Friday, November 11, 2016

The Trump Presidency: An Opportunity for Reflection and Change

By Qays Arthur

The undoubtedly historic victory of Donald Trump at the polls is certainly, if nothing else, worthy of reflection. There are many important lessons to be had from this most unusual campaign and election. 

Here are a few that stand out to me as an outsider.

It must be said that the campaign was horrendous involving, as it did, apparently unprecedented levels of slander and vitriol. At least one significant social commentator has taken the Trump win as an opportunity to soul search saying that such depravity and the hate, fear, and suspicion it engendered should at all costs be avoided in the future. That sentiment certainly has merit from a Muslim perspective. Every setback, loss, or slip should provide the believer with an opportunity for introspection and, where appropriate, repentance - which is always a good idea.

It may also be true that in this victory there is an indicator of the force (for better or worse) of authenticity. Politicians, as this campaign has made painfully clear, are hardly towering examples of moral rectitude. Yet there is something to be said, in retrospect, about the American voter’s decision to elect someone who was not perceived as being pretentious or deceptive, even if only with respect to his rhetoric, views, and disposition.

That is about as much as I can muster concerning positive moral lessons in this affair – unfortunately there wasn’t much to go on.

As regards the intersection of politics and morality, I have pointed out before that Muslims in the US, and indeed elsewhere, have for too long been content with an alliance of convenience with the political and intellectual left despite the glaring and unconscionable moral compromises entailed thereby.

That alliance is sustained by a fear-based conventional wisdom that says Muslims, as a vulnerable minority, have no choice but to ally themselves with socially progressive yet morally permissive political and intellectual forces in order to avoid harm at the hands of a powerful “racist”, intolerant, white majority. That approach might be expedient but it is not the way of taqwa which would require instead that legal and social means be sought to preserve and express the values of the community, in addition to preserving its safety, as permitted by the constitution and relevant laws.

Now this turn of events, completely unforeseen by those political and intellectual forces, undermines that morally flawed, fear-based conventional wisdom. The academics and pollsters (especially the progressive yet permissive ones) were all just as wrong regarding their political calculus as they are with their moral calculus and the Muslims are right there with them – vulnerable and exposed.

The fact is that America is not the same today as it was in years past. It is no longer simply a “white” nation with an “other” underclass such that the fear-based calculus of race and class politics remains potent in the same ways as before. The fact that race and gender were not particularly significant in getting Trump into office, despite obvious efforts on the part of the political and media establishments to play on them, may indicate not only that current methods of measuring public opinion are inadequate but also that the public response to political and media stimuli has changed in significant ways.

Could it be that the Democrats (especially) and Republicans have left the nation so broken and divided that they are now confronted by a groundswell of frustration-inspired, populist, anti-establishment sentiment that threatens them and republic’s existing political assumptions?

If that is the case then the Republican party is certainly doing better, emerging politically stronger after the election despite its divisions. That may well be because they, at least in part, grudgingly accommodated that groundswell of subversive ideas manifested in the Tea-Party then the Trump “movements” which, in retrospect, were very early warning signs of the outcome the nation faces today.

And the Democrats too, with their now forgotten Sanders movement, had their own early warning sign. But that movement was anything but accommodated by the party. Perhaps snuffing out the Sanders movement in such a manner was a fatal blunder that, along with other signs like what I would call the Malik Obama effect, were ignored ultimately leading to previous Obama strongholds contributing to the dramatic triumph of Trump.

Whatever the details are, Trump’s victory is not a minor matter nor is it a temporary setback for the political and media establishments.

This is a watershed moment and it may also be a judgment from God against the morally flawed conventional political wisdom relied upon by American Muslims for their political engagement up to this point.

Things have changed and right now America, for the first time, has a president who is an ill-tempered, crude, outsider with no government experience at all. But he is also a president who has refused the assistance of pro-Israel lobbies, has pledged to be neutral on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, has called for an investigation into why polls indicate hatred on the part of Muslims toward Americans (he did that when he called for a ban on all Muslims entering the country – see paragraph five), and yet has virtually single-handedly taken on the American political and media establishments and prevailed.

