Hadrat Muhammad Mustafa (May Allah bless him and grant him peace). This is called asking for help through the anbiya and awliya and likewise to ask them to make du'a for us can be called help or istishfah or tawasul. [Ziyarat of the Grave, page 213, by the mufti of Makka, 'Allama Shaykh Muhammad al-'Alawi al-Maliki al-Makki]
[Ibn ‘Abd-ul-Barr, al-Istiab fī ma‘rifat-il-ashāb (1:405)] Mujahid says:Whenever there is famine, people expose the grave, so it starts raining.
[References: ►Tabarānī narrated it in al-Mu‘jam-ul-kabīr (10:217#10518);► Abū Ya‘lā, Musnad (9:177);► Ibn-us-Sunnī, ‘Amal-ul-yawm wal-laylah (p.162#502);► Haythamī, Majma‘-uz-zawā’id (10:132);►Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī in al-Matālib-ul-‘āliyah (3:239#3375).
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). 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]
Ibn Taymiyyah has related a story in the perspective of this tradition that Ibn Abū 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 discase. 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:Allah! Allah! Allah is my Lord. I regard no one as His rival or partner. O Allah! I beseech You and submit myself to You through the mediation of Your Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), 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. Ibn Taymiyyah after recording the whole incident in his book, comments: I say that this and other forms of supplication have been taken over from our predecessors. [Reference: Qaida al Jaleela, Fit Tawassul wal-Wasila, Page No. 91]
Ibn Taymiyya and Qadi Shawkani quote the following hadith: 'Abd Allah bin Mas'ud, may Allah be pleased with Him, reported that our Beloved Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), stated: "If you ever find yourselves stranded alone in a desolate place or jungle, then say, 'O servants of Allah! Help me, Allah have mercy on you.'"
When Sayyidi Shamsudeen Hanafi was on his death-bed, he called his Mureeds and said: "If anyone has any wish or need, he should come to my grave, I will indeed help him in fulfilling it. Remember between you and me, there is merely a handful of sand, and how can a mere handful of sand be a screen between a Murshid and his Mureed. If the sand does become a screen, then the Murshid cannot be a perfect Man (Insaan-e-Kaamil)."
Sayyidi Mohammed Farghal states: "I am indeed amongst those Saints who can assist you from the grave. If, therefore, you have any wish or need come to my grave and facing me, mention your requirements. I will
Imaam Arif Billah Sayyidi Abdul Wahab Sha'rani (reh.)in his book, "Lawaaqi-ul-Anwaar Fi Tabqaatil Akhyaar", records a strange and miraculous incident. It is recorded that a Mureed of Sayyidi Mohammed Khawri (reh.) was once passing through the market, when the foot of the animal he was riding slipped. In extreme panic he screamed, "Ya Sayyidi Muhammad, Ya Ghamri!" Co-incidently, in that very market place, the captured ruler, ibn Omar Sa'eed, was also passing through. He inquired from the Mureed as to who was Sayyidi Mohammed. When he was told who he was, he asked permission to use the name of the Murshid so that he could also be released. As soon as he had proclaimed the name of the great Wali, the spiritual master appeared and driving away the captors freed the ruler. The Shaikh then blessed the ruler, and thereafter departed.
Before the passing away of Moulana Rumi (reh.)he revealed to his Mureeds a startling secret. He said: "Whatever conditions you may be in, remember me, so that I can be your protector and helper, irrespective of what state I may be in. In this world I have two types of relation-ships, one with my body and the other with you, and when, with the Mercy of Allah I am freed from this contact with my body and the world of loneliness is exposed to me, I will divert the attention of my soul to you."
Shah Wali'ullah (reh.)(d.1176 A.H.) records a method for achieving and fulfilling one's needs and wishes in his book, "Al intibah fi Salasil-e-Awliya". He states: "One should first perform two Rakaats of Nafil Salah. After completion he should recite the following - 111 times Durood Shareef, 111 times Kalima Tamjeed and 111 times 'Shay an Lillah, Ya Shaikh Abdal Qaadir Jilaani'." From this book, it has been proven that all the great luminaries believed in the proclamation of "Shay an Lillah" as being a valid and a great solution to many unsolved problems.
