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Intimating Wasila
Regarding Rank or Status of a Dead Person

Following is the analysis of some narrations which are commonly presented to support the concept of intimating wasila regarding rank or status of a dead person in one's supplication.

      1. Uthman bin Hunaif (Story of the blind man)
      2. After the death of Fatima (Daughter of Asad)
      3. Drought at the time of Umar (radiallahu anhu)
      4. Deeds presented to Prophet after his death
      5. Supplication for remembering The Quran
      6. Prayer to learn The Quran and other sciences
      7. Tafseer of Surah Al-Baqarah Verse 89
      8. What to say if a riding animal runs away
      9. What to say if something is lost
      10. Ascribing towards Scholars and Imams
      11. Conclusion

Narration #1 --- Uthman bin Hunaif (Story of the blind man)

On the authority of Uthman bin Hunaif that a blind man came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him to invoke Allah so that he is cured. The Prophet replied that invocation could be postponed if he wanted to since it would be better for him that way or he (Prophet) could supplicate for him (right now). He asked to supplicate. The Prophet ordered him for a well performed ablution and to pray two raka'at and then follow it with the following supplication: "O Allah! I am asking you and I am attending to you with/through Your Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), the Prophet of mercy. O Muhammad! (s.a.w) I am attending to my Lord through you so my request gets answered. O Allah! Accept his mediation (Prophet's prayer) for me.

[Ref: Ibn Maja 1375, Tirmidhi 3502, Al-Hakim Vol. 1 Hadith 1180 & 1909, Tareekh Al-Kabeer of Bukhari, Vol. 6, Page 209, Hadith no 2192)]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

In Tahzeeb-ut-Tahzeeb by Ibn Hajar it is written that according to Tirmizi Abu Jafar narrating from Umara bin Khuzaima is not Abu Jafar Al-Khatmi. In one edition of Jamay Tirmizi it is recorded that according to Imam Tirmizi, Abu Jafar (in the chain) is not Abu Jafar Al-Khatmi. In another edition it is written that according to Tirmizi Abu Jafar (in the chain) is Abu Jafar Al-Khatmi. If not Khatmi then the other option is of Abu Jaffar Al-Raazi. Different scholars hold different views about him. Ibn Hajar after summarizing writes that Abu Jafar Raazi is a truthful person but has a bad/weak memory. [Ref: Taqreeb ut Tahzeeb]

Imam Bukhari in His Tareekh Al-Kabeer has mentioned this incident with a chain that mentions Abu Jafar Al-Khatmi, but there is no mention about intimating wasila in that prayer. The words of the prayers mentioned are:

"O Allah! I ask you and attend to you."

Generally in narrations only Abu Jafar is mentioned thus there is some discrepancy regarding this narrator. However Imam Zahbi has considered this narration correct in Talkhees of Mustadrak. Ibn Taimiyyah and Al-Albani also believe that it is Abu Jafar Al-Khatmi, but both scholars are against the issue of intimating wasila regarding rank or status of a dead person in one's supplication. See their books "Qaidah Al-Jaleelah fi Al-Tawassal Wal-Wasila" by Ibn Taimiyyah and "Al-Tawassul Anwa' wal Ahkam" by Al-Albani. This is because the hadith under discussion does not prove the intimation of wasila regarding rank or status of a dead person in supplication. Let us try to comprehend the "Matan" (text) of the hadith.

Observation of Matan (Text of Hadith):

After pondering on the text of this Hadith, considering the chain to be correct, the actual state of episode that comes forth is that one blind Sahabi came to the Prophet and requested him to pray for the return of his eyesight. Prophet offered him two options. One, that he should have patience so it will be better for him.

Second that if he wants the Prophet can pray for him. The Sahabi opted for the second choice thus the Prophet commanded him to make ablution and read two "Rakat Salah" (which in its self is a very big wasila) and then taught him the supplication.

The words in the narration are:

" In nee As-aloka wa-atawajjaho Ilaika be Nabiyyika "
Meaning that I ask you (O Allah) and attend to you with or through your Prophet.

And "In nee tawajjahto beka ila Rabbi"

That I attend with or through you (O Prophet) towards my Lord.

According to the sayings of the Prophet, peace be upon him, that man did this. And since Prophet said that he would supplicate for him, he must have done so by which his sight came back.

This is the simple gist that is apparent from this Hadith. There is no sign about intimating wasila regarding rank or status of a dead person in one's supplication. The Prophet is wasila in a sense that his prayers and teachings are a source for us by which we can get near to Allah, provided we act upon them. This is what his companion did, he went to the Prophet and through him learnt and supplicated to Allah and Prophet supplicated with him. See the following hadith of Bukhari and Muslim, which throws light upon this concept of wasila. Narrated Abu Musa (radiallahu anhu), the Prophet said:

" The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rainwater and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (Then that land did not give any benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefits (from the knowledge) which Allah Ta'ala has revealed through me (the Prophet) and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah's guidance revealed through me (he is like that barren land) " [Bukhari - Book of Knowledge, Hadith No.77]

Thus regarding the credibility & authenticity of the Hadith of Uthman bin Hunaif, some people might have a difference of opinion. But with regard to the meaning & gist, there is hardly any room for discrepancy.

