You wrote: "To depend on the 'shafa'a' of someone, or to do any deeds to please this 'shaafei' so that he is pleased with our deeds, or to even believe that this supposed 'shaafei' is able to see and count and remember our deeds after they are dead, has been termed 'shirk' by Allah Subhanah in the Holy Quran. All deeds have to be done for the sole Pleasure of none, but Allah Subhanah Alone. We cannot even do deeds with the intention that even Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws) will be pleased with us. Our intention and deeds must be for the Pleasure of Allah and Allah Alone! " The Prophet (saws) was asked time and time again by his companions to recite a dua for them to Allah. This is shafat. To ask a more pious person (who maybe more favored by Allah for their ikhas and iman) to pray to Allah for us and for Allah to give us mercy. The miracleous power that you incorrectly interpret is the dua for someone to Allah Subhana wa ta`Ala. The Prophet and the Ahlul Bayt practiced this.
What is Shirk?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Brother, you are absolutely right in stating that the Prophet (saws) was time and again asked by his noble companions to make dua or supplication for them, and the Messenger of Allah (saws) used to regularly pray to Allah for the believers. There is absolutely nothing wrong in Islam, in asking another believer to make dua for you. This is in fact recommended in Islam, as it increases the Brotherhood and respect of the believers between each other.
The issue of ‘shirk’ is different! ‘Shirk’ is taking the intercession of someone who is non-existent, an idol, a dead person, a grave, or even a living person who is not directly in your company, and requesting them to get something for you from Allah; or even requesting any of the above to take your message to Allah; or even talking to Allah directly and asking Allah to give you your wish, in ‘sadaqa’ or ‘waseela’ of so and so grave or dead person! This sort of invocation is precisely what Allah terms as ‘shirk’ in the Holy Quran. And brother, this is stated so many times in the Quran, and in so many different ways, that there is absolutely no room for mis-interpretation or misunderstanding. Allah mentions all the concepts and manifestations of this heinous ‘sin’ very clearly in the Glorious Quran, and there is absolutely no chance of any mis-understanding. The only way that some people would not recognize, and practice this horrendous and abominable sin, is if they do not understand the Holy Quran, or are kept away from its clear guidance and teachings.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumur verse 2-3: So worship Allah Alone, making your religion His exclusively. Beware! Religion is the exclusive Right of Allah. As for those who have taken other ‘auliyas’ with Allah (and justify their this conduct by saying): “We serve them only that they may bring us closer to Allah.” Allah will surely judge between them concerning all that in which they differ. Allah does not show guidance to any liar and denier of the Truth.
How clear is the above aayah of the Holy Quran! The people who invoke or call these Maulas, and Auliyaas, and graves of their pious holy men of days gone by, know that these people cannot actually give them anything. They assume that by invoking these names, they will get closer to Allah! This is precisely what Allah terms ‘shirk’.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 10 Surah Yunus verse 18: These people serve beside Allah those which can neither harm nor benefit them, and say, “These are our ‘shofa’a’ (intercessors) with Allah!” (O Mohammed), tell them, “Do you wish to inform Allah of that thing which He knows not in the heavens, or in the earth?” He is absolutely free from, and exalted above the shirk that they commit.
Glory be to Allah, the Supreme!! Just see what Allah says in the above aayah…. These people invoke others besides Allah, and say ‘These are our intercessors with Allah!’. Then Allah says, “Do you wish to inform Allah of something which He does not already Know?” Allah knows even the secret of our hearts! We do not need to ask somebody to take our message to Allah, as Allah already knows what is in our hearts. He Alone has the Power to hear us when we call on Him! He Alone has the Power to grant us what we ask of Him! He Alone has the Power to grant us our wishes and our prayers and our supplications…. Thus He commands us to invoke Him Alone, and show our humility and subservience to Him Alone… and nobody else… If we beg someone else, we have give the right that was due to Allah to somebody else, and that is ‘shirk’… or associating another being with Allah!!!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 40 Surah Mumin verse 60: And Your Lord says, “Call upon Me. I will answer your prayers. Those who disdain My worship on account of arrogance, shall certainly enter Hell in disgrace!”
