Tawassul “supplicating Allah by means of an intermediary, whether it be a living person, dead person, a good deed, or a name or Attribute of Allah Most High” has sadly become a source of great controversy.
Regarding what those who forbid tawassul to Allah through the Prophets and the saints cite to support their position, such as Allah’s sayings:
· “We only worship them in order that they may bring us nearer” (39:3)
· “Do not call on any other god with Allah, or you will be among those who will be punished” (26:213)
· “Say: Call on those besides Him whom ye fancy; they have no power to remove your trouble from you or to change them. Those unto whom they cry seek for themselves the means of approach to their Lord, which of them shall be the nearest; they hope for His mercy and fear His wrath: for the wrath of thy Lord is something to take heed of” (17:57)
These verses are irrelevant.
Rather: they support exactly the reverse of what the objectors to tawassul claim, since the verses are related to another issue.
To wit: the verse “We only worship them in order that they may bring us nearer” explicitly states that they worship them for that purpose, whereas the one who makes tawassul through a scholar, for example, never worships him, but knows that he has a special distinction (maziyya) before Allah for being a carrier of knowledge; and that is why he uses him as a means.
Similarly irrelevant to the issue is Allah’s saying: “Do not call on any other god with Allah.” This verse forbids that one should call upon another together with Allah, as if saying: “O Allah and O So-and-so.” However, the one who makes tawassul through a scholar, for example, never calls upon other than Allah. He only seeks a means to Him through the excellent works that one of His servants achieved, just as the three men in the cave who were blocked by the rock used their good works as a means to have their petition answered.
Similarly irrelevant to the issue is Allah’s saying: “Those unto whom they cry…” for it refers to people who call upon those who cannot fulfill their request, at the same time not calling upon Allah Who can; whereas one who makes tawassul through a scholar, for example, never called except upon Allah, and none other besides Him.
The above shows the reader that these objectors to tawassul are bringing forth evidence that is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Even more irrelevant is their citing of the verse:
· “The Day when no soul shall have power to do anything for another: for the Command, that Day, will be all with Allah.” (82:19)
for that noble verse contains nothing more than the fact that Allah alone decides everything on the Day of Judgment, and that none other will have any say at that time. However, the maker of tawassul through one of the Prophets or one of the scholars, never believes that the one through whom he makes tawassul is in partnership with Allah on the Day of Judgment! Whoever believes such a thing in relation to a Prophet or non-Prophet is in manifest error.
Equally irrelevant is their objection to tawassul by citing the verses:
· “Not for you is the decision in the least” (3:128)
· “Say: I have no power over over good or harm to myself except as Allah wills” (7:188)
for these two verses are explicit in that the Prophet has no say in Allah’s decision and that he has no power to benefit or harm himself in the least, let alone someone else: but there is nothing in those two verses to prevent tawassul through him or any other of the Prophets or Friends of Allah or scholars.
Allah has given His Prophet the Exalted Station (al-maqam al-mahmud) — the station of the Great Intercession (al-shafa`a al-`uzma), and He has instructed creation to ask for that station for him and to request his intercession, and He said to him: “Ask and you shall be granted what you asked! Intercede and you shall be granted what you interceded for!” And in His Book He has made this dependence on the fact that there is no intercession except by His leave, and that none shall possess it except those whom He pleases…
Equally irrelevant is their adducing as proof against tawassul:
· “And admonish your nearest kinsmen” (26:214)
whereupon the Prophet said: “O So-and-so son of So-and-so, I do not have any guarantee on your behalf from Allah; and O So-and-so daughter of So-and-so, I do not have any guarantee on your behalf from Allah.”
For in the preceding there is nothing other than the plain declaration that he cannot benefit anyone for whom Allah has decreed harm, nor harm anyone for whom Allah has decreed benefit, and that he does not have any guarantee from Allah from any of his close relatives, let alone others. This is known to every Muslim. There is nothing in it, however, that prohibits making tawassul to Allah through the Prophet, for tawassul is a request from the One Who holds power to grant and deny all requests. The petitioner who makes tawassul only desires to place, at the front of his petition, what may be a cause for the granting of his petition by the One Who alone gives and withholds, the Owner of the Day of Judgment.
Salat ud-Durri wal-Haaja
[The Prayer of Need]
Hadith number 253:
Yutawad-daa wa yusalli rakatayn thumma yad’oo/Make wudu, and pray two rakah (cycles) of prayer and then make the following supplication: Allahumma inni as’aluka, wa atawajjahu ilyaka bi-Nabiyyika Muhammad (saw) Nabiyyi-Rahma, Yaa Muhammad innee atawajjahu bika ilaa rabbiy fee haaajatee hathihi lituqdaa lee, Allahummah fashaf-fi-hu fee/O Allah! Verily I ask you, and turn to you through your Prophet Muhammad (saw) the Prophet of Mercy, O Muhammad verily I turn towards my Lord through you to my Lord in this need of mine, to fulfill it, O Allah intercede/cure this!
This hadith has been extracted by Tirmidhi, al-Hakim in his Mustadrak and Nisa’I, and it is from the hadith of Uthman bin Hanif may Allah be pleased with him. He said a blind man came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and said: O Messenger of Allah Pray for me! He (saw) said: If you wish I will pray for you, but if you wish, you have been patient and this is better for you. He preferred to be supplicated for. The Messenger (saw) instructed him to make Wudu, and to make a perfect Wudu – Nisai’s narration adds in some of the reports (turuq) to make Wudu and pray two Rakah and then the supplication (as above). It was also extracted by Ibn Majah , and al-Hakim in his mustadrak who stated that it is sahih (authentic) according to the criterion of the two shaykhs (Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari) and his narration had the addition: so he supplicated with this Dua and he arose and was able to see. Tirmidhi said the Hadith is Hasan Sahih (good and authentic) gharib (singular in chain) and we know this narration through this channel only from the Hadith of Abu Jafar and that is not al-Khatmi, these and other Imams have authenticated this narration, Nisa’I is alone in mentioneing the prayer, but Tabarani agreed with him and in mentions the same in some of his reports (turuq) it reports.
In the narration there is dalil (evidence) of the permissibility of Tawassul (taking a means) through the Messenger of Allah (saw) to Allah azza wa-jal with the firm belief (I’tiqad) that the only active agent (Faa’il) is Allah subhanahu wa’ta’aala, for verily He alone is the giver and the preventer, what He wishes, is, and what He does not wish never can be.
HADITH NUMBER 1 :
THE HADITH OF THE BLIND MAN
Tirmidhi relates, through his chain of narrators from ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf, that a blind man came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said,
“I’ve been afflicted in my eyesight, so please pray to Allah for me.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Go make ablution (wudu), perform two rak’as of prayer, and then say:
“Oh Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad (Ya Muhammad), I seek your intercession with my Lord for the return of my eyesight [and in another version: “for my need, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah, grant him intercession for me”].”
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) added, “And if there is some need, do the same.”
“The hadith explicitly proves the validity of supplicating Allah (tawassul) through a living intermediary, as the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was alive at the time. The author of the article holds that the hadith implicitly shows the validity of supplicating Allah (tawassul) through a deceased intermediary as well, since:
The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) told the blind man to go perform ablution (wudu) pray two rak’as, and then make the supplication containing the words, “O Muhammad, I seek your intercession with my Lord for the return of my eyesight,” which is a call upon somebody physically absent, a state of which the living and the dead are alike.
Supplicating Allah (tawassul) through a living or deceased intermediary is, in the author’s words, “not tawassul through a physical body, or through a life or death, but rather through the positive meaning attached to the person in both life and death, for the body is but the vehicle that carries that significance.
And perhaps the most telling reason, though the author does not mention it, is that everything the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) ordered to be done during his lifetime was “legislation” valid for all generations until the end of time unless proven otherwise by a subsequent indication from the Prophet himself (Allah bless him and grant him peace), the tawassul he taught during his lifetime not requiring anything else to be generalized to any time thereafter. “…..
This hadith was recorded was recorded by Bukhari in his “al-Tarikh al-kabir”, by Ibn Majah in his “Sunan”, where he said it was rigorously authenticated (SAHIH), by Nasa’i in “Amal al-yawm wa al-layla”, by Abu Nu’aym in “Ma’rifa al-Sahaba”, by Baihaqi in “Dala’il al-nubuwwa”, by Mundhiri in “al-Targhib wa al-tahrib”, by Haythami in “Majma’ al zawa’id wa manba’ al-fawa’id”, by Tabarani in “al-Mu’jam al-kabir”, by Ibn Khuzayma in his “Sahih”, and by others. Nearly 15 hadith masters (“huffaz”, hadith authorities with more than 100,000 hadiths and their chains of transmission by memory) have explicitly stated that this hadith is rigorously authenticated (sahih).