There are some additions made to the above-mentioned hadith. We need to examine them with respect to their authenticity.

The First Addition:

At the end of the hadith it is written that the Prophet said:

"If there is for you any need (in future), do this (act)."

Apparently it seems from this sentence that this matter is not restricted to the time of the Prophet and whenever a need arises, this prayer can be read. But this addition is not correct and one cannot present it as a proof.

The Hadith under discussion has been narrated in many books, but there is no mention of this additional statement in any book. This addition has only been mentioned by Imam Abu Bakar bin Khathima in his "Tareekh" (History) with the chain of narrators as follows:

" Muslim bin Ibrahim haddasana Hammad bin Salamah un Abee Jaffar and so on..."

There are two drawbacks in this chain. Muhadditheen ignored this addition e.g. Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal, Imaam Al-Tirmizi, Imaam Nasai have not mentioned this addition. The Hadith has been narrated by four of Abu Jaffar's students: Imaam Sho'bah, Hisham Al-Dastwayee, Hammad bin Salamah & Raoh bin Al-Qasim. But the addition in the last has only been narrated by Hammad bin Salamah; no other student has narrated this addition.

And this is an accepted principle in the science of Hadith that whenever a less "Thiqa" (Trustworthy / Reliable) narrator opposes a more "Thiqa" narrator than him or a group of narrators then the hadith of that narrator will be classified as "Shaaz" (Irregular, Odd, Strange). [Ref: Tadreeb Al-Ravi]

It is accepted that in comparison to Hammad bin Salamah the other three narrators are more "Thiqa" and apart from being more trustworthy and reliable, they are also more in number. That is why this addition is unreliable and weak.

The Second Addition:

The above invocation recommended by the Messenger of Allah to the blind man was used after the life of the Prophet. It has been reported that a man during the time of Uthman Ibn Affan had a request not solved by Uthman, and Uthman did not pay full attention to it in order to accommodate the man's need. The man met Uthman Ibn Hunaif and told him the story of his unanswered request. Uthman Ibn Hunaif ordered him to perform ablution, and then come to the mosque and pray two raka'at and then say the following invocation:

"O Allah I am asking you and I am directing my request to you through Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), the Prophet of mercy. O Muhammad! (s.a.w) I am asking by your right to my Lord so my question gets answered."

And then say your need and come back to me so I can accompany you. The man did just what he was asked to do, and then, he went to Uthman Ibn Affan's office and met the gate keeper of Uthman. The gate keeper held the man's hand and took him to Uthman. The man reported his need to the Khaleefa (Uthman), and it was answered right away. The man left Uthman's office and then, when he met Uthman Ibn Hunaif, he said to him may Allah reward you for he (Uthman bin Affan) would not look into my question nor dedicate full attention to me until you have spoken to him about it. Uthman bin Hunaif said to the man, By Allah! I have not spoken to him, but I had witnessed the Messenger of Allah when a blind man came to him and complained about loosing his sight. Then Uthman Ibn Hunaif repeated the hadith (see Narration # 1) and said: " By Allah we did not leave where we gathered, and went on a long conversation until the man (the blind man) came back to us as though he had suffered no harm with his sight."

[Ref: Tabarani, Mu'jam Al-Kabeer & Al-Sagheer]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

This episode revolves around Abu Saeed Al Makki whose name is Shabeeb bin Saeed. He has narrated this incident from Raoh bin Al-Qasim and Raoh bin Al Qasim narrated from Abu Jafar. Regarding Abu Saeed, scholars of Jarah and Ta'deel (The science of justifying the reliability of an individual or otherwise challenging it and proving it guilty) say that only those of his ahadith will be accepted in which he narrates from Younus bin Yazeed. And narrator who narrates from him should be his son Ahmad. Another condition to accept his narration is that at the time of narrating from Younus bin Yazeed he should not rely solely on his memory but should rather read from the book for narrating. If these two conditions are not met then his narrations will be weak and unacceptable. [Ref: Meezan ul Aitidal and Al-Kamil fid Duafa)

Had this incident been authentic, Umar bin Khattab (radiallahu anhu) would never have turned away from the methodology of intimating wasila regarding rank or status of a dead person in his supplication. The correct hadith in Bukhari clearly shows that after the death of the Prophet, Umar bin Khattab went to his Uncle Abbas (radiallahu anhu) in need of invocation for rain. Thus it was clear to him that a prayer or supplication of a living person can be a wasila but not the rank or status of a person who has passed away. After all why would he not intimate wasila of the Prophet after his death and on the contrary go to his uncle for prayers and supplication?

Thus we are justified to say that this episode is weak and unacceptable.