American Muslims could therefore take this development as either a catastrophe of apocalyptic dimensions or as an opportunity of similar magnitude. Either way, swift, responsive leadership and positive action will be required.
So insha Allah khayr will come out of it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Near to Layla


By Qays Arthur

Two murids of Imam Abul Hassan were walking behind the Imam's camel in the shade provided by the canopy of his carriage.
One said to the other, "Oh so and so I've noticed that such and such person treats you badly yet you are most excellent in conduct towards him."
He replied, "He is from my land so I say what the poet does..." He then recited some verses of poetry where Majnun sees a dog in the desert and treats it with reverence and doting affection such that the people blame and criticize him. In response to them Majnun exclaims:
"Quit the condemnation for indeed my eye did see it once near to Layla!"
Upon hearing that line the Imam leaned his head out of the carriage and asked the student to repeat it which he did. The Imam started swaying in the carriage saying, "So he said, 'Quit the condemnation for indeed my eye did see it once near to Layla!'" repeating it over and over.
Then he threw a head scarf, amber in colour, to the student and said to him, "Take this and wear it for it befits you more than me. Allah reward you well, son, for your fine commitment."
From notes on a reading of Duratul Asrar wa Tuhfatul Abrar on the life and times Imam Abul Hasan Al-Shadhili by Ibn Sabagh (Allah be pleased with them).

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Abrahamic Morality in America


