The Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah

Since 2012-11-25

In this message I am trying to answer some of the many questions that exist in the minds of people; what is the meaning of invocation? What are the means of invocation? What are the innovations that have entered it?




And the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness and we seek refuge in Allah from the evils inside us, and from the evils we commit, those whom Allah guides are not misled by others, and those who are misled by Allah have no other to guide them, and I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, alone without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. Allah said in His Holy Book: “O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].” [Al-'Imran 3:102]

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ}

آل عمران: 102

Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ittaqoo Allaha haqqa tuqatihi wala tamootunna illa waantum muslimoona

And “O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. [70] He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and will be admitted to Paradise).” [Al-Ahzab 33:70-71]


{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلاً سَدِيداً (70) يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزاً عَظِيماً}
الأحزاب: 70-71

Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ittaqoo Allaha waqooloo qawlan sadeedan (70) Yuslih lakum aAAmalakum wayaghfir lakum thunoobakum waman yutiAAi Allaha warasoolahu faqad faza fawzan AAatheeman

The best speech is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, peace be upon him, and the most evil things are the newly-invented (that have no origin), every innovation that is misguiding is evil; and every evil is in hellfire.

The issue of the means or methods of invoking Allah is one of the most important issues that was tackled by a lot of people; some invented ways that have nothing to do with it, some turned away from the legitimate invocation permitted by Allah and which is illustrated in his Book and in the Sunnah of His Prophet, peace be upon him. So, in this message I am trying to answer some of the many questions that exist in the minds of people; what is the meaning of invocation? What are the means of invocation? What are the innovations that have entered it?

I ask Allah that people will benefit from this message, and that He would accept it as it has been written purely for His sake, and awards us when we meet Him in the Day of Judgment: “The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, [88] Except him who brings to Allâh a clean heart [clean from Shirk (polytheism) and Nifâq (hypocrisy)].” [As-Shu'ara' 26:88-89]


{يَوْمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ (88) إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ}
الشعراء: 88-89

Transliteration: Yawma la yanfaAAu malun wala banoona (88) Illa man ata Allaha biqalbin saleemin

What is invocation? What are the means of invoking Allah?

Allah has revealed the means of invoking Him in the Holy Qur'an: “O you who believe! Do your duty to Allah and fear Him. And seek the means of approach to Him, and strive hard in His Cause (as much as you can), so that you may be successful” [Al-Ma'idah 5:35]


{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ}

Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ittaqoo Allaha waibtaghoo ilayhi alwaseelata wajahidoo fee sabeelihi laAAallakum tuflihoona

Al-Hafiz Ibn Katheer, may Allah bless his soul, in his book (Interpreting the Holy Qur'an), explained this verse saying: Allah commanded His faithful slaves to fear Him, which if connected to obedience, was intended to stop committing sins and abandon the forbidden. Allah said afterwards "And seek the means of approach to Him" [Al-Ma'ida 5:35]


{وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ}
المائدة: 35

Transliteration: waibtaghoo ilayhi alwaseelata

Ibn Abbas said: this means draw near to Him by acts of worship" and so said Mujahid and Qatadah: "this means draw nearer to Him by obeying Him and by doing whatever leads to His satisfaction". There is no dispute among the interpreters of Qur'an in interpreting this verse.

In interpreting His words: “Those whom they invoke seek means of access to their Lord, [striving as to] which of them would be nearest, and they hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. Indeed, the punishment of your Lord is ever feared.” [Al-Isra' 17:57]

{أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَى رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُ إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ كَانَ مَحْذُوراً}

الإسراء: 57

Transliteration: Olaika allatheena yadAAoona yabtaghoona ila rabbihimu alwaseelata ayyuhum aqrabu wayarjoona rahmatahu wayakhafoona AAathabahu inna AAathaba rabbika kana mahthooran

Imam Muslim narrated in his Sahih that Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said that this verse was revealed by Allah about a group of Arabs who were worshiping jinn, the jinn embraced Islam but the Arabs did not know that, so the verse " Those whom they invoke seek means of access to their Lord, " [Al-'Isra' 17:57]



{أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَى رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ}
الإسراء: 57

Transliteration: Olaika allatheena yadAAoona yabtaghoona ila rabbihimu alwaseelata

was revealed" [Sharh Sahih Muslim, and Al-Nawawi].