Narration # 2 --- After the death of Fatima (Daughter of Asad)

Anas Ibn Malik Ibn Al-Nadr (radiallahu anhu) reported that when Fatimah the daughter of Assad died, who took care of the Messenger of Allah during the years he spent at his Uncle's home, and she was the mother of Ali bin Abi Talib, he entered her home and sat close to her head and said: May Allah have mercy on you O mother after my mother, and he praised her, and offered his garment to cover her body with it in the grave and ordered to dig a tomb for her. He also dug the tomb and took out the soil by his own hands and then laid down in it and then said: Allah who gives life and takes it and He lives and dies not. Forgive my mother Fatimah the daughter of Asad and grant her ease at her entryway through right of Your Prophet and the Prophets before me for You are the most compassionate.

[Ref: Tabarani in Mu'jam Al-Kabir, Tabarani in Mu'jam Al-Ausat Vol 1 Hadith 189, Al-Hakim Vol 3 Hadith 4574, Hilyatul Auliya]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

In the narration of Hakim no prayer or supplication is mentioned.

The chain of this narration contains the narrator "Raoh bin Al-Salah" who narrates from Sufyan al-Thauri.

Raoh bin Salah is a weak narrator. According to Imaam Al-Darqutni, Ibn Adi, Ibn Younus, Imaam Haithmi, Ibn Makola, Imaam Zahbi & Hafiz Ibn Hajar. [Ref: Al-Kamil fid Duafa, Al-Mughni fid Duafa li-Zahbi, Kitab ul Duafa wal Matrukin li-Ibn Jauzi, Lisan ul Meezan li-Ibn Hajar]

After mentioning this Hadith in Mujam Ausat Imaam Tabarani writes:

"No one has narrated his Hadith from Asim except Sufiyan Thauri. Whereas Raoh Bin Salah is alone in narrating this."

Imaam Abu Naeem said the same after mentioning this Hadith, which makes it clear that this Hadith is related by only one "Chain".

From the saying of Imaam Tabrani it is apparent that from the students of Sufyan al-Thauri no one has narrated this Hadith.

If a Muhaddith has a lot of students, then his Ahadith should be widely spread. If an unrecognized student narrates a hadith from his teacher such that other recognized and senior students of the same teacher do not narrate, then that hadith will be doubtful.

In the list of the students of Imaam Sufyan al-Thauri (with data available to me) I have'nt seen Raoh bin al-Salah as his student.

Imaam Ibn Hibban has mentioned that Raoh bin al-Salah only narrates from Ahl-e-Misr (people of Egypt) and Ahl-e-Misr narrate from him. [Al-Thiqat li Ibn Hibban]. However in the chain under discussion Raoh bin al-Salah is narrating from Sufyan al-Thauri who was a Kufi.

This matter is also worthy to note that Sufyan al-Thauri died in 161 Hijrah [Tahzeeb-ut-Tahzeeb] whereas Raoh bin al-Salah died in 233 Hijrah [Meezan ul Aitidal], meaning that there was a difference of 72 years between their deaths. This drops a hint about a possible missing link in the chain.

Additional information about this narrattion can be looked up in Majma Al-Zawaid, Kitab Al-Manaqib, Chapter Manaqib Fatima Bint Asad, hadith no 15399 and Al-Ilal All-Mutanahiyah Page 433 by Ibn Jauzi.

Narration # 3 --- After Adam committed the sin

On the authority of Umar bin Al-Khattab (radiallahu anhu) that the Prophet said: When Adam committed the sin he raised his head to the Throne and said, I ask You through the right of Muhammad (s.a.w) for your forgiveness. Allah asked Adam, How do you know Muhammad (s.a.w) when I have not created him. He (Adam) said: O' Allah! After you created me and breathed into me your soul I raised my head and saw written on the Throne " There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah ". I then came to know that you would not put anyone's name next to Yours except the one who is most dear to you in your creation. Allah said: You have said the truth O Adam! Indeed he is most dear to me among the creation. Invoke me through his right. Indeed I have forgiven you. And if there was no Muhammad (s.a.w), I would not have created you"

[Ref: Mustadrak Al-Hakim Vol 2 Hadith 4228 and Baihaqi in Dalail Al-Nabuwwah Vol.5, Page 489]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

This narration is weak because of two narrators. They are Abdul Rahman bin Zaid bin Aslam who is weak as is evident in the books of rijaal and Abdullah bin Muslim Fihri who is Majhool i.e. not enough data is available to know who he is. See Lisan ul Meezan and Meezan ul Aitidal for details.

The narrator before Fihri is Abdullah bin Muslim bin Rushaid. Ibn Hibban mentioned that he was accused of fabricating ahadith. He used to fabricate ahadith upon Lais, Malik and Ibn Lhiya. His ahadith should not be written. Ibn Hajar in Lisan ul Meezan (Page 360 Vol.3) hinted that Abdullah bin Muslim bin Rushaid and Abdullah bin Muslim Al-Fihri, might be the same person.

