Saints and Intercession
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
One of the deception in which Iblis had put previous nations is that the Allah is unapproachable. He is not listening to the prayers and one must seek some other means to approach him. Even today Iblis inspires people that:
Don’t you see that when you move up in a building you use stairs, so there is a medium we need. The best way to approach Allah is through the dead saints as they have acquired holiness while they lived among us. Definitely they are close to Allah and we are not.
So intercession or Wasilah has become one of the reasons of people going to graves. They go there with the belief that dead is hearing and if we request them they would present our prayers to our Lord.
Allah informed us in Quran that Prophet Nuh peace be upon him called his nation towards Allah and denial of Taghoot for 950 years but the nation of Prophet Noah had made up the belief that if they seek intercession of their holy-ones then Allah would listen them.
وَقَالُوا لَا تَذَرُنَّ آَلِهَتَكُمْ وَلَا تَذَرُنَّ وَدًّا وَلَا سُوَاعًا وَلَا يَغُوثَ وَيَعُوقَ وَنَسْرًا 23
And they have said: ‘You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor Yaghuth, nor Ya’uq, nor Nasr (names of the saints);
After the destruction of Noah’s nation, Iblis deceived the people again and inspires them about these saints. Once again the saints and holy people were worshiped as deities specially in Phoenicia (Syria).
Arabs traders bought these idols in Makkah to be placed in the holy Kaba. Kaba being a holy sanctuary for all Arabia become the hub of all kind of activities whether political, financial or economical and religious. Every tribe was allowed to place its idol in the Kaba. At one point in time, the Kaba contains 360 idols excluding the wall paintings of deities.
During the life time of Messenger of Allah peace be upon him, intercession was a prevalent practice. Bukhari has reported that:
حَدَّثَنَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ مُوسَى أَخْبَرَنَا هِشَامٌ عَنِ ابْنِ جُرَيْجٍ وَقَالَ عَطَاءٌ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ – رضى الله عنهما – صَارَتِ الأَوْثَانُ الَّتِى كَانَتْ فِى قَوْمِ نُوحٍ فِى الْعَرَبِ بَعْدُ ، أَمَّا وُدٌّ كَانَتْ لِكَلْبٍ بِدَوْمَةِ الْجَنْدَلِ ، وَأَمَّا سُوَاعٌ كَانَتْ لِهُذَيْلٍ ، وَأَمَّا يَغُوثُ فَكَانَتْ لِمُرَادٍ ثُمَّ لِبَنِى غُطَيْفٍ بِالْجُرُفِ عِنْدَ سَبَا ، وَأَمَّا يَعُوقُ فَكَانَتْ لِهَمْدَانَ ، وَأَمَّا نَسْرٌ فَكَانَتْ لِحِمْيَرَ ، لآلِ ذِى الْكَلاَعِ . أَسْمَاءُ رِجَالٍ صَالِحِينَ مِنْ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ ، فَلَمَّا هَلَكُوا أَوْحَى الشَّيْطَانُ إِلَى قَوْمِهِمْ أَنِ انْصِبُوا إِلَى مَجَالِسِهِمُ الَّتِى كَانُوا يَجْلِسُونَ أَنْصَابًا ، وَسَمُّوهَا بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ فَفَعَلُوا فَلَمْ تُعْبَدْ حَتَّى إِذَا هَلَكَ أُولَئِكَ وَتَنَسَّخَ الْعِلْمُ عُبِدَتْ
Ibn Abbas narrated that The idols of nation of Noah were spread among Arabs- Wadd was for Banu-Kalb at Douma-tul-Jandal, Suwa was for Huzail and Yagooth was for Bani Ghutaif at Jurf near Saba and Yaooque was for Hamdan and Nasr was for Himyar-from the lineage of Zil-Kala_ they were the righteous people of Noah’s nation, when they died Satan inspired their nation to erect monuments at their meeting places and named these accordingly and they did that and they (righteous people) were not worshiped until they died and the knowledge is forgotten
Pagans of Arabia also used to worship Prophet Ibrahim and they depicted him like a soothsayer. It is reported in Bukhari (Volume 4, Book 55, Number 570) that on day of conquest of Makkah, Prophet entered the Kaba.
Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet entered the Ka’ba and found in it the pictures of (Prophet) Abraham and Mary. On that he said’ “What is the matter with them ( i.e. Quraish)? They have already heard that angels do not enter a house in which there are pictures; yet this is the picture of Abraham. And why is he depicted as practicing divination by arrows?”
So these deities were not the fictitious creatures but in fact they lived on earth and were holy people or saints. Pagans said that they are worshiping them because they do intercession to Allah. Thus for them these are not in fact really god per se but they knew that they were the holy people. Allah informed us in surah Az-Zumr, verse 3:
أَلَا لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الْخَالِصُ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَى إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي مَا هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ كَفَّارٌ
Surely, the religion (i.e. the worship and the obedience) is for Allah only. And those who take Helpers besides Him (say): “We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah.” Verily, Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever.
Whatever reverence pagans were showing to their deities is called worship by Allah. For pagans, Allah was indeed the true Lord of Universe. But, they were stuck to the religion of their fore-fathers and had no evidence that what they were claiming is truth. Pagans claimed that these deities are our intercessors.
In surah Younis 18 it is informed that pagans say:
وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنْفَعُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ هَؤُلَاءِ شُفَعَاؤُنَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ قُلْ أَتُنَبِّئُونَ اللَّهَ بِمَا لَا يَعْلَمُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Say: “Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?” Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him!
Allah denied this in surah Al-Baqarah 186, and clearly instructed us to seek Him without intercession or a mediaries:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُون
And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad ) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.
Bani Israel too were forbidden to practice dead worship but they often departed from God’s injunctions and indulged themselves in such practices (1 Samuel 28:1). They were specifically warned in the Bible neither to offer to the dead (Deuteronomy 18: 9-12; 26:14) nor to consult the dead in an effort to learn the future (Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 65:4). Such acts were considered grave sins by the prophets and a rebellion from God’s Will and were strongly forbidden (Deuteronomy 18: 9-14). Despite these clear warnings the Jewish book of traditions, Talmud (200-600 A.D) [*] records numerous instances where people visited the graves and even spoke with the dead persons .
The tombs of Prophet Abraham and Sarah in Jerusalem; Ezekiel in Keffil, Iraq; Ezra in Basra, Iraq; and Daniel in Susa, Iran are few examples which are still venerated by Jews [**].
[*] After the second Hasr, the persecution of the Jews and the passage of time raised the possibility that the details of the oral traditions dating from Pharisaic times (536 BCE – 70 CE) would be forgotten. Mishna was redacted 220 CE by Rabbi Yehudah haNasi also called Yehudah the prince. Later Misha’s exegesis was written in Palestine now called Jerusalem Talmud completed around 400 AD. The second exegesis was written in Babylon or Iraq from 400 to 600 AD. In 570 AD our Prophet peace be upon him was born. Therefore the most reliable source to understand the Jewish faith in times of Prophet is Mishna and Talmud. See Everyman’s Talmud : The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages by Abraham Cohen
[**] These tombs are also unfortunately venerated by Muslims.
A book by John Moschos[*] (ca. 550-619 AD) informs us on the prevalent practice of veneration of saints and their graves by Christian during Prophet’s lifetime. The following stories were written by John Moschos (ca. 550-619 AD) in his book Pratum Spirituale:
This story was told us by Abba Basil, priest of the monastery of the Byzantines. When I was with Abba Gregory the Patriarch at Theoupolis, Abba Cosmas the Eunuch of the Larva of Pharon came from Jerusalem. The man was most truly a monk, orthodox and of great zeal, with no small knowledge of the scriptures. After being there a few days, the elder died. Wishing to honour his remains, the patriarch ordered that he should be buried at a spot in the cemetery where a Bishop lay. Two days later I came to kiss the elder’s grave a poor man stricken with paralysis was lying on the top of the tomb, begging alms of those who came into the church. When this poor man saw me making three prostrations and offering the priestly prayer, he said to me: O Abba this was indeed a great elder, sir, whom you buried here three days ago. I answered how do you know that. He told me I was paralysed for twelve years and through this elder the Lord cured me. When I am distressed, he comes and comforts me, granting me relief. And you are about to hear yet another strange thing about this elder. Ever since you buried him at night calling and saying to the bishop: Touch me not, stay away, come not near, thou heretic and enemy of Truth and of the holy catholic Church of God. Having heard this from the man cured from his paralysis, I went and repeated it to the patriarch, I besought that most holy man to let us take the body of the elder and lay it in another tomb. Then the patriarch said to me believe me my child Abba Cosmos will suffer no hurt from the heretic. This has all come about that the virtue and zeal of the elder might become known to us after his departure from this world also that the doctrine of bishop should be revealed to us so that we not hold him to have been one of the orthodox [see I].
