Monday, 25 February 2013

Did Hanbali Imams Prohibit tawassul? :Making Tawassul to Allaah Through the Dead and Addressing Them With Invocation ?


[...] "...the book al-Furoo' of the Hanbali jurist Ibn Muflih(d. 763H), and he is the faqih and muhaddith, Shams al-Din Abu Abd Allaah Muhammad bin Muflih al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali. He was born around 710H, learned the Qur'an at an early age and gained knowledge of the fiqh of Imaam Ahmad, excelling in it. He was very abstemious and given to worship, very intelligent and had great wara' (awe of Allaah). He became related to Jamal al-Din Yusuf al-Mardawi (d. 769H), the judge of the Hanbali judges in Shaam, through marriage, and he was given a deputy rule in judging."
Ibn Muflih cites from the work of Ibn Aqeel al-Hanbali(d. 513H), "al-Funoon" with a short passage that is of relevant to the matter of Tawhid.
Ibn al-Jawzee (d. 597H) said that this work is in excess of 500 volumes, himself having come across the 508th volume.
And al-Dhahabi said that no work has ever been authored larger than al-Funoon in this earth, and Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (d. 795H) said, narrating from Abu Hakeem al-Qazwini that it is 800 volumes. Some of the scholars made summarized versions of this work, and it is likely these are the ones being referred to in some of their statements. This monumental work has not been published as far as we know except for a two volume version in 1969CE, which was based upon a lone Paris manuscript (the only one in existence)."
Wahhabi says:
“ Our intent in this article, with the citation in question is to show that Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhaab did not bring anything innovated, rather all of what he called to is found in the four madhhabs,and he never departed outside of what is in the books of the madhaahib.
Here we have a very interesting quote from Ibn Aqeel on the subject matter of Tawhid which reveals that Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab's explanation of the Shirk that the Messengers came to warn against was not something he invented but it is in fact found in the writings and statements of many scholars prior to him and prior to Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H), and it when it became widespread or more open, certain figureheads made reference to it, such as al-Razi (d. 606H), as we have indicated (see this article).”
Ibn Aqeel Al-Hanbali (d. 531H)
Ibn Aqeel on Making Tawassul to Allaah Through the Dead and Addressing Them With Invocation
“And in al-Funoon (of Ibn Aqeel) [there occurs]: And graves are not to be adorned with colored perfume [like saffron], nor beautified, they are not to be kissed and tawaaf is not made around them and nor is tawwassul (made) through them (meaning the inhabitants of the grave) to Allaah.
He [Ibn Aqeel said: But that (all of what has been mentioned) did not suffice them until they (also) began to say (when making this tawassul), "...on account of the secret that is between you (inhabitant of the grave) and Allaah," and what is there from Allaah that is called "a secret" between Him and His creation?
He [Ibn Aqeel said: And it is disliked to use lamps, and fumigation with al-'uud (wood scent), and buildings with tall entrances. They call that a مشهد (shrine), and they sought healing from illnesses through the dust of the ground (in the vicinity of the shrine), and they would write on patches of cloth and send it to the ground, pushing it through the holes, and one (of them) says, "My camels have got scabies" and another says, "My land has become barren," as if they are addressing a living person and invoking a deity (ilaah)?!
This really is a truly amazing quote, because Ibn Aqeel made clear reference to "tawassul" (seeking nearness to Allaah) through the dead, and he explained the actions of these people all of which were representative of veneration for that dead person (through kissing, decorating, perfuming the grave etc.) until they reached the stage where they were either shouting out about calamities that had befallen them or writing things on patches of cloth and "delivering them" to the inhabitant of the grave, and pay note to Ibn Aqeel's statement at the end of the quote (كأنهم يخاطبون حيا ويدعون إلها" if they are addressing a living person and invoking a deity (ilaah)?!"
And there is no doubt that this is what these people intend, and this is the very worship of idols that all the Prophets and Messengers came to warn against, and this is the very Shirk spoken of in the Qur'anwhere du'a (supplication) and istighaathah (seeking rescue from calamity) are directed to other than Allaah, and veneration is made of the graves hoping that the dead person buried therein will intercede for them!
This is the very thing that al-Razi (d. 606H) pointed out when he said (see fully referenced quote here):
ونظيره في هذا الزمان اشتغال كثير من الخلق بتعظيم قبور الأكابر على اعتقاد أنهم إذا عظموا قبورهم فانهم يكونون شفعاء لهم عند الله
 And the equivalent of this in our time is the occupation of many of the creation with the veneration of the graves of the senior [righteous] ones, upon the belief that when they venerate their graves, then they (the deceased) will become intercessors for them with Allaah.
So all of this type of tawassul constitutes shirk, where that which comprises worship is directed to other than Allaah, in order to solicit intercession through which they believe they will become closer to Allaah. As for the tawassul to Allaah by asking Allaah on account of the right (haqq) or honour, status (jaahof the Prophet's and Righteousthen that is an innovation, and though it is not Shirk, it is a means and an avenue leading to it. And as for the legitimateShariah tawassul, it is of three types,
a) through Allaah's Names and Attributes
b) through one's own righteous deeds and
c) through the supplication of another person in the life of this world in the realm of takleef (being duty-bound to the Shariah). The discussion of this matter is outside the scope of this article and will be left for other articles on this site andTawhidFirst.Com inshaa'Allaah.”
[End of Quote]

Abu al-Wafa Ali Ibn Aqil ibn Ahmad al-Baghdadi (1040CE–1119CE) (d.513H) was an Islamic theologian from Baghdad,Iraq.
He was trained in the tenets of the Hanbali school (madhab). Among his works of jurisprudence that have survived areWadih fi usul al-fiqh and (in part) Kitab al-funun.
Quote brother faqir,
Isn't this the same Ibn `Aqil about whom they say:

"Ibn Aqil was upon the way of the Mutazilah in sifat."


