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Negative Approach Towards Wasila and Intercession

Concept of Wasila exists in every sect, every religion. People go to darbars and mazaars and graves of holy people to ask for their help. What is the actual Islamic stand?

Before you proceed, it will be helpful if you read about the actual concept of Wasila in Islam, often termed as tawassul.

Sunnis and Shias, agree that asking for help from Allah, through the wasila or intercession of Prophet (SAW) or other noble and blessed people is not only permissible but highly recommendable at times. 

The opponents hold that this hadeeth shows that it is permissible to make tawassul in du'aa by the status of the Prophet (SAW) or other pious people, since the Prophet (SAW) taught the blind man to use him as a means of nearness in his du'aa, and the blind man did that and his sight was restored.
Albani, Tawassul: Its Types and Rulings, page 69

Imaam Ahmad allowed tawassul by means of the Messenger alone, and others such as Imaam ash-Shawkaanee allowed tawassul by means of him and other Prophets and the Pious. I should also mention Imam Malik and Imam Shafi`i as permitting tawassul also. ....
al-Albani, At-Tawassul, page 38

Thus Tawassul is a way of reaching Allah through a prescribed means of approach, or Wasila, which will be discussed later.

Quran, however, has some disagreements with certain concepts of Tawassul.

.... this is Allah, your Lord, His is the kingdom; and those whom you call upon besides Him do not control a straw. If you call on them (False gods) they shall not hear your call, and even if they could hear they shall not answer you; and on the resurrection day they will deny your associating them (with Allah); and none can inform you like the One Who is Aware.
Quran [35:13-14]

Now, surely, sincere obedience is due to Allah (alone) and (as for) those who take guardians besides Him, (saying), We do not serve them save that they may make us nearer to Allah, surely Allah will judge between them in that in which they differ; surely Allah does not guide him aright who is a liar, ungrateful
Quran [39:3]

And they serve beside Allah what can neither harm them nor profit them, and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah. Say: Do you (presume to) inform Allah of what He knows not in the heavens and the earth? Glory be to Him, and supremely exalted is He above what they set up (with Him).
Quran [10:18]

These verses convey the following messages;

Note that i have added a "group" along with Allah, for guardianship, because we tend to overlook some Quranic verses.

Only Allah is your Vali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow. And whoever takes Allah and His messenger and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant.
Quran [5:55-56]

The above verse is discussed in the article related to Ali Mawla. Coming back to the issue of discussion;

The verses above condemn to ask intercession from beings which were not granted intercession by Allah, such as idols of Mecca (Uzza). People who call upon other creations of Allah, for a means of approach towards Allah are in error, if these creations they call upon have not been bestowed the authority of intercession.

And those whom they call upon besides Him have no authority for intercession, but he who bears witness of the truth and they know (him).
Quran [43:86]

(And those whom they invoke instead of Him have no power) means, the idols and false gods. (of intercession) means, they are not able to intercede for them. (except for those who bear witness to the truth knowingly, and they know.) This means, but the one who bears witness to the truth has knowledge and insight, so his intercession with Allah will avail, by His leave.
Tafsir Ibne Kathir, Tafsir of Surah 43, Verse 86

According to the hardcore Ibne Kathir, he too agrees that those who bear witness to the truth, who have knowledge and insight, they have the power to intercede and that too by Allah's permission. Is there anyone more truthful and knowledgeable than Muhammad ibn Abdullah? And after him, does anyone match in knowledge with gateway of knowledge, Ali Ibn Abu Talib? I guess the answers are clear for people who want to see.

Today, many people visit darbars of Abdullah Shah Ghazi, Data Darbar, Abdul Latif Bhatai etc to either worship them or ask for their intercession. These personalities have no guarantee of intercession. Infact we are simply attributing intercession to them or falsifying them as a wasila which is a sin according to Quran. Do these people have 100% surety that these darbars and mazars have been granted the authority of intercession? Or are they making an assumption? Why go to places with doubts while you can come to Muhammad (SAW) wa Aal e Muhammad (AS), where there is no margin of doubt. We cannot compare idols with Prophet Muhammad and his Ahlulbayt.

Why do people attribute a wasila to others, rather than finding it? Why do people make their own Wasilas while Quran tells us to find it. "The" wasila is created by Allah, it is our duty to find it.

O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and seek a Wasila (means of nearness) to Him and strive hard in His way that you may be successful.
Quran [5:35]

(When you hear the Mu'adhdhin, repeat what he says, and then ask for Salah (blessing, mercy from Allah) for me. Verily, whoever asks for Salah for me, then Allah will grant ten Salah to him. Then, ask for the Wasilah for me, for it is a grade in Paradise that only one servant of Allah deserves, and I hope that I am that servant. Verily, whoever asks (Allah) for Wasilah for me, he will earn the right of my intercession.)
Tafsir Ibne Kathir, Tafsir of Surah 5, Verse 35

Quran orders us to find a wasila to reach Allah. If we make our own wasila instead of finding it, we follow the satans way. We are ordered to find the wasila which is made by Allah himself. Making wasila can be examples of Data Darbar and Abdullah Shah Ghazi. Can any one claim or prove that these people were the chosen Wasila of Allah? Aren't we creating them as a Wasila? Why shouldn't we turn towards Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

None shall have the power of intercession, but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from (Allah) Most Gracious
Quran [19:87]

Who can intercede if Prophet Muhammad and Imam Ali did not have the power to intercede? Going to darbars and mazars instead of taking the wasila of Imam Ali and Prophet Muhammad is as if comparing Abdullah shah ghazi and Data darbar with Prophet Muhammad.