As mentioned above, it has come with a chain of transmission meeting the standards of Bukhari and Muslim, so there is nothing left for a critic to attack or slanderer to disparage concerning the authenticity of the hadith. Consequently, as for the permissibility of supplicating Allah (tawassul) through either a living or dead person, it follows by human reason, scholarship, and sentiment, that there is flexibility in the matter. Whoever wants to can either take tawassul or leave it, without causing trouble or making accusations, since it has been this thoroughly checked (“Adilla Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama’a , 79-83).
HADITH NUMBER 2:
THE HADITH OF THE MAN IN NEED
Moreover, Tabarani, in his “al-Mu’jam al saghir”, reports a hadith from ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf that a man repeatedly visited Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be pleased with him) concerning something he needed, but Uthman paid no attention to him or his need.
The man met Ibn Hunayf and complained to him about the matter – this being after the death (wisal) of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and after the caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar – so Uthman ibn Hunayf, who was one of the Companions who collected hadiths and was learned in the religion of Allah, said:
“Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution (wudu), then come to the mosque, perform two rak’as of prayer therein, and say:
‘O Allah, I ask You and turn to You through our Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad (Ya Muhammad), I turn through you to my Lord, that He may fulfill my need,’
and mention your need. Then come so that I can go with you [to the caliph Uthman].”
So the man left and did as he had been told, then went to the door of Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be pleased with him), and the doorman came, took him by the hand, brought him to Uthman ibn Affan, and seated him next to him on a cushion.
‘Uthman asked, “What do you need?” and the man mentioned what he wanted, and Uthman accomplished it for him, then he said, “I hadn’t remembered your need until just now,” adding, “Whenever you need something, just mention it.”
Then, the man departed, met Uthman ibn Hunayf, and said to him, “May Allah reward you! He didn’t see to my need or pay any attention to me until you spoke with him.”
Uthman ibn Hunayf replied, “By Allah, I didn’t speak to him, but I have seen a blind man come to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and complain to him of the loss of his eyesight. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Can you not bear it?’ and the man replied, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not have anyone to lead me around, and it is a great hardship for me.’ The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) told him, ‘Go to the place of ablution and perform ablution (wudu), then pray two rak’as of prayer and make the supplications.'”
Ibn Hunayf went on, “By Allah, we didn’t part company or speak long before the man returned to us as if nothing had ever been wrong with him.””
“This is an explicit, unequivocal text from a prophetic Companion proving the legal validity of tawassul through the dead. The account has been classified as rigously authenticated (SAHIH) by Baihaqi, Mundhiri, and Haythami.”
The hadith is rigorously authenticated (sahih), as Tabarani explicitly states in his “al-Mu’jam al-saghir.” The translator (Nuh Ha Mim Keller), wishing to verify the matter further, to the hadith with its chain of narrators to hadith specialist Sheikh Shu’ayb Arna’ut, who after examining it, agreed that it was rigorously authenticated (sahih) as Tabarani indicated, a judgement which was also confirmed to the translator by the Morrocan hadith specialist Sheikh ‘Abdullah Muhammad Ghimari, who characterized the hadith as “very rigorously authenticated,” and noted that hadith masters Haythami and Mundhiri had explicitly concurred with Tabarani on its being rigorously authenticated (s
The upshot is that the recommendedness of tawassul to Allah Most High – through the living or the dead – is the position of the Shafi’i school, which is why both our author Ibn Naqib Al-Misri, and Imam Nawawi in his “Al-Adhkar (281-282)”, and “al-Majmu” explicitly record that “tawassul” through the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and asking his intercession are recommended.”
HADITH NUMBER 3:
NARRATION OF MALIK AL-DAR
Imam al-Bayhaqi relates with a sound (sahih) chain:
It is related from Malik al-Dar, `Umar’s treasurer, that the people suffered a drought during the successorship of `Umar, whereupon a man came to the grave of the Prophet and said:
“O Messenger of Allah, ask for rain for your Community, for verily they have but perished,” after which the Prophet appeared to him in a dream and told him: “Go to `Umar and give him my greeting, then tell him that they will be watered. Tell him: You must be clever, you must be clever!”
The man went and told `Umar. The latter said: “O my Lord, I spare no effort except in what escapes my power!””
Ibn Kathir cites it thus from Bayhaqi in al-Bidaya wa al-nihaya and says: isnaduhu sahih; Ibn Abi Shayba cites it in his Musannaf with a sound (sahih) chain as confirmed by Ibn Hajar who says: rawa Ibn Abi Shayba bi isnadin sahih and cites the hadith in Fath al-bari. He identifies Malik al-Dar as `Umar’s treasurer (khazin `umar) and says that the man who visited and saw the Prophet in his dream is identified as the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harith, and he counts this hadith among the reasons for Bukhari’s naming of the chapter “The people’s request to their leader for rain if they suffer drought.” He also mentions it in al-Isaba, where he says that Ibn Abi Khaythama cited it.”
HADITH NUMBER 4:
“ALLAH’S GENEROSITY TO HIS PROPHET AFTER HIS DEATH”
Imam Dārimī relates from Abū al-Jawzā’ Aws bin ‘Abdullāh:
The people of Medina were in the grip of a severe famine. They complained to ‘Ā’ishah (about their terrible condition). She told them to go towards the Prophet’s grave and open a window in the direction of the sky so that there is no curtain between the sky and the grave. The narrator says they did so. Then it started raining heavily; even the lush green grass sprang up (everywhere) and the camels had grown so fat (it seemed) they would burst out due to the over piling of blubber. So the year was named as the year of greenery and plenty.
Dārimī related it in his Sunan (1:43#93); Ibn-ul-Jawzī in al-Wafā’ bi-ahwāl-il-mustafā (2:801); Subkī in Shifā’-us-siqām fī ziyārat khayr-il-anām (p.128); Qastallānī in al-Mawāhib-ul-laduniyyah (4:276); and Zurqānī in his Commentary (11:150).
Shaykh Muhammad bin ‘Alawī al-Mālikī says: “This tradition has a good chain of transmission; rather, in my opinion, it is sound. The scholars have also acknowledged its soundness and have established its genuineness on the basis of almost equally credible evidence.
HADITH NUMBER 5:
AFTER THE DEATH OF FATIMA [DAUGHTER OF ASAD]
Anas Ibn Malik Ibn Al-Nadr (radiallahu anhu) reported that when Fatimah the daughter of Assad died, who took care of the Messenger of Allah during the years he spent at his Uncle’s home, and she was the mother of Ali bin Abi Talib, he entered her home and sat close to her head and said: May Allah have mercy on you O mother after my mother, and he praised her, and offered his garment to cover her body with it in the grave and ordered to dig a tomb for her. He also dug the tomb and took out the soil by his own hands and then laid down in it and then said: Allah who gives life and takes it and He lives and dies not. Forgive my mother Fatimah the daughter of Asad and grant her ease at her entryway through the right of Your Prophet and the Prophets before me for You are the most compassionate.
[Ref: Tabarani in Mu’jam Al-Kabir, Tabarani in Mu’jam Al-Ausat Vol 1 Hadith 189, Hilyatul Auliya]
This narration is classified as authentic according to the standards of Imaam ibn Hibbaan and Haakim. [Raf’ul Manaarah pg.147; Maqaalaatul Kawthari]. Haafiz Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami [RA] (states) that its chain of narrators is good [Refer to his footnotes on Al-Manaasik of Imaam Nawawi [RA] pg.500…]
Sh. GF Haddad responded to some of the objections raised by the “salafis” to this hadith in his article Abu Hanifa & Tawassul :
The first hadïth is narrated from Anas by al-Tabarànï in al-Kabïr (24:351) and al-Awsat. (1:152) and Abu Nu‘aym in his Hilya (1985 ed. 3:121) with a chain containing Rawh ibn Salàh concerning whom there is difference of opinion among the authorities.
He is unknown according to Ibn al-Jawzï in al-‘Ilal al-Mutanàhiya (1:260-270), Ibn ‘Adï in al-Kàmil (3:146 #667), and al-Dàraqutnï in al-Mu’talif wal-Mukhtalif (3:1377);
Ibn MàkUlà in al-Ikmàl (5:15) decla
red him weak while al-Hàkim asserted was trustworthy and highly dependable (thiqa ma’mun) –as mentioned by Ibn Hajar in Lisàn al-Mïzàn (2:465 #1876), Ibn Hibbàn included him in al-Thiqàt (8:244), and al-Fasawï considered him trustworthy (cf. Mamdoh, Raf‘ [p. 148]).