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 186: And if My servants ask you, O Prophet, concerning Me, tell them that I am quite near to them. I hear and answer the prayer of the suppliant, when he calls on Me. So let them respond to My call and believe in Me. (Convey this to them), perhaps they may be guided aright!
Lets just relate a few hypothetical examples:
The Prophet (saws) was asked time and time again by his noble companions to recite duas for them to Allah, and this the Prophet (saws) did all the time. This is fine. But did the Prophet (saws) ever take the name of his noble forefathers, like Hadrat Ismail (a.s.) or the ‘Khalil’ and choicest friend of Allah, Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) and plead Allah to fulfill his prayers in their name and their ‘waseelah’? No, Never! Never Ever!! He (saws) used to pray to Allah to help the believer.
Some believers used to request Hadrat Ali (r.a.) to make dua for them. But did Hadrat Ali (r.a.) ever beg Allah to fulfil the desires of the believer by taking the ‘waseelah’ and name of the Messenger of Allah (saws)? No, Never! He would pray to Allah to help the muslim brother and fulfil his wishes.
Some believers used to go to Hadrat Hasan (r.a.) and Hadrat Hussein (r.a.), (whom the Messenger of Allah (saws) had called the leaders of the youth in Paradise in his own lifetime), and asked them to supplicate Allah for them. Did they ever ask Allah, using either Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws) or Hadrat Ali (r.a.) as the intermediaries between them and Allah? No, Never! They simply prayed directly to Allah, without anybody in between.
Today, one might be in, lets say, Bombay… and the sect-leader or Maula might be in
Even if this person asks Allah directly, to give him so and so, using the ‘waseelah’ and in the ‘sadaqa’ of his Maula, or someone dead, or the imam, or the ‘ahle bayt’, or Hadrat Ali (r.a.), or even the Prophet of Allah (saws)… That is precisely what is ‘shirk’. Because he assumes that the person who is dead for 1400 years, no matter who the person is, from the Messenger of Allah (saws) to anybody else, can actually hear his supplication, understand it, and has the power to fulfill his prayer!!! This is absolutely a form of ‘shirk’!!!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 46 Surah Ahqaf verses 4-6: Prophet, say to them, "Have you ever seen them with open eyes those whom you invoke instead of Allah? Show me what they have created in the earth? Or have they any share in the creation and control of the heavens? Bring me a Book revealed before this, or produce some remnant of knowledge in support of your beliefs if you are truthful." And who could be further astray than the one who invokes, instead of Allah, those who cannot answer him till the Day of Resurrection. Nay, they are even UNAWARE THAT THEY ARE BEING INVOKED. And when all mankind shall be gathered together (on the Day of Qiyamah), they (the so called leaders and intercessors) will become enemies of those who invoked them and they will DISOWN THEIR WORSHIP!!!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraf verse 190-196: They associate with Allah partners who do not create anything, but are themselves created! Who cannot help them nor have the power to help themselves! If you invite them to follow the
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 20-21: All the other beings, whom the people invoke with Allah, create nothing! Nay, they are themselves created. They are DEAD, not living, and they do not at all know themselves when they shall again be raised to life!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 71-72: They worship besides Allah those for whom Allah has sent down NO AUTHORITY! Nor they themselves have any knowledge about them. Such transgressors have no helper! And when our CLEAR REVELATIONS are recited to them, you perceive signs of disdain on the faces of the disbelievers, as though they were going to ASSUALT those who recite our Revelations to them!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 66-68: On the Day their faces are rolled about on the Fire, they will say, “Would that we had obeyed Allah and His Messenger!” And they will say, “O our Lord, we obeyed our CHIEFS and our GREAT MEN, and they led us astray from the Right Path. O our Lord, give them a double chastisement and curse them severely”.
Allah is the One Who hears everything! Allah Alone is the One Who can answer your prayers! Allah Alone is the One Who deserves our invocation and our supplication! Allah Alone is the One Who has all the Powers with Himself!!! Sharing or giving any of Allah’s Beautiful Attributes to anyone of his created slaves or things, is one of the biggest forms of ‘shirk’.
