Taking Wasilah


As I want to sincerely correct my Aqeedah I request you to kindly give your expert opinion on a very important topic. It is mentioned in Ma’ariful Quran written by your late father Hazrat Mufti Muhammed Shafi Sahib that it is ja’iz [permitted] to take the wasilah of a Prophet ﷺ or a Saint. The extract from the quotation from Ma’ariful Quran is as follows:

Surah Al-Fatihah 1:1-7, Page 88

“In the sphere of non-physical means too, it is quite permissible for one to seek the help of a prophet or a saint by asking him to pray to Allah in one’s behalf, or to mention, while praying directly to Allah, the name of a prophet or a saint by way of a medium (wasilah) for drawing divine mercy upon oneself. Explicit Traditions (ahadith) and implicit indications of the Holy Qur’an fully justify this practice, and it would be wrong to condemn it as being forbidden or to include it among the various forms of association (shirk).”

As far as the second approach to wasilah, that is, asking Allah to accept our duas for the sake of a Prophet ﷺ or an auliya-allah is clearly understood. I request you to clarify my doubt for the 1st approach, that is, seeking the help of a prophet or a saint to pray to Allah on our behalf.

In our present times there is no Prophet or any Prophet to come. And also no clear cut signs to identify a living auliya. So does the tafsir imply that we can take the name of a specific Prophet such as Muhammed ﷺ or a known Wali like Hadhrat Abdul Qadir Jilani and ask them to pray on our behalf to Allah from wherever we are residing or such a request has to be made at the mazaar [graves] of these beloveds of Allah.

(Dr.Muhammad Ameen, Chennai, India)


 The quoted passage does not mean or imply that one may request a saint or prophet to pray for him whilst not being in that saint’s or prophet’s presence. The meaning of the quoted excerpt is that it is permissible to request a living saint – the most apparent sign of whom is that he refrains from sin and abides by the Sunnah – to pray for oneself. Similarly, one could have asked a prophet during his physical life to pray for him. But there is a difference of opinion with regards to requesting the Prophet to pray for oneself after they have left this world. Some scholars are of the opinion that since the Prophets of Allah are granted a special kind of life in their blessed resting places, it shall be permissible to request them to pray for oneself provided that one is physically present at their graves. Other scholars are of the opinion that since there is no proof or precedent for requesting the Prophets to pray for one after they have left the world, this should be avoided. Thus, one should not request them to pray for oneself after they have physically left this world even though they have been granted a special kind of life in their blessed graves. (Adapted from Takmilah Fathil Mulhim 5/316-318 Darul-Qalam).

September 1999