Sunday, 22 February 2015

Scholar’s statements of the 4 Madhahib regarding seeking intercession through the Prophet(s)



Updated:22/Feb/2015



Scholar’s statements of the 4 Madhahib regarding seeking intercession through The Holy Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam


Statements from among the Hanafiyyah / Ahnaf:

- Imam al-Kirmani (d. 597 AH) said [while speaking about the Ziyarah]:

جِئناك للاسْتشفاعِ إلى ربِّكَ , فأنتَ الشافعُ المشفَّعُ , الموعودُ بالشفاعةِ الكبرى , والمقامِ المحمودِ , وقد قال تعلى فيما أنزلَ عليك :{ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّاباً رَحِيماً } , وقد جِئناك يا حبيبَ اللهِ ظالمينَ لأنفسِنا , مُستغفرينَ لذُنوبِنا , وأنتَ نبيُّنا , فاشفعْ لنا إلى ربِّنا وربِّك , واسأَلْه أنْ يُمِيتَنا على سنَّتِك , وأنْ يحشُرَنا في زُمْرَتِك ، وأنْ يُوْرِدَنا حَوْضَك ، وأنْ يُسقِيَنا كَأْسَك غيرَ خَزَايا ولا نُدامى . يا رسولَ الله الشفاعة الشفاعة الشفاعة - يقوله ثَلاثَ مَرَّاتٍ - , فقد سمَّاك اللهُ بالرؤوفِ والرحيمِ فاشفعْ لمن أتاكَ ظالمًا لنفسِه , مُعْترِفًا بذنْبِه , تائبا إلى ربِّه . . .فإنْ كانَ قد أوْصاك أحدٌ مِن المسلمينَ بتبْليغِ السلامِ إلى النبيِّ - صلى الله عليه وسلم - تقول : السلامُ عليكَ يا رسولَ الله مِن فلانِ بنِ فلانٍ , يستشفِعُ بك إلى ربِّك بالرحمةِ والمغفرةِ فاشفعْ له ولجميعِ المؤمنينَ
"We've come to you seeking intercession (Istishfa') [through you] unto your Lord, because you're al-Shafi' al-Mushaffa' (the one who will intercede and whose intercession will be accepted), the one whom al-Shafa'ah al-kubrah (the intercession on the day of judgement) and al-Maqam al-mahmud (station of praise and glory) has been promised. And Allah ta'ala said in that which He sent down upon you:
{ If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful } [4:64].
So we've come to you, o beloved of Allah, having been unjust to ourselves and asking [Allah] for forgiveness regarding our sins. You're our Prophet, so intercede for us to our and your Lord and ask Him that He lets us die upon your Sunnah, and that He gathers us [on the day of reckoning] among your group, and allows us to get to your Hawdh and drink from your bowl without disgrace or regret.
O Messenger of Allah, intercession intercession (ya Rasulallah, al-Shafa'ah al-Shafa'ah) - he (the visitor) should say this three times -; Allah has indeed called you kind and merciful (see Ayah 9:128), so intercede for the one who has wronged himself, admitting his fault and repenting to his Lord...
If anyone from among the Muslims has told you to deliver his greeting to the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam -, then say:
'Peace be upon you, o Messenger of Allah, from Fulan bin Fulan, he seeks your intercession unto your Lord to attain mercy and forgiveness, so intercede for him and for all believers'."
Source:
"al-Masalik fil Manasik" p. 1073-1075

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- Imam 'Abdullah bin Mahmud bin Mawdud al-Mawsili (d. 683 AH) said [also in the context of the Ziyarah]:
وقد قال الله تعالى : ( ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاءوك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما ) وقد جئناك ظالمين لأنفسنا ، مستغفرين لذنوبنا ، فاشفع لنا إلى ربك ، وأسأله أن يميتنا على سنتك ، وأن يحشرنا في زمرتك ، وأن يوردنا حوضك ، وأن يسقينا كأسك غير خزايا ولا نادمين ، الشفاعة الشفاعة يا رسول الله ، يقولها ثلاثا : ( ربنا اغفر لنا ولإخواننا الذين سبقونا بالإيمان ) الآية .ويبلغه سلام من أوصاه فيقول : السلام عليك يا رسول الله من فلان بن فلان ، يستشفع بك إلى ربك فاشفع له ولجميع المسلمين
"Allah ta'ala says: { If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful } [4:64].
So we've come to you, having wronged ourselves and asking [Allah] for forgiveness regarding our sins, so intercede for us to your Lord and ask Him that He lets us die upon your Sunnah, and that He gathers us [on the day of reckoning] among your group, and allows us to get to your Hawdh and drink from your bowl without disgrace or regret.
Intercession intercession, o Messenger of Allah (al-Shafa'ah al-Shafa'ah, ya Rasulallah) - he (the visitor) should say this thrice -, { “Our Lord, forgive us and those of our brothers who preceded us in faith” } [59:10] [till the end of] the Ayah.
[Then] he should deliver the greeting of those who have told him to do so by saying: 'Peace be upon you, o Messenger of Allah, from Fulan bin Fulan, he seeks intercession through you unto your Lord, so intercede for him and for all believers'."

Source: "al-Ikhtiyar li Ta'lil al-Mukhtar"

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- Imam al-Taftazani (d. 793 AH) said:
الظاهر من قواعد الإسلام أنه يكون للنفس بعد المفارقة إدراكات متجددة جزئية واطلاع على بعض جزئيات أحوال الأحياء سيما الذين كان بينهم وبين الميت تفارق في الدنيا ولهذا ينتفع بزيارة القبور والاستعانة بنفوس الأخيار من الأموات في استنزال الخبرات واستدفاع الملمات فإن للنفس بعد المفارقة تعلقا ما بالبدن وبالتربة التي دفنت فيها فإذا زار الحي تلك التربة وتوجهت تلقاء نفس الميت حصل بين النفسين ملاقاة وإفاضات
"What is apparent from the principles of Islaam, is that there are renewing perceptions of parts for the soul after leaving the body as well as looking at some parts of the lives of the living, especially of those that had a relationship with the dead person in this world. This is why there is benefit in visiting graves, and seeking support from the souls of the pious that have died in terms of seeking experiences and fending off weariness. This is because the soul after leaving the body is attached to the body and the soil it was buried in. So if the living visited this soil and faced the soul of the dead person, then there will be an attachment between them and streams ."
Source: "Sharh al-Maqasid" and translation taken from here: FakhrudDiin Ar-Raaziyy on getting blessings from dead souls by their graves | Sunni Answers