We all agree that a Hindu who prays in front of his idol of Ram, Sita, Ganpati, whatever, commits ‘shirk’. He stands in front of his idol, and asks the idol to give him this and that. He knows that the idol cannot give him anything, as it is only a piece of stone or clay! What he implies is either, Ram or Sita or whatever can hear him, or that Ram or Sita can influence the One Being who Created everything, and get these things for him! This belief we all agree is shirk!
But when a muslim stands in front of the grave and prays to the person who is dead for hundreds of years, and asks him for this favor and that, we don’t call it shirk!!! Again, the person standing and supplicating at the grave, knows that the grave cannot do anything … It is only sand and stones!!! But implies and assumes that the person who was buried in this place hundreds of years ago is alive, has the power to hear him, has the power to understand the language he is speaking, has the power to take his message to the One Being Who Created everything, or has the power to get these things for him!!! What is difference between the actions of the Hindu who invokes his idols, and the muslim who invokes the graves of his pious holy men? Both of them are involved in the most heinous and horrendous of all sins, ‘SHIRK’!!!!!!
It is a major misconception and misunderstanding that the pagans of Makkah like Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab, etc. did not believe in Allah. They all believed Allah created them and everything else in existence! They believed Allah was the One who gives life and ordains death! They believed Allah was the One who created the Sun and the Moon! They believed the Kaabah was Allah’s House and was built by their forefathers Ismail (a.s.) and Ibrahim (a.s.)! They regularly did ‘tawaaf’ of the Kaabah, performed ‘Umrah’, and even performed the ‘Hajj’! They were the caretakers of the Kaabah, and the custodians of the waters of ‘zam zam’! They believed in Allah! But they built these idols and images, most of whom were the images of their forefathers and some were the images of their holy and pious men of days gone by. They believed that these pious and holy men were close to Allah, and if asked through them, Allah would have to grant them their requests and prayers! This is precisely what Allah termed as ‘shirk’ in the Holy Quran, and this is precisely why Allah condemned them!
Thus brother, there is a huge difference in asking a believer who is talking to you and in front of you to make a supplication to Allah with you; and invoking a grave, or image, or photo, or a name, or a person who is not directly in front of you, and asking them to do some favors for you!!!
The only way to recognize this abominable crime of ‘shirk’ is to read the Holy Quran with understanding. All the communities that Allah relates in the Holy Quran who were destroyed by Him, they were destroyed because they were guilty if this one heinous, horrendous, and unforgivable sin: SHIRK!! Allah forgives any sin He pleases, except this one sin of ‘shirk’!!! And unfortunately, a multitude of muslims are involved in this very crime… May Allah guide them to read and understand the Quran, so that they can recognize and stay away from this abominable crime!!!!
Allah says in the Quran: Chapter 4 Surah An-Nisa Verse 48: Shirk (associating other deities with Allah) is the only sin that Allah does not forgive, and He forgives, whomsoever He pleases, sins other than this. For whosoever associates any other partner with Allah, does indeed forge a big lie and commits the most heinous sin.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 72: Whoever commits ‘shirk’ (invoking anything with Allah), Allah shall forbid for him Paradise, and Hell shall be his abode. And for such wrong doers there will be no one to help.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumar verse 65-66: If you commit ‘shirk’ all your works will be rendered vain and you will be among the losers. Therefore, you should worship Allah Alone, and be among His grateful servants.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 77-79: Do they really not know that Allah is fully aware of what they hide and what they disclose? Then there are among them some ignorant people who have no knowledge of the Book, but depend upon empty hopes and are guided by mere conjecture and guess-work. So woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say to the people, ‘This is from Allah’, so that they might gain some paltry worldly gain! This writing of their hands will bring woe to them, and what they gain from it will lead them to their ruin.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verses 34-35: O you who believe! There are indeed many among the priests and the holy men who devour the wealth of others by evil means, and debar the people from the Way of Allah. Give them the good news of a painful torment, who hoard up gold and silver and do not expend these in the Way of Allah. The Day shall surely come when the same gold and silver shall be heated in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their bodies and their backs. (And it will be said): “Here is that treasure you had hoarded up for yourselves! Taste now the evil of your hoarded treasure!”