John Moschos along with his disciple Sophronios went to a place in Aleandria where me met a blind man, who told them the story of how he become blind:
I went into sepulcher and stripped the corpse of its all clothes except for a single shroud. As I was leaving the sepulcher, my evil habits said to me Take the shroud too its worth the trouble. So wretch that I am I turned back and remove the shroud from the corpse, leaving it naked. At which point the dead sat up before and stretched out his hands towards me with his fingers he clawed my face and plucked out both my eyes. I cravenly left all behind and fled from the sepulcher, badly hurt and chilled with horror. Now I too have told I cam to be blind [see II].
Not only that the dead saint guide and inform about the location of his grave.
There was an anchorite in these mountains, a great man in the eyes of God who survived for many years on the natural vegetation which could be found there. He is died in a certain small cave and we did not know, for we imagined that he had gone away to another wilderness place. One night in this anchorite appeared to our present father, that good and gentle shepherd, Abba Julian, as he slept, saying to him, Take some men and go, take me up from the place where I am lying, up on the mountain called the Deer. So our father took some brethren and went up into the mountain of which he had spoken. We sought for many hours but we did not come across the remains of the anchorite. With the passage of time, the entrance to the cave in which he lay had been covered over by shrubs and snow. As we found nothing Abba said Come children Let us go down and just as we were about to return, a deer approached and came to stand still some little distance from us. She began to dig in the earth with her hooves. When our father saw this he said to us Believe me children that is where the servant of god is buried. We dug there and found his relics intact [See III]
In one story it is informed that the church under construction is extended to bring a grave into it on the request of dead saint.
Our holy father, Abba George…. told us: When I was about to build the church saint Kerykos at Phasaelis they dug the foundations of the church and a monk, very much an ascetic, appeared to me in my sleep. He wore a tunic of sack-cloth and on his shoulders an over garment made of rushes. In a gentle voice he said to me tell me Abba George Did it really seem just to you, sir, that after so many labour and so much endurance I should be left outside, the church you are building? Out of respect for the worth of the elder, I said to him: who in fact are you, sir? I am Peter the grazer of the Jordan. I arose at dawn and enlarged the plan of the church. As I dug I found his corpse lying there just I had seen him in my sleep. When the oratory was built I constructed a handsome monument in the right hand aisle, and there I interred him [see IV].
There was a practice among Christian that they spent forty days at grave of a saint to persuade him to do intercession for them.
I have found it written that blessed Leo who become primate of the church of the Romans, remained at the tomb of apostle Peter for forty days exercising himself in fasting and prayer invoking the apostle Peter to intercede with God fro him that his faults might be pardoned. When forty days were fulfilled, the apostle Peter appeared to him saying I prayed for you, and your sins are forgiven except for those of ordinations. This alone will be asked of you whether you did well, or not, in the ordaining those whom you ordained [see V]
[I] Spiritual Meadow (Pratum Sprituale) by John Moschos, published Cistercian Publications, pg 31-32
[II] Spiritual Meadow (Pratum Sprituale) by John Moschos, published Cistercian Publications, pg 60
[III] Spiritual Meadow (Pratum Sprituale) by John Moschos, published Cistercian Publications, pg 67-68
[IV] Spiritual Meadow (Pratum Sprituale) by John Moschos, published Cistercian Publications, pg 74-75
[V] Spiritual Meadow (Pratum Sprituale) by John Moschos, published Cistercian Publications, pg 122
It is clear that the Jews, pagans and Christians during the lifetime of the Prophet were venerating the saints and main reason for that was intercession. They assumed that when they go to grave and speak with the dead saint, the saint would hear and do intercession for them.[note color=”#CEECF5″]
It is reported in Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 427 that Narrated ‘Aisha and ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas:
When the last moment of the life of Allah’s Apostle came he started putting his ‘Khamisa’ on his face and when he felt hot and short of breath he took it off his face and said, “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets.” The Prophet was warning (Muslims) of what those had done.
