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Tawassul according to Hanbalis

Posted by muhammedm on January 24, 2010

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

Ibn Taymiyya says after quoting (from Ibn Abi Dunya’s work ‘Mujabi ad-Dua’) an incident from the time of the salaf in which the individual did tawassul, he (Ibn Taymiyya) says: “I say this dua’ and similar (dua’) has been narrated that the Salaf used to ask (in supplication) with, and it’s been reported in the Mansak that Imam Ahmed (encouraged) tawassul through the Prophet in his dua’”. Page 147 Qa’ida al-Jalila

1- Abu ‘Abdillah al-Ardibly said, I heard Aba Bakr bin Abi al-Khasib say, “Safwan bin Salim was mentioned in the presence of Imam Ahmed, to which Imam Ahmed said, “water is sought through this man’s sayings, and rain descends through him being mentioned” (Tahdhib al-Kamal of Hafidh Mizzi)
2- Imam Ahmed’s son wrote in al-Masail, “I heard my father say, “I performed five Hajj, two of them mounted and three on foot, or two on foot and three mounted, on one of the Hajj I forgot the route while I was walking, so I said, “O servants of Allah ta’ala guide us to the path (the road), I kept on saying it until we came upon the path”, or something similar to the saying. Imam al-Bayhaqi narrated it as well with an authentic chain, Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali mentioned it in al-Adab as-Shari’ayah, Shaykh Albani said in his work ‘as-silsilah ad-Da’if wal Mawdu’ah, “Imam Ahmed considered the hadith of Ibn Abbas to be strong, which al-Hafidh considered good, because he (Imam Ahmed) practiced it, and his son, Abdullah, said regarding the narration as ‘al-Hadith’.
3- Imam as-Samuri said in al-Mustaw’ib, “there’s nothing wrong with tawassul to Allah ta’ala, thru Shuyukh, Zuhhad, people of knowledge and virtue from the Muslims to Allah ta’ala in seeking rain.
4- Imam Taqi ud Din al-Adami in his al-Munawwar said, “Tawassul through the pious is allowed”.
5- Imam Ibn al-Muflih writes in al-Furu’, “Tawassul through a righteous person is allowed, and it’s said it’s recommended.”
6- Imam al-Mardawi writes in al-Insaf, “Tawassul through a righteous person is allowed, this is the correct opinion in the madhab. It’s said that it’s recommended. Imam Ahmed said in his work entitled ‘al-Mansak’, which he wrote for al-Marruthi, “Tawassul is done thru the Prophet, peace be upon him, in dua’, and he affirmed it in al-Mustaw’ib and other works.”
7- Imam al-Hajjawi said in al-Iqna’ on the commentary of Imam al-Buhuti, “there’s nothing wrong with doing tawasswul through the righteous”.
8- Imam Ibn Najjar in his work entitled, ‘Muntaha al-Iradat, on his commentary of Imam Buhuti, “Tawassul through the righteous is allowed”.
9- Imam Mari’ al-Karmi writes in Ghayatul Muntaha, “Likewise tawassul through the righteous is allowed”.
10- Ibn ‘Imad al-Hanbali writes in Shadharatu ad-Dhahab in the biographical note on as-Sayyid Ahmed al-Bukhari, “His grave is visited and sought blessing through it”.
11- In the book ‘Kashshaf al-Qina of al-Buhuti, “as-Samuri and the author of at-Talkhis said, “there’s nothing wrong with tawassul thru Shuyukh, and the God fearing scholars for rain. He said in al-Madhab, “It’s allowed to seek intercession with Allah ta’ala through a righteous person. It was said to Marwidhi, “Tawassul is done through the Prophet in Dua’, and he affirmed it in al-Mustaw’ib and other works. Then he said, “Ibrahim al-Harbi said, “Dua’ at the grave of Ma’ruf al-Karkhi is well known and is accepted.”
12- Imam Ibn al-Jawzi said in al-Manaqib Imam Ahmed, “on the authority of Abdullah bin Musa, that he said, “My father and I went out on a dark night we visited Ahmed, darkness was intensified, so my father said, “O my son, let’s do tawassul to Allah ta’ala through this righteous slave until the path can be seen for I have not been doing tawassul through him except that my needs are met. Then my father made dua’ and I said Amin to his dua’, then the sky lighted as if it was a full moon night until we reached the place.”
13- Ibn al-Jawzi in Manaqib Imam Ahmed narrates the story of tawassul and tabbaruk of Imam Shafi’I through the shirt of Imam Ahmed.
14- Ibn Abi Ya’ala al-Hanbali writes in at-Tabaqat, “a grave was dig at the side of the grave of Imam Ahmed, and he (another individual) was buried in it, and the people took much soil from his grave as way of blessing, and people frequented his grave, night and day for a long time, and would finish the Quran, and would increase their dua’, and it has reached me that there has been thousands of Khatamat (recitiation of whole Quran) at his grave for periods of months”.
15- Ibn Qudama al-Hanbali in his Mughni writes, “It’s recommended to seek rain through a person whose righteousness is well known.”

Others from the Hanabilah who had no problem with Tawassul: ‘Allama Ibn ‘Aqil, Shaykh ‘AbdulQadir al-Jilani, Qadi ash-Shawkani (not a Hanbali but admired by salafis), Shaykh Umar at-Taghlabi, ‘Allama as-Saffarini in his Thabat, and others.

