" Fiqh- Islamic Jurisprudence "
Can we ask people of grave for intercession for our prays to be accepted?
It is our belief that Prophets (pbua) and the friends of Allah (swt) are alive in their blessed graves, listening and answering salutations of visitors. My question is that if a person addresses the occupants of the blessed grave, while visiting their grave, to pray to Allah (swt) on behalf of the visitor to fulfill his needs, is there anything wrong in doing so?
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
First of all, we commend your efforts on getting well-acquaintant with Islamic teachings and implore that Allah the most high grants you with all the best.
There is nothing wrong with praying Allah (swt) asking the intercession of the beloved servants of Him (swt) as you described, as long as watching for some important points inshallah:
It is certain with hadiths and ayahs that the blessed prophets and shaheed are alive in their graves
“Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision.” (Al-i Imran, 169)
Narrated Anas Bin Malik;
"The Prophets are alive in their graves, praying to their Lord". (Bazzar: Musnad; Bayhaqi: Hayat al Anbiya; Ibn Asakir; Suyuti: Anba al Azkiya)
Aws ibn Aws al-Thaqafi narrated:
"Allah has defended the earth from consuming the bodies of Prophets". (Musnad; Abu Dawud; Ibn Majah; Bayhaqi; Tabarani; Suyuti)
The deceased can hear and take the salutation of the visitor in the graveyard, besides he can recognize him
Our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) recommended us to greet the dead by turning our faces to the graves and to recite this salam when we enter the graveyard:
“May the Peace (of Allah) be upon you, O people of this land (the graveyard), who are among the Believers! Insha Allah, we too shall (soon) be joining you. We ask Allah protection for you and for ourselves." (Muslim, Ibn-i Majah)
If a person gives salam to a graveyard while passing by it that he used to know,, the deceased takes his salute and recognize him, as well. If he salutes a grave that he doesn’t know, the deceased takes his salute. (Ihya-u Ulumid Din)
"When a human being is laid in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their foot steps, two angels come to him and make him sit and ask him: What did you use to say about this man, Muhammad ? He will say: I testify that he is Allah's slave and His Apostle. Then it will be said to him, 'Look at your place in the Hell-Fire. Allah has given you a place in Paradise instead of it.' " The Prophet added, "The dead person will see both his places. But a non-believer or a hypocrite will say to the angels, 'I do not know, but I used to say what the people used to say! It will be said to him, 'Neither did you know nor did you take the guidance (by reciting the Quran).'” (Book23, Hadith 422) Bukhari)
Not directly praying the deceased, but asking for their intercession is allowed in Islam
“When you are in a quandary about worldly issues , ask ahl al qubur (dwellers of grave) for help.” (Ajluni)
Prophets and awliya (friends of Allah) can be asked for help as long as it is not exaggerated. In other words, we cannot pray them, we cannot ask them to accept our prayers; we can just ask their intercession for the grace and mercy of Allah (swt), however we should always bear in mind that the real owner of power, mercy is Allah (swt) and He is the only one who has the authority and might to hear, answer and accept our prayers. While we are asking the blessed people for help, we are actually asking for their intercession. And their intercession is just possible with the permission, consent, order, will, help, mercy and power of Allah (swt).
Scholar Maulana Abdul Hakim Siyalquti states in his book “Zaad-ullabib” that:
“He who prays asks no one but Allah (swt). He asks the intercession of a beloved servant of Allah for the acceptance of his prayer (dua). “O my Lord! Bestow me for the sake of this beloved servant. “ Or he says to one of the awliya “O the beloved servant of Allah! Intercede me, pray Allah for me.” The only One who accepts the supplications is Allah (swt). Blessed servants of Allah are just means and reasons for the acceptance. They are also mortal and impotent; they have no real power. If asking them for help in this manner was to trust others than Allah, then asking the alive for pray would also be prohibited. However, asking the alive to pray is not prohibited. If an ignorant does not except his wish from the might of Allah (swt) and thinks that His blessed servant creates it, then it is absolutely wrong (and shirk). Nevertheless, to defame the blessed servants of Allah because of such ignorant actions of others is as wrong as them.”
We hope that our answer is clear and satisfying for you, however, if you have any further question about this issue or any other, please feel free to ask. We are here to assist you as best as we can.
May Allah (swt) be pleased with your sincere efforts on learning the rightous path.
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