Al-Haythamï (9:257) said: “Al-Tabarànï narrated it in al-Kabïr and al-Awsat and its chain contains Rawh ibn Salàh whom Ibn Hibbàn and al-Hàkim declared trustworthy although there is some weakness in him, and the rest of its sub-narrators are the men of sound hadïth.”
I was unable to find Abu Hàtim’s declaration of Rawh as trustworthy reported by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Alawï in his Mafàhïm (10th ed. p. 145 n. 1). Nor does Shaykh Mahmod Mamdoh in his discussion of this hadïth in Raf‘ al-Minàra (p. 147-155) mention such a grading on the part of Abu Hàtim although he considers Rawh “truthful” (sadaq) and not “weak” (da‘ïf), according to the rules of hadïth science when no reason is given with regard to a narrator’s purported discreditation (jarhmubham ghayr mufassar).
Mamdoh (p. 149-150) noted that although Albànï in his Silsila Da‘ïfa (1:32-33) claims it is a case of explicated discreditation (jarh mufassar) yet he himself declares identically-formulated discreditation cases as unexplicated and therefore unacceptable in two different contexts! Ibn ‘Alawï adds that the hadïth is also narrated from Ibn ‘Abbàs by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr –without specifying where –and from Jàbir by Ibn Abï Shayba, but without the du‘à.
Imàm al-Kawtharï said of this hadïth in his Maqàlàt (p. 410): “It provides textual evidence whereby there is no difference between the living and the dead in the context of using a means (tawassul), and this is explicit tawassul through the Prophets, while the hadïth of the Prophet from Abu Sa‘ïd al-Khudrï ‘O Allàh, I ask You by the right of [the promise made to] those who ask You (bihaqqi al-sà’ilïna ‘alayk)’* constitutes tawassul through the generality of Muslims, both the living and the dead.”
HADITH NUMBER 6:
WHOEVER GOES OUT OF HIS HOME TO PRAY
On the authority of Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, who relates that the Messenger of Allah said:
“The one who leaves his house for prayer and then says:
O Allah, I ask you by the right of those who ask you and I beseech you by the right of those who walk this path unto you that my going forth bespeak not of levity, pride nor vainglory nor done for the sake of repute. I have gone forth in the warding off your anger and for the seeking of your pleasure. I ask you, therefore, to grant me refuge from Hellfire and to forgive me my sins, for no one forgives sins but yourself.
Allah will accept for his sake and seventy thousand angels will seek his forgiveness.”
Regarding this Hadith Sh. GF Haddad states:
A hasan hadïth of the Prophet according to Shaykh Mahmod Mamdoh who showed in his monograph Mubàhathat al-Sà’irïn bi Hadïth Allàhumma Innï As’aluka bi-Haqqi al-Sà’ilïn, narrated from Abu Sa‘ïd al-Khudrï by Ahmad in his Musnad with a fair chain according to Hamza al-Zayn (10:68 #11099) –a weak chain according to al-Arna’ut(17:247-248 #11156) who considers it, like Abu Hàtim in al-‘Ilal (2:184), more likely a mawquf saying of Abu Sa‘ïd himself; Ibn Màjah with a chain he declared weak, Ibn al-Sunni in ‘Amal al-Yawm wa al-Layla (p. 40 #83-84), al-Bayhaqï in al-Da‘awàt al-Kabïr (p. 47= 1:47 #65), Ibn Khuzayma in al-Tawhïd (p. 17-18) [and his Sahïh (2:458?) as indicated by al-Busïrï in his Zawà’id (1:98-99)], al-Tabarànï in al-Du‘a (p. 149=2:990), Ibn Ja‘d in his Musnad (p. 299), al-Baghawï in al-Ja‘diyyat (#2118-2119) and – mawquf – by Ibn Abï Shayba (6:25=10:211-212) and Ibn Abï Hàtim in ‘Ilal al-Hadïth (2:184). Al-‘Iràqï in Takhrïj Ahàdïth al- Ihyà’ (1:291) graded it hasan as a marfu‘ Prophetic hadïth, as did the hadïth Masters al-Dimyàtï in al-Muttajir al-Ràbihfï Thawàb al-‘Amal al-Sàlih (p. 471-472), Ibn Hajar in Amàlï al-Adhkàr (1:272) and al-Mundhirï’s shaykh the hadïth Master Abu al-Hasan al-Maqdisï in al-Targhïb (1994 ed. 2:367 #2422=1997 ed. 2:304-305) and as indicated by Ibn Qudàma in al-Mughnï (1985 Dàr al-Fikr ed. 1:271).
Shaykh Mamdoh in his monograph refuted the reasoning of Nàsir Albànï and Hammàd al-Ansàrï in declaring this hadïth weak.
HADITH NUMBER 7:
DEEDS PRESENTED TO THE PROPHET AFTER HIS DEATH
“My life is a great good for you, you will relate about me and it will be related to you, and my death is a great good for you, your actions will be exhibited to me, and if I see goodness I will praise Allah, and if I see evil I will ask forgiveness of Him for you.”
(Hayâtî khayrun lakum tuhaddithûna wa yuhaddathu lakum wa wafâtî khayrun lakum tu`radu a`malukum `alayya famâ ra’aytu min khayrin hamidtu Allâha wa mâ ra’aytu min sharrin istaghfartu Allâha lakum.)
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki RH mentioned regarding this hadith:
The hadith master al-`Iraqi said in the book of Jana’iz of his work Tarh al-Tathrib fi Sharh al-Taqrib: “Its chain is good” (isnâduhu jayyid).5 The hadith master al-Haythami said: “Al-Bazzar narrated it and its sub-narrators are the men of the Sahih.”6 The hadith master al-Suyuti declared it sound (sahîh) in al-Mu`jizat and al-Khasa’is. So did al-Qastallani the commentator of al-Bukhari. Al-Munawi also declared, in Fayd al-Qadir, that it is sahîh.7 So did al-Zurqani in his commentary on al-Qastallani’s al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya. So did Shihab al-Din al-Khafaji in his commentary on [al-Qadi `Iyad’s] al-Shifa’.8 So did al-Mulla `Ali al-Qari in his, adding: “Al-Harith ibn Usama narrated it in his Musnad with a sound chain.”9 Ibn Hajar also mentioned it in al-Matalib al-`Alya.10 This hadith also came to us through another, mursal way from [the Tabi`î] Bakr ibn `Abd Allah al-Muzani. The hadith master Isma`il al-Qadi narrated it in his monograph on the invocation of blessings on the Prophet , and Shaykh al-Albani said about it: “Mursal sahîh.”11 The hadith master Ibn `Abd al-Hadi declared it sound (sahîh) despite his excessive rigor and harshness in his book al-Sarim al-Munki. After all this evidence, does any meddler have anything left to say? The hadith is undoubtedly sound, and no-one questions its authenticity.
[NOTES to the above are as follows:
5. Al-`Iraqi, Tarh al-Tathrib (3:297).
6. Al-Haythami, Majma` al-Zawa’id (9:24 #91).
7. Al-Munawi in Fayd al-Qadir (3:401) only reported al-`Iraqi’s words
“Its narrators are the men of the Sahih except for `Abd al-Majid ibn Abi Rawwad who, despite being retained by Muslim as a narrator and being declared trustworthy (thiqa) by Ibn Ma`in and al-Nasa’i, was declared weak by some.” Al-Munawi then went on to criticize al-Suyuti’s unmitigated authentication of the narration in Manahil al-Safa although al-Suyuti is correct.
8. Al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa’ (1:102).
9. Al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ (1:102), referring to the mursal hadith of Bakr al-Muzani.
10Ibn Hajar, al-Matalib al-`Alya (4:22).
11In his edition of Isma`il al-Qadi’s Fadl al-Salat `ala al-Nabi – Allah bless and greet him – (p. 37), after which he goes on to say that the hadith is weak, as in his Silsila Da`ifa (#979). ]
Shaykh GF Haddad adds to the above in his footnote to the above Hadith:
Narrated from Ibn Mas`ud by al-Bazzar in his Musnad (1:397) with a sound chain as stated by al-Suyuti in Manahil al-Safa (p. 31 #8) and al-Khasa’is al-Kubra (2:281), al-Haythami (9:24 #91), and al-`Iraqi in Tarh al-Tathrib (3:297) – his last book, as opposed to al-Mughni`an Haml al-Asfar (4:148) where he questions the trustworthy rank of one of the narrators in al-Bazzar’s chain. Shaykh `Abd Allah al-Talidi said in his Tahdhib al-Khasa’is al-Kubra (p. 458-459 #694) that this chain is sound according to Muslim’s criterion, and Shaykh Mahmud Mamduh in Raf`al-Minara (p. 156-169) discusses it at length and declares it sound. Their shaykh, al-Sayyid `Abd Allah ibn al-Siddiq al-Ghumari (d. 1413/1993) declared it sound in his monograph Nihaya al-Amal fi Sharh wa Tashih Hadith `Ard al-A`mal.