One may feel too ashamed of one’s bad actions and shall turn to Allah (swt) for forgiveness. To make the forgiveness process a bit quicker he brings with him someone who is dearer to Allah through his actions and intentions.

An example of seeking forgiveness can be seen in the Holy Quran, Chapter of Yusuf, where the brothers of Prophet Yusuf (as) were ashamed of the act they had done, so they went to their father and said,

 “O our father, ask forgiveness for our sins, verily we are sinners. He said: ‘Soon I will ask forgiveness for you from my Lord. Verily He is oft-forgiving, most merciful’.
Quran [12:97-98]

The Abbasid caliph, Mansur al-Dawaniqi, once asked Imam Malik ibn Anas whether he should turn towards the grave of the Prophet (s) or face the Qiblah for supplication? Malik answered;

Why do you want to turn away from the Prophet (s) when he (Prophet Muhammad (s)) is the wasilah (means) for you and for your father Adam, towards Allah on the Day of Resurrection. Turn to him (the Prophet) and seek his intercession (shafa'at).
Al-Mughni ma' al-Sharh, volume 3, page 588
al-Sharh al-Kabir ma' al-Mughni, volume 3, page 494

The definition of wasila is ‘a means of approach’, so worship is not direct, it is attained via a means of approach, a guide. Despite the existence of clear verses the Wahabi sect view the concept of wasila as Shirk (Polytheism) and Bida (Innovation) and adopt an assertion that only Allah can be a Wasila. My question to such people is this: ‘If the means of approach is only directly through Allah then why did he send 124,000 Prophets on the earth?’ This being the case then why didn’t Allah appear himself and call the people to worship him? Wasila is a means of approach a means by which you can achieve your objective. Wasila is a means of communication between this world and that world, just like a ladder. If Prophet Muhammad is a wasila through which Allah reached us, then why cannot he be a wasila through which we reach Allah?

And We did not send any messenger but that he should be obeyed by Allah's permission; and had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you  (O Muhammad) and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.
Quran [4:64]

Why shouldn't those who were unjust to themselves ask forgiveness from Allah himself directly? Why is coming to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) necessary? This is the wisdom of Allah, as he has created Muhammad (SAW) wa Aal e Muhammad (AS) a wasila for people. Here it has been made clear that the presence of the Prophet of Allah (SWT) has been a way for the people to use as a means of approach in asking forgiveness.

The Prophet (saws) said “My Ahlul’bayt are like the Gate of repentance for the children of Israel whoever entered therein was forgiven”.
Tabrani, al Aswat hadith number 18

Narrated Yazid bin Abi Ubaid: I saw the trace of a wound in Salama's leg. I said to him, "O Abu Muslim! What is this wound?" He said, "This was inflicted on me on the day of Khaibar and the people said, 'Salama has been wounded.' Then I went to the Prophet and he puffed his saliva in it (i.e. the wound) thrice., and since then I have not had any pain in it till this hour
Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 517

Take this my shirt and cast it on my father's face, he will (again) be able to see, and come to me with all your families.
Quran [12:93]

Why did Hazrat Yusuf (AS) put his shirt over his father's face to cure his eyes? Keep in mind his father was a Nabi himself. Why didnt the Nabi himself ask Allah for his eyesight. Why didnt he ask directly from Allah and resort to the shirt?

Only Allah is your Vali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow. And whoever takes Allah and His messenger and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant
Quran [5:55-56]

Allah makes Prophet (saw) our guardian and along with him, a certain group of believers. Does this mean he was our guardian when he was alive (Making this ayah just for the people of those times and not people of these times) or does it say he Is your guardian.  

Allah listens to everyone's prayers. Don't Hindus get what they pray for from their idols, does not the prayers of Christians get accepted? Don't Buddhists asking from Buddha often get what they wanted? Do Muslims asking from Allah directly or indirectly always get what they pray for? Prayers get accepted and prayers do not get accepted. Wasila is not a way of making sure that your prayers will be accepted. Wasila is a method of ensuring that your prayer becomes an act of worship, for if you pray through a prescribed method, it is worship.  

You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help
Quran [1:5]

Seeking a wasila is not worshipping. We worship Allah Alone. Wasila is intermediary, not independent. We seek Help from Allah through his best and chosen creations, Prophet Muhammad and Imam Ali. Those who still believe that going to Darbars and Mazars is their wasila to approach Allah, they must first negate the authority of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Imam Ali (AS). Because to go to someone else when the Prophet (SAW) himself is available is not what a believer would do.

If you are unhealthy, who would you go to? A quack in a remote area or an experienced, professional and a well known doctor who is available near your locality, given that both offer their services for free. If you choose the quack, then it is your loss. As i am a man of reason, i will choose the doctor, as that is what sanity declares.

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