In Quran Allah informed us that the sons of Yaqoob peace be upon him asked him to pray for them (surah Yousuf)[note color=”#BEF781″]
قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا خَاطِئِينَ قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّي إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
They said: “O our father! Ask forgiveness (from Allah) for our sins, indeed we have been sinners.” He said: “I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you, verily He! Only He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.”[/note]
The brothers of Yusuf have sinned and they asked Yaqoob peace be upon him to pray for them. Yaqoob peace be upon him was alive at that time and he prayed for them but none of them had gone to grave of Prophet Ibrahim peace be upon him for intercession.
It is explained in the following hadith reported in Bukhari.[note color=”#CEECF5″]
حدثنا الحسن بن محمد قال حدثنا محمد بن عبد الله الأنصاري قال حدثني أبي عبد الله بن المثنى عن ثمامة بن عبد الله بن أنس عن أنس : أن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه كان إذا قحطوا استسقى بالعباس بن عبد المطلب . فقال اللهم إنا كنا نتوسل إليك بنبينا فتسقينا وإنا نتوسل إليك بعم نبينا فاسقنا قال فيسقون
Narrated Anas that when there was famine Umer bin Khattab ask Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib to pray for rain and said O Allah We used to beseech thee to give us water through our Prophet, (now) I beseech thee through the uncle of our Prophet to give us water for drinking
And then Abbas led the prayer of Istasqah and it rained. It is there allowed to ask the saintly people to do intercession but only in their lifetime.
Those who believe in intercession from dead. Bring this verse for support of claim.
Allah instructed Prophet in surah Nisa 64 for the hypocrites:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلَّا لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِيمًا 64
We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allah’s Leave. If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you (Muhammad ) and begged Allah’s Forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them: indeed, they would have found Allah All-Forgiving (One Who accepts repentance), Most Merciful.
According to believers in dead’s intercession, this command is still valid and if someone goes to Prophet’s gave and ask for intercession then this is permissible.
Against this claim the scholars who do not believe in intercession by dead say that this was an early instruction. It is reported in Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 360 that:[note color=”#CEECF5″]
Narrated Jabir: The Prophet came to (the grave of) ‘Abdullah bin Ubai after his body was buried. The body was brought out and then the Prophet put his saliva over the body and clothed it in his shirt.
But Allah didn’t accept the prayer of His Prophet and instructed him further not to pray for hypocrites anymore. In surah Taubah Allah said:
وَلا تُصَلِّ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ مَاتَ أَبَدًا وَلا تَقُمْ عَلَى قَبْرِهِ إِنَّهُمْ كَفَرُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَمَاتُوا وَهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ84
And never (O Muhammad ) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave. Certainly they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger, and died while they were Fasiqun (rebellious, – disobedient to Allah and His Messenger ).
Also those who believe in intercession of dead, present the verse in surah al-Maida 35 in which Allah commanded to search for Wasila or means to approach him:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُوا فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ 35
O you who believe! Do your duty to Allah and fear Him. Seek the means of approach to Him, and strive hard in His Cause as much as you can. So that you may be successful.
