Friday, 4 July 2014

ADAM [alayhi salaam] SEEKS INTERCESSION WITH THE PROPHET [salallahu alayhi wa sallam]





1) ADAM [alayhi salaam] SEEKS INTERCESSION WITH THE PROPHET [salallahu alayhi wa sallam]


The Prophet(s) said on the authority of `Umar (RA):

"When Adam committed his mistake he said: O my Lord, I am asking you to forgive me for the sake of Muhammad. Allah said: O Adam, and how do you know about Muhammad whom I have not yet created? Adam replied, O my Lord, after You created me with your hand and breathed into me of Your Spirit, I raised my head and saw written on the heights of the Throne:

LA ILAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUN RASULULLAH

I understood that You would not place next to Your Name but the Most Beloved One of Your creation. Allah said: O Adam, I have forgiven you, and were it not for Muhammad I would not have created you."


First the above Hadith was declared sound by many of the scholars of Hadith despite their knowledge of the presence of a problematic narrator in its chain by the name of Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam.

Now, even if we accept the grading given to this Hadith by the "salafis" [something which many of the reliable scholars of the past have disagreed with them upon as demonstrated below] then still, as explained by Sh. GF Haddad the narration through Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd is not actually the most authentic chain for this report!

 Rather, the Hadith narrated by Maysarat al-Fajr RA [Hadith below] is the most authentic chain for this report [declared by Sh. Abdullah al-Ghumari as "good and strong"].

A discussion regarding this Hadith was found HERE

It was transmitted through many chains and was cited by Bayhaqi (in Dala'il al-nubuwwa), Abu Nu`aym (in Dala'il al-nubuwwa), al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (2:615), al-Tabarani in his Saghir (2:82, 207) with another chain containing sub-narrators unknown to Haythami as he stated in Majma` al-zawa'id (8:253), and Ibn `Asakir on the authority of `Umar ibn al-Khattab, and most of these narrations were copied in Qastallani's al-Mawahib al-laduniyya (and al-Zarqani's Commentary 2:62).


1. This hadith is declared sound (sahih) by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (2:651), although he acknowledges Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam, one of its sub-narrators, as weak. However, when he mentions this hadith he says: "Its chain is sound, and it is the first hadith of Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam which I mention in this book"; al-Hakim also declares sound another version through Ibn `Abbas.

2. al-Bulqini declares this hadith sound in his Fatawa.

3. al-Subki confirms al-Hakim's authentication (in Shifa' al-siqam fi ziyarat khayr al-anam p. 134-135) although
Ibn Taymiyya's rejection and criticism of this hadith was known to him and he rejects it, as well as saying that Ibn Taymiyya's extreme weakening of Ibn Zayd is exaggerated.

4. The hadith is also included by Qadi `Iyad among the "sound and famous narrations" in al-Shifa, and he says that Abu Muhammad al-Makki and Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi mention it; Qadi `Iyad says: "It is said that this hadith explains the verse: 'And Adam received words from his Lord and He relented towards him' (2:37)"; he continues to cite another very similar version through al-Ajurri (d. 360), about whom al-Qari said: "al-Halabi said: This seems to be the imam and guide Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Husayn ibn `Abd Allah al-Baghdadi, the compiler of the books al-Shari`a devoted to the Sunna, al-Arba`un, and others.'" This is confirmed by Ibn Taymiyya in his Qa`ida fi al-tawassul: "It is related by Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Ajurri, in his book al-Shari`a."

5. Ibn al-Jawzi also considers it sound (sahih) as he cites it in the first chapter of al-Wafa bi ahwal al-mustafa, in the introduction of which he says: "(In this book) I do not mix the sound hadith with the false," although he knew of `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd's weakness as a narrator; he also mentions the version of Maysarat al-Fajr whereby the Prophet says: "When satan deceived Adam and Eve, they repented and sought intercession to Allah with my name"; Ibn al-Jawzi also says in the chapter concerning the Prophet's superiority over the other Prophets in the same book: "Part of the exposition of his superiority to other Prophets is the fact that Adam asked his Lord through the sanctity (hurmat) of Muhammad that He relent towards him, as we have already mentioned."

6.
Suyuti cites it in his Qur'anic commentary al-Durr al-manthur (2:37) and in al-Khasa'is al-kubra (1:12) and in al-Riyad al-aniqa fi sharh asma' khayr al-khaliqa (p. 49), where he says that Bayhaqi considers it sound; this is due to the fact that Bayhaqi said in the introduction to the Dala'il that he only included sound narrations in his book, although he also knew and explicitly mentions `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd's weakness;

7. Ibn Kathir mentions it after Bayhaqi in al-Bidayat wa al-Nihaya (1:75, 1:180).

8. al-Haythami in Majma` al-zawa'id (8:253 #28870), al-Bayhaqi himself, and al-Qari in Sharh al- shifa' show that its chains have weakness in them. However, the weakness of Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd was known by Ibn al-Jawzi, Subki, Bayhaqi, Hakim, and Abu Nu`aym, yet all these scholars retained this hadith for consideration in their books.

9. Three scholars reject it, such as Ibn Taymiyya (Qa`ida jalila fi al-tawassul p. 89, 168-170) and his two students Ibn `Abd al-Hadi (al-Sarim al-munki p. 61-63) and al-Dhahabi (Mizan al-i`tidal 2:504 and Talkhis al-mustadrak), while `Asqalani reports Ibn Hibban's saying that `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd was a forger (Lisan al-mizan 3:360, 3:442).