Wahhabi ^website: Here

to quote another one of their lines:"This exposes the nifaq (hypocrisy) of these JahmitesWahhabites in the 21st century"

Tawassul according to Hanbalis
Ibn Taymiyya says after quoting (from Ibn Abi Dunya’s work‘Mujabi ad-Dua’) an incident from the time of the salaf in which the individual did tawassul, he (Ibn Taymiyya) says:
I say this dua’ and similar (dua’) has been narrated that the Salaf used to ask (in supplication) with, and it’s been reported in the Mansak that Imam Ahmed (encouraged) tawassul through the Prophet in his dua’”.[Page 147 Qa’ida al-Jalila]
Abu ‘Abdillah al-Ardibly said, I heard Aba Bakr bin Abi al-Khasib say, “Safwan bin Salim was mentioned in the presence of Imam Ahmed, to which Imam Ahmed said, “water is sought through this man’s sayings, and rain descends through him being mentioned (Tahdhib al-Kamal of Hafidh Mizzi)
Imam Ahmed’s son wrote in al-Masail, “I heard my father say, “I performed five Hajj, two of them mounted and three on foot, or two on foot and three mounted, on one of the Hajj I forgot the route while I was walking, so I said, “O servants of Allah ta’ala guide us to the path (the road), I kept on saying it until we came upon the path”, or something similar to the saying.
Imam al-Bayhaqi narrated it as well with an authentic chain,Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali mentioned it in al-Adab as-Shari’ayah,
Albani said in his work ‘as-silsilah ad-Da’if wal Mawdu’ah, “Imam Ahmed considered the hadith of Ibn Abbas to be strong, which al-Hafidh considered good, because he (Imam Ahmed) practiced it, and his son, Abdullah, said regarding the narration as ‘al-Hadith’.
Imam as-Samuri said in al-Mustaw’ib, there’s nothing wrong with tawassul to Allah ta’ala, thru Shuyukh, Zuhhad, people of knowledge and virtue from the Muslims to Allah ta’ala in seeking rain.
Imam Taqi ud Din al-Adami in his al-Munawwar said, “Tawassul through the pious is allowed”.
*Imam Ibn al-Muflih writes in al-Furu’, “Tawassul through a righteous person is allowed, and it’s said it’s recommended.”
Imam al-Mardawi writes in al-Insaf, “Tawassul through a righteous person is allowed, this is the correct opinion in the madhab. It’s said that it’s recommended. Imam Ahmed said in his work entitled ‘al-Mansak’, which he wrote for al-Marruthi, “Tawassul is done thru the Prophet, peace be upon him, in dua’, and he affirmed it in al-Mustaw’ib and other works.”
Imam al-Hajjawi said in al-Iqna’ on the commentary of Imam al-Buhuti, “there’s nothing wrong with doing tawasswul through the righteous”.
Imam Ibn Najjar in his work entitled, ‘Muntaha al-Iradat,on his commentary of Imam Buhuti, “Tawassul through the righteous is allowed”.
Imam Mari’ al-Karmi writes in Ghayatul Muntaha, “Likewise tawassul through the righteous is allowed”.
Ibn ‘Imad al-Hanbali writes in Shadharatu ad-Dhahabin the biographical note on as-Sayyid Ahmed al-Bukhari,“His grave is visited and sought blessing through it”.
In the book ‘Kashshaf al-Qina of al-Buhuti, “as-Samuri and the author of at-Talkhis said, “there’s nothing wrong with tawassul thru Shuyukh, and the God fearing scholars for rain. He said in al-Madhab, “It’s allowed to seek intercession with Allah ta’ala through a righteous person. It was said to Marwidhi, “Tawassul is done through the Prophet in Dua’, and he affirmed it in al-Mustaw’ib and other works. Then he said, “Ibrahim al-Harbi said, “Dua’ at the grave of Ma’ruf al-Karkhi is well known and is accepted.”
Imam Ibn al-Jawzi said in al-Manaqib Imam Ahmed,“on the authority of Abdullah bin Musa, that he said, “My father and I went out on a dark night we visited Ahmed, darkness was intensified, so my father said, “O my son, let’s do tawassul to Allah ta’ala through this righteous slave until the path can be seen for I have not been doing tawassul through him except that my needs are met. Then my father made dua’ and I said Amin to his dua’, then the sky lighted as if it was a full moon night until we reached the place.”
Ibn al-Jawzi in Manaqib Imam Ahmed narrates the story of tawassul and tabbaruk of Imam Shafi’I through the shirt of Imam Ahmed.
Ibn Abi Ya’ala al-Hanbali writes in at-Tabaqat, “a grave was dig at the side of the grave of Imam Ahmed, and he (another individual) was buried in it, and the people took much soil from his grave as way of blessing, and people frequented his grave, night and day for a long time, and would finish the Quran, and would increase their dua’, and it has reached me that there has been thousands of Khatamat (recitiation of whole Quran) at his grave for periods of months”.
Ibn Qudama al-Hanbali in his Mughni writes, “It’s recommended to seek rain through a person whose righteousness is well known.”

Moreover, since the quote provided by the wahabi was cited by Ibn Muflih, who himself permitted tawasul; it would be necessary to look at the commentry of Ibn Muflih to whatIbn Aqil said......which the wahabi link does not provide?

Did the Hanbalis
Allama Ibn ‘Aqil, Shaykh ‘AbdulQadir al-Jilani, Qadi ash-Shawkani (not a Hanbali but admired by salafis), Shaykh Umar at-Taghlabi, ‘Allama as-Saffarini in his Thabat, and others.
Some followers of Ibn Hanbal, like Abul-Faraj Ibn al-Jawziyy and his Shaykh Ibn ^Aqil declared that it ismakruh (disliked) to go to the grave for du^a'. However, they did not prohibit itNo one of the Salaf and Khalaf prohibited it. What was cited about some scholars is thekarahah (disliking) and not the tahrim (prohibiting).
Shaikh Abdul Qaasim has said that he has heardSayyeduna Shaikh Muhiddeen Abdul Qaadir JilaniRahmatuAllah alai saying :