Regarding Abdul Rahman bin Zaid, Ibn Hibban said that he brought about changes in ahadith without having enough knowledge about them. So much so that Mursal ahadith narrated by him have been made Marfoo and Mauqoof ahadith to Musnad. For this reason it was thought that he should be left out.

Imam Zahbi declared this hadith "Batil" (False). See Talkhees Al-Mustadrak and Meezan ul Aitidal.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar declared it false in Lisan ul Meezan.

Imam Bayhaqi mentioned this in Dalail Al-Nabuwwah and he said Abdul Rahman bin Zaid is weak, Ibne-e-Kathir in Tareekh Al-Bidaya wa Al-Nihaya acknowledged it.

Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taimiyyah says in "Qaidah Al-Jaleelah fi Al-Tawassal Wal-Wasila": Narrating of this hadith by Imam Hakim is such an act that has been disapproved of. According to Ibn Taimiyyah, Muhadditheen agree upon the weakness of Abdul Rahman bin Zaid. Ibn Jauzi also has the same opinion.

Imam Hakim says in Al-Madkhal Ila Ma'rifah Al-Saheeh min Al-Saqeem that Abdul Rahman bin Zaid bin Aslam narrated "Maudoo" fabricated ahadith from his father. Abu Naeem said the same thing.

According to Ali bin Madeeni and Ibn Saad Abdul Rahman bin Zaid is extremely weak.

According to Imam Tahawi Abdul Rahman's ahadith are considered weak among the muhadditheen.

Allama Haithmi also held it weak. See Majma al-Zawaid

The hadith is narrated on the authority of Umar bin Khattab (radiallahu anhu). Had it been authentic, Umar (radiallahu anhu) would never have turned away from this methodology of supplicating with wasila in relation to rank or status of a dead person. But the correct hadith in Bukhari clearly shows that after the death of the Prophet, Umar bin Khattab went to his Uncle Abbas (radiallahu anhu) in need of invocation for rain. If he actually narrated the above mentioned hadith then why did he not intimate wasila of the Prophet after his death and on the contrary went to his uncle for his prayers and supplication?

Quran itself describes the method by which Adam (p.b.u.h) repented, Allah said:

Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and His Lord turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful [Al-Quran 2:37]

The words are mentioned in Quran in Surah Al-A'raf. They said:

Our Lord! we have wronged our own souls. If You will not forgive us and bestow upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be lost [Al-Quran 7:23]

Narration # 4 --- Poem of Sawad bin Qarib

It has been reported that Sawad bin Qarib recited in front of the Messenger of Allah the following poem:

I bear witness that there is no Lord but Allah
And that you are secure from all that overpowers
And that you are, among messengers, the closest (Wasila)
Towards Allah, O son of the most generous, most elegant
And the Prophet of Allah did not oppose to the poem.

[Ref: Mustadrak Al-Hakim Vol.3 Hadith 6558, Dalail Al-Nabuwwah lil-Bayhaqi Vol.2 Page 31, Tabarani in Al-Kabeer hadith no 6475]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

In this chain, Uthman bin Abdul Rahman Al-Wuqasi is the narrator who has been criticized and is considered weak. [Ref: Meezan ul Aitidal]

Among Muhadditheen this hadith is extremely weak. Imam Zahbi has declared it "Munkar" (denied) in his books and says it is weak. See Al-Seerah Al-Nabawiyyah, Talkhees al-Mustadrak in which it is labelled as "Munqatay" (discontinued chain). Even Imam Abu Bakar bin Haithmi has declared it weak in Majma Al-Zawaid (Vol.8 Page 253).

Narration # 5 --- Whoever goes out of his home to pray

On the authority of Abu Saeed (radiallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoever gets out of his home to perform prayers and says,

"O Allah! I ask you through Right of the Callers on You and I ask you through right of my walk for Your sake for I have not come out as an exhibitionist nor as an arrogant (personality) nor for dissimulation and neither to seek (worldly) fame. I have come out to seek refuge from Your Anger (annoyance) and to seek Your Contentment. So I ask you to protect me from (Hell) Fire and to forgive my sins for there is no forgiver of sins but You."

Allah will come to him with His Face and seventy thousand angels will seek forgiveness for him.

[Ref: Ibn Maja Kitab Al-Masajid wal Jama'at, Hadith No.770 and Musnad Ahmad Hadith No.10729]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

This hadith is weak because of two narrators. One is Fuzail bin Marzooq and the other Atiyya Al-Aufi.

Regarding Fuzail there is some controversy, so lets just leave that discussion to avoid a lengthy argument.

Regarding Atiyya Aufi, Hafiz Ibn Hajar after summarizing writes in his Taqreeb ut Tahzeeb that he is truthful but makes many mistakes. Moreover he is a Shia and a Mudallis (one who conceals the defect(s) of the person from whom he hears).

