Sunday, 24 February 2013

Shaykh Salih al-Na`man's fatwa on Tawassul

The following legal opinion on tawassul was given by Shaykh Salih al-Na`man, the Secretary of the Section of Ifta' and Religious Education at the Ministry of Religious Endowments (wizarat al-awqaf) of the Syrian Arab Republic in the city of Hama, Syria on March 22, 1980. It is reproduced in full in the 1992 Waqf Ikhlas reprint of Sayyid Ahmad Zayni Dahlan's section of his history of Islam al-Futuhat al-islamiyya on the Wahhabi sect entitled Fitnat al-wahhabiyya
Text of the fatwa: 
"Praise belongs to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. Blessings and Peace on our Master Muhammad and on his Family and all his Companions. 
"From the slave who is poor and in need of Him, the Secretary of Legal Opinions in the city of Hama (Syria) and the Preacher in the Madfan Mosque, to the brother who asked a question, Sayyid `Ashiq al-Rahman in Wilayatullah Abad in India: Warm greetings and blessings. To proceed: You have asked a 
question on a legal issue, and this answer is given after some delay because I was away in the Hijaz. 
"You asked about al-tawassul ilallah ta`ala bi al-anbiya' wa al-mursalin -- seeking/using means to Allah the Exalted with/through/by means of the Prophets and the Messengers -- and about hukmu man tawassal the law's position with regard to the person who makes tawassul. This is the answer: 
"Praise belongs to Allah the Exalted! Seeking or using means (al-tawassul) to Allah through his Prophet or the Prophets or the Righteous (al-salihin) or with the deeds(a`mal) that are done purely for His glorious countenance: There is no legal prohibition against it, because Allah the Exalted said: "Seek ye the means to Him" and "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," and because the Companions -- may Allah be well pleased with them -- used to seek a means through Allah's Messenger, as narrated concerning the blind man who used Allah's Messenger as a means (to obtain his request) and his eyes were opened. 
"The Community has reached consensus on the fact that tawassul is permissible as long as one's belief is sound (idha sahhat al-`aqida), and the consensus of the Community constitutes a legal proof (ijma` al-umma hujjatun shar`iyya); as the Prophet said: "My Community shall not agree on an error." As for the claim of some extremists(ghulat) of the Wahhabiyya whereby the law's position with regard to the person who makes tawassul is that it is shirk (worshipping other than Allah together with Him): there is no proof for such a claim either legally or rationally, because the person who makes tawassul does not contravene the Prophet's order: "If you ask, ask Allah, and if you seek help, seek help from Allah." Rather, he is asking Him through one beloved to Him in order that his supplication be answered, and this is what our Glorious and Majestic Lord likes from us. How then can we judge that he is committing shirk when he is not a mushrik (one who commits shirk). Such an act the law considers abominable and our religion declares itself innocent of it, since it has been said: "Whoever declares a believer to be an disbeliever has committed disbelief." 
"Our master Usama ibn Zayd killed a mushrik after the latter had said: "There is no god but Allah" (la ilaha illallah). When news of this reached Allah's Messenger he condemned our master Usama in the strongest terms and he said to him: "How can you kill him after he said la ilaha illallah?" He replied: "But he said it with the sword hanging over his head?" The Prophet said again: "How can you kill him after he said la ilaha illallah?" He replied: "O Messenger of Allah, he said it in dissimulation(taqiyyatan)?" The Prophet said: "Did you split his heart open (to 
see)?" and he did not cease to reprove him until Usama wished that he had not entered Islam until after he had killed that man so that he might have been forgiven all his past sins through belief. 
"From this and other narrations we conclude that some of the Wahhabis today may be guilty of hastening to accuse others of disbelief (takfir), as they have done in the past with hundreds of thousands in the Hijaz whom they massacred even as they were saying la ilaha illallah, and as the Kharijis have done in the time of our Master `Ali -- may Allah ennoble his countenance. 
"In short, tawassul is not prohibited, rather it is legally commendable (mustahsanu shar`an), and it is not permitted to cast the label of shirk on the believer. This is what will be found in the 
established books of Islamic law. And Allah knows best." 
6 Jumada I 1400 
22 March 1980 
Signature of the Secretary of Fatwas in Hama 
Seal of the Ministry of Religious Endowments 
District of the Muhafazat of Hama, Syria

http://www.sunnah.org/ibadaat/tawassul_2.htm#Shaykh%20Salih%20al-Na%60man%27s%20fatwa%20on%20Tawassul

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