n d I m ā m Ah m a d bin Ha m ba l 1 . Re p e a t e d
________________________________________________
1. B u khārī narrat ed t hi s t radi t i on i n hi s a s -S ah ī h wi t h
d i fferent words at s i x vari ous pl aces , i . e. b. of j a nā ’i z
(fu neral s ) ch. 71 (1: 451#1279); b. of man ā q i b (v i rt ues )
ch . 22 (3: 1317#3401); b. of maghāz ī (t he m i l i t ary
ex pedi t i ons l ed by t he P rophet ) ch. 14, 25 (4 : 1 48 6,
1 498-9 #3816, 3857); b. of r i q āq (s oft en i ng o f h eart s )
ch . 7, 53 (5: 2361, 2408#6062, 6218); T ab arān ī , a l -
Mu‘j am-u l -kab ī r (17: 2 78-80#767-70); B ay haqī , a s -
S unan-ul -kubr ā (4: 14); B aghawī , Sha r h-u s -s un na h
(1 4 : 39-41#3822-3 ); and ‘ Al ī ’ al -Hi nd ī i n K an z -u l -
‘u mmāl (14: 416#39122).
2. Narrat ed i n hi s as -Sahī h, b. of f ad ā’i l (v i rt ues ) ch. 9
(4 : 1795 #30/ 2296).
L i ne of Demar cat i on bet w een Bel i ef . . . 147

r e f e r e n c e s t o t h is t r a dit io n by p e o p le o f suc h
c a libr e a n d p r e st ige , a n d o ur do gge d de f ia n c e o f it s
c o n t e n t s a r e n o t h in g but h a r r o win g un a wa r e n e ss o f
t h e r e a l sp ir it o f o ur f a it h .
I stig h ā th a h , wh ic h h a s be e n e st a blish e d a s a
v a lid a c t in I sla m by c o un t le ss Qur ’ ā n ic in jun c t io n s
a n d a ut h e n t ic a n d c e r t if ie d t r a dit io n s a n d wh ic h h a s
be e n p r a c t ise d by t h e la r ge m a jo r it y o f M uslim s, is
n o w t ur n e d in t o a m a t t e r o f disp ut e a n d
c o n t r o v e r sy , a n d is n o w be in g use d a s a c o n v e n ie n t
p lo y t o n o t o n ly in dulge in in c r im in a t in g o n e
a n o t h e r in disbe lie f but a lso t o giv e v e n t t o o ur
p e r so n a l f r ust r a t io n s. I f we c a r e t o r e f le c t o n h is
wo r ds a n d st a t e m e n t s, we will c o m e t o r e a lise t h a t
t o in sist o n t h e ille ga lit y o f be se e c h in g f o r h e lp ,
e it h e r a s a do c t r in e o r in so m e o f it s a c t ua l
a p p lic a t io n s, e sp e c ia lly wh e n it s le ga lit y h a s be e n
c o n c lusiv e ly e st a blish e d bo t h by t h e Qur ’ ā n a n d t h e
su n n a h , is n o t h in g but r e ligio us p e r v e r sit y . T e n s o f
st a t e m e n t s m a de by t h e Ho ly P r o p h e t (A) a r e
wit n e ss t o t h e f a c t t h a t t o c a ll so m e o n e f o r h e lp
o t h e r t h a n Allā h is quit e c o n sist e n t wit h Qur ’ ā n ic
c o m m a n ds a n d t h e P r o p h e t ’ s st a t e m e n t s.
As it is r e p o r t e d by ‘ Am r bin Sh u‘ a y b t h a t h is
gr a n df a t h e r sa y s: we we r e p r e se n t in t h e c o m p a n y
o f t h e h o ly P r o p h e t (A) wh e n m e sse n ge r s f r o m
Ha wā z in t r ibe c a m e a n d sa id, “ O M uh a m m a d! W e
be lo n g t o t h e sa m e o r igin a n d t r ibe , a n d t h e t r o uble
we a r e f a c in g is n o t h idde n f r o m y o u, t h e r e f o r e ,
h a v e m e r c y o n us. ” T h e h o ly P r o p h e t (A)
r e p lie d, “ Op t o n e o f t h e t wo c h o ic e s; e it h e r t a k e
a wa y y o ur p r o p e r t y a n d we a lt h o r h a v e y o ur
wo m e n f r e e d. ” T h e y o p t e d f o r t h e ir wo m e n a n d
c h ildr e n . T h e n t h e M e sse n ge r o f Allā h (A) a dde d:
a s f a r a s m y sh a r e a n d t h e sh a r e o f ‘ Abd- ul-
M ut t a lib a n d h is c h ildr e n ( in t h e sp o ils) is

1. Narrat ed i n hi s Mus nad (4: 149, 153-4).


148 Bes eechi ng f or Hel p

c o n c e r n e d, I h a v e a lr e a dy giv e n it t o y o u. But
wh e n I h a v e p e r f o r m e d t h e n o o n p r a y e r , y o u
sh o uld a ll st a n d up a n d sa y :
Th ro u g h th e m ea n s of th e
Me sse n g e r o f A llā h (A) we se e k h e lp
fo r o u r wo m e n a n d c h ild re n fro m
b e lie v e rs ( o r Mu slim s) . 1
T h e n a r r a t o r sa y s t h a t wh e n p e o p le h a d f in ish e d
t h e ir p r a y e r , t h e y r e p e a t e d t h e sa m e wo r ds a s t h e
P r o p h e t (A) h a d a dv ise d t h e m . T h e se wo r ds we r e
ut t e r e d by t h e sa c r e d t o n gue o f t h e h o ly P r o p h e t
(A) h im se lf a n d h e ut t e r e d t h e m in t h e f o r m o f a
c o m m a n d. T h e r e f o r e , t h is t r a dit io n f ur n ish e s a
c o ge n t just if ic a t io n f o r t h e a c t o f be se e c h in g f o r
h e lp .

Fi g urati ve rel ati on between bel i ef and


di s bel i ef
T o h o ld t h e h o ly P r o p h e t (A) a n d t h e sa in t s a n d
p io us p e o p le o f Allā h in r e v e r e n c e a n d t o be se e c h
t h e m f o r h e lp is quit e c o m p a t ible wit h t h e ba sic
p r in c ip le s o f I sla m ic f a it h . But so m e t im e s t h e
p e t it io n e r s, wh ile a ddr e ssin g t h e se f a v o ur it e s o f
Allā h , e m p lo y wo r ds, wh ic h a r e r e se r v e d o n ly f o r
Allā h a n d, t h e r e f o r e , a c c o r din g t o so m e r e ligio us
sc h o la r s, c o m m it disbe lie f . T h is c o n c lusio n is ba se d
o n a f un da m e n t a l m isc o n c e p t io n a s t h e se sc h o la r s
f a il t o dr a w t h e v it a l dist in c t io n be t we e n t h e lit e r a l
a n d f igur a t iv e se n se o f t h e se wo r ds. T h e y in t e r p r e t
t h e se m o de s o f a ddr e ss o r t h e v o c a t iv e f o r m s in a
lit e r a l se n se a n d t h us wr in g a p e r v e r se c o n c lusio n
f r o m t h e m . I t is a n a dm it t e d f a c t t h a t t h e se m o de s
o f a ddr e ss a r e use d o n ly f o r Allā h in t h e ir a bso lut e
se n se , t h e r e f o r e , t o use t h e m f o r a n y o t h e r
c r e a t ur e is o bv io usly disbe lie f a n d f o r a M uslim it
________________________________________________
1. Nas ā’ ī , Sunan, b. of hi bah (gi ft s ) 6: 262-3.
L i ne of Demar cat i on bet w een Bel i ef . . . 149