Opposing these six judgments al-Albani declares it weak in his notes on al-Qadi Isma`il’s Fadl al-Salat (p. 37 n. 1).
It is also narrated with weak chains from Anas and – with two sound mursal chains missing the Companion-link – from the Successor Bakr ibn `Abd Allah al-Muzani by Isma`il al-Qadi (d. 282) in his Fadl al-Salat `ala al-Nabi (p. 36-39 #25-26). The latter chain was declared sound by al-Qari in Sharh al-Shifa’ (1:102), Shaykh al-Islam al-Taqi al-Subki in Shifa’ al-Siqam, his critic Ibn `Abd al-Hadi in al-Sarim al-Munki (p. 217), and al-Albani in his Silsila Da`ifa (2:405). A third, weak chain is related from Bakr al-Muzani by al-Harith ibn Abi Usama (d. 282) in his Musnad (2:884) as per Ibn Hajar in al-Matalib al-`Aliya (4:23).
Al-Albani declared the hadith weak on the grounds that some authorities questioned the memorization of the Murji’ hadith master `Abd al-Majid ibn `Abd al-`Aziz ibn Abi Rawwad.
However, he was retained by Muslim in his Sahih and declared thiqa by Yahya ibn Ma`in, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’i, Ibn Shahin, al-Khalili, and al-Daraqutni, while al-Dhahabi listed him in Man Tukullima Fihi Wa Huwa Muwaththaq (p. 124) as stated by Mamduh in Raf` al- Minara (p. 163, 167). Al-Arna’ut and Ma`ruf declare him thiqa in Tahrir al-Taqrib (2:379 #4160) as well as Dr. Nur al-Din `Itr in his edition of al-Dhahabi’s Mughni (1:571 #3793) and Dr. Khaldun al-Ahdab in Zawa’id Tarikh Baghdad (10:464).
Even if al-Albani’s grading were hypothetically accepted, then the weak musnad narration in conjunction with the sound mursal one – graded sahîh by al-Albani – would yield a final grading of hasan or sahîh, not da`îf.
In addition to this, Mamduh quoted al-Albani’s own words in the latter’s attempted refutation of Shaykh Isma`il al-Ansari entitled Kitab al-Shaybani (1:134-135) whereby “The sound mursal hadith is a proof in all Four Schools and other than them among the Imams of the principles of hadith and fiqh, therefore it is apparent to every fair-minded person that the position whereby such a hadith does not form a proof only because it is mursal, is untenable.”
This is one of many examples in which al-Albani not only contradicts, but soundly refutes himself.
HADITH NUMBER 8:
ADAM [alayhi salaam] SEEKS INTERCESSION WITH THE PROPHET [salallahu alayhi wa sallam]
The Prophet said on the authority of `Umar:
“When Adam committed his mistake he said: O my Lord, I am asking you to forgive me for the sake of Muhammad. Allah said: O Adam, and how do you know about Muhammad whom I have not yet created? Adam replied, O my Lord, after You created me with your hand and breathed into me of Your Spirit, I raised my head and saw written on the heights of the Throne:
LA ILAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUN RASULULLAH
I understood that You would not place next to Your Name but the Most Beloved One of Your creation. Allah said: O Adam, I have forgiven you, and were it not for Muhammad I would not have created you.”
t was transmitted through many chains and was cited by Bayhaqi (in Dala’il al-nubuwwa), Abu Nu`aym (in Dala’il al-nubuwwa), al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (2:615), al-Tabarani in his Saghir (2:82, 207) with another chain containing sub-narrators unknown to Haythami as he stated in Majma` al-zawa’id (8:253), and Ibn `Asakir on the authority of `Umar ibn al-Khattab, and most of these narrations were copied in Qastallani’s al-Mawahib al-laduniyya (and al-Zarqani’s Commentary 2:62).
1. This hadith is declared sound (sahih) by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (2:651), although he acknowledges Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam, one of its sub-narrators, as weak. However, when he mentions this hadith he says: “Its chain is sound, and it is the first hadith of Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam which I mention in this book”; al-Hakim also declares sound another version through Ibn `Abbas.
2. al-Bulqini declares this hadith sound in his Fatawa.
3. al-Subki confirms al-Hakim’s authentication (in Shifa’ al-siqam fi ziyarat khayr al-anam p. 134-135) although Ibn Taymiyya’s rejection and criticism of this hadith was known to him and he rejects it, as well as saying that Ibn Taymiyya’s extreme weakening of Ibn Zayd is exaggerated.
4. The hadith is also included by Qadi `Iyad among the “sound and famous narrations” in al-Shifa, and he says that Abu Muhammad al-Makki and Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi mention it; Qadi `Iyad says: “It is said that this hadith explains the verse: ‘And Adam received words from his Lord and He relented towards him’ (2:37)”; he continues to cite another very similar version through al-Ajurri (d. 360), about whom al-Qari said: “al-Halabi said: This seems to be the imam and guide Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Husayn ibn `Abd Allah al-Baghdadi, the compiler of the books al-Shari`a devoted to the Sunna, al-Arba`un, and others.'” This is confirmed by Ibn Taymiyya in his Qa`ida fi al-tawassul: “It is related by Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Ajurri, in his book al-Shari`a.”
5. Ibn al-Jawzi also considers it sound (sahih) as he cites it in the first chapter of al-Wafa bi ahwal al-mustafa, in the introduction of which he says: “(In this book) I do not mix the sound hadith with the false,” although he knew of `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd’s weakness as a narrator; he also mentions the version of Maysarat al-Fajr whereby the Prophet says: “When satan deceived Adam and Eve, they repented and sought intercession to Allah with my name”; Ibn al-Jawzi also says in the chapter concerning the Prophet’s superiority over the other Prophets in the same book: “Part of the exposition of his superiority to other Prophets is the fact that Adam asked his Lord through the sanctity (hurmat) of Muhammad that He relent towards him, as we have already mentioned.”
6. Suyuti cites it in his Qur’anic commentary al-Durr al-manthur (2:37) and in al-Khasa’is al-kubra (1:12) and in al-Riyad al-aniqa fi sharh asma’ khayr al-khaliqa (p. 49), where he says that Bayhaqi considers it sound; this is due to the fact that Bayhaqi said in the introduction to the Dala’il that he only included sound narrations in his book, although he also knew and explicitly mentions `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd
7. Ibn Kathir mentions it after Bayhaqi in al-Bidayat wa al-Nihaya (1:75, 1:180).
8. al-Haythami in Majma` al-zawa’id (8:253 #28870), al-Bayhaqi himself, and al-Qari in Sharh al- shifa’ show that its chains have weakness in them. However, the weakness of Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd was known by Ibn al-Jawzi, Subki, Bayhaqi, Hakim, and Abu Nu`aym, yet all these scholars retained this hadith for consideration in their books.
9. Three scholars reject it, such as Ibn Taymiyya (Qa`ida jalila fi al-tawassul p. 89, 168-170) and his two students Ibn `Abd al-Hadi (al-Sarim al-munki p. 61-63) and al-Dhahabi (Mizan al-i`tidal 2:504 and Talkhis al-mustadrak), while `Asqalani reports Ibn Hibban’s saying that `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd was a forger(Lisan al-mizan 3:360, 3:442).
10. At the same time, Ibn Taymiyya elsewhere quotes it and the version through Maysara [Faqir: see below] and says:
“These two are like the elucidation (tafsir) of the authentic ahadith (concerning the same topic)” (Fatawa 2:150). The contemporary Meccan hadith scholar Ibn `Alawi al-Maliki said: “This indicates that Ibn Taymiyya found the hadith sound enough to be considered a witness for other narrations (salih li al-istishhad wa al-i`tibar), because the forged (al-mawdu`) and the false (al-batil) are not taken as witness by the people of hadith”; al-Maliki also quotes (without reference) Dhahabi’s unrestrained endorsement of the ahadith in Bayhaqi’s Dala’il al-nubuwwa with his words: “You must take what is in it (the Dala’il), for it consists entirely of guidance and light.” (Mafahim yajib an tusahhah p. 47).