"The one who cries out for my help during some problem, the problem gets solved, the one who calls out my name during any hardship, that hardship gets dismissed, the one who uses me as a source to ask Allah Azzawajal for some need, it will be fulfilled. The person who prays two rak'aat of nafl salaah and in each rak'aat after surah Fatiha recites surah Ikhlaas eleven times, After the salaam (after completing the salaah) sends Durood-o-salaam on the King of Madeenah Sallalahu alaihi wasallam and then walks a distance of eleven steps towards Baghdaad Shareed and presents his need, Allah Azzawajal Willing, that need will be fulfilled"
Ibn Taymiyah Prohibiting Tawassul
However, Ibn Taymiyah's pen trespassed the limits; hedeviated from the truth to accusing the Muslims of kufr for that.
Among the most famous issues that were confirmed about Ibn Taymiyah by the reporting of the scholars contemporary to him and others who came after them, are his prohibiting the tawassul by the anbiya' and salihun (righteous Muslims) after their death and in their absence while alive and tabarruk by them and their traces, and his prohibiting to visit the grave of the Prophet, ^alayh-is-salatu was-salam, for the purpose of tabarruk. As was shown, he accuses the Muslim a'immah (pl. of imam) of treachery.
He disagreed with Imam Ahmad and Imam Ibrahim Ibn Ishaq al-Harbiyy. He is, as Hafiz as-Subkiyy said about him: No one among the Salaf and Khalaf preceded Ibn Taymiyah to disapprove the tawassul.
He said what no scholar before him had ever said.
Ibn Taymiyah and his followers accuse of kufr the people who perform the tawassul and istighathah (asking for help) by the Messenger of Allah and others of anbiya' and awliya'. What led them to this, is their ignorance of the meaning of ^ibadah (worship) mentioned in the like of the ayah 5 of al-Fatihah, which means: We worship You (Allah) and we ask You for help and the ayah 3 of az-Zumar, which means:
... Continue reading here:
Now for those who want to say it’s bida’ and shirk, let them point their fingers at the likes of Imam Ahmed and other Hanabilah.
And keep in mind there isn’t a single criticism ofHanbalis on Tawassul until Ibn Taymiyya came on the scene and his position is rejected by the later Hanbali scholars such as as-Saffarini, Ibn Muflih, Buhuti and others, and all of these later scholars were great admirers of Ibn Taymiyyaespecially as-Saffarini, whose work is loaded with Ibn Taymiyya work.
For a summary of salafi scholars’ stance on tawassul through the Prophet,
Albani considered it a bida’ that was invented after the first three generation.
Bin Baz“it’s forbidden, bida’, because it’s a means for excessiveness and shirk”.
Wahhabi said,
“ Our intent in this article, with the citation in question is to show that Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhaab did not bring anything innovated, rather all of what he called to is found in the four madhhabs,and he never departed outside of what is in the books of the madhaahib.
Imàm Abu Hanïfa nowhere objected to tawassul but only – as narrated from Abu Yosuf in Kitàb al-Àthàr–to the use of a specific wording in supplication, namely, “by the right You owe to So-and-so” (bi-haqqi fulàni ‘alayk), or “by the joints of power and glory in Your Throne” (bima ‘àqidal-‘izzmin‘arshik).[1]
[Cf. al-Zabïdï, It hàf (2:285) and Ibn Abï al-‘Izz, Sharhal-‘Aqïda al-Tahàwiyya (1988 9th ed. p. 237).]
The reason for this is that, on the one hand, Allàh owes no-one any right whatso­ever except what He Himself conde­scends to state on His part as in the verse [To help believers is incumbent upon Us (haqqun ‘alaynà)](30:47). On the other hand, “by the right owed so-and-so” is an oath and is therefore a formula restricted to Allàh Himself on pains of shirk. Imàm Abu Hanïfa said: “Let one not swear any oath except by Allàh alone, with a pure affirmation of tawhïd and sincerity.”[2]
A third reason is that the expression “the joints of power and glory in Your Throne” is a lone-narrator (àhàd) report and is therefore not retained nor put into practice, in accordance with the rule for any such reports that might suggest anthropomorphism.
Those that claim [3] that the Imàm objected to tawassul altogether are unable to adduce any­thing to sup­port such a claim other than the above caveat, which is not against tawassul but against a specific, prohibitive wor­ding in tawassul.
A proof of this is that it is permissi­ble in the Hanafï School to say “by the sanctity/honor of so-and-so in Your presence” (bi-hurmati/bi-jàhi fulàn). This is stated in theFatàwà Bazzàziyya (6:351 in the margin of the Fatàwà Hindiyya) and is also the position of Abþ al-Layth al-Samarqandï among the major Hanafï Jurists, not to mention that of Imàm Ibn ‘Àbidïn among the later ones.
Even so there is authentic evidence in [1] the hadïth ofFàtima bint Asad, [2] the hadïth of “the right of those who ask You,”[3] the hadïth: “O Allàh, I ask you by the joints of power in the Throne,” and [4] the hadïth: “Do you know the right owed to Allàh by His slaves and the right owed by Allàh to his slaves?”[4] to support the permissibility of such a wording. If the above objection is authentically reported from Abu Hanïfa then either he did not deem these hadïths authentic by his standards, or they did not reach him.
An illustration of this is that Abu Yusuf permitted the formula “By the joints of power…”. [5] Further, the oppo­site is also reported from him, namely, that he per­mitted tawassulusing those very expressions.
Ibn ‘Àbidïn said: “In the Tatàrkhàniyya: The Àthàr also report what shows permissibility.” Then he cites–from al-Qàrï’s Sharh al-Niqàya, al-Munàwï quoting Ibn ‘Abd al-Salàm (cf. the very first of his Fatàwà in the printed Risàlaedition), and al-Subkï – fur­ther explanations that it is permitted, then he cites the fatwa by Ibn Amïr al-Hajj in the thir­teenth chapter of Sharh al-Munya that such permissibility is not limited to tawassul through the Prophet e. i.e. it extends to the Sàlihïn.
(Ref/notes: Here)
Imam Abu Hanifa (Rah) himself Said Ya Rasool Allah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] at Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) Grave
Abu Hanifa An Nafi An Ibn Umar, Qaal: The appropriate way is that you turn towards the grave of Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) coming from the qibla while HAVING YOUR BACK TOWARDS QIBLA, FACING DIRECTLY TOWARDS THE QABR AND SAY PEACE BE UPON YOU [Ya Rasool Allah] O PROPHET OF ALLAH AND HIS RAHMAH AND BARAKAH 
[Musnad Imam Abu Hanifa, Bab Ziyarah Qabr an Nabi Salallaho alaihi wasalam]
Imam ibn al-Humam (d. 861 AH), mentioned from Imam Abu Hanifa in his Fath al-Qadir (Sharh al-Hidaya) the following narration 
أن زيارة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قريبة من الوجوب ولما زار الإمام أبو حنيفة المدينة المنورة وقف أمام قبره الشريف وقال 
يا أكرم الثقلين يا كنز الورى *** جد لي بجودك وأرضني برضاك 
أنا طامع في الجود منك ولم يكن *** لأبي حنيفة في الأنام سواك
"When Imam Abu Hanifa visited Medina, he stood in front of the honourable grave (of the Prophet) and said,
"O (YA), most honourable of the Two Weighty Ones (humankind and jinn)! 
O (YA), treasure of mankind, shower your generosity upon me and please me with your pleasure. 