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Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) himself said: Ya Rasool Allah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] at Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) Grave
Abu Hanifa An Nafi An Ibn Umar, Qaal: The appropriate way is that you turn towards the grave of Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) coming from the qibla while HAVING YOUR BACK TOWARDS QIBLA, FACING DIRECTLY TOWARDS THE QABR AND SAY PEACE BE UPON YOU [Ya Rasool Allah] O PROPHET OF ALLAH AND HIS RAHMAH AND BARAKAH
[Musnad Imam Abu Hanifa,
Bab Ziyarah Qabr an Nabi Salallaho alaihi wasalam]

Imam ibn al-Humam (d. 861 AH), mentioned from Imam Abu Hanifa in his Fath al-Qadir (Sharh al-Hidaya) the following narration
أن زيارة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قريبة من الوجوب ولما زار الإمام أبو حنيفة المدينة المنورة وقف أمام قبره الشريف وقال
يا أكرم الثقلين يا كنز الورى *** جد لي بجودك وأرضني برضاك
أنا طامع في الجود منك ولم يكن *** لأبي حنيفة في الأنام سواك
"When Imam Abu Hanifa visited Medina, he stood in front of the honourable grave (of the Prophet) and said,
"O (YA), most honourable of the Two Weighty Ones (humankind and jinn)!

O (YA), treasure of mankind, shower your generosity upon me and please me with your pleasure.
I am aspiring for your generosity, and there is no one for Abu Hanifa in the world but you."
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Imam Azam Abu Hanifa Numan ibn Thabit
(ra) writes in his famous Qasida-i Maymuna-i Mubaraka also known as Durru Maknun about Prophet (Saleh ala waalih wasalam) that,
"You [Muhammad
صلى الله عليه وسلم] are the one, with Adam made Tawassul and even he was your father, he was rescued" When the Halil made Dua to you, the fire became cool against your bright Noor the fire was calmed." "Prophet Ayyub[aleh islam] made Dua to you, when he was sick All his sickness was deleted, when he made Dua to you!" "So is Musa making all the time Tawassul with you on the day of judgement he will search help by you!" (Bayt 9-13)
"Make Shafaat for this poor Ya Rasulullah Madat! I did came to your door, begging for richness by you!" (Bayt 49)
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Statements from among the Malikiyyah:

- The Adib Ibn al-Jannan al-Ansari al-Andalusi (d. 646 AH) - who was famous in his time because of his poems - said "so intercede for me, o Messenger of Allah":
فاشفع لي يا رسول الله في زيارتك فهي أفضل المنى، وتوسل لي إلى مولىً بيّن فضيلتك، وتقبّل وسيلتك، في النقلة من هناك إلى هنا، واقبلني وإن كنت زائفاً، وأقبل عليّ وإن أصبحت إلى الإثم متجانفاً، فأنت عماد أمتك جميعاً وأشتاتاً، وشفيعهم أحياء وأمواتاً
Source: "Nafh al-Tib" by Shaykh Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Muqri al-Tilmisani (d. 1041 AH), who qoutes it without any objection
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- Imam Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad bin Musa bin al-Nu'man al-Marakashi (d. 683 AH) wrote a book regarding seeking aid with the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - naming it "Misbah al-Dhalam fil Mustaghithin bi Khayr al-Anam" ("The lamp in darkness of those seeking assistance by the best of mankind").

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- Imam Ibn al-Hajj al-'Abdari (d. 737 AH) said:
وَأَمَّا فِي زِيَارَةِ سَيِّدِ الْأَوَّلِينَ، وَالْآخِرِينَ صَلَوَاتُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَامُهُ فَكُلُّ مَا ذُكِرَ يَزِيدُ عَلَيْهِ أَضْعَافَهُ أَعْنِي فِي الِانْكِسَارِ، وَالذُّلِّ، وَالْمَسْكَنَةِ؛ لِأَنَّهُ الشَّافِعُ الْمُشَفَّعُ الَّذِي لَا تُرَدُّ شَفَاعَتُهُ وَلَا يَخِيبُ مَنْ قَصْدَهُ وَلَا مَنْ نَزَلَ بِسَاحَتِهِ وَلَا مَنْ اسْتَعَانَ، أَوْ اسْتَغَاثَ بِهِ، إذْ أَنَّهُ - عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ - قُطْبُ دَائِرَةِ الْكَمَالِ وَعَرُوسُ الْمَمْلَكَةِ، قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى فِي كِتَابِهِ الْعَزِيزِ: {لَقَدْ رَأَى مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى} [النجم: 18] قَالَ عُلَمَاؤُنَا رَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى عَلَيْهِمْ رَأَى صُورَتَهُ - عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ -، فَإِذَا هُوَ عَرُوسُ الْمَمْلَكَةِ فَمَنْ تَوَسَّلَ بِهِ، أَوْ اسْتَغَاثَ بِهِ، أَوْ طَلَبَ حَوَائِجَهُ مِنْهُ فَلَا يُرَدُّ وَلَا يَخِيبُ
"As for what has been mentioned regarding visiting the grave of the Master of the first and last , then all that has been mentioned should be increased by many folds, meaning, in humility, brokenness, and tranquility, because he is the one who will intercede and have his intercession accepted, the one whose intercession will not be rejected. The one who intends him (in their journey of visitation) will not be let down, nor will the one who disembarks upon his place, nor the one who seeks his aid or refuge (wa lā man ista’āna aw istaghātha bihi ), for he , is the pole of perfection and the crown jewel of the kingdom. Allāh the Exalted said in His mighty Book:
He has certainly seen the greater signs from His Lord.’’
Our scholars (may Allāh the Exalted have mercy upon them) have stated: He saw his image, for he is the crown jewel of the kingdom. So, whoever makes tawassul through him, seeks aid through him (istaghātha bihi ), or seeks his needs through him, then he will not be refused or disappointed."
Source:
"al-Madkhal" and translation taken from here: "Tawassul and Istighatha by Imām Ibn al-Hājj al-`Abdarī"