See Tahzeeb-ut-Tahzeeb for sayings of various scholars who hold him a weak narrator. Even Imam Zahbi in Meezan ul Aitidal has labelled him as weak.

Those who call him reliable are less in number and have opposed the majority.

Atiyya is a Mudallis and in this narration he is narrating from Abu Saeed Khudri (radiallahu anhu) by using the mode "UN". Those who are familiar with the science of rijaal are well aware that the narration of a Mudallis is not accepted if he narrates by saying "UN" (because "UN" means that the Mudallis is just mentioning the name of a narrator who narrated something, he does not clarify if he has heard from the narrator himself or from some other person who is concealed). He has to say something that confirms his hearing from the narrator from whom he is narrating. In this way the reliability of the narrator will not be concealed anymore. This procedure is important to rule out the possibility of suspicion especially when it already exists about a narrator. Atiyya Aufi is one amongst those.

Information about his Tadlees is important to mention here so as to rule out the suspicion. Ibn Hibban mentioned in "Al-Duafa", that Atiyya heard many ahadith from Abu Saeed Khudri. After Abu Saeed's death he was in the company of "Kalbi". He used to secure the sayings of Kalbi when Kalbi ascribed something towards the Prophet. Moreover Kalbi had kept his kuniyah as "Abu Saeed" and Atiyya used to narrate from him. When people asked Atiyya about the person from whom he was narrating, he replied that it was Abu Saeed. People got confused thinking that it is Abu Saeed Khudri but according to Atiyya it was Kalbi. Kalbi himself is an extremely weak narrator and was known for speaking lies. For details regarding Kalbi (Muhammad bin Saaib Al-Kalbi), see Tahzeeb-ut-Tahzeeb and Meezan ul Aitidal.

Some say that since in this narration he has mentioned that it is Abu Saeed Khudri, thus there should be no suspicion. But the fact is that suspicion is still there, because we don't know whether the mentioning of Abu Saeed Khudri is by Attiya or by a narrator who got confused and made a mistake. We just read that people got confused in Atiyya's narrations when he said he narrated from Abu Saeed. [Ref: Al-Duafa]

Hence the hadith under discussion cannot be accepted as correct.

Narration # 6 --- Drought at the time of Ayesha (radiallahu anhu)

On the authority of Abu Al-Jawza Aus bin Abdullah: The people of Medina experienced a terrible drought and thus complained to Aishah (radiallahu anhu). She asked them to make a hole in the grave of the Messenger of Allah which faces towards the sky, in such a way that there is no ceiling between the hole and the sky. They did (as instructed) and said that rain was showered upon them until the grass grew and camels fattened upto the extent that they were on the verge of tearing up with fat (present beneath their skins). So the year was named the year of 'Fatq' (To rip open, since it was a productive and a very beneficial year)

[Ref: Darmi Vol.1 Hadith No.92]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

The narrator narrating from Aisha (radiallahu anhu) is Abu Al-Jauza. His name is Aus bin Abdullah. Although he is Thiqah but his narrations from Aisha (radiallahu anhu) are controversial. Imam Bukhari mentioned that his meeting with Aisha (radiallahu anhu) is not established. [Ref: Al-Kamil Al-Duafa Vol.2 Page 107 and Tahzeeb ut Tahzeeb)

Narrating from Abu Al-Jauza is Amr bin Malik. His narration from Abu Al-Jauza is insecure. [Ref: Tahzeeb ut Tahzeeb]

Narrating from Amr bin Malik is Saeed bin Zaid. Among many scholars he is considered weak [Ref: Al-Kamil, Meezan ul Aitidal and Tahzeeb ut Tahzeeb]

Narrating from Saeed bin Zaid is his student Abu Al-Nauman Muhammad bin Al-Fazal who is Thiqah but suffered from bad memory during later part of his life (Tahzeeb-ut-Tahzeeb). So for authenticity it must be clear when Imam Darmi heard from him? In his early life hood or later part!

If the year was named Fatq that means that it must be a well-known incident and many people should have been narrating it. So why is it that it is only mentioned in Ibn Maja through only one chain of narrators?

With this data available, it is not wise enough to present this narration as an evidence for the topic under discussion.

Narration # 7 --- Drought at the time of Umar (radiallahu anhu)

People experienced a drought during the rightly guided caliph Umar bin Al-Khattab (radiallahu anhu). A man came to the grave of the Messenger of Allah and said: O Messenger of Allah! Invoke (Allah) for rain for your Ummah as they have been ruined (by not having rain). So a man came in his dream who asked him to go to Umar (radiallahu anhu) and convey to him his Salam and to tell him that they will be provided with rain.

[Ref: Ibn Abi Shaiba Vol.6, Page 359, Hadith No 31993]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

In the chain of Ibn Abi Shaiba, the name of the person who went to the tomb is not mentioned. Thus that person is unknown (Majhool).

Narration of Saif bin Umar Al-Tamimi (in Fatooh) mentions that the person who went to the tomb was Bilal bin Harith Al-Muzni but Saif himslef is a weak narrator. See Tahzeeb-ut-Tahzeeb.