I am aspiring for your generosity, and there is no one for Abu Hanifa in the world but you."

Imam Azam Abu Hanifa Numan ibn Thabit (ra) writes in his famous Qasida-i Maymuna-i Mubaraka also known as Durru Maknun about Prophet (Saleh ala waalih wasalam) that, 
"You [Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم] are the one, with Adam made Tawassul and even he was your father, he was rescued" When the Halil made Dua to you, the fire became coolagainst your bright Noor the fire was calmed." "Prophet Ayyub[aleh islam] made Dua to you, when he was sick All his sickness was deleted, when he made Dua to you!" "So is Musa making all the time Tawassul with you on the day of judgement he will search help by you!" (Bayt 9-13)
"Make Shafaat for this poor Ya Rasulullah Madat! I did came to your door, begging for richness by you!"
(Bayt 49)
Imam Shafi

He describes his own experience about the blessings of the tomb of Imam Abū Hanīfah: I derive blessing from the person of Imam Abū Hanīfah and I visit his grave everyday. When I face a problem, I offer two optional cycles of prayer and visit his grave and (while standing) I pray to Allah to solve my problem. And I have not even left the place that my problem is solved.

Khatīb Baghdādī has related the incident with a sound chain of transmission in his Tārīkh Baghdād (1:123)Ibn Hajar Haythamī, al-Khayrāt-ul-hisān fī manāqib-il-imām al-a‘zam Abū Hanīfah (p.94) Muhammad Zāhid Kawtharī, Maqālāt (p.381)Ibn ‘Ābidīn Shāmī in Radd-ul-muhtār ‘alā Durr-il-mukhtār (1:41).

Imam Malik

Imam Mālik’s prominence as one of the four jurists of Islam is well-established. Once caliph Abū Ja‘far Mansūr visited Medina and he asked Imam Mālik: “While supplicating, should I turn my face to the prayer niche [and turn my back to the Holy Prophet (
صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)] or should I turn my face to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) (and turn my back to the prayer niche)?” On this interrogation, Imam Mālik replied: “(O caliph!) Why do you turn your face from the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), as he is the source of mediation for you and for your ancestor Adam (عليه السلام) on the Day of Judgement? Rather you should (pray and supplicate by) turning towards the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and seek his intercession so that he intercedes for you before Allah on the Day of Judgement. Allah has declared:

"We sent not an apostle, but to be obeyed, in accordance with the will of Allah. If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah.s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful"(4:64)

This incident has been narrated by Qādī ‘Iyād in his ash-Shifā (2:596) with a sound chain of transmission. Besides, it has been related by a number of other traditionists of impeccable credibility. Subkī in Shifā’-us-siqām fī ziyārat khayr-il-anām, Samhūdī in Khulāsat-ul-wafā, Qastallānī in al-Mawāhib-ul-laduniyyah, Ibn Jamā‘ah in Hidāyat-us-sālik and Ibn Hajar Haythamī in al-Jawhar-ul-munazzam.
The early and late Imams of the Community have said clearly and unequivocally that tawassul through the Prophet is highly desirable and recommended for every person. Following are some of their words to this effect.
Imam Malik was asked the following question by the Caliph Abu Ja`far al-Mansur: "Shall I face the qibla with my back towards the grave of the Messenger of Allah when making du`a (after salams)?" He replied:
"How could you turn your face away from him when he is the means (wasila) of your and your father Adam's forgiveness to Allah on the Day of Resurrection? Nay, face him and ask for his intercession (istashfi` bihi) so that Allah will grant it to you as He said: "If they had only, when they were wronging themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful (4:64).""
It is cited by al-Qadi `Iyad in al-Shifa (2:92-93) with a sound (sahih) chain, and also cited by Samhudi in Khulasat al-Wafa, Subki in Shifa' al-siqam, Qastallani in al-Mawahib al-laduniyya, Ibn Jama`a in Hidayat al-salik, and Haytami in al-Jawhar al-munazzam and Tuhfat al-zuwwar. See also Ibn `Abd al-Hadi in al-Sarim al-munki p. 244. Ibn Jama`a says in Hidayat al-salik (3:1381): "It is related by the two hafiz Ibn Bashkuwal and al-Qadi `Iyad in al-Shifa' after him, and no attention is paid to the words of those who claim that it is forged purely on the basis of his idle desires."
The words "he is the means (wasilat) of your and your father Adam's forgiveness to Allah" are confirmed by the verses whereby the Prophet is witness over all communities and people including their Prophets (2:143, 3:81, 4:41, 33:7) as well as the sound hadith of his intercession over all prophets on behalf of all believers in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-tawhid).
Furthermore, it is also established from the verse "And Adam received words from his Lord and He relented towards him" (2:37) that Adam has been forgiven.
Imam Ahmad
made tawassul through the Prophet a part of every du`a according to the following report:
`Ala' al-Din al-Mardawi said in his book al-Insaf fi ma`rifat al-rajih min al-khilaf `ala madhhab al-Imam al-mubajjal Ahmad ibn Hanbal (3:456):
The correct position of the [Hanbali] madhhab is that it is permissible in one's supplication (du`a) to use as means a pious person, and it is said that it is desirable (mustahabb). Imam Ahmad said to Abu Bakr al-Marwazi: yatawassalu bi al-nabi fi du`a'ih -- "Let him use the Prophet as a means in his supplication to Allah."
The same report is found in Imam Ahmad's Manasik as narrated by his student Abu Bakr al-Marwazi.
Similarly the lengthy wording of the tawassul according to the Hanbali madhhab as established by the hafiz Ibn `Aqil in his Tadhkira was cited fully by Imam Kawthari in his appendix to Shaykh al-Islam Taqi al-Din al-Subki's al-Sayf al-saqil included in Kawthari's edition of the latter.
Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (RehmatuAllah Alihe)