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Imam Mālik’s (RA) prominence as one of the four jurists of Islam is well-established. 
Once caliph Abū Ja‘far Mansūr visited Medina and he asked Imam Mālik: “While supplicating, should I turn my face to the prayer niche [and turn my back to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)] or should I turn my face to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) (and turn my back to the prayer niche)?” On this interrogation, Imam Mālik replied: “(O caliph!) Why do you turn your face from the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), as he is the source of mediation for you and for your ancestor Adam (عليه السلام) on the Day of Judgement? Rather you should (pray and supplicate by) turning towards the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and seek his intercession so that he intercedes for you before Allah on the Day of Judgement. Allah has declared:
"We sent not an apostle, but to be obeyed, in accordance with the will of Allah. If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah.s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful"(4:64)
This incident has been narrated
by Qādī ‘Iyād in his ash-Shifā (2:596) with a sound chain of transmission. Besides, it has been related by a number of other traditionists of impeccable credibility. Subkī in Shifā’-us-siqām fī ziyārat khayr-il-anām, Samhūdī in Khulāsat-ul-wafā, Qastallānī in al-Mawāhib-ul-laduniyyah, Ibn Jamā‘ah in Hidāyat-us-sālik and Ibn Hajar Haythamī in al-Jawhar-ul-munazzam.
The early and late Imams of the Community have said clearly and unequivocally that tawassul through the Prophet is highly desirable and recommended for every person. Following are some of their words to this effect.
Imam Malik was asked the following question by the Caliph Abu Ja`far al-Mansur: "Shall I face the qibla with my back towards the grave of the Messenger of Allah when making du`a (after salams)?" He replied:
"How could you turn your face away from him when he is the means (wasila) of your and your father Adam's forgiveness to Allah on the Day of Resurrection? Nay, face him and ask for his intercession (istashfi` bihi) so that Allah will grant it to you as He said: "If they had only, when they were wronging themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful (4:64).""
[It is cited by al-Qadi `Iyad in al-Shifa (2:92-93) with a sound (sahih) chain, and also cited by Samhudi in Khulasat al-Wafa, Subki in Shifa' al-siqam, Qastallani in al-Mawahib al-laduniyya, Ibn Jama`a in Hidayat al-salik, and Haytami in al-Jawhar al-munazzam and Tuhfat al-zuwwar. See also Ibn `Abd al-Hadi in al-Sarim al-munki p. 244. Ibn Jama`a says in Hidayat al-salik (3:1381): "It is related by the two hafiz Ibn Bashkuwal and al-Qadi `Iyad in al-Shifa' after him, and no attention is paid to the words of those who claim that it is forged purely on the basis of his idle desires."
The words "he is the means (wasilat) of your and your father Adam's forgiveness to Allah" are confirmed by the verses whereby the Prophet is witness over all communities and people including their Prophets (2:143, 3:81, 4:41, 33:7) as well as the sound hadith of his intercession over all prophets on behalf of all believers in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-tawhid).
Furthermore, it is also established from the verse "And Adam received words from his Lord and He relented towards him" (2:37) that Adam has been forgiven.]
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Statements from among the Shafi'iyyah:

- Imam al-Samhudi (d. 911 AH) said while speaking about the visitation:
ثم يقول يا رسول الله أن الله تعالى قال فيما أنزل عليك (ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم) الآية وقد ظلمت نفسي ظلما كثيرا وأتيت بجهلي وغفلتي أمرا كبيرا وقد وفدت عليك زائرا وبك مستجيرا وجئتك مستغفرا من ذنبي سائلا منك أن تشفع لي إلى ربي وأنت شفيع المذنبين المقبول الوجيه عند رب العالمين وها أنا معترف بذنبي متوسل بك إلى الله مستشفع بك إليه وأسأل الله البرّ الرحيم بك أن يغفر لي ويميتني على سنتك ومحبتك ويحشرني في زمرتك ويوردني وأحبائي حوضك غير خزايا ولا نادمين فأشفع لي يا رسول رب العالمين
"Then he should say: "O Messenger of Allah, Allah ta'ala said in that which he send down upon you: { If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves... } [4:64] [until the end of] the Ayah, and I've indeed wronged myself with much injustice and commited huge matters (i.e. sins) because of my ignorance and negligence, and I've come to you as a visitor and seeker of help, seeking [Allah's] forgiveness for my sins, asking you to intercede for me to my Lord.
You are the intercessor of the sinful ones and the accepted and eminent one with the Lord of the worlds. Here I am confessing my faults, performing Tawassul with you unto Allah and seeking intercession through you unto Him.
And I ask Allah - the Beneficent, the Most-Merciful - through you that He forgives me and that He lets me die upon your Sunnah and love and that He gathers me [on the day of reckoning] in your group and allows me and my loved ones to get to your Hawdh without disgrace or regret.
So intercede for me, o Messenger of the Lord of the worlds."
Source: "Khulasat al-Wafa bi Akhbar Dar al-Mustafa" and the next page
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- Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (d. 974 AH) said:
وقد يكون معنى التوسل به صلى الله عليه وسلم طلب الدعاء منه، إذ هو حي يعلم سؤال من يسأله، وقد صح في حديث طويل : أن الناس أصابهم قحط في زمن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه فجاء رجل إلى قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا رسول الله استسق لأمتك فإنهم قد هلكوا، فأتاه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في النوم وأخبره أنهم يسقون فكان كذلك، وفيه ائت عمر فأقرئه السلام وأخبره أنهم يسقون، وقل له : عليك الكيس الكيس: - أي: الرفق - لأنه رضي الله عنه كان شديدا في دين الله فأتاه خبره فبكى ، ثم قال يا رب لا آلوا إلا ما عجزت عنه. - وفي رواية - أنَّ رائي المنامَ بلالُ بن الحارث المزني الصحابي رضي الله عنه
Tawassul could also mean seeking supplication from him for indeed he is living and knowing the question of the one who asks him. It has been authentically reported from a long Hadīth:
The people suffered a drought during the successorship of `Umar , whereupon a man came to the grave of the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allāh, ask for rain for your Community, for verily they have but perished," after which the Prophet appeared to him in a dream and told him that the rain shall come. And in it also it appears: "Go to `Umar and give him my greeting, then tell him that they will be watered. Tell him: You must be clever, you must be clever!”
Meaning, gentleness, because he was severe in the religion of Allāh.
So he came to him and informed him, after which he cried and then said: “O my Lord, I spare no effort except in what escapes my power!”
In another narration it states that the one who saw the dream was Bilāl ibn Hārith al-Muzanī, the companion ."
Source: "al-Jawhar al-Munadhdham" and translation taken from here: "Seeking Aid with the Prophet by Imām Ibn Hajar al-Haytamī"
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- Imam Shihab al-Din al-Ramli (d. 957 AH) was asked whether it's allowed to to seek aid with the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - in times of distress by saying "Ya Rasulallah":