10.
At the same time, Ibn Taymiyya elsewhere quotes it and the version through Maysara [ see below] and says:

"These two are like the elucidation (tafsir) of the authentic ahadith (concerning the same topic)" (Fatawa 2:150). The contemporary Meccan hadith scholar Ibn `Alawi al-Maliki said: "This indicates that Ibn Taymiyya found the hadith sound enough to be considered a witness for other narrations (salih li al-istishhad wa al-i`tibar), because the forged (al-mawdu`) and the false (al-batil) are not taken as witness by the people of hadith"; al-Maliki also quotes (without reference) Dhahabi's unrestrained endorsement of the ahadith in Bayhaqi's Dala'il al-nubuwwa with his words: "You must take what is in it (the Dala'il), for it consists entirely of guidance and light." (Mafahim yajib an tusahhah p. 47).

11. It is furthermore evident that Ibn Taymiyya considers the meaning of the creation of everything for the sake of the Prophet as true and correct, as he declares in his Majmu`at al-fatawa in the volume on tasawwuf (11:95-97):

Muhammad is the Chief of the Children of Adam, the Best of Creation, the noblest of them in the sight of Allah. This is why some have said that "Allah created the Universe due to him," or that "Were it not for him, He would have neither created a Throne, nor a Footstool, nor a heaven, earth, sun or moon."


However, this is not a hadith on the authority of the Prophet... but it may be explained from a correct aspect...

Since the best of the righteous of the children of Adam is Muhammad, creating him was a desirable end of deep-seated purposeful wisdom, more than for anyone else, and hence the completion of creation and the fulfilment of perfection was attained with Muhammad, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace... The Chief of the Children of Adam is Muhammad, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace, Adam and his children being under his banner. He, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace, said: "Truly, I was written as the Seal of the Prophets with Allah, when Adam was going to-and-fro in his clay," i.e. that my prophethood was decreed and manifested when Adam was created but before the breathing of the Spirit into him, just as Allah decrees the livelihood, lifespan, deeds and misery or happiness of the slave when He creates the embryo but before the breathing of the Spirit into it.

Since man is the seal and last of all creation, and its microcosm, and since the best of man is thus the best of all creation absolutely, then Muhammad, being the Pupil of the Eye, the Axis of the Mill, and the Distributor to the Collective, is as it were the Ultimate Purpose from amongst all the purposes of creation. Thus it cannot be denied to say that "Due to him all of this was created", or that "Were it not for him, all this would not have been created," so if statements like this are thus explained according to what the Book and the Sunna indicate, it is acceptable. 


12.
Its latter part is mentioned as a separate hadith in the wording: "Were it not for Muhammad, I would not have created the spheres (al-aflak)." al-`Ajluni said in Kashf al-khafa' (#2123): "al-Saghani (d.650) said it is forged. I say: but its meaning is correct." 

Similarly `Ali al-Qari said in al-Asrar al-marfu`a (#754-755): 

"al-Saghani (in al-Ahadith al-mawdu`a p. 7) said: "It is forged," however, its meaning is sound (mi`nahu sahih), as Daylami has narrated on the authority of Ibn `Abbas that the Prophet said: "Gabriel came to me and said: O Muhammad! Were it not for you, Paradise would not have been created, and were it not for you, the Fire would not have been created." 

And Ibn `Asakir's narration has: And were it not for you, the world would not have been created."





As for Albani's rejection of Qari's use of Daylami in support of the hadith with the words: "I do not hesitate to declare it weak on the basis that Daylami is alone in citing it" (Silsila da`ifa #282), it shows exaggeration and deviation from the practice of the scholars concerning Daylami and his book. Ibn Taymiyya said in Minhaj al-sunna (4:38): "The fact that Daylami alone narrates a hadith does not indicate that the hadith is sound."

Note that he never said: "The fact that Daylami alone narrates a hadith indicates that it is forged," yet this is what Albani concludes! The reader may compare Albani's method of apriori rejection in lieu of a discussion of the hadith itself, to Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani's reliance on a hadith narrated by Daylami, as is shown by hadith #33 of his Arba`un fi rad` al-mujrim `an sabb al-muslim, although Daylami is alone in citing it. Further in Minhaj al-sunna (4:78) Ibn Taymiyya declared of him and his book: "al-Daylami in his book al-Firdaws mentioned many sound (sahih) hadiths, and also fair (hasan) narrations and forged ones.... He was one of the people of knowledge and religion and he was not a liar."

13.
Ibn al-Qayyim in his Bada'i` al-fawa'id went so far as to represent Allah saying to humankind that everything was created for the sake of human beings:

hal `arifat qimata nafsik? innama khalaqtu al-akwana kullaha laka... kullu al-ashiya'i shajaratun wa anta al-thamara

Have you realized your value? I only created all the universes for your sake... All things are trees whose fruit you are
. [18]

If Allah created all the universes for the sake of human beings, then how could all humanity be given what the Prophet is grudged, who is better than mankind and jinn put together?


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What follows now is the discussion of another related Hadith narrated through Maysarat al-Fajr [RA] cited below in Arabic with its chain of narrators.