Bukhari stated the same about the interpretation of this verse in his Sahih (see Fath al-Bari in Explaining Sahih Al-Bukhari). Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar Al-'Askalani elaborated that the jinn embraced Islam, but the people who were worshipping them continued to worship the jinn, however, the jinn did not accept that because they converted to Islam, and they (jinn) have become those who desire means of access to their Lord .. This is the adopted interpretation of this verse ".

From the previous it is clear that the means of invoking Allah is whatever that brings him nearer to Allah, and Allah says: {desire means} that is to say they seek His closeness by good deeds, as explained by Qatada in the interpretation of the first verse: "this means draw nearer to Him by obeying Him and by doing whatever leads to His satisfaction".

The second verse points to the strange phenomenon which contradicts sound thinking and is inconsistent with the laws of Islam: some people direct certain types of worship (such as invocation and sacrifice, etc.) to the slaves of Allah; they fear and beseech them, though those slaves of Allah have declared their Islam and acknowledged Allah's Sovereignty.

Regrettably, this strange phenomenon; which is directing types of worship to other than Allah, is common in most Muslim countries, although Muslims read in their prayers seventeen times every day, the words of Allah in Surat Al-Fatiha “(You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).” [Al-Fatihah 1:5]

{إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ}

الفاتحة: 5

Transliteration: Iyyaka naAAbudu waiyyaka nastaAAeenu
Al-Hafiz ibn Katheer, may Allah bless his soul, stated in his Tafsir of the Holy Qur'an, that we do not worship any but You and we do not trust any but You, and this is perfect worship; and religion, as a whole, is all about these two meanings.

It is not permissible to direct any type of worship to other than Allah, even on the pretext of getting closer to Him, as some may say. Allah said about the idolaters that they said: “We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah.” [Az-Zumar 39:3]


{مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَى}
الزمر: 3

Transliteration: ma naAAbuduhum illa liyuqarriboona ila Allahi zulfa

However, some people claim that invocation and giving sacrifices to people are not types of worship. Worship for them is restricted to prostrating and bowing in the daily prayers, it is the direct physical acts of worship; to those we say that all action that draws you closer to Allah and which is permitted by Him and His Messenger is worship. Say, "Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. (162) No partner has He. And this I have been commanded and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims.” [Al-An'am 6:162-163]


{قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين ( 162) لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ}
الأنعام: 162-163

Transliteration: Qul inna salatee wanusukee wamahyaya wamamatee lillahi rabbi alAAalameena (162) La shareeka lahu wabithalika omirtu waana awwalu almuslimeena

So invoking dead people in shrines and tombs and praying for them is by far the most specific type of worship, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: " Supplication is worship" [Al-Albani said it is Sahih].


‹‹الدعاء هو العبادة»
صححه الألباني

Worship includes all that Allah loves and is pleased with, whether words, actions both outward and inward.

Those who are accustomed to praying to other than Allah, whether a prophet, a Jinn, a righteous or other, must be careful. This is directing worship to other than Allah; it is polytheism, the largest and most way out of the pale of Islam. Circumambulating graves and the subsequent touching and kissing of them and their threshold, dusting the faces in their soil, prostrating on their doorsteps, all this is a kind of polytheism. Allah said: “And who is more astray than he who invokes besides Allah those who will not respond to him until the Day of Resurrection, and they, of their invocation, are unaware.” [Al-Ahqaf 46:5]


{وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَن لَّا يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ إِلَى يَومِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَهُمْ عَن دُعَائِهِمْ غَافِلُونَ}
الأحقاف: 5

Transliteration: Waman adallu mimman yadAAoo min dooni Allahi man la yastajeebu lahu ila yawmi alqiyamati wahum AAan duAAaihim ghafiloona

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Whoever dies praying to other than Allah will enter hellfire." [Narrated by Bukhari]