It is explained in Tafseer Tibiri that means of approach are: Abi Wail and Mujahid said:
القربة في الأعمال
Nearness through deeds
تقربوا إليه بطاعته والعملِ بما يرضيه
Achieve nearness to Him through submission and acts which He likes
Also one may ask beseech Allah after remember ones good deeds. It is reported in Bukhari:[note color=”#CEECF5″]
حدثنا سعيد بن أبي مريم حدثنا إسماعيل بن إبراهيم بن عقبة قال أخبرني نافع عن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما : عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال ( بينما ثلاثة نفر يتماشون أخذهم المطر فمالوا إلى غار في الجبل فانحطت على فم غارهم صخرة من الجبل فأطبقت عليهم فقال بعضهم لبعض انظروا أعمالا عملتموها لله صالحة فادعوا الله بها لعله يفرجها فقال أحدهم اللهم إنه كان لي والدان شيخان كبيران ولي صبية صغار كنت أرعى عليهم فإذا رحت عليهم فحلبت بدأت بوالدي أسقيهما قبل ولدي وإنه نأى بي الشجر يوما فما أتيت حتى أمسيت فوجدتهما قد ناما فحلبت كما كنت أحلب فجئت بالحلاب فقمت عند رؤوسهما أكره أن أوقظهما من نومهما وأكره أن أبدأ بالصبية قبلهما والصبية يتضاغون عند قدمي فلم يزل ذلك دأبي ودأبهم حتى طلع الفجر فإن كنت تعلم أني فعلت ذلك ابتغاء وجهك فافرج لنا فرجة نرى منها السماء . ففرج الله لهم فرجة حتى يرون منها السماء وقال الثاني اللهم إنه كانت لي ابنة عم أحبها كأشد ما يحب الرجال النساء فطلبت إليها نفسها فأبت حتى آتيها بمائة دينار فسعيت حتى جمعت مائة دينار فلقيتها بها فلما قعدت بين رجليها قالت يا عبد الله اتق الله ولا تفتح الخاتم إلا بحقه . فقمت عنها اللهم فإن كنت تعلم أني قد فعلت ذلك ابتغاء وجهك فافرج لنا منها . ففرج لهم فرجة وقال الآخر اللهم إني كنت استأجرت أجيرا بفرق أرز فلما قضى عمله قال أعطني حقي فعرضت عليه حقه فتركه ورغب عنه فلم أزل أزرعه حتى جمعت منه بقرا وراعيها فجاءني فقال اتق الله ولا تظلمني وأعطني حقي فقلت اذهب إلى تلك البقر وراعيها فقال اتق الله ولا تهزأ بي فقلت إني لا أهزأ بك فخذ تلك البقر وراعيها فأخذه فانطلق بها فإن كنت تعلم أني فعلت ذلك ابتغاء وجهك فافرج ما بقي . ففرج الله عنهم
(Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 5: )
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
Allah’s Apostle said, “While three persons were traveling, they were overtaken by rain and they took shelter in a cave in a mountain. A big rock fell from the mountain over the mouth of the cave and blocked it. They said to each other. ‘Think of such good (righteous) deeds which, you did for Allah’s sake only, and invoke Allah by giving reference to those deeds so that Allah may relieve you from your difficulty. one of them said, ‘O Allah! I had my parents who were very old and I had small children for whose sake I used to work as a shepherd. When I returned to them at night and milked (the sheep), I used to start giving the milk to my parents first before giving to my children. And one day I went far away in search of a grazing place (for my sheep), and didn’t return home till late at night and found that my parents had slept. I milked (my livestock) as usual and brought the milk vessel and stood at their heads, and I disliked to wake them up from their sleep, and I also disliked to give the milk to my children before my parents though my children were crying (from hunger) at my feet. So this state of mine and theirs continued till the day dawned. (O Allah!) If you considered that I had done that only for seeking Your pleasure, then please let there be an opening through which we can see the sky.’ So Allah made for them an opening through which they could see the sky. Then the second person said, ‘O Allah! I had a she-cousin whom I loved as much as a passionate man love a woman. I tried to seduce her but she refused till I paid her one-hundred Dinars So I worked hard till I collected one hundred Dinars and went to her with that But when I sat in between her legs (to have sexual intercourse with her), she said, ‘O Allah’s slave! Be afraid of Allah ! Do not deflower me except legally (by marriage contract). So I left her O Allah! If you considered that I had done that only for seeking Your pleasure then please let the rock move a little to have a (wider) opening.’ So Allah shifted that rock to make the opening wider for them. And the last (third) person said ‘O Allah ! I employed a laborer for wages equal to a Faraq (a certain measure: of rice, and when he had finished his job he demanded his wages, but when I presented his due to him, he gave it up and refused to take it. Then I kept on sowing that rice (several times) till managed to buy with the price of the yield, some cows and their shepherd Later on the laborer came to me an said. ‘(O Allah’s slave!) Be afraid o Allah, and do not be unjust to me an give me my due.’ I said (to him). ‘Go and take those cows and their shepherd. So he took them and went away. (So, O Allah!) If You considered that I had done that for seeking Your pleasure, then please remove the remaining part of the rock.’ And so Allah released them (from their difficulty).”
Therefore it is informed that there are two ways of permissible intercession. One may ask a noble and righteous person to pray for him in the second approach one may beseech Allah through calling His Mercy and referring to one own good deeds done in the past. These are the only two ways allowed for any kind of intercession.