is sim p ly in c o n c e iv a ble . T h us a ba sic dist in c t io n


m ust be dr a wn be t we e n t h e ir lit e r a l a n d f igur a t iv e
m e a n in g. T h e lit e r a l se n se a p p lie s t o Allā h a lo n e
a n d n o c r e a t ur e , wh e t h e r h e is a p r o p h e t o r a sa in t ,
c a n a r r o ga t e t o h im se lf t h is e x c lusiv e div in e
p r e r o ga t iv e . T h e r e f o r e , t h e p e t it io n e r is usin g t h e
wo r ds o n ly f igur a t iv e ly a n d it is in t h is se n se a lo n e
t h a t t h e y a r e ge n e r a lly in t e r p r e t e d. T h e a lle ga t io n
o f disbe lie f a ga in st t h e se p e o p le is quit e m isp la c e d;
it r e f le c t s r a t h e r t h e t wist e d c o n sc io usn e ss o f t h o se
wh o h ur l suc h m a lic io us a lle ga t io n s a ga in st t h e m .
T h e p e t it io n e r s a r e , in f a c t , im m un e t o disbe lie f .
Fo r in st a n c e :
1 . O, th e m o st re v e re n d ( P ro p h e t) o f
a ll c re a tu re s! I h a v e n o o n e e lse a s
m y ( h e lp e r) e x c e p t y o u wh o se h e lp
sh o u ld I se e k a t a tim e wh e n I a m
e n g u lfe d b y tro u b le s a n d c a la m itie s.
2 . Th e re a re fiv e ( frie n d s) fo r m e with
wh ic h I e x tin g u ish th e in te n sity o f a
le th a l e p id e m ic . ( Th e se a re : ) th e h o ly
P ro p h e t Mu h a m m a d (A) , ‘ A lī, b o th
o f h is so n s ( Ha sa n a n d Hu sa y n ) a n d
F ā tim a h .
3 . A ll th is is a n e x p re ssio n o f y o u r
m e rc y a n d m a g n a n im ity th a t I a m still
su rv iv in g in th e m id st o f tro u b le a n d
tu rm o il.
4. I b eg th e c h a rity of yo u r
m a g n a n im o u s e y e a s th e re is n o o n e
e x c e p t y o u to b a il m e o u t in th is h o u r
o f d istre ss.
5 . A ll p e o p le h a v e so m e su p p o rt to
re ly u p o n wh e n th e y a re d o wn a n d
o u t, b u t I h a v e n o o n e e lse e x c e p t y o u
to tu rn to wh e n I a m in tro u b le .
150 Bes eechi ng f or Hel p

Sim ila r ly , so m e M uslim s in dif f e r e n t sit ua t io n s,


wh ile a ddr e ssin g t h e Ho ly P r o p h e t (A) use t h e se
wo r ds lik e “ O M e sse n ge r o f Allā h ! W e h a v e n o
o t h e r sh e lt e r e x c e p t y o u. ” I f we in t e r p r e t t h e se
wo r ds in t h e ir lit e r a l se n se , o bv io usly we wo uld lik e
t o c o n c lude t h a t t h e p e r so n usin g t h e m is
c o m m it t in g disbe lie f . But t h e f a c t is t h a t a M uslim
is n o t usin g t h e m in t h e ir a bso lut e se n se . An y
M uslim wh o use s t h e se wo r ds is f un da m e n t a lly
m o t iv a t e d by t h e be lie f t h a t t h e p o we r o f t h e Ho ly
P r o p h e t (A) is o n ly de r iv a t iv e a s it is c o n t in ge n t
o n div in e will. He is in f a c t sa y in g t h r o ugh h is
m o de o f a ddr e ss: ‘ a f t e r Allā h , t h e P r o p h e t (A) is
m y p la c e o f sh e lt e r , a n d a f t e r Allā h , it is h is
sup p o r t t h a t c a n se r v e a s a m e a n s o f h e lp a n d
sa lv a t io n f o r a sin n e r lik e m y se lf . ’ T h us h e is n o t
e qua t in g t h e P r o p h e t (A) wit h Allā h W h o is
un ique a n d f r o m W h o se f a v o ur t h e P r o p h e t (A)
de r iv e s h is e x c e p t io n a l st a t us a m o n g t h e c r e a t ur e s
o f Allā h . So h e is sa y in g: ‘ I h a v e n o o n e e lse
e x c e p t y o u a m o n g Allā h ’ s c r e a t ur e s a n d I h a v e n o
e x p e c t a t io n s f r o m o t h e r c r e a t ur e s e x c e p t y o u. ’
T h us h e is n o t e le v a t in g t h e P r o p h e t (A) t o t h e
le v e l o f div in it y , h e is o n ly st r e ssin g h is
e x c e p t io n a l st a t us a m o n g t h e c r e a t ur e s. T h o ugh we
n o r m a lly do n o t use t h e se a m biguo us wo r ds dur in g
in t e r m e dia t io n o r a t t h e t im e o f be se e c h in g h e lp
f r o m o t h e r s, n o r do we e n c o ur a ge o t h e r s t o m a k e
use o f t h e m t o p r e - e m p t e v e n t h e sligh t e st
susp ic io n o f disbe lie f , we a lso r e ga r d it a s n e c e ssa r y
t o p r o p o se t h a t a p e r so n usin g t h e se wo r ds
f igur a t iv e ly a n d de r iv a t iv e ly sh o uld n o t be a c c use d
o f disbe lie f in a f it o f m isp la c e d e n t h usia sm o r a n
o v e r p la y o f r e ligio us se n t im e n t .
I t is m o r e p e r t in e n t t o r e a lise t h a t we sh o uld
n o t e n t e r t a in un n e c e ssa r y susp ic io n s a bo ut t h e
in t e gr it y o f t h e ir f a it h ; in st e a d o f m a k in g t h e m
h o st a ge s o f o ur c r ude se n se o f just ic e , we sh o uld
L i ne of Demar cat i on bet w een Bel i ef . . . 151

disp la y a r e a so n a ble de gr e e o f o p e n - m in de dn e ss t o
giv e t h e m t h e be n e f it o f do ubt . Be f o r e h ur lin g a t
t h e m t h e a c c usa t io n o f disbe lie f , we sh o uld t r y t o
p r o be in t o t h e ir r e a l in t e n t io n s; be f o r e c o n v ic t in g
t h e m , we sh o uld p r e sum e t h e m in n o c e n t a n d r e f r a in
f r o m e qua t in g t h e ir f igur a t iv e e x p r e ssio n s wit h
lit e r a l st a t e m e n t s. W e a ll k n o w, a n d o n ly a se n se
o f p e r v e r sio n c a n c o n t r a dic t t h is gut f e e lin g, t h a t
t h e se p e t it io n e r s se e k in g h e lp f r o m o t h e r s be lie v e
in div in e un it y , wh ic h is quit e c o n sist e n t wit h t h e
ba sic p o st ula t e s o f I sla m ic f a it h a n d a t t e st e d by t h e
M e sse n ge r sh ip o f t h e Ho ly P r o p h e t (A) . T h e y
o f f e r p r a y e r a n d p a y za k ā t. W h e n t h e y f o llo w t h e
ba sic t e n e t s o f I sla m , n o t a s a n e y e wa sh but a s a
de m o n st r a t io n o f c o m m it m e n t , t h e n it will n o t be
a n a c t o f wisdo m t o dr iv e t h e m o ut o f t h e f o ld o f
I sla m sim p ly be c a use t h e y use a st r in g o f
‘ un de sir a ble ’ e x p r e ssio n s in t h e ir sup p lic a t io n s in a
f igur a t iv e se n se . T r uly sp e a k in g, t h e y a r e “ m o r e
sin n e d a ga in st t h a n sin n in g” 1 a s t h e p un ish m e n t
se e m s t o e x c e e d t h e ir in n o c uo us a c t . An a s bin M ā ik
h a s r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e P r o p h e t (A) sa id:
A n y o n e wh o p ra y s lik e u s a n d
m a k e s o u r qibla h a s h is qibla h a n d
e a ts o u r sla u g h te re d m e a t, so h e is a
Mu slim fo r wh o m A llā h a n d His
Me sse n g e r (A) a re b o th re sp o n sib le .
So do not b re a k A llā h ’ s
re sp o n sib ility . 2
I n v ie w o f t h is so un d t r a dit io n , t h e r e is h a r dly
a n y sc o p e le f t t o le v e l t h e a lle ga t io n o f in f ide lit y
a ga in st t h e M uslim s wh o use t h e se wo r ds