2) ADAM [alayhi salaam] SEEKS INTERCESSION WITH THE PROPHET'S [salallahu alayhi wa sallam] NAME

I asked: "O Messenger of Allah, when were you [first] a Prophet?" He replied: "When Allah created the earth ‘Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens’(2:29), and created the Throne, He wrote on the leg of the Throne: "Muhammad the Messenger of Allah is the Seal of Prophets" (Muhammadun Rasûlullâhi Khâtamu al-Anbiyâ'). Then Allah created the Garden in which He made Adam and Hawwa' dwell, and He wrote my name on the gates, its tree-leaves, its domes and tents, at a time when Adam was still between the spirit and the body. When Allah Most High instilled life into him he looked at the Throne and saw my name, whereupon Allah informed him that 'He [Muhammad SAWS] is the liege-lord of all your descendants.' When Satan deceived them both, they repented and sought intercession to Allah with my name."

قد أخرج الحافظ أبو الحسن بن بشران قال : حدثنا أو جعفر محمد ابن عمرو، حدثنا أحمد بن سحاق بن صالح، ثنا محمد بن صالح، ثنا محمد ابن سنان العوقي، ثنا إبراهيم بن طهمان، عن بديل بن ميسرة، عن عبد الله بن شقيق، عن ميسرة قال: قلت: يا رسول الله، متى كنت نبياً ؟ قال: (( لما خلق الله الأرض واستوى إلى السماء فسواهن سبع سماوات ، وخلق العرش،كتب على ساق العرش: محمد رسول الله خاتم الأنبياء، وخلق الله الجنة التي أسكنها آدم وحواء، فكتب اسمي على الأبواب، والأوراق والقباب، والخيام،وآدم بين الروح والجسد،فلما أحياه الله تعالى: نظر إلى العرش فرأى اسمي فأخبره الله أنه سيد ولدك، فلما غرهما الشيطان ، تابا واستشفعا باسمي إليه ) .
وأخرجه ابن الجوزي في الوفا بفضائل المصطفى من طريق ابن بشران


In the chapter concerning the Prophet's superiority over all other Prophets in his great book titled al-Wafa bi Ahwal al-Mustafa', Ibn al-Jawzi states: "Part of the demonstration of his superiority to other Prophets is the fact that Adam (AS) asked his Lord through the sanctity (hurma) of Muhammad (S) that He relent towards him."

The most authentic chain for this report is not that of al-Hakim's narration from `Umar through `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam who is weak (da`îf), but that of the Companion Maysarat al-Fajr who narrates it as [above]

Shaykh `Abd Allah al-Ghumari cited it in Murshid al-Ha'ir li Bayan Wad` Hadith Jabir and said, "its chain is good and strong" while in al-Radd al-Muhkam al-Matin (p. 138-139) he adds: "It is the strongest Companion-corroboration (shâhid) I saw for the hadith of `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd" as quoted also by Shaykh Mahmud Mamduh in Raf` al-Minara (p. 248).

Elsewhere Maulana Muhammad ibn Moulana Haroon Abasoomar states:

"The chain of narrators for this Hadith is totally different from the previous one. And in fact, Hafiz ibn Hajar [ra] has stated concerning a completely different narration which has the very same chain of narrators, that this chain of narrators is strong. (al-Raddul Muhkamul Mateen pgs.138-139; al-Ahaadeethul Muntaqaa pg.14, both of Shaykh Abdullah Siddique al-Ghumarie)"


Sidi Abul Hasan mentioned:

The student of Imam al-Suyuti: Imam Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Salihi of Damascus, who died in the year 942 AH, has mentioned in his multi-volume Sira work known as: Subul al-Hadi wal Rashhad, this very narration from Maysara (ra) as follows (vol. 1/p. 86, Darul Kutub Ilmiyya edn, Beirut) from Imam ibn al Jawzi:

وروى ابن الجوزي بسند جيد لا بأس به ، عن ميسرة رضي الله تعالى عنه قال : قلت يا رسول الله ، متى كنت نبيا ؟ قال : لما خلق الله الأرض واستوى إلى السماء فسواهن سبع سماوات وخلق العرش كتب على ساق العرش : محمد رسول الله خاتم الأنبياء . وخلق الله تعالى الجنة التي أسكنها آدم وحواء ، فكتب اسمي على الأوراق والأبواب والقباب والخيام ، وآدم بين الروح والجسد ، فلما أحياه الله تعالى نظر إلى العرش فرأى اسمي ، فأخبره الله تعالى أنه سيد ولدك . فلما غرهما الشيطان تابا واستشفعا باسمي إليه

The crucial point is highlighted in blue above, where Imam al-Salihi declared the chain of transmission to be: "Jayyid La Ba'sa bihi",

Meaning: "Good and there is no harm in it."

This earlier ruling gives credibility to Shaykh Abdullah al-Ghumari and his student: Shaykh Mahmud Mamduh's declarations on its authenticity. Note also, that Shaykh Abdullah al-Ghumari has also declared in his Al-Ahadith al-Muntaqa fi-Fada'il Rasul Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) that the narration from Maysara (ra) is "Qawi" - "Strong"

Sidi Abul Hasan
regard to the narration from Maysara al-Fajr (ra):

فقد أخرج الحافظ أبو الحسن بن بشران قال : حدثنا أو جعفر محمد ابن عمرو، حدثنا أحمد بن سحاق بن صالح، ثنا محمد بن صالح، ثنا محمد ابن سنان العوقي، ثنا إبراهيم بن طهمان، عن بديل بن ميسرة، عن عبد الله بن شقيق(1)، عن ميسرة قال: قلت: يا رسول الله، متى كنت نبياً ؟ قال: (( لما خلق الله الأرض واستوى إلى السماء فسواهن سبع سماوات ، وخلق العرش،كتب على ساق العرش: محمد رسول الله خاتم الأنبياء، وخلق الله الجنة التي أسكنها آدم وحواء، فكتب اسمي على الأبواب، والأوراق والقباب، والخيام،وآدم بين الروح والجسد،فلما أحياه الله تعالى: نظر إلى العرش فرأى اسمي فأخبره الله أنه سيد ولدك، فلما غرهما الشيطان ، تابا واستشفعا باسمي إليه ) .وأخرجه ابن الجوزي في الوفا بفضائل المصطفى من طريق ابن بشران، نقله عن ابن تيمية في الفتاوي (2/159) مستشهداً به

Some contemporaries have objected of late that in the sanad to the narration from Ibn Bushran there is a narrator by the name of Muhammad ibn Salih - and it is not precisely known which of the numerous Muhammad ibn Salih's is this exact one in the Isnad given above.