‹‹من مات وهو يدعو من دون الله نداً دخل النار»
رواه البخاري

Allah the Almighty has taught us in His Holy Book and in the Sunnah of His Prophet, peace be upon him, how to get closer to Him by doing the good deeds that He loves and approves of. And Allah has not left this to be identified by our minds or our tastes; because the minds and tastes differ and vary to the point that each person or group would have a religion or cult, but Allah commanded us to return to him on this, and to follow His guidance and teachings, He said: And, [moreover], this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.” [Al-An'am 6:153]

{وَأَنَّ هَـذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيماً فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ}
الأنعام: 153

Transliteration: Waanna hatha siratee mustaqeeman faittabiAAoohu wala tattabiAAoo alssubula fatafarraqa bikum AAan sabeelihi thalikum wassakum bihi laAAallakum tattaqoona

For this we must know the means which draw us closer to Allah, by referring to His laws and to His Messenger's Sunnah in every issue. This is the commandment of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, when he said: "I left among you two things, you will never go astray after them: the Book of Allah, and my Sunnah (teachings)" [Al-Albani said it is Sahih].


‹‹تركت فيكم شيئين ، لن تضلوا بعدهما: كتاب الله ، و سنتي››
صححه الألباني

Stipulations for the acceptance of the righteous deeds

Allah said: “Say, "I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone."” [Al-Kahf 18:110]


{قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاء رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَالِحاً وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَداً}
الكهف: 110

Transliteration: Qul innama ana basharun mithlukum yooha ilayya annama ilahukum ilahun wahidun faman kana yarjoo liqaa rabbihi falyaAAmal AAamalan salihan wala yushrik biAAibadati rabbihi ahadan

So, how the deed would be righteous, and what are the stipulations that this deed is to be accepted by Allah?

First: the deed is done by a monotheist Muslim, Allah said about polytheists: “And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.” [Al-Furqan 25:23]


{وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاء مَّنثُوراً}
الفرقان: 23

Transliteration: Waqadimna ila ma AAamiloo min AAamalin fajaAAalnahu habaan manthooran

And: “But if they had associated others with Allah, then worthless for them would be whatever they were doing.” [Al-An'am 6:88]


{وَلَوْ أَشْرَكُواْ لَحَبِطَ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ}
الأنعام: 88

Transliteration: walaw ashrakoo lahabita AAanhum ma kanoo yaAAmaloona

and He said: “And it was already revealed to you and to those before you that if you should associate [anything] with Allah, your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers."” [Az-Zumar 39:65]


{وَلَقَدْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ لَئِنْ أَشْرَكْتَ لَيَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ}
الزمر: 65

Transliteration: Walaqad oohiya ilayka waila allatheena min qablika lain ashrakta layahbatanna AAamaluka walatakoonanna mina alkhasireena

There are a lot of examples in the Qur'an and in the Sunnah: whatever a polytheist does, whether good deeds, in accordance with the Sunnah or meant for Allah's sake, his deeds will not be accepted; they are in vain.

Second: it must be purely for Allah's sake. Abu-Hurairah, my Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Allah the Almighty said: I am the One, One Who does not stand in need of a partner. If anyone does anything in which he associates anyone else with Me, I shall abandon him with the one whom he associates Me with." [Narrated by Muslim]


‹‹ قال الله تبارك وتعالى: أنا أغنى الشركاء عن الشرك . من عمل عملا أشرك فيه معي غيري ، تركته وشركه››
رواه مسلم

So whoever do good deeds showing them off so that people would say that he is righteous, generous or brave... his deeds will be in vain, because Allah does not accept but what is meant purely for His sake. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Allah does not accept deeds except those that are purely done for His sake", [Al-Albani said it is Hassan]

‹‹إن الله لا يقبل من العمل إلا ما كان خالصا ، وابتغي به وجهه››
حسنه الألباني

Third: the deeds should be in accordance to Allah's Book and to the Sunnah of His Prophet, peace be upon him. Al-Hafiz ibn Katheer, may Allah bless his soul, explained in his Tafsir that "So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord,"


{فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاء رَبِّهِ...}

Transliteration: faman kana yarjoo liqaa rabbihi

means His reward for the good deeds, “let him work righteousness”


{فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَالِحاً...}

Transliteration: falyaAAmal AAamalan salihan

what is in accordance to Allah's laws, “and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord." [Al-Kahf 18:110]


{وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَداً}
الكهف: 110

Transliteration: wala yushrik biAAibadati rabbihi ahadan

this means purely for His sake, not associating any other deity with Him: these are the two pillars of accepted deeds; it must be for His sake and following the teaching of His Messenger, peace be upon him.

Legitimate means of invocation

Allah has showed us some of the legitimate means of invocation, rather than associating other people with Him to draw nearer to Him.

1. Invoking Allah by using one of His beautiful names, or by one of His sublime attributes:

Allah Almighty said: “And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them.” [Al-A'raf 7:180]

{وَلِلّهِ الأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا}

الأعراف: 180

Transliteration: Walillahi alasmao alhusna faodAAoohu biha

This means that you glorify and praise Allah; and acknowledge His beautiful names and sublime attributes, all this before invoking Him and asking for what you desire; so that the praise, the glorification and the sanctification of Allah be the means by which you draw nearer to Him to accept your invocation and respond to your wishes, God willing.

Ibn Majah and An-Nassa'i narrated that Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "I was sitting with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, a man was standing in prayer, after he bowed, prostrated and said the tashahhud, he invoked Allah saying:" O Allah, I ask You, You have all the praise. There is no god but You, the Giver of all good, the Creator of heavens and earth, O Lord of Majesty and Honor, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists, I ask you... ".. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said to his companions: "do you know what he called by?" they said: "Allah and His Messenger know best." He said: "by Allah who owns my soul, the man has called Allah by His greatest name, by which He answers if asked, He gives if beseeched". [Narrated by An-Nassa'i and Al-Albani said it is Sahih]

‹‹كنت مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم جالسا يعني ورجل قائم يصلي ، فلما ركع وسجد وتشهد دعا ، فقال في دعائه: اللهم إني أسألك بأن لك الحمد ، لا إله إلا أنت ، المنان بديع السماوات والأرض ، يا ذا الجلال والإكرام! يا حي يا قيوم ! إني أسألك ، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لأصحابه : تدرون بما دعا ؟ قالوا : الله ورسوله أعلم . قال : والذي نفسي بيده ، لقد دعا الله باسمه العظيم الذي إذا دعي به أجاب ، وإذا سئل به أعطى ››
رواه النسائى وصححه الألباني

An-Nassa'i narrated that Mihjan ibn Al-Adra', may Allah be pleased with him, said: "The Apostle of Allah, peace be upon him, entered the mosque and saw a man who had finished his prayer, and was reciting the tashahhud saying: O Allah, I ask you, O Allah, the One, the eternally besought of all, He begets not, nor was He begotten, And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him, that you may forgive me my sins, you are Most Forgiving, Merciful." the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "He was forgiven (repeating three times.)" [Declared authentic by Al-Albani]

‹‹أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم دخل المسجد ، إذا رجل قد قضى صلاته وهو يتشهد ، فقال: اللهم إني أسألك يا الله! بأنك الواحد الأحد الصمد ، الذي لم يلد ولم يولد ، ولم يكن له كفوا أحد أن تغفر لي ذنوبي ، إنك أنت الغفور الرحيم ، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : قد غفر الله له ثلاثا››
رواه النسائى وصححه الألباني

2. Invoking Allah by means of a good deed performed by the invoker:

This means invoking Allah by doing righteous deeds and mentioning them while invoking Allah. For example Allah said: “Our Lord, indeed we have heard a caller calling to faith, [saying], 'Believe in your Lord,' and we have believed. Our Lord, so forgive us our sins and remove from us our misdeeds and cause us to die with the righteous.” [Al-'Imran 3:193]