________________________________________________
1. S h akes peare, K i ng L ear .
2. B ukhārī narrat ed i t i n hi s as -Sahī h, chs . o f q i b l a h,
ch . 1 (1: 153#384); and Nas ā’ ī i n hi s S un an , b . of
a ymān w a s har ā’i ‘ahū (8: 105).
152 Bes eechi ng f or Hel p

f igur a t iv e ly . T h is f igur a t iv e a p p lic a t io n is


sa n c t io n e d by t h e Qur ’ ā n a n d t h e h a d īth a n d
de m o n st r a t e d by t h e p r a c t ic e o f t h e Co m p a n io n s,
n o t sp a r in gly but f r e que n t ly a n d t h e r e f o r e , it s
r e a lit y c a n n o t be de n ie d. An d t h e r e is n o h a r m t o
de c la r e t h e ir a p p lic a t io n a s a v a lid a c t if a be lie v e r
use s t h e m f igur a t iv e ly . Ac c o r din g t o t h e c o r r e c t
I sla m ic be lie f , a p e r so n wh o be lie v e s t h a t Allā h
a lo n e is t h e Cr e a t o r a n d t h e M a st e r , a n d He a lo n e
h a s e m p o we r e d His c r e a t ur e s t o p e r f o r m dif f e r e n t
a c t s, a n d He is a bso lut e ly in de p e n de n t o f t h e
le a n in gs a n d c r a v in gs o f t h e liv in g a n d t h e de a d,
t h a t is, it is t h e e x c lusiv e div in e p r iv ile ge t o gr a n t
o r r e je c t t h e wish o f a c r e a t ur e , n o m a t t e r h o w
h igh ly p la c e d h e is, suc h a p e r so n is a t r ue be lie v e r
a n d a t r ue M uslim . T h is is p r e c ise ly wh a t is m e a n t
by div in it y a n d t h is is e x a c t ly wh a t I sla m st a n ds
f o r . I t is p r o v e d by Jibr īl’ s dia lo gue wit h M a r y a m
( M a r y ) in wh ic h h e h a d st r e sse d h is de r iv a t iv e
p o we r in r e la t io n t o t h e a bso lut e p o we r o f Allā h . I t
m e a n t t h a t h is a c t wa s n o t se lf - p r o m p t e d but bo t h
sa n c t io n e d a n d sa n c t if ie d by t h e will o f t h e L o r d
wh o is On e a n d Un ique . T h e Qur ’ ā n de c la r e s it in
t h e se wo r ds:
S o th a t I sh o u ld b le ss y o u with a
p u re so n . 1
W h e n t h e c h ie f o f Allā h ’ s c r e a t ur e s o f ligh t c a n
a t t r ibut e t h e se f igur a t iv e wo r ds t o h im se lf , a n d
Allā h Him se lf is r e in f o r c in g t h e m in t h e Qur ’ ā n ,
t h e n if a c r e a t ur e o f f le sh a n d bo n e a t t r ibut e s t h e m
t o t h e h o ly P r o p h e t (A) , t h e n wh a t c r im e h a s h e
c o m m it t e d o r wh a t sin h a s h e p e r p e t r a t e d? W h a t is
ur ge n t ly n e e de d is t o un de r st a n d t h e e sse n c e o f t h e
Qur ’ ā n it se lf so t h a t t h e M uslim s st o p c o n de m n in g
o n e a n o t h e r , in f la t in g o n e se t o f be lie f s wh ile

________________________________________________
1. Qur’ ān (Mar yam, M ary) 19: 19.
L i ne of Demar cat i on bet w een Bel i ef . . . 153

de f la t in g o t h e r s, a n d in t h e p r o c e ss giv in g a ba d
n a m e t o t h e ir f a it h . T h is is t h e o n ly wa y t o
p r e se r v e t h e in t e gr it y o f o ur r e ligio n a n d t o r e t a in
t h e p ur it y o f o ur f a it h .

The l as t word
He r e , sum m in g up t h e disc ussio n , we wo uld lik e t o
r e p h r a se t h e v it a l p o in t st a t e d e a r lie r t h a t , in t h e
p r e se n t t im e s, so m e p e o p le h a v e c a st a side t h e
ba sic dif f e r e n c e be t we e n t h e lit e r a l a n d f igur a t iv e
m e a n in gs in t h e in t e r p r e t a t io n o f Qur ’ ā n ic v e r se s.
M o r e o v e r , t h e ir in t e r p r e t a t io n is m a r k e d by
im ba la n c e a n d e x t r e m ism , wh ic h bla t a n t ly v io la t e s
t h e ba sic p r in c ip le s o f Qur ’ ā n ic e x e ge sis. T h e y
p r o p up t h e ir in t e r p r e t a t io n o n t h e lit e r a l se n se
a n d a r e n o t willin g t o c o n c e de t h e f igur a t iv e se n se .
T h is is t h e r e a so n t h a t t h e ir in t e r p r e t a t io n s a r e
de f le c t e d f r o m t h e e st a blish e d a n d a ut h e n t ic
c o n se n sus o f t h e t r a dit io n s a n d t h e e a r ly r e ligio us
le a de r s a n d sc h o la r s de e p ly c h a r ge d wit h t h e t r ue
sp ir it o f t h e ir f a it h a n d m a k e sh e e r o p in io n a n d
sp e c ula t io n a s t h e ba sis o f t h e ir c o n c lusio n s. T h is
is n o t h in g but in div idua lism go n e h a y wir e . T h e y
a r e in t e r je c t in g un de sir a ble in n o v a t io n s in t o o ur
r e ligio us f a br ic a n d disf igur in g it s t e x t ur e by t h e ir
in se n sible a n d in se n sit iv e de v ia t io n s f r o m c e r t if ie d
a n d we ll- do c um e n t e d e x p la n a t io n s. T h e o t h e r
gr o up t h a t h a s disc a r de d t h e so be r in g c r ut c h e s o f
ba la n c e h a s disp la y e d suc h e x t r e m ism in it s
a p p lic a t io n a n d p a t r o n a ge o f t h e f igur a t iv e se n se
t h a t it a p p e a r s t o h a v e lo st a ll se n se o f ba la n c e ,
wh ile ba la n c e is a sin e qua n o n o f a ll sa n e
in t e r p r e t a t io n . I f we k e e p in v ie w t h e Qur ’ ā n ic
se n se o f ba la n c e , t h e c h a sm be t we e n t h e t wo
e x t r e m e s c a n be a br idge d a n d t h e M uslim
c o m m un it y will be t r a n sf o r m e d o n c e a ga in in t o a n
in div isible un it y . T h is is t h e o n ly wa y t o p r e se r v e
154 Bes eechi ng f or Hel p

o ur f a it h a n d t o p e r p e t ua t e a c o r r e c t in t e r p r e t a t io n
o f t h e n a t ur e a n d e sse n c e o f div in e un it y .
Glossary