By Qays Arthur

“Say: ‘Come, I will recite unto you that which your Lord hath made a sacred duty for you: That ye ascribe no thing as partner unto Him and that ye do good to parents, and that ye slay not your children because of penury - We provide for you and for them - and that ye draw not nigh to lewd things whether open or concealed. And that ye slay not the life which Allah hath made sacred, save in the course of justice. This He hath command you, in order that ye may discern.” (Quran 6:151)
Since last week’s massacre in Orlando the internet and public discourse in general have been awash in all sorts of arguments and discussions, of varying degrees of relevance, about counter terrorism, gun control, increased powers for security agencies, and “Mawzlems” who visit terror “hot spots” (i.e. countries of origin or of religious significance). Within the embattled and increasingly visible Muslim community some seemed more disturbed about the prospect of a “backlash” than anything else. Others looked at foreign policy issues while yet others, for some bizarre reason, sought to “shed light” on abstruse details of Islamic legal theory from medieval legal texts such as the distinction between discretionary versus textually stipulated capital punishments.
Yet what caught my attention amidst the deluge of mandatory condemnations and expressions of outrage was the tone and overall message from prominent sections of the American Muslim community, both advocacy and religious groupings.
What I observed from the statements of many if not most Muslim leaders who are in the public sphere was a demonstration of just how “mainstream” the rhetoric of the Muslim community's leadership appears to be. Particularly worrying was one message that mentioned “Abrahamic morality” though not so much, it seems, by way of unambiguously affirming it and demonstrating how the massacre was a profound betrayal of it, as by way of advocating and indeed normalizing its subordination to some other kind of morality ostensibly based on “diversity”, “social justice”, and other doctrines held dear by the American political left and that are apparently, as if by default, “Islamic”. And that was the religious groupings, indeed some Muslim advocacy groups went a step further and actually declared themselves to be standing “shoulder to shoulder” in solidarity with, what I understand are now called, LGBTQ2 groupings.
That posture, if I've apprehended it correctly, is undoubtedly the result of decades of leadership which have seen the Muslim community become more and more committed to the political left in that nation. Whatever the causes of that relationship may be, its apparent cost is unfortunate and unsettling particularly as it relates to the religious leadership. I say that because the massacre in Orlando, where it is absolutely clear that homosexuals were the target and almost as clear that the perpetrator was one himself, most certainly demonstrates, if nothing else, a profound moral failing not only on the part of the shooter but of the society itself. This mass murder, said to be the biggest in recent memory, has, after all, come on the heels, in historical terms, of the Obergefell v. Hodges case, a landmark triumph of advocacy and social experimentation which remains as emblematic of America’s deep moral confusion as it is of the inevitable political and social divides that must result from such confusion.
Were the crime perpetrated by a member of another, perhaps more indigenous, faith the terrorism “angle” would conceivably have been much less prominent likely in favor of an “America divided” one. While I can’t say that with certainty it does seem plausible. As it stands many media and even so-called global intelligence outlets, representative of America’s political right, are going to ridiculous lengths to cast ‘Umra trips and Facebook rants as “evidence” of the “radicalization” of a man who was actually investigated and cleared by the FBI, a professional organization that obviously gets far more things right than wrong about America’s security.
When one contrasts the right’s attempts to externalize Orlando as an attack from without with the left’s attempts to reduce it to violations of their own sacred moral and political doctrines, like diversity and inclusion (with the Muslim community firmly in tow), the true significance of the crime and its social impact emerge.
The Orlando Massacre and the incoherent, often bitter, and divisive wrangling that it has amplified are alarming signals that America is under threat and in danger though not nearly so much from ISIS or the proliferation of guns as from its own moral confusion and crippling political divisions.
To the extent that that is true, the very last thing America needs from its Muslims is the kind of timidity that results in representing one side of America’s polarized political discourse as the correct and truly American (and “Islamic”) side despite many of that side's values being in opposition to Abrahamic morality, so clearly spelled out in the verse quoted above, which is rooted in uncompromising monotheism and values such as decency, chastity and the integrity of the family. Such a stance would not only perpetuate America's moral confusion and political divisions but would also be profoundly unprincipled.
I should thus implore American Muslim leaders to not advocate to their fellow Americans, as it seems they may be unwittingly doing, that Abrahamic morality is merely a choice, even for Muslims. That is already fact in America today. It is the status quo that doesn't need advocacy. I should instead implore those leaders to advocate, by all lawful means, and with other like-minded citizens, that Abrahamic morality is a moral imperative which when compromised or abandoned, as it was by the perpetrator of the Orlando Massacre, can have appalling consequences.
And for those Americans who may be wondering what locus standi have I to thus implore them I would hasten to point out that the outcomes of America's internal moral, social, and legal debates do find, at times, unfavorable expression in the social, and legal affairs of other nations. I would also point out that as a Muslim I have a duty to assist my brethren when it seems they are erring. And so I am duty bound to remind my brothers in faith of the imperative to serve the morality of Abraham (peace be upon him) above any other, however dated, un-trendy, or politically inexpedient it may appear at any given moment in history. For that morality is part of the raison d'etre for the Umma in whole and in part, wherever it may be, whether in America or anywhere else.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Mufti of Makkah, Shaykh Ahmad Dahlan (1816 - 1886) on Wahhabism


By Shaykh al Islam Ahmad Zayni Dahlan - translation by As-Sunnah Foundation of America (Source: As-Sunnah Foundation of America)


This excellent work by the 19th century Shafi’i Mufti of Makkah, Shaykh al Islam Ahmad Zayni Dahlan (circa 1816 – 1886) was translated by the dedicated slaves of Allah at Sunnah.org and orginally titled “The Wahabi Tribulation”. It should be considered essential reading in our times since this misguided methodology is connected to deadly past and modern acts of violence and terrorism within Muslim lands especially.

Introduction

During the reign of Sultan Salim III (1204-1222 AH) many tribulations took place. One was the tribulation of the Wahhabiyyah which started in the area of al-Hijaz1 where they captured al-Haramayn2, and prevented Muslims coming from ash-Sham3 and Egypt from reaching their destination to perform Pilgrimage (Hajj). Another tribulation is that of the French who controlled Egypt from 1213 A.H. until 1216 A.H. Let us here speak briefly about the two adversities4, because each was mentioned in detail in the books of history and in separate treatises.