11. It is furthermore evident that Ibn Taymiyya considers the meaning of the creation of everything for the sake of the Prophet as true and correct, as he declares in his Majmu`at al-fatawa in the volume on tasawwuf (11:95-97):
Muhammad is the Chief of the Children of Adam, the Best of Creation, the noblest of them in the sight of Allah. This is why some have said that “Allah created the Universe due to him,” or that “Were it not for him, He would have neither created a Throne, nor a Footstool, nor a heaven, earth, sun or moon.” However, this is not a hadith on the authority of the Prophet… but it may be explained from a correct aspect…
Since the best of the righteous of the children of Adam is Muhammad, creating him was a desirable end of deep-seated purposeful wisdom, more than for anyone else, and hence the completion of creation and the fulfilment of perfection was attained with Muhammad, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace… The Chief of the Children of Adam is Muhammad, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace, Adam and his children being under his banner. He, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace, said: “Truly, I was written as the Seal of the Prophets with Allah, when Adam was going to-and-fro in his clay,” i.e. that my prophethood was decreed and manifested when Adam was created but before the breathing of the Spirit into him, just as Allah decrees the livelihood, lifespan, deeds and misery or happiness of the slave when He creates the embryo but before the breathing of the Spirit into it.
Since man is the seal and last of all creation, and its microcosm, and since the best of man is thus the best of all creation absolutely, then Muhammad, being the Pupil of the Eye, the Axis of the Mill, and the Distributor to the Collective, is as it were the Ultimate Purpose from amongst all the purposes of creation. Thus it cannot be denied to say that “Due to him all of this was created”, or that “Were it not for him, all this would not have been created,” so if statements like this are thus explained according to what the Book and the Sunna indicate, it is acceptable.
12. Its latter part is mentioned as a separate hadith in the wording: “Were it not for Muhammad, I would not have created the spheres (al-aflak).” al-`Ajluni said in Kashf al-khafa’ (#2123): “al-Saghani (d.650) said it is forged. I say: but its meaning is correct.” Similarly `Ali al-Qari said in al-Asrar al-marfu`a (#754-755): “al-Saghani (in al-Ahadith al-mawdu`a p. 7) said: “It is forged,” however, its meaning is sound (mi`nahu sahih), as Daylami has narrated on the authority of Ibn `Abbas that the Prophet said: “Gabriel came to me and said: O Muhammad! Were it not for you, Paradise would not have been created, and were it not for you, the Fire would not have been created.” And Ibn `Asakir’s narration has: And were it not for you, the world would not have been created.”
As for Albani’s rejection of Qari’s use of Daylami in support of the hadith with the words: “I do not hesitate to declare it weak on the basis that Daylami is alone in citing it” (Silsila da`ifa #282), it shows exaggeration and deviation from the practice of the scholars concerning Daylami and his book. Ibn Taymiyya said in Minhaj al-sunna (4:38): “The fact that Daylami alone narrates a hadith does not indicate that the hadith is sound.” Note that he never said: “The fact that Daylami alone narrates a hadith indicates that it is forged,” yet this is what Albani concludes! The reader may compare Albani’s method of apriori rejection in lieu of a discussion of the hadith itself, to Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani’s reliance on a hadith narrated by Daylami, as is shown by hadith #33 of his Arba`un fi rad` al-mujrim `an sabb al-muslim, although Daylami is alone in citing it. Further in Minhaj al-sunna (4:78) Ibn Taymiyya declared of him and his book: “al-Daylami in his book al-Firdaws mentioned many sound (sahih) hadiths, and also fair (hasan) narrations and forged ones…. He was one of the people of knowledge and religion and he was not a liar.”
13. Ibn al-Qayyim in his Bada’i` al-fawa’id went so far as to represent Allah saying to humankind that everything was created for the sake of human beings:
hal `arifat qimata nafsik? innama khalaqtu al-akwana kullaha laka… kullu al-ashiya’i shajaratun wa anta al-thamara
Have you realized your value? I only created all the universes for your sake… All things are trees whose fruit you are.
If Allah created all the universes for the sake of human beings, then how could all humanity be given what the Prophet is grudged, who is better than mankind and jinn put together?
HADITH NUMBER 9:
ADAM [alayhi salaam] SEEKS INTERCESSION WITH THE PROPHET’S [salallahu alayhi wa sallam] NAME
I asked: “O Messenger of Allah, when were you [first] a Prophet?” He replied: “When Allah created the earth ‘Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens’(2:29), and created the Throne, He wrote on the leg of the Throne: “Muhammad the Messenger of Allah is the Seal of Prophets” (Muhammadun Rasûlullâhi Khâtamu al-Anbiyâ’). Then Allah created the Garden in which He made Adam and Hawwa’ dwell, and He wrote my name on the gates, its tree-leaves, its domes and tents, at a time when Adam was still between the spirit and the body. When Allah Most High instilled life into him he looked at the Throne and saw my name, whereupon Allah informed him that ‘He [Muhammad SAWS] is the liege-lord of all your descendants.’ When Satan deceived them both, they repented and sought intercession to Allah with my name.”
In the chapter concerning the Prophet’s superiority over all other Prophets in his great book titled al-Wafa bi Ahwal al-Mustafa’, Ibn al-Jawzi states: “Part of the demonstration of his superiority to other Prophets is the fact that Adam (AS) asked his Lord through the sanctity (hurma) of Muhammad (SAWS) that He relent towards him.”
The most authentic chain for this report is not that of al-Hakim’s narration from `Umar through `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam who is weak (da`îf), but that of the Companion Maysarat al-Fajr who narrates it as [above]
Shaykh `Abd Allah al-Ghumari cited it in Murshid al-Ha’ir li Bayan Wad` Hadith Jabir and said, “its chain is good and strong” while in al-Radd al-Muhkam al-Matin (p. 138-139) he adds: “It is the strongest Companion-corroboration (shâhid) I saw for the hadith of `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd” as quoted also by Shaykh Mahmud Mamduh in Raf` al-Minara (p. 248).
HADITH NUMBER 10:
TAWASSUL OF ‘UMAR THROUGH AL-‘ABBAS [may Allah be pleased with them]
It is narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (954) from Anas ibn Maalik that if a drought came, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (radiyallahu ‘anhu) would ask al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib to pray for rain. He would say: “O Allah, we used to beseech You by means of (the du’a of) Your Prophet for rain and You would give us rain; now we beseech You by means of (the du’a of) the paternal uncle of Your Prophet, so grant us rain.”
How do the contemporary Hanafi scholars explain the hadeeth recorded in Sahih Al-Bukhari according to which Khalifah Umar (Allah be pleased with him) asked Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) to ask Allah for rain on behalf of the Muslim community and not the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) at his grave. The Khalifah said that they USED to ask the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to ask Allah and now they ask his uncle instead.
Before turning to the question and its questionable premises some preliminary remarks are in order.
First of all, `Umar asked al-`Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib, not his son `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas…
Second, the terminology of the Khalifa’s request, Allah be well-pleased with him, is as follows:
“O Allah! We would use our Prophet as a means to You and You then sent us rain; now we use our Prophet’s uncle as a means to You, therefore send us rain!”
Narrated from Anas by al-Bukhari in his Sahih.
“Whoever understands from this that `Umar only used al-`Abbas as his means and not the Messenger of Allah, upon him peace, because al-`Abbas is alive and the Messenger of Allah is dead – that person’s understanding is dead.” (Al-Maliki)
Al-Suyuti mentions the context of this event in his Tarikh al-Khulafa’ (Beirut, 1992 Ahmad Fares ed. p. 140):
“In the year 17 `Umar enlarged the Prophetic mosque. That year there was a drought in the Hijaz. It was named the Year of Cinders (`am al-ramada). `Umar prayed for rain for the people by means of al-`Abbas. Ibn Sa`d narrated from [the Sahabi] Niyar al-Aslami that when `Umar came came out to pray for rain, he came out wearing the cloaks (burd) of the Messenger of Allah, upon him blessings and peace. Ibn `Awn narrated that `Umar took al-`Abbas’s hand and raised it up, saying, ‘O Allah, we seek a means to You with the uncle of Your Prophet to ask that You drive away from us the drought and water us with rain’….”
Now, the event of the tawassul of Sayyiduna `Umar through al-`Abbas shows the following:
 Nowhere in the hadith is there any indication that there was no tawassul through the Prophet upon him peace, in the time of `Umar. Such a view is an inference or an extrapolation that is not based on explicit evidence.
 On the contrary, `Umar implicitly made tawassul through the Prophet upon him peace, at that very time, by wearing his blessed cloaks as he came out for the prayer for rain as mentioned in the report by Ibn Sa`d. In Sahih Muslim Asma’ says that she inherited the mantle of the Prophet from her sister `A’isha and that they used it to seek a cure for people.