عبد الله بن أحمد بن حنبل قال سمعت أبي يقول حججت خمس حجج اثنتين راكب وثلاث ماشي أو ثلاث راكب واثنتين ماشي فضللت الطريق في حجة وكنت ماشيا فجعلت أقول يا عباد الله دلوني على الطريق قال فلم أزل أقول ذلك حتى وقفت على الطريق أو كما قال أبي

Translation: Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Hanbal (rah) said that he heard his father (Imam Ahmed - Rahimuhullah) saying: I performed Hajj 5 times, thrice on foot and twice on ride or he said thrice on ride and twice on foot, 
once when I was on foot I lost my way hence I started to exclaim this: O Allah’s servants show me the way (يا عباد الله دلوني على الطريق), I kept on repeating this until I came back on track. [Imam Baihaqi in Shu’ayb ul Iman, Volume 6, Page No 128, Hadith No. 7697]
Imam Shafi (rahmatuallah alihe) on intercession of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلمafter his life

"The family of the Prophet, they are my means/intermediaries (wasîlatî) in this life and the afterlife, through them, I hope to be given my records in my right hand on the Day of Judgement."

Imâm Shâfi`î, Dîwân (Lebanon, Beirut: Dârul-Fikr, 2005), 162, #34
Imam Ibn Quduma (rah) said:

ويستحب زيارة قبر النبي لما روى الدارقطني بإسناده عن ابن عمر قال: قال رسول الله : «من حج فزار قبري بعد وفاتي فكأنما زارني في حياتي» وفي رواية، «من زار قبري وجبت له شفاعتي

It is recommended to do Ziyarah of Prophet’s grave as it is narrated by Daraqutni with his Isnaad from Ibn Umar (ra) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Whosoever performs the Hajj after my death then he should visit my grave because It is as If he has visited me during my life. And he also narrated (another hadith) that Whosoever visits my grave then my intercession becomes Wajib for him [Imam Ibn Quduma in al-Mughni, Volume No. 5, Page No. 381]
Imam al Bahuti al-Hanbli (rah) has also said this in his Al-Kashaf al-Qanna [Volume No. 2, Page No. 290]

Wahhabi said,
Quote :
“Here we have a very interesting quote from Ibn Aqeel on the subject matter of Tawhid which reveals that Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab's explanation of the Shirk that the Messengers came to warn against was not something he invented but it is in fact found in the writings and statements of many scholars prior to him and prior to Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H), and it when it became widespread or more open, certain figureheads made reference to it, such as al-Razi (d. 606H), as we have indicated (see this article).”

Fakhrud Diin Ar-Raaziyy
on getting blessings from dead souls
by their graves
Kitab al-Ruh
Book of the Soul”
Za'd al Ma'ad
Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah, the student of Ibn Taymiyyah,both of whom were the teachers who preceded Ibn Abdul-Wahhab, wrote in his book Za'd al Ma'ad:
There is no way to happiness and success in this life and the Hereafter except through the Messenger. You cannot receive Allah's satisfaction except through their hands [wasilah]. ...It is known that the means [wasilah] to happiness and success in this life and the Hereafter is through the personages of the Prophets and messengers themselves [bi dhawatihim].
He adds:
tawassul through the prophets ('Alayhim as-salaam) causes requests to be granted. And the granting of requests is by Allah. "
He continues:
Through mediation (tawassul) we receive blessings [ni'mat] from Allah. And the means to those blessings is itself a blessing from Allah. And no doubt the personages of the prophets and messengers is among the greatest of His blessings.
That is why it is permissible to say that the personages of the prophets are themselves intermediaries (wasilah) to Allah.
He continues in his book:
It must be known that the biggest blessing and the greatest goodness and the greatest favor from Allah is the very existence of the personage of Muhammad (s), because he is the greatest Prophet, the Rahmah for all human beings, the seal of the prophets and the intercessor of sinners. And Allah has mentioned about the honor [shan] of the Prophet that Allah granted favors to the believers by sending Prophet Muhammad from among themselves.
He concludes:
It is confirmed that Prophet Muhammad (s) is `al-wasilat al-udhma fil dunya wal-akhirah. ' --the greatest means and intermediary to Allah in this life and the Hereafter. And happiness and success will never be obtained except through him.
This is what Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziya, one of the preceding teachers of Ibn Abdul-Wahhab, said in his book Za'd al Ma'ad.

Imam Ahmad and Tawassul:
: ( المرداوي في الإنصاف ( 2:456
يجوز التوسل بالرجل الصالح على الصحيح من المذهب، وقيل:يُستحب. قال الإمام أحمد للمروذي : يتوسل بالنبي صلى اله عليه وسلم في دعائه
وجزم به في المستوعب وغيره..”
Al-Mardawi said: “The correct position of the [Hanbali] madhhab is that it is permissible in one’s du`a to use as one’s means a pious person (saalih), and it is said that it is desirable (mustahabb). Imam Ahmad said to Abu Bakr al-Marwazi:
Let him use the Prophet as a means in his supplication to Allah.’” (Al-Insaf 2:456)
This is also cited by Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmu’ Al-Fatawa (1:140).
---Imam Shawkani and Tawassul:
قال الشوكاني في تحفة الذاكرين:
وفي الحديث دليل على جواز التوسل برسول الله صلى اله عليه وسلم إلى الله عز وجل
مع اعتقاد أن الفاعل هو الله سبحانه وتعالى، وأنه المعطي والمانع ما شاء
كان وما لم يشأ لم يكن” (تحفة الأحوذي 34
Al-Shawkani said, in Tuhfatul Dhakireen:
“And in this hadith is proof for the permissibility of tawassul through the Prophet [s] to Allah, with the conviction that the [actual] doer is Allah, and that He is the Giver and the Withholder. What He wills is, and what He does not will, will never be.”
See also this link
---Al-Albani on Imam Hanbal and Imam Al-Shawkani:
: ( الألباني في “التوسل أنواعه وأحكامه” ( 38
مع أنه قد قال ببعضه بعض الأئمة، فأجاز الإمام أحمد التوسل
بالرسول وحده فقط، وأجاز غيره كالإمام الشوكاني التوسل به وبغيره من
الأنبياء والصالحي
Al-Albani in ‘Al-Tawassul’: “Even though some of them have been allowed by some of the Imams, so for instance Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal allowed tawassul through the Prophet alone, and others such as Imam Al-Shawkani allowed tawassul through his [pbuh] and through others from the Prophets and the righteous.”
---Imam Nawawi on Tawassul:
النووي في المجموع شرح المهذب (كتاب الحج):ثم يرجع إلى موقفه الأول قبالة وجه رسول الله صلى اله عليه وسلم ويتوسل به في حق
نفسه، ويستشفع به إلى ربه سبحانه وتعالى
[The pilgrim] should then face the shrine of the Messenger of Allah (s) , make him an intermediary [to Allah], and intercede through him to Allah (Majmu’ Sharh Al-Madhhab – Kitab Al-Hajj)

