Friday, August 5, 2011


From the Layman’s Desk-14:
Part No.14: Istigatha (Imploring for Help)/Tawassul (Mediation) continued:

Praise be to Allah, the Possessor of the Generous Face, the Immense Bounty and the Everlasting Grace. Peace and blessings also be upon our master, Muhammad Mustafa (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) the Seal of the  Prophets, as well as all his family.

In a post of general nature such as this, Tawassul or Istigatha cannot be dealt with in details for which there are specialized websites and books by the great Islamic scholars.  However, we can only mention a few more aspects briefly before proceeding to the next topic connected with Visiting of the Graves.  
Let us now take up an incident of istigatha that is related by a Sahabi/Tabii during the time of Hadhrat Umar ®.  His name is Malik al-Dar.   Strangely, the Wahhabi scholars have even gone to the extent of not knowing Malik Dar ®.    The narrators of the  Hadith mentioned below are: (1) Abu Mu‘awiya, (2) Imam  A‘mash, (3) Abu Salih Abd al Rahman bin Sa’id, (4) Malik bin Ayyad ad-Dar.  The first two narrators are considered as great hadith narrators from whom all the great scholars of hadith have taken their narrations, including Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari, so there is no doubt about their authenticity. Imam Dhahabī has also described A’mash as trustworthy (thiqah).  If he is considered a Mudallis, then A‘mash is regarded as a second-grade Mudallis, and this is a class of Mudallis from whom our religious leaders recorded traditions in their authentic books. Therefore, it is proved that this tradition narrated by A‘mash is accepted. Let’s check out the third and the fourth narrators: The third narrator is Abd al Rahman ibn Sa'id al-Makhzumi.  Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani writes of him: "Imam Bukhari took a narration from him in his book Juz Raf-al-yadain. Imam Abu Dawud also took a narration from him. He was a student of 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, the third caliph of Islam and he took narrations from Malik Al-dar, and he in turn, learned the knowledge of hadith from his father (i.e. Ayyad).  Imam Ibn Abu Sa'id said 'He was an authentic narrator'.  Ibn Hibbān has attested to the trustworthiness and credibility of Mālik ad-Dār in Kitāb-uth-thiqāt (5:384).  [Mahmūd Sa‘īd Mamdūh, Raf‘-ul-minārah (p.266). Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī also mentioned in his Tahdhīb-ut-tahdhīb (7:226; 8:217)].
Imam Ibn al-Madani, who was the teacher of Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari, also made the same remarks about him"[Tahdhib -ut-Tahdhib, biography of Sa'id ibn Abd al Rahman, Hafidh  al-'Asqalani]  Imam Ibn Abi Hatim writes: "Malik ibn Ayad Al-Dar was a slave of 'Umar and he was freed by him. He narrated from Abu Bakr and'Umar. He was a taab'ee and Abu Salih also narrated from him - and he was famous" [ al-jar-hu-wal-ta'deel., biography of Malik Al-dar.] Imam Ibn Abi Saad writes: "Malik Al-dar was a freed slave of 'Umar, and he narrated hadith from Abu Bakr and 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with them all) and he was a famous man". [Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd, biography of Malik Aldar.]  Khalīlī’s (d.445 ah) comment on Mālik ad-Dār: Malik al-Dar: muttafaq `alayh athna `alayhi al-tabi`un -- He is agreed upon (as trustworthy), the Successors have approved highly of him .   After reading these references it can be seen that even the third and fourth narrators of the hadith under discussion are famous, authentic and not unknown; no one can assume these narrators are weak.  As for  A'mash using "An" - from Abu Salih is not considered as tadlees - because Imam al-Bukhari in his Sahih accepted this type of route, as did: Ibn Hajar and Ibn Kathir.
Now let's check out what Malik ad-Dar related, based on the excerpt from Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri’s book, Islamic Concept of Intermediation. 
Intermediation through the Prophet’s grave during ‘Umar’s tenure
“Mālik ad-Dār has related:

The people were gripped by famine during the tenure of ‘Umar (bin al-Khattāb). Then a Companion walked up to the Prophet’s grave and said, “O Messenger of Allah, please ask for rain from Allah for your Community who is in dire straits.” Then the
Companion saw the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)  in a dream. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)said to him, “Go over to ‘Umar, give him my regards and tell him that the rain will come to you. And tell ‘Umar that he should be on his toes, he should be on his toes, (he should remain alert).” Then the Companion went over to see ‘Umar and passed on to him the tidings. On hearing this, ‘Umar broke into a spurt of crying. He said, “O Allah, I exert myself to the full until I am completely exhausted.”
[Related by Ibn Abū Shaybah in al-Musannaf (12:31-2#12051); Bayhaqī, Dalā’il-un-nubuwwah (7:47); Ibn ‘Abd-ul-Barr, al-Istī‘āb fī ma‘rifat-il-ashāb (2:464); Subkī, Shifā’-us-siqām fī ziyārat khayr-il-anām (p.130); ‘Alā’-ud-Dīn ‘Alī, Kanz-ul-‘ummāl (8:431#23535); and Abū Ya‘lā Khalīl bin ‘Abdullāh Khalīlī Qazwīnī in Kitāb-ul-irshād fī ma‘rifat ‘ulamā’-il-hadith (1:313-4), as quoted by Mahmūd Sa‘īd Mamdūh in Raf‘-ul-minārah (p.262).]
Ibn Taymiyyah has endorsed its authenticity in his book Iqtidā’-us-sirāt-il-mustaqīm mukhālifat ashāb-il-jahīm (p.373). Ibn Kathīr has confirmed the soundness of its transmission in al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (5:167). Ibn Abū Khaythamah narrated it with the same chain of transmission as quoted by Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī in al-Isābah fī tamyīz-is-sahābah (3:484), while the latter writes in Fath-ul-bārī (2:495-6): “Ibn Abū Shaybah transmitted it with a sound chain of transmission and Sayf bin ‘Umar Tamīmī has recorded it in al-Futūh-ul-kabīr that the dreamer was a Companion known as Bilāl bin Hārith Muzanī.” Qastallānī has remarked in al-Mawāhib-ul-laduniyyah (4:276) that Ibn Abū Shaybah has narrated it with a sound chain of transmission while Zurqānī has supported Qastallānī in his Commentary (11:150-1).
“Besides, the biographical sketch provided by Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī also serves to neutralize this objection (i.e. objections of Wahhabi scholars such as al-Albani):

"Malik ibn `Iyad: `Umar's freedman. He is the one named Malik al-Dar. He has seen the Prophet and has heard narrations from Abu Bakr al-Siddiq. He has narrated from Abu Bakr and `Umar, Mu`adh, and Abu `Ubayda. From him narrated Abu Salih al-Saman and his (Malik's) two sons `Awn and `Abd Allah...
“Bukhari in his Tarikh narrated through Abu Salih Dhakwan from Malik al-Dar that `Umar said during the period of drought: "O my Lord, I spare no effort except in what escapes my power!" Ibn Abi Khaythama also narrated it in those words but in a longer hadith:

“The people suffered a drought during the time of `Umar, whereupon a man came to the grave of the Prophet and said: "O Messenger of Allah, ask Allah for rain for your Community." The Prophet appeared to him in a dream and told him: "Go, see `Umar and tell him: You will be watered, and: You must put your nose to the grindstone (`alayk al-kaffayn)!" (The man went and told `Umar.) Then `Umar wept and exclaimed: "O my Lord, I spare no effort except in what escapes my power!"

“We have also narrated in the Fawa'id of Dawud ibn `Amr and al-Dabbi compiled by al-Baghawi in the narration of `Abd al-Rahman ibn Sa`id ibn Yarbu` al-Makhzumi from Malik al-Dar: he said: "`Umar ibn al-Khattab summoned me one day. He had with him a purse of gold containing four hundred dinars. He said: "Take this to Abu `Ubayda," and he mentioned the rest of the story.

“Ibn Sa`d mentioned him (Malik al-Dar) in the first layer of the Successors among the people of Madina and said: "He narrated from Abu Bakr and `Umar, and he was known." Abu `Ubayda said of him: "`Umar put him in charge of the dependents in his household. When `Uthman succeeded him, he put him in charge of financial allotments and he was then named Malik of the House."