Background on The Tribulations of the Wahhabis

The fighting started between the Wahhabis and the Prince of Mecca, Mawlana Sharif Ghalib Ibn Bu Sa’id, who had been appointed by the honored Muslim Sultan as his ruling representative over the areas of al-Hijaz. This was in 1205 AH during the time of Sultan Salim III, the son of Sultan Mustafa III, the son of Ahmad. Previous to the outbreak of fighting, the Wahhabis began to build power and gain followers in their areas. As their territories expanded, their evil and harm increased they killed countless numbers of Muslims, legitimated confiscating their money and possessions, and captured their women. The founder of their wicked doctrine was Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab, who originated from eastern Arabia, from the tribe of Banu Tamim. He lived a long life, about one-hundred years. He was born in 1111 AH and died in 1200 AH. His history was narrated as follows:
Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab started as a student of knowledge in the city of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: Medina al-Munawwarah. Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab’s father was a good, pious man among the people of knowledge as was his brother, Shaykh Sulayman. His father, his brother, and his shaykhs (teachers of religion) had the foresight Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab would innovate a great deal of deviation and misguidance, because of their observance of his sayings, actions, and inclinations concerning many issues. They used to reprimand him and warn people against him.

Some of the Beliefs of Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab

What Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab’s father, brother, and shaykhs speculated about him came true-by the Will of Allah, Ta’ala. Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab innovated deviant and misleading ways and beliefs and managed to allure some ignorant people to follow him. His deviant and misleading ways and beliefs disagreed with the sayings of the scholars of the Religion. His deviant beliefs led him to label the believers as blasphemers! He falsely claimed visiting the grave of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and performing the tawassull5 by him as idolatry or shirk6. Additionally, he falsely claimed visiting the graves of other prophets and righteous Muslims (awliya’) and performing tawassul by them was shirk as well. He added to this by saying, “To call upon the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, when performing tawassul by the Prophet is shirk.” He passed the same judgment of shirk on the ones who call upon other prophets and righteous Muslims (awliya’) in performing tawassul by them.
In an effort to give credibility to his innovations Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab embellished his sayings by quotations which he selected from Islamic sources, i.e., quotations which are used as proofs for many issues but not the issues which Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab was attempting to support. He brought false statements and tried to beautify them for the laymen until they followed him. He wrote treatises for them until they believed that most of the People of Tawhid7 were blasphemers.

Alliance With The Saudi Family

Moreover, Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab called upon the princes of eastern Arabia and the people of ad-Dar’iyyah8 to support him. They carried his doctrine and made this endeavor a means to strengthen and expand their kingdom. They worked together to suppress the Bedouins of the deserts until they overcame them and those Bedouins followed them and became foot-soldiers for them without pay. After that, these masses started to believe that whoever does not believe in what Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab said is a blasphemer, and it is Islamically lawful (halal) to shed his blood and plunder his money.
The matter of Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab started to evidence itself in 1143 A.H. and began spreading after 1150 A.H. Subsequently, the scholars–even his brother, Shaykh Sulayman and the rest of his shaykhs– authored many treatises to refute him. But Muhammad Ibn Su’ud, the Prince of ad-Dar’iyyah in eastern Arabia, supported him and worked to spread his ideology. Ibn Su’ud was from Banu Hanifah, the people of Musaylimah al-Kadhdhab9. When Muhammad Ibn Su’ud died, his son ‘Abdul-‘Aziz Ibn Muhammad Ibn Su’ud took over the responsibility of fulfilling the vile task of spreading the Wahhabi beliefs.
Many of the shaykhs of Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab in Medina used to say, “He will be misguided, and he will misguide those for whom Allah willed the misguidance.” Things took place as per the speculation of the scholars. Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab claimed his intention behind the madhhab he invented was “to purify the Tawhid” and “repudiate the shirk.” He also claimed people had been following the shirk for six-hundred years and he revived their Religion for them!!