In this chain of Ibn Abi Shaiba, A'mash is narrating from Abi Salih. He is a Mudallis and is narrating by using the mode "UN". This is not acceptable. See the discussion under Narration # 5 for more details about Tadlees and the mode "UN".

Moreover this incident revolves around Malik Al-dar (Malik bin Ayadh) whose complete details are not known (Majhool). See Ibn Abi Hatim's Jarah wat Ta'deel [4/1 P213 or Vol.8 P213]. No commentary about his reliability is given. The only person who narrated from Malik is Abu Salih Al-Samman as mentioned by Ibn Abi Hatim Al-Razi.

Hafiz Munzari in Targheeb (2/41-42), Haithmi in Majma Al-Zawaid (3/125) and Sheikh Muhammad Nasrulladeen Al Albani, in his book of Wasila agree that Malik Al-dar (Malik bin Ayadh) is Majhool (not known).

Moreover the View of Umar (radiallahu anhu) has already been mentioned under the commentary of Narration #1.

Narration # 8 --- Deeds presented to Prophet after his death

Part 1: On Authority of Abdullah bin Masood (radiallahu anhu), Prophet said, There are Allah's angels who travel on land and convey to me my Ummah's Salaam.

[Ref: Nasai, Musnad Ahmad, Musnad Al-Bazzar]

Part 2: My life is better for you. You do new deeds and you are instructed to do so. And my death is also better for you. Your deeds will be presented before me. I will praise Allah about those deeds that I see righteous and I will seek forgiveness for you regarding those that I see evil.

[Ref: Musnad Al-Bazzar - Kashf ul Astar]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

The first part is correct but the second one is weak. The weak narrator is Abdul Majeed bin Abdul Aziz bin Abi Rawwad who has been criticized by the Muhadditheen. According to Ibn Hibban he is Matrook (Discarded). Imam Bukhari mentioned him in Book Al-Duafa. [Ref: Al-Majrooheen, Al-Duafa As-Sagheer, Al-Kamil fid Duafa]

Abdul Majeed has narrated from Sufyan Al-Thauri. The first part narrated by Abdul Majeed has also been narrated by about ten other students of Sufyan Al-Thauri which also include some senior Imams like Abdul Rahman bin Mahdi, Ibn e Al-Qattan, Abdullah bin Mubarak etc. But except for the first part no one narrated the second one (For details see Al-Dua Wa Manzilatuhu min Al-Aqeedah Al-Islamiyyah). It seems that Abdul Majeed is alone in narrating this narration. Thus even if his weakness as mentioned before is ignored, this narration would still come under the category of Shaaz (Rare), which is one type of weakness.

Imam Bazzar after narrating has hinted towards the weakness of this narration. See Kashf ul Astar.

If it is considered that Abdul Majeed is not weak, as is the opinion of some scholars, even then the soundness of his narration will be at the lowest grade. Hafiz Ibn Hajar after summarizing the data says that Abdul Majid was truthful but made many mistakes and was a Murji (Sect that beilieved that faith is enough for salvation of a person. They deferred doing deeds/acts) [Taqreeb & Tahzeeb ut Tahzeeb]. Note how this narration supports and augments his Mazhab. Therefore this grade of a narration cannot be taken for any matter of aqeedah especially when it supports the erroneous mazhab of Abdul Majeed.

Narration # 9 --- Supplication for remembering The Quran

Abu Al-Sheikh Al-Isphahani mentioned in his book Sawab Al-Aamaal a narration, which has the following substance:

Once Abu Bakar Siddique (radiallahu anhu) came to Allah's Apostle and complained about his difficulty in remembering the Quran. Allah's Apostle taught him a prayer, which had words like, O Allah! I ask you through your Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w) and your Khalil Ibrahim and so on by names of other Prophets.

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

This is a fabricated narration according to Muhadditheen.

Abdul Malik bin Haroon bin Untarah is extremely weak and is known for fabricating ahadith. [Ref: Al-Duafa As-Sagheer, Al-Kamil, Meezan ul Aitidal]

In this narration Abdul Malik bin Haroon is narrating from his father Haroon bin Untrah. Regarding Haroon Imam Al-Darqutni says he is Matrook ul Hadith (Discarded). [Ref: Kitab Al-Duafa wal Matrukin]

Imam Ibn Jauzi, Ibn Taimiyyah, Al-Suyuti, Ibn Iraq etc. considered this narration as fabricated. [See Al-Mauduat Li Ibn Jauzi Vol. 3 Page 436, Qaidah Al-Jaleelah li Ibn Taimiyyah, Al-La-Aali Al-Masnuah lis Suyuti and Tanzeeh Al-Shariah]

Narration # 10 --- Prayer to learn The Quran and other sciences

A narration is mentioned in Kitab ud Dua of Imam Tabarani on authority of Abdullah bin Abbas (radiallahu anhu). The substance of the narration is that Allah's Apostle taught a prayer to learn Quran along with other sciences. The words of the prayer are O Allah! I ask you through your Prophet and Messenger Mohammad (s.a.w) and through Ibrahim (a.s) and so on by names of other Prophets. It is even mentioned that one should write the prayer on a clean glass vessel with rain water, honey and Za'fran (Safron) and drink this in the morning and keep three fasts and open the fast with the same and also to read this prayer after Fard prayers.