“Isma`il al-Qadi related from `Ali ibn al-Madini: "Malik al-Dar was `Umar's treasurer."" [
Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī, al-Isābah fī tamyīz-is-sahābah (3:484-5)].

“The gist of the discussion is that the tradition related by Mālik ad-Dār is sound, as I have stated in the earlier part of my exposition. Muhammad bin ‘Alawī al-Mālikī writes: All those people who have made reference to this tradition or narrated it or reproduced it in their books have never labelled it disbelief or infidelity. They have not questioned the substance of the tradition and it has been mentioned by a scholarly person of high level like Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī who has confirmed it as a soundly transmitted tradition. Therefore his confirmation needs no apology in view of his highly distinguished stature among the hadith-scholars.” [ Muhammad bin ‘Alawī al-Mālikī, Mafāhīm yajib an tusahhah (p.151). ]
“This tradition establishes the following principles:

1. Visiting graves with the intention of mediation and seeking help.
2. It is valid to visit the grave of a pious dead person during the period of one’s trials and tribulations to seek help from him because if this act were invalid, ‘Umar would surely have forbidden that person to do so.
3. The Prophet’s appearance in the dream of the person who visited his grave and to give him good tidings, argues in favour of the fact that it is quite valid to seek help from non-Allah and the dead because if it were invalid, it would have been impossible for the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)not to have forbidden that person to do so.
4. Validation of the mode of address “O Messenger of Allah (yā rasūl Allah)” even after his death.
5. Call for help and the act of intermediation dates back to the early ages.
6. The holy personality of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a fountain of guidance even after his death.
7. The head of the state is responsible for administrative matters. The Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), in spite of being the chief of prophets, did not break the state channel and, as a visible demonstration of his sense of discipline, he commanded the man visiting his grave to see the head of the state.
8. The man visiting the grave implored his help through the instrumentality of the Ummah. This shows the Prophet’s immeasurable love for the Community of his followers.
9. Justification for making the Ummah as a source for seeking his help.
10. Justification for making non-prophet a means of help in the presence of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam).
11. Anyone who strengthens his link with the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is rewarded by his sight and is showered with his blessings.
12. The Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), even after his death, is aware of the weakness of his Ummah or anyone of its rulers and he issues different commands for removing these flaws.
13. To seek guidance from Allah’s favourites.
14. The acknowledgement of the Prophet’s commands by the Companions after his death as just and truthful.
15. Imposition of commands received in dreams on others.
16. When intermediation was discussed in the presence of ‘Umar bin al-Khattāb, he did not forbid it; rather he cried and responded to it acknowledging it as valid.
17. ‘Umar bin al-Khattāb’s love for the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) that he incessantly cried as someone mentioned the Holy Prophet. ”
In fact, Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri (May Allah protect him and prolong his life for the benefit of the Ummah) has given immense details on the subject in his book.  For our purpose, just the above will suffice to bring home the fact about principles of Tawassul and Istigatha regarding their licitness and benefits.  

It is evident that a lot of  unnecessary fuss has been made by the Wahhabis about Malik al-Dar but happily all their non-arguments, chicanery and sophistries have been soundly refuted by the righteous Sunni scholars such as Shaykh-ul Islam, Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri as well as other leading lights.  While the Rightly-Guided Caliphs appointed him as their minister because they relied on his trustworthiness even giving him the portfolio of finance minister -  an office that requires honesty, integrity and a huge sense of responsibility – we have al-Albani and other Wahhabi scholars of his ilk conveniently discarding the traditions of Mālik bin ‘Iyād who is popularly known by the title “ad-Dār” and who narrated from Abu Bakr and `Umar, Mu`adh, and Abu `Ubayda (May Allah be pleased with them all).   al-Dhahabi, Ibn Hajar, and Ibn Fahd al-Makki consider him a Sahabi.  As you know, al-Dhahabi was one of the illustrious students of Ibn Taimiyyah!

To continue, Insha Allah…

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