The Methodology of Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab

Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab took the verses revealed to speak about the blasphemers and applied them to the Muslims. The following examples from the Qur’an illustrate this point. Allah, ta’ala, said in Surat al-Ahqaf, Ayah 5:
Who is more astray than the one who performs supplication (du’a’) to [worship] other than Allah; the one other than Allah he supplicates to will not answer his du’a’.
Allah, ta’ala said in Surat Yunus, Ayah 106 :
“Do not perform supplication (du’a’) to [worship] other than Allah; the one other than Allah you supplicate to will not benefit you and will not harm you”
The verses in the Qur’an similar to these ones are numerous. Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab gravely misinterpreted the previously cited verses and said: “The Muslim who asks help from the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, other prophets, or the righteous people (salihun), or who calls or asks any of them for intercession is like those blasphemers mentioned in the Qur’an.” According to the false claim of Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab, the Muslims who do these things are blasphemers.
He also considered visiting the grave of Prophet Muhammad and the graves of other prophets and righteous Muslims for blessings as blasphemy. Allah revealed Ayah 3 of Surat az-Zumar in reference to the mushrikun:
Those who worship the idols said: “We do not worship them except to achieve a higher status from Allah Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab falsely stated: “Those who perform tawassul (asking Allah by the prophets, for example) are similar to those blasphemers mentioned in Surat az-Zumar, Ayah 3, who claim they do not worship the idols except to achieve a higher status from Allah.” He said: “The blasphemers did not believe the idols create anything; they believed Allah is the Creator.” He gave his version of proof from the Qur’an by citing Surat Luqman, Ayah 25 and Surat az-Zumar, Ayah 38, in which Allah said: If you ask them, `Who created the heavens and earth?’ They will say, `Allah’. In Surat az-Zukhruf, Ayah 87, Allah said:
If you ask them, `Who created them?’ They will say,’Allah’. Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab falsely concluded from these verses that the Muslims who perform tawassul are similar to those blasphemers.

The Scholars Refute Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab

In their writings to refute Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab’s sayings, the scholars said his deduction was false. The believers did not consider the prophets or the awliya’ as gods and they did not deem them partners to Allah. Instead, they correctly believe the prophets and awliya’ are good slaves and creations of Allah, and they do not deserve to be worshipped.
The blasphemers intended in these verses believed their idols deserved Godhood. They exalted them as one would exalt his Creator, even though they believed the idols did not create the heavens and the earth. The believers, on the other hand, do not believe the prophets or righteous Muslims (awliya’) deserve to be worshipped, nor do they deserve to be attributed with Godhood, nor do they exalt them as one would exalt God. They believe these people are good slaves of Allah, His beloved ones whom He chose, and by their blessings (barakah) Allah grants His mercy to His creation. Hence, when the slaves of Allah seek the blessings (barakah) of the prophets and righteous Muslims (awliya’) they are seeking these blessings as a mercy from Allah.
There are many proofs and examples from the Qur’an and Sunnah about this basic belief of the Muslims. Muslims believe Allah is the Creator, the One Who grants benefit and inflicts harm, and the only One Who deserves to be worshipped. Muslims believe that no one other than Allah has the power to affect the creation. The prophets and righteous people do not create anything. They do not possess the power to bestow benefit or inflict harm on others, but Allah is the One Who bestows the mercy upon the slaves by the righteous Muslims’ blessings.
Hence, the belief of the blasphemers, i.e., the belief their idols deserve to be worshipped and have Godhood, is what makes them fall into blasphemy. This saying of the blasphemers, as previously cited in Surat az-Zumar, Ayah 3, was said in an effort to justify their belief when they were disproved and shown idols do not deserve to be worshipped.
How can Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab and those who follow him find it permissible to equate the believers, who believed in Tawhid, to those blasphemers, who believed in the Godhood of the idols? All the previously cited verses and the verses which are similar to them are specific to the blasphemers who associate partners with Allah–none of the believers are included.
Al-Bukhari narrated by the route of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah raise their ranks, that the Prophet,sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, described the Khawarij as those who took the verses revealed about the blasphemers and attributed them to the believers! In the narration by the route of Ibn ‘Umar the Prophet said:
“What I fear most for my nation is a man who mis-explains the Qur’an and takes it out of context.”