Again, Shah Waliullah Dehlwi writes that his father, Shah Abdur Raheem, said that he once went to the shrine of Hadrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtyar Kaaki (rahmatullah `alaih). The soul of Bakhtyar Kaaki became apparent and told me that I shall have a son and that I should name him Qutbuddin Ahmad. At this time, my wife had become elderly and was beyond child bearing age. On hearing this, I thought to myself that maybe I shall have a grandson. The soul of Bakhtyar Kaaki got to know of my thinking and removed my doubt and said that it did not give me tidings of a grandson, rather, this child will be my very own. Some time later, I married again and from this marriage was born (Shah) Waliullah. At the time of my birth, my father had forgotten about this event and named me Waliullah. When he came to recall this event, he gave a second name of Qutbuddin Ahmad. (Anfaas al-`Arifeen, p.110). By writing about this incident, the belief of Shah Waliullah Dehlwi is clear. He believed that to go to the shrines of the pious is permissible and even after their demise, the saints are still given the knowledge of the unseen because Qutbuddin Bakhtyar Kaaki knew about the birth of a son a year before it happened. Also, the inmate of the grave also knew the feelings of his visitor's heart. Thus the Aqida of Shah Waliullah is amply clear!
The great Sufi Shaykh, Hamiduddin Nagori (D.677 A.H.), said that whoever has a need that he needs to be fulfilled, he should go to the grave of his wife, Sayyidah Khadijah, and seek blessings there because she never turned anyone away (Sultan at-Tarikeen, p.93). From these words of Khwaja Hamiduddin, we discover his belief that the chosen people of Allah can help people even from their graves. Muslims should go to the graves of the chosen servants of the Creator and seek the benefits from them.
Hadrat Nizam ad-Din Awliya (reh) (d.725 AH) says that Maulana Katheli once narrated a story about himself. Maulana Katheli said that one year, a famine stuck Delhi. I was passing by a marketplace when I felt hungry. I bought some food and said to myself, I should not eat this alone, I should find someone to share it with. I saw an old man who had a cloak wrapped around his body. I said to him, "Oh Khwaja! I am poor and you too look poor". He then invited the old man to eat with him who accepted the invitation. Whilst we ate, Maulana Katheli narrated, I told him that I was in debt for twenty rupees. Hearing this, the old man urged me to continue eating and promised that he would go and get twenty rupees for me. I thought to myself, where is he going to get this sum from? After eating, the old man got up and took me to the mosque. In the mosque was situated a grave. He went near the grave and asked for something. He had a small stick in his hand which he used to hit the grave twice and he then said that this man needs twenty rupees, give it to him. He then turned towards me and said, "Maulana, go back, you shall find your twenty rupees". When I heard this, I kissed the old man's hand and headed back to the city. I was dumbfounded as to where I will find the twenty rupees. I had a letter with me which I had to deliver to someone's house. I took this letter to where it had to be delivered and saw a Turkish man there. He ordered his servants to take me upstairs. I tried hard but could not recognise him even though he kept saying that I was the one who once helped him. I said I did not recognise him but he said he recognised me. We talked like this for some time. He then came to me and placed twenty rupees in my hand. (Fawaid al-Fawaad, p.124) From this story narrated by Hadrat Nizam ad-Din Awliya, we learn that his belief was that the way in which saints can help us in their Earthly lives, they can also help us from beyond the grave and asking them is permissible. The real bestower is Allah and the saints help us through Allah's command just like the real curer of illnesses is Allah but the patient asks the doctor to cure him.
Also, Shaykh Abdul Haq Dehlwi (d.1052 A.H.) writes: "Imam Shafi'i said that the grave of Hadrat Musa Kaazim ® is a place where supplications are accepted readily" (Ashi'atul Lum'aat, vol.1 p.715). From these writings, it is found that the belief of Imam Shafi'i was that to go to the graves of the pious and to seek blessings from them, to offer supplications near them graves and to believe the occupant of the grave to be a means of removing difficulties is totally permissible. The Imam also believed that some of these graves are a place where supplications are accepted.