فَأَجَابَ) بِأَنَّ الِاسْتِغَاثَةَ بِالْأَنْبِيَاءِ وَالْمُرْسَلِينَ وَالْأَوْلِيَاءِ وَالْعُلَمَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ جَائِزَةٌ وَلِلرُّسُلِ وَالْأَنْبِيَاءِ وَالْأَوْلِيَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ إغَاثَةٌ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهِمْ؛ لِأَنَّ مُعْجِزَةَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ وَكَرَامَاتِ الْأَوْلِيَاءِ لَا تَنْقَطِعُ بِمَوْتِهِمْ. أَمَّا الْأَنْبِيَاءُ فَلِأَنَّهُمْ أَحْيَاءٌ فِي قُبُورِهِمْ يُصَلُّونَ وَيَحُجُّونَ كَمَا وَرَدَتْ بِهِ الْأَخْبَارُ وَتَكُونُ الْإِغَاثَةُ مِنْهُمْ مُعْجِزَةً لَهُمْ. وَالشُّهَدَاءُ أَيْضًا أَحْيَاءٌ شُوهِدُوا نَهَارًا جِهَارًا يُقَاتِلُونَ الْكُفَّارَ
"He replied: Istighātha (seeking aid) with the Prophets and Messengers, the Awliyā, the ‘Ulemā and the righteous is permitted. The messengers, Prophets and the Awliyā have [the ability to] assist after their death because the miracles of the Prophets and Awliyā are not severed following their death. As for the Prophets then they are alive in their graves praying and doing hajj as it has come in the reports. So assistance from them will be a miracle on their behalf; and the martyrs are also alive, and have been seen, openly killing the kuffār."
Source: "Fatawa al-Ramli" by Imam Shams al-Din al-Ramli (d. 1004 AH) and translation taken from here: "Imam al-Ramlī's Fatwa on Istighātha"


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Imam al-Hakim al-Nishapuri (d.403AH) and Tawassul
The great mujadid and hadith scholar, adherent of the shafi school of fiqh and Ashari school of theology, the teacher of Imam al-Bayhaqi (d.458H), Imam Abu Abdallah al-Hakim al-Nishapuri (321-403H), narrates in his book “Tariqh Naysaburi”,
82 – يحيى بن صبيح (3) النيسابوري ……..معلم القرآن، وهو أول مقرئ أخذ على المسلمين القراءات بنيسابور، ومسجده معروف في دار كروان، وذهب إلى مكة وهناك توفي رضي الله عنه، وهو إمام المحدثين، والذي إذا دعي على رأس قبره يستجاب الدعاء قطعا
in his biographical entry on Yahya bin Sabih, that dua at the latter’s grave his answered, in other words,  it is a place of tawassul where dua is answered.
Similarly, Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani in his Tahdhib al-Tahdhib relates via Imam al-Hakim al-Nishapuri that:
وقال الحاكم سمعت أبا علي النيسابوري يقول كنت في غم شديد فرأيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في المنام كأنه يقول لي صر إلى قبر يحيى بن يحيى واستغفر وسل تقض حاجتك فأصبحت ففعلت ذلك فقضيت حاجتي.
Imam al-Hakim heard Imam Abu Ali al-Naysaburi saying, when he had extreme distress he saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) in his dream who said to go to the grave of Yahya bin Yahya (who is among the teachers of Imam Muslim) and to seek forgiveness and ask for his needs, and that he did so and his needs were obtained.
Imam Ibn al-Jawzi in his book al-Munthazam also narrates that,
أَنْبَأَنَا زَاهِرُ بْن طَاهِرٍ، قَالَ: أَنْبَأَنَا [8] أَبُو بكر البيهقي، أنبأنا [9] الحاكم أبو عبد الله [النيسابوري] [10] قال: سمعت أبا الحسن محمد بْن الحسن [11] السراج الزاهد- وَكَانَ شديد العبادة- قَالَ: رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وآله وَسَلَّمَ فِي المنام كأنه قد أقبل، إِلَى أن وقف عَلَى قبر يحيى بْن يحيى وتقدم، وصف خلفه جمَاعة من أصحابه، فصلى عَلَيْهِ، ثم التفت إِلَى أصحابه فَقَالَ: / هَذَا القبر لأمان [12] لأهل هذه المدينة.
Imam al-Hakim said that he heard Abu al-Hassan al-Siraj say that he saw in a dream the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) stop at the grave of Yahya bin Yahya, prayed and turned around and said “this tomb is a sanctuary (place of safety/security/refuge) for the people of this city”.
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Imam Abu al-Hussain Yahya bin Abi al-Khayr bin Salim al-Amrani al-Yemeni al-Shafii (d.558 AH) in his book called “Al-Bayaan fi Madhab al-Imam al-Shafii  البيان في مذهب الإمام الشافعي” writes in the chapter of Hajj:
[مسألة زيارة القبر الشريف]
] : ويستحب زيارة قبر رسول الله ـصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَـ؛ لما روي عن النبي ـصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَـ: أنه قال «من حج ولم يزرني.. فقد جفاني» ذكره الشيخ أبو حامد.
وروى ابن عمر: أن النبي ـصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَـ قال: «من زار قبري.. وجبت له الجنة» .
وروي عنه ـصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَـ: «من زارني بعد وفاتي.. فكأنما زارني في حياتي» .
وروي عنه ـصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَـ: أنه قال. «من زار قبري.. وجبت له شفاعتي»
وحكى العتبي قال: كنت جالسا عند قبر رسول الله ـصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَـ إذ جاء أعرابي فسلم على النبي ـصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَـ ثم قال: يا رسول الله سمعت الله يقول: {وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَه الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِيمًا} [النساء: 64] [النساء: 64] .
وقد جئتك مستغفرا من ذنبي، مستشفعا بك إلى ربي، وأنشأ يقول:
يا خير من دفنت بالقاع أعظمهفطاب من طيبهن القاع والأكم
نفسي الفداء لقبر أنت ساكنهفيه العفاف وفيه الجود والكرم
ثم انصرف الأعرابي فغلبتني عيناي، فنمت. فرأيت رسول الله ـصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَفي النوم يقول: يا عتبي، الحق الأعرابي وبشره بأنالله قد غفر له
The Imam, mentions that it is recommended to visit the grave of the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ after which he quotes the various narrations recommending the visitation of the grave of the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ . The Imam than, like nearly all the Imams of Ahlus Sunnah, quotes the famous narration of al-Utbi (rah.), where the latter narrates:
“As I was sitting by the grave of the Prophet, a Bedouin Arab came and said: “Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah! I have heard Allah saying: {“If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful” } (4:64), so I have come to you asking forgiveness for my sin, seeking your intercession with my Lord.”
Then he began to recite poetry:O best of those whose bones are buried in the deep earth,And from whose fragrance the depthand the height have become sweet,May I be the ransom for a grave which thou inhabit,And in which are found purity, bounty and munificence!
Then he left, and I slept and saw the Nabi (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) in my sleep. He said to me:
 “Yā `Utbi, run after the Bedouin and give him glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him.”
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Hujjat ul Islam Imam Al-Ghazzali (rah):
وقد ذكره الغزالي ولذا قيل - وليس بحديث كما توهم - إذا تحيرتم في الأمور فاستعينوا من أصحاب القبور أي أصحاب النفوس الفاضلة المتوفين ولا شك في أنه يحصل لزائرهم مدد روحاني ببركتهم وكثيراً ما تنحل عقد الأمور بأنامل التوسل إلى الله تعالى بحرمتهم،
 “Whenever anyone is in some difficulty then he should ask the people of tombs for help, who are of (sacred) souls but have passed away (i.e. transferred into another dimension). There is no doubt in it that any person visiting (their tombs) gets spiritual help plus benefit from them and many times when their Waseela is presented in the court of Allah, the difficulties are removed” (Tafsir Ruh ul Ma’ani, Volume 30, Page No. 24)
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Imam Shafi (RA) on intercession of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) after his life
"The
family of the Prophet, they are my means/intermediaries (wasîlatî) in this life and the afterlife, through them, I hope to be given my records in my right hand on the Day of Judgement."
[Reference: Imâm Shâfi`î, Dîwân (Lebanon, Beirut: Dârul-Fikr, 2005), 162, #34]