Proofs for Tawassul – The Permissibility of Asking Allah for things by some of His Creation

If performing tawassul had been blasphemy, then the believers, i.e., the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his Companions, and the Salaf and Khalaf of this nation would not have done it. Yet it is mentioned in the sahih hadith of the Prophet that the Prophet used to ask Allah by saying:
“O Allah, I ask You by the status of those who ask You.“10
Without doubt, this is tawassul. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to teach this supplication (du’a’) to his Companions and order them to say it. This issue was expounded upon in different books and treatises refuting Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab.
There is a hadith related by al-Hakim that mentions after Adam ate from the tree, he performed tawassul by our Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He did that, because he saw the name of the Prophet written on the ‘Arsh, Adam said: “O Allah, by the dignity of this son [Muhammad], forgive this father [Adam].”
It was also related by Ibn Hibban, that upon the death of Fatimah Bint Asad, may Allah raise her rank, the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, with his own honorable hands, put her in her grave and said:
“O Allah, forgive my mother11, Fatimah Binti Asad, and widen her place by the status of Your Prophet and the prophets who came before me. You are the most Merciful.”
There is a hadith classified as sahih12, that a blind man asked the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to make a supplication (du’a‘) to Allah to return his sight. The Prophet ordered him to make ablution (wudu‘) and pray two rak’ahs and then say:
“O Allah, I ask You and direct myself to You by Your Prophet, Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad, I ask Allah by you to fulfill my need. O Allah, enable him to intercede for me.”
The blind man did what the Prophet taught him to do13 and Allah brought his sight back. Moreover, as related by at-Tabarani, the tawassul made by the blind man was used by the Companions and Salaf after the death of the Prophet.
‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab performed the tawassul by al-‘Abbas (the uncle of the Prophet), may Allah reward their deeds, when he prayed the Salah of ‘Istisqa14 with the people. There are other proofs mentioned in the books of the Islamic scholars but we will not recount them at length here.
The one who pursues the saying of the Companions and their followers will find a great deal of proof about the validity of calling the prophet by saying “O Muhammad” in his presence as well as in his absence and in his life as well as after his death. In fact, many texts include the phrase which means, “O Muhammad”. Calling the name of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is permissible. An example is the saying of the Companion, Bilal Ibn al-Harith, may Allah reward his deeds, when he went to the grave of the Prophet. He said: “O Messenger of Allah, ask Allah to send rain to your Nation.” His saying contains this format15.
Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Sulayman al-Kurdi16 was among the authors who wrote refuting Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab. He was Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab’s own shaykh. Among what he said is as follows:
O Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab, I advise you, for the sake of Allah, ta’ala, to hold your tongue regarding the Muslims. If you hear from anyone who asks for help from other than Allah that one has the power to effect things without the Will of Allah, then teach him the right thing about this issue, and show him the proofs which state no one other than Allah brings things from non-existence into existence. The one who rejects that is blasphemous. You have no right to label the majority of the Muslims as blasphemers17 while you are deviant from the majority of the Muslims. In fact, it is more reasonable to consider the one who deviates from the majority of the Muslims as a blasphemer then to consider the Muslims as a nation as blasphemers–because the deviant one has followed a path other than the path of the believers. In Surat an-Nisa’, Ayah 15, Allah said:
Whomever contends with the Messenger after the right path was exposed to him and follows other than the way of the believers, Allah will leave him to whatever he followed and put him in Hell (Jahannam)].