a tha r: p l. āthā r. lit. re latin g. Gener ally use d for a hadīth


r elate d by one of the Comp anion s, a s distin guishe d from
one of the Prophet’ s o wn.
da‘ īf: an ina cc ur ate na rration wh ich doe s not qualify to be
e ither sah īh ( so un d) or ha san (fa ir), an d h enc e c annot be
use d a s a ba sis of an I slam ic op inion .
d īn: an Ar a bic wor d for re ligion. It is more spe cifically
use d for the r eligion an d reve ale d books of the proph ets
an d the me ssen ge rs. It is a compr ehen sive term cover in g
not on ly r eligio us r ites an d r ituals but a lso app lie s to all
a sp ects of life an d prov ide s guidance in all of its p ur suit s,
wh ile madhab (re ligion) is re stricte d to man ’s sp ir itua l
lif e an d re gulate s its r elation ship with Go d a lone.
dinar: an anc ient gold coin .
d u‘ā’: lit. to ca ll som eone ; mak in g supplic ation to Allāh.
gharīb: a hadīth or ver sion r eporte d by one r elia ble or
unr elia ble na rrator wh ich diffe rs in context with another
had īth or ve rsion reporte d by a gro up of re lia ble n arrator s.
A gharīb had īth can be sah īh ( so un d) or da‘īf ( we ak).
ghawth: lit. on e to whom we can cry fo r he lp. A m e diator;
a title given to a sa int of the h ighe st or der .
hadīth: p l. hadīth s o r ahād īth . T he sayin gs, pr actice an d
app rove d tra dition s of the Prophet M uhamm a d ( A).
Hāfiz : lit. a guar dian or protector. (1) one of the nam es of
Go d, a l-Hāfiz. (2) a governor , guar dian of the M akkan
temp le. (3) on e who h as committe d the who le of the
153
154 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

Qur’ān to memory . (4) one who ha s com mitte d one


h un dr e d thousan d hadīth s to memory .
hajj: the y ear ly p ilgr ima ge of the M uslim s to Makk ah.
hasa n: a had īth , n arrate d by a re lia ble ch ain of
tran smission tho ugh not approa chin g the gra de of sah īh
( so un d) hadīth, but r ecor ds a complete ch ain of n arr ators
up to the Prophet ( A).
Imām: one who le a ds peop le in p raye rs; an e minent
I slamic scho lar .
‘ Īsā (D ): nam e of Allāh ’s pen ult imate m essen ger, Je sus.
Jibrīl (D): the ar chan gel Ga briel who bro ught the
r evelation s of Allāh to His me ssen ger s.
jihād: the wor d jihād , in term s of the a c quisit ion of a
de sira ble an d co mmen da ble o bjectiv e, c arrie s a n um ber of
me anin gs. J ihād is striv in g a gain st the ev ils o f the se lf,
an d it is also the str uggle wa ge d for the propa gat ion of
I slam an d the inte grity of Ummah . For ex ample, to la unch
jihād thro ugh ton gue an d p en for the improv ement an d
dev elopm ent of the I slamic so ciety; an a rme d str uggle
a gain st the exp loit ive for ce s is a lso jihād but this is
‘m inor jihād’ while a perp etual str uggle a gain st the evil
wishe s o f on e’s se lf is ‘m ajo r jihād’ . Jihād is on e o f the
c ar din al articles of I slam.
ka wtha r: lit. a bun dan ce. A pon d in Par a dise .
Maryam: the Prophet ‘Ī sā’ s mother ; M ary.
ma wd ū‘: a ma wdū‘ tra dition nar rate d by a liar , a n arrator
who se a ct of ly in g in r elat in g tra ditions ha s be en prov e d.
sahīh: so un d. A had īth with an un broken ch ain of
na rrator s ran gin g f rom the Prophet M uh amma d (A) an d
app roach in g an er a thro ugh re lia ble narr ators without
be in g shādh (o dd) or mu‘alla l (f a ulty) in bet ween the t wo
c ross relater s.
Gl os s ar y 155

sha rī‘a h: lit. roa d. It is a le ga l mo dality of a peop le ba se d


on the rev elation of their p rophet/m essen ger. T he last
sha rī‘ah is that of I slam that a bro gate s a ll pr evio us
sha rī‘ah s.
sunnah: pl. sunnah s. lit. the p ath, way or a fo rm, the
c ustomary pra ctic e of a p er son or a gro up of peop le. It ha s
com e to ref er almo st ex clusive ly to the le ga l way o r way s,
or ders, statement s an d act s of wor sh ip, etc., o f the Prophet
M uh amma d (A) wh ich hav e become th e mo dels to be
fo llo we d by the M uslim s.
sūra h: a chapter of the ho ly Qur’ ān. T here are 114
ch apter s in the holy Qur’ ān.
Ya ‘qūb (D): the prophet Ja co b.
Yūsuf (D) : the proph et Jo seph .
zakāt: a y ear ly f ixe d pe rcenta ge of wea lth an d prope rty of
the M uslim s lia ble to zakāt to be p aid to the poor an d the
ne e dy of the M uslim Comm unity. It is o bligatory, a s it is
one of the f ive in disp en sa ble p illar s o f I slam.
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kha lq, E gypt: M atba‘ah M ustaf ā a l- Bā dī al- Ha la bī,
n. d.
Na saf ī, ‘ Abdullāh bin Ahma d bin Mahm ūd ( d.710/1310)
106. al- Madā rik, Dār ihyā’ -il-k utub-il-‘a ra biyyah, n . d.
Na sā’ ī, Ahma d bin Sh u‘ay b (215-303/830 -915)
107. ‘Amal-ul- ya wm wal- lay lah, Be ir ut, Le banon :
M u’ a ssisat- ur-r isā lah, 3 rd e d. 1407 /1987.
108. Sunan, Be ir ut, L e banon : Dār- ul-k ut ub-il-
‘ ilm iyyah , n. d.
109. Ta fsīr, Dār- ul-f ikr, 1 st e d. 1410 /1990.
Na wa wī, Abū Z akar iyyā Yahy ā bin Shar f (631-677 /1233-
1278)
110. al-Adh kā r, a l-M atba‘at- ul-khayr iyyah , 1323 AH .
111. al-Īdāh .
Qa dī ‘Iy ā d, Abū a l- Fa dl, I bn M ūsā Yahsubī (476-
544 /1083-1149)
112. a sh-Sh ifā , Be ir ut, Le banon: Dār- ul-k itā b-il-
‘ ara bī, n. d.
Qā dī M uhamm a d T hanā’ ullāh Pānīp atī ( d.1225/1810)
166 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

113. at-Ta fsīr-u l-mazha rī, Quetta, Pak istan:


Ba luch istan Book Depot, n. d.
Qa stallān ī, Ahma d bin M uh amma d (851-923/1448-1517 )
114. al-Ma wāh ib-ul-ladun iyyah , Beir ut, Le banon: a l-
M akta b- ul- Islam ī, 1 st e d. 1412 /1991.
Qurtubī, Abū ‘Abdullāh, M uh amma d bin Ahma d (284-
380 /897-990)
115. a l-Jāmi‘ li-ah kām-il-Qu r’ān, Be ir ut, Le banon :
Dār ihyā’ -it-tur āth-il-‘a ra bī, 2 nd e d., n . d.
Rā gh ib Asfah ānī, Husayn bin M uh amma d, Abū a l-Qāsim
( d.502 /1108)
116. Mufradā t a lfāz a l-Qu r’ān , Dam asc us, Sy ria : Dār-
ul- qa lam, 1 st e d. 1412 /1992.
Rā zī, M uham ma d bin ‘ Umar bin Ha san bin Husayn (543-
606 /1149-1210)
117. a t-Ta fsīr-u l-kab īr, T ehran, Ir an: Dār- ul-k ut ub-il-
‘ ilm iyyah , 2 nd e d., n. d.
Sā būn ī, M uh amma d ‘Alī
118. Qaba s min-nū r- il- Qu r’ān a l-ka rīm, Beir ut,
L e banon : Dār- ul-Qur’ ān a l-k arīm , 4 th e d.
1419 /1998.
Sa mh ūdī, ‘ Alī bin ‘Abdullāh bin Ahm a d (844-911 /1440-
1505)
119. Khu lā sat-u l- Wafā .
Sa yf bin ‘ Umar T amīm ī ( d.200 /815)
120. al-Fu tūh-u l-kab īr.
Sh āh ‘Abd- ul-‘ Az īz M uha ddith Dih la wī (1159-1239 /1746-
1824)
121. Fa tā wā ‘A zīzī, De lhi, In dia: M atba‘ M ujta bā’ ī,
1341 AH .
Sh āh ‘Abd- ul-Ha qq M uha ddith Dihla wī (958-1052 /1551-
1642)
122. Sharh Futūh-u l-gha yb, L uckno w, In dia: 1298 AH .
Sh āh Wa lī Allāh M uh a ddith Dihla wī (1114-
1174 /1703/1762)
123. Fu yūd-ul-ha ramayn, Kara chi, Pak istan:
M uh amma d Sa ‘īd an d Sons, n. d.
Sh ake sp eare , Willia m (1564-1616)
Bi bl i ogr aph y 167