Shaykh Mamduh
has named two that could possibly be the exact narrator in the above sanad.

He said:

ومحمد بن صالح هو أبو بكر الأنماطي المعروف بكيلجة ، ثقة حافظ من رجال التهذيب ، ويمكن أن يكون هو محمد بن صالح الواسطي كعب الذراع، ثقة أيضاً، ومترجم في تاريخ الخطيب (5/360)، والاختلاف في تعيين الثقة لا يضر .

Basically it may be the Muhammad ibn Salih known as Abu Bakr al-Anmati who he said was a trustworthy Hafiz (Thiqa Hafiz, as In Taqreeb al-Tahdhib of Ibn Hajar, no. 5962) or it may be Muhammad ibn Salih al-Wasiti Ka'b al-Zaari who was declared Thiqa by Khatib al-Baghdadi in his Ta'rikh (5/360).

The objection stems from not having direct evidence if any of these narrators commonly known as Muhammad ibn Salih did actually meet and narrate from the next narrator in the Isnad known as: Muhammad ibn Sinan.

The answer Insha'allah: Most of our contemporaries, like the late Shaykh Abdullah al-Ghumari and his students like Shaykh Mamduh seem to have missed or not known of another alternative route which was also related by Imam Ibn Bushran, with the crucial point of Muhammad ibn Salih not being in an alternative route containing the same text!

The Imam: Shamsud-Din Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Nu'man al-Marakashi, who
died in the year 683 AH, hence before Ibn Taymiyya has related in his book known as:

مصباح الظلام في المستغيثين بخير الأنام

The following Isnad on p. 23, without the narrator Muhammad ibn Salih in the sanad:

أخبرنا أبو الحسين محمد بن عبد الله السلامي قال أخبرنا محمد بن ناصر السلامي عن أبيطاهر محمد بن أحمد بن قيداس عن أبي الحسين بن بشران قال حدثنا أبو جعفر محمد بن عمرو قال ثنا أحمد بن إسحاق بن صالح قال حدثنا محمد بن سنان العوقي إلإلى آخر السند والمتن

The chain from Ibn Bushran is thus from his Shaykh Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Amr from
Ahmad ibn Ishaq ibn Salih from
Muhammad ibn Sinan al-Awqi from
Ibrahim ibn Tahman from
Budayl ibn Maysara from
Abdullah ibn Shaqiq from
Maysara al-Fajr with the same text as Ibn Taymiyya mentioned from Hafiz ibn al-Jawzi.

A similar chain to this was recorded by Imam al-Bayhaqi in his Dala'il al-Nubuwwa (no. 18) as follows with a different text:

وأخبرنا أبو الحسين بن بشران ببغداد قال : حدثنا أبو جعفر محمد بن عمرو الرزاز قال : حدثنا أحمد بن إسحاق بن صالح قال : حدثنا محمد بن سنان العوقي قال : حدثنا إبراهيم بن طهمان عن بديل بن ميسرة عن عبد الله بن شقيق عن ميسرة الفجر قال : قلت : يا رسول الله متى كتبت نبيا ؟ قال : " وآدم بين الروح والجسد "

Insha'allah, this should give strength to the route containing Muhammad ibn Salih in the initial part of the discussion above. If anyone has an objection to the sanad given by Imam al-Marakashi then they need to show why using Ilm al-Jarh wa Ta'dil of the narrators.


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THE PROPHETIC TITLE
(KHAYRU-L-KHALQ)
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ADHM

Thursday, 3 July 2014

TAWASSUL OF UMAR (RA) THROUGH AL- ABBAS (RA)





TAWASSUL OF 'UMAR THROUGH
AL-'ABBAS [may Allah be pleased with them]

كما في صحيح البخاري (954) عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ رضي الله عنه: أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ كَانَ إِذَا قَحَطُوا اسْتَسْقَى بِالْعَبَّاسِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ فَقَالَ: اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا كُنَّا نَتَوَسَّلُ إِلَيْكَ بِنَبِيِّنَا فَتَسْقِينَا وَإِنَّا نَتَوَسَّلُ إِلَيْكَ بِعَمِّ نَبِيِّنَا فَاسْقِنَا قَالَ فَيُسْقَوْنَ

It is narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (954) from Anas ibn Maalik that if a drought came, 'Umar ibn al-Khattaab (radiyallahu 'anhu) would ask al-'Abbaas ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib to pray for rain. He would say: "O Allah, we used to beseech You by means of (the du'a of) Your Prophet for rain and You would give us rain; now we beseech You by means of (the du'a of) the paternal uncle of Your Prophet, so grant us rain." [Salafi translation]

This hadith is often manipulated by the salafis to try and prove that Tawassul is only through the living and not through the deceased.