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Statements from among the Hanabilah:

- Imam Yahya bin Yusuf al-Sarsari (d. 656 AH) - who was very famous for his poems and got praised by many scholars (Imam Ibn Rajab (d. 795 AH) for example mentioned that he was staunch regarding the Sunnah) - said in one of his poems:
يا حبيب الرحمن في الخلق يا منْ * تعرف الأرض فضله والســماءُ
يا كــــــريم الآبـــاء ثمّت زادت * شرفاً ســــامياً بـــك الآبـــــــــاءُ
أنت ذخرٌ لنا وعــــــــــونٌ على * خطبِ زمـــانٍ به اللبيبُ يُســـاءُ
فأغثني وكُنْ لضعفي مجيــــراً * في مقامٍ تخـــــافهُ الأتقيـــــــــاءُ
The relevant part is: "So help me and be the refuge of my weakness".
And he said:
لأنت إلى الرحمن أقوى وسيلة = إليها بها في الحادثان توسّلي
وسلْ لي ربَّ العالمين يُميتني = على السُنة البيضاء غير مبدّل
The relevant part is: "And ask the Lord of the worlds that he let's me die * upon the pure Sunnah without having changed".
His poems are full with such kind of Tawassul with the best of creation, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam.
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- Imam Ibn Qudamah (d. 620 AH) said in the context of the visitation and after having mentioned the story of al-'Utbi:
اللهم إنك قلت وقولك الحق : { ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاءوك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما } . وقد أتيتك مستغفرا من ذنوبي ، مستشفعا بك إلى ربي ، فأسألك يا رب أن توجب لي المغفرة ، كما أوجبتها لمن أتاه في حياته ، اللهم اجعله أول الشافعين
"O Allah, You spoke and your saying is the truth: { If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful } [4:64].
So I've come to you, asking [my Lord] for forgiveness for my sin and seeking intercession through you unto my Lord.
So I ask you, o Lord, that you grant me forgiveness just like you granted it to the one who came to him during his life. O Allah, make him the first of intercessors."
Source: "al-Mughni"

(If any Najdi apologetic wants to start the typical "he didn't mean to seek intercession through the Prophet, rather..."-claim, then I say: Why exactly then does he not warn against the "Mushrikin" and "Quburis" and uses their wording? If you people would be honest to yourself, you would have to admit that he's in no way thinking like you people!)
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- Al-'Allamah Mansur bin Yunus al-Bahuti (d. 1051 AH) said:
اللهم إنك قلت وقولك الحق { ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاءوك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما } وقد أتيتك مستغفرا من ذنوبي مستشفعا بك إلى ربك فأسألك يا رب أن توجب لي المغفرة كما أوجبتها لمن آتاه في حياته .اللهم اجعله أول الشافعين
"O Allah, You spoke and your saying is the truth: { If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful } [4:64].
So I've come to you, asking [my Lord] for forgiveness for my sin and seeking intercession through you unto your Lord.
So I ask you, o Lord, that you grant me forgiveness just like you granted it to the one who came to him during his life. O Allah, make him the first of intercessors."
Source: "Kashaf al-Qina'"