124. Hamle t.
125. King Lea r.
Sh a wk ānī, M uhamma d bin ‘ Alī bin M uh amma d (1173-
1250 /1760-1834)
126. Tuh fat-udh -dhākirīn, Dār- ut-tar biyyah, n. d.
127. Fath-u l-qad īr, E gypt: 1383 AH .
Subk ī, ‘Alī bin ‘Abd- ul-Kāfī (683-756 /1284-1355)
128. Shifā’-u s- siqām fī ziyāra t khay r- il-anām,
Hy dera ba d, In dia: Dā’ irah m a‘ār if Niz āmmiyy ah,
1315 AH .
Suy ūt ī, Ja lā l- ud-Dīn ‘ Abd- ur- Rahm ān (849-911 /1445-
1505)
129. ad- Du rr-u l-manthū r, Be ir ut, Le banon: Dār- ul-
ma ‘rif ah, n . d.
130. al- Kha sā’ is-ul- kubrā , Fa isala ba d, P akistan : a l-
M akta bah an-Nūr iyyah ar- Ridwiyyah, n. d.
131. Manāh il-u s- sifā fī ta kh rīj ahād īth a sh-Sh ifā , n. d.
132. Sha rh-u s- sudū r bi- sha rh hāl- il-mawtā wa l-qubū r,
Be ir ut, Le banon: Dār- ul-ma‘r if ah, 2 nd e d.
1420 /1999.
133. Tafsīr-ul- ja lālayn , Ka rach i, Pak istan: Qa dīm ī
k ut ub khan ah, n. d.
T a bar ānī, Sulaym ān bin Ahm a d (260-360 /873-971)
134. al- Mu‘ jam-ul-a wsat, Riy a dh, Sa udi Ar a bia :
M akta bat- ul-m a‘ā rif , 1 st e d. 1405/1985.
135. a l-Mu ‘jam-ul- kabīr, Ca iro, E gypt: M akta bah I bn
T aymiyy ah, n. d.
136. al- Mu‘ jam-ul- kabīr, Mo sul, Ir a q: Mat ba‘ at-uz-
z uh rā’- il-ha dīthah , 2 nd e d., n . d.
137. a l- Mu‘jam-u s- saghīr, Beir ut, Le banon : Dār- ul-
k ut ub-il-‘ ilm iyyah , 1403/1983 .
T ha‘ā la bī, ‘ Abd- ur- Rahm ān bin M uhamm a d (785-
875 /1383-1470)
138. Jawāh ir-ul-hisān fī tafsīr- il-Qu r’ān, Be ir ut,
L e banon : M u’ assisat- ul- a‘lamī lil-mat bū‘āt, n. d.
T irm idhī, M uhamm a d bin ‘Ī sā (210-279/825 -892)
139. a l- Jāmi‘-u s- sahīh, Beir ut, Le banon: Dār ihyā ’-it-
t urāth-il-‘ ara bī, n. d.
168 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

‘ Umar Ra dā Kahh ālah


140. Mu‘ jam-ul-mu’allifīn , Beir ut, Le banon : Dār
ihyā’- it-tur āth-il-‘ar a bī, n. d.
Z amakh shar ī, Mahm ūd bin ‘ Umar (467-538 /1075-1144)
141. a l- Ka shshā f ‘an haqā’ iq gha wāmid- it- tan zīl,
Ca iro, E gypt: M atba ‘at- ul- istiqām ah, 2 nd e d.
1373 /1953.
Z ayla‘ī, Abū M uh amma d ‘Abdullāh bin Yūsuf Hanaf ī
( d.762 /1360)
142. Na sb-u r- rāyah , L ahore, P akistan : Dār n ash r-il-
k ut ub-il-I slamiyy ah, 1 st e d. 1357 /1938.
Z ur qānī, M uhamm a d bin ‘Abd- ul- Bā qī (1055-1122 /1645-
1710)
143. Commentary (Sharh Zu rqānī ‘a lā a l- Ma wāhib-u l-
laduniy yah), Be ir ut, Le banon: Dār- ul-k ut ub-il-
‘ ilm iyyah , 1 st e d. 1417/1996.
Index to Qur’ānic Verses

All pra ise is only for Allāh Who is (1 :1-4) 19


( O Allāh!) W e wor sh ip on ly Yo u (1:4) 17
We seek h elp on ly f rom Yo u. (1 :4) 6
Ho w can yo u re ject the f aith in Allāh? (2:28) 72
T hey imp lor e d that yo u sho uld p ray (2 :68) 11
An d exc ept Allāh yo u hav e ne ither (2:107) 115
For yo u ther e sha ll be n either any (2 :120) 116
An d sure ly (ev en) in the Her eafter, (2:130 ) 68
An d seek (Allāh’ s) he lp (2 :145) 122
An d say not of tho se who a re slain (2:154 ) 73
An d (to ca ll) those in fidels (2 :171) 9
T hen (a fter sla ughterin g them), (2 :260) 91
Sur e ly, ther e is nothin g on the earth (3 :5) 109
Sur e ly, I have come to yo u, with a sign (3 :49) 100
Sa y : Come! Let us c all (to gether) (3:61 ) 91
When yo u were r unnin g a way (3 :153) 12
An d those who are sla in in the way (3 :169) 73
O o ur Lor d! Bless us with all that (3 :194) 57
An d Allāh is suf ficient ( a s) Protector (4 :45) 116
( O be love d!) An d if they ha d come to yo u an d 39, 40,
a sk e d (4 :64) 61, 134
An d ra ise fo r us from Yo u on e who (4:75) 117
An d he lp one another in ( acts of) (5 :2) 22, 93
In dee d, yo ur (he lper ) fr ien d is on ly (5 :55) 117
An d wh en yo u, by My leav e, (5 :110) 102
T hen yo u br eathe d into it, (5 :110) 103
An d we dir ecte d M ūsā by in spir ation (7 :160) 6
When yo u were be see chin g yo ur Lor d (8:9) 5
An d (in re ality) there is no h elp from (8 :10) 116
An d (O M uslim s!), to ( fight) them (8 :60) 122
169
170 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