Question:
How do the contemporary Hanafi scholars explain the hadeeth recorded in Sahih Al-Bukhari according to which Khalifah Umar (Allah be pleased with him) asked Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) to ask Allah for rain on behalf of the Muslim community and not the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) at his grave. The Khalifah said that they USED to ask the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to ask Allah and now they ask his uncle instead.


The Correct Understanding 
Of The Tawassul Of 
Umar Through al-Abbas


Before turning to the question and its questionable premises some preliminary remarks are in order.

First of all, `Umar asked al-`Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib, not his son `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas...
Second
, the terminology of the Khalifa's request, Allah be well-pleased with him, is as follows:
"O Allah! We would use our Prophet as a means to You and You then sent us rain; now we use our Prophet's uncle as a means to You, therefore send us rain!"

Narrated from Anas by al-Bukhari in his Sahih.
“Whoever understands from this that `Umar only used al-`Abbas as his means and not the Messenger of Allah, upon him peace, because al-`Abbas is alive and the Messenger of Allah is dead – that person’s understanding is dead.”  
(Al-Maliki)


Al-Suyuti mentions the context of this event in his Tarikh al-Khulafa' (Beirut, 1992 Ahmad Fares ed. p. 140): "In the year 17 `Umar enlarged the Prophetic mosque. That year there was a drought in the Hijaz. It was named the Year of Cinders (`am al-ramada). `Umar prayed for rain for the people by means of al-`Abbas. Ibn Sa`d narrated from [the Sahabi] Niyar al-Aslami that when `Umar came came out to pray for rain, he came out wearing the cloaks (burd) of the Messenger of Allah, upon him blessings and peace. Ibn `Awn narrated that `Umar took al-`Abbas's hand and raised it up, saying, 'O Allah, we seek a means to You with the uncle of Your Prophet to ask that You drive away from us the drought and water us with rain'...."


Now, the event of the tawassul of Sayyiduna `Umar through al-`Abbas shows the following:


[1]
Nowhere in the hadith is there any indication that there was no tawassul through the Prophet upon him peace, in the time of `Umar. Such a view is an inference or an extrapolation that is not based on explicit evidence.

[2]
On the contrary, `Umar implicitly made tawassul through the Prophet upon him peace, at that very time, by wearing his blessed cloaks as he came out for the prayer for rain as mentioned in the report by Ibn Sa`d. In Sahih Muslim Asma' says that she inherited the mantle of the Prophet from her sister `A'isha and that they used it to seek a cure for people.

[3] The use of the Prophet's uncle illustrates that tawassul is essentially through the Prophet upon him peace, as the importance of al-`Abbas in this respect is only in his relationship to the Prophet as `Umar himself states with the words "the uncle of Your Prophet" in al-Bukhari's version already mentioned; "the status of al-`Abbas in relation to your Prophet" in al-Lalika'i's version; and as al-`Abbas states:
"O Allah, truly no tribulation descends except because of sins, nor is lifted except upon repentence. The people have turned to you by means of me BECAUSE OF MY POSITION IN RELATION TO YOUR PROPHET, and here are our hands [raised up] towards you - despite our sins - and our forelocks in repentence, so send down water for us and PRESERVE YOUR PROPHET IN THE PERSON OF HIS UNCLE." Whereupon the sky let down water as thick as ropes and the people came over to al-`Abbas passing their hands over him and saying to him: “Congratulations to you, irrigator of the two Sanctuaries!” Whereupon `Umar said, “He/This is, by Allah, the means to Allah and the place of nearness to Him!” (Cited from al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar's narration in al-Ansab by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (2:497).

So the tawassul continues to be solely through the Prophet despite appearances to the contrary, for he is the ultimate recourse of human beings seeking nearness to Allah as he himself taught the blind man (“Say, ‘O Muhammad, I turn with you to Allah…’”) and as several Sahaba explicitly said, such as in the following reports:

(a) Report of the Bedouin who said to the Holy Prophet :

We have come to you when even our virgins' milk is dry, and the mother worries for her own life over her child's, The child lets down his arms sitting still For hunger, a hunger unstilled and uninterrupted. We have nothing left from what our people eat Except bitter colocynth and camel-wool mixed with blood. And we have none but you to flee to, for where can people flee except to the Messengers?

Then the Prophet - upon him peace - stood up and he was dragging his garment. He climbed up the pulpit and said: "O Allah, send us water...." whereupon rain fell abundantly. Then the Prophet upon him peace said: "If Abu Talib were alive he would have liked to see this. Who will recite for us what he said?" Hearing this, `Ali stood up and said: "O Messenger of Allah, I think you mean his saying:
A fair-skinned one by whose face rainclouds are sought, A caretaker for the orphans and protector of widows. With him the clan of Hashim seek refuge from calamities, For they possess in him immense favor and grace...." Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in Dala'il al-Nubuwwa (6:141) cf. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya (6:90-91) and Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (1989 ed. 2:629).

(b)
Report of  Sawad ibn Qarib al-Sadusi who declaimed:

Truly, you are the nearest of all Messengers as a means to Allah, son of the noblest and purest ones!
Therefore, be an intercessor for me the Day none but you among intercessors shall be of the least benefit for Sawad ibn Qarib!
Whereupon the Prophet smiled, upon him peace, and said: You have obtained success, Sawad!”
Narrated by Abu Ya`la in his Mu`jam (p. 265), al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (7:94 §6475), Abu Nu`aym in Dala’il al-Nubuwwa (p. 114 §63), al-Taymi in the Dala’il (p. 132), al-Hakim in the Mustadrak, (3:705), al-Bayhaqi in the Dala'il (2:251) cf. Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Isti`ab (2:675), Ibn Kathir, Tafsir (4:169) and Bidaya, Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (7:180) and Isaba (3:219).