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Imam Ibn ‘Aqeel al-Hanbali (d. 513 AH) recommends Tawassul
Scans: Here
The images scan are from the book “al-tazkhira” of Imam Abu al-Wafa’ Ibn ‘Aqeel al-Hanbali (d. 513H), from the chapter of Hajj. As you can read the highlighted part, the Imam is recommending to seek tawassul and intercession with the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ when one visits his blessed tomb.
The amusing part though are the footnotes (also highlighted). The Wahhabi editor couldn’t stop himself from inserting his own deviant beliefs that it is forbidden to travel to visit the grave of the Prophets and the Saliheen, and suggesting that the tawassul which the Imam recommends is major shirk.
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Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (d. 795H) on praying near sacred relics and building over graves
In the Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari, the following narration is recorded in the Chapter of Mosques
It is related that ‘Itban ibn Malik, one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and one of the Ansar who was present at Badr, came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, “Messenger of Allah, my eyesight is weak and I lead my people in prayer. When it rains, the water flows in the river bed between me and them so that I am unable to get to their mosque and lead them in the prayer. Messenger of Allah, I would very much like you to come and pray in my house so that I could take it as a prayer-place.” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to him “I will do that, if Allah wills.”
‘Itban said, “The following day when the sun was well up, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Abu Bakr came and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked for permission to enter and I gave him permission. He did not sit down when he entered the house but said (the Messenger of Allah), “Where in your house would you like me to pray.” I indicated to him a place in the house. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood and said the takbir, and we stood and formed rows. He prayed two rak’ats and then said the salam. We persuaded him stay with us to eat a dish of khazira which we had prepared for him. Quite a number of men from our clan had gathered in the house and one of them said, ‘Where is Malik ibn ad-Dukhayshin or Ibn ad-Dukhshun?’ Another of them said, ‘That man is a hypocrite who does not love Allah and His Messenger.’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Do not say that. Do you not see that he has said, “There is no god but Allah,” desiring by that only the face of Allah?’ The man said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best,’ adding, ‘We have seen him going off with and advising the hypocrites.’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Allah has forbidden the Fire for anyone who says “There is no god but Allah” desiring by that the face of Allah.'”
Ibn Shihab said, “Then I asked al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Ansari, one of the Banu Salim and one of their best men, about the hadith of Mahmud ibn ar-Rabi’ and he confirmed it.”
Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his commentary of Sahih al Bukhari, comments on this narration:
وقد اعتذر عتبان – أيضا – بأن السيول تحول بينه وبين مسجد قومه الذي يصلي بهم فيه، فطلب من النبي – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – أن يأتيه في بيته فيصلي فيه، حتى يتخذه مصلى.
وفي هذا: استحباب اتخاذ آثار النبي – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – ومواضع صلواته مصلى يصلى فيه.
وقد ذكر ابن سعد، عن الواقدي، أن بيت عتبان الذي صلى فيه النبي – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – يصلي فيه الناس بالمدينة إلى يومه ذاك.
ويشهد لهذا المعنى – أيضا -: قول عمر – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – للنبي – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ -: ألا نتخذ من مقام إبراهيم مصلى؟ فَنَزَلت: {وَاتَّخِذُوا مِنْ مَقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلّىً} [البقرة:125] .
وقد نقل أحمد بن القاسم وسندي الخواتيمي، عن الإمام أحمد،أنه سئل عن إتيان هذه المساجد؟ فقال: أما على حديث ابن أم مكتوم: أنه سأل النبي – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – أن يصلي في بيته فيتخذه مصلى، وعلى ما كان يفعل ابن عمر يتبع مواضع النبي – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – وأثره، فلا بأس أن يأتي الرجل المشاهد، إلا أن الناس قد أفرطوا في هذا، وأكثروا فيه.
Rough translation:
‘Itban (bin Malik) apologized that because of the water flows forming in between him and his people, he is not able to go to the mosque to lead them in prayer, and he asked the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم  to come to his house and pray so that he can take that as a prayer place.
In this: It is recommended to take the athar (relics/remnant) of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the places where he prayed, as a Musallah in which to pray.
And Ibn Saad reported from al-Waqidi, about the house of ‘Ithban where Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم prayed, that people of Madinah pray in it to this day.
And witness to this meaning is the saying of Umar رضي الله عنه to the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم  “Should we not take the Maqam of Ibrahim as a place of prayer ?” to which the verse was revealed {And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer.}[2:125]
It is narrated that when Imam Ahmed was asked about entering in these mosques, he said, “On this is the narration of (Abdullah) Ibn Umm Makthum, that he asked the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to pray at his home so that he can take it as a musallah, and that what Ibn Umar رضي الله عنه used to do in following the traces/spots of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his athar (relics), there is nothing wrong for a man to come down to view these sites, however the people have become excessive in this, and more in this. [End]
And just to add for the sake of information:
Ibrahim al-Shaghouri mentioned the following other companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم who used to do the same practice of praying at the same spot where the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  prayed in their house, (in his book “Defense of the Sunnah: An Analysis of the Theory and Practices Of Tasawwuf“) :
Hafiz Ibn Hajar (Isaba fi Tamyiz as-Sahaba, 4:424) stated that Zubayr ibn Bakkar recorded in Akhbar al-Madina (also Ruyani 2:230 #1106) that the Prophet (s) entered the home of Sahl ibn Sa’d and sat in the middle of the house, and afterwards Sahl and his wife used to take that exact place as a place for prayer. Um Sulaym also asked the Prophet (s) to pray in her house, so they could take that as a place of prayer too (Tabarani’s Mu’jam al-Awsat , 6:305 #6481)
Regarding the legality of having a building over a grave, Imam Ibn Rajab in this same book writes while commenting on the narration reported from Ibn Umar رضي الله عنه that Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Pray in your houses, and do not make them graveyards”. He writes:
وقد قال بعضهم في قوله: ((ولا تتخذوها قبورا)) : أنه نهى عن الدفن في البيوت، وهذا بعيد جداً.
قال الخطابي: لا معنى لقول من تأوله على النهى عن دفن الموتى في البيوت، فقد دفن النبي – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – في بيته الذي كان يسكنه.
وأكثر العلماء على جواز الدفن في البيوت، ووصى يزيد بن عبد الله بن الشخير أن يدفن في داره، فدفن فيها، وشهد الحسن جنازته، ولم ينكر ذلك أحد.
Rough translation:
And some of them said regarding the saying “do not make them graveyards” that it forbids burial in the home, and this is too far fetched.
Al-Khattaabi said: It does not make sense to interpret this as a prohibition of burial in the house, because the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was buried in his house which was inhabited. 
Most of the scholars consider it permissible to bury in the house, Yazid bin Abdullah bin al-Shakhir instructed that he buried in his home, and he was buried there. Hasan attended his funeral and he did not condemn this.
And finally, regarding the narration that curses the Jews and Christians for taking the graves of their Prophets as masajid, Hafiz Ibn Rajab, explains its meaning quoting Hafiz Ibn Abd al Barr (d. 423H):
قال ابن عَبْد البر: الوثن الصنم. يقول: لا تجعل قبري صنما يصلى إليه، ويسجد نحوه، ويعبد، فقد اشتد غضب الله على من فعل ذلك
Ibn Abdal al-Barr said: Do not make my grave an idol by praying towards it, and by prostrating towards it, and worshiping it. The wrath of Allah intensifies on those who do so. 
He also quotes:
وقال صاحب ((التنبيه)) من أصحابه: أما الصلاة عند رأس قبر رسول الله – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – متوجها إليه فحرام.
Said in the book “Al-Tanbih” : To pray at the apex of the grave of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  facing it, is forbidden.
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Imam Burhan ad-Din Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali (d. 884) in his book “al Mubdi fi sharh Mughni” writes in the Chapter of Hajj:
[اسْتِحْبَابُ زِيَارَةِ قَبْرِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ]
(وَإِذَا فَرَغَ مِنَ الْحَجِّ اسْتُحِبَّ لَهُ زِيَارَةُ قَبْرِ النَّبِيِّ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) لِمَا رَوَى ابْنُ عُمَرَ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – قَالَ: «مَنْ زَارَ قَبْرِي وَجَبَتْ لَهُ شَفَاعَتِي» . رَوَاهُ الدَّارَقُطْنِيُّ مِنْ طُرُقٍ، وَرُوِيَ أَيْضًا عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ مَرْفُوعًا: «مِنْ حَجَّ فَزَارَ قَبْرِي بَعْدَ وَفَاتِي كَانَ كَمَنْ زَارَنِي فِي حَيَاتِي» وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ وَصَحِبَنِي، فَظَاهِرُهُ أَنَّهُ بَعْدَ الرُّجُوعِ مُطْلَقًا، لَكِنْ نَقَلَ أَبُو طَالِبٍ إِذَا حَجَّ لِلْفَرْضِ لَمْ يَمُرَّ بِالْمَدِينَةِ؛ لِأَنَّهُ إِنْ حَدَثَ بِهِ حَدَثُ الْمَوْتِ كَانَ فِي سَبِيلِ الْحَجِّ، وَإِنْ كَانَ تَطَوُّعًا بَدَأَ بِالْمَدِينَةِ فَيُسَلِّمُ عَلَيْهِ، لِمَا رَوَى أَبُو دَاوُدَ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ مَرْفُوعًا: «مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ يُسَلِّمُ عَلَيَّ إِلَّا رَدَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيَّ رُوحِي حَتَّى أَرُدَّ – عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ -» . وَظَاهِرُهُ أَنَّ هَذِهِ الْفَضِيلَةَ تَحْصُلُ لِكُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ قَرِيبًا كَانَ أَوْ بَعِيدًا، لَكِنْ قَالَ أَحْمَدُ فِي رِوَايَةِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ قُسَيْطٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ مَرْفُوعًا: «مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ يُسَلِّمُ عَلَيَّ عِنْدَ قَبْرِي» فَهَذِهِ الزِّيَادَةُ مُقْتَضَاهَا التَّخْصِيصُ، وَرُوِيَ عَنِ الْعُتْبِيِّ قَالَ: كُنْتُ جَالِسًا عِنْدَ قَبْرِ النَّبِيِّ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – فَجَاءَ أَعْرَابِيٌّ فَقَالَ: السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ سَمِعْتُ اللَّهَ يَقُولُ {وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِيمًا} [النساء: 64] وَقَدْ جِئْتُكَ مُسْتَغْفِرًا مِنْ ذَنْبِي مُسْتَشْفِعًا بِكَ إِلَى رَبِّي.
ثُمَّ أَنْشَدَ يَقُولُ:
يَا خَيْرَ مَنْ دُفِنَتْ بِالْقَاعِ أَعْظُمُهُ … فَطَابَ مَنْ طيبِهِنَّ الْقَاعُ وَالْأَكَمُ
نَفْسِي الْفِدَاءُ لِقَبْرٍ أَنْتَ سَاكِنُهُ … فِيهِ الْعَفَافُ وَفِيهِ الْجُودُ وَالْكَرَمُ
ثُمَّ انْصَرَفَ الْأَعْرَابِيُّ فَغَلَبَتْنِي عَيْنِي فَنِمْتُ فَرَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – فَقَالَ: يَا عُتْبِيُّ الْحَقِ الْأَعْرَابِيَّ، وَبشِّرْهُ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ غَفَرَ لَهُ 
Rough translation:
[Recommended to visit the tomb of the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ]
(When the pilgrimage has been completed, it is recommended for him to visit the Prophet – peace be upon him) As narrated by Ibn Umar that the Prophet – صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – said: <>. Narrated from Al-Daraqutni through different routes and also from Ibn Umar in marfoo form: <> …(…)…If he chooses to begin (the pilgrimage) from Madinah he should greet him (صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) because it is narrated from Abu Dawud in marfoo form: <>…(…)…And it is narrated from al-Utbi: “I was sitting at the grave of the Messenger of Allah – صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – when a Bedouin came and said: “as-Salaamu ‘alayka Yaa Rasul Allah, I have heard Allah say {If, when they had wronged themselves, they had only come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah forgiving and Merciful}[Q 4:64] I have come to you seeking forgiveness for my sin, seeking intercession with you to my Lord. Then the Bedouin said:O best of those whose bones are buried in the deep earth, And from whose fragrance the depth and the height have become sweet, 
May I be the ransom for a grave which thou inhabit, And in which are found purity, bounty and munificence!
Then he left, and I dozed and saw the Prophet in my sleep. He said to me: “O `Utbi, run after the Beduin and give him glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him.”
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Imam al-Mardawi writes in al-Insaf, “Tawassul through a righteous person is allowed, this is the correct opinion in the madhab. It’s said that it’s recommended. Imam Ahmed said in his work entitled ‘al-Mansak’, which he wrote for al-Marruthi,“Tawassul is done thru the Prophet, peace be upon him, in dua’, and he affirmed it in al-Mustaw’ib and other works.”
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`Ala' al-Din al-Mardawi said, in his book al-Insaf fi ma`rifat al-rajih min al-khilaf `ala madhhab al-Imam al-mubajjal Ahmad ibn Hanbal (3:456):
The correct position of the [Hanbali] madhhab is that it is permissible in one's supplication (du`a) to use as means a pious person, and it is said that it is desirable (mustahabb). Imam Ahmad said to Abu Bakr al-Marwazi: yatawassalu bi al-nabi fi du`a'ih  "Let him use the Prophet as a means in his supplication to Allah." (The same report is found in Imam Ahmad's Manasik as narrated by his student Abu Bakr al-Marwazi.)
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Imam al-Mardawi :
 ( المرداوي في الإنصاف ( 2:456
“… 
يجوز التوسل بالرجل الصالح على الصحيح من المذهب، وقيل:يُستحب. قال الإمام أحمد للمروذي : يتوسل بالنبي صلى اله عليه وسلم في دعائه
وجزم به في المستوعب وغيره..”
 “The correct position of the [Hanbali] madhhab is that it is permissible in one’s du`a to use as one’s means a pious person (saalih), and it is said that it is desirable (mustahabb). Imam Ahmad said to Abu Bakr al-Marwazi: ‘Let him use the Prophet as a means in his supplication to Allah.’” (Al-Insaf 2:456) also cited by Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmu’ Al-Fatawa (1:140).