An d the men who believ e an d the (9:71) 117


O be liever s! Fe ar Allāh, an d r ema in (9 :119) 68
An d their pray er will en d (10 :10) 11
An d Allāh c alls (peop le) to the home (10:25) 11, 17
Be war e! No do ubt, there is no f ear (10:62 ) 87
No r wor sh ip be side s Allāh any (10 :106-7) 90
Yūsuf (on he ar in g wh at the others (12:33 ) 11
T ake this sh irt of m ine, then place it (12 :93) 8
So wh en the beare r of the goo d ne ws (12:96) 8
T ake my so ul at death a s a M uslim (12:101) 68
An d those whom the se (polythe ists) (16:20-1 ) 89
So yo u sho uld a sk p eople of kno wle dge (16 :43) 119
When we sh all c all to gether all (17 :71) 17, 91
An d grant me victory an d po wer from (17 :80) 116
An d these ( infidels) a sk yo u quest ions (17:85) 77
T hen they will ca ll on them, (18 :52) 17
An d if yo u c all them to guidanc e. (18 :57) 17
Yo u sho uld h elp me with the m ight of (18 :95) 122
I h ave on ly been sent by yo ur Lor d. (19:19 ) 98
So that I sho uld bless yo u with a p ur e (19 :19) 151
An d o ur Lor d is inf inite ly M erc if ul (21:112 ) 97
T hat (per son) ca lls on such de itie s, (22:12) 90
He worsh ip s h im who se h urt is n ear er (22 :13) 90
( O be liever s,) dee m not the summons (24:63 ) 10
An d yo ur Lor d is suff ic ient to guide (25 :31) 116
O my Lor d! Mak e m e perf ect in (26 :83) 66
Yo u ch ief s! Wh ich o f yo u c an br in g (27 :38) 106
I can brin g it to yo u befo re yo u rise (27:39) 110
I can brin g it to yo u befo re yo ur eye (27:40) 110
So that He sho uld te st me whether I a m (27:40 ) 113
Rather , who is the on e who grants (27:62 ) 89
So the pe rson who wa s of his v ery (28 :15) 5, 23
T hen (a fter a little wh ile) a ( girl) o ut (28:25) 91
An d follo w the path of the (per son) (31:15) 68
Ca ll (the a dopte d son s) by the nam e s (33:5 ) 17
An d they sha ll not f in d any fr ien d or (33:17 ) 116
An d those yo u invok e be side s Him , (35 :13-4) 90
P ure is He Who h as cr eate d co uple s (36:36) 115

170
An d, O my peop le , wh at is this that (40 :41) 16
An d yo u will also f in d whateve r yo u (41 :31) 11
An d He is the Protector, worthy (42 :28) 116
An d who is mor e a stray than the one (46:5) 90
An d if yo u ba ck up each other (66 :4) 117
(It will be the day) when Allāh will (66:8 ) 61
He sa id: O my Lor d! I c all my p eople (71 :5-6) 16
T hen, let him ca ll (for he lp) his (96:17-8 ) 17

171
172 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

172
Index to Hadīth and Athar

A gro up of my Comm unity, who hav e be en 71


A per son will be with h im whom he love s 83
Allāh h as blesse d His servant s with (a lar ge 125
Allāh h as cr eate d a c la ss of cre atur es for the 124
Allāh h as dec lar e d it for bidden for the e arth 74
Allāh the Exa lted an d Alm ighty said: ‘ My love 85
Amon g Allāh’ s serv ants ther e ar e some who 86
An d Allāh is busy in h elp in g His c reat ure a s 124
An d that han dsome (p er son), by me ans of 128
Anyon e who is busy in f ulf illin g the ne e d of 123
Anyon e who pray s lik e us an d mak es o ur 150
App ea l for he lp is not m a de to me an d appe al 126
Ask (for) whatev er yo u want. 120
Come clo se to me. 28
Du ‘ā’ is pre cise ly a form of wor sh ip. 12, 14
Du ‘ā’ is the e ssen ce (k erne l) of wor sh ip. 13
Fetch an e arthen pot an d p erform the a blution 53
Go over to ‘ Uma r, give h im my re gar ds an d 43
Here the lea der or Imām m ean s the p er son 92
His ey e wa s lo st dur in g the battle of Ba dr an d 27
I am the son of a l-Wa līd. I am the son of ‘Ām ir 38
I am yo ur forer unn er an d I am a witness on 146
I swea r by the Po wer Who h as in His control 74
If anyone of yo u go es o ut with h is brother to 124
If t wo per son s love ea ch other on Allāh’ s co unt 88
If yo u wish, I will stall it an d this is better 29
No , an d if yo u c an’t help be ggin g, then yo u 69
Not to c ry over re ligion when its guar dian is 56
O ‘Ut bī, the be do uin is r ight, go an d give him 40-1
O Allāh, I appe al to Yo u, an d submit to Yo u 29, 31
173
174 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

O Allāh, I be see ch yo u an d submit my se lf to 52


O Allāh, it sho uld be aro un d us an d not ove r 33
O Allāh, sen d us ra in; O Allāh, sen d us r ain 34
O Hamzah ! O the unc le of the Me ssen ger of 37
O Sāriy ah! Go beh in d the mo unta in! 107
O servant s of Allāh , he lp me . 122
Peop le will fir st se ek the me diation of Adam 24
Ra in may fa ll aro un d us, an d not on us. 36
Sp re a d yo ur she et. 26
Sur e ly, we fo un d the prom ise of o ur Lor d 73
T here is no do ubt that yo u hav e be en for given . 42
T hrough the me ans of the Me ssen ger of Allāh 147
When Allāh lov es so me p erson , He sen ds fo r 82
When it is the Day of Judgem ent, peop le, o ut 58
When yo u be g yo u sho uld be g it f rom Allāh 118
When yo u lo se yo ur m ean s of tr ansport in a 125
Wher e is the per son who ha d a ske d a bo ut 83
Yo ur de e ds ar e pre sented to me. If they are 75

174
General Index

‘ Abbā s, 141
‘ Abdullāh, 46
‘ Abdullāh bin L ahī‘ ah, 111
‘ Abdullāh bin M a s‘ ūd, 75 , 125
‘ Abdullāh bin M ubārak , 80
‘ Abdullāh bin M uh amma d bin Siddīq al- Gh umār ī, 46
‘ Abdullāh bin ‘ Umar , 24, 128
‘ Abd- ul- Ma lik bin Sa‘ īd bin Abja r, 54, 55
‘ Abd- ul- M uttalib, 147
‘ Abd- ur- Rahm ān bin Sa‘ īd bin Ya r bī‘ Makh z ūmī, 46
‘ Abd- ur- Ra zzā q, 84
Abū ‘Abdullāh Quray shī, 135, 136
Abū Ayy ūb al- An sār ī, 56 , 80
Abū ‘Awān ah, 60
Abū Bakr as- Siddīq, 45, 46 , 47, 126 , 140
Abū Dā wūd, 12 , 14, 36 , 69, 75 , 87, 121 , 123, 124
Abū Dā wūd T ayā lisī, 12, 14, 60
Abū a l-Fara j bin Qudāmah, 42
Abū Hayyān An da lusī, 112
Abū Hur ayrah, 25, 26, 27, 81, 87
Abū Ja‘f ar M ansūr, 134, 135
Abū Nu‘ aym, 12, 14, 28, 107
Abū Sā diq, 42
Abū Sa‘īd Gh ifār ī, 48
Abū Sālih Dhaka wān Samm ān, 44 , 45, 46 , 49
Abū Sa‘ ūd ‘ Amā dī, 113
Abū ‘Ubay dah, 46, 47
Abū Ya‘lā, 28, 35, 36, 43, 60, 125
Abū Ya‘ lā Kha līl bin ‘Abdullāh Kha līlī Qaz wīn ī, 43, 45,
46
175
176 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