Blind-man narration: Scholar who believe in intercession of Prophet after his death also quote the narration of Tirmidhi:[note color=”#CEECF5″]
حَدَّثَنَا مَحْمُودُ بْنُ غَيْلاَنَ حَدَّثَنَا عُثْمَانُ بْنُ عُمَرَ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ عَنْ أَبِى جَعْفَرٍ عَنْ عُمَارَةَ بْنِ خُزَيْمَةَ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ حُنَيْفٍ أَنَّ رَجُلاً ضَرِيرَ الْبَصَرِ أَتَى النَّبِىَّ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- فَقَالَ ادْعُ اللَّهَ أَنْ يُعَافِيَنِى. قَالَ « إِنْ شِئْتَ دَعَوْتُ وَإِنْ شِئْتَ صَبَرْتَ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكَ ». قَالَ فَادْعُهُ. قَالَ فَأَمَرَهُ أَنْ يَتَوَضَّأَ فَيُحْسِنَ وُضُوءَهُ وَيَدْعُوَ بِهَذَا الدُّعَاءِ « اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّى أَسْأَلُكَ وَأَتَوَجَّهُ إِلَيْكَ بِنَبِيِّكَ مُحَمَّدٍ نَبِىِّ الرَّحْمَةِ إِنِّى تَوَجَّهْتُ بِكَ إِلَى رَبِّى فِى حَاجَتِى هَذِهِ لِتُقْضَى لِى اللَّهُمَّ فَشَفِّعْهُ فِىَّ ». قَالَ هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ غَرِيبٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ مِنْ حَدِيثِ أَبِى جَعْفَرٍ وَهُوَ غَيْرُ الْخَطْمِىِّ وَعُثْمَانُ بْنُ حُنَيْفٍ هُوَ أَخُو سَهْلِ بْنِ حُنَيْف
Uthman bin Hanif narrated that a blind man came to Messenger of Allah peace be upon him and said: Pray to Allah that He heals me. Prophet Said: If you like I pray else you be patient that is better for you. He said Pray. Prophet commanded him to do ablution in a good way and then (instructed blind man to) pray with this supplication: O Allah I beseech thee and (turn my) face (towards) thee through your Prophet Muhammad, the Merciful Prophet, I (turn my) face (towards) thee my Lord for the fulfilment of my need O Allah (accept) his intercession in this.
(Tirmidhi) said: This narration is Hasan Sahih Gharib, don’t know with other sanad except this one from the hadith of Abi Jafar and he is not Al-Khutami and Uthman bin Hanif is brother of Sahal bin Hanif.
However others say he is Abu Jafar Al-Khutami. Ibn Abi Hatim ابن أبي حاتم has discussed this narration in Illal Hadith juz2, pg 190:
وَسَمِعْتُ أَبَا زُرْعَةَ ، وَحَدَّثَنَا بِحَدِيثٍ : اخْتَلَفَ شُعْبَةُ وَهِشَامٌ الدَّسْتَوَائِيُّ : فَرَوَى شُعْبَةُ ، عَنْ أَبِي جَعْفَرٍ الْخَطْمِيِّ ، عَنْ عُمَارَةَ بْنِ خُزَيْمَةَ.
Ibn Habban said in Al-Majroheen in discussion on عون بن عمارة juz 2 , pg 197 that Abu Jafar is Al-Khutami:
وهو الذى روى عن روح بن القاسم عن أبى جعفر الخطمى عن أبى أمامة بن سهل بن حنيف عن عمه عمار بن حنيف: ” أن أعمى أتى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: يا رسول الله علمني دعاء أدعو به يرد الله على بصرى فقال: قل: اللهم إنى أسألك وأتوجه إليك بنبيك نبى الرحمة يا محمد قد توجهت إليك إلى ربى، اللهم شفعه في وشفعني في نفسي.
Tirmidhi had differed with conclusion of Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn-Habban.