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Shaykh Abdul Qasim has said, that he has heard Sayyeduna Shaikh Muhiddeen Abdul Qadir Jilani (rah) saying :
"The one who cries out for my help during some problem, the problem gets solved, the one who calls out my name during any hardship, that hardship gets dismissed, the one who uses me as a source to ask Allah Azzawajal for some need, it will be fulfilled. The person who prays two rak'aat of nafl salaah and in each rak'aat after surah Fatiha recites surah Ikhlaas eleven times, After the salaam (after completing the salaah) sends Durood-o-salaam on the King of Madeenah Sallalahu alaihi wasallam and then walks a distance of eleven steps towards Baghdaad Shareed and presents his need, Allah Azzawajal Willing, that need will be fulfilled" (Bahja-tul-Asraar)
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Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Deen Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdasi(d.620AH)A profound scholar of the traditional Hanbali madh-hab, Direct student of Shaykh ‘Abdul Qaadir al-Jilaani (RA) Shaykh ul-Islam, Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Deen Ibn Qudaamah, may Allah have Mercy on him, indeed encouraged tawassul, and even calling upon the Prophet [Sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam] in his great encyclopedia of fiqh, al-Mughni, when he said: “It is praiseworthy to visit the grave of the Prophet [sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam] due to what has been collected by Imaam ad-Daraqutni when he mentioned the chain of transmission from Ibn ‘Umar, who quoted the Messenger of Allah [sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam], as saying:“Whoever made the Hajj, then visited my grave after my death, it is as if he had visited me in my life”.
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Abu ‘Abdillah al-Ardibly said, I heard Aba Bakr bin Abi al-Khasib say, “Safwan bin Salim was mentioned in the presence of Imam Ahmed, to which Imam Ahmed said, “water is sought through this man’s sayings, and rain descends through him being mentioned” (Tahdhib al-Kamal of Hafidh Mizzi)
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Imam Taqi ud Din al-Adami in his al-Munawwar said, “Tawassul through the pious is allowed”.
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*Imam Ibn al-Muflih writes in al-Furu’, “Tawassul through a righteous person is allowed, and it’s said it’s recommended.”
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Ibn ‘Imad al-Hanbali writes in Shadharatu ad-Dhahab in the biographical note on as-Sayyid Ahmed al-Bukhari, “His grave is visited and sought blessing through it”.
In the book ‘Kashshaf al-Qina of al-Buhuti, “as-Samuri and the author of at-Talkhis said, “there’s nothing wrong with tawassul thru Shuyukh, and the God fearing scholars for rain. He said in al-Madhab, “It’s allowed to seek intercession with Allah ta’ala through a righteous person. It was said to Marwidhi, “Tawassul is done through the Prophet in Dua’, and he affirmed it in al-Mustaw’ib and other works. Then he said, “Ibrahim al-Harbi said, “Dua’ at the grave of Ma’ruf al-Karkhi is well known and is accepted.”
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Imam al-Hajjawi said in al-Iqna’ on the commentary of Imam al-Buhuti, “there’s nothing wrong with doing tawasswul through the righteous”.
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Imam Ibn Najjar in his work entitled, ‘Muntaha al-Iradat, on his commentary of Imam Buhuti, “Tawassul through the righteous is allowed”.
Imam Mari’ al-Karmi writes in Ghayatul Muntaha, “Likewise tawassul through the righteous is allowed”.
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Imam Ibn al-Jawzi said in al-Manaqib Imam Ahmed, “on the authority of Abdullah bin Musa, that he said, “My father and I went out on a dark night we visited Ahmed, darkness was intensified, so my father said, “O my son, let’s do tawassul to Allah ta’ala through this righteous slave until the path can be seen for I have not been doing tawassul through him except that my needs are met. Then my father made dua’ and I said Amin to his dua’, then the sky lighted as if it was a full moon night until we reached the place.”
Ibn al-Jawzi in Manaqib Imam Ahmed narrates the story of tawassul and tabbaruk of Imam Shafi’I through the shirt of Imam Ahmed.
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Ibn Abi Ya’ala al-Hanbali writes in at-Tabaqat, “a grave was dig at the side of the grave of Imam Ahmed, and he (another individual) was buried in it, and the people took much soil from his grave as way of blessing, and people frequented his grave, night and day for a long time, and would finish the Quran, and would increase their dua’, and it has reached me that there has been thousands of Khatamat (recitiation of whole Quran) at his grave for periods of months”.
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Imam al-Shawkani :
قال الشوكاني في تحفة الذاكرين:
وفي الحديث دليل على جواز التوسل برسول الله صلى اله عليه وسلم إلى الله عز وجل
مع اعتقاد أن الفاعل هو الله سبحانه وتعالى، وأنه المعطي والمانع ما شاء
.(10/ 
كان وما لم يشأ لم يكن” (تحفة الأحوذي 34
 “And in this hadith is proof for the permissibility of tawassul through the Prophet [s] to Allah, with the conviction that the [actual] doer is Allah, and that He is the Giver and the Withholder. What He wills is, and what He does not wil ,will never be.” (Tuhfatul Dhakireen)
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al-Albani:  الألباني في “التوسل أنواعه وأحكامه” ( 38
“…
مع أنه قد قال ببعضه بعض الأئمة، فأجاز الإمام أحمد التوسل
بالرسول وحده فقط، وأجاز غيره كالإمام الشوكاني التوسل به وبغيره من
الأنبياء والصالحي
“Even though some of them have been allowed by some of the Imams, so for instance Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal allowed tawassul through the Prophet alone, and others such as Imam Al-Shawkani allowed tawassul through his [pbuh] and through others from the Prophets and the righteous.” (‘Al-Tawassul’)
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Al-Albani said, in his work ‘as-silsilah ad-Da’if wal Mawdu’ah, “Imam Ahmed considered the hadith of Ibn Abbas to be strong, which al-Hafidh considered good, because he (Imam Ahmed) practiced it,and his son, Abdullah, said regarding the narration as ‘al-Hadith’.
Imam as-Samuri said in al-Mustaw’ib, “there’s nothing wrong with tawassul to Allah ta’ala, thru Shuyukh, Zuhhad, people of knowledge and virtue from the Muslims to Allah ta’ala in seeking rain.
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Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Hanbal :عبد الله بن أحمد بن حنبل قال سمعت أبي يقول حججت خمس حجج اثنتين راكب وثلاث ماشي أو ثلاث راكب واثنتين ماشي فضللت الطريق في حجة وكنت ماشيا فجعلت أقول يا عباد الله دلوني على الطريق قال فلم أزل أقول ذلك حتى وقفت على الطريق أو كما قال أبي
 “ He heard his father (Imam Ahmed) 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 (يا عباد الله دلوني على الطريق), 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).
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Imam Ahmed’s son wrote in al-Masail, “I heard my father say, “I performed five Hajj, two of them mounted and three on foot, or two on foot and three mounted, on one of the Hajj I forgot the route while I was walking, so I said, “O servants of Allah ta’ala guide us to the path (the road), I kept on saying it until we came upon the path”, or something similar to the saying.
(Imam al-Bayhaqi narrated it as well with an authentic chain, Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali mentioned it in al-Adab as-Shari’ayah,)