Adam ( D), 7, 24, 134, 140


Ah l- us- Sunnan wa l- Jam ā‘h, 56, 70, 81, 131, 142
Ah ma d bin Ham ba l, 12, 14 , 29 , 31 , 35, 36, 57, 60, 68, 69,
74, 75, 82, 83, 84, 86, 118, 121, 123, 124, 128, 146
Ah ma d bin Z aynī Dah lān, 142
‘ Ā’ishah , 111
‘ Ajla wnī, 107
Albān ī, 45 , 47, 48 , 107
‘ Alī, 43, 149
‘ Alī bin Ma dīn ī, 47
‘ Alī al- Hin dī, 12, 13, 14, 43, 57 , 69, 76, 88 , 107, 121,
123, 146
‘ Alī Hujwīr ī, 106
Allāh, 1, 4 , 5, 7, 8, 10, 11 , 12 , 14, 17, 18, 21, 22 , 23, 25,
26, 27, 28 , 29, 30, 31, 32 , 33, 34, 35 , 36, 37, 39, 40, 41,
42, 43, 52 , 53, 54, 55, 56 , 58, 61, 62 , 63, 65, 66, 67, 68,
69, 70, 72 , 73, 75, 77, 78 , 79, 80, 81 , 82, 83, 84, 85, 86,
87, 89, 91, 93 , 94 , 95, 99, 101, 102, 103 , 104 , 106, 107,
108, 109, 110, 111, 113 , 115, 116, 117, 118, 119 , 120,
121, 122, 123, 124, 125 , 126, 127, 131, 132, 133 , 137,
142, 146, 147, 148, 149, 151
a lle gation of disbelief
a gain st Allāh, 102
a gain st ‘Ī sā (D), 99
a gain st Jibr īl (D) , 98
Ālūsī, 113, 137 , 138, 139
A‘ma sh, 44
‘ Āmir , 38
Amīr Ham zah
the r emover of tro ubles, 37
An a s bin Mā lik , 33, 34 , 35, 76 , 83, 85 , 150
app ea l (for he lp), 61 , 89, 91 , 93
app ea l by dee d, 7
app ea l by wor d, 6
in or dinary an d extrao r din ary matter s, 92
Qatā dah bin an-Nu‘m ān’ s, 27
app ea l to the Prophet ( A)
a blin d Compan ion’ s, 29
Gener al Index 177

a bsce ss-str icken Compan ion’s, 28


Abū Hur ayrah’ s, 25
dur in g ‘ Uthmān’ s ten ure, 52
for for giv ene ss, 38
for ra in, 33
for ra in dur in g ‘ Umar’ s ten ur e, 43
on the Day of Judgem ent, 57
Ara bic, 10 , 11
Ashr af ‘ Alī T hān wī, 140 , 141
Āsif bin Bar akhyā, 106, 111, 112
‘ Asqalānī, 13, 26, 28, 33 , 44, 46, 47 , 48, 50, 74, 76 , 107,
123, 125, 128, 136
‘ Awn, 46
‘ Aynī, 26, 128
Ba dr , 5, 27
Ba gh a wī, 12, 14, 35, 36 , 46 , 60, 74, 83, 86, 92 , 121, 123,
124, 146
Ba gh da d, 48
Bakr bin ‘Abdullāh a l-M uzanī, 75, 76
Ba līkh ā, 111
Ba lqīs, 106, 109, 112
Bay dā wī, 112
Bayh a qī, 28, 30, 31, 33 , 35, 36, 41, 43, 53 , 60 , 69, 75, 84,
87, 88, 118, 123, 128, 146
Ba zzā r, 75, 76
be seech in g for he lp
Allāh’ s comman d, 118
I slamic comman d, 121
Bilā l bin a l-Hār ith al- M uz anī, 44, 50
Bukhār ī, 12, 14, 25, 26, 28 , 31 , 33 , 35, 36, 46, 47, 57, 60,
69, 74, 82, 83, 123, 128, 146
Dār imī, 60, 75
Day of Judgement, 24, 58 , 61, 63, 64, 70, 72 , 76, 83 , 84,
87, 90, 134
Day of Resurre ction, 61, 73, 88
Dh aha bī, 30 , 31, 32 , 44, 45 , 57, 86
Dh ū a l-Qarnayn, 122
178 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

Diff eren ce bet ween sp ir itual in sp iration an d kno wle dge of


the un se en, 108
d īn, 70
division bet we en r ea l an d der ivative , 96
du‘ā’ ,10, 15, 16, 19, 91, 92
a s ad -du‘ā’ ( supp lication), 11
a s a l-ha th ‘a lā al-qasd (per suasion), 11
a s a l-‘ ibādah ( wor ship) , 12
a s a l- istighāthah ( be see chin g for h elp) , 10
a s a l- khitāb (a ddre ss), 12
a s an -nidā’ (ca llin g) , 9
a s a t- talab ( de sirin g) , 11
a s a t- tasmiyyah (nam in g), 10
a s be ggin g, 14
a s wor ship , 13
use in the Qur’ ān, 9
E gypt, 137
E liot, 1
Fātim ah, 149
Go d, 16 , 18, 19, 21, 34, 43, 53, 56 , 58 , 59, 66, 90, 97, 99,
100, 102, 107, 139
Gr eek , 76
had īth, 12, 75, 86
Hāf iz ‘ Asqa lānī, 136
ha jj, 41, 84
Hākim , 12, 14 , 28, 30 , 31, 32 , 57, 68 , 86, 123
ha lāl (la wf ul), 15
ha rām (for bidden), 15
Hār ith, 76
Ha san, 59 , 149
ha san, 30 , 48, 107 , 118
Haythamī, 25, 26, 28, 45, 47, 53, 57 , 60, 68, 74, 75 , 121,
122, 124, 125, 126, 136
Hell, 59 , 60
Here after, 68, 72, 76
Humay dī, 84
Husayn, 149
‘I bā d bin ‘I bā d, 80
Gener al Index 179

I bn ‘Abbā s, 92, 111, 112, 118, 122


I bn ‘Abd- ul- Barr , 43, 69 , 86
I bn ‘Abd- ul-Hā dī, 76
I bn ‘Abdullāh, 141
I bn Abī Dunyā , 54
I bn Abī Hāt im Rā zī, 45, 49, 112
I bn Abī Khaytham ah, 44 , 46
I bn Abī Sh ay bah, 43, 44, 60, 75, 84, 124
I bn Abī Usām ah, 75
I bn Abī Wā’ il, 45
I bn ‘Asāk ir, 41 , 107
I bn Ha jar Haytham ī, 30 , 41, 134 , 136, 137
I bn Hibbān, 35 , 47, 48 , 60, 75 , 83, 84 , 124
I bn Hish ām, 128
I bn Jamā‘ ah, 134
I bn Jarīr T abarī, 112
I bn Kathīr , 28, 30 , 31, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 , 41, 43 , 74,
107, 111, 112, 128, 135
I bn Kh uz aymah, 30, 32, 35, 36, 75
I bn Mā jah, 12, 14, 29, 30, 35, 75, 124, 128
I bn Qudām ah, 41
I bn Sa ‘ d, 26, 28, 45, 46, 47, 75
I bn T aym iyyah, 3, 5, 44, 54, 55, 70, 81, 127
h is fa ith, 4
me diation of the Proph et (A), 4
I bn- ul-Ath īr, 26 , 28, 30
I bn- ul- Fir ā sī, 69
I bn- ul- Ja wz ī, 76, 112
I bn- ul-Qayyim , 80
I bn- us- Sunnī, 31, 118 , 125
I br āhīm , 45
I br āhīm (D), 58, 63, 66, 67, 137, 140
I br āhīm bin Sā lih , 80
I br āhīm bin ‘Uma r Biqā‘ī, 112
interce ssion, 31, 41, 62
interme diation, 8, 9, 41, 51, 61, 64, 88, 133, 141
Im ām Ahm a d bin Zayn ī Dah lān, 142
Im ām Ālūsī, 137
180 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

Im ām I bn Ha jar Haytham ī, 136


Im ām I bn Kathīr , 135
Im ām M ālik, 134, 135
Im ām M uh amma d bin ‘ Ala wī a l-M ālikī, 142
Im ām Na bhān ī, 137
Im ām Qa stallān ī, 136
Im ām Qurtubī, 135
Im ām Yāfi‘ī, 137
Im ām Z ayn- ul- ‘Ābidīn, 133
I qbāl, 76, 81
‘Ir ā qī, 48, 75
‘Ī sā (D) , 29, 98 , 99, 100 , 101, 102 , 103
I slam, 15 , 85, 106 , 114
I smā ‘īl Ha qqī, 113
I smā ‘īl Qā dī, 47
isti‘ānat, 6, 17
me anin g, 6
istighā thah, 5, 8 , 17, 25, 62, 63, 63, 65, 88, 113 , 114, 133,
135, 146
Hāf iz ‘ Asqa lānī, 136
Im ām Ahm a d bin Zayn ī Dah lān, 142
Im ām Ālūsī, 137
Im ām I bn Ha jar Haytham ī, 136
Im ām I bn Kathīr , 135
Im ām M ālik, 134
Im ām M uh amma d bin ‘ Ala wī a l-M ālikī, 42, 50 , 142
Im ām Na bhān ī, 137
Im ām Qa stallān ī, 135
Im ām Qurtubī, 135
Im ām Z ayn- ul- ‘Ābidīn, 133
k in ds, 6
M a wlānā Ashra f ‘Alī T hān wī, 140
me anin g, 5
Qā dī ‘Iyā d, 135
Sh āh ‘ Abd- ul-‘Azīz M uh a ddith Dihla wī, 143
Sh āh ‘ Abd- ul-Ha qq M uha ddith Dihla wī, 139
Sh āh W alī Allāh M uh a ddith Dih la wī, 139
Sh aykh M uhamma d Hish ām Ka bbān ī, 142
Gener al Index 181

