Sunday, 24 February 2013

Fatwa of Shaykh Suhayl al-Zabibi

The following fatwa on tawassul was given by Shaykh Abu Sulayman Suhayl al-Zabibi the Imam of the Mosque of Najjarin in Damascus. It is reproduced in full in the 1992 Waqf Ikhlas reprint of Sayyid Ahmad Zayni Dahlan's section of his history of Islam already cited. 
Text of fatwa: 
"In the Name of Allah the Merciful the Beneficent, and Blessings and Peace upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Excellent and Pure Family and all those who follow them with excellence until the Day of judgment. 
"To proceed, you have sent us a letter in which you ask the fatwa concerning belief in tawassul through the Prophets and Messengers, Blessings and Salutations be upon them, and the text of your question is: Is the person who believes in this (tawassul) amushrik (one who worships other than Allah together with Him) or a kafir (disbeliever), and is his worship -- such as salat, zakat, hajj, and sawm -- sound or void (sahiha am fasida)? And you have asked for an exposition from the Glorious Book because it is the first source of legislation, and from the True Sunna because it holds the second rank in the derivation of proofs after the Noble Qur'an, and from the Consensus (ijma`) and the sayings of the pious early generations, may Allah be well pleased with them, because they are closer than us to the full understanding of Allah's Book and the Sunna of His Messenger. 
"This is the answer which I give while asking Allah's help and His power and might: 
Belief (i`tiqad) in tawassul through the Prophets and Messengers, Blessings and Peace be upon them, and through the Righteous Friends of Allah (al-awliya' al-salihin) upon whose goodness, righteousness, uprightness, and friendship with Allah there is general agreement, is true belief, not disbelief, and I consider it permissible, not forbidden; and 
The person seeking such as the above as a means to Allah in order that his need be fulfilled is a believer and one who declares the oneness of Allah, not one who worships other than Allah together with Him, and all his acts of worship are sound. 
"Among the proofs for this from Qur'an: Allah the Blessed and the Exalted said: "O ye who believe, fear Allah and seek ye the means to Him" in sura al-ma'ida verse 34 juz' 4. Some of the scholars of Islam have derived from this verse a proof for the legality of seeking help and a means to Allah through the righteous ones among His servants, and of considering them a means between Allah the Almighty and His servants for the fulfillment of needs provided that the person making tawassul believes that the effective doer (al-fa``al) is Allah and none other. If one thinks otherwise, he has committed disbelief, may Allah the Exalted protect us! 
"Also among the proofs from Qur'an for tawassul is the saying of Allah the the Blessed and the Exalted: "Had they but come to thee when they had wronged themselves, and asked Allah forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-Returning, Merciful" from sura al-Nisa' verse 63 juz' 5. Ibn Kathir said in explanation of this verse: "Allah the Exalted advises those who disobey and those who sin, when they commit their mistakes and disobedience, to come to Allah's Messenger and seek Allah's forgiveness in his presence and ask him (the Prophet) to forgive them. If they do this, Allah relents towards them, grants them mercy, and forgives them. And this is why He said: "They would have found Allah Oft-Returning, Merciful." 
"Ibn Kathir continues: "A large number of the scholars, among whom is Shaykh Abu Mansur al-Sabbagh in his book al-Shamil, have mentioned the well-known account related by al-`Utbi who said: "As I was sitting by the grave of the Prophet, a Beduin Arab came and said: "Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah! I heard that Allah said: "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," so I have come to you asking forgiveness for my sin, seeking your intercession with my Lord (mustashfi`an bika ila rabbi)." Then he began to recite poetry: 
O best of those whose bones are buried in the deep earth, 
And from whose fragrance the depth and the height have become sweet, 
May my life be the ransom for a grave which thou inhabit, 
And in which are found purity and bounty and munificence! 
"Then he left, and I dozed and saw the Prophet in my sleep. He said to me: O `Utbi, run after the Beduin and give him glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him."" This is the end of Ibn Kathir's discourse." 
"Here now is the proof from the noble hadith. The following hadith was extracted by the fmasters of hadith among the imams: Ibn Khuzayma in his Sahih (whose rank approximates that of Sahih Muslim), al-Nasa'i in his book `Amal 
al-yawm wa al-layla, al-Tirmidhi in his Jami` and he said of it: 
hasan sahih gharib, that is, with respect to the fact that only Abu Ja`far `Umayr ibn Yazid al-Khutami al-Madani thumma al-Basri narrates it, and he is thiqa (trustworthy) according to Nasa'i and Ibn Ma`in, therefore the fact that it is gharib does not jeopardize its rank of sahih. Ibn Majah also narrated it and confirmed Abu Ishaq [Ibn Rahawayh] who declared it sahih, and so did al-Hakim in his Mustadrak who said: "It is sound according to the criterion of Bukhari and Muslim," and Dhahabi confirmed him. 
"From `Uthman ibn Hunayf: He was with the Prophet at the time a blind man came to him complaining of his lack of eyesight... [Hadith of the blind man follows.] This is a sound hadith in which the Prophet explicitly orders those who have a certain need to make tawassul and call him in his absence -- both in his life and after his death. This is precisely what the Companions understood from him, as his order to any given person in the Community is directed to all the Community in every time as long as there is no proof that it is specific to an individual. What then if there is proof to the contrary -- i.e. that it is not specific to an individual? For Tabarani related in his Mu`jam al-kabir andMu`jam al-saghir that a man in need used to try to visit `Uthman ibn `Affan frequently... [Hadith of the man in need follows.] Tabarani said the hadith was sound and Bayhaqi narrated it in Dala'il al-nubuwwa with a good chain." 
Abu Sulayman Suhayl al-Zabibi 
Imam of Masjid al-Najjarin 
(Damascus, Syria)


http://www.sunnah.org/ibadaat/tawassul_2.htm#Fatwa%20of%20Shaykh%20Suhayl%20al-Zabibi

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