Ibn Khuzaymah and Tawassul:
: ( 7/ ابن حجر في تهذيب التهذيب ( 339
قال (الحاكم النيسابوري) وسمعت أبا بكر محمد بن المؤمل بن الحسن
بن عيسى يقول خرجنا مع امام أهل الحديث أبي بكر بن خزيمة وعديله
أبي علي الثقفي مع جماعة من مشائخنا وهم إذ ذاك متوافرون إلى زيارة
قبر علي بن موسى الرضى بطوس قال فرأيت من تعظيمه يعنى ابن خزيمة
لتلك البقعة وتواضعه لها وتضرعه عندها ما تحيرنا.
Ibn Hajar (Tahdhib 7:339) narrates the account of the Imam of Ahlul-Hadith Ibn Khuzaymah, under the entry of the same Ali bin Musa Al-Ridha. He relates that Ibn Khuzaymah also performed tawassul at the grave of Al-Ridha.
Ibn Hibban and Tawassul:
: ( 8/456/ ابن حبان في كتابه الثقات ( 14411
مات على بن موسى الرضا بطوس من شربة سقاه إياها المأمون فمات من
ساعته وذلك في يوم السبت آخر يوم سنة ثلاث ومائتين وقبره بسناباذ
خارج النوقان مشهور يزار بجنب قبر الرشيد، قد زرته مرارا كثيرة وما
حلت بي شدة في وقت مقامى بطوس فزرت قبر على بن موسى الرضا
صلوات الله على جده وعليه ودعوت الله إزالتها عنى إلا أستجيب لي
وزالت عنى تلك الشدة وهذا شيء جربته مرارا فوجدته كذلك أماتنا
الله على محبة المصطفى وأهل بيته صلى الله عليه وعليهم أجمعين.
In his Rijal book Al-Thuqat (8:456:14411), under the entry of Ali bin Musa al-Ridha, Ibn Hibban relates his own account of going to Al-Ridha’s grave, performing tawassul through him and states that whenever “I was afflicted with a problem during my stay in Tus, I would visit the grave of Ali bin Musa (Allah’s blessings be upon his grandfather and him) and ask Allah to relieve me of that problem and it (my dua) would be answered and the problem alleviated. And this is something I did, and found to work, many times …”
An example of the salaf partaking in tawassul from the story of Abdul Maalik ibn Abjar:
حدثنا أبو هشام محمد بن يزيد بن محمد بن كثير ابن رفاعة قال: جاء رجل إلى عبد الملك بن أبجر، فجس بطنه فقال: بل داء لا يبرأ قال: ما هو ؟ قال: الدبيلة، قال: فتحول الرجل فقال: الله الله الله ربي لا أشرك به شيئاً، اللهم أني أتوجه إليك بنبيك محمد نبي الرحمة، يا محمد إني أتوجه بك إلى ربك وربي يرحمني بما بي، قال فجس بطنه فقال: قد برئت مما بك من علة.وقد كان ابن أبجر حافظاً ثقةً، وكان مع ذلك طبيباً ماهراً يداوي الناس مجاناً، وهو من رجال مسلم وأبي داود والترمذي والنسائي
Ibn Taymiyyah has related a story in the perspective of this tradition that Ibn Abī Dunyā has narrated a tradition in his book Mujābī ad-du‘ā’ that a person came over to see ‘Abd-ul-Malik bin Sa‘īd bin Abjar. ‘Abd-ul-Malik pressed his belly and told him that he was suffering from an incurable disease. The man asked him: ‘what is it?’ ‘Abd-ul-Malik replied that it was a kind of ulcer that grows inside the belly and ultimately kills the man. It is said that the patient turned round and then he said:
Allāh! Allāh! Allāh is my Lord. I regard no one as His rival or partner. O Allāh! I beseech You and submit myself to Youthrough the mediation of Your Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) (
صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), the merciful Prophet. O Muhammad! Through your means I submit myself to your and my Lord that He should take mercy on me in my state of illness.
It is said that ‘Abd-ul-Malik pressed his belly again and said: ‘you are cured, you are no longer suffering from any disease.’
Al-Hafiz Ibn al-Jawzi relates in Kitab al-Wafa (p. 818 #1536):
الباب التاسع والثلاثون
في الاستسقاء بقبره صلى الله عليه وسلم
عن أبي الْجَوْزاء قال: قَحِط أهلُ المدينة قحطاً شديداً، فشكَوْا إلى عائشة فقالت: انظروا قبر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فاجعلوا منه كَوًّا إلى السماء حتى لا يكون بينه وبين السماء سقف، قال: ففعلوا، فمطروا مطراً حتى نبت العشبُ وسَمِنت الإبل حتى فُتقت فسمي عام الفتق.عن سعيد بن عبد العزيز قال: لما كان أيام الْحَرَّة لم يؤذَّن في مسجد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ثلاثاً ولم يُقَمْ، ولم يَبرح سعيد بن المسيَّب من المسجد، فكان لا يعرف وقت الصلاة إلا بهَمْهمة يسمعها من قبر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم.عن أبي المِنْقَريّ قال: كنت أنا والطَّبَراني، وأبو الشيخ في حَرَم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وكنا على حالة، فأثَّر فينا الجوع، فواصَلْنا ذلك اليوم، فلما كان وقت العشاء حضرتُ قبرَ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وقلت: يا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم الجوع الجوع وانصرفت.فقال لي أبو الشيخ: اجلس فإما أن يكون الرزق أو الموت.قال أبو بكر: فنمت أنا، وأبو الشيخ، والطبرانيُّ جالسٌ ينظر في شيء. فحضر بالباب عَلَوِيّ فدقَّ الباب، فإذا معه غلامان مع كل واحد منهما زنبيل كبير فيه شيء كثير. فجلسنا وأكلنا، وظننا أن الباقي يأخذه الغلام، فولّى وترك عندنا الباقي، فلما فرغنا من الطعام قال العلوي: يا قوم، أشكوتم إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم؟ فإني رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في النوم فأمرني بحمل شيء إليكم