Jibrīl (D) , 82, 98 , 99, 151


jihād, 122
Jīlān ī, Shaykh ‘Abd- ul- Qā dir, 105, 106, 139
ka sh f, 109
ka wtha r, 146
Kh a dir (D) , 112
Kh afā jī, 75
Kh ālid bin a l-Wa līd, 38
Kh atīb Ba gh dā dī, 48
Kh atīb Sh ur bīnī, 113
Kh atīb T a br īzī, 12, 13 , 14, 82 , 84, 86 , 87, 88 , 107, 121
Kh āz in, 112
L ayth, 24
M aha llī, 112
M ahm ūd Sa‘ īd M am dūh, 32, 43, 47, 125
M akkah, 97
M ālik bin An as, 35, 82 , 86
M ālik a d-Dā r, 43, 45, 46, 47, 49
M ālik bin ‘Iy ā d, 46, 47
M ansūr bin Yūn us al- Buh ūtī, 42
M ar wān, 56
M aryam , 98, 151
M e din a, 36, 46, 49, 140
M essen ger ( A), 10, 25, 28, 29, 30 , 33 , 34 , 35, 36, 37,
39, 40, 41 , 42, 43, 62, 69 , 80, 82, 83, 84 , 85 , 102, 122,
147, 149
M iz zī, 12, 14, 30, 118, 128
M u‘ ā dh, 46
M uh amma d (A) , 7, 10, 24 , 29, 31, 52, 54, 58 , 74, 147,
149
M uh amma d bin ‘ Ala wī a l-M ālikī, 42, 50 , 142
M uh amma d Hish ām Ka bbān ī, 142
M uh amma d bin I sh ā q, 111
M uh amma d Kha līl Har ās, 71
M ukh allid, 28
M ullā ‘ Alī Qār ī, 75, 121
M un dh ir ī, 12, 13, 14, 31, 45, 47, 53 , 54 , 121, 123, 124,
125
182 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

M ūsā (D), 5, 6, 7, 23, 58, 63


M usay limah, the Liar, 38
M uslim (Im ām), 33, 35, 36 , 49 , 57 , 60 , 74, 82, 83, 121,
123, 124, 146
M uslim( s) , 3 , 18 , 22 , 55 , 68, 70, 74, 76, 83, 85, 113, 115,
122, 123, 126, 136, 145, 146, 149, 150, 151, 152
Na bhān ī, 76 , 137
Na sā’ ī, 12, 14, 29, 31, 35, 36, 69, 75, 121, 147
Na saf ī, 112
Na wa wī, 30, 41, 42
Nūh (D), 140
optiona l pr ayer , 31
Par a dise , 11, 17 , 24, 73 , 85, 121
Prophet ( A), 4, 10, 11, 16, 21, 23 , 24, 25 , 26, 27, 28, 29,
30, 31, 32 , 33, 34, 35, 36 , 37, 38, 39 , 41, 42, 43, 51, 52,
53, 54, 55 , 56, 57, 58, 61 , 62, 63, 64 , 69, 70, 71, 72, 73,
74, 75, 78, 81 , 84 , 85, 86, 101, 111, 114 , 115 , 119, 120,
121, 123, 124, 125, 126 , 127, 128, 133, 134, 135 , 136,
140, 141, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151
h is mir ac le s, 114
pro stration
a s an a ct of r ever ence , 15
a s an a ct of wo rsh ip, 15
p ur gatoria l lif e, 72, 73, 76, 77, 79
Qa dī ‘Iyā d, 75, 134 , 135
Qā dī T hanā’ ullāh Pānīpat ī, 66, 67, 113
Qa stallān ī, 31, 35, 37, 44, 128, 134, 136
Qatā dah, 111
Qatā dah bin an-Nu‘m ān, 27
q iblah, 150
Qibtī, 23
Qur’ān, 3, 5, 6 , 8, 9, 10 , 11, 12, 13, 16, 19, 21, 61 , 65, 74,
76, 77 , 89, 91, 93 , 97, 98, 99 , 100, 103, 109 , 115, 116,
117, 119, 121, 122, 128, 129, 151, 152
Qurtubī, 42, 111
Ra bī‘ah bin Ka‘ b, 120
Rā gh ib Asf ahān ī, 5, 6, 10
Rā zī, 67, 112
Gener al Index 183

Rev elation, 20
Sā būn ī, 112
sahīh , 12, 30 , 31, 75 , 83, 86 , 118
Sā lih bin Kha wwāt, 48
Sa mh ūdī, 134
Sā r iyah bin Ja bal, 107, 108
Sa yf bin ‘ Umar T amīm ī, 44, 49, 50
Sh āh ‘ Abd- ul-‘Azīz M uh a ddith Dihla wī, 143
Sh āh ‘ Abd- ul-Ha qq M uha ddith Dihla wī, 139
Sh āh Fah a d, 99
Sh āh W alī Allāh M uh a ddith Dih la wī, 139
Sh ake sp eare , 1, 150
shirk, 114
sha rī‘ah , 7, 66
Sh ar īk, 34
Sh a wk ānī, 30, 113
Subk ī, 30, 41, 43, 53, 57, 76, 128, 134, 135
Suh ay lī, 112
Sula ymān ( D), 105 , 106, 107 , 109, 110 , 112, 113
Sultān Bāh ū, 106
sunnah, 3 , 65, 74 , 89, 128 , 129
supplic ation, 9 , 31, 54 , 115
Suy ūt ī, 31, 53, 75, 80, 112
T a bar ānī, 13, 25 , 26, 28, 32, 52, 53, 57, 68 , 74 , 75, 84,
118, 121, 123, 124, 125, 146
T ā’if , 23
tawa ssu l, 8
T ha‘ā la bī, 112
T irm idhī, 12, 13, 14, 26, 29, 30, 32, 60, 83, 118, 123, 124
Uh ud, 12, 37 , 145
‘ Umar ( bin al- Khttāb), 43, 45 , 46, 47 , 50, 51 , 52, 74 , 86,
108, 140, 141
h is in spiration, 107
Ummah, 51 , 56, 58 , 59, 61 , 114, 118 , 129
‘ Uqbah bin ‘ Āmir , 145
Ust ūm, 111
‘ Utbī, 41, 42, 135, 141
‘ Uthmān ( bin ‘Affān) , 47, 52 , 53, 141
184 Bes ee chi ng f or Hel p

‘ Uthmān bin Hunay f, 29, 30, 31, 52, 53, 54, 141
Yahyā bin ‘ Uryān Ha ra wī, 48
Yamām ah, 37, 135
yā Muhammadāh, 37, 38, 135
Ya‘ qūb ( D), 7 , 8
yā ra sū l A llāh , 51
Yaz īd bin Rūmān, 111
Yūsuf (D), 7, 8, 11, 68, 69
zakā t, 84, 150
Z amakh shar ī, 113
Z ay d, 10, 38
Z ayla‘ī, 35
Z uh ayr bin M uha mma d, 111
Z ur qānī, 31, 35 , 37, 44 , 128, 136