Now for those who want to say it’s bida’ and shirk, let them point their fingers at the likes of Imam Ahmed and other Hanabilah. And keep in mind there isn’t a single criticism of Hanbalis on Tawassul until Ibn Taymiyya came on the scene and his position is rejected by the later Hanbali scholars such as as-Saffarini, Ibn Muflih, Buhuti and others, and all of these later scholars were great admirers of Ibn Taymiyya especially as-Saffarini, whose work is loaded with Ibn Taymiyya work.

For a summary of salafi scholars’ stance on tawassul through the Prophet, Shaykh Albani considered it a bida’ that was invented after the first three generation. Shaykh Bin Baz, “it’s forbidden, bida’, because it’s a means for excessiveness and shirk”. << A sad attempt at trying to interpret Imam Ahmed's position to their own liking.

Ma’ Salama


11 Responses to “Tawassul according to Hanbalis”

  1. Ali said

    Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

    Jazakum Allahu Taala khayran.

    Please do a similar post on the topic istighatha.

    • muhammedm said

      Wa ‘alaykumus Salam wa rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

      The only resource I have on Istighatha is that of Mawlana Gongohi’s, which should be translated since it discusses various ways.

      Ma’ Salama

  2. SonofAdam said

    As salamu ‘alaykum,

    Won’t they say that the the tawassul through the righteous is meant only for those people who are alive?

    Jazak’Allaahu khairan

    P.S. nice blog

    • muhammedm said

      Wa ‘alaykumus Salam

      Salafis are the first one to distinguish between the dead and living, had there been a difference, the Hanbali Ulema that I quoted would’ve stated it’s only for the living, question is how come the salafis are the first one to make the difference? Wasn’t tawassul through the dead practiced in the past? So their interpreting Hanabilah’s statements as it referring to the living is distortion. So the situation is this: scholars throughout centuries said tawassul is allowed without restrictions, but from the 1300+ hijri, the salafi start differentiating between dead and alive, point is, salafis are the first ones to allow tawassul only through the living. INshAllah I’ll write up something regarding the Hanbalis and the Prophet’s grave.

  3. SonofAdam said

    As salamu ‘alaykum akhi kareem,

    I read here from the fakehead team ( the following that Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab said:

    ‘There is no harm in making Tawassul through the righteous’ and Ahmad’s statement: ‘Tawassul is only allowed through the Prophet – Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam’, while they all say: ‘Istighatha (seeking aid) from the creation is not allowed’, then the difference (between the two is very clear, and it is irrelevant to what we are concerned with.

    For some scholars to allow Tawassul through the righteous, or for some to restrict it to the Prophet – Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam, while majority of the scholars forbidding and disliking it; these issues are from fiqhi issues. Even though the correct opinion in our view is the majority opinion that it is disliked, we still do not censure one who practises it (Tawassul), for there is no censuring in issues of ijtihad.

    However, our censure of one who calls upon the creation, is greater than the censure of one who calls upon Allaah Ta’ala (alone); for he travels to the grave beseeching, next to al-Sheikh ‘Abd al-Qadir or others, seeking the alleviation of calamites, aiding the grief-stricken, attaining the desirables; where is this all from one who calls upon Allaah, purifying His religion for Him, not calling upon anyone besides Allaah, except that he says in his supplication: I ask you by Your Prophet, messengers, or the righteous servants, or travels to Ma’ruf’s grave or others’ to supplicate there, yet only supplicates to Allaah, purifying the religion for Him, how is this relevant to what concerns us here?
    (Fatawa wa masa’il al-Shaikh Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Wahhab page 41)

    any comment on this?

    • muhammedm said

      Wa Alaykumus Salam

      It is a lie to say majority of the scholars disapproved of tawassul, the first one to come on the scene and disapprove of it was Ibn Taymiyya, who even said the salaf did tawassul. Then his view were revived in the 18th century. As for Istighatha that’s another issue. Indeed tawassul is a fiqhi issue turned into an Aqidah issue by our salafi brethren.

  4. SonofAdam said

    As salamu ‘alaykum,

    Quick question akhi; are you hanbali?

  5. Ahmed said


    Could you provide the quotes where Ibn Aqil permits tawassul ? The salafis have been claiming otherwise.

    • muhammedm said

      Wa ‘alaykumus Salam

      The link contains Ulema of the Hanbali Madhab permitting tawassul –

      4- ابن عقيل الحنبلي المتوفى 503 :
      كان يقول فى زيارة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ” يا محمد إني أتوجه بك إلى ربى ”
      – (التذكرة 87 ) المكتبة الظاهرية بدمشق .
      في كتابه التذكرة ايضاً :
      ((ويستحب له قدوم مدينة الرسول صلوات الله وسلامه عليه فيأتي مسجده فيقول عند دخوله : بسم الله اللهم صل على محمد وآل محمد وافتح لي أبواب رحمتك .. اللهم أني أتوجه إليك بنبيك صلى الله عليه وسلم بنبي الرحمـة يا رسول الله إني أتوجه بك إلى ربي ليغفر لي ذنوبي ، اللهم إني أسألك بحقه أن تغفر لي ذنوبي))

      Hope that heps

  6. Ahmed said

    Could you verify the quotes attributed to Ibn Aqil by salafis are true ? See the first and last post here:

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