Abu Bakr al-Minqari said: "I was with (al-Hafiz) al-Tabarani and (al-Hafiz) Abu al-Shaykh in the Mosque of the Prophet and we were in a predicament. We became very hungry. That day and the next we didn`t eat. When it was time for `isha, I came to the Prophet`s grave and I said:
"O Messenger of Allah, we are hungry, we are hungry!" (ya rasullallah al-ju` al-ju`) Then I left.
Abu al-Shaykh said to me: "Sit. Either there will be food for us, or death." I slept and Abu al-Shaykh slept. Al-Tabarani stayed awake, researching something. Then a `Alawi(descendant of `Ali) came knocking at the door with two boys, each one carrying a palm-leaf basket filled with food. We sat up and ate. We thought that the children would take back the remainder but they left everything behind. When we finished the `Alawi said: "O people, did you complain to the Prophet? I saw him in my sleep and he ordered me to bring something to you.""
Ibn Kathir and Al-Qurtubi on Verse 4:64وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللَّهَ تَوَّاباً رَّحِيماً
"...If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful" 
Ibn Kathir cites a famous incident in his explanation of this ayah in his TAFSIR:
وقوله ولو أنهم إذا ظلموا أنفسهم الآية يرشد تعالى العصاة والمذنبين إذا وقع منهم الخطأ والعصيان أن يأتوا إلى الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم فيستغفروا الله عنده ويسألوه أن يغفر لهم فإنهم إذا فعلوا ذلك تاب الله عليهم ورحمهم وغفر لهم ولهذا قال لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما.
His statement وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّاباً رَحِيماً / “If only when they wronged themselves they came to you and asked Allah to forgive them and the Messenger asked for their forgiveness they would find Allah most forgiving and merciful, (4:64)” informs you that if the disobedient and the sinful when they committed some sin or disobedience were to come to the Messenger [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] and to ask Allah for forgiveness in his presence [that is the presence of the Messenger [sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam] then Allah would relent towards them and show them mercy and forgive them and for this reason He says لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّاباً رَحِيماً / “they would find Allah most forgiving and merciful.”

وقد ذكر جماعة منهم الشيخ أبو منصور الصباغ في كتابه الشامل الحكاية المشهورة عن العتبي قال كنت جالسا عند قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فجاء أعرابي فقال السلام عليك يا رسول الله سمعت الله يقول ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاؤك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما وقد جئتك مستغفرا لذنبي مستشفعا بك إلى ربي ثم أنشأ يقول يا خير من دفنت بالقاع أعظمه فطاب من طيبهن القاع والأكم نفسي الفداء لقبر أنت ساكنه فيه العفاف وفيه الجود والكرم ثم انصرف الأعرابي فغلبتني عيني فرأيت النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم في النوم فقال يا عتبي إلحق الأعرابي فبشره أن الله قد غفر له .
A number of the commentators among them Shaikh Abu Mansoor al-Sibaagh [d. 477 / 1084; Baghdad] in his book al-Shaamil mentioned the famous story of al-‘Utbi [a Companion] who said:

I was sitting at the grave of the Prophet [sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam] when a bedouin came and said:
Peace be upon you O Messenger of Allah. I heard that Allah said, 
وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّاباً رَحِيماً / “If only when they wronged themselves they came to you and asked Allah to forgive them and the Messenger asked for their forgiveness they would find Allah most forgiving and merciful, (4:64)” and I have come to you seeking forgiveness for my sin and seeking your intercession for me with my Lord, then he recited [in verse], “O you the best whose bones were ever buried in a plain so that the plain and the hill became fragrant with their scent, my soul be the ransom for the grave in which you dwell! In it there is uprightness and generosity and honor!” 

Then the bedouin went away and my eye overcame me [and I dozed] and saw the Prophet [sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam] in sleep who said: “O ‘Utbi catch up to the bedouin and give him the good news that Allah has forgiven him.”
More encouragement of ‘shirk’ – this time from Imam al-Qurtubi in al-Jami li ahkam al qur’an [5:265/6] regarding surah an-Nisa, ayah 64:
“….If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful.”
الجامع لأحكام القرآن، – للإمام القرطبي
الجزء 5 من الطبعة >> سورة النساء >> الآية: 64 {وما أرسلنا من رسول إلا ليطاع بإذن الله ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاؤوك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما}.قوله تعالى: “وما أرسلنا من رسول” “من” زائدة للتوكيد. “إلا ليطاع” فيما أمر به ونهى عنه. “بإذن الله” بعلم الله. وقيل: بتوفيق الله. “ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاؤوك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول” روى أبو صادق عن علي قال: قدم علينا أعرابي بعد ما دفنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بثلاثة أيام، فرمى بنفسه على قبر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وحثا على رأسه من ترابه فقال: قلت يا رسول الله فسمعنا قولك، ووعيت عن الله فوعينا عنك، وكان فيما أنزل الله عليك “ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم” الآية، وقد ظلمت نفسي وجئتك تستغفر لي. فنودي من القبر أنه قد غفر لك. “لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما” أي قابلا لتوبتهم، وهما مفعولان لا غير.[/size]

..Abu Sadiq has reported it from `Ali. A villager came to see us three days after the burial of the Holy Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam]. He placed himself near the Prophet’s grave, sprinkled its earth over his body and said:
`O Messenger of Allah, you said and we have heard from you. You received commands from Allah and we received commands from you, and of these divine commands is wa law annahum idh zalamu anfusahum. It is true that I have wronged myself, therefore, you should pray for my forgiveness.’
(In response to the villager’s act of imploring) he was called out from the grave: ‘there is no doubt that you have been forgiven.’
Ibn Kathir says in al Bidaya wal Nihaya (7/106) regarding the following authentic hadith:
وقال الحافظ أبو بكر البيهقي: أخبرنا أبو نصر بن قتادة، وأبو بكر الفارسي قالا: حدثنا أبو عمر بن مطر، حدثنا إبراهيم بن علي الذهلي، حدثنا يحيى بن يحيى، حدثنا أبو معاوية، عن الأعمش، عن أبي صالح، عن مالك قال: أصاب الناس قحط في زمن عمر بن الخطاب، فجاء رجل إلى قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم.
فقال: يا رسول الله استسق الله لأمتك فإنهم قد هلكوا.
فأتاه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في المنام فقال: إيت عمر، فأقرئه مني السلام، وأخبرهم أنه مسقون، وقل له عليك بالكيس الكيس.
فأتى الرجل فأخبر عمر، فقال: يا رب ما آلوا إلا ما عجزت عنه.وهذا إسناد صحيح.