{رَّبَّنَا إِنَّنَا سَمِعْنَا مُنَادِياً يُنَادِي لِلإِيمَانِ أَنْ آمِنُواْ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَآمَنَّا رَبَّنَا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَكَفِّرْ عَنَّا سَيِّئَاتِنَا وَتَوَفَّنَا مَعَ الأبْرَارِ}
آل عمران: 193

Transliteration: Rabbana innana samiAAna munadiyan yunadee lileemani an aminoo birabbikum faamanna rabbana faighfir lana thunoobana wakaffir AAanna sayyiatina watawaffana maAAa alabrari

and: “Indeed, there was a party of My servants who said, 'Our Lord, we have believed, so forgive us and have mercy upon us, and You are the best of the merciful.'” [Al-Mu'minun 23:109]


{إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَرِيقٌ مِّنْ عِبَادِي يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ}
المؤمنون: 109

Transliteration: Innahu kana fareequn min AAibadee yaqooloona rabbana amanna faighfir lana wairhamna waanta khayru alrrahimeena

And the examples from the sunnah is what is narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawood: That the prophet -peace and blessings be upon him- heard a man saying: "Oh Allah, I ask you that I bear witness that You are Allah, there is no god but you, The One, the Eternal Refuge, He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent", So Allah's apostle said: "You asked Allah by the name that if He is asked with, he give. and if He is invoked by, He answers."


‹‹أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سمع رجلاً يقول: "اللهم إني أسألك أني أشهد أنك الله لا إله إلا أنت، الأحد، الصمد، الذي لم يلد ولم يولد، ولم يكن له كفواً أحد"، فقال: لقد سألت الله بالاسم الذي إذا سئل به أعطى، وإن دعي به أجاب››
رواه أحمد وابو داود

Examples from the Sunnah are abundant, like the story of the three men who were locked inside a cave, one of them said to the others: Look to your good deeds that you performed for the sake of Allah and then supplicate Allah, the Exalted, that He might rescue you; and that they did. And Allah rescued them from this trouble. It is a long Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim in his Sahih.

It is clear from these teachings of the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it is legitimate to invoke Allah by the good deeds, which the invoker has done for Allah's sake in times of prosperity, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Know Allah in prosperity, He will know you in intensity" [Narrated by Ahmad]


‹‹ تعرف إلى الله في الرخاء يعرفك في الشدة››
رواه أحمد

3. Invoking Allah by means of the prayer of a living righteous man:

It is like when a calamity strikes Muslims or that they fall into deep distress, they turn to someone righteous and pious and who has knowledge, they ask him to pray for them and that he asks Allah to relieve them from whatever distressing them. This is a legitimate means of invocation to which there is evidence in the Sunnah. Imam Bukhari narrated that Anas ibn Malik narrated: "Once in the lifetime of the Prophet, peace be upon him, the people were afflicted with drought (famine). While the Prophet was delivering the Khutba on a Friday, a Bedouin stood up and said, "O, Allah's Apostle! Our possessions are destroyed and the children are hungry; please invoke Allah (for rain)". So the Prophet raised his hands. At that time there was not a trace of cloud in the sky. By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, as soon as he lowered his hands, clouds gathered like mountains, and before he got down from the pulpit, I saw the rain falling on his beard. It rained that day, the next day, the third day, till the following Friday. The same Bedouin or another man stood up and said, "O Allah's Apostle! The houses have collapsed, our possessions and livestock have been drowned; Please invoke Allah (to protect us)". So the Prophet raised both his hands and said, "O Allah! Round and about us and not on us". So, in whatever direction he pointed with his hands, the clouds dispersed and cleared away, and Medina's sky became clear as a hole in between the clouds. The valley of Qanat remained flooded for one month, none came from outside but talked about the abundant rain." [Fath al-Bari].

This happened in the lifetime of the Prophet, peace be upon him. After his death people turned to those whom they may deem righteous and nearer to Allah, for example, Anas narrated that: Whenever drought threatened them, 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab, used to ask Al-Abbas ibn 'Abdul Muttalib to invoke Allah for rain. He used to say, "O Allah! We used to ask our Prophet to invoke You for rain, and You would bless us with rain, and now we ask his uncle to invoke You for rain. O Allah! Bless us with rain." And so it would rain." [Fath al-Bari].