 The use of the Prophet’s uncle illustrates that tawassul is essentially through the Prophet upon him peace, as the importance of al-`Abbas in this respect is only in his relationship to the Prophet as `Umar himself states with the words “the uncle of Your Prophet” in al-Bukhari’s version already mentioned; “the status of al-`Abbas in relation to your Prophet” in al-Lalika’i’s version; and as al-`Abbas states:
“O Allah, truly no tribulation descends except because of sins, nor is lifted except upon repentence. The people have turned to you by means of me BECAUSE OF MY POSITION IN RELATION TO YOUR PROPHET, and here are our hands [raised up] towards you – despite our sins – and our forelocks in repentence, so send down water for us and PRESERVE YOUR PROPHET IN THE PERSON OF HIS UNCLE.” Whereupon the sky let down water as thick as ropes and the people came over to al-`Abbas passing their hands over him and saying to him: “Congratulations to you, irrigator of the two Sanctuaries!” Whereupon `Umar said, “He/This is, by Allah, the means to Allah and the place of nearness to Him!”
Cited from al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar’s narration in al-Ansab by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (2:497).
So the tawassul continues to be solely through the Prophet despite appearances to the contrary, for he is the ultimate recourse of human beings seeking nearness to Allah as he himself taught the blind man (“Say, ‘O Muhammad, I turn with you to Allah…’”) and as several Sahaba explicitly said, such as in the following reports:
(a) Report of the Bedouin who said to the Holy Prophet :
We have come to you when even our virgins’ milk is dry, and the mother worries for her own life over her child’s, The child lets down his arms sitting still For hunger, a hunger unstilled and uninterrupted. We have nothing left from what our people eat Except bitter colocynth and camel-wool mixed with blood. And we have none but you to flee to, for where can people flee except to the Messengers?
Then the Prophet – upon him peace – stood up and he was dragging his garment. He climbed up the pulpit and said: “O Allah, send us water….” whereupon rain fell abundantly. Then the Prophet upon him peace said: “If Abu Talib were a
live he would have liked to see this. Who will recite for us what he said?” Hearing this, `Ali stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I think you mean his saying:
A fair-skinned one by whose face rainclouds are sought, A caretaker for the orphans and protector of widows. With him the clan of Hashim seek refuge from calamities, For they possess in him immense favor and grace….”
Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in Dala’il al-Nubuwwa (6:141) cf. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya (6:90-91) and Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (1989 ed. 2:629).
(b) Report of Sawad ibn Qarib al-Sadusi who declaimed:
Truly, you are the nearest of all Messengers as a means to Allah, son of the noblest and purest ones!
Therefore, be an intercessor for me the Day none but you among intercessors shall be of the least benefit for Sawad ibn Qarib!
Whereupon the Prophet smiled, upon him peace, and said: “You have obtained success, Sawad!”
Narrated by Abu Ya`la in his Mu`jam (p. 265), al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (7:94 §6475), Abu Nu`aym in Dala’il al-Nubuwwa (p. 114 §63), al-Taymi in the Dala’il (p. 132), al-Hakim in the Mustadrak, (3:705), al-Bayhaqi in the Dala’il (2:251) cf. Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Isti`ab (2:675), Ibn Kathir, Tafsir (4:169) and Bidaya, Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (7:180) and Isaba (3:219).
(c) Report of Hassan ibn Thabit who declaimed:
O Pillar of those who rely upon you, O Immunity of those who seek refuge in you, and Resort of those who seek herbiage and rain, and Neighboring Protector of those in need of shelter! O you whom the One God has chosen for His creatures by planting in him perfection and purity of character!
Narrated by Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Isti`ab (1:276) and Ibn Sayyid al-Nas in Minah al-Mad-h (p. 73).
 The background to `Umar’s prayer for rain shows that there was also an explicit tawassul through the Prophet upon him peace, performed by the Sahabi Bilal ibn al-Harith as narrated in two versions:
(a) Version 1
From the Sahabi Malik al-Dar:
The people suffered a drought in `Umar’s khilafa, whereupon a man came to the grave of the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa- Alihi wa-Sallam and said: “Messenger of Allah! Ask for rain for your Community, for verily they have but perished.” After this the Prophet appeared to him in a dream and told him: “Go to `Umar and give him my greeting, then tell him that they will be watered. Tell him: Be clever!” The man went and told `Umar. The latter wept and said: “My Lord! I spare no effort except in what escapes my power.”
Ibn Kathir cites it thus from al-Bayhaqi’s Dala’il al-Nubuwwa (7:47) in al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya (Ma`arif ed. 7:91-92=Dar Ihya’ al-Turath ed. 7:105) saying: “isnaduhu sahih” and he also declares its chain sound (isnaduhu jayyidun qawi) in his Jami` al-Masanid (1:223) in Musnad `Umar. Ibn Abi Shayba cites it (6:352=12:31-32) with a sound (sahih) chain as confirmed by Ibn Hajar who says: “rawa Ibn Abi Shayba bi’isnadin sahih” and cites the hadith in Fath al-Bari, Book of Istisqa ch. 3 (1989 ed. 2:629-630=1959 ed. 2:495) as well as in al-Isaba (6:164 §8350=3:484) where he says that Ibn Abi Khaythama cited it. It is also thus narrated by al-Khalili in al-Irshad (1:313- 314) and Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Isti`ab (2:464=3:1149).
Al-Albani attempted to weaken this report in his Tawassul (p. 120) but was refuted in the lengthy analysis given by Mamduh in Raf` al-Minara (p. 262-278), which refutes other similar attempts cf. Ibn Baz’s marginalia on Fath al-Bari, Abu Bakr al-Jaza’iri’s tract Wa-Ja’u Yarkudun, Hammad al-Ansari’s articles “al-Mafhum al-Sahih lil-Tawassul” also titled “Tuhfat al-Qari fil-Radd `ala al-Ghumari,” and other such literature.
Ibn Hajar identifies the man who visited and saw the Prophet upon him peace, in his dream as the Companion Bilal ibn al- Harith, counting this hadith among the reasons for al- Bukhari’s naming of the chapter “The people’s request to their leader for rain if they suffer drought” in his Sahih, book of Istisqa’.
(b) Version 2 from al-Tabari’s Tarikh (2:509):
In the year of the drought called al-Ramada during the successorship of `Umar the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harith, while slaughtering a sheep for his kin, noticed that the sheep’s bones had turned red because the drying flesh was clinging to them. He cried out “Ya Muhammadah!” Then he saw the Prophet – upon him peace – in a dream ordering him to go to `Umar with the tidings of coming rain on condition that `Umar show wisdom. Hearing this, `Umar assembled the people and came out to pray for rain with al-`Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet upon him blessings and peace.
 `Umar had made tawassul through the Prophet in the past, upon him peace, since he said: “WE WOULD USE OUR PROPHET AS A MEANS TO YOU…” i.e. in his and Abu Bakr’s rule (and not only during the life of the Prophet upon him peace), as it is improbable that they never once experienced drought in the previous 8.5 years. “But to restrict this sententence to the Prophet’s lifetime is a deficiency stemming from idle lust, a manipulation of the text of the report, and figurative interpretation without proof.” (Al-Kawthari)
 At any rate the major Sahaba did make tawassul through the Prophet upon him peace, after his time as established by the report from our Mother `A’isha – Allah be well- pleased with her – in al-Darimi’s Sunan, in the 15th Chapter of the Introduction (1:43) titled: “Allah’s generosity to His Prophet after his death,” related from Aws ibn `Abd Allah with a good chain:
“The people of Madina complained to `A’isha of the severe drought that they were suffering. She said: “Go to the Prophet’s grave and open a window towards the sky so that there will be no roof between him and the sky.” They did so, after which they were watered with such rain that vegetation grew and the camels got fat. That year was named the Year of Plenty.”
The reader will find extensive documentation on this report in the Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine (4:47-52) and it was declared authentic by all the Sunni experts of hadith, last in date Shaykh Nabil ibn Hashim al-Ghamri in his 1999 10-volume edition of and commentary on al-Darimi titled Fath al-Mannan (1:564-566) where he rejects the objections of al-Albani and his likes to this hadith.
 `Umar had made tawassul through the Prophet upon him peace, in the campaign of Tabuk and had therefore directly experienced the Divine munificence and Prophetic generosity.
“When the travel provision of the people decreased they thought of slaughtering their camels but `Umar came to the Prophet upon him peace, and said, ‘How will they survive without their camels?’ The Prophet said, ‘Call to them to bring every remainder of their travel provisions.’ A piece of leather was spread and they brought whatever they had. Then the Messenger of Allah stood and supplicated, then he blessed over the food and summoned them to being their bags. The people supplied themselves to the last one. Then the Messenger of Allah said, ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah!'”
Narrated from Salama ibn al-Akwa` by al-Bukhari and Muslim and from Abu Hurayra by Muslim and Ahmad.