Bukhari said in Tahreek Tabeer in discussion on عثمان بن حنيف الانصاري رضى الله عنه juz 6 pg 209:
قال شهاب حدثنا حماد بن سلمة: عن ابى جعفر الخطمى عن عمارة بن خزيمة بن ثابت: عن عثمان بن حنيف اتى اعمى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: فقال: ادع الله تعالى ان يرد بصرى، قال: أو أدعك ؟ قال: لا، بل ادع الله، قال ثلاثا، ثم قال: توضأ وصل ركعتين وقل: ” اللهم انى اسألك وأتوجه اليك ” ففعل فردبصره، وقال على حدثنا عثمان بن عمر سمع شعبة: عن ابى جعفر المدينى سمع عمارة بن خزيمة بن ثابت: عن عثمان بن حنيف، وقال ابن المثنى حدثنا معاذ بن هشام قال حدثنى ابى: عن ابى جعفر يزيد بن عمير – أو – عمير بن يزيد عن ابى امامة بن سهل رضى الله عنه: عن عمه، وقال عبد المتعال بن طالب حدثنا ابن وهب عن ابى سعيد عن روح بن القاسم: عن ابى جعفر المدينى عن ابى امامة بن سهل بن حنيف: عن عمه عثمان ابن حنيف رضى الله عنه، هو المدنى، عامل عمر على العراق، بقى إلى زمن معاوية.
Bukhari cleared that people have made the narrator Abu Jafar Al-Khutami, who lived at Basra and then quoted another sanad which indicate that Abu Jafar was from Medinah. Bukhari thus showed that there is confusion about this narrator.
The word of Bukhari ففعل فردبصره (so they made him a person from Basra) indicate that he meant that there is confusion in understanding who the real narrator is.
In Marifatul-Sahabah, معرفة الصحابة لأبي نعيم الأصبهاني juz 14, pg 80 it is quoted with the sanad in which it is called that Abu Jafar was Al-Madni.
حدثنا أبو عمرو ، ثنا الحسن ، ثنا أحمد بن عيسى ، ثنا ابن وهب ، أخبرني أبو سعيد واسمه شبيب بن سعيد من أهل البصرة ، عن أبي جعفر المديني ، عن أبي أمامة بن سهل بن حنيف ، عن عمه عثمان بن حنيف
In Musnad Ahmed juz 37, pg 189 it is reported with sanad:
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ حَدَّثَنِى أَبِى حَدَّثَنَا رَوْحٌ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ عَنْ أَبِى جَعْفَرٍ الْمَدِينِىِّ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ عُمَارَةَ بْنَ خُزَيْمَةَ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ يُحَدِّثُ عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ حُنَيْفٍ أَنَّ رَجُلاً ضَرِيراً أَتَى النَّبِىَّ -صلى الله عليه وسلم
If the narrator as repoted by Abi Naeem Al-Isbahani is Abu Jafar al-Madni then he is very weak narrator.
Some say that he is Abu Jafar Al- Khutami, if this is true then his name is
عمير بن يزيد بن عمير بن حبيب الأنصاري أبو جعفر الخطمي
But Bukhari said in Al-Kunna that the person with name Umair bin Yazid bin Umair had the nickname Abu Jaada not Abu Jafar:
أبو جعدة الخطمي اسمه عمير بن يزيد بن عمير بن حبيب بن خماشة
Ibn Hajar said in Taqreeb al-Tahzeeb in discussion on Abu-Jafar Al-Khutami, juz 8, pg 134
قلت: وقال أبو الحسن ابن المديني هو مدني قدم البصرة وليس لاهل المدينة عنه اثر ولا يعرفونه
I say: and Abul Hasan ibn Al-Madini said he is from Medinah and arrive at Basra and there is no narration reported by people of Medinah from him and they not even recognize him
Therefore the fact of the matter is that there is a lot confusion among hadith scholars on who this person is. It is better to discard this confusing narration.
Content wise this narration is not clear as the blind man has first ask the Prophet for prayer for him, which Prophet actually denied. Further Prophet peace be upon him instructed him to pray for himself. It was not the sunnah of Prophet peace be upon him to instruct people to pray themselves with his name in prayer. It is reported in Bukhari Volume 7, Book 70, Number 555:[note color=”#CEECF5″]
Narrated ‘Ata bin Abi Rabah: Ibn ‘Abbas said to me, “Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “This black lady came to the Prophet and said, ‘I get attacks of epilepsy and my body becomes uncovered; please invoke Allah for me.’ The Prophet said (to her), ‘If you wish, be patient and you will have (enter) Paradise; and if you wish, I will invoke Allah to cure you.’ She said, ‘I will remain patient,’ and added, ‘but I become uncovered, so please invoke Allah for me that I may not become uncovered.’ So he invoked Allah for her.”