The reason they asked Al-Abbas to invoke Allah instead of invoking Allah by His Messenger is that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was invoking Allah by himself when he was alive, after his death this became impossible; this is why Umar ibn Al-Khattab took Al-Abbas as a means to invoke Allah, that is to say Umar asked Al-Abbas to invoke Allah by himself, by praying to Allah and asking for rain (Al-Abbas, by himself, performs the invoking). It was never established that any of the worthy ancestors invoked Allah by His Messenger after his death; they asked the righteous living to invoke Allah asking him for rain.

Ibn 'Asaker narrated in his chronicles that the worthy follower Salim Al-Khaba'ri said: "there has been a drought, Mu'awia ibn Abi Sufian and the people in Damascus went out to invoke Allah for rain. When he sat on the pulpit he said: where is Yazid ibn Al-Aswad Al-Jerashi? People called for him, he came over crossing people. Mu'awia ordered him to come to the pulpit; where he sat. Mu'awia said: 'O Allah we invoke you with our best men, we ask you today as having Yazid ibn Al-Aswad Al-Jerashi among us. O Yazid raise your hands to Allah and invoke Him for rain.' Yazid raised his hands, so did all the people present. As soon as they did so, the sky was filled with clouds, wind blew, rain flooded to the degree that people would not reach their homes"

Mu'awia asked this pious man to invoke Allah, he did not invoke Allah by the Prophet, peace be upon him, as this was impossible after the Prophet's death. This is how the companions and followers comprehended this matter. What was narrated that some of the companions and followers invoked Allah by His Messenger after his death is refuted, it is not right to attribute it to them, may Allah bless them all.

Those who comprehend the words of Umar ibn Al-Khattab may, Allah be pleased with him: "and now we ask his uncle to invoke You for rain ", that Umar meant invoking Allah by Al-Abbas himself, are mistaken; because they were asking Al-Abbas to invoke Allah for rain. Mu'awia, may Allah be pleased with him, did the same when he said: "O Yazid raise your hands to Allah and invoke Him for rain," and Yazid raised his hands. They ask these pious people, in flesh and blood, to invoke Allah, they ask for their prayers. Otherwise, they would invoke Allah by His Prophet, peace be upon him, rather than by one of his kin or by one of the righteous. It is only men of understanding who will comprehend.

Texts must be understood in the light of the understanding of the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and of those great Imams who followed their path, it is our duty to follow their path of guidance. Allah said: “And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination!” [An-Nisa' 4:115]


{وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَاءتْ مَصِيراً}
النساء: 115

Transliteration: Waman yushaqiqi alrrasoola min baAAdi ma tabayyana lahu alhuda wayattabiAA ghayra sabeeli almumineena nuwallihi ma tawalla wanuslihi jahannama wasaat maseeran

It is strange that those who take the graves and shrines of prophets and righteous people as means of invoking Allah have no Qur'anic verse or Hadith from the Sunnah to support their allegations. The words they use in invocation have no foundation either in the Holy Qur'an or in the Hadith Sahih (the exact sayings of Muhammad, peace be upon him). Allah Almighty has given us the previous three means of invocation, they have their origin in the Qur'an and Sunnah, the worthy companions followed them; so then why would we leave them and turn to innovative novel means that are not legitimated by Allah? they were not performed by our ideal model; Muhammad, peace be upon him. The least to tell those people is the words of Allah: “Would you exchange that which is better for that which is lower?” [Al-Baqarah 2:61]


{أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ الَّذِي هُوَ أَدْنَى بِالَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ}
البقرة: 61

Transliteration: atastabdiloona allathee huwa adna biallathee huwa khayrun

It is to be mentioned that the above three legitimate ways of invocation fulfill all the needs of people's demands in this life and in the Hereafter...

Allah's blessings be on His slave and Messenger Muhammad and his family and companions, and the last of our talks is praise be to Allah.

Translated by website


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