Sunday, 24 February 2013

Fatwa of Mustafa ibn Ahmad al-Hasan al-Shatti al-Hanbali al-Athari al-Dimashqi (1856-1929 C.E)

From the 1994 Waqf Ikhlas offset reprint of Shatti's al-Nuqul al-shar`iyya fi al-radd `ala al-wahhabiyya (The Legal Proof-Texts Concerning the Reply to the Wahhabi Sect)
Allah said:
1. Fa istaghathahu al-ladhi min shi`atihi (28:15) "The man of
his [Moses'] own people appealed to him [P: asked him for help] against his foe."
2. Wa law annahum idh zalamu anfusahum ja'uka fa istaghfarullah... (4:64) "If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee [Muhammad] and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them [P:
and asked forgiveness of the messenger], they would have found
Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful."
If a Wahhabi says: "This is specific to him (the Prophet) being alive," we say: There is unanimity and the clearest evidences about the Prophet being alive in his honored grave.
The rule of this noble verse is applicable now and any time Allah will. This is why you see that all scholars recommend reading this verse when visiting his honored grave. This fact cannot be hidden from anybody who studied the sayings of the scholars in this respect. There is no need to detail it again. Anyone who claims a contrary interpretation has to bring evidence to that effect. And how will he get such evidence when many other verses teach the believers to seek shelter with the Prophet?
Among such verses are: al-nabiyyu awla bil mu'minina min anfusihim (33:6) "The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are (as) their mothers," and wa ma arsalnaka illa rahmatan lil `alamin "We did not send you except as a Mercy to the worlds. This is exactly what was understood by the father of humanity, Adam, from the juxtaposition of the name of the Prophet to Almighty Allah's name. Adam understood that the Prophet is the intermediary and the means to Him. So he sought intercession through him to his Lord in order to be forgiven. And he was forgiven as has been established.
As for the verses and ahadith which have been put forward by the Wahhabis such as the following: ud`uni astajib lakum (40:60) "Call on [P: pray unto] me; I will answer [P: hear] your prayer"; fa firru ila Allah (51:50) "Therefore flee unto Allah"; wa in yamsask Allahu bi durrin fa la kashifa lahu illa hu (6:17, 10:107) "If Allah touch thee with affliction, none can remove it [P: relieve therefrom] but He", "If Allah do touch thee with hurt, there is none can remove it but He"; wa nahnu aqrabu ilayhi min habl al-warid(50:16) "For We are nearer to him than his jugular vein"; Hadith: idha ista`anta fa ista`in billah "If you ask for help, then ask help from Allah" etc.: These verses do not support the Wahhabis' claim that it is prohibited to use the means of prophets and the pious. This is very clear. Those who agree among Muslims about the permissibility and recommendability of seeking the prophets and pious ones as means never meant to suppose any effective power as originating in them. They never believed such a belief at all! Rather, all Muslims believe that Allah Almighty is the doer of His own free deliberation, and He alone is the giver and taker of existence, of benefit, and harm. This is one of the basic beliefs in Islam. The scholars never considered seeking the means of prophets and the pious ones as consisting in mimman ittakhadha min dunillahi andadan or "taking equals other than Allah" as the Wahhabis have claimed.
And how dare they use for evidence to support their school of thought verses like: wa la ya'murukum an tattakhidhu al-mala'ikata wal-nabiyyina arbaban (3:80) "[P:] And He commanded you not that ye should take the angels and the Prophets
for lords" and the like! This is a clear manipulation of the meaning of the verse and a use of something out of its proper place. For if you mention the specious argument of those who forbid using an intermediary, namely that they see the common people often requesting from the pious ones, whether living or dead, what should properly be requested only from Allah Almighty: and that is open to question in our opinion and not a proven fact as Ibn Taymiyya overtly mispresents it with in many of his books and treatises. For he discusses something to that effect in relation to the hadith of the blind man when he begins with the words: "Concerning this [tawassul] there is the hadith of the blind man..." This is a summation of his opposition to the issue at hand: "And they find that the common people say to the saint (wali): "Do such-and-such for me," and these words that they use suggest an influence on their part which properly belongs only to Allah Almighty."
I answer: These confusing expressions must be interpreted figuratively, and the proof for its having to be taken figuratively is that they originate in the mouth of a pure monotheist (muwahhid). Therefore, if the common person is asked of the soundness of his belief in what he is saying, he will answer that Allah alone is the Most Effective Doer(al-fa`al) without partner; and that he asks of those great ones who are honored by Allah and brought near Him because they mean by that to use them as their intermediaries to reach their goal which is Allah Almighty. The reason that they have recourse to the pious ones is that the latter have been placed high by Allah Himself and He is the One who holds them in such consideration and they obtain what they desire from Him, as He Himself has said.
We concede that it is good to recommend to the common people that they observe the path of good manners towards Allah Almighty in masking their requests; indeed it is a part of ordering the good and forbidding the reprehensible. However, it is not correct for us to forbid them from seeking means and using help in absolute terms. How can that be done when Allah Almighty said: "The man of his [Moses'] own people appealed to him against his foe" (28:15)?


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