 `Umar used al-`Abbas to show people the status of the Prophet’s family in the society and teach them to respect and venerate them, as Ibn Hajar said in explanation of the report of Anas cited above:
“It is desirable to seek the intercession of saintly people and the relatives of the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa-Alihi wa-Sallam, and it shows al-`Abbas’s great merit and that of `Umar due to the latter’s humbleness before al-`Abbas and his recognition of his due right.”
This is confirmed by al-Ajurri’s narration in al-Shari`a and Ahmad in Fada’il al-Sahaba (2:937 #1802) that Ka`b al- Ahbar took al-`Abbas’s hand and said, “I shall hide it away [this handshake] for your intercession on
my behalf.” Al- `Abbas replied: “Why, will I have the power of intercession?” Ka`b said: “Yes, there is none from the Household of the Prophet upon him and them peace, except they have the power of intercession!” Ka`b al-Ahbar also said to Sayyidina `Umar: “Whenever the Israelites had a drought they sought intercession through their Prophet’s household” as narrated by Ibn `Abd al- Barr in al-Isti`ab (2:814).
 It is known that `Umar had a particular veneration for the Prophetic Household (Ahl al-Bayt) as illustrated by the following reports:
(a) Ibn Sa`d narrated from al-Sha`bi and al-Hasan that al- `Abbas had some need of `Umar one day and said to him: “Commander of the Believers, suppose the uncle of Musa, upon him peace, came to you as a Muslim, how would you treat him?” He replied, “I swear by Allah that I would treat him well!” Al-`Abbas said, “Well, I am the uncle of Muhammad the Prophet – upon him and his House blessings and peace!” `Umas said, “Abu al-Fadl, and what do you suppose? By Allah, your father [`Abd al-Muttalib] is certainly dearer to me than my own father!” He said, “By Allah?” `Umar said, “By Allah, yes! Because I know that he [`Abd al-Muttalib] is dearer to the Messenger of Allah than my own father, therefore I prefer the love of the Messenger of Allah to my love.”
(b) A man disparaged `Ali ibn Abi Talib in the presence of `Umar whereupon the latter said: “Do you know the dweller of this grave? He is Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah ibn `Abd al-Muttalib. And `Ali is the son of Abu Talib ibn `Abd al-Muttalib. Therefore, do not mention `Ali except in a good way for if you dislike him you will harm this one in his grave.” Narrated by Ahmad with a good chain in Fada’il al-Sahaba (2:641 #1089).
(c) After `Umar saw al-Husayn ibn `Ali ibn Abi Talib waiting at his door he said to him: “You are more deserving of permission to enter than [my son] `Abd Allah ibn `Umar! You see the goodness that was placed on our head; [therefore] first Allah; then you [the Prophetic Household]!” and he placed his hand on his head as he spoke. Narrated by Ibn Sa`d, Ibn Rahuyah, and al-Khatib.
(d) Jabir said he heard `Umar ibn al-Khattab say on the pulpit after he married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of `Ali and Fatima – Allah be well-pleased with them:
“Do not disparage me [for marrying a young girl], for I heard the Prophet say, upon him blessings and peace: ‘On the Judgment Day every means will be cut off and every lineage severed except my lineage.'”
Narrated by al-Tabarani. Al-Haythami said its narrators are those of al-Bukhari and Muslim.
`Umar desired to place himself in the Prophet’s lineage through this marriage due to the precedence of Ahl al-Bayt in the Prophet’s intercession, upon him and them peace.
 Nor is this intercession solely by way of the Prophet’s mere supplication (du`a) and by means of al-`Abbas’s mere supplication as claimed by the innovators and by the terminology of the question cited above. Rather, it was by means of their person (dhat) AND du`a as literally stated in the following reports among many others:
(a) Intercession through the Prophet’s person according to Ibn `Umar:
In Sahih al-Bukhari: `Abdullah ibn Dinar said:
“I heard Ibn `Umar reciting the poetic verses of Abu Talib:
A fair-skinned one by whose face rainclouds are sought, A caretaker for the orphans and protector of widows.
“`Umar ibn Hamza said: Salim narrated from his father (Ibn `Umar) that the latter said: “The poet’s saying came to my mind as I was looking at the face of the Prophet – upon him blessings and peace – while he was praying for rain – and he did not come down until the rain water flowed profusely from every roof-gutter:
A fair-skinned one by whose face rainclouds are sought, A caretaker for the orphans and protector of widows.”
One sub-narrator added: “These were the words of Abu Talib.”
Note that in his translation of Bukhari (2:65), Muhammad Muhsin Khan alters the wording of the hadith to read: “A white person WHO IS REQUESTED TO PRAY FOR RAIN” in place of “by whose face rain is sought.” This is tahrif i.e. textual and semantic manipulation of the most important source in Islam after the Qur’an.
(b) Intercession through al-`Abbas’s person according to `Umar:
“People! The Messenger of Allah sallAllahu `alayhi wa-Alihi wa-Sallam considered al-`Abbas like his father, venerating him and greatly respecting him and his rights. Therefore, O people! take the lead of the Messenger of Allah in the person of his uncle al-`Abbas and take the latter as your means to Allah Most High in the context of your tribulation.”
Narrated from `Umar with a sound chain by al-Baladhiri and with weak chains from Ibn `Umar by al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar in al-Ansab and Ibn `Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (8:932) as cited by Ibn Hajar in the Fath (1959 ed. 2:497). Shaykh Mahmud Mamduh in Raf` al- Minara (p. 120) rejected al-Albani’s claim in his book al-Tawassul (p. 67-68) that the chain of this hadith is “mixed up” (mudtarib) as inapplicable here.
 `Umar showed the possibility of tawassul through X. even though Y. also present – may be better than X. He showed that tawassul through the inferior in the presence of the superior is permissible as there is Consensus that the best of all living human beings after Prophets then, namely `Umar, `Uthman, and `Ali are all three superior to al-`Abbas, Allah be well-pleased with all of them. This was also a mark of humbleness on `Umar’s part as already cited from Fath al-Bari. Another example of this is the tawassul of Mu`awiya for rain through the Sahabi Yazid ibn al-Aswad al-`Amiri as narrated by Abu Zur`a al-Dimashqi in his Tarikh and his tawassul also through the Tabi`i Abu Muslim al-Khawlani as narrated by Ahmad in al-Zuhd cf. al-Tahanawi, I`la’ al-Sunan (8:193).
 `Umar used al-`Abbas also as a precaution lest people’s faith in the Prophet upon him peace, be shaken in case the prayer were not answered.
 Finally, the Sunna prayer for rain formally has to be performed by the outward, political Imam of the Muslims or his deputy. It is in that function that the office of the Messenger of Allah – upon him blessings and peace – had ceased and was taken over, first by Abu Bakr, then by `Umar. Al-`Abbas’s position in this event is that of the deputy of the latter as the Commander of the Believers. And Allah knows best.
Hadith Number 11:
O Slaves of Allah!
When one loses his means of transport in a (deserted) land, he should call: “O slaves of Allah! Help me recover (my transport)” for there are many of Allah’s attendants on this earth. They will help you recover it.
At-Tabarani said in Mu’jamul Kabir (10/267):
Ibrahim Ibn Naila Al-Asbahani narrated to us from Al-Hasan Ibn Umar Ibn Shaqiq from Ma’ruf Ibn Hasan As-Samarqandi from Sa’id Ibn Abi Arubah from Qatadah from Abdullah Ibn Buraydah from Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud that he said:
‘The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
‘When one loses his means of transport in a (deserted) land, he should call: “O slaves of Allah! Help me recover (my transport)” for there are many of Allah’s attendants on this earth. They will help you recover it.’ 
Abu Ya’la has narrated it like this in his Musnad (9/177)  as well as Ibn As-Sunni in Amalul Yawmi wal Laylah (page 162).
Al-Haythami said in Al-Majma’uz Zawaid (10/132) after quoting Abu Ya’la and At-Tabrani ‘The chain cont
ains Ma’ruf Ibn Hasan who is da’if’ .
The same was said by Al-Hafiz Al-Busiri in Mukhtasar Ithafus Sadatul Muhrah (notes to Matalib al-Aliyya, 3/239).
Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in Takhrij Al-Adhkar (Sharh Ibn Allan, 5/150) after ascribing it to Ibn As-Sunni and At-Tabrani: There is inqita’ (discontinuation) in the chain between Ibn Buraydah and Ibn Mas’ud.