(c) Report of Hassan ibn Thabit who declaimed:

O Pillar of those who rely upon you, O Immunity of those who seek refuge in you, and Resort of those who seek herbiage and rain, and Neighboring Protector of those in need of shelter! O you whom the One God has chosen for His creatures by planting in him perfection and purity of character!
Narrated by Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Isti`ab (1:276) and Ibn Sayyid al-Nas in Minah al-Mad-h (p. 73).


[4] The background to `Umar's prayer for rain shows that there was also an explicit tawassul through the Prophet upon him peace, performed by the Sahabi Bilal ibn al-Harith as narrated in two versions:

(a) Version 1

From the Sahabi Malik al-Dar:

The people suffered a drought in `Umar's khilafa, whereupon a man came to the grave of the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa- Alihi wa-Sallam and said: "Messenger of Allah! Ask for rain for your Community, for verily they have but perished." After this the Prophet appeared to him in a dream and told him: "Go to `Umar and give him my greeting, then tell him that they will be watered. Tell him: Be clever!" The man went and told `Umar. The latter wept and said: "My Lord! I spare no effort except in what escapes my power."

Ibn Kathir cites it thus from al-Bayhaqi's Dala'il al-Nubuwwa (7:47) in al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya (Ma`arif ed. 7:91-92=Dar Ihya' al-Turath ed. 7:105) saying: "isnaduhu sahih" and he also declares its chain sound (isnaduhu jayyidun qawi) in his Jami` al-Masanid (1:223) in Musnad `Umar. Ibn Abi Shayba cites it (6:352=12:31-32) with a sound (sahih) chain as confirmed by Ibn Hajar who says: "rawa Ibn Abi Shayba bi'isnadin sahih" and cites the hadith in Fath al-Bari, Book of Istisqa ch. 3 (1989 ed. 2:629-630=1959 ed. 2:495) as well as in al-Isaba (6:164 §8350=3:484) where he says that Ibn Abi Khaythama cited it. It is also thus narrated by al-Khalili in al-Irshad (1:313- 314) and Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Isti`ab (2:464=3:1149).

Al-Albani attempted to weaken this report in his Tawassul (p. 120) but was refuted in the lengthy analysis given by Mamduh in Raf` al-Minara (p. 262-278), which refutes other similar attempts cf. Ibn Baz's marginalia on Fath al-Bari, Abu Bakr al-Jaza'iri's tract Wa-Ja'u Yarkudun, Hammad al-Ansari's articles "al-Mafhum al-Sahih lil-Tawassul" also titled "Tuhfat al-Qari fil-Radd `ala al-Ghumari," and other such literature.

Ibn Hajar identifies the man who visited and saw the Prophet upon him peace, in his dream as the Companion Bilal ibn al- Harith, counting this hadith among the reasons for al- Bukhari's naming of the chapter "The people's request to their leader for rain if they suffer drought" in his Sahih, book of Istisqa'.

(b) Version 2 from al-Tabari's Tarikh (2:509):


In the year of the drought called al-Ramada during the successorship of `Umar the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harith, while slaughtering a sheep for his kin, noticed that the sheep's bones had turned red because the drying flesh was clinging to them. He cried out "Ya Muhammadah!" Then he saw the Prophet - upon him peace - in a dream ordering him to go to `Umar with the tidings of coming rain on condition that `Umar show wisdom. Hearing this, `Umar assembled the people and came out to pray for rain with al-`Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet upon him blessings and peace.

[5] `Umar had made tawassul through the Prophet in the past, upon him peace, since he said: "WE WOULD USE OUR PROPHET AS A MEANS TO YOU..." i.e. in his and Abu Bakr's rule (and not only during the life of the Prophet upon him peace), as it is improbable that they never once experienced drought in the previous 8.5 years. “But to restrict this sententence to the Prophet's lifetime is a deficiency stemming from idle lust, a manipulation of the text of the report, and figurative interpretation without proof.” (Al-Kawthari)

[6] At any rate the major Sahaba did make tawassul through the Prophet upon him peace, after his time as established by the report from our Mother `A'isha - Allah be well- pleased with her - in al-Darimi's Sunan, in the 15th Chapter of the Introduction (1:43) titled: "Allah's generosity to His Prophet after his death," related from Aws ibn `Abd Allah with a good chain:

"The people of Madina complained to `A'isha of the severe drought that they were suffering. She said: "Go to the Prophet's grave and open a window towards the sky so that there will be no roof between him and the sky." They did so, after which they were watered with such rain that vegetation grew and the camels got fat. That year was named the Year of Plenty."

The reader will find extensive documentation on this report in the Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine (4:47-52) and it was declared authentic by all the Sunni experts of hadith, last in date Shaykh Nabil ibn Hashim al-Ghamri in his 1999 10-volume edition of and commentary on al-Darimi titled Fath al-Mannan (1:564-566) where he rejects the objections of al-Albani and his likes to this hadith.

[7] `Umar had made tawassul through the Prophet upon him peace, in the campaign of Tabuk and had therefore directly experienced the Divine munificence and Prophetic generosity.