The Permissibility of Visiting the Grave of the Prophet

Visiting the grave of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was performed by the Companions and the Salaf and Khalaf who came after them. Many hadiths cite the benefit of this deed and the scholars of Islam have written books about this matter18.

Calling On Someone Other Than Allah

Among of what was mentioned concerning calling on someone other than Allah, whether that one is present, absent, dead or alive, is the saying of the Prophet:
“If the animal of anyone of you went out of control in the wilderness, then call: `O slaves of Allah, help me’”, since there are slaves of Allah [i.e. the angels] who will respond to him.
There is another hadith related by al-Bazzar in which the Prophet said:
“If one of you lost something or needs help while in an open land, then let him say:
“O slaves of Allah, help me.”
Another narration says, “Rescue me, because Allah has created slaves whom you do not see.” When traveling at nightfall the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam, used to say:” O earth, my Lord and your Lord is Allah.” When the Prophet visited the grave of Muslims, he used to say:”O people of the graves, peace be upon you.”
In the Tashahhud in as-Salah the Muslim says: “O Prophet of Allah, may Allah protect you from infirmities, and have mercy and blessings on you.”
There is no harm in calling on and performing tawassul by someone unless one believes that someone other than Allah actually creates things. Hence, as long as one believes that only Allah creates them, there is no harm in performing tawassul. Likewise, attributing a certain doing to other than Allah does not harm unless one believes this doer actually creates. So once it is established the person does not believe the creating is for other than Allah then attributing a doing to other than Allah is understood in its proper context. When one says: “This medicine benefited me,” or “This particular righteous Muslim benefited me,” he is merely exposing the created reason of the benefit. These statements are also similar to when one says: “This food satisfied my hunger,” or “This water quenched my thirst,” or “This medicine cured me.” When Muslims say such statements, they understand them in their proper context, i.e., food, water, and medicine are only reasons, and Allah is the Creator of their benefit.
The general proofs mentioned in this summary are enough to refute Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab. The scholars of Islam have expounded on this issue in several treatises.

Footnotes:

1. Al-Hijaz refers to the western part of Arabia which includes Mecca and Medina.
2. Al-Haramayn refers to Mecca and Medina.
3. Ash-Sham refers to the area that includes Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine.
4. Only the first adversity will be presented in this booklet.
5. Tawassul is asking Allah for goodness by a prophet, righteous believer, etc.
6. Shirk refers to associating partners to Allah.
7. The People of Tawhid refers to the Muslims.
8. Ad-Dar’iyyah is a region north of the city of Riyad, Saudi Arabia.
9. Musaylimah al-Kadhdhab was a blasphemous man who claimed the status of prophethood for 10 himself after the death of Prophet Muhammad. He was killed by the Muslims during the caliphate of Abu Bakr, may Allah raise his rank.
10. Ibn Majah and others related this hadith and the-Hafidh, Ibn Hajar, deemed it a strong hadith
11. The Prophet called her `my mother’ out of likening her to his real mother.
12. Sixteen hafidhs of hadith classified this hadith as sahih, including at-Tirmidhi, at-Tabarani, al-Bayhaqi, as-Subki, among others.
13. It is clear in the narrations of this hadith, the blind man was not in the session of the Prophet when he did as the Prophet ordered him.
14. Salah of ‘Istisqa‘ refers to performing a specific prayer which includes making supplication for rain.
15. Al-Bayhaqi related this hadith and classified it as sahih.
16. Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Sulaym al-Kurdi was the one who wrote al-Hashiyah on the explanation of Ibn Hajar to the text of Bafadl.
17. It is mentioned in a hadith it is easier for the devil to trick the lonely person who is away from other Muslims. The Prophet, sallallahu al ‘alayhi wa sallam, while encouraging the Muslims to perform the prayers in congregation said: “Moreover, the wolf will eat the lonely lamb.”
18. Among these hadiths is the one related by ad-Daraqutni that the Prophet said: “On the Day of Judgment, I will intercede for the one who visits my grave with the good intention.”
Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions.
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America