Nonetheless, the hadith has supporting routes which transform it from a weak hadith to a hasan (fair) one which is acceptable and actable on:
What At-Tabrani transmitted in his Mu’jamul Kabir (17/117) through the route of Abdur Rahman Ibn Sharik whos said his father related from Abu Abdullah Ibn Isa from Yazid Ibn Ali from Utbah Ibn Ghazwan from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that he said:
‘When one of you loses something or desires assistance while in a land where no person of assistance (is available) he should say “O slaves of Allah! Assist me; help me” for indeed Allah has many slaves who we do not see’ [At-Tabarani added:] and this has been acted upon. 
I say: The chain contains da’f (weakness) and inqita’.
Al-Hafiz Al-Haythami said in Al-Majma’uz Zawaid (10/132): ‘At-Tabrani narrated it and its narrators have been declared reliable although there is weakness in some of them; except that, Zayd Ibn Ali did not meet Utbah’ . 
Al-Hafiz (Ibn Hajar) restricted (his comments) on it defects to (pointing out) the inqita’ (and not mentioning the weakness of the narrators) in Takhrij Al-Adhkar saying ‘At-Tabrani transmitted it with a munqati’ (discontinued) chain from Utbah Ibn Ghazwan, as a marfu’ (traceable i.e. to the Prophetصلى الله عليه وسلم) narration’
When Ibn Abi Shaybah related in al-Musannaf (10/424, 425): Yazid Ibn Harun related to us saying: Muhammad Ibn Ishaq reported to us from Aban Ibn Salih that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
‘When one of your means of transport or camel flees in a (deserted) land, where none can be seen, he should say “Assist me O slaves of Allah” for he shall be assisted’ 
This hadith is mursal (the Tabi’i drops the Sahabi and narrates directly from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم). If it weren’t for the ananah (i.e. instead of saying “he narrated to me”, it is said “from him” which creates the possibility of an unknown narrator in between) of Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, the chain would have been hasan. Al-Albani claimed it had the defect of being mu’dal (where two consecutive narrators are dropped and not just one as would be the case with a mursal hadith) in his Da’eefah (2/109)  but this is incorrect because Aban Ibn Salih was from the younger Tabi’in. And Allah knows best.
What al-Bazzar transmitted in his Musnad (Kashf al-Astar, 4/33-34): Musa Ibn Ishaq related to us from Manjab Ibn Al-Harith, Hatim Ibn Isma’il related to us from Usamah Ibn Zayd from Aban Ibn Salih from Mujahid from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
‘Indeed Allah possesses Angels besides the Hafazah (the Angels of Protection) who write (of even) the leaf which falls from a tree so when one of you suffers a limp in a deserted land he should call “Assist (me) O slaves of Allah”’
Al-Haythami said in Al-Majma’uz Zawaid (10/132): ‘Al-Bazzar related it and its narrators are reliable’ 
Al-Hafiz said in the Takhrij Al-Adhkar (Sharh ibn Allan, 5/151): “The chain is hasan and gharib jiddan (very rare)”; Al-Hafiz, restricting himself to saying it is hasan, shows he considered Usamah Ibn Zayd reliable for there is difference of opinion over him.
Al-Bayhaqi transmitted it in Shu’bul Iman  on the authority of Ibn Abbas also, but in a mawquf (untraceable) form through Ja’far Ibn Awn from Usamah Ibn Zayd from Aba Ibn Salih from Mujahid from Ibn Abbas.
Al-Albani claimed in his Da’eefa (2/112) the marfu’ route had a defect because of the mawquf route since Ja’far Ibn Awn (who narrated the mawquf route) is more reliable than Hatim Ibn Isma’il (who narrated the marfu’ route) so the hadith becomes defective due to the discrepancy while the preferred view is that it is mawquf . 
This is incorrect from two angles:
1. It is the convention in the science of hadith that when there is a contradiction of whether a hadith is raised back (to al-Nabi, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) or halted, the raised back is given preference in judgement. Al-Imam An-Nawawi said in the muqaddamah (introduction) to Sharh Sahih Muslim (1/32):
‘When some of the accurate and reliable narrators narrate (a hadith as) muttasil (connected) and others (narrate it as) mursal; or some (narrate it as) mawquf and other (narrate it as) marfu’; or it is (narrated) mawsul (continuous) once and then marfu’ another time and as a mursal or mawquf another time, then the correct approach is as the muhaqqiqun (verifiers) from the muhaddithun (scholars of hadith), and it is the saying of the fuqaha (jurists) and scholars of usul (Islamic jurisprudence) have said and Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi regarded it correct: That the ruling (of the status of the hadith) is from the one who narrated it as mawsul or marfu’ whether the opposing narrations are from more reliable narrators or from more numerous narrators or from narrators with better memory because this is an addition from a reliable narrator and it is acceptable (ziyada thiqa wa-hiya maqbula).
Ibn Al-Hadi [translator: I think what is meant here is Ibn Abdal Hadi] has clarified this in Al-Tanqih (1/350) as printed in Egypt.
2. Hatim Ibn Isma’il is not alone in narrating the hadith in marfu’ form; rather Muhammad Ibn Ishaq has also done so as has been previously discussed as in the case of the supporting narration of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud as mentioned first.
What should have been said is that Aban Ibn Salih would narrate it marfu’ some times and at other times he did not feel it necessary to narrate it marfu’ as it is seen similarly very often. And Allah knows best.
Therefore the claim of this hadith being defective by Al-Albani because the mawquf would replace the marfu’ holds no weight; he only did so to repel the meaning of the hadith and to dispose of it with whatever means even if it meant going against the principles of hadith; may Allah forgive.
From what has preceded, it has been acknowledged that the hadith is jayyid (good) and maqbul (acceptable) and that the third supporting narration has a hasan chain itself, and Allah knows best.
When a hadith is mentioned with a da’if chain it becomes acceptable, either sahih or hasan, when the Ummah has accepted it; as for when some of the scholars have practised it like the hadith at hand their action strengthens the report.
Al-Hafiz Al-Bayhaqi said in As-Sunan Al-Kubra (3/52) after narrating the hadith on Salat al-Tasbih: ‘Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak would do it and it has been passed down by the pious and this strengthens the marfu’ hadith.’
A similar statement was made by his shaykh Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak (1/320).
The hadith has been acted upon and practiced by the scholars:
o In Al-Masail and Shu’bul Iman of Al-Bayhaqi, Abdullah Ibn Imam Ahmad said
‘I heard my father say:
‘I did five Hajjs; two on camel and three on foot, or two on foot and three on camel and when I lost my way when walking I would say “O slaves of Allah! Guide us towards the (correct) route” and then I continued a little before I found myself back on the (correct) route’ or as it was said by my father. 
o After Abul Qasim At-Tabarani transmitted it in h
is Mu’jam al Kabir (17/117) he said “this has been acted upon” 
o Imam An-Nawawi said in Al-Adhkar (p.133) after mentioning this hadith
‘One of our major (kibar) scholars in knowledge related to me that he lost his means of transport, which I presume was a mule, and he was aware of this hadith and said (the du’a) so Allah brought to him his animal immediately.
‘I was once with a group of people and my animal fled and the people failed (to find it) and I said (the du’a) and I found the animal immediately without any means but this statement.’
The upshot is one who is researching can take two paths in strengthening this hadith:
1. Using the supporting evidences, so this hadith becomes hasan and there is no doubt in this
2. It is strengthened due to the practice of the Ummah
One of these paths (the latter) is stronger than the other (the first).
And Allah knows best.
Hadith Number 12:
Abu Nu’aym related to us who said that Sufyan related to us from Abu Ishaq from Abdar Rahman ibn Sa’d, who said:
Ibn Umar had numbness in his leg, whereupon a man said to him:
“Remember the most beloved of people to you”, so he said: “Ya Muhammad”
Imam al-Bukhari related in his Adab al-Mufrad (no. 964):
Abu Nu’aym related to us who said that Sufyan related to us from Abu Ishaq from Abdar Rahman ibn Sa’d, who said:
Ibn Umar had numbness in his leg, whereupon a man said to him:
“Remember the most beloved of people to you”, so he said: “Ya Muhammad”
Some copies of Adab al-Mufrad do not have the “Ya” before the name Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). The “Ya” is found in other versions of this narration in other collections which mentioned this similar narration with chains of transmission linked to it. In the printed edition of the Adab al-Mufrad by Samir al-Zuhayri (who utilised al-Albani’s gradings from his edition) it does have the “Ya” included.
The “Ya” Muhammad portion is also found in the Arabic text of the English printed edition by Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo (p. 414, no. 967) – but he left the “Ya” untranslated
This narration with “Ya Muhammad” in its wording is also recorded by i) Ali ibn al Ja’d in his Musnad (no. 2539, see also Tahdhib al-Kamal of al-Mizzi and Tabaqat ibn Sa’d below) as follows:
ii) Ibn al-Sunni in his Amal wal yaum wal Layla (no. 171):