"When the travel provision of the people decreased they thought of slaughtering their camels but `Umar came to the Prophet upon him peace, and said, 'How will they survive without their camels?' The Prophet said, 'Call to them to bring every remainder of their travel provisions.' A piece of leather was spread and they brought whatever they had. Then the Messenger of Allah stood and supplicated, then he blessed over the food and summoned them to being their bags. The people supplied themselves to the last one. Then the Messenger of Allah said, 'I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah!'" Narrated from Salama ibn al-Akwa` by al-Bukhari and Muslim and from Abu Hurayra by Muslim and Ahmad.

[8] `Umar used al-`Abbas to show people the status of the Prophet's family in the society and teach them to respect and venerate them, as Ibn Hajar said in explanation of the report of Anas cited above:

"It is desirable to seek the intercession of saintly people and the relatives of the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa-Alihi wa-Sallam, and it shows al-`Abbas's great merit and that of `Umar due to the latter's humbleness before al-`Abbas and his recognition of his due right."

This is confirmed by al-Ajurri's narration in al-Shari`a and Ahmad in Fada'il al-Sahaba (2:937 #1802) that Ka`b al- Ahbar took al-`Abbas's hand and said, "I shall hide it away [this handshake] for your intercession on my behalf." Al- `Abbas replied: "Why, will I have the power of intercession?" Ka`b said: "Yes, there is none from the Household of the Prophet upon him and them peace, except they have the power of intercession!" Ka`b al-Ahbar also said to Sayyidina `Umar: "Whenever the Israelites had a drought they sought intercession through their Prophet's household" as narrated by Ibn `Abd al- Barr in al-Isti`ab (2:814).

[9] It is known that `Umar had a particular veneration for the Prophetic Household (Ahl al-Bayt) as illustrated by the following reports:

(a) Ibn Sa`d narrated from al-Sha`bi and al-Hasan that al- `Abbas had some need of `Umar one day and said to him: "Commander of the Believers, suppose the uncle of Musa, upon him peace, came to you as a Muslim, how would you treat him?" He replied, "I swear by Allah that I would treat him well!" Al-`Abbas said, "Well, I am the uncle of Muhammad the Prophet - upon him and his House blessings and peace!" `Umas said, "Abu al-Fadl, and what do you suppose? By Allah, your father [`Abd al-Muttalib] is certainly dearer to me than my own father!" He said, "By Allah?" `Umar said, "By Allah, yes! Because I know that he [`Abd al-Muttalib] is dearer to the Messenger of Allah than my own father, therefore I prefer the love of the Messenger of Allah to my love."

(b) A man disparaged `Ali ibn Abi Talib in the presence of `Umar whereupon the latter said: "Do you know the dweller of this grave? He is Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah ibn `Abd al-Muttalib. And `Ali is the son of Abu Talib ibn `Abd al-Muttalib. Therefore, do not mention `Ali except in a good way for if you dislike him you will harm this one in his grave." Narrated by Ahmad with a good chain in Fada'il al-Sahaba (2:641 #1089).

(c) After `Umar saw al-Husayn ibn `Ali ibn Abi Talib waiting at his door he said to him: "You are more deserving of permission to enter than [my son] `Abd Allah ibn `Umar! You see the goodness that was placed on our head; [therefore] first Allah; then you [the Prophetic Household]!" and he placed his hand on his head as he spoke. Narrated by Ibn Sa`d, Ibn Rahuyah, and al-Khatib.

(d) Jabir said he heard `Umar ibn al-Khattab say on the pulpit after he married Umm Kulthum, the daughter of `Ali and Fatima - Allah be well-pleased with them:

"Do not disparage me [for marrying a young girl], for I heard the Prophet say, upon him blessings and peace: 'On the Judgment Day every means will be cut off and every lineage severed except my lineage.'"
Narrated by al-Tabarani. Al-Haythami said its narrators are those of al-Bukhari and Muslim.

`Umar desired to place himself in the Prophet's lineage through this marriage due to the precedence of Ahl al-Bayt in the Prophet's intercession, upon him and them peace.

[10] Nor is this intercession solely by way of the Prophet's mere supplication (du`a) and by means of al-`Abbas's mere supplication as claimed by the innovators and by the terminology of the question cited above. Rather, it was by means of their person (dhat) AND  du`a as literally stated in the following reports among many others:

(a) Intercession through the Prophet's person according to Ibn `Umar:

In Sahih al-Bukhari: `Abdullah ibn Dinar said:

"I heard Ibn `Umar reciting the poetic verses of Abu Talib:
A fair-skinned one by whose face rainclouds are sought, A caretaker for the orphans and protector of widows.
"`Umar ibn Hamza said: Salim narrated from his father (Ibn `Umar) that the latter said: "The poet's saying came to my mind as I was looking at the face of the Prophet - upon him blessings and peace - while he was praying for rain - and he did not come down until the rain water flowed profusely from every roof-gutter:

A fair-skinned one by whose face rainclouds are sought, A caretaker for the orphans and protector of widows."
One sub-narrator added: "These were the words of Abu Talib."

Note that in his translation of Bukhari (2:65), Muhammad Muhsin Khan alters the wording of the hadith to read: "A white person WHO IS REQUESTED TO PRAY FOR RAIN" in place of "by whose face rain is sought." This is tahrif i.e. textual and semantic manipulation of the most important source in Islam after the Qur'an.