It is reported in Bukhari that on the day of battle of Khaybar :[note color=”#CEECF5″]
Allah’s Apostle asked, “Where is ‘Ali?” He was told that ‘Ali was suffering from eye-trouble, so he (Prophet) applied saliva to his eyes and invoked Allah to cure him.
Here Prophet had not said to the woman suffering with epilepsy to do supplication herself with formula containing his name. He prayed for her. Similarly Prophet invoked Allah for Ali. The blind man narration is thus against the Sahih hadith or sunnah of Prophet.
Forgiveness of Prophet Adam due to our Prophet:
Hakim reported a narration in Mustadrak:[note color=”#CEECF5″]
حدثنا أبو سعيد عمرو بن محمد بن منصور العدل ثنا أبو الحسن محمد بن إسحاق بن إبراهيم الحنظلي ثنا أبو الحارث عبد الله بن مسلم الفهري ثنا إسماعيل بن مسلمة أنبأ عبد الرحمن بن زيد بن أسلم عن أبيه عن جده عن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : لما اقترف آدم الخطيئة قال يا رب أسألك بحق محمد لما غفرت لي فقال الله : يا آدم و كيف عرفت محمدا و لم أخلقه ؟ قال : يا رب لأنك لما خلقتني بيدك و نفخت في من روحك و رفعت رأسي فرأيت على قوائم العرش مكتوبا لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله فعلمت أنك لم تضف إلى اسمك إلى أحب الخلق فقال الله :صدقت يا آدم إنه لأحب الخلق إلي ادعني بحقه فقد غفرت لك و لولا محمد ما خلقتك هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد و هو أول حديث ذكرته لعبد الرحمن بن زيد بن أسلم في هذا الكتاب تعليق الذهبي قي التلخيص : بل موضوع
Narrated Umer bin Khattab that Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said: When Adam committed the sin he said: O Lord I beseech thee with the right of Muhammad (on you) forgive me. Allah said: O Adam and how do you know about Muhammad, he is not created (yet)? Adam said: O Lord as you created me with your hand and breathed into me soul from you I raised my head and saw on the pillars of Throne written There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger, there I knew that you did not add your name (except) with the most loved one. Allah said: You are right O Adam he is the most loved one in creation, you called me with his right so I forgive you and if Muhammad is not there I would not have created you! Hakim said: This is hadith with Sahih sanad and it is the first narration I quoted from Abdur Rehamn bin Zaid bin Aslam in this book. Dahabi said in noting: but it is concocted (narration)
This is a concocted narration as it is completely against Quran. Allah informed us that there is a purpose involved in creation, He said in surah Adh-Dhariyat 56:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ 56
And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).[/note]
And in surah Al-Baqarah 37, Allah informed that the words through which Adam prayed were actually not his words, but Adam learned those from Allah:[note color=”#BEF781″]
فَتَلَقَّى آَدَمُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ 37
Then Adam received from his Lord Words . And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful.
And in surah Al-Aaraf 23, Allah informed us about those words:
قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنْفُسَنَا وَإِنْ لَمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِين
They said: “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers
This narration contains narrator عبد الرحمن بن زيد بن أسلم who is declare Wadda i.e. Concocts hadiths. The authentication of Hakim is strange as in his another book المدخل إلى الصحيح he said:
عبد الرحمن بن زيد بن أسلم روى عن أبيه أحاديث موضوعة لا يخفى على من تأملها من أهل الصنعة أن الحمل فيها عليه
Abdur Rehamn bin Zaid bin Aslam narrates from his father concocted narrations and they are not hidden from those who are people of this art (ilm ul hadith) that the burden is on him.
It is stated in this narration that there is written on the Throne: Muhammad is his Messenger. Bukhari (Volume 9, Book 93, Number 501) has reported on what is written near Throne:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “When Allah created the Creation, He wrote in His Book–and He wrote (that) about Himself, and it is placed with Him on the Throne–‘Verily My Mercy overcomes My Anger.'”
Therefore the correct way to invoke Allah is through his Mercy and that is what Adam did according to Quran. How this narration could be taken as authentic. May Allah guide us towards His Mercy and Heavens!
Dear Reader: The only kind of intercession allowed in Islam is through righteous people and beseeching Allah through good deeds. Calling Allah with the honor of Prophets, Ahlul-bayt, mosques, Kabba and holy months is not permissible, as it is a sin of Sheerk.