How unfortunate are those who, when afflicted with difficulty and hardship run towards tombs and graves in search of help and relief. They are found invoking the Prophets and the dead to dispel hardships. Allah says about them, “And who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them?” [Surah Al-Ahqaf (46): 5]
It would be enough to mention only one Hadeeth of Allah's Messenger to prove the futility of their action. Allah's Messenger said, “Those who are most afflicted among the people are the Prophets, then the best, then the (next) best. One is afflicted in accordance with (the strength of) his Deen. If his Deen is firm, his affliction is hard, and if his Deen is weak, his affliction is light. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks among the people without any sin.” [Reported by Saheeh al-Jami (993)]
Apart from explaining that Prophets are afflicted the most, then the best and then the best, this Hadeeth is a proof of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah).
If one knows that the Prophets and the righteous people are also afflicted with calamities and they suffer more than the common believers and that none can remove these afflictions from them except Allah - Then he will completely understand that when they cannot bring benefit nor prevent harm from their ownselves - how could they ward off evil from others? Consequently, it is established that turning towards the Prophets and Awliya (righteous) to alleviate one’s distress is futile and hopeless; rather one should turn towards Allah, who Alone dispels all harm.
Allah mentions the story of Prophet Ayub, who was tested with regard to his wealth, children, and physical health. He had plenty of livestock, cattle and crops, many children and beautiful houses, and he was tested when he lost everything he possessed. Then he was tested with regard to his body, and he was left alone on the edge of the city, no one to treat him except his wife. But Prophet Ayub had the utmost patience and trust in Allah; thus he invoked Allah alone for help, “And remember Ayub when he cried to his Lord, ‘Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” [Surah Al-Anbiya’ (21): 83]
Allah says: “So, We answered his call, and we removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him, and the like thereof with them as a mercy from ourselves and a reminder for all those who worship Us.” [Surah Al-Anbiya (21): 84]
The Qur’an clearly states that those who are dead cannot help the living. Therefore, anyone who calls upon the dead is surely a loser. Furthermore, invoking someone others besides Allah is committing Shirk (associating partners with Allah) the most evil crime because supplication is worship, and thus it is the Right of Allah Alone. Allah says, “Invoke Me and I will respond to your (invocation). Verily, those who scorn My worship, will enter Hell in humiliation.” [Surah Ghafir, (40):60] While explaining this verse the Messenger of Allah said, “Supplication is worship.” [Reported by Sunan Abu-Dawood (1474)]
If the slaves secure the Right of Allah and worship Him Alone, then Allah has promised to save them from His punishments, and pardon their sins, as is known from the following Hadeeth. Narrated Muadh bin Jabal that the Messenger of Allah asked, “O Muadh! Do you know what is the Right of Allah on His slaves?” I (Muadh bin Jabal) said, “Allah and His Messenger knows best.” The Prophet said, “(the Right of Allah on His slaves is) to worship Him (Allah) Alone and join none (as partners) in worship with Him.” Then he asked, “Do you know what is their (slaves) right upon Him?” I replied, “Allah and His Messenger knows best.” The Prophet said, “Not to punish them (if they worship Him Alone).” [Agreed upon] The Prophet in his advice to Ibn Abbas said, “…I'hfath (remember or observe the commands of) Allah and He will Ya'hfath (direct His care at and aid) you. I'hfath Allah and you will find Him with you (by His aid, knowledge and protection). When you invoke, invoke Allah alone, and when you ask for help, ask Allah alone. Know that if the nation (meaning mankind and the Jinn) came together to bring you benefit, they can never bring you any benefit except that which Allah has written for you. And if they came together to harm you, they will never be able to harm you, except what Allah has written for you. The pens have already been raised (and stopped writing) and the pages have dried.” [Reported by Musnad Ahmad and at-Tirmidhee]
He also said, “No Muslim supplicates to Allah with a Du’aa that does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb, but Allah will grant him one of the three things. He will either hasten the response to his supplication, save it for him until the Hereafter, or would turn an equivalent amount of evil away from him.” They (the Sahabah) said, “What if we were to recite more (Du'aa).” He said, “There is more with Allah.” [Reported by Musnad Ahmad]
It is also stated in a Hadeeth of Allah’s Messenger, “No precaution can protect against the decree of Allah. Du'aa is beneficial with regard to what has been decreed and what has not been decreed. The Du’aa meets the calamity that has been decreed and wrestles with it, until the Day of Resurrection.” [Hasan) Reported by Saheeh al-Jamee (7739)]
Allah says, “And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He, and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favor which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He will. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Yunus (10): 107]
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