(b)
Intercession through al-`Abbas's person according to `Umar:

"People! The Messenger of Allah sallAllahu `alayhi wa-Alihi wa-Sallam considered al-`Abbas like his father, venerating him and greatly respecting him and his rights. Therefore, O people! take the lead of the Messenger of Allah in the person of his uncle al-`Abbas and take the latter as your means to Allah Most High in the context of your tribulation."
Narrated from `Umar with a sound chain by al-Baladhiri and with weak chains from Ibn `Umar by al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar in al-Ansab and Ibn `Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (8:932) as cited by Ibn Hajar in the Fath (1959 ed. 2:497). Shaykh Mahmud Mamduh in Raf` al- Minara (p. 120) rejected al-Albani's claim in his book al-Tawassul (p. 67-68) that the chain of this hadith is "mixed up" (mudtarib) as inapplicable here.

[11] `Umar showed the possibility of tawassul through X. even though Y. - also present - may be better than X. He showed that tawassul through the inferior in the presence of the superior is permissible as there is Consensus that the best of all living human beings after Prophets then, namely `Umar, `Uthman, and `Ali are all three superior to al-`Abbas, Allah be well-pleased with all of them. This was also a mark of humbleness on `Umar's part as already cited from Fath al-Bari.

Another example of this is the tawassul of Mu`awiya for rain through the Sahabi Yazid ibn al-Aswad al-`Amiri as narrated by Abu Zur`a al-Dimashqi in his Tarikh and his tawassul also through the Tabi`i Abu Muslim al-Khawlani as narrated by Ahmad in al-Zuhd cf. al-Tahanawi, I`la' al-Sunan (8:193).

[12] `Umar used al-`Abbas also as a precaution lest people's faith in the Prophet upon him peace, be shaken in case the prayer were not answered.

[13] Finally, the Sunna prayer for rain formally has to be performed by the outward, political Imam of the Muslims or his deputy. It is in that function that the office of the Messenger of Allah – upon him blessings and peace – had ceased and was taken over, first by Abu Bakr, then by `Umar. Al-`Abbas’s position in this event is that of the deputy of the latter as the Commander of the Believers…


[...]



It is related from Anas, "If there was a drought, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab would askal-'Abbas ibn 'Abdu'l-Muttalib to do the rain prayer. He would say, 'O Allah we would seek intercession with You by Your Prophet and we would ask you for rain, now we seek intercession with You by the uncle of our Prophet, so give us rain!'" He added, "And they were given rain." 

Shaykh ul Islam Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) explains the Tawassul hadith of Umar (RA) and Abbas (RA)[Above one] in his great Fath al Bari as:

اللهم إنه لم ينزل بلاء إلا بذنب , ولم يكشف إلا بتوبة , وقد توجه القوم بي إليك لمكاني من نبيك
Translation: "O Allah, truly no tribulation descends except because of sins, nor is lifted except upon repentance. The people have turned to you by means of me BECAUSE OF MY POSITION IN RELATION TO YOUR PROPHET

Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani
(rah) also explains in his great Fath al Bari:

إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يرى للعباس ما يرى الولد للوالد , فاقتدوا أيها الناس برسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في عمه العباس واتخذوه وسيلة إلى الله
Translation: Prophet(Peace Be Upon Him) used to take Al-Abbas(RA) like a son considers his father. O People You should also follow the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) incase of Al-Abbas(RA) and make him an Intercessor to Allah.

Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) explains in the same passage that:

ويستفاد من قصة العباس استحباب الاستشفاع بأهل الخير والصلاح وأهل بيت النبوة , وفيه فضل العباس وفضل عمر لتواضعه للعباس ومعرفته بحقه
Translation: “From the story of 'Abbas it follows that seeking intercession through the pious, the righteous and the Ahlul Bait (family of the Prophet) is praiseworthy
[Fathul Bari Sharah Sahi Bukhari, Page : 577 Under Hadith number :1010 of Sahi Bukhari ]

Imam Subki (rah) said under this hadith:

From this incidence we infer that, it is permissible to take Tawasul of all Righteous people. Infact no muslim ever rejected this, only those people who where from different sect[Innovators in religion] rejected Tawasul. [As Shifa As Siqam Page : 377]
--

Mother of All Believers Hazarth Ayesha Siddiquea(RA):
Imam Dārimī Relates from Abu al-Jawza’ Aws bin ‘Abdullah: The people of Medina were in the grip of a severe famine. They complained to ‘A’ishah (about their terrible condition). She told them to go towards the Prophet’s grave and open a window in the direction of the sky so that there is no curtain between the sky and the grave. The narrator says they did so. Then it started raining heavily; even the lush green grass sprang up (everywhere) and the camels had grown so fat (it seemed) they would burst out due to the over piling of blubber. So the year was named as the year of greenery and plenty. [Sunan Darimi Volume 001, Page 227, Hadith Number 093 ]

Ibn Jawzi (rah) in his al-Wafa bi Ahwal lil Mustafa made a chapter before this hadith

الباب التاسع والثلاثون في الاستسقاء بقبره صلى الله عليه وسلّم
Translation: Chapter #39 in regards to "Seeking rain through the grave of Prophet (Peace be upon him)" And then he brought the Hadith of Sayyidah Aisha (ra) under it. [Al Wafa bi Ahwal lil Mustafa, Page #817-818]
--
Muhammad bin ‘Alawi al-Maliki says, “This tradition has a good chain of transmission; rather, in my opinion, it is sound. The scholars have also acknowledged its soundness and have established its genuineness on the basis of almost equally credible evidence. [Shifa’-ul-fu’ad bi-ziyarat khayr--il-‘ibad Page No.153]


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The Doctrine of Tawassul

In the Light of Qur'an & Sunnah

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