al-Bayhaqi relates.......:
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 Kathir in his recently published: Jami al-Masanid(1/223) - Musnad Umar - declared it as: "Isnaduhu Jayyid Qawi: its chain of transmission is good and strong"
Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami says in al-Jawhar al-Munazzam:
“Tawassul could also mean seeking supplication from him for indeed he is living and knowing the question of the one who asks him. It has been authentically reported from a long Hadith:
The people suffered a drought during the successorship of `Umar [ra], 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 that the rain shall come. And in it also it appears: “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!”
Meaning, gentleness, because he was severe in the religion of Allah.
So he came to him and informed him, after which he cried and then said:
“O my Lord, I spare no effort except in what escapes my power!”
In another narration it states that the one who saw the dream was Bilal ibn Harith al-Muzani, the companion [ra].”
The Difference Between Tawassul and Shirk
Alhamdulilah, a new article is now available entitled "Wasila, Circumambulating Graves and Accusing Others of Shirk and Kufr". Please have a read, as the article discusses the fundamental difference between Ahl us-Sunnah and the Khawarij, which, in summary, is that the latter always assume the worst of fellow Muslims.
Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Deen Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdasi
A profound scholar of the traditional Hanbali madh-hab, Direct student of Shaykh ‘Abdul Qaadir al-Jilaani (RA)
Shaykh ul-Islam, Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Deen Ibn Qudaamah, may Allah have Mercy on him, indeed encouraged tawassul, and even calling upon theProphet [Sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam] in his great encyclopedia of fiqh, al-Mughni, when he said:
“It is praiseworthy to visit the grave of the Prophet [sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam] due to what has been collected by Imaam ad-Daraqutni when he mentioned the chain of transmission from Ibn ‘Umar, who quoted the Messenger of Allah [sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam], as saying:
“Whoever made the Hajj, then visited my grave after my death, it is as if he had visited me in my life”.
More Info^Scans

The Tawassul Challenge

Qadhi Iyaad (rah) said in his magnificent Ash-Shifa

في حكم زيارة قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم، وفضيلة من زاره وسلم عليه
و زيارة قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم سنة من سنن المسلمين مجمع عليها، وفضيلة مرغب فيها: روى عن ابن عمر

Chapter: The order of visiting the grave of Prophet (Peace be upon him) and the Virtue of the one visiting it andsending Salam.
Imam al-Nawawi (rah) mentions Utbee's narration as proof in chapter of visiting the grave of Prophet and the Remembrance made there, in his book called "al-Adhkaar"

وقد روى الإمام النووي في كتابه (( الأذكار )) عن العتبي ، وهو شيخ البخاري ، أن العتبي قال : (( كنت مرة بجوار قبر النبي إذ أقبل اعرابي فقال : السلام عليك يا رسول الله إني سمعت قول الله تعالى (ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاءوك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما ) وإني اتيتك يا رسول الله مستغفرا ذنبي مستشفعا بك الى ربي ، ثم أنشد يقول : يا خير من دفنت في الترب اعظمه فطاب من طيبهن القاع والأكم نفسي الفداء لقبر انت ساكنه فيه العفاف وفيه الجود والكرم ثم انصرف الأعرابي ، يقول العتبي : فأخذتني اغفاءة فأتاني رسول الله في الرؤيا يقول (( يا عتبي الحق الأعرابي وقل له لقد غفر الله لك )) .
Translation: He (Utbi) said: "As I was sitting by the grave of the Prophet, a Bedouin Arab came and said: "Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah! I have heard Allah saying: "If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful" (4:64)..Then he recited these verses: “O, the most exalted among the buried people who improved the worth of the plains and the hillocks! May I sacrifice my life for this grave which is made radiant by you, (the Prophet,) the one who is (an embodiment) of mercy and forgiveness.” Then the bedouin went away and I fell asleep. In my dream I saw the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). He said to me: O ‘Utbi, the bedouin is right, go and give him the good news that Allah has forgiven his sins.[Imam Nawawi in Kitab ul Adhkaar, Page No. 179, Published by Dar ul Ma'rifah, Beirut, Leabon].
Hujjat ul Islam Imam Al-Ghazzali (Rahimuhullah)
وقد ذكره الغزالي ولذا قيل - وليس بحديث كما توهم - إذا تحيرتم في الأمور فاستعينوا من أصحاب القبور أي أصحاب النفوس الفاضلة المتوفين ولا شك في أنه يحصل لزائرهم مدد روحاني ببركتهم وكثيراً ما تنحل عقد الأمور بأنامل التوسل إلى الله تعالى بحرمتهم،

Translation: Imam Ghazzali (rah) said that whenever anyone is in some difficulty then
 he should ask the people of tombs for help, who are of (sacred) souls but have passed away (i.e. transferred into another dimension). There is no doubt in it that any person visiting (their tombs) gets spiritual help plus benefit from them and many timeswhen their Waseela is presented in the court of Allah, the difficulties are removed [Tafsir Ruh ul Ma’ani, Volume 30, Page No. 24]
Shaykh Khayr al-Din Ramli in his Fatawa Khayriyya (p. 180-181) was asked about "those who say: O Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir! O Shaykh Ahmad! O Rifa`i! [Give us] something for the sake of Allah (shay'un lillah) O `Abd al-Qadir! and such, at which time they become greatly entranced and experience states that make them jump up and down etc.
He answered - Allah have mercy on him: 'Know first of all that among the famous rules that are firmly put to use in the books of the Imams is the rule that matters are judged according to their ends... as taken from the hadith of the Two Shaykhs al-Bukhari and Muslim: Actions are only according to intentions.... and none denies the reality of the Sufis except every ignorant, foolish soul.'"

(edited by ADHM)


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