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraf verses 197: Those whom you call besides Allah, cannot help you, nor can they help themselves.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 34 Surah Saba verses 22: (O Prophet) say, “Call on those whom you invoke as deities besides Allah. They neither own an atom’s weight of anything in the heavens, nor in the earth. Nor have they anything to share in either, nor is any of them a helper of Allah”
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verses160: If Allah helps you, none can overcome you! And if Allah forsakes you, who is there, then, after Allah that can help you? Therefore, the true believers should trust in Allah Alone.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse73: O mankind! A parable is related to you, so listen to it! Those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create a fly, even though they may all combine together for this purpose! Nay! If a fly snatches away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly! How weak are the those who petition, and how weak are those to whom they supplicate!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse76: (O Prophet) say to them, “Do you worship besides Allah that which has no power to harm you nor benefit you? In fact, it is Allah Alone Who hears everything and knows everything.”
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 10 Surah Yunus verses 106-107: And do not call besides Allah, any being that can neither do you any good nor any harm. For if you will do so, you shall be one of the doers of wrong. If Allah afflicts you with a calamity, there is none to remove it, but He Himself. Likewise, if Allah wills to bestow a favor on you, there is none to withhold Allah’s bounty. He bestows His bounty on anyone of His servants He wills. And He is The Forgiving, The Merciful.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Isra (Bani Israel) verses 56-57: (O Prophet) say, “You may call for help those, besides Allah, whom you fancy. They have neither the power to remove your troubles from you, nor change them!” In fact, those beings whom these people call for help themselves seek the means of approach to Allah, and vie with one another to be nearer to Him, and hope for His Mercy and fear His Wrath. The fact is that the Wrath of your Lord is a thing to be dreaded!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumar verse 38: If indeed you (O Prophet) asked them, “Who is it that created the earth?”, they would surely say, “Allah”. Say, “See you then? The things that you invoke besides Allah, can they, if Allah wills some penalty for me, remove His penalty? Or if Allah wills some mercy for me, can they keep back his mercy?” Say: “Sufficient is Allah for me! In Him trust those who put their trust.”
The fact is that the whole Quran is full of aayahs explaining this sin of ‘shirk’ in detail! But in our laziness and heedlessness and negligence, we just do not take the time and effort to read the Message that Allah Himself has revealed for our guidance. We take the word of some self-proclaimed holy men, and assume that they are guiding us towards the Quran and Allah, when in fact they are guiding us towards themselves, their ancestors and most definitely the everlasting torture of Hell Fire! We make every excuse we can to not understand the clear teachings of the Holy Quran! We fight, curse and assault anybody who speaks from the Holy Quran! We just follow blindly what these self-made ‘Maula’ teaches or says, without ever referring to the Glorious Quran. When the realities are made clear to us on the Day of Judgment, we will have no one to blame except ourselves! Not one promise of these self made ‘Maulas’ will come true… Only the promises made by Allah in the Holy Quran will come True!! Thus brother, I urge you to read the Holy Quran with understanding once, before your appointment with the angel of Death! Then there will be nothing you will be able to do to change your condition…. May Allah have mercy on you and your family and guide you to the Truth of Islam.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verses 13: Then, instead of Allah, he invokes those who can do him neither harm nor good. This is the last extremity of deviation. He invokes those who are more likely to do him harm, than good! What an evil ‘Maula’ he chooses, and what an evil companion.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 36 Surah Yaa Seen verses 74-75: Yet, they have set up others besides Allah, hoping that they would be helped! They (those invoked) do not have the power to help them, yet these people stand as an ever ready troop at their service!
May Allah help us, guide us and forgive us our sins. May Allah open our hearts to the understanding of the clear Message and Guidance of the Glorious Quran. May Allah guide you and us all to the Siraat al Mustaqeem.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,