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

This narration is also fabricated.

It revolves around a narrator Musa bin Abdul Rahman Al-San'Aani who has been criticized by scholars.

Imam Ibn Adi called him Munkar ul Hadith, Ibn Hibban called him Dajjal and Imam Zahbi called him Dajjal (Liar) and Halik (Perishable / Destructible). [Ref: Al-Kamil fid Duafa, Al-Mughni fid Duafa, Lisan ul Meezan]

Narration # 11 --- Tafseer of Surah Al-Baqarah Verse 89

An incident is nararted on authority of Abdullah bin Abbas (radiallahu anhu) for the Tafseer of Surah Al-Baqara's verse No 89. The substance of the incident is that Jews of Khaibar and Polytheists of Ghatfan were at war and Jews decided to supplicate by intimating wasila of Muhammad (s.a.w) in their invocation so that they would win. Thus they supplicated, O Allah! We ask you through the right of your Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and so on... which made them won the war.

[Ref: Mustadrak Hakim Vol 2 Hadith 3042, Dalail Al-Nabuwwah lil Baihaqi]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

This narration is also extremely weak or may even be fabricated

The chain revolves around Abdul Malik bin Haroon bin Untrah. And we have just gone over the details of this weak narrator along with his father in narration number nine.

Imam Hakim writes about Abdul Malik in his book Al-Madkhal that he used to narrate fabricated ahadith from his father.

After reading his statement above, it is surprising why he has mentioned this narration in his Mustadrak! He explains the reason of drawing out of this narration because of some necessity in illustrating the Tafseer. But Imam Zahbi and Ibn Hajar do not accept this reasoning.

Imam Zahbi says, " There is no need to narrate it since Abdul Malik is Matrook (Discarded) and Halik (Perishable / Destructible) " [Talkhees Al-Mustadrak]

Hafiz Ibn Hajar says, "If Yahya bin Ma'een declares some narrator as a Liar, then what is the need of drawing out his hadith for Istadrak (to gather ahadith upon the conditions of Bukhari and Muslim which were not mentioned in those books), in the two Saheeh (i.e. Bukhari & Muslim). He says that this is just a lame excuse! " [Al-Dua wa Manzilatuhu]

Thus it shows that this narration is not fit enough to be presented as a proof for the topic under discussion.

 

Narration # 12 --- What to say if a riding animal runs away

A hadith was reported by Ibn Masood (radiallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah said: If someone's pack or riding animal escapes away in a desert (or wilderness), he should say: "O servants of Allah! Help stop my animal". For Allah has (servants) present in the land who will stop (the animal) for you.

[Ref: Tabarani 1/81/3 and Musnad Abu Ya'la 1/254]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

The narrator Maroof bin Hassan in the chain is not reliable. In Meezan ul Aitidal it is mentioned that according to Ibn Adi he is Munkar ul Hadith. Ibn Abi Hatim heard from his father that Maroof bin Hassan was Majhool (Jarah wat Ta'deel Vol.8 P323). Even Imam Haithmi does not consider him reliable.

There is an Inqita (discontinuation of chain) between Ibn Buraidah and Ibn Masood as mentioned by Hafiz Ibn Hajar. Ibn Alan copied this in Sharah Al-Azkar.

[Albani considered this narration weak. See Silsilah Al-Daeefah, hadith no 655]

 

Narration # 13 --- What to say if something is lost

According to a narration in Tabarani, If anyone amongst you loses something or he wants to seek help and he is in a land where no one accompanies him. He should say "O Allah's Servants! Help me. O Allah's Servants! Help me. No doubt Allah has servants which we cannot see.

[Ref: Tabarani Al-Kabeer 1/55/6]

Observation of the Chain of Narrators:

Abdul Rahman bin Shareek narrating from his father is weak.

In Taqreeb Hafiz Ibn Hajar says that Abdul Rahman bin Shareek is truthful but makes mistakes.

Ibn Hibban in Al-Thiqat says he sometimes makes mistakes.

Abu Hatim has called him weak "Wahi ul Hadith", As mentioned by Ibn Abi Hatim in Jarah wat Ta'deel.

Haithmi in "Majma" also says that some narrators in this chain are weak.

Abdul Rahman bin Sharik's father is also weak. Hafiz Ibn Hajar says he was truthful but made many mistakes. His memory also suffered after he became the judge of Kufa.

The chain is Munqatay (Discontinued) too. Inqita is between Utba and Ibn Ali.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Takhreej ul Azkar has called this chain Munqatay.