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Imam Ahmad made tawassul through the Prophet a part of every du`a according to the following report:
`Ala' al-Din al-Mardawi said in his book al-Insaf fi ma`rifat al-rajih min al-khilaf `ala madhhab al-Imam al-mubajjal Ahmad ibn Hanbal (3:456):
The correct position of the [Hanbali] madhhab is that it is permissible in one's supplication (du`a) to use as means a pious person, and it is said that it is desirable (mustahabb). Imam Ahmad said to Abu Bakr al-Marwazi: yatawassalu bi al-nabi fi du`a'ih -- "Let him use the Prophet as a means in his supplication to Allah."
The same report is found in Imam Ahmad's Manasik as narrated by his student Abu Bakr al-Marwazi.
[Similarly the lengthy wording of the tawassul according to the Hanbali madhhab as established by the hafiz Ibn `Aqil in his Tadhkira was cited fully by Imam Kawthari in his appendix to Shaykh al-Islam Taqi al-Din al-Subki's al-Sayf al-saqil included in Kawthari's edition of the latter.]
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For those who understand Arabic I would recommend the following links where scholars of the 4 Madhahib are quoted regarding seeking intercession through the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam:
Ruling according to the Hanafiyyah
Ruling according to the Malikiyyah
Ruling according to the Shafi'iyyah
Ruling according to the Hanabilah

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(Edited by ADHM)