Haithmi in "Majma" says that Yazid bin Ali did not reach Utba.

Ibn Ali according to Albani's research is Zaid and not Yazid. In that case we find that Utba bin Ghazwan died in 20 Hijrah and Zaid bin Ali was born 60 years after his death i.e. in 80 Hijrah. Hence the link is not established between them.

[Ref for Utba: Tahzeeb-ut-Tahzeeb Vol5 Page 462, Taqreeb ut Tahzeeb Vol 1 Page 388, Jarah wat Ta'deel Vol 6 Page 373]

[Ref for Zaid bin Ali: Tahzeeb-ut-Tahzeeb Vol 3 Page 233, Taqreeb ut Tahzeeb Vol 1 Page 192]

[Albani considered this narration weak. See Silsilah Al-Daeefah, hadith no 656]

Narration #14 --- Ascribing Towards Scholars and Imams

Some people quote what Ibn Hajar Maki in his book "Sawa'ik Al-Muhriqa" (P180) mentioned that Imam Shafi made supplication through the rank of Ahl Al-bait in a poem with the following passage:

Ahl Al-Bait are my resource and to it they are my means
I hope tomorrow by their love
I receive the scroll leaf of my deeds on my right hand
This is mentioned in his book without any sanad thus authenticity cannot be checked.

An incident mentioned in Tareekh-e-Baghdad is ascribed towards Imam Shafi that he used to go to Imam Abu Hanifa's grave whenever he was in need of something and used to supplicate there and so on.

This incident is not only weak but is a falsehood.

The narrator Umar bin Ishaq bin Ibrahim is Majhool. He is unkown in the books of rijaal. Ibn Taimiyyah in his book Iqtiza As-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem after mentioning this incident says that it is "Batil" (falsehood). He says that cherishing the graves is Makrooh (disliked) as is evident from the books of Imam Shafi. He mentioned that Imam Shafi saw graves of other Prophets and Sahaba in Hijaz, Yemen, Shaam, Iraq and Egypt. If what he used to do with Abu Hanifa's grave is true than what stopped him to do the same with these graves especially when people buried in them were superior in rank as compared to Imam Abu Hanifa. Thus he declares this incident false.

It is said that while accepting the Hadith of Adam (as mentioned before in Narration # 3) Imam Malik said to Abu Jafar Mansoor; "This is the wasila of Prophet and his father Adam". The narrator narrating this is Ibn Hamid who has been criticized about his speaking lies by many scholars. So obviously this narration cannot be accepted.

An overall and comprehensive study of "Seerah" of the Companions of Prophet, Tabaieen and Scholars show that they had no concept of intimating wasila regarding rank or status of a dead person in their supplication.

Abu Hanifa says: "I consider it Makrooh to seek from Allah by presenting a wasila of anyone other than Him (Allah)" [mentioned in Durr-e-Mukhtar and other books of Ahnaf]. His students Imam Abu Muhammad and Abu Yousuf also agree with him.

Stories and events like these do not serve as evidence even if they are true because evidence and daleel is only what Allah and His Prophet say and allow.

C O N C L U S I O N

Narrations supporting the concept of intimating wasila in invocations in relation to rank or status of a dead person are weak and unauthentic. They cannot serve as solid evidence.

Recognized concept of Wasila is by doing good deeds, by intimating Names and Qualities of Allah during invocation or with supplication of a living person, all of which are supported by Quran and Hadith and are free from controversy.

And when it is said that Prophet is a wasila then it is in the sense that his prayers and teachings are a source for us by which we can get near to Allah, provided we act upon them. Narrated Abu Musa (radiallahu anhu), the Prophet said:

"The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rainwater and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (Then that land did not give any benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefits (from the knowledge) which Allah Ta'ala has revealed through me (the Prophet) and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah's guidance revealed through me (he is like that barren land) " [Bukhari - Book of Knowledge, Hadith No.77]

For those who are not familiar with the science of rijaal and are still confused, would at least agree that at the very least this matter is extremely controversial and doubtful. For them (and every Muslim) the correct practice is to leave the doubtful things. This is according to an authentic hadith mentioned in Bukhari, Muslim and other books. Narrated Al-Nauman bin Bashir (radiallahu anhu); I heard Allah's Apostle (s.a.w) saying:

"Both legal and illegal things are evident but in between them there are doubtful (suspicious) things and most of the people have no knowledge about them. So whoever saves himself from these suspicious things saves his religion and his honor. And whoever indulges in these suspicious things is like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the Hima (private pastures) of someone else and at any moment he is liable to get in it. (O People!) Beware! Every king has a Hima and the Hima of Allah on the earth is His illegal (forbidden) things. Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoiled the whole body gets spoiled. And that is the Heart." [Bukhari - Book of Faith, Hadith No.50]

This is what we know and Surely Allah Knows The Best!

Wasila - Drawing Closer to Allah [main article]

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